What are 10 things that you want to do before you die? Walk the Great Wall in China? Eat Belgian waffles in Belgium? Feed a great white shark (no that’s not me although i am a certified scuba diver thanks to my very practical and currently-NOT-being-put-to-use marine biology degree)?
Almost everyone has a bucket list of one kind or another. Some people want to become millionaires. Some want to write a novel. Some want to pay off their mortgage. That would be nice especially if I had a sponsor to help me with that one.
But lets face it, while most bucket list items are compelling they are also expensive, dangerous or time consuming and most of us won’t be able to pull them off especially while our children are still living at home.
I worked with a client who wanted to serve God in Africa (a big item on her bucket list) but since she’s a wife and mom to two elementary children, she said, “Most days I think since I can’t go to Africa, I’ll just go do laundry.” That’s a defeating thought when you have big dreams. Her comment started us on a quest to set positive goals for this mom that were both energizing and manageable within the limitations of her current life.
The result: the mini bucket list.
A mini bucket list is a list of local activities that can be accomplished in short periods of time (ie.1-3 hours). They are spontaneous events so that when your spouse, mother or babysitter says “Honey, I’ll watch the kids. You take the afternoon off” you don’t have to head to Target because it’s all that you can think to do. A mini bucket list can help you achieve your smaller dreams while energizing and refreshing your parental soul.
Some questions to ponder in the creation of your mini bucket list:
- What energizes you? Biking, hiking, gardening, cooking? Make a list of specific activities that you could accomplish in a couple of hours. What hiking trail appeals to you? Which bike path? What recipe do you want to try? And make sure you have all the ingredients or equipment on hand.
- What have you always wanted to do? What are you curious about? I drive by a road on the outskirts of town and every time I wonder, Where does that go? I put it on my bucket list. Or whenever I go to Costco I spend all my time shopping for the food on the periphery and wonder, What mysterious stuff can you find in the middle of the store? So that’s on my bucket list too.
- What do you long to do by yourself? Stroll through an art gallery, wander around a bookstore or an outdoor mall, paint your own pottery, get a free makeover at Sephora, take a yoga class, or rummage through a flea market? The list is endless but it should be energizing and fun. And write your list down on paper. A goal is only a wish, and less likely to be achieved, until you write it down.
- Who would you love to serve? What causes are you passionate about? Since Africa doesn’t qualify for the mini bucket list, what local ministries or charities can you help out when you have the chance? Jesus’ ministry never took him more than 30 miles from his hometown. We don’t have to go far to share our hearts or live our dreams.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” Ephesians 5:15-16
What’s on your mini bucket list?