One of my favorite movies is The Bucket List. The story goes that two old men meet in the hospital where they both find out that they have terminal cancer and are dying. These two unlikely friends set out to spend the rest of their days living out their bucket list items and have quite the adventure doing so.
This is a super condensed version of the movie (definitely grab some popcorn and watch it for yourself), but what I love about this movie is watching how when push came to shove, these two men went guns blazing to live the rest of their lives with no regrets!
This movie has stuck with me for over a decade now and I keep coming back to the same thought. Am I going to wait until my time on earth is nearly at the end to live my bucket list or am I going to spend my entire life living my bucket list now?
Why I made a yearly bucket list
When I turned 30, I had the realization that although I’ve lived a fairly interesting life, like spending a month in India and Africa and living in Australia for a year, the past ten years I hadn’t truly followed my dreams or had the confidence to try or do what I felt in my heart to do.
The reality of turning the big 3-0 really hit me in ways I wasn’t expecting and I knew that I wanted to start out this next decade with a bang and without the insecurities, I had in my 20’s.
So what did I do? With this newfound revelation, I decided to make my year 30 the best year of my life by writing my 30 when 30 bucket list.
(Make sure to read to the bottom to grab your free Yearly Bucket List Workbook!)
How I wrote my 30 when 30 bucket list
Shortly after my birthday, I sat down and started writing my ultimate 30 when 30 bucket list. I wrote one through thirty on a piece of paper and started writing everything down that I wanted to do this year and also included a few things I always wanted to do but lacked the confidence to do so.
I forced myself to think outside the box and also made myself write down a few things I’ve always been scared to actually do, like get a tattoo or dye my hair darker, for example!
I really allowed myself to think outside the box and I went all out! When I finished writing my 30th bucket list item, I was amazed and excited at what I had written. Not only did I finally put it on paper, but I had a clear direction for how I wanted this year, the big 3-0 to be!
I decided that day that I wasn’t going to wait for the end of my life to finally tick off those bucket list items, but instead, I was going to spend the rest of my life making and completing bucket lists! I was hooked! 🙂
Why YOU should write a yearly bucket list?
So why am I sharing this? Because I have a feeling that there are a lot of people like me who feel like life is passing them far too quickly! All of a sudden you wake up and wonder where the last 5-10 years of your life went!
You find yourself asking questions like, “Am I living the life I dreamed or even wanted?” One day you wake up and realize you haven’t accomplished those dreams or experienced life to the extent you wanted too, like going to Hawaii, seeing the Eiffel Tower, or going on that special trip with your spouse.
Eventually, we are all faced with these questions and it’s our response that shapes the rest of our life. So my friend, take a moment, right now, and ask yourself, are you living your bucket list now or is life quickly passing you by?
If life seems to be moving like a speeding train, why not take control right now and change it! You don’t have to be turning the BIG 3-0 or 4-0 to create a bucket list! Why not create one right now and spend the rest of the year accomplishing those items?
Here are a few tips on how I created my 30 when 30 bucket list!
1. You don’t need a fancy name or a milestone year, just do it!
You don’t need to wait for a milestone year and you don’t need to create a fun name for your bucket list, like 30 when 30. Try taking whatever year you are in now and commit to making it the best yet!
Example: 21 when 21 bucket list, 35 when 35 bucket list, 50 when 50 bucket list.
2. Brainstorm your bucket list items
There are lots of ways you can create your bucket list items. You could do what I did and sit down and write down everything that comes to mind. You don’t have to actually commit to doing them, but just brainstorm every idea or dream that comes to mind.
After you’ve exhausted every idea and dream (I think I actually came up with around 40 bucket list ideas), go through your list and pick out which ones you really want to accomplish this year.
You can pick a set number, like this year I did 30 since I was 30 years old. Or just write down your bucket list items and don’t worry about how many items there are.
Just make sure you can actually accomplish them all in one year! For example, if you write down 60 items, make sure you can actually do them all or else save some for the next year. Remember, this can become a yearly thing you do and you don’t have to accomplish everything in the first year.
3. Write for all to see! Well, for you to see at least! 🙂
Don’t just write your bucket list and then forget about it! Print it out and hang it up somewhere you’ll see it daily and be reminded! Here are a few of my favorite items on my bucket list, plus a bucket list sheet I created that you can use and hang up in your bedroom or put in your daily journal.
Items from my 30 when 30 bucket list:
- Go snowmobiling (I haven’t done this in 6+ years!)
- Run the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon (I share about it here)
- Dye my hair darker
- Slow dance with my husband in the kitchen
- Fly first class
- Start my blog
Sign up here to get your bucket list workbook, which includes step-by-step instructions, bucket list ideas, and 7 bucket list sheets with inspirational quotes.
4. Make A Plan!
Now that you’ve made your bucket list, it’s time to make them become a reality! Look at your list and see if there are items that are going to require intentional planning.
For example, if one of your items is to go to Europe, then sit down and figure out how you’re going to make that happen. Do you need to set-up a savings account just for this trip and create an automatic transfer into the account so the money is automatically being saved? Do you need to request time off work and book airline tickets?
Make a tangible plan and start making it happen! Don’t wait until the very end of the year and if it’s a big goal, create steps that will help you accomplish it.
5. Review every few months
Every three months, take a moment and review your bucket list and see how you are doing. Are you ticking items off your list or do you need to do some more intentional planning? Remember, the point of this bucket list is to help you have fun and accomplish your dreams! Don’t let it stress you out and don’t let fear get in the way! Believe in yourself!
Couples Tip: Write a bucket list with your spouse! You can read more about our goal setting weekend here.
6. Have a blast!
I have loved working on my 30 when 30 bucket list! By creating my bucket list, it has made me be intentional about my year and has also reminded me to have fun and to be adventurous!
If I wouldn’t have created this list and just had it sitting in the back of my mind, I most likely would have forgotten about the majority of the items I listed and another busy year would have passed me by.
But even though this year seems even busier than the last (how does that keep happening?), I’m definitely having way more fun and am loving the adventure, big or small, along the way!
Go out there and live your bucket list!
Don’t save your bucket list for the end of your life! Like the old men in The Bucket List, don’t wait until the end of your life and have a list of things you wish you would have done.
Life is too short and there are way too many fun and adventurous things to do out in the world! Take charge of this year of your life and be intentional about accomplishing the things deep down that you really want to accomplish.
Don’t forget to sign up here to get your bucket list workbook!
Don’t let life pass you by! Instead, create a bucket list and live the most amazing year of your life!
I’d LOVE to hear what some of your bucket list items are! Comment them below!