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You might be familiar with this scenario.
When you sit down to actively plan an exciting bucket list activity, you can’t come up with a single idea.
Maybe you search online, but it doesn’t do the trick.
Perhaps, you have a bit of a block.
If you don’t figure out how to fix this soon, you’ll probably give up or surrender to another weekend of watching reruns in your pajamas. And, you’ll never have as much fun as you had hoped.
Good news! I’ve come up with some strategies to cure this issue for good.
I’ll share some of my secrets here.
Find Bucket List Examples by Exploring Your Interests
That’s your big secret?
Trust me. I understand it sounds like a no-brainer. I’m not saying I always have a flurry of unique ideas at the ready when I do my own planning.
But I’ve learned how to get unstuck.
Discover your own bucket list examples by using a bubble map
There are a number of ways to come up with unique bucket list ideas. You can look for examples of other people’s bucket lists, search articles for simple bucket list ideas or even peek at what the character from the movie Bucket List wrote down. But, I want you to start with your own interests.
Here’s an idea to kick start the process. It will help you brainstorm ideas and get your thoughts out. Though I love to make lists, I found that I came up with more awesome and meaningful bucket list ideas when I used a bubble map.
What is a bubble map?
A bubble map a visual way to record and organize your thoughts and ideas. It can be used for planning. If you want to follow his process exactly and come up more bucket list ideas for 2020 (that you can actually do now) and potentially down the road. Follow the directions below.
Here are some simple steps to use a bubble map and indirectly learn how to make different bucket list categories and organize your bucket list ideas in the process.
- I believe this is the first true step to coming up with good bucket list ideas. Get a plain piece of paper to start. Write the word “bucket list” down in the center.
- Then use lines to “branch out” with your ideas. Unless you already have specific ideas in mind, you can make general ideas first if you like.
- Once you finish the general ideas, you can then stem more specific ideas or subcategories off of these main bucket list categories. Though you can brainstorm as you like, this is just a suggestion for an easier way to organize your thoughts and follow a sequential process.
My Bucket List Categories and Examples
Sometimes we have load of ideas. We can call our list “bucket list: 100 things to do” and start firing off one idea after another. Other times, we just completely draw a blank. You might wonder, “what are good ideas for a bucket list?” and need some bucket list inspiration. I get that. Here some ideas from my bucket list:
Travel bucket list to other countries (Greece, any island, England and many more)
Local travel bucket list (Day Trips in CT, historical places to go in Boston and NY)
Career goals and aspirations (Make money online. The number is too big to write here. Shh!)
Other professional goals (Write a book to increase happiness and start a business.)
Entertainment (Musicals, Concerts and Festivals)
Fitness goals (Increase biking distance)
Relationship goals (Visit a salt cave, take a local cruise, return to Italy)
Adventure (Hiking and Zip lining)
Restaurants to try (Try different types of cuisine.)
Here are some ideas for other bucket list categories to consider:
I think everyone’s bucket list should include one from each category.
- Meaningful bucket list ideas
- Funny bucket list ideas
- Simple bucket list ideas
- Unique bucket list ideas
- Crazy and daring bucket list ideas (Don’t get hurt now or in trouble, of course!)
Meaningful Bucket List Ideas
- Make string art from special places such as where you were born, where you met your significant other or one of you favorite places on Earth
- Put ticket stubs, business cards of favorite places, pretty photos, etc. into a shadow box and display special memories
- Make a scrapbook about places you’ve traveled and write down 5 random facts about each location
- Research your ancestry
Funny Bucket List Ideas
- Watch all of your favorite comedians on Netflix or Amazon
- Make a dance video
- Make silly emojis
- Look through your baby pictures and childhood photos
Simple Bucket List Ideas
- I visited a farm in Connecticut and you should visit one in your area
- Write down and fill up an at-home bucket list with 40 ideas
- Discover sunny day activities that don’t involve the beach
- Donate to a charity
Unique Bucket List Ideas
- Make your own paper
- Practice Tai Chi
- Journal after you complete a bucket list goal
- Visit a lavender farm
Crazy and Daring Bucket List Ideas (yet safe and manageable)
- Dye your hair a different color
- Do something out of your comfort zone
- I dare you to listen to 48 books in a year (4 a month)
- Try the latest social media challenge like #FliptheSwitch, #DontRushChallenge, #ThePillowChallenge and more
While it’s great to look at examples, let the bucket list categories evolve organically. For example, if you have a list in mind that mostly focuses on travel, you can write “travel bucket list” and then start branching out to different locations you’d like to visit.
