Creating Your Bucket List

by Jeff Weiss

Following my first skydiving excursion earlier this year, I have been giving more thought to bucket lists in general. While I consider the development of a bucket list to be a continual work in progress that changes over time (adding new items as old ones are crossed off), I thought it would be interesting to see what others include on their respective lists. I thought there would be lots of lists out there, but to my surprise, I couldn’t find many examples. Perhaps there is a book opportunity out there in my future!

In reviewing the lists a number of common themes emerged. Following are 10 that were commonly included on individual bucket lists. Under each theme I have included my own personal item:

1) Travel

Easily the most popular item on bucket lists. The wide range of options mentioned included everything from visiting specific venues or attractions like the Eiffel Tower and all Seven Wonders of the World to spending a summer in the south of France.

Topping of my bucket list right now is a trip/cruise to Antartica to spend some quality time with the penguins.

2) Adventure

Skydiving and bungee jumping are favorites in this area which is dominated by items involving some level of real or perceived risk.

Having checked off skydiving from my list, scubadiving has moved up to the #1 position. I’m not really a water person so this one frightens me.

3) Hanging with a celebrity/famous Person

From actors to politicians to musicians to athletes, many folks just want to hang with someone they have always looked at in awe.

While I have been fortunate to have met several famous people in my life (no name dropping here), hanging out with the Dalai Lama would be high on my list.

4) Sports

Some people have a huge desire to either attend a specific sporting event such as the Kentucky Derby or a Superbowl while others aspire to play against a high level athlete.

As a tennis junkie, playing against John McEnroe at the US Open facility would top my list in this category.

5) Music

The age-old debate amongst my friends is would you rather be a professional athlete or a popular musician? For some people, learning to play or mastering an instrument often makes the bucket list as does attending a concert (with backstage passes, of course) by your favourite performer.

Although I have limited experience, I discovered that I love to perform in front of people. And the bigger the audience the better. For me, performing on stage with Bruce Springsteen would be awesome!

6) Finances

Perhaps not as glamorous as other bucket list items, some people would love the opportunity to payoff personal or family debts such as mortgages or college loans.

Top of my list in this category is to leave a legacy related to a cause (TBD) that would help others into the future.

7) Food & Drink

Food is a big part of our lives and many people fill their buckets (forgive the pun) with food and booze — popular items in this category range from eating somewhere special to hiking the Bourbon Trail to taking cooking lessons in France.

I love food, wine, beer and many spirits so this is a tough call. My stomach tells me that learning how to make dim sum would be in my bucket.

8) Hobbies

Starting something new or spending more time and/or perfecting a current hobby – like gardening, writing and painting – are important to many people.

I’m not a big hobby person so this is also a tough one for me. I do enjoy performing in front of others so taking acting lessons would be my hobby-related bucket item.

9) Your Dream Home

We spend so much time in our homes so bucket lists often include items or activities that make our homes more comfortable or enticing.

Given my love of cooking, high on my bucket list is a new kitchen with all of the bells and whistles.

10) Relationships

A less tangible item on people’s lists include spending more time with friends, mending damaged relationships and rekindling current (or past?) romantic relationships.

As I lie somewhere in the middle of the introvert/extrovert scale, spending more time with people I enjoying being with and less time with those folks I don’t care for would be on my bucket.

I think lists like this say much about our general passions and aspirations and are worth paying attention to for anyone wanting to tap into a specific audience. I’d love to hear what’s on your bucket list, so feel free to send me your items (you can use the form at the bottom of the page) and I can include a list of other bucket list items in a future blog.

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