How to Create The Ultimate Bucket List

July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July to all of you who are celebrating!  I hope you are having a blast with family and friends today and enjoying the extra long weekend!   As I mentioned yesterday, we just got back from an incredible trip to Disney World and I am still reeling from the joy that it […]

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Happy 4th of July to all of you who are celebrating!  I hope you are having a blast with family and friends today and enjoying the extra long weekend!  
As I mentioned yesterday, we just got back from an incredible trip to Disney World and I am still reeling from the joy that it was! Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a huge Disney fan and I have literally been dreaming about taking my kids on their first trip to Disney since the first one was born…for real.  I seriously looked over at my husband at one point and said, “Ok, whatever happens from here on out, I’ll die happy!”  
If you’re not that into Disney, you might be thinking…”well that’s just a weird thing to say.”  Perhaps.  But what I was really saying was “I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FOREVER AND IT’S FINALLY HERE!”  And also:  “This has been at the top of my bucket list and now I can check it off!”
Do you all have a bucket list?  I sure do.  I mean, I have an actual list of things I want to do, see, and experience in my lifetime.  And whether I get to check everything off or not, a bucket list is an extremely valuable self care tool.  Why?  Because a bucket list is really a list of goals you have for your life. It’s a document that gives you insight into who you really are, what you really love, and what you want to spend time doing.  However, many people struggle to come up with long term goals, or even things they want to accomplish in the short term.  Usually people can think of 1-10 things they really want to do (usually places they want to visit), but typically that’s not enough to benefit you in any other way than planning your next vacation.
A few years ago, I read an amazing book about time management and accomplishing your life goals called “168 Hours:  You Have More Time Than You Think” by Laura Vanderkam.    In it, Ms. Vanderkam suggests that everyone make a “List of 1,000 dreams” aka a bucket list.  This list is much more than a list of exotic vacation locales.  It is a list of everything you want to do in your life.  Like, everything.  She states:  
“This could include 10 restaurants you’d like to try, 10 financial goals, places you want to visit, etc. Go ahead and include a few you’ve already accomplished, like graduating from college, or having kids. You’ll probably be stumped by the time you get to 100, but if you find brainstorming easy, call it the List of 1000 Dreams and keep going. The point is to shoot for such a big number that you’re not editing yourself. Winning a Nobel Prize in chemistry and maintaining a nice stash of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered caramels can all go on there.”
Don’t you love that?  I mean, who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered caramels, for starters.  But the idea of thinking of a bucket list as a life list is so helpful.  Your list might begin as a list of all the places you want to visit, but as you create it, you may find it is just as important to be spending quality time with certain people or making enough money to be able to take one great vacation per year.  
I was so inspired to create a bucket list that reflected my life goals after I read this book, and I was surprised by how easily the items on my list came to me.  Once I gave myself permission to be totally uncensored in creating my dream life, I couldn’t keep the pen from scurrying across the page.  Over the course of a few days, I had a list of well over 100 things I want to define my life.  A list that, if I had accomplished even half of it, I would die a happy lady.  And, as I have already mentioned, the top item has already been completed! Woot!  #thanksmomanddad
Here are a few items from my bucket list, or list of 1000 dreams to give you a little more inspiration:
– Bora Bora with my husband
– Write and publish a book
– Foster care and hopefully adopt some children
– Alaska cruise
– Enough money to save for kids’ college and retirement
– Napa Valley
–  Put God first
– Road trip across USA 
– Weekend with my sister once a year (I mean I’d love 20, but I’ll take what I can get)
– Read as much as possible
– Whale watching
This is just a snippet of my list, but you get the idea.  
So what about you?  Are you seeing the benefits of making your own bucket list?  What would you put on your list?  And if you’re looking for a fun printable to organize your list, check out my Etsy shop!

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