Creating a Bucket List

posted in: Bucket List, Personal | 8

Splodz Blogz has become primarily about my bucket list, something that has happened over the last five years and something I am very happy with. For some reason that bucket list has become one of my defining features; everyone I know, and many people I don’t know, know me as the girl (lady, woman?!) with the ever expanding list of things to do. Some of you think this is a bit strange; why would I want to set myself a list of tasks that will be impossible to complete? Others completely understand what I am trying to do by documenting all my hopes and wishes and keeping a tally to help me keep hold of special memories. 

Bucket List Image - Life is all about the Journey

I shared some random facts about me a few weeks ago and in doing that I ended up with a few reasons why having a bucket list has worked for me. One was to do with my sight and the distinct possibility that it will not be this good forever (although I am very optimistic). Another was about the fact that the focus gene has missed me out and I have an inability to choose – ever. I wanted to share some more on this subject and encourage you to create some kind of bucket list for yourself, as well as offer some tips on how to do it. Oh, and I apologise now for asking some potentially philosophical questions.

A Bucket List for Life

Do you feel as if your days are passing by super quickly without any sign of achievement? Do you constantly rush from one thing to the next without taking stock? Or perhaps you are bored out of your brain and feel like everything is pointless. Maybe, like me, you lack all focus and have no idea what you are doing with your life.

A bucket list gives your spare time focus.

A bucket list allows you to plan ahead and have things to look forward to.

A bucket list gives you an opportunity to write things down, arguably the first step in actually achieving them.

A bucket list is a great excuse to treat yourself to experiences you’ve always wanted to have.

I’m not suggesting that you create a bucket list to instil some kind of urgency or panic or race against time – it isn’t supposed to make you more aware of or more afraid of death. On the contrary, it is there to help you make the most of every moment of your life, so you can live your life to the fullest. It is a reminder of all the things you want to achieve, so that instead of wasting your precious spare time away, you direct it towards what matters to you most.

Tandem Skydive for RNIB

Skydiving for RNIB

Creating a Written Bucket List

Creating a bucket list is rather simple – I bet even if you haven’t made a note of your list there are things swimming around in your mind that you think “I’d love to do that some-day”. So naturally, the first step is to think about those things that constantly come to mind, and write them down.

And believe me, once you start writing your ideas down, they will just keep coming. When something pops into your head that you think would be a fun way to spend a day, add it to the bottom of the list. You’ll soon have a good number to keep you busy.

If you like you can use these cool (and very common) bucket list items as a starting point…

  • Climb a Mountain
  • Learn Sign Language
  • Learn to Surf
  • Run a Marathon
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Visit the Seven Wonders of the World
  • Wild Swim in a Lake
  • Write a Novel

But why do you actually need to write it down?

There are a number of reasons we should write our bucket list down rather than just keeping it in our heads. As a bucket list is a list of goals that you want to achieve, you are effectively writing your wish list. How can writing your wish list down help? We know that writing a list forces you to decide what you want (even if it’s 1,000s of things), motivates you to work on that list, helps you focus and concentrate, and means that you know when to celebrate…

It will help you clarify what you want.

It is very unlikely that you set out on a road trip without an idea of where you are heading. I’m not necessarily talking specific hotel, but at least an idea of the town or area you want to reach. If you don’t have a destination in mind how do you know which way to go? What do you pack? How do you know when you have got there? You know I believe that life is all about the journey, but having an idea of your direction helps that journey to be meaningful. A bucket list gives you a whole load of destinations to head for; it forces you to be specific and decided what you are aiming for.

It will help motivate you to go after what you want.

The act of writing something down on a piece of paper is a really good way of giving yourself a bit of a kick up the bum. Writing a list doesn’t actually help you complete the list, you do have to take proper action for that to happen, but it’s a perfect first step. I promise you when you start writing things that you really want to do down, enthusiasm will flow. When you write your list, make sure you leave space for progress notes so you can update it – this should help keep you motivated.

It will keep you focussed.

