Remember that movie, The Bucket List? Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two terminally ill men who leave the hospital to cross as many things off their bucket lists as they can before it’s too late.
In theory, that’s a great way to go out. Spend your last days doing things you’ve always wanted to do. The problem with that approach, though, is that we don’t all get a warning. We aren’t guaranteed a single day of life. And, as unpleasant as it is to think about, our last months or years might be spent immobile or incapacitated.
When you look at it that way, the bucket list becomes a stumbling block — something that gives you permission to put off your dreams until you have more time or money. That’s why most people never do the things on their list.
Fortunately, there’s a really simple solution for this. Stop waiting.
Have a bucket list already? Choose the three most outlandish items on it — something that’s impossible, something you don’t have time for, and something you can’t afford. Now make an action plan to do them, and give yourself deadlines for each step. Mark the deadline of the last step on your calendar.
Don’t have a bucket list? Great. You can start fresh. Write down three things you dream of doing someday — living in a different country, writing a book, sky-diving. Next, write down what you can do today to move yourself closer to fulfilling these dreams. Make an outline of the actions you need to take to achieve each goal, with deadlines, and mark the day you’ll take the plunge on your calendar.
After you’ve gotten some momentum (and excitement) going with these first three, add any other brilliant ideas you’ve thought of. Prioritize according to your own desires, and create timelines for each item accordingly.
Sure, living a fulfilled life starts with knowing what you want. But until/unless you do the work to make it happen, that’s also where it stops. Your dreams are too precious and life is too short to wait for a someday you might never see.
What’s on your bucket list?