Meaningful Bucket List Exercise

A bucket list can be a great tool for living a more meaningful life and living more in accordance with your values, but only if it is done with meaning.  I have used the following method for years with success and I hope it can help you build a more meaningful bucket list for your life.

1) Create a form on your paper that looks like this


The list can go on and on for as many items as you want (or already have) on your bucket list.

2) Fill in as many items as you can think of, then answer the question for each item– why would this be meaningful? Next assign a value to how meaningful the item would be with 10 being the most meaningful and 1 being the least.

3) Reorder the list based on how meaningful each item is.

4) Look for patterns in the items – and more importantly, in your top few items – what are the values that appear to be present in the most meaningful items?

5) Contemplate and write in your journal about what the values are that emerge as you contemplate your bucket list.

6) The real value of this exercise is NOT necessarily completing everything on your list – but discerning WHY it has meaningful value to you. Using your list of values – start living your life more in alignment with these values NOW – whether or not you complete the items on your list.

Michael Winters is a Psychologist in Houston focusing on marriage counseling and therapy. Michael received his PhD from the University of Memphis and has been practicing since 1991.