For the Insider
We have the whole summer ahead of us – until we don’t. With the warmer weather comes lots of traditions, outside activities and goals we’d like to accomplish. Then, out of nowhere, “reality” takes over, and forces us to focus more on our daily grind and less on stress relief and fun. Creating a bucket list can keep us in touch with these goals. Although you may not have actually taken pen to paper yet, everyone is perpetually creating a “Things to do before I die list,” aka “Bucket List.” Legend has it that the “bucket list” name came from the phrase “kicking the bucket” used when people died.
According to family therapist Hadley Tarantino, “bucket lists help motivate, inspire and teach us about ourselves.” We decide what is important to us, not what society says should be important to us. The act of creating a bucket list takes us out of our comfort zones and throws us into possibilities and questions. Can I complete an Ironman? Is it possible for me to visit all of the states in the USA? When can I learn another language? Creating a bucket list helps us shift from thinking of these questions as dreams and making them into attainable future accomplishments.
Step 1 – Make a list: (This may seem obvious) Write down all the things you’d like to do. By actually writing these things down you start to realize what is really important to you.
Step 2 – Read your list: Creating a bucket list can help you remember what you value the most. You can find perspective on how you are currently spending your time, and on what you’d like to be doing.
Step 3 – Start checking your list: Begin with one of the easier items to accomplish. Once you have some success it will be easier to continue with the momentum for some of the more outrageous items.
To help with this process I have listed some items below to add to your list.
Watch a sunrise or sunset
Visit a farmers market or farm
Have a picnic
Go to an outdoor sporting event
Fly a kite
Go to an outdoor concert
Attend an outdoor festival or parade
Visit a water or amusement park
Go to an outdoor movie
Have a campfire or bonfire
Visit a museum or zoo
Swim in a lake
Visit a state park
Go berry picking
Take a road trip
Read a book outdoors
Go to the ocean
Play a lawn game (corn hole, ladder ball, can jam, etc.)
Go bird watching
Draw with sidewalk chalk, blow bubbles, jumprope
Go for a bike ride
Bucket lists also can be a place to showcase past achievements. It is a wonderful and satisfying feeling to be able to cross something off of a bucket list item after it has been experienced and attained. If the thought of creating a list this seems overwhelming, start small. Create just a summer bucket list for 2019 and add 10 or 20 items on it (feel free to use the suggestions above). If you’re ready to go big, then go for it. Whatever you decide, get started today!
(Side note: If you’re like me, you wondered where that connection of “kicking the bucket” and death came from. Upon digging a little deeper, the term originates from criminals that were slated to be hung. They would stand on a bucket while they got the noose placed on their neck and then the executioner would kick the bucket out from underneath them. Hence the term kick the bucket = death.)
(Crystal Reynolds is an owner at 43 Degrees North Athletic Club.)