Is now the right time to start a bucket list?
For many people, the first reaction is a resounding no, followed by “how I am going to tick off climbing Everest at a time like this”, or “why would I even think of starting a bucket list when there’s so much uncertainty around.”
Both very valid answers.
But at Tribeca we would argue that there’s no better time to start a bucket list. But maybe not in the way people traditionally think about it.
We call our bucket list a Good Life List, and it’s much more than visiting those dream locations around the world, although that may be part of it. It’s more about a living list that helps you appreciate all those moments that have meaning and purpose – big or small.
And isn’t that something we’ve all come to cherish during these days of COVID adjustment?
So really, what’s stopping you from starting your Good Life List today?
Don’t wait until it’s too late
You probably know the film “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. Both men have terminal cancer and pledge to live it up in their last days. While the film has its moments, in some ways it’s given creating a bucket list a bad name as it infers that it’s all or nothing. That you have to wait for retirement or a major incident to happen before you kick into action and achieve those goals and ambitions.
That’s not making every day count.
Someone who’s made a career and a life’s passion out of inspiring people to make the most of every moment is Trav Bell – aka the “Bucket List Guy”.
Trav is very much along the same lines of reframing what creating a bucket list is. He calls it a life list. For him it’s about living a “regret free life” rather than a “regretful life”.
We love that. Focusing on all of the things that you have achieved and want to achieve that gives your life meaning, rather than paralysing yourself by thinking about all of the things that you wish you had done – and then doing nothing.
It’s never too late to start ticking off your Good Life List.
Begin with gratitude
2020 has forced us stop and take a collective deep breath. It’s been extremely challenging and tough, with many of us reflecting on our lives to this point and beyond.
There’s no better time to be kind to yourself. And grateful. This is where your Good Life List can start.
Trav calls this creating your “reverse bucket list”.
It’s a deep gratitude exercise, reflecting positively on what you’ve achieved in your life. We encourage you to do it. It could be completing that course. Finding that job. Having children. Coaching the netball team. Writing a poem. Reaching that dream travel spot. Whatever it is, big or small, write it down and then tick it off.
Please try it. We’ll be surprised if it doesn’t make you simply feel good. And re-energised for what the future can hold.
In fact, this type of list provides a wonderful foundation on which you can set new goals and aspirations.
From little things big things grow
As we mentioned earlier, there’s a misconception that a bucket list needs to be full of big-ticket items – climbing Everest, travelling the world, running a marathon. A list like this can be pretty daunting, and unrealistic if those goals aren’t really what motivates you.
Yes, running a marathon might be a goal that you’re passionate about achieving. Go for it and put it down on your list. But why not start small with completing a 10km run first. Then a 15km, 20km and 30km run. All of those steps are worth having on your list, and they provide impetus for going to the next goal. Trav calls this the “snowball effect” – setting a lot of smaller goals that give you momentum for ticking off the bigger ones.
So these list items could be related, such as in the marathon example. Or they could be just a whole lot of little goals that make you feel good about yourself and provide a sense of achievement – something that’s critical at a time when we’re all looking for some positivity.
COVID can be a time of ticking plenty off your list. Like learning a new instrument or language. Writing a blog. Taking the plunge with a new pet. Mastering a new skill in the kitchen. Finishing off that plastering and painting. Achieving a weight goal or sticking to a new fitness routine.
We think creating a list that has meaning for you and makes you feel good about yourself, is a list well worth having and living.
Don’t put your eggs (list) all in the one basket
When creating a bucket or Good Life List, you don’t have to have one all-encompassing list. Again, this can be daunting and be a bit of a barrier to ticking off goals. Especially during COVID.
Why not create a COVID List and a post-COVID List? Something to aspire to now and for the future to give you a sense of fulfilment and hope.
For your COVID List, maybe take inspiration from renowned travel writer Rick Steves. In a wonderful article Rick wrote recently, he talks about how he has redefined his own bucket list:
“I’ve found that I can satisfy my wanderlust with ‘sightseeing highlights’ just down the street and cultural eurekas that I never appreciated. Before the pandemic, I didn’t think to savor the little, nearby joys in the same way I did while abroad. To be honest, I ignored them. Now I notice the tone of the ferry’s horn, the majesty of my hometown sunset. Similarly, while I enjoy sampling new cuisines abroad, I’m lost in my own kitchen. I never cooked until this year – literally never made pasta, never used olive oil, never cared that there are different kinds of potatoes. Now, like someone experiencing the delights of Europe for the first time, I thrill at the sensation of a knife cutting through a crisp onion.”
Like Rick, we can all add new ‘wanderlust’ items to tick off our list in our own home havens – discovering hidden new paths to walk the dog; filling a camera full of sunrises or wildlife we’ve never taken the time to appreciate; making movies with our families that will last a lifetime.
These moments can be as memorable and meaningful as seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. How amazing would it be to look back on COVID and see all the things that you did achieve and cherish, rather than the things you didn’t?
Make it your own
Another great insight from the good old Bucket List Guy is that by writing stuff down you have a 42% greater chance of it manifesting itself in your actions and coming to fruition. That’s a pretty good reason for writing a Good Life List.
When that list is based on your own dreams and ambitions, this only increases your chances of achieving your goals. It’s not about comparing your list to someone else’s to see whose is better, as can often be the case. You might end up with some great goals, but if they don’t really connect with you it’s unlikely you’ll achieve them.
Better to have a list that has real meaning and purpose – that will stay by your bedside table pushing you forwards rather than forgotten quickly as it gathers dust in your draw.
Have fun with it
OK, so we’ve talked a lot about the serious side of creating a Good Life List. Now for the fun part.
There’s no point in creating a bucket list if you don’t enjoy the journey. There’s a heap of ways you can do this, not just in the actual items on the list, but also in how you tick them off.
Maybe create a scrapbook with photos, descriptions, dates and times. You might prefer to do this online so you can capture video as well. Or even turn it into a blog.
There’s a heap of tools and resources you can find online if you want some more ideas and inspiration for making your own list. We’ve listed a few here:
Annette White’s Bucket List Journey
Travel and Leisure’s bucket list ideas
However you document your list, have fun with it.
Make it meaningful. Make it purposeful. And start living your Good Life List today.
Tribeca is committed to helping you live your Good Life. We’d love to talk about how we can enhance you financial wellbeing to achieve your dreams and goals. Please speak to one of our Tribe today.