Another Drop In The Bucket: 5 Tips To Get Your Bucket List Going

[guestpost]This is a guest post from my friend Anna Korbel. She is currently a graduate student working towards a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas where she also serves as an Assistant Complex Director for KU Student Housing. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Anna is passionate about student learning, student learning and using social media practices to engage students and build community. You can follow and connect with her Anna on Twitter.[/guestpost]

When you think of a bucket list most people immediately go to thinking about all the things you want to do in your life before you die. But really, a bucket list has nothing to do about dying, its really just a list of things you want to accomplish in your lifetime, or in a smaller scope, a period of time.

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Why a bucket list

I have been a fan of bucket lists for a while. As someone who regularly sets goals for myself I create “bucket lists” as a way to try and accomplish or experience something in that particular part of life. While an undergrad I made a “College Bucket List” which was a list of 30 things I wanted to experience or accomplish while in college. The purpose was somewhat fun, but also a way for me to walk away from college and feel like I experienced college on my own terms.

As I moved into graduate school I developed a new bucket list in order to hone in on what grad school experiences I thought were important to me. Some items on the list remained silly, like wanting to dance in a fountain at the University of Kansas, and some were purely professional, like wanting to have an article published and presenting at a professional conference. The list has helped me to create experiences and opportunities for myself in order to make me marketable for employment after graduation but also to remember to have fun along the way. I am a believer in journeys, and creating “goals” on a bucket list has helped me to learn to enjoy life’s journeys.

[Tweet “A bucket list helps you to learn to enjoy life’s journeys. ~@AKorbel“]

While in college I presented multiple times about how to make a bucket list.  For college students I asked them to think about what they wanted to accomplish in the four short years as an undergrad. I had them brainstorm ideas of experiences they wanted academically and personally and create goals on their bucket list to reach those areas. With students I talk about using the S.M.A.R.T. goal method and making sure that while their lists are fun they are also reasonable, because reasonable will make reality.

My advice for people interested in making a personal bucket list is that you don’t get yourself stuck on creating a list of everything you want to go before you die. While it’s good to make a list like that, and I have a “Life Goals” list going, its good to create lists that are more time sensitive. As with the S.M.A.R.T. goal model, you want your goals to have a time frame.

For a student it’s easy to time stamp a bucket list for their college career because for a professional the years sometimes mesh together. A professional should make a bucket list that reflects a time frame unique to their own experiences. If you start a new position make a bucket list for things you want to accomplish or experience in that job within the first 3-5 years, or a list of the things you want your staff to accomplish in one year of the job. It’s personal so determine the time frame that works well for you.

These are my top 5 tips for making a personal bucket list:

  1. Write it down. Bucket lists are not meant to be in your head! Get your thoughts on paper and post in publically. For myself, I keep a running bucket list in the back of my planner. I also post my list on my refrigerator and in my office.
  2. Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal method (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) to create bucket list items.
  3. Make it fun. Don’t make the list strictly personal or strictly professional. Add a little from both. If you want to climb a 14er or another mountain in the next five years, write it down, maybe someone in your office will want to do it with you.
  4. Get to know others on a deeper level. Use it as a relationship builder with your colleagues, friends, or family. Ask them to all make a bucket list together. Share each individual’s bucket list and learn how your strengths can play off each other to accomplish what is on each other’s list.
  5. Share your successes. When you accomplish something on your list let others know about it! Celebrate it!

FREE WORKBOOK: Click the button below to download the How To Develop Your Own Bucket List workbook.

In it you will find the top 5 questions I asked myself to create my own bucket list and my 6 steps to go from no bucket list to having one you can complete on a regular basis.

Click Here to Download

What’s on your bucket list and how are you going to accomplish it?