Ask LH: What Should Be On The Perfect Bucket List?

Dear Lifehacker, How might I go about making the perfect bucket list? I know it should have all the things I want to do/see/experience. But what about all the amazing things I'm not even aware of? Also, should it be 50 things? 100? 1000? Should it be a dynamic list or something I set in stone until it's finished? I want to make a well-rounded list so I feel like I've really lived, before I kick the bucket (hopefully in many years' time!) Thanks, Bucket Head

Skydiving picture from Shutterstock

Dear BH,

What an endearingly odd question! It largely depends on how adventurous you are, whether you're naturally generous and — crucially — the amount of free time you have at your disposal.

Apparently, it has become increasingly common for affluent white collar workers to quit their jobs for a year or two for the sole purpose of pursuing their bucket lists. (Usually these lists involve lots of travel which necessitates taking time off.) If this doesn't sound feasible, you might want to scale things back to around 50 must-do items that aren't too costly or time consuming.

Naturally, you should stick to bucket list items that are actually plausible. For example, I often dream about scaling Mount Everest, but as a portly 30-something with a gammy knee, it's simply never going to happen (ditto sleeping with 1990s-era Salma Hayek). I'm not saying you need to make your list boring and vanilla, but by the same token you need to stay within the bounds of reality — otherwise you'd just die disappointed.

It's also a good idea to throw in some charitable endeavours; even if it's just helping out at a homeless shelter or nursing home. When you're lying on your death bed, it will feel nice knowing you gave something back.

Otherwise, it all comes down to personal preference. A lot of people put sky diving on their bucket list, but what if you're afraid of heights? The only person who can craft your perfect bucket list is you.

If you're stumped for ideas, a good place to start is the self-explanatory Bucketlist website and the similar 100 Things — both websites let you jot down your own personal bucket list and check out the life ambitions of others. There are some great left-of-field ideas on these sites, such as randomly paying for someone else's groceries. I'm totally adding that to my own bucket list.

Do any readers have some bucket list creation tips of their own? Let BH know in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    I started my own list a few years ago, and last year decided to find a image of each goal, print it Polaroid style with some text, and stick them on a board, crossing them off as I went. This way it stands as a huge reminder everyday to what I want to achieve, so I never forget them.
    Do things outside your comfort zone, things you are interested in, and things that without pushing, you wouldn't normally do. Don't ever let money be a factor, because this list is for the long term, and if you truly want to achieve it, you will find a way.
    I had the opportunity to meet Sebastian Terry, who started the website, and hear him speak earlier this year. A truly humble and honest man, who after a single life changing moment, decided to make the most of life.
    Happy to post a photo of the corkboard if Lifehacker will let me

    I asked a similar question to a friend of ours with terminal cancer.

    His response was that it was more important not to look back on your life with regret over missed/declined opportunities, than feel failure for not having ticked boxes on an idealistic list.

      That's more mindset than an action plan.

    I think the most important thing about humans are their thoughts.

    Nobody remembers that Newton was a depressed virgin his entire life, because his thoughts were amazing.

    A really good thought can improve the lot of our entire species.

    I think a priority on your bucket list should be clearly documenting your very best thoughts.

    If you don't think you have any great thoughts, a close second is working to share other people's great thoughts.

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