It’s been years since Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman took us on a wild ride as they checked things off their bucket list, but it seems to be a really big thing to do these days. There are a myriad of sites and books with list of things to do before you die, often accompanied by fabulous photographs. Definitely swoon-worthy.
Many people I know have them, too. They’re massive lists filled with exotic places they want to go and magnificent things they want to do. I marvel. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing and dreaming big, but what if they don’t manage to check some things off their list? Will they be disappointed? It makes me a bit sad to think that they are setting themselves up for disappointment. I also find that sometimes there’s an air of competitiveness about them – my list is bigger, more daring, more challenging, than yours. That sounds like a contradiction, to me. It’s your list. Whatever is on it makes it the best list, for you.
I think having goals is important, absolutely. Without goals, we don’t move forward in our lives. But a big rule for goal setting is that they have to be achievable. I’m not saying climbing Mt Everest isn’t achievable. But is it achievable for you? If not you’re just setting yourself up for failure. It’s the sense of accomplishment that keeps us looking forward to tackling the next thing on our list. It just feels so good when you check something off your list – any list.
That sense of achievement, though, can be found in the little things in life, too. I’m an advocate of a bucket list full of or at least liberally sprinkled with simple pleasures. The small things in life that make you smile.
- Learn to make chocolate eclairs
- Grow lavender
- Go to a farmer’s market in spring
- Buy yourself some flowers in the middle of winter
- Use your good china for dinner on a weeknight
The wonderful thing about a bucket list is the joy you get in doing something out of the ordinary. But why wait? Why not experience a little bit of that joy every day, or every week. Life is busy. It’s so easy to just live the routine day in and day out. Shake things up a bit and sprinkle it with a little extraordinary. I’m not suggesting you tear up your big bucket list. Just add somethings to it that you can enjoy and check off now. Put some flowers in that bucket.
What’s on your bucket list? Will you add some simple delights? Share your story in the comments below.