Why Creating a Bucket List is Actually Worth It

Lifestyle

More and more people are finding bucket lists meaningless because they find it “impossible to complete.” Yet this is often because people do not care enough for their list and forget to use it as a guide––not another set of eyes gazing over their shoulders to see whether they are staying on task or not, but for themselves. Now that it’s 2021, should you still create a bucket list?

For me, bucket lists are much easier to accomplish than new year resolutions. For New Year's Resolutions, the annual deadline and the goals I repeatedly write every year seem to be constantly reminding me of how unaccomplished I am. Often times, it’s not that I am lazy. Rather, it is because I don’t have enough time to meet my goals. Why? Here are 3 reasons to tell you why I believe creating a bucket list is actually worth it and why YOU should make one too.

#1: Achievement

What is a bucket list? The definition is simple: According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, it is a list of things a person would like to do or achieve in their lifetime. While to-do lists are typically daily goals and new year resolutions annual goals, bucket lists are for a lifetime. The almost timeless sense of a bucket list relieves the stress and pressure people may feel when they try to accomplish their goals in limited time. Having enough time to plan and then accomplish your aims can also greatly increase your sense of achievement and satisfaction, so you don’t need to worry so much about the list being unachievable. Over decades of time, a High Wheeler Bike can transform into a Toyota SUV, so why can’t your childhood dreams become reality?

#2: Experience

Too many people nowadays are becoming more and more materialistic and competitive. As teens, we are taught to work hard and aim high, to be a good student and become a proactive leader, and to fulfill ourselves before others under certain circumstances. Yet often times these paths that our parents, school, and society have paved for us confine our imagination, curiosity, and expression. Creating a bucket list can come in handy when you need a place to release your hidden aspirations.

“Design a life that you are inspired to live.” —Annette White

The list can serve both as a secret deposit of your desires and a motivator for you to experience the unplanned pages of your life. Don’t let the aggregation of societal norms conform you forever. In the end, satisfaction or regret, you draw the curtains.

#3: Timeline

Have you ever dug through piles of your childhood memories and laughed when reading your old diaries, homework, and Christmas wish lists? These items are renewed every year––if not every day––as we grow and mature. But can you say they are junk? They hold great value in preserving our memories and recording our growth. The same applies to a bucket list: You can revise, add, or cross out anything on it anytime. Perhaps one day you will come across old bucket lists you wrote as a teenager and see how your aspirations have changed over the years. It works like a timeline, reminding you what has motivated you to become who you are and scripting out your change over the years.

Now that you have the reasons behind why creating a bucket list is actually worth it and possibly a pen in hand to write one of your own, here are some ideas to guide you through the brainstorming process.

1. Travel. When situations allow, consider going to a country you’ve never been to or understand little about, and envelope yourself in the different culture. Such trips can leave a positive impact on your whole life, so check out this website for inspiration to discover your dream destination! Currently, the museums in Italy and cherry blossoms in Japan are on my list.

2. Hobbies. Are there certain hobbies you used to have or want to develop? Add them to your bucket list to see if that can save you from procrastinating. I have always wanted to develop a daily exercising routine and go through the list of movies I want to watch. Click into this link to get an insight of 13 interesting hobbies to explore––some of which you may not even know exist.

3. Relationship. Whether it be designating an hour every weekend to spend time with family, keeping track of every friend’s birthday, or going on a blind date, human interactions are an essential for us! Amidst your currently busy life and maybe even busier life in the future, make sure you are still taking time to acknowledge people around you. Scroll through this article for tips on how to bring up and enter conversations if you're looking for new friends or find it difficult to build strong connections with other people.

4. Unknown. As Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” so be ambitious and imagine the future. It’s always fun to add a few “impossible” items onto the list to challenge yourself and see what you can achieve.

As teens, we often procrastinate and become overly consumed in societal pressures and pleasures that we forget to satisfy ourselves. Bucket lists are doable, revisable, and valuable. A list of lifelong goals can motivate you to achieve your aims, experience the life you aspire to live, and store the memories of your growth. And the best part about them? You only need a pen and paper to create one.

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Katherine Wang

Katherine is a current junior in high school. A storyteller at heart, she loves to write short stories and narratives. Outside of writing, Katherine also enjoys drawing, cooking, and swimming.