The Bucket List

Only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick to them. Most people abandon their resolutions after just one week. Why?


Let’s face facts about New Year resolutions.  Everyone has a mental list of things they would like to fix/change.  New Year seems like a perfect time to start.  In fact, over half of our population makes such resolutions every January 1st.  However the statistics after that are pretty bleak.  Only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick to them.  Most people abandon their resolutions after just one week.  Why?  Resolutions fail for a number of reasons; they are not reasonable, practical or fun, 

But a bucket list is a whole different animal.  Do you remember the guy that led the police on a high-speed race through Butte, Montana in order to fulfill an item on his bucket list?  I can relate to that.  The guy, John Hughes, was fined $1,000.  I am sure it was well worth it to him.  If you can relate as well, it is time for you to start your bucket list. 

The psychology behind a bucket list is pretty straight forward.  It is considered a form of positive goal-setting which promotes both physical and mental health. Bucket lists help emphasize the importance of taking time for things you enjoy in life.  They encourage putting some fun into our lifestyles. They inspire us to do something new and/or exciting that promotes feelings of being energized, relaxation, and help prevent burnout.

The Bucket List:

A bucket list is defined as “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime”.  Each bucket list is unique to the individual who created it.  Your bucket list is yours exclusively; you own it and you nurture it.  You can put anything on the list you want to.  It is a running list that can be modified anytime.  You don’t have to share it with anyone if you don’t want to (sometimes that makes it easier to be honest with yourself).  If you haven’t created one yet, I will give you more specifics after you have a chance to review some ideas and come up with some of your own. 

Most officers I have known have at least a streak of adrenaline junkie in their personalities.  Typically, adrenaline junkies have some pretty exciting bucket lists which often include any activity that involves a larger than normal amount of danger or risk of injury.  So, if that sounds like you, here are five suggestions to add to your list.  Be creative, there are thousands of other daring adventures to consider. 

  1. Dog-sledding
  2. Storm chasing tour
  3. Riding a live bucking bull
  4. “Buildering” (climbing the outside of buildings and other artificial structures)
  5. White water rafting

You get the point – doing something you want to do that contains a challenge and requires a degree of effort.  Remember you can start small, and your bucket list doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Here is an example of five easy and affordable activities.

  1. Go paintballing
  2. Learn how to play the harmonica
  3. Witness a solar eclipse
  4. Run a marathon
  5. Adopt  shelter pet

Commonly, people include traveling in their bucket lists. There are so many places to go…so many people to meet…so many things to see.  Another 5 examples

  1. Go on Safari in Africa
  2. Turn up at an airport, book a flight and go somewhere random
  3. Go to the Olympics
  4. Take a hot air balloon ride in Albuquerque
  5. Go salmon fishing in Alaska

And let’s not forget the things you’ve seen or heard of that you have always had a yen to try...

  1. Try an exotic food (like fried tarantulas)
  2. Earn a pilot license
  3. Go  water skiing
  4. Get a college degree
  5. Go horseback riding
  6. Swim with dolphins
  7. Go meteorite hunting
  8. Go to a live NFL game
  9. Take martial arts lessons
  10. Golf your top ten courses

The Basics of Bucket Lists

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