UPDATED June 6th, 2018
We’ve all heard of a bucket list. It’s essentially goal setting by creating a list of experiences you want to have at some point in your life. There was a movie about this concept (appropriately called The Bucket List) starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman and there are countless websites and books dedicated to helping you identify and achieve these must-try adventures in true “things you must do before you die” fashion.
Often the idea of a bucket list is reserved for people who are growing older or have fading health, and they use this list as a way to make the most of the time they have left. And while we totally respect that motivation to check things off your list of goals, why should you wait to start doing what you dream about? There’s no wrong time to make a bucket list, and there’s definitely no wrong time to start goal setting, whatever they may be.
But how do you make a bucket list? Where do you begin? Well, for starters, you need to be willing to dream and start thinking about the prospect of being able to really do what you want. Making a bucket list isn’t about considering what your life is already like—it’s about thinking of something you wish you could experience, and then agreeing that you can and will do it. According to Vanessa Van Edwards, author and behavioral expert, you might call this phase “dream storming” (aka a combination of dreaming and brainstorming). Think big, and dedicate some time to writing down your ideas of what adventures and experiences would make you happy. Don’t be embarrassed about what you write, there is no wrong way to set goals for yourself.