This is the second post in the Summer Dreamin series that takes a closer look at bucket list living.

The big question: How do you get started or re-engaged with things you want do with your life? What are your before-you-die aspirations?

The simple but illusive first step is to write down your list in a place that you will revisit. For example, since I was twenty-one, I have kept a journal everywhere I go. When finish a journey I put it near my daily work desk with the 4-5 most recent ones. The older journals I archive in my closet (where I can see them). These locations help me revisit my ideas, prayers, dreams, etc. Keep in mind I don't journal everyday, but whenever I am inspired, I have immediate access to a tool to record and review my thoughts.

The second step is also very simple- talk about your list with others. It's a great conversation starter and most people enjoy bucket list talk. Be sure to include your spouse or kids if applicable and make it a family affair.

Now before moving on, let's cover one crucial principle: It's the NO PERFECT LIST principle. Don't try to get the list right, just get it started. Don't worry about dreaming too big or too small. Just get started. Don't worry about what others will think. Just get started. Don't worry about how many things you have written down. Just get started. Write, right now.

Don't try to get the list right, just get it started. Don't worry about dreaming too big or too small. Just get started.

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Aspiration #1:  A THING TO DO. The most basic bucket list item is an event or experience. These one-time deals don't usually require training or even extraordinary expense. They just require planning and prioritizing. For example:

  • Attend the World Series
  • Climb a fourteener in Colorado
  • Go to a reunion concert with college friends
  • Watch the entire Star Wars saga in one sitting
  • Go sky-diving

Aspiration #2: A PLACE TO GO. Like my Santorini trip (mentioned in the series kick-off post), maybe you have always wanted take a special vacation. Perhaps its a crazy destination or some excellent adventure.

  • See the Pyramids
  • Take a romantic getaway weekend in NYC.
  • Visit 10 Major League baseball stadiums
  • Hike the Grand Canyon
  • Take a mission trip to Kenya

It's never too late to be what you might have been.  –George Eliot

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Aspiration #3: A SKILL TO LEARN. I have found that most people want to learn something, but never take the time to learn. This thing could be a hobby or some kind of personal discipline. For example:

  • Take a photography class
  • Impress people with ballroom dance proficiency
  • Get a handgun permit
  • Learn to speak Swahili
  • Grow a bonsai garden

Aspiration #4: AN OBJECTIVE TO ACHIEVE. Your goal may come in many forms: athletic, financial, professional, etc.

  • Run a marathon in Vibram 5-finger shoes
  • Do a cycling tour down from Seattle to San Diego
  • Save $100,000 in ten years
  • Start an at-home business
  • Spend three months a year donating time oversees

Remember that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!  –Vicki Corona 

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Aspiration #5: A POSSESSION TO OBTAIN. Maybe you have always wanted to have something really specific. It could be something you collect, rent, or own.

  • Collect one of every lincoln penny
  • Buy a really powerful telescope
  • Drive an 1969 Jaguar XKE for a weekend
  • Have a home with a pool
  • Own an airplane

Okay, now its time to spend 30 minutes and write down your ideas. (Or schedule the time if you can't do it now.) Then spend a few minutes scanning 1000 Bucket List Ideas. Now add to your list. Remember there is no perfect list just a perfect start- by actually starting.

If you are interested in a 12-week cohort experience where you will write down your own top 100 bucket list items consider joining one of my upcoming Younique Life Planning cohorts.

Topics: Date: Jul 15, 2012 Tags: bucket list / life design / life goals / life planning / life vision / personal vision

About Will

Would you like more meaningful progress in your church? 

I want you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, I’ve worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing mega-churches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. I have the privilege of being the founder of Auxano, a church consulting group and Younique, a personal vision and life planning training company for the church. Most people know me from two of several books that I have authored: Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision and Create Movement and God Dreams: 12 Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church's Future.

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Will Mancini