Bucket List versus Goals

My Bucket List – Circa 2008

Not long after the movie Bucket List came out in 2007, I wrote up a bucket list of my own, and also asked my hubby to do the same. The kids were around about 4 years old at the time, so we were definitely feeling the financial constraints of living on a single wage, and Mitchell’s health meant he was in and out of hospital. A trip away for a weekend seemed totally out of reach, so coming up with a list of the things you want to do before you die, felt like absolute fiction, beyond dreams and beyond the scope of what we could achieve in our current situation.

However, we went about our lists, under the condition that we did not have to worry about how we could achieve our bucket list. We wrote our lists as if we had the ‘perfect life’ – no health worries, no money worries and no committments!!! That sure seemed like asking someone who lived in the 1800s to aim for flying from New Zealand to the UK in 24 hours. But to me, taking away the limitations is part of the difference between writing a bucket list and setting goals. Items on your bucket list can be lifetime goals but they don’t need to be SMART and you don’t have to think about how you achieve them before your time is up. Such a freeing thought. Typically, I am a goal setting person, who likes to writes goals and then makes a plan around how to achieve them within a set time. A Bucket List does not have these restrictions, and that’s what makes it different to me.

Fast forward to 2019 and I came across a scrapbook page I did about my bucket list after we had this little session. I had 11 items on my list then and to my surprise I have achieved two!! We bought a home in 2012 and in 2016 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in business psychology. It’s a little boost to my morale to realise that what seemed unachievable then, has happened. And if I hadn’t created that page, I doubt I would still be able to find that little scrap of paper I wrote my list on! The beauty of creating a scrapbook page about things like this is that you can recall what was important to you at different points of your life.

Plus, I am currently working on achieving three more. I am surprised and delighted by this. I think that makes me a glass half full kinda gal. The percentages aren’t great, that I have only achieved two of these, but hey, to me, they were so out there when I wrote them, that I could not envisage them happening while our kids were still living at home. So, right now I am setting some goals around writing my book, getting to Italy and working for myself. But that’s a post for another day.

What would a bucket list look like for you?