This year, instead of thinking through and jotting down the same old uncreative new year resolutions, make a bucket list instead. You owe it to yourself.
Think about it; it’s pretty pointless to wait all year to decide on a few things that you sort of want to stop doing, but that you know well you’re not entirely committed to follow through with anyway.
There are many reasons resolutions don’t work for you, whereas a bucket list will:
1. Resolutions are all about what you think you should do — A bucket list is about what you want to do
Too often, resolutions are decided upon by looking at other people’s expectations or by reading a magazine that tells you how to “get fit by summer” or something like that.
That’s nonsense — forget about what you or other people think you ought to be doing and look at what you really want.
That’s where a bucket list comes in. A bucket list revolves around what you really, really want to do, see and achieve in life — and it continuously evolves as we grow older and/or when our priorities change in life.
Ultimate Bucket List Resource Guide (everything about bucket lists and how to get started)
My 1000+ Bucket List (for inspiration — but be sure to make your life goals personal and meaningful to you, and you only)
2. Resolutions are “negative” — Bucket list goals are “positive”
Resolutions are often negative in the sense that there is something we are doing that is bad; that needs to be reduced or stopped. Therefore, the things you desire to change about yourself likely elicit negative emotions and most people are not motivated by that. So, you essentially set yourself up for failure by having restrictive/negative goals in the first place. And if you fail to accomplish the resolution(s), then you’re destined to feel even worse than you did from the outset.
Instead, a bucket list revolves around what you really want to do, see and achieve in life — not what you need to stop doing or cut down on. As such, these are much more positive and rewarding, and the bucket list items keep giving long after they’ve been achieved.
3. There is no motivation or commitment to resolutions — There is for bucket lists
According to Reuters, over a third of resolutions don’t even make it past January, and over three-quarters are abandoned soon thereafter. The reason for this all comes down to commitment. The problem is that you’re taking something that doesn’t mean anything to you and trying to make it happen. Resolutions lack a foundation of meaning and personal relevance that makes sure they run out of steam.
What you need is something more fundamental, more central and more important to you. You need life goals — you need a bucket list. Something that comes from the inside, something that’s based on what’s important and what matters to you.
That’s the only way to get behind it, have confidence in it and keep the motivation and commitment going.
4. Resolutions are too big and too vague — Bucket list goals less so
Resolutions such as “get more exercise” are not small targets. Same goes for “eat healthier, and so forth. This is a major reason to why New Year’s resolutions don’t work. According to behaviour scientists B.J. Fogg and Charles Duhigg, you MUST pick small actions.
This obviously is equally important for a bucket list as well — where not all life goals should be large and time-consuming. However, the very nature of a bucket list makes it easy to fill in a multitude of both small and big actions and goals. Let’s say you have a wider goal of becoming healthier? Then why don’t you jot down meaningful experiences associated with it in your bucket list? Try yoga for the first time in your life? What about trying a Vegan diet for a week? Do a 5k run? And so forth. Overall, whatever your goal may be, make sure you pick your larger goals apart into smaller more discernible targets.
So, give it a try. Forget about the resolutions and make a bucket list. What have you got to lose? For me personally, my bucket list has completely transformed me; I’ve aligned my life priorities and become clear and motivated on what I exactly want to do and achieve in life. Simply put, I never want to go back to my old self who only lived on auto-pilot.
Should you be so cool to give a bucket list a try, then be sure to check out the upcoming article “5 Crucial Ingredients to Make a Bucket List Work“.
Hope you enjoyed the read!