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How to Write a Life List

How to Write a Life List

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What if we could come to the end of our lives with true fulfillment, looking back on a rich history of experiences, relationships, and accomplishments?

Either metaphorically or literally, we could point to a list of steadily-pursued dreams that turned into accomplished goals as we moved through different phases of life.

The sad alternative, of course, is to come to the end of life unfulfilled – something best phrased in this intense quote from Thoreau I’ve been pondering a lot recently:

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them.

I don’t usually like to assume, but in this case I’m going to assume you don’t want that. If so, one of the ways we can overcome the “quiet desperation” is by clearly identifying the activities that help us to be more alive.

In other words, writing a life list can help us to live. This article will show you how to do it.

What’s a Life List?

A life list is simply a list of long-term personal goals, often expressed as “X things to do before I die.” Life lists are related to, but also different from the Ideal World scenario, the Annual Review, and your ongoing list of active projects.

These lists have become fairly common due to the popularity of the web site 43 Things. On this site, users create and share a personal list of, well, 43 things they want to do. You’ve probably seen some of these lists around the internet – if not, the site is at least worth a quick look.

While I appreciate any resource that gets people thinking about goal-setting, I’d also say that 43 Things is a “lite” version of goal-setting. This is not really a criticism of its design; it’s just a reflection of the way most people use it to think about their goals. Because it’s so easy to set up and add goals that other people have chosen, you can literally set up your life list in 5 minutes.

My philosophy is that goal-setting is not a casual practice. I intend to actually complete the goals I set, so I want to spend more than 5 minutes writing them down. If you agree and want to go further with building your own life list, keep reading.

Why Have a Life List

You don’t need a life list, but if you’re struggling with direction or just want to be open to personal growth, a life list can definitely help.

A good life list is an anchor. It grounds you in your purpose, gives you hopes and dreams for the future, and helps you understand more about yourself.

There is no right or wrong way to make this kind of list. You simply devote an hour, or however long it takes you, to thinking about your life. What do you want to do? To have? To be?

Again, there isn’t one way to do this, but it may help you to examine or revisit a few key concepts about lifestyle design.

What Goes On the List?

Many of the goals chosen by 43 Things users are “fuzzy” or representative of general desires instead of passions to pursue. Some of them are essentially desire habits rather than goals. “Drink more water,” for example, is a good habit, not necessarily something that should appear on a life list.

Here are a few vague, non-measurable goals (all taken from the 43 Things site):

  • Travel the World
  • Be Happy
  • Eat Healthier
  • Be In Shape
  • Have Better Posture
  • Save Money
  • Make New Friends

In addition to being vague, you can probably see a trend there – all of them are aspirational goals related to personal well-being. Hold that thought and we’ll come back to it in a moment.

On the other hand, here are a few measurable goals (also taken from 43 Things users, which shows that not everyone follows the crowd):

  • Meet the Dalai Lama
  • Become an Ordained Minister
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Go on a Road Trip with no Predetermined Destination
  • Learn American Sign Language

Think Realistic Big and Discard Fear

As you compose your own life list, remember that the basic rule of brainstorming is “Don’t limit yourself.” You should also avoid thinking about your present situation. This is your whole life list; it’s meant to be something you work on and refer to for your whole life.

In other words, throw out realism… or more precisely, what you initially think of as realism. As you go through the journey over a long period of time, you may very well find that what you thought was reality was actually quite limiting.

As much as possible, you should also throw out fear when you write your life list. The fear of failure, and even the fear of success, holds us back from attempting many of the things we secretly wish for. In the practice of actually achieving goals, it takes some time to work through this – but you can start by blocking the fear from entering your life list. If you have to, just tell yourself “It’s only a list.”

Adventure vs. Non-Adventure Goals

If you’ve been reading the site for a while, I realize you probably know all about vague versus measurable goals, as well as thinking big. Let’s take it a bit further.

In addition to the “be happier” goals that crop up, “adventure goals” are another frequent theme on most life lists I’ve seen. I define adventure goals as any goals that are physically challenging or involve adrenalin. Examples include climbing mountains, racing cars, swimming in lakes or oceans, completing athletic events, and so on.

