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My vivid imagination began spilling into lined notebooks at the age of 8.
I'd retreat to my room and scribble made-up stories using Lisa Frank stickers as my illustrations. As I wove together child-like plot-lines, I dreamed about high school and college and what new adventures I would have as an adult.
Even as a child, I was a classic planner and over-thinker!
It's no surprise I have a pretty hefty life list that's followed me along the way…AKA a bucket list.
Although technically a bucket list is for all the things you want to do before you die, I see it as an opportunity to live life to the fullest.
Every time I cross something off, I feel a sense of completeness and satisfaction. That I'm living a life without regrets. That I'm trying new things, seeing new places, and stretching myself beyond my tiny comfort zone.
Just last year, I pushed past my fear and signed up for surfing lessons while in San Diego for a conference.
My stomach swirled as I paddled out for that first very tiny wave. Even though I only stood up on the board a couple of times, and felt silly compared to the young surfer dudes assisting that day, the fact was…I did it!
It's one of my favorite memories from that trip, and I'm not sure I would have ever attempted to stand on a wobbly board in the Pacific without my bucket list. Because when you write things down, they magically seem more real, and attainable.
Do You Have a Bucket List?
Maybe you've always wanted to:
- Write a book
- Travel to Europe
- Swim with dolphins
- Meet a famous celebrity
You're just not sure how to go for it. Or maybe you don't have a life list yet, but the thought excites you. What do you really want to do? Not what you think you should do, or what others think you should do. What excites you? Feels impossible? Are there places you'd love to experience?
Making a list is just the beginning—it's achieving those items on our list that is most important. Anyone can dream, but it takes determination to DO. The things on your list might seem impossible to imagine right now, but step by step, you can finish whatever you set your mind to, big or small.Anyone can dream, but it takes determination to DO.Click To Tweet
Things to remember when making your list:
1. Make your list, but choose a #1 priority.
You can't do everything on your list at once, but you can work towards ONE THING right now. Pick the activity you're most excited about. This is your #1 focus until that item is complete. Our next “one thing” is an RV trip traveling across the United States, so let me use that as an example.
Your Dreams Made Possible
Once you have your bucket list focus, research everything about it.
- How much will it cost? For our trip, the campground fees, laundry, internet access, and gas add up to about the same amount as if we were renting a small apartment.
- What do you have to do to accomplish this task? We need to sell our house, put our belongings in storage, plot out our trip, etc.
- Are there any warning signs to be aware of? Internet is not always accessible or reliable at campsites, so we need a backup plan to keep KalynBrooke.com up and running.
3. Choose a date
Get your bucket list item on the calendar! If it's a trip, schedule a date. If you want to write a book, give yourself a deadline for completing your first draft. You need an end goal, otherwise, you might not see it through to completion.
Right now, our trip is planned for January 2019!
If your bucket list item requires money, create a new column in your budget spreadsheet, and set aside money every week or month toward it, based on when you want to accomplish it. Just $5 per week could buy you a night at a hotel you've dreamed of staying at—or pay for a couple tickets to a Broadway show.
Our trip won't necessarily require saving up for, as we'll be selling our house to buy an RV, and the monthly cost will be less than what we are paying for our current mortgage.
I created a Rize account for the Caribbean cruise we want to take, and the program shows me exactly when I'll be able to meet my goal, based on how much I save each month! Psst… you get $5 in your account, just for signing up through KalynBrooke.com.
5. Do it!
The last step is to actually go for that dream! Make memories. And enjoy that feeling of accomplishment. You did it!
A Peek at My Personal Bucket List
Curious to know what other dreams I have? Here's the running list of what I'd like to do in my lifetime. It grows every year!
- Take a trip to Europe – to experience everything I'd like to see, I'm estimating at least 2 or 3 trips.
See Phantom of the Opera on BroadwayDONE 6/2012
- Visit Australia and hold a Koala bear
- Take a Caribbean cruise
Own a house in FloridaDONE 5/2014
- Own a successful business I can do from home DONE 10/2015
- See the Grand Canyon
- Scuba dive – would love to combine this with the Australia trip and scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef.
- Swim with dolphins – not in an enclosed pen, but actually in the wild.
Visit the Florida KeysDONE 8/2009 Go on a whale watchDONE 9/2010 Visit the New England statesDONE 9/2010
- Hike the White Mountains of New Hampshire
- Go on an RV trip across the United States PROJECTED 1/2019
- Explore Prince Edward Island
Run a 5kDONE 7/2011
- Write a traditionally published book
- Travel to Hawaii
- Mush a sled dog team
Take surfing lessonsDONE 9/2016 Take tennis lessonsDONE 6/2017
Some of this list may seem silly to you, but that's the beauty of a bucket list. And as you can see, I've crossed a decent amount off already! That in itself should show you how doable a bucket list really is.
Remember, dreams start with a plan.
Make your list, and don't be afraid to be ambitious, but plan out the best and most cost-effective way to achieve each activity. Sometimes, you have to be patient, but when you actually get to cross an item off, it will be so worth the wait!
Let's chat about bucket lists:
What do you have on your bucket list? Share it with me in the comments!
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