Bucket List Criteria for 2014

With 2013 ticking down, my thoughts are in the official stages of “pinning down” what will make my 2014 list.

In 2011, I decided to challenge myself with only one goal: buy things only with a coupon, or on discount. I kept meticulous track, and ended up saving approximately $8000. You’d think that couponing would become a mainstay of my life after an achievement like that, right? WRONG. It was fun and challenging, but it did take over my life a little bit. I found myself hoarding bottles of toothpaste and buying a lot more processed foods that I typically ate. Sundays were devoted to clipping and organizing coupons, and then a laborious trip to the grocery store. It was like another job. Next!

In 2012, I generated a list of random ideas (much like this year) in the acceptance that I could no longer enjoy my previous past times, like soccer, snowboarding, running, because I blew out my knee and, I kid you not, I am STILL in rehab. Protect your knees, people. Clearly, that list ended up being a joy and success. I realized that you can’t exist in a misoneist state and must not only embrace change, but be the force that creates it. 

In 2013, I was surprised to find that being a peon under new leadership at work was actually even more terrible than blowing out my knee. I didn’t realize I could be more miserable! But the list gave me many high points at which to better and amuse myself, and even use as a vehicle to escape the tyranny of my boss.

Now with some bucket list years under my belt, I am trying to intentionally craft a list that is truly achievable. For as much as I accept some goals didn’t work out, it still feels like a tinge of failure.

As I’m drafting 2014’s List, I am assessing each item with the following criteria:

1. What percentage of fun will the goal be? Not all goals must be “fun” but a lot of them should be. As Keanu says in Point Break, “I live to get radical.”

2. What percentage am I committed to achieving the goal? For instance, last year Snowshoeing didn’t get crossed off for various reasons, so this year I was FULLY committed. I literally bought snowshoes before I had even gone. Mt. Hood would have to had erupted for us not to get out there and snowshoe.

3. How much will this goal make me feel better about myself? Like last year, doing 80+ pushups without stopping felt pretty good; or this year running a mile in less than 6:30 or even submitting something for judging at the State Fair. Those have bragging rights. 

4. How long will it take? I can’t pick 20 goals that are all lengthy, but choosing 20 one-time-only goals is also lame. I try to find a balance of bigger pictures items (like getting my admin license or running the mile) because they will require a plan. At the same time, I need instant gratification, like “Today I will bake a four layered cake.”

5. Can I do this goal alone, with no help from anyone else? This is the one that has gotten me into trouble in the past. Some goals I just assumed someone would want to do them with me, and that didn’t really happen so i gave up (i.e. throwing horseshoes, or being in a karaoke contest). Yes, yes, I should be confident enough to do it myself, but then I go right back to the beginning and if the fun-factor is also lacking, I lose total interest. That being said, if my friends want to join then it is always more entertaining.

I may be able to cross another one or two goals off in the next week…maybe…but I’m good with what I’ve done and I’ll be ready to post the new ones soon!

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