Retirement Planning
2 minute read

Live your life with a full bucket

9 16th ARTICLE Bucket List 01

Something many of us have discovered through COVID-19 lockdown, is that we value looking forward to nice things. We humans tend to be energized by the promise of something exciting and previously undiscovered, whether it’s dinner with friends at a new restaurant or holidaying at an exotic destination. Joyful anticipation of a new adventure is just one appeal of the “Bucket List”, a term of unclear origin (although many attribute its popularisation to the 2007 Jack Nicholson film of same name) that promotes ticking off some long desired activities or adventures before one proverbially “kicks the bucket”. There are a host of wellbeing benefits to creating a bucket list and you’re never too young to have something new and exciting to plan for.

Just getting started on your list has a positive impact on your wellbeing. Simply sitting down with pen and paper to consider interesting and unchartered aspects of your life and determining those worth pursuing in future, creates the sort of self-reflection that helps you get to know yourself and your values. Actively considering what excites and motivates you, will help you lead a more positive and inspired life in the short and long term. The process of getting this list together gets your creative juices flowing which releases endorphins that help us get out of bed in the morning. And once you have written that list, the process of sharing with friends, provides a further wellbeing boost through a concept that psychologists call social contagion; essentially that we “catch extra willpower” from others and are motivated to act on that positive peer pressure.

Most psychologists, motivational speakers, or life coaches speak about the importance of living our lives with purpose. This will often revolve around some sort of goal to keep us motivated and put a spring in our step. When you’re putting together your bucket list, it’s worth ensuring that you’ve included items with a range of achievability levels, so that you can nail some easier wins, whilst keeping an eye on other longer term, harder to reach goals. List a few goals that cost fewer than $100 to achieve, or can be ticked off without leaving your hometown for example.

Another consideration is time. Allocate space in your schedule to achieve these goals on your bucket list. Otherwise you risk turning your bucket list into a distant wish list for a rainy day. Set aside Sunday afternoons to tackle teaching yourself to sing or learning to play poker, so that you can really give these a good shot.