Or, if your list of goals includes taking classes, you can start with the word “bucket list”. Then branch out with the word “classes” and then create sub categories of classes.
Maybe you’d like to take a stab at activities such as martial arts, ballroom dancing, fencing, etc. As long as you start getting the ideas down, you can go in any direction it takes you.
Choose Bucket List Examples That You Think Will Increase Happiness
Think about what’s exciting to you. Your thoughts about bucket list items might range from trying fancy restaurants you’ve never visited to attending a big sporting event like the Super Bowl. So maybe “fancy restaurants” and “sporting events” can be your first categories.
You can go even more general by using the word “food” and then stemming fancy restaurants off of that category. Or, maybe your overall goal is to be happier.
Write the word “happiness” down and stem ideas off of that word.Then think of bucket list ideas that are known to increase happiness such as meditation, yoga or playing sports.
Maybe your ideas of happiness equates to spending more time with your family this summer. Your focus can be more of a family bucket list that looks like a summer to do list.
It can include everything you want to accomplish during the season such as swimming, visiting certain beaches, getting together with certain friends, having a BBQ in your backyard, etc. Generating ideas by using a mind map might be a faster way to come up with ideas and determine what you’d like to do.
While you want to ultimately be realistic, don’t limit yourself while brainstorming. Resist the urge to squash any ideas on your bucket list at this point.
You’re just trying to get the wheels turning to tap into your interests more deeply. The goal is to unearth what you’d specifically liked to do especially if exploring interests has been put on the back burner for a long time.
If you are still having difficulty, it can’t hurt to get ideas on the internet or poke around on Instagram. I just don’t want you to fall into the keeping up with the Jones trap and just sign on to an idea for the wrong reasons. Also, choose realistic ideas.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What are some good bucket list ideas?
- What are 5 things that make you happy?
- What are things that are important to you?
- What is your concept of a meaningful life?
- What are the top ten bucket list items?
- What are the most popular bucket list items?
- Why are they popular?
- Do they genuinely interest me?
How to Nerd Out and Further Organize Your Bucket List
What good is to come up with ideas if you can’t find them later? Whether you start out with a physical list or not, it can’t hurt to store your ideas digitally. You can take a photo of your list, scan it using an app or upload it to a document or another safe spot of choice.
Be sure to store your bucket list examples
If you’re anything like me, I’m guilty of hearing about an upcoming event, saying “I want to see that,” but then not taking any action to capture the details. For this reason, I identified that I needed to store the information as soon as I hear about it.
Just like following rules for organizing a physical item, create one place to put the information so you it makes it easy to retrieve when needed. It can help you avoid looking in multiple places too.
I personally like Trello to store bucket list examples, but you can use whatever works for you. Whether you live in Google Docs, love Evernote or just keep it simple by using the notes on your phone, that’s fine as long as you can find what you’re looking for when the time comes.
Trello allows me to categorize the different types of bucket list examples. I can label the different “cards” by location, type of event, time of year or any other category I create that helps me find the pertinent information.
I have loads of website links stored. When I want to try a restaurant locally or find something fun to do in a major city that I visit often, I can readily access the information. It makes for easy planning.
Here’s how I use Trello to store bucket list examples.
- Once you download the app, it’s pretty self explanatory, but I went ahead to show the steps just to give you a general idea. Tap on the plus sign in the top right corner to create a board.
- The cursor will blink where you need to write the name of the board. Type in “Bucket List.” Then tap the word “create” in the top right corner.
3. Next, tap on the board you just created.
4. You can now add a different list to this board.
5. Type a category and then hit the word “add.”
6. It will then prompt you to add a card.
7. Type in the idea and then hit add. Type in as many ideas as you like for each bucket list category. You can start another category (list) by swiping right.
Just go back to the board whenever you want to store more information or access the details.
Take note of your interests and come up with some things to do. A few key moves, like storing details in the moment, can help you plan these ideas and make a big difference in whether or not you accomplish them. If you’d like more step-by-step guidance, get details on my book and become the best bucket list maker known to man. 😉
How do you store your bucket list ideas?