When some people set out to write a life list, the majority of items on the list end up being these kinds of goals. I’m not entirely sure why; perhaps this is because their current lifestyle is more sedentary than they would like, or perhaps they just like being outdoors and overcoming physical challenges.

While I agree that physical activity is important in overcoming the “quiet desperation” of conventional living, I also think that focusing strictly on adventure goals is a bit basic. I have a fair number of adventure goals on my list, but I also have a lot of other goals.

When trying to figure out what to put on the life list, think carefully about the question, “What do I really want to do?” Remember, the idea is to dream big and avoid limitations. You can be in the Formula One and write a novel. The fewer limits you place on your list, the better it will be.

Again, this is a personal practice, so if you’re an adrenaline junkie and all of your items involve climbing Mount Everest or competing in the Olympics, go right ahead. Most of us, however, will want to think beyond adventure goals.

These categories may help you brainstorm:

Friends & Family, Travel, Business, Spiritual, Health, Service, Learning, Financial (Earning), Financial (Giving), Financial (Saving)

(Note: These categories are from How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review. As that article explains, the categories are suggestions and not meant to be exclusive. Additional categories for a life list might also include “Unusual Experiences” or “Big Achievements,” since most lists include a few things that are done only once.)

Experiences versus “Stuff”

Writing and thinking about life lists can often cause us to evaluate the way we spend our time and money. Interestingly, most of the items that end up being on the typical life list involve life experiences far more than things we wish to own.

This can reveal an imbalance in how our resources are actually spent. If the p on our list of ultimate goals consist primarily of experiences, but we know that we spend most of our time working to earn money, we’ve just discovered a source of discomfort or “quiet desperation” within us.

I’m not being judgmental – if someone really values owning “stuff,” then perhaps it’s best for them to focus on earning money to pay for it. I do think it’s fair to say, though, that most of us find the ownership of “stuff” to be somewhat fleeting in the end. As they say, you really can’t take it with you when you go.

Accomplishment

Accomplishment is something worth being proud of, but the pursuit of significant goals is valuable by itself. In a couple of interviews I’ve done recently, I’ve heard the question. “What will you do after you’ve visited every country in the world?”

At first, I was perplexed by the question. After a few seconds of awkward silence, I finally learned to say that whenever I finish that journey, I’ll probably set another big goal. I also think at least as much about the process of the goal as I do about the eventual, hoped-for achievement.

Many challenging life goals require a great deal of process. Running a marathon (26.2 miles) requires at least 420 miles of training. To go to every country in the world requires spending a lot of time in airports and bus stations. At a certain level, you have to enjoy the process and the accomplishment.

Publishing Your Life List

What do you do with your life list when it’s finished? If you’re like most people, you put it away and forget about it. Of course, you’re not most people – you want to actually complete the list, right?

If public accountability would help you take your life more seriously, consider putting your life list online. Here are a few people who have published their life list for the world:

John Goddard (one of the original, 127-item lists)
Stephanie Roberts
Project 183
Marina Martin
Yanik Silver
Mighty Girl
Bill Riddell
Rob Cooper

Publishing is optional, of course. I haven’t published my full life list online, but I spend a lot of time writing about some of the bigger goals (visit every country, write a full-length book about unconventional living, and so on).

Wrap-Up

Done offhandedly, life lists can be vague lists of dreams and desires – but when taken seriously, a well thought out life list can be deeply meaningful. While there may still be some benefit in thinking about goals even on a basic level, John Goddard, one of the original list writers, first wrote his list of 127 goals at the age of fifteen.

From exploring the Congo to typing 50 words a minute, John has gone on to accomplish most of the goals he set decades ago and even forge a career out of the experience. Naturally, the mere presence of a list is not enough. But I think that identifying the goals at a young age and striving to live consciously had a lot to do with John’s success.

By the way, like a lot of life design exercises, the structure is there to help you. If it doesn’t help, discard it and do it your way. It’s your list, after all. You’re the one who is going to make the goals come to fruition, so you might as well have them written down in a way that makes the most sense to you.

If you’ve never written a life list before, consider taking an hour or two to chisel down your dreams. I think you’ll find it insightful, inspiring, and maybe even motivating enough to shift where you put your focus. As mentioned, life lists can be private or public. If you’d like to share some or all of yours, feel free to do so in the comments. I can’t wait to see what some of you come up with!

