4 WAYS YOU'RE SABOTAGING YOUR BUCKET LIST (AND HOW TO FIX IT!)
The words "bucket list" conjures up images of far away lands and grand adventures... don't you think? People love to talk about their lists. Pinterest is full of bucket list boards all loaded with beautiful imagery and bucket list advice. Movies of crazy old men doing crazy old bucket list things entertain audiences.
But how many people actually take it a step further than that? How many people are actually doing the things on their list?
In my experience, the majority of you aren't doing a thing about it. I see all the dreamy looks and hear all the "someday" comments. There's a lot of talk and not nearly enough action.
But that's ok, it doesn't make you a bad person! I know you actually want to tackle that bucket list, but you're stuck behind the fear and the excuses. You're trucking through life thinking there will be time later on... and that's a very big gamble, my friend.
There will never be the perfect time or the perfect set of circumstances - ever. So your time is NOW.
Let's go through the top four ways I see people subconsciously sabotaging their bucket lists, shall we? Then I'll do my absolute best to walk you through how to overcome it. I have a feeling some (if not all) of this will sound very familiar to a lot of you.
Ok. You ready, freddies? Let's get go...
1. “Keepin' it Real”
So, I have to ask… how many of you have actually put your bucket list to pen and paper yet? As in making it a tangible object that you can hold and have judge you when you ignore it?
Mm-hm. That’s what I thought.
You write your shopping list out so you won’t forget the things you need (though leaving it at home is another story). You make sure that “Honey-Do” list is filled out in its entirety.
So why not your bucket list?
Keeping your bucket list in your head keeps it forever in “dream” mode. It’s not real. You can’t see it. Therefore it’s something you think you’ll get to later, however you go on about your everyday life, it gets pushed to the back of your mind, and likely forgotten about for some time.
I challenge you to get that list filled out on paper now – right now! You can stop reading this post for a few minutes (no worries, I'm not mad) or you can wait until you’re done reading it, but get that list out of your head and down onto paper. Like... today.
And then I want to see them. I would LOVE for you to send me your bucket lists! Take a screenshot of them or send them as a document. You can even send them by owl messenger (which would truly be hella cool). I don’t care, just send them pretty please! I want to swoon over your goals. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now I wouldn't ask to see your list if I wasn't going to show you mine. Sign up just below here to have it delivered to your inbox!
Then I want you to do one more thing. Last thing, I promise. – Post your bucket list up where you can see it every day.
Every. Single. Day.
I have a copy of my list hanging up at work and another one on my refrigerator. It is a daily reminder as to why I am chasing my dreams and working my ass off to live a life I can’t wait to wake up to every day. And I check off each item as I accomplish them so that I can see how my efforts are paying off.
And it’s so satisfying to see all those check marks.
Making your list real will make your dreams become real as well. I guarantee it.
2. "But I don't have enough Money"
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Money, money, money.
No, I’m not trying to sing a corny pop song, I’m sarcastically taunting your excuse. *wink*
I know, money is a huge factor in tackling your bucket list, especially if a majority of it has to do with travel. But what do I always say?...
You can MacGyver your way around any problem.
First of all, take a look at your current spending habits. Seriously, go through your statements and look at what you spent your money on over the last two or three months.
How much did you eat out? Did you need all those new sweaters? Is a $1000+ iPhone X really that necessary? Or even the iPhone 8? How many dolls did you buy your kid? Do you have Target on your regular payroll?
It’s stuff. All of it, it’s just stuff.
You now need to ask yourself, which is more important? The stuff… or the experiences? What do you want your life to center around?
Your answer to those questions should immediately tell you what you need to focus on.
You can also cut costs in other ways. Look at your monthly bills. Is there any fat you can trim off? I'm sure if you're honest enough with yourself, you can find areas that are unnecessarily "fatty".
I found a major pot of gold when I discovered travel credit card points (you can read about that here). Have you considered adding that to the mix?
I’ve even known people who have taken on side hustles in order to save up for travels.
The point is, if you want it bad enough, there are ways around your budget. You just need to put in the time and effort (and maybe sacrifices) to make it happen.
It will be uncomfortable at first, I know it will! But that's a good thing. It means you're pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into something new. Though that newness will reward you in ways you never imagined. So much more than the stuff. You won't even miss that stuff after a while. Trust me.
That's the point you’ll be kicking yourself for not starting this much much sooner.
3. "i have to wait until my Kids are grown"
I am now preachin' to those of you in charge of little people. Preachin' to a choir of little people!
Kids are definitely a priority, there’s no question about it. But they don’t have to keep you from jumping straight into your bucket list. In fact, while you’re tackling your list, why not raise them to be bucket list ninja guru’s as well? (Is that even a thing?... cuz it should be)
I challenge you guys to start making a bucket list with your kids. Start off with a spring bucket list, or a summer one. Or make one with your grandkids, nieces and nephews, or even your majestic inner child.
Don't make it hard. Instead, let's go master skipping rocks across the nearby pond. Eat a hot dog at a local baseball game. Go watch fireworks while laying out on a blanket with a picnic. Color a coloring book from cover to cover (an actual item on my very own bucket list. Not kidding).
Imagine how proud they'd be to bring that checked off bucket list to school in the fall. When the teacher asks, "What did you guys do this summer?", they can show her exactly what awesomeness they were up to.
And why stop there? You can make a bucket list for any season, event, holiday, year, lifetime. The sky is the limit.
The point is to teach kids that a bucket list isn't a scary thing. That it's something that is very much obtainable. And most importantly, that it's very much worth it.
Let's also teach them by example. Even though my own kiddo is now an adult, I still strive to be an example to him. I'm not about to tell him to go out and reach for his dreams, that he can be anything he wants to be, that he can go anywhere he wants to go, if I can't do that for myself.
So don’t forget about your own list as well! Involve your kids in your list! Take the kids on a trip with you, or leave them at Grandma’s for a week. There is absolutely no shame in that game. You gotta do you as well.
Actions truly speak louder than words. And those are actions your kids will notice, without question.
4. "i'm too scared"
In my opinion, fear is the worst four-letter F-word there is. Hands down.
But I get it, it’s a natural reaction. Our bodies are designed to feel fear in order to keep us safe. But I don’t think chasing our dreams and checking off our bucket lists is the danger that nature meant for us to protect ourselves from.
I recently watched a Ted Talk in which Caroline Paul discussed how, in order to raise brave girls, you need to encourage adventure – which is so true! And not just for little girls, but for everyone.
I guess that’s what I’m doing here – encouraging adventure. Trying to get you to break through that barrier of fear that is keeping you from living in a world where anything is possible.
And believe me, I know what that fear feels like. Like I said in my welcome post, I didn’t just go skipping and whistling into the unknown. I was scared out of my ever-loving mind! I’ve had my emotional breakdowns; just ask my family and my boyfriend. They’ve seen them. (God bless those souls)
But the point is, I didn’t let it stop me. I busted through that fear barrier, still shaking in my boots, saw what was on the other side of it, and then went running into a field of triumphant daisies.
And who doesn’t want to go running into a field of triumphant daisies??
Take the leap, my friends. It’s so worth it. And I’ll be there waiting with a bouquet of daisies for you on the other side of your fear barrier.