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Should You Have a Bucket List or a Big 5 for Life?

Article by Anna Letitia Cook

whar's on your bucket list?

I was talking to my children the other day about what they have on their bucket list! (A bucket list is a list of things you dream/are inspired to achieve over the course of your lifetime.) This developed into a long and happy chat, full of laughter, about all our hopes and dreams, how much pleasure we have just thinking about them.  They wanted to know what was on my list when I was their age (they are 25 and 26 now), how it evolved over time, the things achieved and other items added to the list. I was fascinated to learn about theirs: travel, house, children, setting up their own businesses (among others) – some of which they have already achieved! J

I was delighted with my kids’ attitude and love that they were just as excited about my hopes, dreams and very active bucket list. They are FAR from encouraging me to be the little old lady at home, they are pushing me out the door and telling me off for making excuses – lol.

So do you have a bucket list and why should you have one?

Great reason’s for having one are:

It’s motivating!

Doing the same thing day in day out, which – if we are honest – most of us do, can be a little mundane. What better way to ignite a spark than to think about, plan and organize as well as put into action the things on your bucket list! You can get hours of pleasure just from the research along the way…

You focus on what you really want.

There is so much noise and distraction in our everyday lives that we get swamped. Making your bucket list forces you to focus on who you really are, what you really want, and leave aside what is just dross that has no real value to our happiness and fulfilment.


It boosts creativity

Looking at the items on your list, some are more achievable than others. For the crazier ones you can really enjoy letting your creativity run riot, start thinking out of the box for ways you could make this happen. You may need to break it down into steps, but open your mind and create the options J


You actively progress, advance, experience

Looking at your list regularly and doing little things to get closer to achieving one of them keeps you moving forward. Life isn’t always a bed of roses. When we are going through a challenging period, just being able to glance at our list can give an extra burst of energy, keep our head up, bring back the smile to our lips, and renew the spring in our stride. As we get closer to crossing an item off the list we start feeling a sense of accomplishment. This boosts our confidence as well – basically, win-win!


It increases your sense of fulfilment

Quite often we feel bored or ‘empty’ going through the ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’, and daily ‘have tos’. When we have a bucket list and we are actively doing something towards an item on the list we are bringing more passion into our life, this raises the quality of our life and we enjoy the beauty of the present, the pleasure of changing our dreams into experiences. Not only do you feel lighter and more interested, but it reduces stress because you are doing things you love, it boosts energy and increases motivation in other areas of your life as well.


And the main reason… It’s fun!


Over the years mine has included:

Travel to exotic places – Tick! I lived/worked in Bermuda for 4 years, fabulous place! Also in Spain for 6 years, France for 10+, several months in USA, Canada and Italy. Visited Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Greece and still have many ideas for the future

Compete/Event horses – Tick! I have always ridden but from the age of 5 years old I dreamed of competing… I did it!! Yayyy – Dressage, show-jumping and eventing. Even did some side-saddle…

Parachute Jump – Tick! Loved it and raised money for charity

Scuba dive – Tick! In Bermuda, I took advantage of the fabulous reefs and wrecks.

Growing vegetables – Tick! I was so pleased when I could serve up my own home-grown fruit and veg every day J

Dancing tap – Tick! Loved dancing and dance films. From when I was a kid I used to watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers so one year, instead of my usual dance classes, I signed up to learn tap! Wow! It was fab!

These are just a few examples of what I chose. I have so many things that I want to do that I have moved my bucket list on to developing a ‘big five for life’ (after reading the book of the same name). I now have five to focus on and as each is accomplished I cross it off and add another to the list.  I find this keeps me more actively engaged in achieving them. My brain works better, and achieves more, with fewer items to think about at one time…

Next item for me now is… Dancing Argentinean Street Tango on the streets of Buenos Aires!

So what is on your bucket list? How do you keep track of what you have done or what you are going to do? I would love to hear yours, in the comment box below J


Anna Letitia CookBio:

Anna Letitia Cook is particularly passionate about mentoring women executives, and the 50+ sector, in finding clarity in their career choices. She created and became CEO of her first company in the entertainment industry at age 32. Midlife approaching, hungry for a dynamic change, she refocused her experience, founding WomenUP Ltd, focusing on helping women shape their own future. Creator of the process SCOPE for career, fulfilment and success, she is currently working on her first book ‘Liberate Your Career: The Women’s Guide to Freedom and Fulfilment’, with plans for a second, ‘Glass Ceiling Grans’, early next year. On the personal front, Anna lives in the beautiful French countryside, she has 2 grown children and looks forward to becoming a granny (hopefully sooner rather than later)! She is a committed dog lover and accomplished horsewoman, passionately interested in ballet, and a devotee of adventurous hiking and trekking.




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