Fulfilling Your Bucket List Needs Commitment

By Helga Stokes

Bucket lists were introduced as a motivational tool to be used by critically and chronically ill patients. Relatives, friends and medical personnel often work together to ensure the patient experiences the fulfilment of a dream that they believed was outwith their reach. The dream can be anything, but some of the more achievable experiences include meeting a pop star or someone else famous, attending an event or making a special trip. The idea of fulfilling your bucket list is attractive for many people.

There are no hard and fast rules about how many tasks you can set for yourself. However, if you set too many goals you may become disheartened and give up. Starting with around ten or twelve tasks ranging from easily achievable to the more complex or difficult is what most people do. Simple tasks such as reading a specific book, or writing that letter you have meant to do for months once completed, can give you the motivation needed to try something more complex.

Timescales to complete all the tasks is another personal choice. Too little time may see you not achieving all the goals, while too much time may see you lose interest in completing the list. Be realistic and flexible with timescales. Many individuals setting complex goals give themselves a number of years, or decide that by the time a particular birthday comes around they will have achieved all their goals.

You can start with some fairly straight forward goals that you know you can achieve without feeling too far outside your comfort zone. Stretching yourself to successfully complete tasks helps to boost your self confidence and motivate you to try other things. A positive mental attitude and using verbal motivators such as I will instead of I would like to do something helps to project a more positive attitude.

Some of the tasks may have a financial cost, such as taking up a new activity or hobby, or visiting a place or country. You need to research the practical issues such as travel, accommodation, health and safety requirements and the financial costs. Preparation and knowledge will be key to successful completion of tasks.

Activities, hobbies and travel can be much more fun when shared with someone close to you. Even if friends are family are not going to actively participate, telling them about goals allows them to provide you with support and encouragement. You can mix and match the tasks so that you can do some on yourself and some with other people.

If you want some ideas for compiling a list, you will find some simple and some very unusual goal ideas on the internet. It is a great way to motivate yourself into trying out some new hobbies or activities and allows you to decide if you want to pursue something. Set goals or tasks that you really want to try, or you may quickly lose interest.

Fulfilling your bucket list should help to stretch you both emotionally and physically. You should be left feeling that you have accomplished something special for you when you complete a task. If the items on the agenda are things that you do frequently or even infrequently, it is unlikely you will gain from the experience.

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