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Bucket Lists and How to Actually Accomplish Them

Oh, bucket lists. Whether we have actually written them down or not, we all have them. Bucket lists are the things we all want to do in life before we go, or quite literally as the phrase goes, kick the bucket and die. Sound depressing? It should be exciting. What a great motivator to get out of your comfort zone and do the things you’ve been dreaming of doing your entire life. Nothing motivates like impending death.

Right now, we might be in the depths of dead week and final exams are holding us prisoner, but within reach is the glorious freedom that is summer break. And although some of us have internships, jobs and responsibilities, we all have one thing going for us, and that’s these lists we carry deep within and that we are young. We all have dreams, and this is one of the few times in our lives where the possibilities of where we are headed is so open and uncertain, so what better time to tackle our dreams than right now. And even better, we have some more down time with the summer on the horizon then with our busy schedules during the semester.

So, I challenge you to tackle that bucket list you have been putting off for years or maybe your whole life, while you were waiting for the right time to do them. The secret is, and this is the real kicker, there is no right time. We don’t get to know how long we’re going to live, and it is naive to believe we all have eighty more years ahead of our twenty current years on the planet to look forward to. Don’t live your life with regret, get out there and dive into your dreams while your young and free to do so right now.

So now that you’re convinced the time is now, your question might be, how? You have responsibilities, bills and rent to pay. Read below for some tips on how to actually implement your bucket list while not ruining your future along the way.

Below is just a sample of some of the things on my personal bucket list in which I hope to accomplish. It will be a guide to some hopefully helpful tips as our template. This list is just that, an example, so by no means do I suggest you follow the dreams I have on this list, but hopefully it will be helpful as you tackle your own lists this summer and beyond.

Bucket List:

  • write a memoir
  • learn another language fluently
  • save a life
  • go sky diving
  • scuba dive
  • get my writing published
  • have a family
  • see all of Europe
  • see all of the oceans in person
  • go in a hot air balloon
  • run a marathon

This list is not the complete list, but just a sample to use as an example. Now, let’s get into the tips.


1. Make a long-term and a short-term list

When it comes to bucket lists, we have so many things we all want to do that it can be overwhelming. So, to start, get going by organizing your list so the list feels obtainable.

Put the list into two broad categories to begin, one that is short term (hopefully something you can do over this summer) and one that you know will take time to do, which goes in your long-term list. This in itself makes your dreams more obtainable, because now you can create goals to reach these items on your list rather than being daunted by all the things you aspire to accomplish in a lifetime.

So, if we are going off the example list, we couldn’t save a life or learn a language in one summer, but we can put that in our long-term list and begin setting realistic goals to reach that item off the bucket list. As for short-term, I can buy tickets pretty easy to ride a hot air balloon or sky dive, and so those would be things I could tackle this summer I would try to do from my short-term list.

2. Make sure actually to do something every day this summer to reach your newly formulated short-term bucket list goals, and long-term, too.

Once you have made a short-term list, tackle that first and be sure to work towards it every day as a form of accomplishment.

If you don’t have the money to go in an air balloon or sky dive right now, save a change jar for every time you swear to put some money in or put away money each paycheck towards the costly things on your list. For things that are just scary to start, like writing a memoir that you one day want to get published, set daily goals. Say, you’ll write everyday for ten minutes to an hour no matter your schedule. If you want to save a life though, sign up for CPR lessons to take this summer for when the occasion arises later in life for those longer-term items off your list.

3. If in fear or doubt, just do it.

Let’s say you are confident in implementing your short-term and long-term goals for your bucket list, but just aren’t sure you’re cut out to actually achieve them, to you I say, you are so just do it!

Say you have the money and time to sky dive but you’re on the plane and are having second thoughts, say to yourself, why does this matter to you, and you’re more likely to go through with it. We all have reasons for the items on our lists or the dreams we have, so be sure to solidify yourself in those reasons to gain the courage you think you lack to achieve them. You will always regret not doing the things you sought out to do, more than you ever did trying to do them.

So, whether it is impending death or the positive vibes that motivate you, get your bucket lists out and go get your dreams on. Because we are young, and life will not ready for our excuses, the time is now. So, get some courage and go out there this summer to follow those dreams once and for all. And most important of all, do it for you, because we all only have one life to live, so go out and live it.


Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Writing is my passion, hopefully reading is yours!
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