Senior Lifestyles

How to create a 2018 bucket list

The new year is here, and by now you may have written down some resolutions. Maybe you’ve added 10 or 15 minutes to your walking or jogging regimen, decided to hit the gym several times a week or learn a new skill or language in 2018.

Whatever you hope to accomplish, the best kind of bucket lists are those that better educate you, make you healthier or improve a skill or talent. Bucket lists, like goals, challenge us to reach new limits and push us beyond our comfort zone.

But aspirations and targets don’t have to be scary, like skydiving and bungee-jumping. Everybody’s different, and we each have a unique set of goals to strive for in the new year.

If you don’t know where to start and how to create one, I offer the following tips to help kick-start your plan.

• Brainstorm. Write down every idea that pops into your head. Don’t judge it by thinking, “That’s impossible or crazy.” Just write it down.

• Segment the list by time. Break it up by seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter. This step helps you determine when you want to accomplish the goal – short term, long term or special term. Another way to organize your list is by geography – local, state, U.S. or international.

• Find a bucket-list buddy and share lists. You don’t have to do this, but sharing and comparing will keep you accountable. It’s a way to share experiences and even partner up to split expenses for a costly international vacation or cruise.

• Pick your favorite three goals. It’s the fastest way to take action and keep up the momentum. Otherwise, looking at a long list may overwhelm you and sabotage accomplishment. So choose three from the list, perhaps starting with the “local” category.

• Continue adding goals. Remember, the goal of a bucket list is to document your dreams. The one thing we know that’s certain in life is change. So give your list a break and allow it to adapt as life changes and you grow. Add items and check off dreams when completed. See your world through the lens of dreams and things to accomplish.

• Pace yourself. Once you compile your list, the dreams you’ve put off may finally have a starting point. Putting a plan together is the most difficult task.

Good luck, and here’s to a happy new year filled with completions.

Carol Marak is an aging advocate, columnist and editor at She earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from the UC Davis School of Gerontology. To subscribe to her newsletter, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and write “sign me up” in the subject line.

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