Lees' Life List

Why write a bucket list?

“A bucket list? Really? What are you dying?”

This is usually the first response I hear. Which I think is crazy. Do you need to be dying to write a list?

I wrote a post on How to write a bucket list, which is essentially the nuts and bolts of the process. Whilst working on that post it occurred to me, we should discuss why you should write a bucket list.

The definition of a bucket list is a list of things that one wants to do before dying.

Often written by people who are terminally ill. They decide to write their bucket list as a last resort, with the belief that completing the list will result in a successful life.  I cannot understand why we wait until we are dying to make an action plan? To me an action plan is essentially the premise of a Bucket List.

It has happened to me

A good friend of mine Dave was on LinkedIn and noticed I had started to follow a few bucket list groups and companies. Dave rang me asking if everything was OK. I wasn’t sure what he was getting at. He explained the bucket list links and wanted to know if I was unwell. After explaining my emotional breakdown which you can read about in The Story. I told Dave I was fine and just looking for inspiration.

This got me thinking, so often there is an association between wanting to write a bucket list and being ill.

Why do we wait until we are told we only have a finite amount of time before we make an action plan? This makes no sense!

Too many people drift through life wishing they could do more interesting things. Without applying an action plan they will continue to drift and wish.

Too often in our lives we leave things status quo and complain. It is much easier to bitch about your woes than working on a solution. That’s why if you want to make a change you need to take ownership of your life. You need to analyze what it is you want achieve and then create an action plan. As explained in How to write a bucket list.

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. -Gail Sheehy

Why write a bucket list?

I can give you a litany of reasons; to have great experiences, meet interesting people, push your comfort zone or try something new. Maybe even achieve a sense of accomplishment by checking off goals/experiences. I could go on but to put it simply, if you want to change and achieve more in your life, a bucket list is a key component to success.


Why does writing your bucketing list help you?

It provides

  • A plan
  • A clear path to success
  • Action steps to help you complete the plan
  • Motivation and Inspiration


I am not OCD but I do like structure and order. I excel in this sort of environment. Writing a list was easy for me as it gives me a sense of direction.

I am definitely a road map guy. To successfully accomplish anything of worth I MUST have a road map/list/guide/plan, call it what you like, I need one.


What type of personality do you have?


I once went for a job and was one of the last two candidates, when we were given the Myers & Briggs Personality Test. Through the answers I gave (there are no wrong answers) I unfortunately did not get the job. It was explained to me that I was too reliant on structure and the company felt I may not be suitable for the role as it was often organised chaos. My personality was measured as  requiring structure. Which I can fully understand.

We are all different but writing your list as opposed to having one in your head will give you a form of commitment.


A final thought….


Here is an example of why writing my Life List has been beneficial for me.

The first day I wrote my list I challenged myself to complete one goal. That one goal was to complete a single goal each week for a year.

There are 52 weeks in a year. I have to complete 52 goals from my list.

The key to this is making sure your list contains achievable goals as well as what I like to call “blue chip” goals. Achievable goals are the non-expensive goals that you probably should have done but never got around to. I had some like jumping in a pool fully clothed, Indoor rock climbing and learning Archery. As the year has passed I have been able to check off these experiences and feel a sense of achievement. By checking off these experiences and others like them, I have also been inspired to check off some “blue chippers” along the way like Paragliding, Riding an Elephant and Skydiving.