It seems to be tradition to examine the direction of our lives twice a year: once at the beginning to set resolutions, and once at the end to see how we fared.
It’s a good idea to set your goals and intentions for the upcoming year. But there is also power in reviewing your goals for life.
Your “bucket list” – also known as, things you want to do before you die.
Creating a bucket list can be an eye-opening exercise in what fuels your passions. Our days are filled with responsibilities and obligations that make it easy to lose track of what makes us feel alive. But actively listing the experiences, hobbies, and goals that inspire you, and going a step further to cross them off, can bring you closer to a life well-lived.
Take a look at these 6 ideas about how to check off that bucket list!
#1. Take that Dream Trip
So you want to see the world? Sometimes the trip of your dreams can seem far-fetched, but it’s not out of reach. It will, however, require some planning.
Narrow down where you’d like to go and what kind of trip you envision. A great place to start is deciding between a “one stop shop” destination or a multi-stop itinerary.
In some cities, like Rio de Janeiro or Cape Town, you could travel for weeks and still leave stones unturned. Others, like Cairo or Cancun, might be bettered paired with another nearby destination (or two) to get the most out of your journey.
Budget is another big consideration.
Are you willing to rough it for the sake of adventure? Or perhaps you’d prefer to fully embrace the mantra of “treat yourself” as soon as your vacation begins.
Considering all of these factors will help you budget for your getaway and lend a hand when it comes time to plan your itinerary.
At a certain point though, the planning must become more concrete.
Think about what you currently have at your disposal and what you still need. Mapping out logistics like securing time off, ensuring your passport is valid, and arranging visas will make your trip much more likely to go from day dream to reality.
#2. Start Your Own Business
Many of us dream of being our own boss, but few take the leap to do it…even though most of us have at least one interest; art, cooking, writing, etc. that we’re passionate enough about to pursue full-time.
If entrepreneurship is on your bucket list, why wait? Narrow down your interest and consider how you can make a living out of it.
A large factor in entrepreneurship is simply being willing to do the legwork to get your business out there. Use every opportunity to promote and generate interest. The early days, especially, are no time to be held back by shyness or insecurity.
There are a number of online tools to assist you with formulating a business plan, budget, and even logos or business cards. Don’t be afraid to tap into your networks to self-promote or find a mentor.
#3. Go Back to School
Maybe taking your leap into entrepreneurship will require an advanced degree. Or perhaps you’re happy in your line of work, but need additional credentials to move up the ladder.
Whatever your reason, going back to school is a goal that can often be moved to the back burner because of the busyness of daily life.
If you’ve identified this as essential to your career growth, putting it off only does you a disservice.
The best way to get started: take an honest look at your schedule right now. Where can you carve out free time? Is your job flexible? Would your employer be willing to work with you around a class schedule or tuition reimbursement?
Answering these questions will help narrow down whether you should consider in-class education or online programs.
Many graduate level programs schedule classes in the evenings, often only one day per week, to accommodate working students. If you prefer the in-class experience, research schools near you that cater to such students. Online programs, however, are great for those who may work better utilizing the weekends or odd hours for their studies.
Going back to school can seem like a heavy load to take on, especially when you already have a lot on your plate. But consider it an investment in yourself.
As committed as you are to your family, friends, and career, there is no reason not to also commit to yourself.
#4. Find Love
Ahhh, love. Everybody wants it, but it eludes many.
If you’re serious about checking romance off your bucket list, it may be time to get creative.
A great place to start is to ask yourself: “What can I do differently?” After all, insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. You must be honest about the fact that what you’ve been doing up to this point hasn’t brought you success in the love department.
But this doesn’t mean to change yourself.
That is probably the least advised tactic for finding love that lasts. Perhaps it’s time to consider changing your habits and mixing up your routine.
Do you put yourself in situations where you could potentially meet someone?
Our modern life routines of work-home-repeat don’t leave much room for romance to find us. The likelihood of finding your Prince Charming in Aisle 2 during your quick store run is… unlikely. Instead, putting yourself in social situations more often could make a world of difference.
Next, consider all of your options.
Many are quick to give up on love but haven’t even exhausted all of the tools at their disposal. Allow your friends to play Cupid; plenty of relationships are the handiwork of good friends setting up blind dates. Look into interest groups, networking events, and meet-ups for activities and topics that interest you.
The people there already share your passions. Chances are good that you may have other things in common as well.
Finally, consider online dating. Even if you aren’t gung-ho on the idea of meeting someone online, the stats don’t lie. It works!
#5. Get Healthy
Living healthy isn’t just a fitness craze; it’s a goal for a lifetime. And it takes a lifetime of effort.
If getting healthy is on your bucket list, get serious about identifying ways to make good health a long-term commitment.
Take a look at your diet, determine where you can cut back, and push harder. Adding more water and leisurely exercise – not necessarily gym visits – are simple ways to enhance your health.
A great trick for eating healthy is to think about the foods you like and the foods you love. Eating healthy can seem difficult when it feels like you’re always depriving yourself. Instead, try focusing on cutting out foods you just “like.”
If you’re so-so about pizza but love a good lasagna, allow yourself to indulge on the lasagna, but pass on the pizza. Making room for food you enjoy, while being thoughtful about those choices is key.
#6. Pick Up A New Hobby or Skill
Life is all about growing and expanding, so finding new hobbies and skills are a natural desire.
Maybe you have a specific pursuit you’ve always wanted to master; playing an instrument, learning photography, computer coding, etc. But with your already busy life, it can seem like there’s never a good time to get started.
The good news is: the only difference between those who master these pursuits and those who don’t, is time and effort.
Keep that in mind. Even 30 minutes a day is a step in the right direction.
As you think about the life you’d like in the long-term, try to keep sight of the fact that life is the sum of your present choices. While making changes in your already-packed daily routine can seem difficult, it is only by committing to doing that your life can unfold as you imagine.
A completed bucket list doesn’t have to be a fantasy or a “best-case scenario” if you’re serious about living the life of your dreams. Just take your wishes seriously and commit!
It’s all up to you.
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