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10 Habits of the Happiest People

Create Your Own Bucket List

Bucket list
How many things have you done in the last five years that you consider to be meaningful? You can bet that you’ll have even more meaningful experiences over the next five years if you create a bucket list.

You might consider a bucket list to be silly or something that you should have done earlier in your retirement, but it’s never too late to start examining your life and prioritizing your time.

Create a bucket list that fills you with enthusiasm:

  1. Start with childhood. You had a lot of great ideas when you were a child. You’ve forgotten many of them or dismiss them as silly childhood dreams. Now is the time to dust them off and reconsider. What did you want to do and see as a child?

  2. Check out other bucket lists on the internet. You’ll be amazed at some of the things you’ll find that you’ve never considered. Get inspiration from others.

  3. Brainstorm. Take an day to work on your list. Turn off all your electronic devices and allow your imagination to run wild. Write down everything that comes to mind without judging it. You can evaluate your list at another time. It might be easier to come up with ideas if you consider particular categories one at a time.

  • Travel. Where have you always wanted to visit? Consider places near and far. Maybe there’s a famous burger joint in the next town or a state park you’d like to visit. Remember that the world is big, but largely accessible. In one day, you can find yourself anywhere on Earth.

  • Sports. Have you ever wanted to try hang gliding or learn how to ice skate backwards? Run a marathon or try deep sea diving?

  • Adventure. Ride a camel across the desert? Fly in a helicopter? Try your hand at zip lining? Ride across the US or Canada on a motorcycle? Swim with dolphins?

  • Events. Maybe you’ve always wanted to attend a Super Bowl or watch the Rolling Stones live. Do you have a favorite comedian you’d like to see? Watch the northern lights? Watch a famous opera or ballet?

  • Creativity. Write a book or song? Learn to play the banjo? Take salsa dance lessons?

  • These are just a few ideas. What other categories come to mind?

  1. Give yourself a week to continue adding to your list. You’ll find that new ideas pop into your mind at random moments. Keep adding to your list and don’t worry about the length. You can pare it down to size later.

  2. Ask your friends for ideas. Find out what your friends have put on their bucket lists. You’ll get a few more good ideas, as well as a few suggestions.

  3. Prioritize your list. Rank your big list from most desirable to least.

  4. Make plans for this year. Starting at the top of your list, which items could you do this year? What do you need to do to make this happen?

  • Decide what you can do to overcome your limitations and put your plan into action. Once you’ve set an objective, it’s important to take a first step as soon as possible. Show yourself that you’re serious by making preliminary plans.

Now that you have a good bucket list, get busy crossing off items from your list! Making a bucket list is valuable because it requires you to think and prioritize. Think carefully and rank your list items. Creating a bucket list can help ensure that your life remains exciting and fulfilling in retirement - and will, hopefully, leave you with fewer regrets at the end.

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