Bucket Lists and the Benefits of Setting Goals

Last post I talked about goal setting and making a bucket list to help deal with change. A bucket list is simply a list of things a person wants to do before she “kicks the bucket.” Bucket list items can include anything and everything, and that is part of the beauty, freedom, and fun of creating a list.


The items can be short or long events, cheap or expensive activities, quickly achievable goals or decades-long accomplishments. You can complete them individually or with friends, family, and even sometimes strangers. They can apply to your physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of your life. It’s fun to go crazy and dream big, and there are three more major benefits of goal setting through the use of a bucket list.

Bucket Lists and the Benefits of Setting Goals

1. Awareness

Brainstorming any and all ideas for your bucket list will illuminate your values. When you see the types of activities or events that are coming up, you may notice a few common threads running through some of them. As you reflect on your goals and compare it to how you live your day-to-day life, you may also discover some discrepancy. You can use this awareness to alter your actions accordingly with your values and goals in mind.


2. Motivation

The busyness of day-to-day can make us forget about our long term desires. Having a physical or digital copy of your bucket list to look at will help keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. Going over the items every now and then will keep you motivated to work toward them and also keep your choices on track with what you want out of life. Having goals forces you into action and keeps you moving forward.

Having goals forces you into action and keeps you moving forward. Click To Tweet


3. Fulfillment

Checking or crossing off an item on a list is such a satisfying experience. As you complete items on your bucket list, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement. These increase feels of fulfillment and life satisfaction. Just by creating a bucket list and going after those items will ensure that you’re living life in a positive way. Additionally, looking back on all you’ve done can also provide needed inspiration when going through challenging times.


If you’d like a jumping off point, here are ten examples from my own bucket list. Some of these I’ve completed, and others I have not. I may never accomplish all the items on my bucket list, and that’s okay. It’s bringing awareness, motivation, and fulfillment into my life already.


1. Backpack throughout Europe
2. Build a tiny house
3. Do the splits
4. Write a book
5. Go skydiving
6. Complete a multi-day hike
7. Volunteer regularly with an organization (ongoing)
8. Achieve 5,000 subscribers on this blog
9. See the Northern Lights
10. Slide down a waterfall


What is an item off of your bucket list? Or, what have you always wanted to do?

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15 Comment

  1. Reply
    September 10, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Great list! I would love to see the Northern Lights too!

    1. Reply
      September 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Reply
    Megan | Traveling Nine to Fiver
    September 14, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I’m currently working on my 30 before 30 list (I turn 29 next month). Some a big things like going to Bali others are small like cooking a souffle! Excited to give having a physical list, not just ideas a try.

    1. Reply
      September 14, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Oh, I like the deadline aspect of your list. Going to Bali and cooking a souffle are both things I have not done either. Sounds awesome!

  3. Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I love what you had to say about lists and setting goals! 🙂

  4. Reply
    GiGi Eats
    September 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Goals. I have SO MANY GOALS for my life, and so far… Everything is being matched and exceeded and I am thrilled. You just have to write everything down and set your mind to it! And never ever give up regardless of the set backs!

    1. Reply
      September 14, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      You’re so right about writing everything down and having determination. I’m so glad to hear that your goals are being matched and exceeded. How exciting and fulfilling!

  5. Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I’m totally jealous of the tiny house building idea. My husband wants to make one so bad ha! I love buckets lists (and wasn’t backpacking Europe SO fun??!)

    1. Reply
      September 14, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Yes, backpacking Europe was incredible! I was just checking out your blog, and it looks like you do quite a bit of travelling as well which is awesome. Your post about London made me nostalgic for my own trip.

  6. Reply
    September 17, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I decided on doing a yearly list of things I wish to accomplish for each year of my life. This year has been so fulfilling thanks to my list and I’m super excited to continue and see what the other lists I create will offer me.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Reply
      September 17, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Sounds awesome! I love your idea of incorporating a closer deadline. Definitely keeps you mindful of your goals and what steps to take to achieve them instead of putting it off.

  7. Reply
    Lisa Schneider
    September 23, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I stumbled across your blog on FB after one of our cousins liked one of your recent posts. We haven’t spoken in a few years but I remember a lot about you as you were growing up and when we were at family get-togethers.
    I glanced through your blog and am intrigued. I share many of your interests and outlooks on healthy, mindful living and travelling. We live in Victoria because we love being able to play in the outdoors in a mild climate year round, and for the social and environmental awareness here. We are also avid backpackers and travelers.
    I’ll follow your blog and I look forward to reading your posts.

    1. Reply
      September 24, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Hey Lisa! That’s so cool that you happened upon my blog. I’m so glad you enjoy it, and I hope there will be lots of opportunity for learning and inspiration from it. That’s so interesting you say you live in Victoria for those reasons. We have a friend in Victoria who has been trying to convince us to move there because he says we’d fit in there so well, haha.

  8. Reply
    Amit balami
    December 29, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I love what you had to say about lists and setting goals! I also have many lists like
    Being grate artist’s
    See the world by un eye etc….
    But life is not simple as we thing even we try try try

    1. Reply
      December 30, 2015 at 12:34 am

      Thanks! It’s great to have something to work towards, and photography is something I’d also like to improve in.

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