Popularized by the 2007 movie The Bucket List, the notion of a bucket list – or life list – is simple: It’s a personal collection of goals to complete during the course of your life – a master list that encapsulates all of your dreams, the things you want to do, places you want to visit, skills you want to acquire, and so forth. It’s what you most want to do with your life before you “kick the proverbial bucket.”
The purpose of a life list is threefold: create memories, seize the here and now (carpe diem), and create a clearer picture of what you want to complete before your time is up – past, present, and future.
But why make one? Because it’ll give your life and spirit a sense of solid fulfillment, a sense of “I did, am currently doing, and am going to do all of the things that I love doing, and nothing will stop me” or “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
Keep in mind that this personal, holiest-of-holy to-do list is all about you and (if applicable) a significant other. It entails your short- to long-term aspirations, but mostly the latter. A life list is about doing things outside the realm of your day-to-day routine – things that ultimately will make your life clearer, more focused, and complete before you exit this world.
And there’s no time limit to assembling one: Create one in as little as 30 minutes, throughout the span of several years, or even over the course of your lifetime. Plus, nothing prohibits you from editing or adding to it at any time.
I first became interested in life lists after starting the article “Bucket List: 225 Things to do Before You Die” for lifed.com. Researching items for the list inspired me to put mine together.