Having a bucket list is like having a plan to integrate fun, adventure, and joy in your life – and it’s important for everyone to have one that is realistic.

Your bucket list revisited: Why it’s time for an update?

The best way to get to know a person is by asking them what’s on their bucket list. Since it’s a list of deeply personal dreams and goals – relating to travel, financial, health, spiritual development, and more – it gives a good insight into what they really want out of life. 

The next best way to get to know someone is to ask them how many things on that list they have managed to strike off. Chances are they would have made their bucket lists when very young; probably as kids or teens. So, the list may have wildly unrealistic goals that have no timestamp or action plan. 

For instance, travelling to every single country in the world is a very popular entry on bucket lists, but even the most widely travelled people don’t manage more than 10% in their lifetime. That is, they manage to visit only about 20 countries.

What about you? Take a minute to think about your bucket list. Can you even remember everything you put on it? Or perhaps you never really got down to making one. Either way, as a grown-up who would now have a better understanding of the world (and yourself), it’s time to revisit your bucket list! 

1. Consider where you stand

Before you dig out your old bucket list, think about where you are in life currently. Has your life followed your plans? Or has it taken a completely different direction from what you could have ever anticipated? What do you value most right now? What goals are you trying to meet right now? 

Most importantly, you must decide what you want your bucket list to be about – will it have life goals such as buying a home and starting a business, or fun things such as skydiving and collecting fine wine? Of course, you can have both, but if you pick one theme, it will be easier to navigate. 

It’s advisable to keep a bucket list for all the fun things your heart desires, since you may already be working towards your life milestones.

Related: A 9-Point Guide To Achieving Long-Term Financial Goals 

2. Decide on your idea of fun

It’s not uncommon to be inspired to create a bucket list by seeing your friend or someone on social media do it. Adventure sports and travel are the most common items on bucket lists, but you should think beyond the obvious. Forget about what fun means to other people or what their ideas of adventure and once-in-a-lifetime experience are. Since each person’s life is different, what’s important to them will also be different. 

Forget about having to share your bucket list with others. Think of it as something only you’ll ever see. That takes the pressure off from needing to be perceived as ‘cool’. Decide for yourself what fun means to you and be completely honest about it. 

3. List down your new dreams

Next, get to actually making a new bucket list and listing down your current dreams. You can rely on the old pen-and-paper way, or make a list on a mobile app, or send an email to yourself. Just ensure that wherever you save the list, it is easily accessible to you over the next few decades. 

Your updated bucket list should list only those things you absolutely want to do. So, if you want to travel, you don’t need to travel to all the countries in the world. You can list your top 5 to begin with. Once you’re done making your list, go through your old one to see if there’s anything on it that is still relevant. If there are, add them to your new list. 

Related: 5 Money lies that hold women back from achieving their dreams

4. Put a timestamp on each item

This is a crucial step. It’s easy to put lofty things on the list if you aren’t required to put a timestamp on them. For instance, climbing Mount Everest is something that will require intensive training, and being in good shape and health, so it should ideally be attempted when one is still young. 

When deciding on a timestamp, look at it from two aspects: when you want to do it and by when you’ll be able to do it. Desire and ability don’t always match; if that’s the case, you’ll have to approach it in a practical way. Some goals may take a year or less, while others may even take a decade or more. 

5. Evaluate the financial cost 

As per a survey, 57% of people said lack of money is what prevents them from doing things on their bucket list. That can be very frustrating, so it is important to consider the expenses involved in ticking off the things on your bucket list. Don’t do it when listing the items – since you don’t want a lack of finances to stop you from dreaming – but do so once you have finished making the list. 

First, evaluate the cost of doing something on the list, such as travelling to Japan for a month. This could, depending on the logistics, cost anywhere between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh. Once you have a figure, consider the timestamp you put on it. If it’s three years, you know exactly how much time you have to save up. You can then come up with a financial plan to fund this travel adventure. 

Related: Here's how you can create travel fund for your next trip

Once you’re done with these steps, you would have successfully created a new, updated, and actionable bucket list. It’s important to remember that you could face some roadblocks when trying to strike off all the items on your list; things may not always go as planned. But that’s okay; as long as your heart truly wants something, you’ll figure it out! Follow these 7 tips to ace money management in a year.