Best Bucket List Hacks: Make 2017 your best year yet  

When was the last time you asked yourself if you are really happy?

According to the latest Harris Poll Happiness Index, only 1 in 3 Americans are very happy. That’s an all-time low, down a bit from last year’s poll. However, 8 in 10 say they are “generally happy.” That’s a little bit better!

So what separates those who are happy from those who are very happy? Studies show that goal setting can make you a happier person.

People often will comment on how something is on their “bucket list”: a proverbial list of things they’d like to do before they “kick the bucket.” But few of us have a clearly defined plan that outlines our life goals and how we plan to accomplish them.

In a world where we set objectives for work and write “to do” lists that are miles long each weekend, it’s surprising that so few of us take the time to consider how to live our best lives.

Here at Healthy Human, we are committed to Living Life Healthy — and that includes living fulfilling lives.

Are you ready to join the Healthy Human lifestyle? We believe your dream life is within reach! Here is your guide to:

  • Setting life goals: How to set goals that represent what you truly want.
  • Accomplishing your goals: How to make your dreams a reality.
  • Tracking your goals: How to analyze your success and keep making progress.

As you start setting and achieving your “bucket list,” you may find people saying, “that must be nice,” or “you’re so lucky.” Remember: luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Even if you’re risk averse, by living deliberately, over time, you can create the life of your dreams.

Best Bucket List Hacks: Your Ultimate Guide to Accomplishing Your Bucket List

How to set life goals

man in mountains and ocean

Dream big!

Writing your bucket list is the easy part, right?

Not so fast. This is, in fact, where many people mix up the conventional goals they think they are supposed to want with the actual goals they really do want.

It’s easy to let commercials, ads, and the seemingly perfect lives we see our friends living on social media influence our desires. When was the last time you considered what you really want in life?

Remember that business idea you had a while back? How you’ve wanted to live on the beach since you were a child? This is the time to consider your true passions and desires.

Start by grabbing a pen and paper and, if you don’t have a bucket list already, start one by writing down ideas as you let your mind dream through these three simple steps:

Step 1: Start with the end in mind.

In Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he discusses a habit he describes as “beginning with the end in mind.” He encourages readers to ask themselves the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” 

“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination,” Covey says. “It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now, so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.”

This will help you determine if you’re where you have always wanted to be, doing what you dreamed you would be doing. If not, put a pen to paper and start jotting down all of the things that you want to experience and accomplish in life.

Step 2: Consider your “Circle of Life.”

Now it’s time to get a bit granular and look at which areas of your life are thriving and which areas need some attention.

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Circle of Life tool is a great way to visualize your life goals. Here, consider all of the elements of your life that nourish you and what specific goals you have in mind for each section. Add them to your list.

Step 3: Build the confidence to dream big.

If at this point you find yourself saying, “I know this sounds crazy, but…” as you jot down elements of your bucket list, you are on the right track!

The majority of people don’t believe they can truly accomplish their dreams. As Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, says, “99% of people believe they can’t do great things so they aim for mediocrity.” Life is not about outdoing people. It’s about your personal fulfillment and believing in yourself.

How to accomplish your life goals


Remember that you are on your own path. Make your bucket list goals a reality by creating a process that will help you find your way.

Congratulations! You now have a bucket list that is true to your unique goals.

Don’t let the list just sit on your desktop until 2018. It’s time to make an action plan that will help you actualize these goals into real life events.

Step 1: Draw four columns on a piece of paper

First, label each column with the following headers:

  • Today
  • This Week
  • This Month
  • This year

Step 2: Fill each column with tasks

Next, take a look at your bucket list and consider which of the goals you outlined you’d like to accomplish this year. Put them in the final column. Then, starting with the one you’d like to accomplish this month, jot down the tasks you’ll need to accomplish in order to achieve them.

For instance, let’s say that this year I’d like to visit Europe. By the end of this month, a reasonable goal would be to set a location and date for the trip. By the end of this week, a great goal would be to determine when this year I think I will be able to go. Today, I could start by doing some trip research to nail down a location.

Step 3: Create 11 more sheets

Finally, create 11 more sheets of paper with the same annual goals listed in the final column and a different month listed at the top of each.

One by one, take yourself through each goal, working backward, outlining what you need to achieve each month in order to make your bucket list items a reality.

How to track your life goals

girlfriends lying on ground

Find a friend or partner who will keep you accountable for your goals.

Each day, week and month, review how you are doing with each goal in these sheets.

If you find you need a few more hacks to help you monitor your progress, try some of these:

For the minimalist:

  • First, put your bucket list items for this year on an index card and post it somewhere you can see it every day. Cross things off as you accomplish them.
  • Next, make a vision board and post it somewhere prominent.
  • Finally, enlist a partner who you can meet with once a month and will keep you accountable for your goals.

For the techie:

  • Try Simpleology, an online tool that helps people manage goals.
  • Plug everything into Google Calendar. In addition, you can even color code everything so you know which steps are associated with which goal.
  • Use online budget tools to help you financially prepare to achieve your bucket list items.

As you check items off of your list, you’ll want to accomplish even more!

Ready to have the best year of your life?

Achieving your goals starts with taking care of yourself. And taking care of yourself starts with proper hydration.

To get started, try jumpstarting your goals by joining the Healthy Human lifestyle!

What do you think?

Have you crossed anything off of your bucket list recently? Tell us about your adventures in the comments below!