Boomers have the time, means and motivation to now focus on their ‘Life Lists’
The urban dictionary defines a bucket list as “a list of unfulfilled desires that someone would like to do and accomplish before they ‘kick the bucket’ and die”. With Boomers living longer and healthier lives that any generation before them, these lists are becoming more important and more elaborate than ever before.
I met a retired teacher recently while on a train into Paris. She told me she had a bucket list and that this trip was one of three was taking this year.
START WITH TRAVEL
Yes, travel experiences, special meals, extreme sports and adrenaline risk taking feats are all features of bucket lists. These tap into the Boomer’s insatiable desire for travel and their unwavering sense of adventure. New experiences make them happy.
Travel today isn’t about just checking off a destination and moving on to the next one. It’s about collecting experiences — and returning from each journey feeling transformed as a person. Each one of these trips is designed to be life-changing.
LEARNING & PURPOSE
Bucket lists can give purpose, focus and direction to guide towards new things and new experiences.
Learning something new, living in a new place, even trying a new career are components of today’s bucket lists.
MOTIVATION & MEANS
Boomers are ‘living their lists’ with gusto and wasting no time going at it. Boomers have both the means and time.
WHY A LIST?
So what prompted the retired teacher, my train companion to formalize and act on her bucket list? She shared with me that she was in a line, third generation of women who had succumbed to the ravishing effects of Alzheimer’s disease. She was motivated to live life to the fullest and said she’s crossed almost everything off her list already.
In many cases, bucket lists are triggered by watching aging parents decline in health or even die and boomers know that the best time is now. That coupled with Boomers becoming empty-nesters and free from the 9-5 gives them the time and energy to catch up on adventure time.
Some people don’t have bucket lists because they think that you’re thinking about dying instead of living so perhaps for those individuals, we re-frame the concept to a ‘Life List’ or simply ‘Goals’. Like Tim McGraw’s song “Live like you were dying”…life is too short for low expectations.
HOW TO GET STARTED
So when and how does one get started on their own Life List? Well, yes there’s an app for that, several actually. Bucketlistly.com is one. And many great websites and blogs with Life List suggestions and Bloggers living it up in exotic destinations.
Annette White, a popular Boomer blogger is author of Bucket List Adventures and shares her journey on bucketlistjourney.net
She has 1000 ideas for Life Lists and breaks them down into categories like Adventure, Finance & Luxury, Connecting & Relationships, Personal Growth and Just for Fun to name a few.
BENEFITS OF BUCKET LISTS The perks are making memories, moving from a tough experience, exploring the world and learning.
And the list can be added to as you go. It is a never-ending work in progress, continuously being altered, updated, contemplated and rejuvenated. The list is of course highly individualized and suiting to the focus on self that Boomers embody.
New trends in Bucket Lists are that Boomers are now adding in worthwhile activities – picking things that bring lasting joy like helping their adult children buy homes, writing a book or starting a new business.
In the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” that popularized the idea of goal setting in later life, this nugget of inspiration emerged – “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching”.