Have you ever wondered where the term ‘bucket list’ comes from? This was a thought I had late at night, the sort of one that keeps you up due to all of its possibilities. Why would you need a bucket for a list? Did the term relate back to some old tradition that is no longer heard of? Were lists kept in buckets a century ago? This may all seem a bit dramatic (questioning the etymology of a phrase at 1am isn’t really the equivalent to wondering life’s meaning), but as a slight language nerd, it got me wondering.
It turns out, the term ‘bucket list’ comes from the phrase ‘to kick the bucket’, something commonly created by those who knew they were about to die in the near future. The checklist tends to feature a long column of things to do, usually dangerous or expensive once-in-a-lifetime-opportunities, and with the release of the film ‘Bucket List’ (including Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) in 2007, the term became a well-known trend. Nowadays, no one needs to be near death to have a bucket list, with the majority of people using the format as a wish list of things they want to do- some, maybe knowing they will never do them. However, a bucket list doesn’t need to be as extravagant and exhilarating as they portray in the movies, and sometimes it can be hard to form and maintain them… so what’s the best way to start one?
To begin with, sit down and make the list. Set aside some time to sit down and think about what you want to do by a specific date. Think of it within temporal milestones: what do you want to do by next month? By the end of this year? Halfway through next year? Start by taking small steps and gradually think about things in bigger strides.
As well as temporal organisation, it’s also useful to categorise the list. For example, split your goals into travel, relationships, or even career. Categorising your list will help you plan and organise your future, and if you’re like me with a stupidly long to-do list, it definitely helps to have several smaller ones than one long scroll of scribbles. Try and make the category headings more personal too: this will help motivate you once you start listing.
It’s important that your goals include a balance. Making a bucket list with a pinch of conventionalism and a healthy sprinkle of adventure will make it a lot easier to start both creating and completing your goals. For the sake of keeping things relevant to the blog, let’s say you’re making a Travel Bucket List. So far you have a list of countries and specific attractions you want to visit- but how are you getting there? Include some easier, more reachable goals to get to those daydream-worthy places. Are you travelling by plane? Then add a checkbox for you buying plane tickets for a specific date. Need a better suitcase? Then make cashing out on a new one a goal!
Now that you have the ball rolling, make sure you don’t set a cutoff point for the list. There is no limit to what you can include on them- it’s your list after all! It’s very likely that you will keep adding to it as time goes on, and by setting a limit, you’re limiting your own possibilities. And once you complete one… what’s stopping you from doing it twice? If you enjoyed doing something so much, there’s no reason for you to not do it again!
So now you have at least one bucket list! Congrats! But now you need to start completing the list. You may feel some accomplishment from merely starting and filling in a list, but imagine the amount of accomplishment and happiness you’ll feel once you’ve ticked off a goal. My final piece of advice is to stick this list somewhere visible so it can stand as a reminder as well as a source of motivation.
And there you have it! I hope this little advice piece helps you start living out your daydreams, and helped you figure out where to start. If you’ve read through this far, why not check out my last Tea-Stained Photo Journal or follow me on Instagram? Both links are at the bottom of the page- hope to see you again soon! 😀
Disclaimer: I’m not the best photographer (yet!), but I’m hoping that with the following Tea-Stained Photo Journals (TSPJ) I can practice my skills in both photography and editing so that I can eventually look back on such blog posts to see my improvements over time. For now, I hope you enjoy spontaneous pictures!
(All pictures are taken with Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and edited with Adobe Photoshop Express.)
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