“Every man dies – Not every man really lives.” ~ William Ross
“The only people who fear death are those with regrets.” ~ Author Unknown
A few days ago, I was surfing online when I came across someone’s bucket list. It quickly inspired me to create my own list and write an article about it at the same time.
What’s a Bucket List?
If you haven’t heard about the term “bucket list”, it is a list of all the goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to fulfill and life experiences you desire to experience before you die.
Why Create One?
If you don’t live your days by personal goals and plans, chances are you spend most of your time caught up in a flurry of day-to-day activities. Ever feel your days are passing you by without any tangible output to speak of? What did you accomplish in the past 3 months? What are your upcoming goals for the next 3 months? Look at the things you did and the things you’re planning to do next – Do they mean anything to you if you are to die today? Having a bucket list reminds you of what’s really important so you can act on them.
Even if you frequently live by goals or to-do lists, they are probably framed within a certain social context e.g. performance, career, health. A bucket list opens up the context. It’s a forum to set anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to do, whether it’s big, small or random.
It’s just like planning ahead all the highlights you want for YOUR whole life. Even though goal setting is already my staple activity, I still found many new things to do while I was writing on my own list. It was an incredibly insightful exercise. What’s more, coming up with my list gave me a whole new layer of enthusiasm knowing what’s in store ahead!
The objective of creating this list isn’t to instill some kind of a race against time or to create aversion toward death. I don’t see our existence to be limited to just our physical years on earth – I don’t see our existence to be limited to just our physical years on earth – our physical lifespan is but a short speck of our existence in the universe.
The whole point of creating your list is to maximize every moment of our existence and live our life to the fullest. It’s a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time here, so that instead of pandering our time in pointless activities, we are directing it fully toward what matters to us.
Create Your Bucket List
If you don’t have a bucket list, I highly recommend you to create one. How much does it cost? Zero. How long does it take? Probably 30 minutes to an hour, or more if you get really caught up in the writing. What do you stand to gain? Significant clarity and focus on what you want from your life. It’s an invaluable exchange.
If you already have your list, take this opportunity to review it. See if there are new items you want to add-on. If so, add them in. Check if all the items listed are still relevant. If not, remove them.
If you are curious, you can check out my bucket list before you start off.
Start writing down what comes to mind as you read these questions:
- What if you were to die tomorrow? What would you wish you could do before you die?
- What would you do if you had unlimited time, money and resources?
- What have you always wanted to do but have not done yet?
- Any countries, places or locations you want to visit?
- What are your biggest goals and dreams?
- What do you want to see in person?
- What achievements do you want to have?
- What experiences do you want to have / feel?
- Are there any special moments you want to witness?
- What activities or skills do you want to learn or try out?
- What are the most important things you can ever do?
- What would you like to say/do together with other people? People you love? Family? Friends?
- Are there any specific people you want to meet in person?
- What do you want to achieve in the different areas: Social, Love, Family, Career, Finance, Health (Your weight, Fitness level), Spiritual?
- What do you need to do to lead a life of the greatest meaning?
Come up with as many items as you can. The items should be things you have not done yet. Don’t stop until you finish listing at least 101 things! If you find yourself stuck, chances are you are mentally limiting/constraining yourself. Release those shackles – Your bucket list is meant to be a list of everything you want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience in your life. Check out the next section for added inspiration.
101 Things To Do Before You Die
Here are 101 items to consider for your bucket list . Some of the items might spark off your inspiration for other things too!
- Travel all around the world
- Learn a new language
- Try out a new profession in a different field
- Achieve your ideal weight
- Run a marathon
- Take part in a triathlon
- Take up a new sport. Some examples:
- Technique sports: Archery, Golf, Bowling, Billiard, Skateboarding, Skating, Roller-blading, Ice skating
- Water sports: Water rafting, Kayaking, Wakeboarding, Sailing, Scuba diving, Snorkeling, Swimming
- Group sports: Soccer, Rugby, Baseball, Basketball, Ultimate frisbee
- Racket sports: Squash, Badminton, Tennis, Table tennis
- Go skiing
- Learn horseback riding
- Resign from a job you don’t like
- Pursue your passion
- Start your own business doing something you love
- Achieve financial abundance with your passion
- Connect with the teachers from your past – college, high school, junior high, all of it. Let them know how they have shaped your life.
- Identify someone who has inspired you the most in your life. Let him/her know how much he/she has inspired you
- Be a mentor to someone
- Learn a strategy game
- Do an extreme sport – Bungee jumping, Skydiving, Parachuting, Paragliding, Ice climbing
- Climb a mountain
- Give a heartfelt surprise to someone
- Make a difference in someone’s life
- Perform a kind deed to at least 5 strangers without expecting anything in return
- Write a book on something that means a lot to you
- Fly in a hot-air balloon across a country
- Sing your favorite song to an audience
- Offer your service to a humanitarian cause
- Make friends with at least 5 strangers on the street
- Experience a sunset
- Experience a sunrise
- See the Northern Lights
- Witness a solar eclipse
- Go stargazing
- Plant your own tree and watch it grow
- Own a pet (or more if you desire!): dog, cat, rabbit, hamster, tortoise, fish, snake, frog, etc
- Do public speaking in front of 10,000 people
- Write a letter to at least 3 of your closest friends to let them know how much they mean to you
- Throw a mega party
- Get a complete makeover (change everything, from your hair style, hair color, image, clothes) and get a different look: one which you would never have thought of trying!
