How to Cross Off Items on Your Bucket List: Time, Effort, and Money

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I remember going to Trudy’s for “dinner” with Heath back when we were dating. He would call it dinner, but he meant queso and margaritas. We sat on the outdoor patio on an Austin April evening to enjoy happy hour.

How to Cross Off Items on Your Bucket List: Time, Effort, and Money

The night before, Heath and his best friend James had sat down to write a bucket list. He posted it on Facebook to share with the world. It included a few things like this:

  • Be in a movie
  • See the seven wonders of the world
  • White water rafting
  • Shake hands with one president
  • Skydive
  • Write book that ends up on NYT Best Sellers
  • Learn to play an entire song on guitar
  • Make documentary over a cause passionate about

There are about 20 more, but all of Heath’s items on list are dreams that everyone else has probably dreamed too. Some of them are audacious dreams like donating a million dollars all at once. And some are small and fun like participate in a flash mob.

Heath asked me about my bucket list, something significantly shorter than his that I’d written years back. Here’s what my list looked like:

  • Write a book
  • Write a good book
  • Go to all fifty states
  • Start a non-profit

There were other things like singing in front of a crowd, making a speech, or graduate college that I’d already crossed off the list.

I remember Heath and I arguing about my list. Why would you just want to write a book? Or a good book? Why not want to write a New York Times bestseller?

Because the first book I write isn’t going to be a New York Times bestselling, but maybe the next one will. I have to write a not so great book to learn how to write a great book next. I defended.

When it comes to bucket lists, we can sway one of three ways. We either forget we made one or we try for something on our list and realize it will take much time and effort to actually accomplish. The third option is to succeed, regardless of the cost.

Right now, we are smack in the middle of accomplishing many goals on our list. We will travel to all fifty states, see two of the seven natural wonders of the world, we will work on writing books, and we will film a documentary. Plus, Heath will essentially star in this movie.

We are knocking out half of our goals all at once. Altogether, these goals will cost us 7 months on the road, over $20,000 in travel expenses with the purchase of an RV, and a lot of peace of mind. We are away from family and friends. We are putting every moment of our lives into this. We are 100% committed.

And sometimes, we really want to quit because our dreams still feel impossible. A documentary filmed by an amateur 23-year-old girl with an unknown 23-year-old guy talking to hourly workers? Who would watch that? An RV that rattles and rocks and is expected to last four more months on the road? How many mechanic shops will we need to visit? Over 30 more states to go and we’ve already been working for months? When will we be able to rest?

Every day, we have this choice. We can realize that our dream will take much time and effort, or we can put in the time and effort to make it a reality.