Squeeze More Life Out Of Your Life With A Bucket List

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I saw a story about The Superagers’s Dream Bucket List, and I had to read it. The title had a compulsive effect on me. After the age of 50 pieces like that grab your attention. Okay, maybe they always caught my attention.

I read the piece on superagers (Over 55s’ dream bucket list revealed from getting tattoos to hitting Route 66), and it got me thinking.

Where Does Bucket List Come From?

The origin of the word bucket list is quite interesting! Its derived from the phrase “kick the bucket” which pretty much means “to die.”

The link between buckets and death goes back to at least 1785 when the phrase appeared in something called Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Yes, seriously there was a dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue!

Squeeze More Life Out Of Your Life With A Bucket List
“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

To kick the bucket is an English term, considered a slang term meaning ‘to die’.

Several conflicting theories exist about the origin of the term, yet each has the same conclusion. Death remains an imminent part of the definition and the threat of a life cut short always lurks within its context.

An Imminent Death

The first theory goes back to the middle ages and practices of a public hanging. One would have to stand on a bucket with a noose, and when the bucket is kicked, the person would automatically strangle to death.

The second theory argues that after death, usually holy water is placed in a bucket at the feet of the body. When people came to visit for mourning, they would sprinkle the holy water on the body.

Most people think it is adapted from the movie “The Bucket List” by scriptwriter Justin Zackham.

Squeeze More Life Out Of Your Life With A Bucket List
“Here’s something to remember when you’re older Thomas – never pass up a bathroom, never waste a hard-on, and never trust a fart.” – Edward Cole from the movie Bucket List

So wherever it came from, a bucket list is essentially a list of activities someone wants to do before they die. Or, a list of things a person wants to do before they “kick the bucket.”

What Is A Bucket List?

For our purposes let’s expand our definition of bucket list. Let’s use, a list of all the goals you want to achieve, things you want to try, and life experiences you want to have before you die.

Throw the term “bucket list” out, and the usual suspects spring to mind. Things like dinner at one of the world’s top restaurants, travel experiences, and breathtaking hot-air balloon rides. But it might be time you hit the reset button.

No one is suggesting that these are not amazing things to do before you die. The suggestion is that your bucket list could do with a few more eye-opening and meaningful activities.

It might be time to turn your bucket list into an extraordinary one.

Squeeze More Life Out Of Your Life With A Bucket List
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

Besides, it is experiences and not possessions that will make you the happiest. And that is a notion that even science agrees with.

Why Have A Bucket List?

Whether you want to call it a Bucket List or a “To Experience” list, I think everyone should have one. And here is why:

  • You stop and reflect on what experiences you actually want in your lifetime.
  • Everyone benefits from understanding that life is short and we should strive to live to its fullest.
  • Bucket lists give us both hope and curiosity. And these are two essential ingredients for happiness. So then logically, bucket lists increase our happiness.

If your bucket list needs a major revision or you haven’t written your list yet, take a look at some of these suggestions before you put pen to paper.

The piece I read suggested that this generation of fifty-somethings are plotting dramatic changes during their golden years. Definitely no pipe and slippers-style retirement for them.

Squeeze More Life Out Of Your Life With A Bucket List
“There are two ways to face the future. One way is with apprehension; the other is with anticipation.” – Jim Rohn

I loved the list because it offered a peek into the weird and wonderful plans which many over-55s currently have.

Achieving Goals

A point that warms my heart, over half of those who took part said they were confident they WILL achieve their goals. You have to love optimism, especially in later life.

This shows that retirement isn’t what it used to be. Rather than kicking back and taking it easy, many are looking forward to having more freedom and taking on new projects and hobbies.

And 78% believe having life goals is important. In the demanding world we live in, it is easy to get caught up in the rat race and end up not doing a lot of things we wished for.

Whether it’s helping someone out unconditionally or trekking to a Mount Everest base camp, these experiences give us valuable insights into our own lives.

Overall 81% of the over 2,000 adults over 55 who were polled said they ‘felt younger’ than their actual age. And 82% said they wanted a goal to aim for.

Squeeze More Life Out Of Your Life With A Bucket List
“If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page.” – Mark Houlahan

Only 17% feel their actual age or older. And 32% want to show that, regardless of their age, they can do anything they want.

Over 70% admitted they had a bucket list.

The main issues preventing Brits from enjoying activities on their bucket lists are time or financial issues, along with a feeling they may now be past it or too old.

As voices of experience, about three quarters said they felt it was ‘important’ to have goals and ambition in life.

The Top 30 Life Goals

It’s better to do the things you want to do NOW, then to pile them up on a “someday list”. Having a bucket list is to have a life and utilise it fully before it’s knocked off from under your feet!

