Yes! There are some bucket list ideas you can do in 2021, really. Given all that 2020 brought you might think bucket lists need to wait a bit. At first glance, it makes sense that we might need the world to return to some kind of normality.
But, when I created my 50-Before-50 bucket list I purposefully added some ideas that could be done any time. Of course, I have the once-in-a-lifetime experiences and the round the world adventures on there. But I didn’t want it to all be travel and expensive ventures.
My list includes self-development and learning new skills as well as acts of kindness. Bucket lists don’t have to be expensive or full of travel or things that will take a long time to do.
Bucket list ideas you can do now
I wanted to give you some bucket list ideas you can do in 2021 because I think we all need a distraction. Immersing yourself in something you enjoy is good for your brain. When we get into a flow state we forget what’s going on around us and that helps to keep us calm.
Even if you choose something small, it can add a bright spot to your day or week. Plus, having something to work towards and an opportunity to reward yourself is also good for your mental wellbeing.
So, here are some suggestions of things you could add to your bucket list and start today.
Book or Film Bucket Lists
Are there some classic books you’d like to read or some iconic films you’ve been meaning to watch? Why not make a list of 25, 101 or just all the books or films you’d love to read/watch and never made time to.
Books in particular can be easy to source for free from friends or the library. Some are even available for free online.
Acts of Kindness Bucket list
Number 40 on my bucket list is to give a Kiva loan. This supports others in area of need to grow their businesses. The great thing about this one is that once you’ve been repaid the load you can choose to keep lending it to other people.
But you don’t have to donate money to make a bucket list of kind acts. You could do a good turn a day for free or make a list of different things you want to do for others. All of these things send out positive ripples into the world:
- give a genuine compliment
- lend someone a hand
- donate something you don’t need or use
- write a nice review for someone
- recommend someone’s business
- give a stray animal some leftover food
- mentor someone
What would be on your Random Acts of Kindness Bucket List?
Learn a new skill for your 2021 bucket list
Thanks to YouTube you can learn just about anything online, for free. If you want to invest, you can find online lessons and courses on everything under the sun.
On my list, I want to learn to do a proper handstand. Perhaps you’d like to learn a language. Download Duolingo and away you go. (It’s not on my list, but I started learning Scottish Gaelic in 2020. I enjoyed spending 5-10 minutes a day doing something completely different and the app gameifies the process.
What about the watercolour painting set you got and never picked up but would love to use? How about learning how to take amazing pictures on your existing iPhone? Look around at all the things you got with good intentions. You were drawn to them for a reason. Probably time and everything else has got in the way of you getting on with using them. Make the time now and do something for no other reason than the joy you get out of it.
Commit to a daily practice
You could add learning to meditate to your list of skills above. Before 2020 I had already been meditating. However, I wanted to make it a daily practice so I committed to 365 days of meditation. I completed my quest in January 2021. My next habit to create is number 47 on my list: give gratitude for 365 days.
Perhaps you don’t want to make learning a new skill your habit. It could be that you make time to do something for yourself every day. Maybe you commit to getting up a bit earlier in the morning or watching a bit less TV to make time for something that lights up your soul. That could be reading a chapter of a book, ritualising a cup of tea in the morning, working on one aspect of your business consistently or even making time to write the book you’ve always wanted to publish.
Ok, it’s not the same as being somewhere in person, but many countries are giving virtual tours online. Sometimes things we have on our list turn don’t live up to the hype. Join a virtual tour of those classic bucket lists places and decide if you really do want to go and see them in real life. Maybe you’ll decide there’s something else you’d prefer to go or do.
Local visits and trips
I’m in Greece at the moment, and even local travel is banned while we’re in lockdown. I know a lot of other places are the same at the moment. But later this year we’ll be able to travel again, locally or within the country we’re living in.
This could be a great time to discover what’s on your doorstep. Look up the historical sites or areas of natural beauty. Maybe you could plan a stay-cation and visit some of those.
Make a 2021 activity bucket list
Tagging onto the point above, you could make an activity bucket list. If you’re a keen cyclist or walker (or decide that you’re going to become one in 2021) make a sporty list to work through.
You don’t have to complete it in a year. But you could make a start on some cycling or walking routes you’d like to complete.
Or even start preparing for a full or half-marathon. The training takes time to build up so download a beginner’s running plan and start working towards a 5 or 10k.
Prepare for a big bucket list item
Chances are if there are some big ticket items on your bucket list you’re not ready to do them. If someone called and said you can do these things tomorrow would you be all set?
If not, what preparation can you start now so that you’re ready when the time comes? Could you make a list of the special kit you need for a particular expedition? Would it be helpful to start learning the lingo of that place you’ve always wanted to visit? What about mapping out the route of the iconic road trip you can’t wait to take? Do some research on the best person to teach you the thing, or show you the place.
Start on the bucket list ideas you CAN do in 2021
Hopefully, you’ve seen there are bucket list ideas you can get started on in 2021. You don’t have to give up on your list just yet. Cancelled plans are disappointing, but there are still things you can do or plan for. We all need something to look forward to, so shuffle your bucket list about to create a little bright spot. It’s a nice talking point that doesn’t involve current affairs.