10 Awesome Anti-Bucket Lists (To Prove Your Life Doesn’t Suck)

10 Awesome Anti-Bucket lists to prove your life doesn't suck/image/


We’ve all heard the merits of creating a bucket list — basically your goals of things you want to do before you die.

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While the idea is inspiring, it also comes with its share of heartache. Like, what happens when you move on to your next assignment before you get to cross skydiving or “facial refreshening” off your list?

Enter the more positive assessment of your temporary time on planet Earth: The Anti-Bucket List.

Making lists is something we humans do. They’re meant to keep us organized, managed and focused.

Lists develop from our internal inspiration of things we believe are important to live a fulfilled and satisfactory life. From daily living lists — grocery, holiday, meetings, appointments, family obligations, work agendas, etc. — to the loftier life achievement goals of want to do’s, must gets, need to finish these things…we love writing lists.

And we’re good at it.

Yet we struggle on a daily basis to cross off most of what we’d hoped to achieve.

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Have we confused the quantity of to-do items for quality?

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As we hear the ticking of time, stress over our long lists takes its toll. That nagging feeling forever swirling in our head of things still unaccomplished…

“Thought I’d have gone there and done that by now,” you say?


The Bucket List as you know it

Most of us are familiar with the movie, The Bucket List.

A billionaire and a car mechanic are complete strangers, until fate puts them in the same hospital room. The men discover they have two things in common: a need to come to terms with what they’ve done with their lives, and a desire to complete a list of things to see and do before they die. Against their doctor’s advice, the men leave the hospital and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

This movie prompted a whole cultural discussion on the subject of fulfilling one’s life by creating a list of things to do before…you know.


Quote from The Bucket List/create anti-bucket list/


Making a bucket list is a wish list for adults who stopped believing in Santa Claus. By now you know that nobody’s going to deliver the goods just because you’ve been “nice” and have written a sweet list of wants.

That’s the downside of a bucket list. You have to DO THE STUFF on the list to feel good about your life. When you fail to cross off items or keep adding more, it becomes a never-ending bottomless pit. Looking at it makes you break out in hives.


Your wonderful life

Before you wag a disapproving finger at yourself, let’s step back in time and consider ALL the things you already HAVE, and HAVE ALREADY DONE.

This isn’t a new concept of course.

Frank Capra’s movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, explores one man’s struggle with the way his life has turned out. After many rough years of missing his proposed destiny to travel, see the world, do all of these bucket list things, George Bailey wishes he’d never been born. A guardian angel is sent to earth to make George’s wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he’s changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there.

The lesson is that life isn’t so much about “things” and “places” as it is about people and connections. Just a thought…


Alternative to a bucket list

Where all of your commitments, obligations and projects may cloud your perception of what you already possess, the crux of The Anti-Bucket List celebrates your successes, wins and accomplishments.

It will prove to you that your life isn’t as unfilled as you may sometimes think. In fact, I promise that at the end of this exercise, your anti-bucket lists will prove that your life is pretty freakin’ wonderful.

Whichever list (below) you decide to create, and whatever medium you chose to create it with, it’s yours. You never need to show anyone.

After writing an item on your list, award yourself bonus points for adding a comment about how it has positively affected your life or the lives of others.

Make your list(s) long and detailed. Refer back to it often.


10 awesome Anti-Bucket Lists to consider

Create whatever list suits your personal life. These suggestions are to help you understand, believe and appreciate all the good and great things you already own. Here’s a list (ha-ha) of ideas to get you started:


 1. Awesome Happy List

This is a good place to start. Despite sucky situations and sucky people that have crossed your life, I promise you will be smiling writing out this one. List all the times that you’ve been extremely happy. Begin with your earliest childhood memories and work your way up the age ladder. Focus on happiness.


2. Awesome Gratitude List

We say ya, ya, ya, I know…I’m grateful for x, y and z. Well friggin’ write it down and get it in front of your face. Begin with the obvious stuff and then dig deep, then deeper. A replaced roll of toilet paper by a thoughtful spouse is something to be grateful for. It makes my list. Can I get an “Amen”?


3. Awesome Appreciation

Whether it’s an appreciation (vs gratitude) for a person, a place or a thing, it deserves a spot on your list.


4. Awesome Things I Get To Do

Instead of thinking about all the things you CAN’T DO (fly like a bird), spend time listing all the things you GET to do (learn to fly a plane).