Here are the TOP 30 LIFE GOALS , according to the study conducted via OnePoll.com.

  • Travel more
  • Visit Australia
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Retire
  • Drive along Route 66 in America
  • Move abroad
  • Downsize my home
  • Go to more gigs and concerts
  • Pay off the mortgage
  • Eat in a Michelin-star restaurant
  • Volunteer for a charity
  • Buy a sports car
  • Take up painting
  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Learn to swim
  • Get a personal trainer
  • Have liposuction or a tummy tuck
  • Get a degree
  • Climb a mountain
  • Get a six-pack
  • Start dating again
  • Do a skydive
  • Run a marathon
  • Have an affair
  • Get a tattoo
  • Buy a motorbike
  • Get remarried
  • Have my kids move out
  • Get a divorce
  • Try online dating

Now It’s Time For Your Bucket List

Let’s get started with creating your bucket list so you can begin to execute some of the amazing things that you have been desperate to try.

Challenge Accepted: I am so ready to create my bucket list Click To Tweet
Squeeze More Life Out Of Your Life With A Bucket List
“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” – Oprah Winfrey

Earlier I mentioned about helping someone out unconditionally. And while we all lead busy lives and complain that we have barely enough time for ourselves, there is more to be gained from being nice to others than not.

In fact, performing random acts of kindness to those around us has a lot of positive side effects. It make us happier, gives us healthier hearts and it also has a fountain of youth effect.

This feel-good factor triggers a biochemical reaction that elevates levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in our brains. So we get a natural high that is known as the ‘helper’s high.’


An amazing physiological response ensues. This emotional warmth produces oxytocin which slows the ageing process.

The reduction in free radicals levels reduces inflammation in the cardiovascular system, slowing ageing.

So why not add random acts of kindness to your bucket list? It feels good, and it’s good for you too.

If you want to live a life packed full of achievement, adventure, fun, and success you need to dream big dreams. And, the first step is to create a bucket list.

Squeeze More Life Out Of Your Life With A Bucket List
“If you are growing, then you are always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – David Brett-Williams

Step 1: Dreamstorm Your Bucket List

Dreamstorming is the first step in creating your bucket list. It is a combination of dreaming and brainstorming.

On a large piece of paper commit all of your ideas to print. And here is the key, you need to remove all limits.

That means allowing your mind to be as free as possible.

This step is all about putting down every single ide that pops into your head. No filters and no labels. Nothing is crazy, or impossible, or silly. You just need to write it down.

When you allow mind to be free, it’s amazing what ideas will come out. Are you ready? Let’s Go!

Step 2: Your Bucket List Teammate(s)

You don’t have to make your entire list with a teammate, but there are advanages to sharing certain items with someone else. There are to having similar items to travel buddies or spouses so you can do things together.

Splitting expenses by finding a partner in crime for the bigger and more costly activities has many advantages.

Step 3: The Bucket List Top Three

Time for you to turn some of those dreams into reality and creating your list can be almost as much fun as completing it.

Some people get overwhelmed looking at their long list and thinking how they will complete them all. What a great problem to have!

Good afternoon. My name is Edward Cole. I don’t know what most people say at these occasions because in all honesty, I’ve tried to avoid them. The simplest thing is I loved him and I miss him. Carter and I saw the world together, which is amazing when you think that only three months ago we were complete strangers. I hope that it doesn’t sound selfish of me, but the last months of his life were the best months of mine. He saved my life, and he knew it before I did. I’m deeply proud that this man found it worth his while to know me. In the end, I think it’s safe to say that we brought some joy to one another’s lives, so one day, when I go to some final resting place, if I happen to wake up next to a certain wall with a gate, I hope that Carter’s there to vouch for me and show me the ropes on the other side.” – Carter Chambers from the movie Bucket List

Just pick 3 items from your list to work on the planning. Yeah, only 3 for now. Any more than that and the feelings of overwhelm creep in.

How To Pick Your Top Three

Scanning your list, what excites you the most? Take note of the items that make your heart beat a bit faster.

Got your top three? Now it’s time for the first steps of planning. Ask yourself these questions:

Who: Do you need a partner or are you flying solo?

When: What time of day? When does this need to happen? Great to get specific!

Where: Where are you going and how will you get there?

How: How do you complete this item? How much do you need to save?

What: What is your very first step? What do you need to do to make this happen?

Now get out there and do it.

If you follow this model it will help you complete every single item on your bucket list.

Here are a few items on my bucket list. Maybe it will give you some inspiration for your list.

  • Visit every continent
  • Make my own jewellery
  • Go on an African safari
  • Break a Guiness Book world record
  • Stay in an over-the-water bungalow on a tropical island

Share your first three bucket list items with me right NOW! click to tweet

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David Brett-Williams