At the age of 18, a piece of paper & a pen completely changed my world, when I unexpectedly started creating my own bucket list at a very low point in my life. Every day since then - I won't even say how many years later - I've found myself referencing my list during the lowest points of my life, & adding new things during each moment of triumph.
So many people underestimate the bucket list, or see it as morbid, & I've always wondered why. A breakup, a friendship in turmoil, the loss of a loved one, a scary diagnosis - whatever difficulty I faced, there it was, & thus there I was. With this list, I was always able to find my way back to me when it felt like I'd lost myself in someone else or when it felt like a part of me had died due to some unforeseen circumstance. You see, the beauty in the bucket list is that it's everything YOU've ever wanted to do during YOUR lifetime; it's the roadmap to the life you've always wanted, you in a nutshell, your own personal recipe for the person you've always wanted to be, etc. It's truly, truly priceless.
I know many of you will read this & not budge, but for those of you that are sitting there with a pen & paper already, I thought I'd give you a little reminder as to why a bucket list is pure gold for you & your business. Here's to you & all that you accomplish in the near future!!
It's Yours & Yours Alone
You make the rules. Your bucket list can be anything & everything you want it to be. Set goals that sound "too lofty" or seem "miniscule" to others. Add items you've already accomplished to remind yourself of your accomplishments, remove items that no longer speak to you & set specific parameters that no one else might understand (I don't count myself as having "visited" a state unless I've driven through it or stayed the night there). You don't have to share your list with anyone else, to add items for other people or remove items that your family might disagree with.
It's A Reminder As To Why You Started...
Keeping track of what you've already accomplished shows you where you've been & how you've grown. Down the road, many of those accomplished items might sound silly, but I recommend you keep them on the list because they show you growth & might just give you ideas for other goals.
& A Clear Vision Of What's To Come
The goals you have yet to accomplish are sending you on the path to the person you've always wanted to be, & these items can be divided up into smaller steps to make them less daunting & more specific.
It Allows You To Focus When Opportunity Strikes
Many believe that what you focus on expands; that you can bring opportunities to you if you think about it enough. I'm not sure how much I believe in this, but what I do know is that when you're thinking about things - when you're referencing your list on a monthly basis - you're more likely to see the opportunity when it comes, & also very easily know what your priorities are.
It's A Pedestal When It Feels Like You've Hit Rock Bottom
Failure is inevitable; your bucket list can not only show you additional routes when you want to continue pushing forward in a certain direction, but it's a constant reminder of everything that you're passionate about.
& A Support System When You Are Certain You're At It Alone
In the moments when you feel completely & utterly alone, your bucket list is a map not only to your own passions (which will uplift you when you're feeling down), but also a window into a world where you can find others who are passionate about the same things that you are!
*BONUS* It's A Reminder To Be True To Yourself
Lastly, when you find a goal on your list that you suddenly realize was created to impress or allow yourself to feel equal to someone else, take a moment to question how it got there, have serious pride for finding the bug, erase it & move on.
Now that you know why a bucket list is pure gold, I challenge you to create one for you & your business. Whether you create them separately or together, give yourself a few months to reference the list(s) & make note of just how much it's changed your life. As long as you're jumping at those opportunities, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Amy Riordan is a Coeur d'Alene Commercial Photographer & FAA Certified Drone Pilot specializing in helping small businesses succeed in online media. She is also a proud wife, boy mom, dog mom, writer & runner.