The ‘Bucket List’ is the idea of having a list of accomplishments/ experiences you simply must do ‘before you kick the bucket’. I think this is a pretty great idea, I know personally I have several things I would consider bucket list material!
But in more recent years I’ve been introduced to the idea of the ‘short term’ bucket list. One that you can use for smaller, more immediate goals.
So, I figured this year, why not give it a go?
I’ve never been very good with resolutions. I think I’ve never seen much point. I’ve always been of the mindset that if there is something I need to change about myself/my life, I will deal with it as it comes, not wait for the start of a new year to address it, just because.
With young kids, there are a lot of obvious things that spring to mind. Disney is one of ours, but that’s a long-term goal! When we do Disney, we’re heading to the US to do all the parks, all out, which is going to be best done when both boys are a little older.
So, this year, what do we want to achieve? As parents, individuals and as a family? After all, Gray starts school (!) in September, after that, everything changes! Eeek!
The title of this post is ‘How to create a bucket list you can actually achieve’. I choose it because so many people want to set goals for the year but either get mixed up with the resolution mentality, (never seeing them through!) or focus on their ‘life-time bucket list’ goals. (Which are almost always impossible without a few years planning/saving, especially with small kids!)
So, here are some pointers for getting a 2017 Bucket list set out for you and your family! Why even have one, you ask? Because everyone needs something to look forward too sometimes and the accomplishment, (no matter how big or small) of ticking off something you have achieved can be an amazing morale boost.
After the year we’ve just had we certainly need it, and I feel there is so little I can do to help the world right now. Sharing this is something, at least.
Figure out what you wish you’d done last year, but never got around to.
I’ll be honest, I think this is possibly the most important point for me, personally. I found 2016 to be a massive crap-show, and that’s putting it politely.
I would list all the reasons for this, but it would be a massive downer. So let’s just agree that for us, with the exception of the birth of our second child, this year shall never be spoken of again.
Things are finally looking up now, at least on a personal level. Due to the never-ending stress line-up we’ve missed out on doing quite a few things, even things that are basic and would seem inconsequential to most. As I mentioned in this post, we are less than an hour from beautiful sandy beaches and somehow only made the trip once over the whole summer!
We visited a ‘farm park’ when Gray was about two, which we loved. We had a great day out and spent the ride home talking about our next visit.
Well, Gray just turned four and we haven’t yet been back. It was only about a 45-minute drive and cost us around £30 total. So, what is our excuse? We just didn’t get around to it, we were too distracted by… everything else, you get the idea.
Too much stress, financial worry, and depression can hold you back from doing even the simplest things. But this year I plan on changing that!
This year we will be visiting this place at least once, if not more. This year going back is going on my list, and I will pick a month in which to allocate £30 and a Saturday (the only day we are all free!) and we will go, Dammit, come rain or shine!
If you feel disappointed by something, even something small that you haven’t had the chance to do for a while, make it a priority on your list.
Separate big things from little things, if necessary use this opportunity to make a 10-year list and a life long list.
This was a really good exercise for me. I tend to be the one in the relationship who sorts out the budget/bills and focuses on the actual nitty-gritty of how we’re going to accomplish our life goals.
One thing that is on our ‘parenting’ bucket list, as I’ve mentioned, is Disney World.
Technically, we live five minutes from the Eurostar and could spend a weekend at Disneyland Paris with only a few hours travel and for less than £800, all told.
However, Both Gray and Rhyd are too young at the moment to form lasting memories and the frugal part of me shrieks at such a ‘waste of money’. Of course, it would be a wonderful family experience, but if we’re going to do Disney, I want to go ALL OUT.
I’m talking USA, All parks, two weeks, lifetime of memories kinda deal. I checked and it can be done for about £4000, hotel, flights, parks etc included.
So, obviously not something for this year. But on our ten-year bucket list, we can work towards this goal. Save a little here and there, wait until the boys are old enough for the full effect (we’re thinking about six and nine?) and then we get to really make it a trip of a lifetime!
Anything you think is too ambitious to accomplish this year, don’t worry, just make it a long term goal.
Keep your yearly list achievable and realistic and you’ll be far more likely to cross every single thing off of it by the end. How good will that feel?
Don’t hesitate to add the small stuff.
Making these lists it can be tough not letting what you ‘think’ should be on the list knock off what you actually ‘want’ to be on the list.
Even if it seems like a trivial thing, if it is important to you or makes you happy, put it on the list.
Even something like ‘going to the movies just once’. If you think it will help you make the effort, put it on there.
Things like ‘clear out the clutter from cupboard #3’ go on my list too, purely as it is something that otherwise gets pushed aside for bigger priorities. If it’s on my list, at least I have a reminder! And when I find a day where I have a free afternoon, I can finally cross it off.
A yearly bucket list is about making a clear goal for what you want to do. No one else even has to know it exists if you don’t want them too, so don’t worry about what someone else might have on their list.
If things on your list cost money, try to allocate a saving fund.
Worried about the Theme Park you really want to visit with the kids costing £100, just for entry? Save just £20 a month from January and you’ll have the entrance fee covered by May.
Putting it that way doesn’t seem so bad, Right?
Want a weekend getaway with your partner, kids free? Many places (We like Center Parcs!) will let you book well in advance with just a deposit, allowing you to pay off the trip little by little until you go. All you have to worry about is finding a babysitter for the weekend!
Nothing is out of reach. Anything that is not big enough to go on your long-term bucket list can be accomplished with a little planning, organising, and saving. (My ebook on frugal living might help with that!)
All you need to do is want it to happen bad enough and you’ll be surprised just how easy it actually is to make it happen.
Set realistic goals.
I’ve already mentioned making a long-term list for bigger goals, like Disneyland. What I mean by realistic is; if you want to go on several family get-aways, will there be enough holiday leave from work to have time for this?
If there are things you and your partner want to do alone, will you be able to find a sitter?
Is it worth taking the kids to that event, or will it be too stressful and better to wait until they are older?
There is nothing wrong with having realistic goals.
Even the most mundane or day-to-day seeming activities, are worthy of your list if they matter to you because, at the end of the day, you are writing this list for yourself.
All of these goals are for your happiness, well-being and peace of mind.
You don’t have to try to achieve the impossible. Nor should you feel like a failure for not doing something grand and awe-inspiring. Do something you simply want to do, for whatever reason you want to do it.
Lastly, on that note:
Don’t forget to have fun!
It doesn’t matter if you don’t get around to everything on your list. Sometimes life just gets in the way, we all know that! Try not to tie the success of your year to whether you remembered to go to that new restaurant you wanted to try, or took the kids to see that panto.
Use this list as a reminder. Use it to bolster your successes when you cross something off. And if you miss something? Add it to next years list instead!