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“Bucket list” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days. It’s a term that is misunderstood by some and not taken seriously by many others. Anytime someone sees something they think would be cool to do, they say, “That’s on my bucket list.” But if you were to ask them a week later to write down their bucket list, chances are, they would not include that super cool thing. Sound familiar? That’s ok! Today, we’re going to change that! So, what exactly is a bucket list? And why do you need one? Read on to find out 8 reasons why you need a bucket list and why you should take yours seriously.
What exactly is a bucket list?
A bucket list is simply a collection of things that you want to accomplish before you die. It’s the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” Some people include things like learn a new language, get a degree, or trace their family’s heritage. Many people have one or more trips on their bucket lists. Because of this, they have become closely associated with travel. You can even have multiple bucket lists: a personal one, a professional one, and one for a specific topic (like sports). You can also have a family one or a couples one. I have a personal one, a family one, and a Disney one.
A bucket list, however, is NOT a group of fleeting wishes that float in and out of your heard randomly. That is called wishful thinking! The things on your list should be things you genuinely want to do in your lifetime, not just things you think would be fun or interesting.
Why do you need a bucket list?
So, why exactly, do you need one? While there are many reasons, today we are going to share 8 of the most important ones.
Reason #1: They keep life exciting.
Bucket lists make life exciting by giving you something to look forward to. They are like a treasure map for your life. And they prevent you from floating aimlessly through life like a leaf on a river.
Reason #2: They make life more rewarding.
Life is also much more rewarding when you have a bucket list that you take seriously. It will motivate you to reach for the stars. It can inspire you to strive to make your dreams come true. And it will encourage you to dream big. In essence, bucket lists give our lives more meaning and help us feel more fulfilled.
For years, watching the Rose Bowl Parade in person and getting an up close look at the floats was on my bucket list. Finally, in 2011, I got the chance to go and spend a few hours helping to decorate one of the floats. This was so much more special to me because it had been on my list for so long. I will always cherish this experience.
Reason #3: Get out of your rut.
Bucket lists are a great addition to your life because they help you get out of the rut we all tend to get into when things stay the same in our day to day lives. They can also push you out of your comfort zone by giving you the freedom to dream, and then they motivate you to take action to reach those dreams.
Reason #4: They make things real.
To be the most effective, bucket lists need to live on paper and not in our heads. When you write down your bucket list, you make it real. This simple act turns your dreams and wishes into goals. And this is the first step towards making them a reality. Writing down your list helps you to visualize actually doing those things you’ve been dreaming of for so long.
Reason #5: They help you organize your lifelong goals.
You need a bucket list because it is a great way to organize your lifelong goals and dreams. Once you have them all written down, you can prioritize them and start making plans to accomplish them. This will motivate you to start taking action on crossing things off your list.
Reason #6: Make planning easier.
Just like with organizing your goals, bucket lists can make the planning process easier. Once you have your goals on paper where you can see them, you can start planning out how and when you will attack each of them. For example, my Disney bucket list has all of the things I want to do at Disney World on it. So, as I plan our next trip, I can refer to it and include some of those things into the trip plans to ensure I get to do them. So, instead of pulling ideas for your next family vacation out of thin air, look at your bucket list and find a destination on it to visit.
And if you need more help turning your dream trip into a reality, grab our FREE worksheet, “From Bucket List to Been There, Done That!” It’s waiting for you in the box at the bottom of the page.
Reason #7: They motivate you to make memories.
Having a bucket list can motivate you to make more memories with friends and family. Because they are filled with big dreams, they are also filled with huge memory-making moments. And anything that motivates us to spend time with our loved ones while turning our dreams into memories is something we all need in our lives!
Reason #8: Track your progress.
Bucket lists not only help us organize our goals, they also help us track our progress towards those goals. Sometimes, it’s hard to see how far we’ve come when we are in the moment. But having these lists will allow us to look back to see just how much we have done over the years. And when we get down the road many years and look back, it will be even sweeter to see how much we’ve accomplished in our lives.
Now that you know what a bucket list is and why you need one, it’s time to get started creating yours! Write that list down on paper today and start living your best life! For more tips to improve your family vacations, see how to take amazing vacations on any budget, how to take a vacation when you can’t afford it, why you should travel with your kids, and the top 10 reasons to take a family road trip.
P.S. Don’t forget to grab your copy of our worksheet so you can begin turning your dream trip into a reality. It’s free! Just sign up in the box below. Happy travels!