Have you made a life list? What are some things on your list?

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Related AONC Articles:

How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review
Lifestyle Design and Your Ideal World
The Art of Radical Exclusion

External Resources:

Ten Things to Do Before This Article Is Finished (NYT)
Creating a Bucket List (Squidoo)
The Smithsonian Life List

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40 Comments

  • Bill Riddell says:

    Thanks very much for the great article and sharing my list with your readers Chris. Would love to see what else your hiding on that list of yours.

    For me the importance of the list is not so much about ticking off the items. The enjoyment comes from getting there, pushing my limits and creating those incredible moments. I created my list while suffering major illness in my early teens, those goals kept me from suicide then and now (aged 23) they help guide my life. They are a bit of compass, guiding my life towards my passions.

    I like the point you stress about taking it beyond just a list. It’s nice to write it out, but it’s no better than a napkin or tissue if you do not make those dreams come true.

    I try to make all my goals measurable, rather than just to “make a difference in the world” I want to fund some Kiva loans and create my own charity or non-profit org to help others.

    Once you have written your list pick a few goals and make a little start on how you will make them come true. Do a little research and plan out how you bring them to reality. Your already a step closer after that – just keep going.

    Another source of popularity for the life list was the recent movie “Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, a fun and heartwarming movie about two aging men confronted with cancer and their approaching demise. Take a look for some quick inspiration.

  • Pam says:

    What an awesome post! Love it. I have been thinking a lot about this lately, and this helped clarify what I should do: Write it down. I already know a few things I will put on my life list:

    Learn to play bass & play with a band
    Travel to every continent (at least once)
    Write a screenplay

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Jes says:

    Hi Chris,

    You bring up a good point about making these lists more actionable. It’s easy to write a bunch of things that sound good or that you think other people would be impressed by. But to really sit down and write a guiding document that highlights the things in life you really want to strive for is a much more valuable tool to help keep you on the path you want to follow.

    Thanks for another inspirational post!

    Jes

  • Diana says:

    Hi Chris, I will turn 56 in a couple weeks. I think I should mention that your list can feel dated as you age, like those jackets with shoulder pads I eventually threw away. As I age, my needs and desires have changed drastically. After having to suddenly take early retirement 3 1/2 years ago, I tried to follow my old list to find satisfaction. (This was the list I made in my 40s because my youthful list was outdated.)

    Well, It didn’t fit. Now I need a completely new list! Believe me, this isn’t easy at my age with a chronic illness. Also, I have many notches on my belt as it is. I wonder what other “older” readers could tell me about finding new desires and challenges after you’ve been around the block a couple of times? (Skydiving is out!)

  • kazari says:

    I’m with Diana – I’ve found life lists to lose their flavour, after a while. And they have a tendency to become ‘someday’ goals.

    Now I’ve got a 101 things in 1001 days list, which suits me much better. Having a tangible deadline makes me more accountable.
    My list is here:
    http://myrope.wordpress.com/the-list/

  • kathy says:

    Chris
    For my 50th birthday last month, I posted a list of 50 things I want to do in my next 50 years. Most of them are experiences rather than things -but things are on there too.

    Now that my list is out there in cyberspace, I’ll have to do most of them just to save face.

    If you get to my blog through my name link, search for 50 Remix or Check it out at http://www.journeytoflow.com/?p=658

    kathy

  • Diana says:

    @Kazari I’m still laughing, your list is so long! I’m tired just reading it. That must have taken some time to compile. Did you do it at one sitting or jot it down over time? Also, are the ones lined out those you’ve given up on, or completed?

  • Audrey says:

    About a decade ago, before my husband and I married, we sat down at a cafe in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve and created our life lists. There were a fair amount of adventure items, professional and family goals, as well as skills we wanted to learn/accomplish. Each New Year’s Eve we would review the year that past and create goals for the coming year, but also pull out our life lists to see what we had accomplished, what we wanted to add, and adjust what we wasn’t as important anymore.

    Many people tell us that we’re lucky that we ended up together since we both share the love of travel and other values. We’re fortunate to have met by chance, but I do believe that doing and sharing life lists early on in our relationship was an important step. And while we do share many similar items on our respective lists, there are many items that are different – that’s also very important with a partner.

