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6 Steps to Achieve Anything on Your Bucket List

Lean in closer, as I would like to introduce you to something that’s a good friend to millions of people from around the globe.
The List.
Also referred to as The “Stuff I Want to Do Before I Die.” A life list. Most call it a bucket list.

What’s on The List?

The short answer is: whatever your heart desires.
Want to be trilingual? Published in an international magazine? Jump from the side of a cliff? Fly a plane? Shake the President of Canada’s hand? Visit every continent on the planet? Visit outer-space? Eat local for 6 months? Own your own business? Sing jazz in a club or do stand-up comedy? Graduate from law school? Adopt a child? Be debt-free?
The best part of the bucket list is that it’s completely up to you. It’s unique to each person. People all over the world use the bucket list as a type of goal setting and motivational tool to help achieve nearly anything, but you have to follow through and make it happen. Life happens quickly, and before you know it you’re retired and starting to stare the end of life in the face. Take time to review your bucket list with your family and start working toward ways to check items off the list. Here are six steps you should consider to help you check off items on your bucket list.

Brainstorm Realistic Goals

Before you can achieve anything, big or small, you have to know what you want to achieve.
Do you have a notepad and a pen or pencil? If not, invest in these specifically for this purpose. Having a hard copy of your Bucket List is critical. Not only will it help you remember to want to accomplish, but keeping your life list in an easy to remember and an accessible spot will help you be prepared for when that grand, game-changing idea strikes you on a whim as well. If carrying a notepad at all times doesn’t strike you as practical, leave it at home and use your mobile phone. There are a number of notepad apps that allow you to type or talk your notes into your phone immediately. Don’t forget to take those digital notes and add them to your notepad when you get home.
Whether you want to climb Mount Everest, enjoy a Cuban cigar in Havana, fly a plane or anything else, you can do it. But first, you have to make it a priority and dedicate time and effort to prepare. Start off by making your list and choosing your number one goal. Then move on to step two to start the process of making it happen.

Set Goals and Do Research

The next step in reaching your goal is to take it from abstract terms and make it something specific, measurable, and realistic. A goal like “win the lottery” or “retire next year” may not be realistic. A goal like “earn a lot of money” is realistic, but not measurable or specific. Choose goals that are specific, measurable, and realistic.
Once you’ve set your measurable, realistic goal research how you can achieve it. Most bucket list goals require a combination of time and money. Try to understand how much it will cost and how much time it will take. Once you know the answers to both of those questions, you can get on track to make it happen.

Save Up

The next step is saving. In step one, you researched how much your goal potentially costs. If it is anything less than riding a Russian spaceship, you can set a reasonable savings goal to help you reach that item on your bucket list.
If you want to achieve your bucket list item in a year, divide the cost by 12. If you want to reach it in five years, divide by 60. That is the number of months you have to save for your goal. Start saving that amount every month to make your goal possible.
There is no deadline in reaching a goal on your bucket list, but saving manually generally makes it take much longer than automatic savings. You can set up a split direct deposit from your paychecks into savings account for your goal, an automatic transfer at your bank, or use a third-party savings app.

Choose a Date

Now that you know how long it is going to take to save for your goal, it’s time to choose when it happens. Don’t say “someday”. People who say “someday” rarely achieve what they want. To achieve your bucket list, you will need to be a goal-driven individual and you have to pick a date to make it happen.
Look at your calendar and take into account any government holidays, work holidays, religious holidays, and major assignments or times of the month that would conflict with your ability to reach your goal. Picking a date doesn’t require any action by anyone other than you. Pick a date that you plan to really follow through with to reach your goal.
Once you pick your date, achieving your goal is no longer optional. You are on a path to living your dreams. The only thing left that can get in the way, is you. Make a mental commitment to yourself and keep saving until you are ready for step five.

Make Reservations

You have the date picked, you have the money saved. Now it’s time to make reservations. If you have a goal that includes travel, it is time to book your plane, train, boat, or other tickets. Make any reservations needed to make your goal happen. If you have kids, remember to make a plan with Grandma and Grandpa or Aunt and Uncle for a fun vacation for your kids while you are busy following and achieving your dream.
Don’t forget to consider checking your life insurance policy, passports, visas, permissions and other logistics for your trip. If it is a common, popular destination, you might be able to find a tour guide or agency that can take care of the travel logistics for you. If not, do it yourself, but search online to make sure you have every needed permit and reservation to ensure a successful and memorable adventure.


Your reservations are made. Your bucket list goal is paid for. There’s nothing left to do but go and live your dreams. The bucket list is an amazing concept and one that you can actually follow through on. Don’t let it be a dream for “someday”. Make it a goal you can achieve. There’s no time like the present.
Flying a plane can cost roughly $150. A plane ticket to Europe runs around $1,200, but there are often much cheaper deals. People climb Mount Everest, Kilimanjaro, McKinley and jump out of planes all the time. Nothing should hold you back.
Usually, it is nothing more than a mental block. It’s time to make someday a date on your calendar. It’s time to make a dream into a plan. If you follow this five-step process to achieve bucket list goals, there’s nothing holding you back other than yourself. And now, with that out of the way, you are on track to achieve anything. Hold on tight. Here you go!
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