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What’s a Bucket Got to Do With It?

Posted January 23rd, 2015 by Carroll King Schuller

Have you ever seen the movie Bucket List starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? If not, the flick is a quaint tear-jerker underscored by a motivational life lesson. Both protagonists discover that they are battling cancer and decide that they need to get out and experience life; they do so by composing bucket lists and doing whatever it takes to cross off the items. It is my belief that we shouldn’t have to have such a life-altering announcement in order to start to liven up and do the things we enjoy or have always aspired to. Bucket lists, instead of being morbid, are about joy and pursuing your life’s goals that happen to be written down as a plan. A bucket list is “a list you make with friends of things you say you’re always going to do and don’t. Not before you die… just for fun!”

Constructing a bucket list is an especially helpful activity as we are beginning the New Year, as they can be used for personal or business pursuits, no matter how small or large. Some items you might consider are:

  1. Clients you would love to work with
  2. Places you would like to visit
  3. Career goals and objectives
  4. Experiences you want to have with you children
  5. Oscar-nominated films you want to see
  6. List of foods or restaurants you want to try

After constructing your list, stick it in a drawer, and look at it five months later. You may find that you have done about 50% of the items. The act of writing something down makes it a goal instead of just a list. Sometimes we become so busy that we can’t make even simple last-minute decisions to do something fun. A bucket list is the perfect solution to this, and can help you with your planning so that you feel a sense of the future, no matter how young or old you are. You may even find that no matter how much stress you’re under, so can find something on your list to enjoy.

In a Harvard Business Review article entitled “Procrastination is Essential to Motivation,” the author Whitney Johnson discovers “that progress could only be made if the push of a situation… and the pull of an enticing new idea were greater than the forces holding us back – our allegiance to past behavior and anxiety.” So, overcome your procrastinating ways and comments such as, “Maybe I’ll do that one day,” and start crossing things off of your bucket list.

Bucket lists can help us all to lighten up, not take everything so seriously, and become livelier. It doesn’t matter what you put on your list, as long as it makes you happy. Remember: writing it down is one step closer to actually doing the things you want to! As Nicholson’s character says in the movie, “I’m not proud of everything I did, but I’m pretty sure I’d do it all again!”

Need help getting started? Apple users, check out the “iWish – Life Goals and Bucket List” app, and Android users, give the app, “The Bucket List,” a try. Happy listing!