How I Make My Annual Buckets Lists…sort of…

A few friends have recently asked me how I come up with my annual “bucket lists”, and meanwhile, some of my new coworkers are starting to get a taste of my… ummm… interesting hobbies?

So how DO I get these ideas and put my lists together every year?

First off, I keep my list on the Notes app of my phone. Anytime something pops into my head, I put it in my notes, no matter how big, small, or crazy since I know I will revisit the list later. Trust me, if you don’t write it down, you will forget. But I also keep it private – I don’t want anyone else messing with my head.

Then in December, I start prioritizing by coding each item *, **, or *** depending on a combo of how realistic and interesting the goal is to me. For instance, back in 2014, I considered “Learn to love sauerkraut” in hopes of understanding what everyone loves about such a disgusting food, but ultimately it didn’t grab me so it didn’t make the cut.


I also try to narrow my final list to 20 items (give or take a couple) – anything more than that would feel overwhelming, anything less feels sparse. Finally, I code my goals into a few different categories: some goals where I will learn something practical; something that relates to my professional life; some fitness goals; and some fun events that will involve my friends.  Many of these can be combined – i.e. last weekend’s “Go Bag Party.”

By keeping a living list, I keep myself grounded – for instance, something that seemed like a great idea in March can seem pretty stupid or unrealistic in December when I’m drafting the final list (Learn Latin – I’m talking to you). It’s important to sleep on some ideas – for several months.

At the most basic level, this blog is about me having FUN, but also improving myself.

Have you ever seen this billboard?


I remember driving past it one day, thinking, Well, I’ve got the eccentric part down… 

In my opinion, if you make a list for yourself, just go for it. Don’t limit what you initially write down; you can always cut it later. And if all else fails, Google “bucket lists.”


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