    Thanks for another great post!

  • John says:

    Thanks again for an essay worth reading!

    I’ve been thinking about it today and I have some things to share.

    First of all, I think people should set definite goals as you’ve started the article with. It’s the same thing with New Year’s resolutions (hey, it’s almost April already, how are you guys doing? 25% of the year – GONE.)

    I know a fair share of people who live not conforming to how society expects them to live (and I will return to this in a minute), but I just felt sad today for the older people who discover the website. I guess it’s really tough when you’re paying a mortgage, raising kids, saving for their education and probably paying off a car. While you may think I’m portraying a typical 9-to-5′er with a dead-end job, it’s fair to say a lot of people with entrepreneurial spirit are living this way. So, time (for the family and work), money (for mortgage, car, bills, education, etc) make it really hard for a person to achieve a really desirable goal. To return to the persons I know from above, they have all been this way since I’ve known them – no debt, no cars and living frugally to save money. And they do the weird stuff we admire Chris for. They’ve been all over the world. They don’t have a set list – must do this this year. When they can, they do it. Perhaps they do have a list of the places they really want to go to, but it seems they’re living their goals in the moment, just as Chris.

    It’s really one of those dillemas. You can’t take the absolutist position and say ‘If you want it, you can achieve it.” and the exact opposite also cannot be true.

    So is it about realistic goals for your proper self?

    If I am just starting university and life lies ahead of me and I’ve seen a lot of mistakes made by others (and mostly shown, thanks to people like Chris) I can make a very big list with hard to achieve goals, because I am young and I have a lot less obstacles and restraints to the 50 year old lady that posted above.

    What are your thoughts guys?

  • Chuck says:

    In talking about your site, my best friend and I were just discussing something similar to this type of list last month. We are both 37 and feel like it is time to get these things down on paper and start getting it done.

    Thanks for confirming it it with this post.

    It is also nice to be able to see others lists. To get a feel for what people are into.

  • I’m 25 and I created my life list in the fall of last year. It took me about 2 weeks to come up with a list of 100 things I wanted to do. But creating that list has really helped me focus on what’s important to me and what I want to get out of life. You can see my list over at my blog.

    One thing that’s really helped me stay focused on doing everything on my list is choosing a mix of short/mid/long-term goals. It’s nice to have some goals that I can do in a few days or weeks while I train and/or save up money for the larger goals. In fact, I designed my list so that I could do about one goal a month, and so far it’s roughly working out that way.

    I do plan to go back at the end of this year and look over the list to see if there are goals that I want to drop or add as my priorities and interests change.

    Thanks for writing another great post! I enjoy reading and pondering what you have to say. :)

  • Bill Riddell says:

    Hey John I agree to an extent, circumstances in life change and can limit the ease with which you can complete a goal. Sure there are limits in life but ordinary people achieve remarkable feats every day.

    There are 9-5′ers with dead end jobs who have represented their country in the Olympics, after they have had kids. Some would say that is impossible.
    A few weeks back on TV I saw a women in her 80′s who did a tandem skydive.
    In the headlines today is this story of a 107 year old grand mother who was a passenger in a race car doing over 100mph at Brands Hatch race track in the UK.
    My aunt, a humble secretary who recently turned 60 has traveled the world several times on long service leave in the past few years after having barely traveled in the decades before. She has worked hard in the same job for over 30 years. Now she is even considering tackling the Everest base camp with her son.

    What is possibly wrong with making a hard list, even if it gives you the push to achieve only one thing, that is a major achievement.

    Why be proper? Realistic often goes hand in hand with mediocrity. Be remarkable.

    I’d rather be a remarkable failure than a mediocre success. Even so I’ve already failed many times and gone on to remarkable success- give it a try.

    Diana, I’m only 23 but I’ve been lucky enough to battle through (and for the most part conquer) chronic illness, it inspired my list.

