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The Surprising Benefits of Your Bucket List

Here at Radiant Mourning, we talk a lot about death, and preparing for it in a positive and proactive way.

And yet, that doesn’t mean we don’t spend time encouraging people to focus on the things we want to do in life!

Let’s talk “bucket lists”. Not heard the term? Items on your bucket list are the things you want to do before you die.

(Maybe you saw the 2007 movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? If not, check it out!)

So often,

we seem to just grind our way through life without really focusing on the things that would make it truly special – those “once in a lifetime” experiences.

Do you have a bucket list?

If so, is it written out … or is it just in your head?

Aside from the fun and the sense of accomplishment you can feel when you complete a bucket list item, research tells us some very interesting things about bucket lists.

In fact,

there’s evidence that having a bucket list can change your life!


Your bucket list can do some, or all of these things for you:

1. Create a sense of accomplishment.

Whether your bucket list items are BIG, small, or somewhere in-between, completing even one of them provides an amazing sense of accomplishment.

You know how good it feels just accomplishing your day-to-day tasks?

~Well imagine that feeling – but on steroids – when you are able to complete something on your bucket list.

2. Add excitement and anticipation.

Remember that feeling you had as a kid, waiting for holidays or summer vacation?

Sometimes you could hardly stand it!

A bucket list can create that same level of excitement in your life as an adult.

3. Provide focus.

Many, although not all, bucket list items are hard to complete.

Perhaps they require a huge commitment of time, of money, or of both. Or perhaps they require you to overcome anxiety or fear.

Regardless, working through a bucket list item will require a high level of concentrated focus.

4. Take you out of the comfort zone.

Most items on bucket lists are there because they are big dreams; sometimes those dreams encourage us to step past our everyday limits. We usually live most of our lives securely in our safe zone. Your bucket list may push you well beyond that (and that can be a very good thing!).

5. Help you see what you really want (or what may be missing).

What do you value?

It likely shows up, perhaps in an amplified form, on your bucket list.

6. Invite you to dream big (or bigger).

Most of us have big dreams on our bucket list, or “wave a magic wand” items.

Take a look at your big dreams.

Is there a way to live these every day, even without achieving a bucket list item?

7. Create a legacy.

What story or stories do you want to share with your friends and family?

Do you want to set an example of bravery and freedom, and the willingness to go big?

Or will your legacy be one of regrets and

coulda, shoulda, woulda”?

Are you getting good ideas for your own bucket list? I hope so!?

What's on my bucket list?

You probably won’t be surprised to hear I have a bucket list of my own! A few things on my bucket list are:

1. Seeing Machu Picchu

2. Hiking the Camino de Santiago

3. Spend a long weekend by myself at a remote beach house and read all the books I never can find the time to read.

4. Accomplish for the Seattle area what La Crosse, Wisconsin achieved around end-of-life planning.

What’s on your bucket list?

I’d love to hear, so please share!

Remember, we are offering our wonderful series this month


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