Tag Archives: bucket list ideas

2017 Bucket List Year in Review

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I’ve never really made New Year’s resolutions, but every year, I do make a list. It has the bucket list items I accomplished during the previous year (2017), and a subset of items to work on for the current year (2018), as a way of both reviewing and looking ahead.

In 2017, I went to Alaska on a cruise, completing two things on my bucket list (I’ll add links as I write the posts).

I also made a little progress on two long-term list items:

And… I did a few more things that were bucket-list worthy but not actually on my bucket list (added to the retrospective list), but for the first time since 2003 (when I started my list) I didn’t add any new items.

I’m kind of disappointed in myself, both in my progress and in how little I made new dreams. I feel like this has been a year where I didn’t really focus a lot on personal goals and I think I felt it. (It’s kind of like a closed-in, stuck feeling.)

Also, I didn’t really spend as much time on the blog as I wanted to, but I think these things were pretty cool (and after writing this list I now see why I didn’t have as much time to blog!):

Most popular post:
This year, the most popular post on the entire blog was “Writing letters to strangers” (in case you want to feel warm fuzzies: based on search terms, it seems a bunch of people suddenly wanted to know how to write encouraging letters to perfect strangers!)

Fewer, but higher quality posts:
Overall, I wanted to write fewer posts, but focus on making them more interesting and/or more useful. I’m particularly proud of the one about me facing my fear of spiders.

Couldn’t do it without help:
I’m so grateful for all the support! Some posts were possible with the help of groups like the Woodland Park Zoo (read: Tarantulas feel like puppies) and the Western Montana tourism board (read: I wrote off an entire area as “not for me” but I was wrong). Other posts, like the interviews and the 4 Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals series were made possible by people willing to share their stories with me (and you). And of course, a blog without readers is really just an online journal. So thank you for reading!

Writing in other places:
This year I had the opportunity to write or be featured in several blogs and online magazines, both for professional and bucket list/travel related writing. Here are some of my favorites:
Learning to Love the Lobster Roll in Boston – Lyf&Spice
What To Expect When Going To A Plant-Based Burger Joint – Seattle Greenlaker
7 Tips for the Best Stargazing – All Mom Does

Facebook group:
I enjoyed seeing the growth and camaraderie in The Goal List Community, a group of people who love travel and goal accomplishment. We had discussions, did the Intentional Life 5-Day Challenge, made a crazy round-the-world itinerary, and even had a virtual coffee date! I’m excited to see where we go in 2018 and beyond. Join us today!

The 2018 Bucket List Subset

In the past, I’ve chosen a subset list of 10 items for goals I want to give myself a little extra pressure to finish before the year’s over. But this year, I want to choose just two, not because those are the only two I’ll do this year, but because they seem doable given all the other (non-bucket list) things I’m planning on doing.

So, here’s the (very short!) subset bucket list for 2018:

  • Plan a plus one event
  • Complete a photo project

What’s on your bucket list this year? Let me know in the comments!


Join The Goal List Community, a free Facebook group for those who love bucket listing, travel, and goal achievement, and want to support and be supported in their goals and adventures. As mentioned, we do lots of cool things throughout the year!

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Tarantulas feel like puppies: I face my spider fear at the Woodland Park Zoo

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Puppies!! (cue the “awww….”) Aren’t you glad I chose these puppies instead of a picture of a tarantula?

We’re standing in the “Authorized Personnel Only” room in Bug World at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, surrounded by hundreds of bugs in containers big and small, waiting to see if I’ll freak out.

I’m a little afraid of spiders. Not to the point where I’m terrified to be in the same room as them (I used to be!), but I definitely get nervous when there’s one close by. I think about how creepy they feel, and how gross it is to walk into a web, and that escalates to being sure that I’ll get bitten.

It’s irrational. But that’s what fear does. It takes the smallest possibility of reality and turns it into a horrible scene from a bad sci-fi or fantasy monster movie, where the spiders are three times bigger than a car and attack people as food.

So, because of this media-induced fear, during the 31 Days of Everyday Adventure challenge, when it comes time to do the activity that says, “Make plans to do the thing you’re afraid of,” I think of spiders.

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Summer Bucket List 2017

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Every year, my summer bucket list gets shorter and shorter, but this year I’m finally facing the facts: it has to be super short or not done at all. It’s obvious that I don’t do too many things on a summer bucket list.

Although I’ve had my full list since 2003, I’ve only been making summer lists the last three years.

  • 2014: the first year, with a whopping 25 things (I did 7)
  • 2015: again, 25 things (but this time I only did 3)
  • 2016: last year, trying to be realistic with “only” 15 things (I did 4, and learned a 5th was illegal, so I didn’t do that one)

I’m all for ambitious goals, but I also like to balance it with some progress, which usually comes from a solid understanding of reality.

My reality is that I’m not willing to eliminate all other summer activities just to do the things on this list (this is in line with my overall goal of having non-obsessed bucket listing life balance and allowing space for spontaneous activity).

However, I still like the idea of having a smaller subset of my existing list (plus a few special things added just for summer), because it makes summer feel special in a way that’s somewhat challenging to do, now that I’m out of school and don’t have summer break anymore.

So… my much abbreviated (and way more realistic) 2017 Summer Bucket List has all of… 7 things on it!

(This list will be updated throughout the summer using the same key as the full list: bold = completed; linked = link to the post about it; * = in progress.)

Summer Bucket List 2017

  1. Ride a motorcycle
  2. Learn to make paper flowers
  3. Look out the window of a room in the top floor of a downtown skyscraper
  4. Have a picnic
  5. Eat rabbit
  6. Write 3 posts for this blog on previously accomplished bucket list items
  7. Organize my bedroom so it’s a restful space

What do you think of choosing fewer goals in order to get more accomplished? Do you have a summer bucket list? What are some of the things you have on yours?