    Everyone is unique and I have no idea what you are going through, however there must be some big dreams you still have that could be within reach.
    Skydiving may not be your thing but perhaps there is that novel you have always wanted to write. I know a woman much older than yourself who is writing her first novel, she suffers terrible arthritis in her hands but uses a computer, microphone and Dragon Naturally Speaking software to transcribe what she says.
    Looking at your blog art is obviouslly your major passion. Maybe you would like to have a piece hang in a gallery, or your own exhibition. To sell one of your artworks.
    Perhaps look to leave some sort of legacy for your family. A few paintings and pieces of poetry by my grandmother take pride of place around my families homes.

  • Jessica says:

    Great post Chris! Love the content and that’s one amazing photo! I don’t know where you get them from (google I guess), but they’re always so representative of the subject (and pretty to look at by the same occasion)

    I agree with many of you. It’s true that dreams are important, and a life list is a good way of making them more accessible and making them come true. But as Diana said, sometimes they grow old, or change.

    I’m only 19 myself, but dreams I had as a kid (like being the owner of a candy shop (!)) aren’t the ones I have now. I still think it’s important to have dreams and goals in life, because, let’s be honest, that’s what motivates us. But at the same time, I think it’s important to keep your mind open to different opportunities that you might not have considered in the first place.

    From personal experience, I realized that some of my greatest life moments, or projects I’m proud I accomplished, weren’t necessarily planned out. I was at the right place at the right time and I impulsively chose to try something out.

    I also think that there is a difference to be made between dreams and goals. A dream is something you REALLY want to accomplish before you die, something that you could actually regret not accomplishing on your death bed. A goal is an objective we fix ourselves to get to that dream or a “minor” accomplishment that we would like to achieve (parachuting, meeting Bill Gates, …). According to me, we have to hang on to our dreams, no matter what, but be able to adapt our goals as we grow up. Mainly, my point is that having goals can help us progress, but focusing ONLY on those actually closes more doors than it opens.

  • Genevieve says:

    I think it’s great to make a life list — though I’ve had a recent unfortunate experience of my own with it!
    I just turned 30 a week ago and I had made a life list when I was 23 or so of all of the things that I intended to do by the time I turned 30 — hadn’t checked it since. Sadly everything on my list (items included getting married, traveling to all 50 US states, traveling to 10 countries, getting out of debt, finishing my master’s degree and publishing a book) had not been completed. All of them were close to complete (8 countries, 42 states, 6 years and a kid with the same now close to common law husband, a few thousand left of student loans, a thesis from a master’s, completed book but not published). So a few thoughts here.
    I think a list should be longer than I made mine — perhaps 43 is a good number, a much better one than the six or seven mine had. I think a list should encompass a lot of areas too, in part so you stay rounded and in part so that setbacks in certain areas of your life don’t keep you from going for your goals. If you can’t complete a marathon while your leg is broken, isn’t it better to learn Fench than to sit there moping about it?
    Most of all I think a list should be flexible — a wellspring of a life fully lived and not a barometer of failure. Perhaps a list shouldn’t have a hard and fast time limit either — I guess after we die we won’t care much what’s on there!
    Materialism isn’t all bad — who didn’t want a red corvette or a Shetland pony when they were 10 years old? It’s just a worry how those become the goals for so many people!

  • kazari says:

    @Diana, it took a couple weeks to make that whole list! I kept coming back to it. The crossed out things are the ones I’ve done so far.

  • Graham says:

    Thanks Chris for another article that promotes significant thinking. I’m now feeling inspired to formalise the vague list floating around in my head.

    What I’m also thinking of doing is writing a retrospective life list, as well as a forward-looking one. In other words, listing things which I’ve already achieved, which I might have written on a life list 20 years ago … if I’d thought of writing one back then.

    Why? Because reminding ourselves of what we have achieved can provide encouragement and boost confidence, and the more of our lives we have lived, the more true it is.

    I’m now 43 and have ticked the boxes on quite a few things which were once just dreams and goals. These include adventure goals like travel, skiing and hiking, career and study goals, and character goals such as work ethics. Apart from giving me confidence to aim higher, knowing what I’ve already done helps keep me grateful for where I am right now. Unfortunately it’s mostly in my head; being able to see past achievements on a written list would be better.

    It may not suit everyone, but a life list with some of the boxes already ticked appeals to me – now I just have to write it.

