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Do You Need a Stress Creating Bucket List or What?

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A Sheet Of Paper On The Wood by Larisa Koshkina

Turning 30 was easy – birthday bash at my favourite pub in Warsaw, lots of friends, champagne, good grub and a party that shifted to Ground Zero (the then happening discotheque) for dancing followed by breakfast at the Warsaw Central Station. Since my birthday that year fell around the Easter Holidays, many friends were out of town but the celebrations continued for a month as friends took me out on their return claiming it was Birthday Month.

There were big tick marks on my Bucket List – enter 30s in style, have true friends and party like it is going out of style.

Turning 31 was a contrast.  I looked at my Bucket List and realized that there were items on my To Do List which would never happen – I would not become the lead singer of a heavy metal band, I had not trained to participate in a desert rally, join a Biker Gang and ride a Harley Davidson through Scandinavia; I had not done a lot of things that I had wanted to do.  The question in front of me was what had I achieved in Life?  My inner child resurfaced and I felt stressed.

I give thanks to God that He created parents.  A frantic phone call to my parents got me back on track.  What they said to me changed my life completely.

My parents were proud of me. They felt I had done more in my 30 years than many did in a lifetime. They said all the things that only parents can say to motivate and reassure children – and the child will believe them.

I heard the life changing dialogue –

“You are looking at your Bucket List and focusing on what you did not do. Are these items really that important to you? There are items in there since you were 13 which don’t seem to fit your leanings anymore.  What about what you did do? What about your achievements and milestones?  Make yourself a cup of coffee, think about it and call us back. We’ll wait for your call.”

Now that is family considering that the phone call was between 2 countries with a 2 hour time difference and it was way past their bedtime. I am grateful to this day. My Bucket List is important to me but so is keeping track of achievements that I want to feature in my obituary – my Milestone Statement.

By the time I made my next call, I had clarity.

  1. Bucket Lists are not carved in stone, they change as we mature. Accept that some items are no longer important and move onto those that have value for you.
  2. Bucket Lists are meant to inspire us, not turn into To Do Lists which create stress.
  3. It is perfectly okay to review your Bucket List from time to time deleting items that are redundant and adding those that are more meaningful at the point of Life where you are presently.
  4. Looking to the future is a great motivator but do not forget that your past is full of achievements too. Acknowledge them and your journey through Life.
  5. Keep a Milestone Statement to record your achievements and celebrate the fact that you are unique, one of a kind and there will NEVER be anyone like you.


If your Bucket List is creating stress, take a long hard look at it. Something is not working for you. Ask yourself, if you really have a good a Bucket List. Maybe a Vision Statement supported by goals is a better option?

A Vision Statement is a good option if on a scale of 1 to 10 you really want to do something and are willing to invest the time, effort and commitment to achieve the goals that go into fulfilling the Vision Statement.

Its good to have a Bucket List but it is even better to have a Milestone List which has items added to it using your Vision Statement.

Look again at the picture with this blog post, the beautiful white sheet of paper on the wood and ask yourself, what goes there, things that you really want to do, things that you wanted to do years ago that no longer figure in your life and get you down or list the milestones and achievements that make You the person you are.

My tip, celebrate your achievements as evidence of your uniqueness and then create a vision of yourself to motivate you to become even better!

Your turn now. Do Bucket Lists work for you? Or are you better off using Milestone Lists and Vision Statements? I’d love to read your views in the comments box below.

Written By: Vatsala Shukla

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14 Responses to “Do You Need a Stress Creating Bucket List or What?”

  1. Leah says:

    Great post! A lot of my bucket list will have to wait until after retirement, or at least until the kids are not at home any more!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Leah. That often happens when we are responsibile for young children who need us to support and be there for them – even though we don’t admit it as children 🙂 Hopefuly you will find new items to put in that bucket that will inspire you along the way and include the family.

  2. Paula says:

    I LOVE this post! It really spoke to me this morning. Yep, I think my bucket list needs a good cleaning! What great parents you have!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You’ve made my day, Paula. Every blogger cherishes the desire that a post would reach out to a reader and speak to them. Happy bucket list cleaning and may the new items be ones that will make your heart sing!

  3. Lisa says:

    I have an unofficial bucket list I suppose. I see a place or hear of something and add it to my bucket list, it is time to get serious and make an actual list. I did have an actual list for my child’s bucket list, we did accomplish most items, it was fun…this might be the perfect rainy day project. Thanks for getting me thinking…

    • Karmic Ally says:

      It would be interesting to see which items make it to your official bucket list, Lisa, since you have so many wonderful interests. Glad I got you thinking about some “me stuff’ for yourself.

  4. This is a lovely post, Vatsala! It brought back the memory of my list made as an 18-year-old that I wanted to be independently wealthy and famous by the age of 35. Seems life had other plans for me. Only recently I created a “bucket list” for my book “Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie” and there are still several things on that list that I plan to accomplish. I am not as tied to some of the things I was when younger and now it is more about the quality of my life and what I can give to others. One thing I really want to do is to travel to Amsterdam. I have no idea why, just it calls to me. I had the same feelings about Portland, Oregon and I’m delighted to say I have visited there twice. I think having a bucket list can be a fun way to assess what is still important to you in your life, however, nothing is written in stone and I love the idea of celebrating the things you’ve achieved they may not have even been on one of your bucket lists. We humans seem to dwell on what we haven’t done and I agree, it is important to celebrate what we have!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Beverley. I agree with you 100%. By the way, Amsterdam is a lovely city and very inspiring. Who knows, the place and ambiance might just play Muse to your next book?

  5. What fantastic advice! I love the wisdom in allowing yourself to delete things from your bucket list with no sadness or shame. Sometimes we change. “Marry a boy who works at Dairy Queen so I can always get free Blizzards” was dropped off of my bucket list at one point, and I’m okay with that. 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Kimber. Accepting ourselves unconditionally and acknowledging that our dreams and goals do change with the path that we chose to travel is one of celebration. A Bucket List item that made sense at one point in our lives may have no relevance for us in a later part of our journey. So we let go of wanting to be rockstars or marrying the right boy to get free Blizzards but that is fine, there are other items on the List that would bring us greater joy if achieved.

  6. Heather says:

    I love this and I love learning so many new things about you! A heavy metal band haha! 😉

    I agree our bucket lists evolve as go through life changes. I often change mine, but ultimately I want to leave the earth a better place than when I came into it.

    I must make the offer – you don’t have to join a motorcycle gang to ride a Harley across Scandinavia. When my husband and I make it their with OUR Harley, we’ll invite you to join.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I’d love to take you up on that offer to bike through Scandinavia on your Harley, Heather. It would go down in my memoires as how late in life one could achieve a bucket list item with the help of friends. 🙂

      Leaving the earth a better place than when we came into it is a Bucket List item that everyone should have as a mandatory item. The others can change as we grow and evolve.

  7. As I kid, I had the dream of becoming an actress or famous writer – I guess I became some kind of a writer through blogging, haha! I never put them down on paper or stored those ideas though.

    And only 5 years ago did I actually start a 101 life goals list, which is still not complete… I review from time to time, by adding stuff to it, removing things that are no longer important, and checking off things I accomplished already. I try not to stress out about it 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You may not have achieved your goals of being an actress or famous writer, Delia but somewhere along the way you achieved the goal of touching peoples’ lives and inspiring them to blog! I love the fact that you review your Bucket List on a regular basis and let go of that which is no longer relevant to you as you move ahead on the Journey of Life.

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Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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