How to Write a Bucket List

By Lara Foster

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“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”  -Tony Robbins

A Bucket List is a list of things to do before you die, according to the most popular definition on UrbanDictionary.com.  It also states that the term comes from the phrase, “he kicked the bucket”, as in, he died.

Bucket Lists are AWESOME!  It was a bucket list that I wrote 10 years ago that helped me to lose 150lbs and Start LIVING Again.

Bucket Lists are all about Creating a Better Life.  When you create a bucket list, you also create intentions that you’ll move forward and complete the items on your list.  It gets the ball rolling with momentum.


Here’s what a Bucket List could look like.

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The 8 Main Points of Creating a Bucket List are:

  1. Allow yourself to Dream and Open to possibilities/wonderment
  2. Be INSPIRED by Getting in The ZONE/Flow
  3. Write it down
  4. Quiet the critic
  5. Create an Action List
  6. Do ONE thing that will get you ONE step closer
  7. Continue Momentum by Putting your Bucket List UP somewhere you can see it
  8. Start at Step 1 again for reviews

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Kauai, Hawaii

Some people are naturally inclined to live their lives in a bucket list sort of way.  Every adventure, every interaction is an acceptance of the impermanence of the moment.  It is surrender in motion.  It is Flow.  To read more about my article on Flow and Getting In The Zone click here.

A lot of people tend to shy away from the fact that death is right around the corner.  May it be today, tomorrow, next week, or 20 years from now…  Dying is a part of the human experience.

Photo Credit:  Emily Becker
Photo Credit: Emily Becker

The basic interaction with a bucket list is the acceptance that someday, you too, are going to die.  BUT, before that happens

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO?

I’ve brushed by death several times in my life.  I can remember each moment poignantly.  Something shifts within you and you commit to living better, to loving better, to doing better.

And you do, for a while, until you flat line again…

So the question then becomes, can we thrust ourselves INTO LIFE?  Into the vibrancy of living, into our dreams, and live without the constant tug, nag, pull of death right around the corner?

I believe we can, and I believe it starts with a Bucket List.


A Bucket List is an acknowledgment that how you’re living now needs and can be stepped up a level. 

What have you always wanted to do, but were too scared to try?

What have you always dreamed about?

What is the thing inside of you that constantly gets shut down by the voice in the back of your head (the critic)?

What ignites you?

What makes you feel ALIVE?

Where do you feel most vibrant?

What scares you?


Action Steps for the 8 main points:

  • Get in the space of feeling, ask yourself these questions
  • Write the first things that come to mind
  • Release any judgment
  • Write it -or- Type it up officially
  • Commit to doing ONE thing on that list
  • Leave the list open to add any other ideas
  • Put the list up where you can see it every day
  • Write the ONE commitment on a note card and put it in your wallet/pocket/purse to read at least 1-3 times every day

The Breakdown…

An exercise to release judgment and quiet the critic.

When creating something as courageous and vulnerable as a Bucket List you MUST leave your ideas of limitations at the door.  This is a new space of endless possibility.  Allow your thoughts to travel there.  Personally, It’s been one of my biggest challenges and truth be told this is something that I’ve just employed recently.

The trick is to leave your personal editor in the other room.  You know the critic inside that stops you from doing things.  If you can’t do this, then use two separate sheets of paper.  One side will be your Bucket List Ideas and the other side will be the editors (The Critic) list.

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As you write ‘I’d like to travel more…’ but then you feel, hear, see anything that limits it like, ‘You can’t afford that’ ‘That could be dangerous’ ‘You don’t have the time to travel’…  Write the editor/critic, limitation on the second piece of paper, just to get it out and acknowledge any fears you may have.  If nothing comes up, then leave it blank.

The next step after the acknowledgment is to then refocus your attention to your Bucket List Ideas, and you can do this by crossing out ALL of The Critic’s comments and write I CAN statements on top that instill confidence in your ability to complete the ideas you’ve written on your Bucket List.  This will bring the energy back towards your initial dream and help you focus on the positives of the situation, not the fear.

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For extra measure in quieting the judgments the critic contributes you can add the physical action of tearing up the paper which really SEALS THE DEAL!

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NOW IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE!

The Celebration for actually completing a bucket list (no matter what it says) will help to creatively fuel the happenings of  your dreams.

Once you’ve walked through the initial stages of creating your Bucket List, then write it all down on one official piece of paper and put it up where you can see it, so you can look at what your dreams in action look like on paper, and this will provide the space for your heart and mind to visualize what actually being in those moments will feel like, and that will continue to inspire you with momentum.

Visualizing How you want to be, and How you want to move while you create/enjoy/do the things on your bucket list will continue the momentum.  If you are not physically close to how you envision and you Can change it, then start there.  Commitment to Health and/or Fitness programs are a great way to start travelling on the path towards your Dreams.

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Ultimately when it comes down to it, all of these exercises and actions help you to ENVISION the person you want to BECOME who is capable of ALL of those feats.

It’s YOU living your TRUEST/HIGHEST POTENTIAL.

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Sources:

UrbanDictionary.com, Top Defitinition, ‘Bucket List’,http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bucket%20list , as of 11/11/2015.

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