Can a Bucket List Journal Change Your Life?

The movie The Bucket List sort of brought forth this idea of making a list of things you want to experience before you die or kick the bucket. In the movie, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson play hospital roomies, both terminal. Nicholson’s very wealthy character decides he needs a bucket list and, with time, the much poorer (financially) Freeman secretly creates his own list.

The two break out of hospital and begin their adventure of ticking items off their lists. The fun part is that the items on their bucket lists aren’t the items many people put on their own lists today. Here’s a sampling of the bucket lists from the movie:

  • Witness something truly majestic
  • Help a complete stranger
  • Laugh until I cry
  • Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world
  • Drive a Shelby Mustang
  • Get a tattoo
  • Skydiving
  • Visit Stonehenge
  • Find the joy in your life
  • Drive a motorcycle on the Great Wall of China

There were a few others, but this is most of the list. I show you this not to brag about some movie knowledge – heck I had to google this stuff. I show you this because several of the items on this list are truly remarkable experiences most of us won’t think to include.

bucket list journal

Should You Create a Bucket List?

If you’re really asking me my opinion, then yes, I believe you should create a bucket list. However, having said that, I believe you should carefully consider what you put on your bucket list journal.

Creating a bucket list is another way of saying you are setting goals for yourself and this is never a bad thing.

When you set goals as an individual, you build your confidence and give your life purpose and direction.

When you set goals as a couple, you build lasting memories and intimacy.

There are other reasons to create a bucket list journal:

  • You begin to examine what you really want out of life
  • It helps you determine where you are today and where you want to be in the future
  • You become energized by the possibilities that lie before you
  • It allows you to look past your comfort zone and think outside your safe zone
  • You develop a sense of accomplishment as you tick off the items you’ve completed
  • It keeps you from becoming idle – there’s always something to work toward
  • You’re more interesting
  • What Should be On Your Bucket List?

bucket list journal

What you put on your bucket list is entirely up to you, but I do have a few suggestions for you.

Rather than seeing how many outrageous trips to foreign places you can come up with, try to envision adventures that will truly add value to your life.

This may indeed be some trips to foreign countries or other states, but it might be things like you saw on the Bucket List movie list – things that are more meaningful and amazing.

If you didn’t see the movie, Jack Nicholson’s character accomplished kissing the most beautiful woman in the world by kissing his long-lost daughter. It wasn’t some celebrity or model – it was a healed relationship.

When you set goals, one characteristic they should have is that they’re attainable. The same goes for the items you place in your bucket list journal. Visiting the Louvre or riding a motorcycle on the Great Wall of China are fine if they’re attainable to you in the future and they are things you would really like to do!

The other ‘rule’ of goal setting is that goals should be relevant to your life. Again, this should be true of your bucket list items. If you don’t really like airplanes that much, setting goals to fly all over the world seems like a waste of a dream.

adventure ideas

Swim with the dolphins!

Now, overcoming your fear of flying is a mighty fine bucket list item, and maybe more relevant to your life, but that can be done at a local airport.

To create your list, imagine you have just weeks to live. Would you want to spend those weeks traveling? If so, go for it! If not, what would you like to do? Repair relationships? Make sure those closest to you know how much you care? Spend time with a loved one you don’t get to see very often?

How to Create Your Bucket List

There are as many ways to create a bucket list as there are people making them. My best tips for creating your own bucket list are:

  • Think about those people who are most important to you – how can you enrich those relationships?
  • Imagine your future. What do you dream of doing? Is it something you believe you will be able to do?
  • When you think about the legacy you would like to leave behind, what does that look like?
  • If you are in a relationship, how can the two of you build your foundation as a couple?
  • Find ten amazing things to do within an hour or two of your own home and consider doing them with either your partner or best friend or both
  • Are there relationships you’ve let slide over the years that you would like to rekindle? How can you do that?
  • Are there financial goals that will make your life easier, like zeroing your debt or building a savings?

Give yourself some time. A bucket list journal doesn’t form overnight. It will take time and introspection to come up with the list that’s right for you.

Bucket List Journal for Couples

If you’re in a relationship with someone, make your individual lists and make one together – a couples journal. There is no reason to give up on your own dreams just because you’ve got someone special in your life.

In fact, I encourage you to pursue your individual items separately. You can each schedule a week or two away at the same time, pursue one of your bucket list items and then return home to share your experiences!

This is a great way to keep the mystery and challenge of your relationship alive!

For the items you want to do together, prioritize and work together to accomplish those goals. It’s a great relationship-building activity!

bucket list journal

Create that Bucket List and do it!

We humans have become robots. We wake up, go to work, come home and watch reality shows. Then we die.

Tomorrow, I challenge you to kill the routine! Brainstorm 100 bucket list items. Then, by the weekend, set goals towards a few and do them!

You will be amazed at what a bucket list will do for you!

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