Your Bucket List is All Wrong – Here is Why and How you Can Fix it

We all have imaginary or scribed lists of experiences that we want tick off before we “kick the bucket”. The only problem is…many (or most) of us don’t actually get to achieve these aspirations.

And Here is Why:

Does this look familiar?
Does this look familiar?
  • We give ourselves an infinite timeline. Although we all know a long life is not a guarantee, we do not consider this when planning our lifetime of dreams.
  • We assume it will naturally happen. More often than not, we don’t make a plan. We falsely assume that the universe will manifest these desires on our behalf.
  • We take a laidback approach. We are not active participants in making these desires happen. Instead we are really good and “putting it out there” and not “making it happen”. Traditional Vision boards and Bucket lists are great, but where is the follow through? As a society, we have become really good at waiting for weekends.  There are some new approaches to vision boards that do work–> CLICK HERE to check those out.
  • We prioritize material goods over experience. The house needs to be paid off. I need a new wardrobe. I have car payments. Often we financially commit to western norms of materialism without really thinking through the ramifications. We jump in with both feet to make BIG purchases that equate to large sums of our time. Is owning a new car worth _____hours of work? Try working out some of your big purchases. How many hours of work does owning your home cost? We all know that we cannot take it with us, yet we all buy into the ideal that it is more important than our experiences. Odd.

To sum it up…too often we wait until the “perfect time” which simply doesn’t exist. Too often we wait until retirement. Too often we prioritize our material goods over our experiences. And too often we do nothing to make it happen. The reality is that none of us know when we are going to “Kick the Bucket”, so why do we insist on waiting?

Here is How to Fix it:

The Bucket List WITH Action
The Bucket List WITH Action
  • Make a timeline. Instead of writing an exhaustive list of EVERYTHING you want to do in your life, write a list for 6 months at a time. Choose one item a month, or choose one item to work towards over the next 6 months. Choose a date that you will work towards.
  • Make a plan and work out the logistics. How much will this experience cost you? What amount of time will it take? What do YOU need to do to make it happen? Consider trading some of your current expenses (takeaway coffees, meals, new clothes etc) to finance this experience. Here is where you can make “trade-offs” or adjustments to your current lifestyle.
  • Be specific with your action plan. What are you going to commit to do to make your vision happen? Think of this like a business plan, what steps each day/month do you need to take to achieve your desired experience. FOLLOW THROUGH!
  • Consider your relationship with the material world. What does owning goods really cost you in terms of time? Look at your relationship with your expenses. If time is your most valuable asset, ask yourself if you treat it that way? Most of us will agree that our time is most valuable, yet our behaviors stand in direct contradiction to this.

This approach isn’t something that we whimsically created; this is how we live our lives. We receive countless emails every day from people asking how we did it, so we decided to share our strategy with all of you. The rat race is always criticized, yet so many of us continue running the wheel. 3 years ago we traded in our careers and material goods to travel. We looked really hard at our approach to time and we realized our “Bucket List” was all wrong and so we fixed it and it works! We have been to ten countries in that time and have the exact lifestyle that we want. We have 3 new adventures that we have planned for 2015. Do we have amazing clothes, new vehicles, or own a house? NO. We are proud to say that we don’t.Our time and experiences are more important to us than the material goods that we used to buy into.

When you consider your time to be the most valuable thing you own, suddenly your life will begin to look a lot different.

With Gratitude,
Rob and Jacq
Authors of The Letters of Gratitude

Rob and Jacq

  • anni kruse hansen

    exciting… agree

  • Bellaisa

    $800 on clothes? I don’t think I’ve spent $800 on clothes in the past five years – maybe longer honestly. But, for people who spend that much, I guess it would be a good way to save some traveling money!

    That said, you’re right. Too many people view a bucket list as ‘one day’ it will just happen – myself included. Your life sounds amazing.

    1. Rob and Jacq

      Thank you for your feedback. This is an example, but everyone’s life is different. Everyone can make adjustments according to their own lifestyle and what they believe is worth “cutting out”. It is all about choices and trade-offs in order to attain what we really want! We wish you success and happiness on your journey!

  • Kimberly Osment

    ya know, when I first read this title I absolutely loved it

    You’ve got it wrong and need to change your bucket list

    and now
    I’m sad
    because I still believe my premise and NOT yours
    The problem is NOT HOW to achieve what is in their bucket list
    the problem is what is IN the bucket!
    how about a few things like
    END POVERTY (instead of filling a bucket list with crap…. use what we are given to direct it in the right place) ????
    I don’t want a bucket list
    I want to change the world!

    1. Rob and Jacq

      Thank you for the feedback! It is our belief that travel is one way to expand our world-view. How do you propose to solve world issues if you have never experienced life on the other side of the world? Each culture has something unique to offer and we can all learn from each other. For example, while traveling in Thailand, we experienced the kindness of community. It was not uncommon for our landlord to leave us dinner on our doorstep! We can harness the beautiful act of kindness and bring this generosity with us as we move forward around the world. For us, you can not attain world peace unless you feel peace within your own heart. At the end of the day, it is all about action! You cannot claim to promote peace when your first thought is criticism. Ideals are beautiful, but unless you actually do something…they are just words. We wish you success on achieving your goals.

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