Traditionally the domain of retirees, bucket lists are redefining the way Australians are choosing to live their lives.
During her time at the coal face, Lee Blume has watched on as the meaning of bucket lists has changed from “things to do before you die” to something far more encompassing.
A co-owner of Business Coach Central West, Blume spends her days working with individual, professional and community groups firstly creating and then accomplishing their bucket list ideas.
She says there is much more to planning and achieving a bucket list than merely undertaking a few travel experiences before you “kick the bucket”.
“A bucket list for me is to be continually actioning and refilling your set of goals… so when the end does come your eulogy is a book not a page. By having an active bucket list (one you are actioning), you are always looking forward and working to live and not living to work and, if you have children, showing them what is possible.”
“As we get older it stops isolation and improves self-worth and makes the transition into retirement so much easier because you are already doing and experiencing what life has to offer.”
Blume, whose own bucket list goals include meeting Sir Peter Cosgrove, completing an inland water cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg and visiting the Seymour Vietnam War Memorial to see her father’s name, says many people believe that a bucket list is something you require as you age when in fact the opposite is true.
By leaving it until after your retirement to begin crossing items off your list of must-dos you run the risk of not achieving as many as you may have hoped.
For this reason, any age is an appropriate time to begin jotting down experiences that you hope to achieve – whether they be something as physically challenging as base jumping or as sedate as viewing the Northern Lights, she says.
Showing she is prepared to practice what she preaches, Blume has already crossed off a number of items on her own list including undertaking trekking trips through Mongolia, Kokoda and the Kingdom of Mustang Nepal; road trips through Britain and Ireland with husband Mark and her mum and adventures through Spain, Blue Ridge Mountain Tennessee and Alberta Canada.
That said, Blume says she firmly believes that great bucket lists do not have to solely be about travel.
“You would be surprised at the amount of experiences that are free. Unfortunately, people wait until retirement and by this stage may not be able to do the things they want, or they receive a use by date and then it’s too late. You never know what’s coming, so by doing and trying things now we live with few regrets.”
Blume, whose life plan workshops are staged over sessions lasting between three hours and six to 12 weeks, says despite the fact increasing numbers of Australians are putting together bucket lists, many who manage to plan them often later struggle to implement them.
This is largely because the plans are in their heads or sometimes in writing but are rarely actioned until “something drastic happens”, she says.
Blume says experience has shown that many people believe they need permission to achieve their bucket list when all they require is a little clarity in ordering their life goals.
“We become so busy in doing the ‘to do list’ that we forget to live. Sometimes it can be just sharing your bucket list with someone else that will help you create some activity and momentum. Also, just by putting deadlines on the activity will help.”