Do you know how versatile a bullet journal can be?
One of the things that I most enjoy about bullet journals is that they’re so easily customized to your needs. Need a habit tracker to track how many days in a row you’ve kept up your meditation habit? Want to make sure you’re drinking your 8+ glasses of water each day? Or do you want to write about how your morning or evening routine is coming along? You can use your bullet journal for all of that.
You can also use your bullet journal to create a bucket list. I know that you have hopes and dreams not only for your short-term and long-term goals, but also regarding the things you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime.
When it comes to creating your bucket list, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Include things that might seem almost impossible, but still within reach. It gives you something to strive for.
You can also think about things that wouldn’t go in ordinary to-do lists, such as someday moving to a downtown city loft or living in a country in Europe for a year. Think of your bullet journal bucket list as life goals as opposed to something that has to be done right now.
Dedicate a Large Section to the List
Bucket lists can be quite long and if you’re doing it right (because you believe in always growing and learning) you’ll likely be adding to your bucket list for a while. So, make sure that when you’re planning out your bucket list, you don’t just have it on a single page. You should dedicate several pages of your bullet journal to the bucket list, including front and back pages.
When you’re planning, try to think about how much you might want to do in the future, and that will help you figure out how much room you’ll need. You can always add in more pages later but saving them now helps to keep it better organized.
Take Your Time
Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t feel like you need to create and finish the entire list in one shot. It is not like a to-do list where you need to know and write down all the important tasks at one time. Your bullet journal’s bucket list should emerge slowly and gradual, taking shape over time as you constantly add new things to as you think of them.
For now, just start the list and give it a few things you would like to accomplish in your lifetime. It can be anything, big or small, that you feel would be an ultimate life goal.
Categorize, Categorize, Categorize
You should also consider splitting up your bucket list into different categories, especially if you’re like me and have many varied interests and therefor have a wide variety of goals. You can even have subcategories if needed.
For example, you can have a travel section with the different places you would like to see and visit and personal goals section with a specific fitness goal.
For a subcategory, under the travel section besides listing out different continents, countries or cities you’d like to visit, you could also list the historically significant buildings in each locale or all of the Enesco World Heritage sites. For your fitness goals, you could subdivide the category by listing various exercise programs that you’d like to try.
Maybe you have bucket list goals related to work or finances – starting a business or earning a certain amount of money by the time you’re ready to retire. The sky is the limit!
Inspiration Is Everywhere
If you have difficulty figuring out what to put on your list, there’s nothing wrong with peeking at the lists of others for inspiration. Many others may have goals similar to yours and that could be all you need to get your wheels churning. For example, maybe you’re looking at a friend’s bucket list and while they want to go to the Grand Canyon one day, you’ve already been there, but it sparks a new idea such as going to Yellowstone.
As I stated earlier in this article, it’s important to have stretch goals on your bullet journal bucket list, it’s also a good idea to have some simple goals to start with for motivation. There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment when you see something checked off on your bucket list because it represents a dream that you’ve achieved.
Now that we’ve talked about how you might create your bullet list bucket journal, lets look a bit closer at the types of goals that your journal might include.
Daily and Weekly Lists
To start with your bucket list goals, start with breaking down your short-term SMART goals. Is there a portion of your goal that can be sectioned into daily or weekly tasks? This is the place where they should go.
You should have enough space for your daily notes and symbols, including any to-do or step by step lists. Also have some weekly goals, including anything to be done during the weekend or by a certain time on Sunday evening. Depending on the particular bucket list goal, multiple steps may be needed.
If you don’t have a 5-year plan, a bucket list is a great way to start one and as always, now if the perfect time. Having an idea of the things you wish to accomplish in the next five years helps give your bullet journal bucket list some structure. And it helps you figure out the actions you need to take to get there. Think about all of the different parts of your life where you have dreams or goals - your home, lifestyle, health, family, work, and finances and where you think you want to be in five years.
You might want to be finished with college, change careers, have a baby, or have a certain amount of money in the bank. This is where you will add these types of goals to create your plan, then come up with a way to achieve the goals and one by one check them off of your bullet journal bucket list.
So there you have it, different ways to think about how to create your bucket list within your bullet journal. It's all about making time.
Let’s talk, how have your arranged your bucket list journal? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In