  • Jessica says:

    I like 43T for goal setting purposes. I like that you can keep all of your progress in one place. For example, I’m working on being able to post pictures of my apt in the Livejournal community Saucy Dwellings, slightly subjective yes because only I can decide when I’m ready, but mesurable because once I post it: it’s done. I like that I’ve now got about 45 entries of progress / steps / ideas I’ve had about the goal.

    Some of my goals are more personal and more growth orientated, my whole Happiness Project for example:

    Remember
    Balance
    Trust
    Constantly
    Talk
    Ask

    (The shortened form of them)

    But I think that 43T offers a medium for to have the support of a group (the community cheering aspect is great) and for the record keeping progress

  • Linnea says:

    I made a life list the summer before I started college. The most important items were to raise some happy kids with a good man, and publish at least one novel. There were only three or four other things, but now I’m thinking I should expand my list. Heck, if John Goddard included typing 50 WPM, there’s no reason I can’t add legible handwriting! Not to mention the more ambitious ideas, like owning an island and becoming a shodan.

  • Great post. I don’t have one yet, but I think making a life list is a great idea. One way to start this would be to create a happy list of all the things that bring you joy in your life right now. After starting that (it can be an ongoing project), you can then have a better idea of what types of things make you happy. You might also be inspired to consider what other things you could do to bring positive experiences into your life.

  • Blake says:

    I created my own life list several years ago, when I had several luxurious months when I did not need to worry about an income. It since became a very rough theme for my blog, evenlake.

    I have not disclosed all 81 of my items, because, as Kazari and Diana pointed out, some of the items become dated. By not publishing the entire list, I feel free to change an item, as long as I have not yet written about it.

    I agree that most items should be specific, but I have a few that are not easily measured, like “Develop an Appreciation of Poetry.” By leaving it somewhat vague, I can keep returning to it for the rest of my life, rather than just ticking it off the list and moving on.

    Thanks for a great post. You’ve got a new subscriber.

  • Heath says:

    Great post – and thanks for the link to Project 183.

    I have been doing my list for two years now, and my biggest tip to anyone starting a list is, as Chris wrote, your goals have to be measurable.

    Good luck to anyone about to start their own list – from personal experience I know how rewarding it is, and how much you will get out of it.

  • Chris,

    This is one of my favorite topics. I’ve written so many lists that I can’t count them on one hand, but the thing I’ve found out about these lists is that no matter what I write on them, it seems as if I’m destined for not what I want, but what the world wants for me. Sometimes the things I want aren’t what I should want and I end up getting not what I want, but what I need.

    Still, I’m bound and determined to cross the whole damn list off :)

  • Zoe says:

    That Thoreau quote is pretty incisive — I can see why it’s stuck with you!

    This makes me think of “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” lists. I think about what my list would’ve looked like 10, 15 years ago, and I see that some things don’t change. Being a writer has been on my list for as long as I can remember. Then again, being a gymnast fell off the list many, many years ago :).

    I haven’t actually written down a list in recent years, but there are a few big experiences/accomplishments that have been on my mental list for quite a while. I think making a concrete list is an excellent idea, because it pushes you to focus your ideas and understand why they’re important to you.

    I’ll sit down to write my list this week…

  • LeeAnn says:

    Chris, I’m a new reader & love your writings. I’m 48… some days I feel I have wasted my life.. some days I feel I have lived a day to it’s fullest.

    How does one find the balance.. to do those things on the Life List, and the will of God? How does one get up from a table full of friends & family (who never will have any life goals) walk away, and start living for oneself?

    Your Post… made me go find my Life List (took awhile to find it) With a good long look at it… I found that it is a list of things I still wish to do.

  • Steven says:

    Here is my list of goals, which can be read about at my website.

