Last week, I told you all about my summer 2016 bucket list. At the end of the post I noted that, unlike in previous years, I actually accomplished most of the things I set out to do at the beginning of the season – I have a nasty habit of setting ALL OF THE GOALS and then achieving, like, three of them. What made this summer different from any other? I have a few ideas.
1. Manually writing out my list on paper made it feel more concrete
In years gone by I’ve usually written my summer bucket lists in the form of blog posts. That was fun because I got almost immediate feedback in the form of comments, but creating a list using a massive piece of paper and a dozen different markers made the whole process seem more real. Like it truly mattered. What’s more, at the end of the summer I had a cool keepsake that chronicled my adventures from the past few months – much better than a static blog post that had no physical equivalent!
2. Hanging the list in a central location ensured that I saw it every single day
Posting my bucket list online, and online only, came with a drawback, one that I think outweighed any benefit to putting it there: It was extremely easy to forget about my goals! Each summer the list would become buried in an avalanche of other blog posts, and over time I would no longer remember what I wanted to do. Which books had I set out to read? Where was it that I’d wanted to go at the beginning of the summer?
This time around, I hung my list on the wall – and not just any wall, but the one right next to the door in my dorm room. Every time I entered or left, I caught a glimpse of my goals, which reminded me to stay busy!
3. Checking items off lists is immensely satisfying to me
Who doesn’t love lists? Making a paper list not only helped the project to feel more concrete, but allowed me to mark my progress by scribbling a little X in the box beside each goal as I accomplished it. Placing a strike-through over text in a blog post isn’t nearly as much fun!
4. I selected only goals that I knew I stood a good chance of achieving
I hope I’m not the only one who has a problem with setting reasonable goals! Most summers I add way more activities than I know I will be able to accomplish – and that is SO not fun. It’s just stressful. This year I pared my bucket list down to only the books, movies, events, et cetera that I actually had time for. And it made all the difference! I no longer felt overwhelmed about my summer goals.
5. I purposely sought out other people to join me
Because adventures are always more fun when your friends are there! I asked all sorts of people to do bucket list activities with me – my roommate, my best friend, et cetera. In fact, I actually became closer to some of my newest friends precisely because we spent an afternoon (or however long) hiking, or watching the Pride parade, or whatever.
So there you have it: I think I figured out why this summer’s plans went so much more smoothly than usual! While I may not have done every single thing on my bucket list, I did make significant progress. My old roommate told me just the other day that she was surprised to see me accomplish so much and proud of me as well, and all I have to say is… SAME.