More and more people find bucket lists meaningless because they find them “impossible to fill”. Yet it’s often because people don’t care enough about their list and forget to use it as a guide – not another pair of eyes looking over their shoulders to see if they’re staying on task or no, but for themselves. Now that it’s 2021, should you still be creating a to-do list?
For me, bucket lists are much easier to achieve than New Year’s resolutions. For New Year’s resolutions, the annual deadline and goals that I repeatedly write down each year seem to constantly remind me of how unfinished I am. Often it’s not that I’m lazy. It’s more because I don’t have enough time to achieve my goals. Why? Here are 3 reasons to tell you why I think making a bucket list is really worth it and why YOU should make one too.
What is a bucket list? The definition is simple: according to the Cambridge English Dictionary, it is a list of things that a person would like to do or achieve in their lifetime. While to-do lists are usually daily goals and annual New Year’s resolutions goals, bucket lists are for a lifetime. The almost timeless meaning of a bucket list relieves the stress and pressure people can feel when trying to achieve their goals in a limited amount of time. Having enough time to plan and then achieve your goals can also greatly increase your sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, so you don’t have to worry as much about the list being unachievable. Over the decades, a High Wheeler Bike can transform into a Toyota SUV, so why can’t your childhood dreams come true?
These days, too many people are becoming more and more materialistic and competitive. In adolescence, we are taught to work hard and aim high, to be a good student and to become a proactive leader, and to realize ourselves before others in certain circumstances. Yet often these paths that our parents, school, and society have laid down for us limit our imagination, our curiosity, and our expression. Creating a bucket list can come in handy when you need a place to release your hidden yearnings.
“Design a life that inspires you to live.” —Annette White
The list can serve as both a secret repository of your desires and motivation to keep you going through the unexpected pages of your life. Don’t let the aggregation of societal norms conform you forever. In the end, satisfaction or regret, you draw the curtains.
Have you ever rummaged through piles of childhood memories and laughed over your old diaries, homework, and Christmas wish lists? These elements are renewed every year, even every day, as we grow and mature. But can you say that they are undesirable? They have great value in preserving our memories and recording our growth. The same goes for a bucket list: you can revise, add, or cross out anything at any time. Maybe one day you’ll come across old bucket lists you wrote as a teenager and see how your aspirations have changed over the years. It works like a timeline, reminding you of what motivated you to become who you are and scripting your change over the years.
Now that you have the reasons why creating a bucket list is really worth it and maybe a pen in hand to write one down, here are some ideas to guide you through the brainstorming process.
1. Travel. When situations permit, consider going to a country you’ve never been to or don’t understand well, and wrap yourself in the different culture. Such trips can have a positive impact on your whole life, so check out this website for inspiration and discover your dream destination! Currently, museums in Italy and cherry blossoms in Japan are on my list.
2. Recreation. Are there certain hobbies you had or wanted to pursue? Add these to your bucket list to see if it can save you from procrastinating. I’ve always wanted to develop a daily exercise routine and go through the list of movies I want to watch. Click on this link for an overview of 13 interesting hobbies to explore, some of which you might not even know existed.
3. Relationship. Whether it’s setting aside an hour every weekend to spend time with family, keeping track of every friend’s birthday, or going on a blind date, human interactions are essential for us! In the midst of your currently busy and possibly even busier life in the future, make sure that you always take the time to acknowledge the people around you. Scroll through this article for tips on how to approach and enter conversations if you’re looking for new friends or struggling to make strong connections with other people.
4. Unknown. As Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”, so be ambitious and imagine the future. It’s always fun to add a few “impossible” items to the list to challenge yourself and see what you can accomplish.
As teenagers, we often procrastinate and become so wrapped up in societal pressures and pleasures that we forget to satisfy ourselves. Bucket lists are doable, reviewable, and valuable. A list of lifelong goals can motivate you to achieve your goals, live the life you aspire to, and cherish the memories of your growth. And the best part about them? You only need a pen and paper to create one.