Success breeds success. The more you are able to achieve, the more opportunities you will discover. That is, the more things you tick off your bucket list, the more ideas that will come to mind. Believe me when I say this is never ending! Writing your list down helps keep your mind focussed on the things you’ve always wanted to do. Or at least on the most important things. A bucket list will give you a place to look when you are feeling distracted, bored, fed up, or just overwhelmed by a brain full of 100s of new possibilities. Yes – add those new things to the bottom of your list, but this way you will never forget the original things.

It will help you celebrate.

The act of ticking or crossing out something from any kind of list is worth a little internal celebration. But when you can tick something off your bucket list you deserve a big smile and are allowed a bigger celebration. I don’t know; a pizza or something! Writing your hopes, dreams and goals down in a bucket list means you have a number of markers that allow you to very easily see what you have achieved – you’ll never forget it because it’s written down right in front of you.

At Center Parcs - SUP Stand Up Paddleboard Lesson Lake

Standup Paddleboarding

Sharing Your Bucket List

I ended up starting a blog to share my bucket list, so I could document the things I’ve been able to tick off my list (and other things besides) and share photographs. I do this to hopefully encourage you to try new things and create your own lists and memories. But even if you don’t write a blog post every time you tick something off your list, I definitely recommend sharing your bucket list achievements with other people as you tick them off.

Like writing a list in the first place, speaking to others about your goals and dreams for your own life will help fuel the fire of motivation and enthusiasm, and help you find focus to continue on your particular journey. Family, friends and acquaintances, even random social media followers, can offer so much support, advice, help, and endless possibilities for additions to your list. BUT don’t get caught up in everything; this is YOUR list, work on what means a lot to you, leave the other stuff.

Using Lifedge in a Helicopter, as you do

Fly in a Helicopter

Don’t Get Caught Up on Death

The biggest problem with a “bucket list” is that by common definition it is a list of things you want to do before you die. Eek, death? But I don’t want to die (ever!), and I definitely don’t want to be thinking about my ultimate end every time I look at my list. My own list has had so many titles, but I eventually settled on my bucket list because that was in essence what it has become. Our bucket lists aren’t supposed to make us scared about our demise, but rather give us every excuse going to enjoy this life we have been given.  A bucket list is a celebration of life.

There are lots of other ways to keep yourself focussed on your dreams and life goals. I rather like the bucket list way of doing it. Feel free to share your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.

Spires and Steeples Challange - Crossing the finish line!

Walk a Marathon


Do you have a bucket list? Share it with me! Let me in on your journey and let’s encourage each other.


8 Responses

  1. Shybiker

    Zoe, I respect you immensely. You’re doing good things in the right way. As you note, a bucket list is a celebration of life and your tips here make clear that planning fun makes it happen. An amorphous wish is less likely to be brought to fruition than one we plan. Your words here are smart and your objective is noble. Go, girl, go!

    • Splodz

      Thanks Ally that means a lot. All I wish for is to make the most of what I have, so I can experience as much happiness as possible – and by doing so, that I will go some way to encourage other people to do the very same. I pray I am a good example.

  2. jasmincharlotte

    I really like the idea of a bucket list, it is such a good way to make you accountable to the things you really want! I’ve really wanted to start with a 101 in 1001, but I’m doing a mini London summer bucket list at the moment which I’m enjoying! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • Splodz

      Thanks 🙂 101 in 1001 that sounds fun – and hard! A new thing every 10 days – do able. I like the little summer / birthday / monthly bucket list type things I see around, they are great ways to concentrate the mind on the now rather than worrying too much about the future.

    • Splodz

      Do it! I agree, some small things will certainly get you started and will make you feel you are really making the most of your days.

  3. Sarah - Craft Invaders

    I love the idea of your bucket list being a celebration of life Zoe. I personally have never wanted to write a bucket list. I think, for me, lists represent something I have to do, rather than being aspirational, so I prefer to keep the rest tucked away in my head. Having said that, if I did have one, The Northern Lights would be on it too 🙂

    • Splodz

      We are all different; one person’s list is another person’s nightmare. The Northern Lights is a definite winner I think, I WILL get it ticked off sometime!!

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