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What’s on Your Bucket List?

What’s on Your Bucket List?

What is a bucket list and how do you make one for yourself? Explore these bucket list ideas to create your bucket list.

A bucket list is a list of experiences one wants to have before they die. Often, a bucket list includes big accomplishments, travel, and fun things we’d like to experience in our lives. Given that engaging in positive activities is good for our well-being (Catalino, Algoe, & Fredrickson, 2014), checking off things on our bucket list may also be good for our well-being. Simple pleasures may be especially beneficial to our well-being since contentment is thought to be central to what it means to live a fulfilling life (​​Cordaro, Brackett, Glass, & Anderson, 2016).

So, let’s get started exploring ideas so you can create your own bucket list.

Bucket List Ideas

Here are some common things that might go on a bucket list:

  1. Go to college

  2. Fall in love

  3. Get married

  4. Find a job you enjoy

  5. Have kids

  6. Buy a house

  7. Become a grandparent

  8. Retire

For many people, travel is a big part of their bucket list. So here are some ideas that might involve travel:

  1. Swim with jellyfish

  2. Go on a cruise

  3. Stay at a bed and breakfast

  4. Go on safari

  5. Hike in a rainforest

  6. See penguins in their natural habitat

  7. Go to an aquarium

  8. Attend a luau

  9. Stay in a resort hotel

  10. Stay in an underwater hotel

  11. Stay in an ice hotel

  12. Travel in a train

  13. See all 7 continents

  14. Go wine tasting at a vineyard

  15. Visit a butterfly sanctuary

  16. Take a hot air balloon ride

  17. Live in a foreign country

  18. Visit all 50 US states

  19. Walk on a glacier

  20. Sit in a hot spring

  21. See the northern lights

  22. See redwood trees

  23. Go snorkeling

  24. Swim with the dolphins

  25. Learn how to hula

Is travel not really your jam? Here are some more fun bucket list ideas:

  1. Run a marathon

  2. Finish reading a classic novel

  3. Set a Guinness world record

  4. Go sky diving

  5. Go bungee jumping

  6. Go parasailing

  7. Ride a motorcycle

  8. Learn how to skateboard​

  9. Learn a different language

  10. Be in a parade

  11. Ride a mechanical bull

  12. Go skinny dipping

  13. See your favorite band in concert

  14. Go kayaking

  15. Learn some magic tricks

In addition to doing fun things, we may also have some career-related things we want to put on our bucket list. Maybe we want to climb the ranks in our job or make a certain amount of money. Here are some more ideas:

  1. Become an expert in your field

  2. Mentor someone

  3. Master a new work-related skill

  4. Speak at a conference or event

  5. Start a business

  6. Lead a major project

  7. Write a book

  8. Teach a workshop

  9. Take a job in another country

  10. Become a philanthropist

  11. Go back to school for your Master’s or PhD

  12. Become a millionaire

  13. Achieve financial independence

  14. Retire early

Finally, here are a few more unique things you might want to add to your bucket list:

  1. Support a cause that’s important to you

  2. Paint a painting

  3. Go green

  4. Host a natural disaster refugee

  5. Ride in a limo

  6. Go vegan for one month

  7. Try acupuncture

  8. Conquer a lifelong fear

  9. Dye your hair a crazy color

  10. Get a tattoo

  11. Get a six-pack

  12. Become a black belt in karate

  13. Reach your goal weight

  14. Knit a sweater

  15. Learn how to snowboard

  16. Learn how to ski

  17. Learn how to surf

  18. Learn how to code

  19. Learn how to play an instrument

  20. Learn how to drive a stick shift

  21. Go on a blind date

  22. Be on TV

  23. Eat at a Michelin star restaurant

  24. Build your dream home

Final Thoughts on Bucket Lists

Making a bucket list is a fun way to clarify which activities and experiences you think will bring you joy and life satisfaction. As long as you don’t get too caught up in feeling like you have to do them all, this list can help serve as a road map for creating a life you love.


  • Catalino, L. I., Algoe, S. B., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2014). Prioritizing positivity: An effective approach to pursuing happiness?. Emotion, 14(6), 1155.

  • Cordaro, D. T., Brackett, M., Glass, L., & Anderson, C. L. (2016). Contentment: Perceived completeness across cultures and traditions. Review of General Psychology, 20(3), 221-235.

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