    1) ZERO credit card debt
    2) $5,000 emergency fund
    3) Bungee jump
    4) Sky dive
    5) Volunteer time with an environmental group
    6) Sponsor a child
    7) Become fluent in Spanish
    8) Travel to Iceland
    9) Climb Mount Whitney
    10) Learn how to surf
    11) Adopt a child
    12) Buy 10 acres of land
    13) Photograph a wild tiger
    14) Give away $100 to a complete stranger
    15) Sleep on a park bench in a big city
    16) Hitchhike
    17) Drive a car until it breaks down
    18) Sleep under the stars
    19) Bike the west coast
    20) Cut down a tree with an axe
    21) Build a skate park
    22) Land an airplane
    23) Skinnydip
    24) Publish a book
    25) Eat native food in a foreign country
    26) Meet a world leader
    27) Get Sphynx cat
    28) Eat less junk food
    29) Get “Spa Treatment”
    30) Ride a rollercoaster that goes upside down
    31) Go deepsea fishing
    32) Run in a marathon
    33) See a Broadway show in Manhattan
    34) Hit a homerun
    35) Golf 18 holes, under par
    36) Build a house to my blueprints
    37) Save someone’s life
    38) Shoot a machine gun
    39) See penguins in their natural habitat
    40) Drive a truck through a mudhole
    41) Ride in a hot air balloon
    42) Start a website
    43) Take a trigonometry & calculus class
    44) Go backpacking
    45) Basejump Devil’s Tower
    46) Kayak @ the Apostle Islands
    47) Buy a bike
    48) Take guitar lessons
    49) Eat sushi
    50) Take a yoga class
    51) Witness the monarch migration
    52) Teach a child how to do something
    53) Adopt a highway
    54) Visit Eldon, Iowa
    55) Take a photography class
    56) Go whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon
    57) Visit Galapagos Islands
    58) Stop drinking soda
    59) Exercise
    60) Tour Europe
    61) Swim with sharks
    62) Finish Associate Degree
    63) Attend college in another state
    64) Study for a semester in a foreign country
    65) Finish Bachelor’s Degree
    66) Study a world religion in detail
    67) Own an Armani suit
    68) Tour the White House
    69) Drive a race car
    70) Learn how to bake bread
    71) Swim across the English Channel
    72) Go to Las Vegas pornstar convention
    73) Go to San Diego Comicon
    74) Earn a black belt in Karate
    75) Make crop circles
    76) Learn proper etiquette
    77) Be in a hurricane
    78) Chase a tornado
    79) Be in Washington, DC during a Presidential Inaugeration
    80) Feel an earthquake
    81) Wander the Great Wall
    82) Visit Meteor Crater, Arizona
    83) Witness an active volcano
    84) Swim in the Dead Sea
    85) Reach financial independence
    86) Begin a profitable side hustle
    87) Learn how to tie a tie
    88) Scuba dive under ice
    89) Stand in the Eastern & Western Hemispheres at the same time
    90) Bench Press 300 lbs
    91) Meet Marilyn Manson
    92) Learn how to change the oil in my car
    93) Scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef
    94) Climb Mount Saint Helens
    95) Hang Glide
    96) Pay off my car
    97) Eliminate my student loans
    98) Witness a space shuttle launch
    99) Go to Disneyland
    100) ???

    Some of my goals are “adrenaline” goals and athletic goals…but are still real goals that I intend to accomplish. Thanks for reading!

  • Brian says:

    I created a list of 101 items 4 years ago when I first read about creating a list in a magazine. Since then I’ve accomplished many of them, with others on the backburner. One thing the list does is show you where your priorities lie, if you are open enough to see it THRU the list you create.

    Then you should focus all your attention on the list and accomplishing what is on it. Because that is what is really, really important to you.

  • Simon says:

    This is a great post, i have had a “life list” typed up on my pc for years, about 30 items long and i have never looked at it.

    I am in the process of typing up a new list much longer and with a limited life span. It will be 197 things to do before i am 40 (7 years away).

    I think this will help me focus on what i want to do, and also means the list wont be sitting around for years because, well , i only have 7 years to do them all.

    Once the list is live i will post it up.

    Thanks again for the post.

  • Awesome post! Loved it!

    My husband and I keep life lists and revise them, it seems, weekly or monthly…

    Enjoy life and do what you were put here on Earth to do!

    Kimberly :)

  • Elle says:

    Excellent article! I created my first list 11 years ago and it’s evergrowing. I’ve ticked off quite a few items already, but I’ve got a lot of work to do (especially since I keep adding ideas)

  • Quadratics says:

    Amazing issues here. I’m very glad to peer your article.
    Thank you a lot and I am taking a look forward to contact you.

    Will you please drop me a mail?

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