Get Rid of Your Bucket List

by Lila Lazarus

For years I talked about climbing Machu Picchu. I told people,“It’s on my bucket list.” I dreamed about it. I swore that one day I would find the time, the money, the adventurous travel partner, and live out my dream. But year after year, something else came up, or money was tight, or time was limited and it never happened. Machu Picchu became a symbol for me of not living my dreams. And as years turned into decades, I realized time is eventually going to run out. That’s the problem with bucket lists, they don’t have a time limit.

What’s on your bucket list? If you want to live your dreams in this lifetime, you first have to know what your dreams are. That’s what the bucket list is all about. It’s a blueprint of the life you wish you were living. But I no longer have one. Why? Because  a bucket list is a list of things you want to do someday, one day. It should be called “My Dream List.”  It’s a list of castles in the air, pie in the sky, pipe dreams that never turn into reality. I believe in living that list— not dreaming about it.

buck·et list
noun informal
noun: bucket list; plural noun: bucket lists

  1. a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.

Part of the problem with a bucket list is that it’s tied to some fantasy date in the future. It’s a hope, not a plan. In order to truly live your dreams, it has to be connected to the present. So, as part of your spring cleaning, why not dust off your bucket list (or create one) and attach dates to each item. These are things you want to do before you kick the bucket. The idea is to live by design not by chance. And since none of us know our expiration date, it’s high time to start planning and start checking things off.

A bucket list should not be like a New Year’s resolution. (Those are fantasies we dream about at the beginning of every year that rarely come true.) To really make it work, you have to add a little commitment and some dates on the calendar. You have to allocate time and resources to make it a bona fide blueprint and truly experience what you want out of life. To make it fun, give it a number. How many things do you really want to make happen in this lifetime? Perhaps 50 things before turning 50, or 60 things before turning 60? Or even better: 10 things to check off your list before your next birthday. Just decide what you want and create a plan to get it.

You may end up creating multiple lists. One list may be the 50 places you want to see in this lifetime. Again, don’t make it fantasy, start looking at ticket prices. Knock one or two locations off in the next 365 days. Make a vow that you will not orbit the sun one more time without seeing at least one of your dream locations. And don’t let money stop you.  (I throw travel on a credit card. They can’t repossess a trip!) I’m not telling you to go into debt, but I am urging you to live your dreams.

It was exactly this time last year that I ditched the bucket list and started making plans. I booked a flight, found an adventurous friend (thank you, Diane!) and moved Machu Picchu from my list to my life. The lesson: Stop dreaming and start planning. None of us are getting out of here alive and time is flying by. You’re the pilot.  It’s time to make your flight plan. Because someday, one day is today.

Add a comment below with something you’re going to do in the next year. Putting it in writing makes it real. It should be something that will improve the quality of your life.  What you choose to do should add fun and adventure to your world and add moments that take your breath away. That’s how you know you’re really living your life.

Lila Lazarus Photo_resizedLila’s Health Report:
In order to stay healthy, you need to stay active and engaged. In addition to exercise, good nutrition and sleep, you also need a good dose of adventure. So each month I’ll share ways to boost the excitement and passion in your life with adventurous ways to create more wellness in your body, mind and your spirit.

One thought on “Get Rid of Your Bucket List”

  1. Put your plans into actions. Your ability to empty your bucket can come to a screeching halt in an instant with one accidental injury. Life happens, goes on, and instead of happy memories you are left with a sad bucket of dreams.

Leave a Reply