- Learn wine appreciation
- Join a social etiquette class and further refine your mannerisms
- Be a matchmaker: Introduce your single friends to each other (the rest is up to them!)
- Go on a blind date! (for the singles!)
- Go for future education in a different specialization
- Play a (new) musical instrument: Piano, Violin, Harmonica, Flute, Guitar, Drum, Trumpet
- Win a lucky draw
- Take up dancing: Salsa, Line dance, Tap dance, Tango, Ballroom dancing, etc
- Learn a martial art (Check out: List of different martial arts on Wiki)
- Go on a road trip
- Go backpacking across at least 10 locations
- Pack your bags and set off for a random location with no itinerary planned at all
- Go swimming with dolphins
- Live in a different country for at least 6 months
- Act in a film (self production or otherwise)
- Get featured on TV/radio/print/newspapers for an achievement you are proud of
- Knit a scarf
- Create your dream home (Read: Does Your Room Inspire You?)
- Whip up the best meal ever for your loved ones
- Bake a cake for someone special
- Go deep into the heart of Mother Nature. Go trekking in a rainforest; Camp out in the wilds; Walk in a valley; Visit a waterfall; Swim in an ocean; Walk in a valley
- See snow (if you haven’t before)
- Live through 4 seasons of the year – Spring, summer, autumn, winter
- Read a book on a subject you’d never have thought of reading
- Volunteer at a hospice
- Fly a kite
- Fall asleep on grassy plains
- Call the customer service (of a service provider you like) just to thank them for the great service
- If you are a non-vegetarian, try out vegetarianism for 21 days and experience it for yourself
- After that, try veganism
- Followed by raw veganism. Then conclude which is the best diet for you.
- Fold a 1,000 origami cranes and give them to someone special
- Conquer your biggest fear
- Go snorkeling and experience marine life up close
- Tell at least 10 people about your bucket list and encourage them to do the same
- Go on a meditation retreat
- Experience an OBE (out of body experience)
- Start a social movement on a cause you believe in
- Watch cherry blossoms in Japan
- Get closure on all your hurt, grievances and unhappiness of the past
- Bury the hatchet with all the enemies / people you had conflict with in the past or now
- Organize a picnic outing
- Do something completely crazy and out of character
- Fly first class
- Hit bullseye on a dartboard
- Visit a volcano
- Fly in a helicopter
- Have dinner with someone you had only dreamed of meeting
- Tell your parents (and siblings too if you have them) that you love them.
- Ride a roller coaster
- Go on a cruise in the sea
- Try out front-line customer service jobs such being a waiter/waitress for a month just for the experience
- Fall in love
- Be in love!
- Get on a romantic getaway
- Do a somersault
- Visit a castle in England
- Change the world
- Help someone in need
- Learn sign language
- See the Mona Lisa in Louvre (Paris)
- Go to a costume party and dress up as your fantasy character
- Gain enlightenment
Here are some sites you might want to check out for inspiration as you create your list:
Get Into Action!
After you finish your list, here’s what to do next:
- Start acting on them! Plan out the successful path toward these goals – For this, read my 7-part Successful Goal Achievement series.
- Be reminded of the list all the time. Use environmental reinforcement – put them up in a prominent spot where you will see them every day / very regularly. Put it in your life handbook, set it as your wallpaper, pin it on your noticeboard, print it out, stick it on your wardrobe/locker.
- Share them with your family and friends. Inspire them to create their own bucket lists too! This way, you also create accountability for yourself as you complete the items on your list.
- Don’t limit your list items to a certain definition. Sometimes opportunity present itself in a totally different manner. Keep your eyes peeled! The universe will start throwing things your way.
- Review your list regularly. Cross out the things after you do them. See if some of the items become irrelevant and if there are new things you want to add. Just as you finish the items, you’ll add new ones as they come along. There is absolutely no reason why your list should ever be empty. There is such an incredible wealth of things, events, activities, experiences to witness/go through in life that it’s impossible that you will ever be done with living. Likewise for me, I’m continuously completing and adding on new items that will help me live my life to the fullest, so my bucket list always has new items to accomplish.
Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] Bucket List: 101 Things To Do Before You Die
This is part of the Conscious Living series. Be sure to check out:
- 6 Important Reasons Why You Should Set Goals
- Are You Sleepwalking Your Life Away? | Part 2
- Discover Your Real Life Purpose (7-Part Series)
- My Bucket List
- More on Bucket Lists (We are on CNN!)
- Day 27 of Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program: Create Your Bucket List
Other Articles in the 101 Series
If you like this post, you’ll love the other posts in the 101 series:
Download Your Free Ebook: 101 Things To Do Before You Die
Has this article been beneficial for you in any way? I’ve compiled the bucket list article into a 16-page ebook which you can download free and read in your own time. Feel free to share this with anyone whom you think may benefit from it.
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