Bucket List Creation for the New Year: Keeping the Goals Alive and Planning Time for Yourself

Once the new year comes and goes and the reality of January shows it’s bald head, we often resort back to our old ways, forget what we said we were gonna do and our good intentions become forgotten memories. Then later we are irritated with ourselves, feel like a failure. And then resolve never to have a resolution again because we don’t like the way it feels to not meet them.

That used to be me. But somewhere along the way, I thought it would be fun to do a quarterly bucket list to help keep our goals alive and also to put on there things that as a couple we said we want to do. The list keeps us focused. No I don’t have ALL my goals on here. I couldn’t fit all of them on here. Not ALL of my annual goals are totally buffed out yet. I still have three more quarters too. I need to set some subset goals so that they are specific, reachable, and measurable.

But I’m already nine days in to January so I had to act fast to get this quarter’s BUCKET LIST UP. It not only has goals on there (most of them are mine but George contributes some with places for us to go and so forth). Meeting the budget was his goal, lol! It’s not just goals but other things we want to do as well. Like we have some new restaurants in town we want to try.

I meant to put River’s birthday on here but we’d already celebrated by sending his gift early. He’s in Texas and we couldn’t go to his two year party since we’ve just got back from Texas in November. It’s a very long drive with bookend hotel stays overnight half way each way from Nashville to their ranch. My work in January is hard to get off for and I can’t get my work done on time if I’m gone for a whole week. And we are going in March so not too far away but it kills me not to be at his birthday party.

What all You Can Put on Your Bucket List?

  • Chores
  • Goals
  • Restaurants you want to visit
  • New coffee shops or restaurants in town to try out
  • Gift Cards you want to use
  • Recipes you want to fix
  • Places you want to visit – perhaps a nearby town?
  • Any retail stores you been wanting to go to?
  • Family birthdays
  • Vacations or overnight weekend trips
  • Personal goals
  • Hobby related goals
  • Career goals
  • Exercise goals – hiking or trail you want to take?
  • Cleaning projects
  • Craft projects
  • Anonymous gift
  • Shows you want to watch
  • Books to read
  • Saving for something special
  • Budget related items
  • Visiting with a friend
  • Anniversary celebrations
  • Fun outings
  • Simple things you like to do for fun at home

What things would you add?

Where to Post Your Bucket List?

I made a specific place for ours. It’s in the kitchen where we pass by it and see it every time we leave the house. It reinforces with us mentally on an ongoing basis so that it keeps us focused.

It also lets each person know what goals are important to the other so we can consider their ideas and cheer them on.

You don’t have to keep it posted for all to see, but I think it’s important to put it in a place that YOU will see it continually so you can remain focused.

I just happen to post mine on the internet also. There is an element to that, that helps keeps me motivated. But you could keep on your desk, on your phone, anywhere you might see it over and over.

What to do if You Don’t Meet all the Bucket List?

Well, for starters, these are just ideas, and life gets busy. If you didn’t meet a goal you can always throw it over into the next quarter. If the goal is no longer something you wish to accomplish – kick it to the curb.

George and I have rolled over the Watertown Excursion for a few quarters now! We were getting close to going last fall and had so much to explode on our schedule we finally had to give it up and try again this quarter. We had a winery one time in Southern TN we wanted to visit and I had it on the list for over a year and finally just left it off b/c we never seemed to get it done. It wasn’t that impressive of a trip I guess, lol. So off it went into the blue yonder!

Some are just plain hard but you can keep trying. My weight loss goals are hard for me. My body mass is changing but the weight and size remains. I keep trying. I will be trying some different things this year in my challenges and those things will show up on a Bucket List this year.

So keep rolling them forward if you miss them. Keep at it. Keep trying.

We also couldn’t do some birthday celebrations with family that is out of town, so we will roll that forward with our Knoxville crew. We will have to get that plan on the books.

What did we accomplish on our LAST Bucket List? It was Fall thru the End of the Year.

Well I think we did pretty darn good considering how busy the quarter was. This way, doing the bucket list, even if there are things you’d be doing anyway, it makes you feel SO ACCOMPLISHED. So go ahead and plug in those goals and things you want to do and WATCH them HAPPEN.

  • We celebrated a pretty cool 31 years of marriage
  • We took a Texas trip at Thanksgiving to visit family
  • We had two thanksgivings so we could visit family away but still have one here for family as well.
  • I finished a book when I’d been having trouble finding time. Having it on the list made me count the pages and figure out how many pages per day til end of the year. Ok I finished on January 1 but it was close enough. lol
  • I really wanted to shop the LOCAL shops this year first for Christmas to support them. That was fun and I’m glad we did that.
  • We were going to do a family Christmas anyway, but how fun to put it on the list and make a bigger event out of it. It took so much time to prepare and plan for the big day, why not get joy of checking it off the list. It made us plan a bit sooner too.
  • We made soups, chilis, ate hot dogs and did all the favorite fall foods.
  • We celebrated family birthdays.
  • I met some blog goals and video goals.
  • I worked a puzzle and play a computer game to relax during the holidays. Because it was on my list it gave me “permission” to stop and rest. That was important for me.
  • We used our gift cards up.
  • I did my jewelry project which was kinda boring and one I’d put off until it was on my bucket list and I wanted to be able to check it off and I’m so glad I did it. My jewelry armoire is more efficient.

What’s Next? What’s Coming Soon to the Blog?

So that completes much of my “NEW YEAR” posts. However, I do plan on making a subset list of goals underneath some of my more broad goals. So you’ll be seeing those things coming next. For example here are some of my broader goals I’ll be breaking down into smaller subsets of goals.

  • Ways I plan to be More Frugal and I will be soliciting your ideas too.
  • Ways to bless (clean/improve/update/reorganize/give love to) my house
  • Periodic Challenges I plan to do this year
  • Smoothie Bar and Recipes
  • Ways I intend to make myself laugh more this year
  • Caregiving projects and How I am coping with more responsibility
  • How I plan to clean the basement (biting the elephant one bite at a time)
  • Cooking More and How I plan to be more involved in routine cooking of meals, planning, and more in touch with my kitchen.

I spent a lot of last year talking about blog goals and YouTube goals. I still have them but may not totally share everything until after it’s done. I spend a lot of time trying to get things done and found my self discouraged when I didn’t have time to work on my goals and felt like a hamster on a wheel. There’s no room for discouragement this year. I’m protecting myself from that scenario. I will simply have fun, have goals of course, but I want to enjoy what I do or it’s not worth doing.

Last year was a “shock” to say the least on my schedule and my time with the additional responsibility of having a parent so dependent on me. I struggled, mourned, faced depression, and even sought therapy in order to deal with the pressure that I was being placed under while trying to work FT out of town, the pressure I was putting on myself, and the anger that came my way when it didn’t meet with expectations, and the anger I had within myself at the whole thing.

I want this year to be better. Our schedule has some rhythm to it now and it’s a bit more reasonable. And I’ve adjusted some. We’ve all had to adjust. But I’m responsible for only my decisions and how I act and react. I’m not responsible for how others act or react or their own decisions. But I have learned to draw boundaries where needed to protect myself from toxic behavior and keeping it from having a toll on me, which in turn takes a toll on my spouse. So that is why “laughter” is going to be a big part of my 2023! Maybe I can think up some things to make me laugh and put those on my Bucket List.

The Bucket List is breathable and it’ll grow and change and inhale and exhale as we go through the pulses of life.

I hope you consider doing a BUCKET LIST as it’s really effective and fun.


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