Life hands us limitations okay? Despite what your mama said, you can’t be anything you want or do anything you desire. You CAN do almost anything with enough time, energy, money, power, height, beauty…Don’t let any of that stop you from discovering your super powers.


It's A Wonderful Life quote/create anti-bucket list/


5. Awesome Adventures

Think of all the fabulous adventures you’ve been on. Again, go back to the beginning of your life. Remember the small but awesome from a simpler time…the park, the zoo, the beach…work your way up to the no-tell girls weekend in Las Vegas and hang-gliding near Black’s Beach in La Jolla, California.


6. Awesome Accomplishments

Nix the thoughts of what’s left to do before you go tits up and list all of your greatest and most surprising accomplishments, even to you.


7. Awesome People

We are connected to one another. Sure there’s a select group of misfits and nitwits we’ve met along the way. Fuggetabout ’em…

Make a list of all the awesome people in your life. Who were your childhood heroes? Teachers, coaches, mentors who inspired, encouraged and supported you, or challenged you to become a better person.  Don’t forget the people who’ve been there for you through the good times and ugly cries.


8. Awesome Fulfillment

This list honors your greatest fulfillment. If you asked me at twenty years old to write a bucket list, having children would not have been there. Today, my greatest fulfillment is hands-down the children I’ve brought into this world. Nothing comes close. Nothing. Nadda.


9. Awesome Health

Being grossly near-sighted and unable to carry a tune, I still celebrate the gift of corrective sight and a speaking voice. Other people will need to judge whether having the awesome health of hearing my singing voice is a good thing, or not.


10. Awesome Stuff

It’s okay to make a list of things you have that are important to you. It makes sense that the older we get the less “stuff” oriented we become. Frankly, remembering where we put things is more important than the thing itself.

A red rock collected on an unforgettable trip to the Grand Canyon with my mom and one of my dad’s paintings are a few priceless possessions that make my list.

If yours is a motorcycle, a boat, a 70-inch plasma TV or the entire Elvis Presley record collection, it goes on the list.


Ways to create your list(s)

Whichever list you choose (one or all) is totally up to you. And so is the way you create it. The only thing to consider is how you will keep it in front of you. Use your list(s) often, especially on the days when you feel a bit down about what you don’t have and have not accomplished.

Here are a few suggestions for creating your list(s):


Use a notebook

Buy an inexpensive notebook (or something pretty, if that motivates you) and write things down. Don’t hold back. Once you start writing, you might surprise yourself the number of things you’ve already done. Congrats in advance!


Create a vision board 

Return to your school days when you cut out images from magazines to create a “theme” poster board, only now we call them vision boards. Instead of Birds of New England for Mrs. Cornforth’s 4th grade project, the theme is a visual of everything on your Anti-Bucket List.


how to make a vision board

image via powerofpositivity


There are many examples of vision boards on the internet. To get started, here’s a simple version of how to make a vision board from powerofpositivity. Find one that works for you and get out the Elmer’s Glue.


Find a container

If long written lists aren’t your thing, jot down your thoughts on scraps of paper or sticky notes. Toss them into a jar, bucket, box, pail, old grocery bag…the vessel doesn’t matter. Periodically return to the container and pull out a few awesome notes.


Wall Boards

Paint a wall with chalkboard paint, tack a dry erase board or use a giant easy-peel dry erase decal. Pick a list to work on and write on the wall as the ideas flow. Yes. WRITE. ON. WALLS.


Quote on accomplishments/create anti-bucket list/


Smart Phone

Create a folder on your phone for each list and type away. Alternatively, and to eliminate fat-fingered typos mishaps, consider using the voice recorder. There’s something about hearing the sound of your own voice that is both annoying and powerful.


Rocks or Blocks

The Kindness Rocks Project has inspired countless people around the globe to spread messages of kindness in the form of painted rocks.


The point is to leave these messages for others to find. Consider creating your list(s) on rocks or small blocks of wood and spread them around your home or keep in a container as a reminder of all you’ve accomplished. Be kind to yourself!


Review your lists

A bucket list is a wanna-do plan. The Anti-Bucket List is an in-your-face DID IT! accomplishment.

Periodically go back and review your lists. Add to them. Create new ones. Show them off.

Look what you’ve done, so far. More than you probably realize.

It’s proof positive that your life doesn’t suck after all. In fact, to shamelessly coin a phrase, you really do have a wonderful life.




If you got one smidgen of inspiration or a needed kick in the booty from this post, please subscribe to this blog, share with your friends or leave a comment. Thanks so much. I hope you have a great day! XO


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