Eight Tips For Setting Your Bucket List Goals


By David Jerome, “Mr. Bucketlist”

“Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive.”  Rev. Robert H. Schuller

I am a firm believer in setting goals, maybe that’s why a bucket list appeals to me. It is really just a list of life goals. I’ve been setting goals since I was about 18 years old. At the start of each year, I’d make about a dozen goals for that year. I’d refer to the list monthly to see how I was doing, and at the end of the year I’d take inventory. My success rate would usually be about 70 per cent. Then I’d make another list for the next year because as Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

With the arrival of the New Year, I’d like to offer you some tips for setting your own bucket list goals:

Think about where you want to go. What you want to do. Who you want to meet. What you want to learn. Search bucket list ideas online. There are lots of sites that offer ideas including MrBucketlist.com.

Write down every idea, you can always cross things out later. List at least one easy to complete goal and one seemingly impossible goal and work towards finding ways to make both happen.

Be creative and try to “stretch yourself.”  Your only limitations are self- imposed.

Share your list with friends and family.  It deepens your commitment to your goal, and they may have ways to help you.

Plan ahead. If your bucket list goal is to throw out the First Pitch at a professional baseball game, you have to start working on it in football season.

Ask for what you want. As the old saying goes, “you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

Keep your list alive. I am constantly crossing things off of my list and adding new goals.

Be persistent in achieving your goals. It took me a year and a half of trying to get into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade as a balloon handler.

There’s some kind of magic to actually writing down your goals. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

Some of my future goals are: visit 100 countries (currently at 24), ride the Rosarito to Ensenada bike race, drink a margarita with Jimmy Buffett, attend the Kentucky Derby, ride in a blimp and a hot air balloon, attend the Army-Navy football game, ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, be invited to a State Dinner at the White House, and break-dance at my kids’ wedding receptions.

It’s said that one of the keys to happiness is having “something to look forward to.” So, with the New Year, I encourage you to make a list of goals, be them personal, professional, spiritual, or bucket list goals. Because, as C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”


David Jerome, “Mr. Bucketlist”, has visited all 50 states and 24 countries. He has appeared on national television, and authored the award-winning humor book “Roastbeef’s Promise: When Your Dad’s Dying Wish Is to Have His Ashes Sprinkled in Each State, What’s a Son to Do?” Read more about his adventures at MrBucketList.com.