Your Bucket List is a Pipe Dream

What would you do if you were told you’re going to die in one year?

I bet you wouldn’t wait until the 10th month of your death sentence to start crossing items off your bucket list. The idea of a “bucket list” implies that you’re giving yourself a lifetime to cross them off. By the time you feel the pressure of your bucket list, it might already be too late. How can you hold yourself to your goal if you’re dead by the time that you’ve failed to reach it?

By that logic a regular bucket list seems a little foolish, doesn’t it? It’s almost as if there is no true intention to pursue the goals, instead you’re making a list of things that would be cool to do – one day.

If you want to fulfill your lifetime goals, write down 5 things you want to do before you die and 5 relatable things you are going to do this year to get closer to achieving them.

I’ll use my lifetime goals as an example:

  1. Retire early through multiple passive income streams- I will invest my money in interest earning funds, rental properties and personal businesses.
  2. Write a book – I will write a non-fiction book about similar topics to those on this blog. I will need more time than I currently have to focus on writing a great book.  I will need a lot of practice to make a book worth reading.
  3. Get married – I will try not to bug my girlfriend, too much.
  4. Travel all continents – I will save specifically for travel. Ideally, this goal is something I would like to do when I am able to live off of alternative income sources that allow me to work remotely.
  5. Backpack a 7 day trail on foot – I will need to improve my bush crafting skills and continue to work on my endurance. I should also try something more reasonable before attempting a week long backpacking trek.

Make 5 year-end goals that are relatable to the life-time goals: 

  1. Continue with this blog and start a podcast.
  2. I’m going to write an e-book this year.
  3. Pay off extra debt and save more with any raises at work or supplemental income from a blog or podcast.
  4. Save money into the travel fund. Spend less on eating out.
  5. I will do a 2-3 day hike on an Algonquin trail.

Give your list to someone in your life who will hold you to it. When vocalizing a goal to someone else you are making yourself accountable to that person.

I talk about my goals to almost everyone. I am accountable to an unknown number of people who could at anytime say “Hey Connor, how is ______ going?”

Setting annual goals will allow you to feel constant fulfillment of things that you’ve identified as important to you. The feeling of completing a project through your own hard work will make you a stronger person. You will gain self confidence though trial and error and begin to trust yourself more, furthering your ability in business.

The truth is, every single person reading this will be dead one day. We are people, defined by the moments we create in between birth and death. The earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. Man has only walked earth for 200,000 years. Your lifetime will fall between 70-90 years.

Gary Vaynerchuk often says you’ve already won the lottery as a human being who was born as a person and not an ant. Your parents we’re together at precisely the right time to create you. You should be motivated by that you can do absolutely anything considering the odds that you’ve already overcome.

Make a bucket list that you intend on completing and rest at nothing to complete it. Without personal fulfillment it won’t matter how much money you have if money was only 1 of your 5 lifetime goals. Too often people lose their dreams to a job, fear, finances and relationships. If something is really important to you find a way to make it possible.

Make your 70-90 years on earth something that you decided objectively. Don’t allow life to push you around. Aspire to achieve your full potential in the areas that matter to you because your life is short and the rest of the world moves fast.

Imagine dying with the feeling of an incomplete life even if you lived 90 years. Never let your goals become a pipe dream. Whatever is on your list right now, do anything you can at the moment to pursue it. You never know when you will kick the bucket.

Thank you for reading this. If you liked this article please do me the favour of sharing it. I greatly appreciate your support.

Connor Graham

Connor Graham

Hi, I'm Connor Graham. I help others achieve financial freedom and self-improvement through my tips, ideas and insight. Combining my knowledge of real estate, finance and marketing, I describe creative ways to manage your finances and invest in yourself.

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9 Responses

  1. i love this, great advice

  2. Nina says:

    Nice post…for myself, I’m thinking about making a weekly or monthly bucket list for some things that are easier to attain but are being put off most of the time. I think it’s easier to go to the next level when you find yourself being able to achieve certain goals in a period of time. ?

  3. Connor, this is an excellent blog. I’ve set up a notebook and listed each segment highlighted with your suggested headings. I have an idea of where I want the next five years to go but now that I have it in a larger context it even seems more doable more accomplishable if you will. Thank you for setting out a plan that actually seems doable. I always thought Bucket list were for the dying and now I discovered, thanks to you, they are for the living. I’m anxious to get started and have much thinking to do. Thank you for this timely post.

    • Thank you Sheri! I can’t wait to hear more about your goals this year!

      • Let’s just say I’ve started giving them serious thought and have divided them out into 1 yr, 5 yr, and 10 yr increments. I’ve never done a bucket list before and as I’m retired but care for an ill husband, I have some very specific things I hope to accomplish for myself. I see it as an opportunity to take care of myself and not be a burned out caregiver at the sametime. I’ve retired from a highly successful career and do some contract work on the side but that’s not the focus. I’m also a strong advocate for different causes and have certain milestones I hope to make progress on in that arena.

  4. kuminkueche says:

    Great post! I agree that your approach to the bucket list makes sense and is more likely to bring results!!
    I found your little space in the community pool, so glad I did!! amazing write up!!!keep writing and inspire us…. surely will be waiting for more!!
    Please do visit my blog for exciting recipes, I started my blog today, and would love some feedback, thanks in advance and see you there! 🙂

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