Creating a Bucket List (5 Examples for Making the PERFECT List)

In 2007 a movie called “The Bucket List” hit the theaters.

As a fan of both Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, I really enjoyed this movie—especially its primary message.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, the movie is about two men with terminal cancer that escape from the hospital to get out there and accomplish all the things that they’ve ever wanted to do before they inevitably die.

They actively work to cross off their lists of things to do before they “kick the bucket,” hence the name “bucket list.”

This led them to make the decision to start a new life

The two men were total strangers with absolutely nothing in common, but the fact that they were both nearing the end of their lives drew them into an unusual friendship.

Now, the fact that Jack Nicholson’s character was filthy rich definitely helped them out with this little journey around the world, but the idea of having a bucket list got me thinking: what would I place on my bucket list?

Well in this post, I’m going to go over the five different sections of what I consider to be the perfect bucket list.Obviously the list you make will be a lot different from mine.The important thing is to take a few hours one day and actually write down the things you wish to accomplish in your life.

To help you out, I’ve included a description of each section, plus a few examples that I have on my own buck list:

Step #1- What do I want to be?

Before anything else, I think it’s important to imagine the different things you would like to be.This can include skills you want to develop or roles you’d like to someday have.This is about imagining the perfect version of yourself and what type of man or woman you’d aspire to one day become.

Here are some of mine:

  • Become the best boyfriend (then fiancé, then husband, then father) in the world
  • Be someone my friends and family can always count on
  • Be an Ironman Triathlon finisher
  • Become a successful six-figure blogger
  • Be a New York Times Bestselling author

Step #2- What do I want to have?

For some, material possessions are an important factor in life.For others, it doesn’t matter.This section is hard for me because I don’t really desire too many physical things.You might be different.In this section, you want to jot down the things that you want to possess before you die.

Here are some of mine:

  • Have a nice home on the ocean in the Jersey Shore.
  • Have a vintage sports car like a 1960’s Mustang
  • Have a dedicated office with a wall covered in whiteboards where I can write every idea that pops in my head
  • Earn over $1 million each year of passive income where I can choose to spend my time doing whatever I feel like
  • Have a loving, supporting family

Step #3- What do I want to do?

This step is about figuring out what you want to accomplish in life.These can be a small accomplishment or major life-defining moment.Again, this is something that depends on your unique situation…so really explore your thoughts and find out what’s your purpose in life.

Here are some of mine:

  • Get married to a woman who continues to amaze me each and every day
  • Have my parents see their first grandchild
  • Visit at least 50 different countries
  • Hike the entire Appalachian Trail
  • Complete 50 marathons in 50 different states

Step #4- Where do I want to go?

It’s important to visit places you’ve never been to before.You can learn a lot about yourself by traveling to a new location and doing stuff outside your comfort zone.On this section, you’ll jot down a list of the places that you would like to visit.

Here are some of mine (To be honest, this list is pretty long so I’ve compiled it into geographic locations):

  • Visit every country in Europe
  • Travel through all of Australia and New Zealand
  • Go to parts of Asia, including Japan, China, The Philippines, Hong Kong, and Thailand
  • Visit all of North America including every state and most of Canada
  • Travel to selected spots in Africa and South America including, but not limited to: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, and Kenya.

Step #5- What do I want to see?

This is a kind of “catch all” for the previous four sections of your bucket list.Here you’ll want to create memories that’ll last a lifetime.This could places you’ve visited or simple things that add a real significance to your existence.

Here are some of mine:

  • See the Northern Lights in Norway (Widely considered to be the best country to see them.)
  • Watch the Running of the Bulls in Spain
  • Check out the inside of the Playboy Mansion (Hey, this is every straight guy’s dream)
  • Watch the sunset in the Australian Outback
  • See loving friends and family around my deathbed at the end of a long, fulfilling life


When I go back and re-read the lists in the various categories, at first I sound a little bit selfish and superficial, then I remember that these lists are supposed to be about my own wants.

In addition to wanting money and items and experiences for myself, I also wish for health, happiness, and success for those around me.

When you go to create your own bucket list it’s okay to be a little selfish.The goals you set for your life are the things that push you towards success.By creating a bucket list you allow your imagination to run wild and give yourself to seek the things you really want out of life.

Finally, part of having a bucket list is being able to start a new life.  You need to find a way to fund your dreams and take action on them.  That’s why I recommend reading this post which shows how you can start a new life.

Take Action. Get Results.

15 thoughts on “Creating a Bucket List (5 Examples for Making the PERFECT List)”

  1. I made a bucket list once, got posted too, I believe this a good thing because it makes you think of what you need to accomplish or perhaps gives you a little direction to lead a fulfilling life. Good Work

  2. I just came across a blog asking for guest post today and the first thing I thought about was a bucket list type post. I’m really glad I came across this Steve. James said it with ‘very good post’. I am going to include your blog in my ‘Friday Frolicking’ post tomorrow. Drop by…to check out the others. Some I’m sure your familiar with already though. Looking for a pic to use for it now.

  3. @James- Thanks. I never really did this until recently. Before I never really had the opportunity to go out and “do” the stuff I wanted. Now it’s starting to look like more of a reality. My question… Have you marked off things from this list you made in the desert?

    @Winnie- It definitely gives you perspective on what you want to do. I guess the trick is to separate genuine desires from what you feel like what you “have to do”. Like I’ve heard that everyone says you HAVE to see the Louvre once in your life. Me? I could care less…

    @Lees- Thanks for the include. Heading over there right now…

  4. This is a good list. You have a good variety of things that you want to accomplish. I think that it would be good to point out that it is a good idea to continually revise your list since priorities in life constantly change. Although, if you’re persistent enough about this than you should be marking off quicker than you lose interest in them.

    Now I am off to work on my own list.
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..Six Ways to Travel Endlessly =-.

    • Absolutely…even looking at this from a few months back, I’ve already changed a number of things. Like you said, priorities in life are constantly changing and your plans should coincide with these changes.

  5. Hi Steve

    What a great idea. I had not heard of it before. Somehow it seems more attractive than sitting working out your vision, mission and purpose. In fact I think it might be away of letting you discover a great deal about yourself in a fun way.

    Thank you for this – I think it could be a new resource for me to use with clients

  6. Hey Steve,

    I read this post a while back and I just got round to publishing my first bucket list! It was also my first blog post, a good place to start I feel, also with it being the start of a new year soon!

    You can have a little look at

    Thanks for all your interesting tweets and blogs!

    Chris Marr

  7. I like your list, Steve! Its perfect. 🙂
    Especially point about woman in third step)
    I wish your wish list come true.

    Best regards.


  8. I didn’t know this movie, but I will definitely watch it. A great tip again.
    In the first point, about “Being”, it helps to do what Tim Ferriss proposes on The 4 Hour Workweek, change the being for doing, although some of your examples are already perfectly defined.

    Be the best boyfriend -> Have dinner with girlfriend 4 evenings of the week.
    Be rich -> Earn 6 figures from my blog
    Be in shape -> finish an Ironman

    • Thanks Julio,
      I agree. Just changing the phrases to “action” phrases helps trun things from a dream to a reality. Sometimes it really is all about the way you look at things

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