• Hannah Ost

How to Make a Bucket List

Right now, you might be feeling a little stuck. All of a sudden, your life has come to a grinding halt – maybe you're out of work, away from loved ones, suffering from some serious boredom. You might be feeling unable to progress in life. If you've read my series (or watched the YouTube series) 'The Spoonie Sagas', you'll know all about when my life hit a wall last February. So, believe me when I say, it does get easier!

It seems like we all want to be productive right now and sometimes that's hard. It's okay to just have days where you stay in bed and watch Netflix. It's okay to do nothing but eat the entire contents of your fridge (although you might want to think about how many times a week you're going shopping due to this!) Whatever you're doing, you might be hearing the little voice that says, 'What's the point in planning for the future?' Again, totally valid, I'm hearing this one too! But, right now, I'm telling them to can it – dreaming about the future makes me feel happy, so I'm going to make a bucket list of all the things I want to do. Grab some pens and paper and join in with me!

The Right Way to Make a Bucket List

As a chronically future-focused perfectionist, to me a bucket list has always felt synonymous with a to-do list. From reading multiple discovery-self-help-style books, I have discovered this may be a slight flaw of mine! If, in fact, my bucket list is going to be full of huge goals, it needs to be rooted in real motivation, a reason why this is something I want to do with my life.

There are 3 questions that I'm going to use to create my bucket list:

  1. What do I have in my life now that makes me happy?

  2. How do those things make me feel?

  3. Why do they make me feel like this?

These questions are designed to make you reflect on what you already have and to establish gratitude, before writing a list of things that you want! It's quite humbling to do so. Then we can start thinking about what you really want from life.

Think about that last question. Everything on your bucket list should have a reason why it makes you happy or fulfilled, or whatever other positive adjectives you'd like to associate with it. For example:

  1. Something that makes me happy in my life, right now, is my immediate connection to music (through my ukulele, my piano and through the internet!)

  2. It makes me feel at peace, grateful and refreshed to be able to have this in my life...

  3. ... because when I play music, I am completely in the present moment, able to focus on the sounds I am hearing right now.

Identifying why I love what I love right now gives me a great base on which to build my bucket list. I know that I love experiences which ground me and rejuvenate me. From answering these questions, I know I love meeting people and sharing stories, I love to do things which scare me or give me a burst of adrenaline (although my heart condition likely disagrees!)

Answer those questions yourself and identify how you like to feel. If you don't have that feeling in your life right now, what can you do to get it? Your bucket list doesn't have to be full of huge tasks to tick off a list! But whatever is on that list, rooting it in emotion makes you more likely to achieve it, because you know exactly why you want it so much.

I hope this helps you to write your own bucket list. I'm going to be posting mine very soon to give you a little inspiration. If you do take inspiration from my ideas, be sure to question why it is you want to achieve that. Is it due to social pressure? We are officially crossing capitalism off our lists! During this quarantine period, get in touch with how you like to live!

Stay safe and healthy – sending you all some love x

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©2020 Hannah Ost

Student Journalist