Dear Millennials and People of All Ages: Write a Reverse Bucket List


These days, everybody’s got advice to give, it seems.

Just this morning, someone at work forwarded a list of the top 10 BEST pieces of advice according to some dude named Dan Schawbel (and Forbes, apparently) for all millennials.

According to Dan and the popular media of the world, we should never settle for a job we’re not passionate about, make a big impact IMMEDIATELY at a new job (haha), take risks early and often, spend more time with people, measure your work outcomes and SACRIFICE today to position yourself better for tomorrow.

Sure thing, Dan.

I’ll pencil this in for Thursday.  Wednesday’s already filled up it looks like……I’m uh….oh hmmm YEP, Wednesday I’m settling from 8 – 6:30.

Sometimes advice from every imaginable expert on success makes for great lunch-time reading.

Sometimes you just don’t want to hear it.

Here’s some Tuesday advice: take a break from world domination plotting and wondering what more you could be doing (I’m speaking to myself as well here) and write a reverse bucket list.

You’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about.

Just so happens that in the same hour that I was blessed with this life-changing advice, I also read a blog post from this Awesome woman who cleverly wrote a bucket list in reverse.

This inspiring Millennial, Amy, “[took] stock of all [she has] accomplished thus far” on her milestone birthday.

My advice is to take half a second to think about the things you’ve already accomplished in your young, medium, more medium age and revel in it for a second.

Swish it in your mouth.

Enjoy the moment.

Get some perspective.

As Amy puts it, “once you start recalling all the amazing things you’ve already accomplished in life, those looming items unchecked off your bucket list don’t seem too daunting, or out of reach.”

What follows is my reverse bucket list.

  1. Learn a 3rd language
  2. Visit Cuba
  3. Work for a Fortune 500 Company
  4. Compete in a National Figure Skating Championship
  5. Share my passion for figure skating with others
  6. Zip-line in Costa Rica
  7. Take my little sister to see the Statue of Liberty
  8. Cook for my grandfather in my NYC apartment (he flew in!)
  9. Shop in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
  10. Win a medal in the school district’s Optimist Speech Contest (I was 13)
  11. Swim on a swim team
  12. Experience high tea in a castle in London
  13. Take a cruise with my mom
  14. Drink a beer at Oktoberfest in Munich
  15. Have a spa day in Bath, England (the historic site of the Roman Baths)
  16. Connect with a stranger on an international flight
  17. Ride the Maid of the Mist under Niagara Falls
  18. Camp on a deserted island
  19. Celebrate my birthday on a beach
  20. Climb Sleeping Bear Dunes
  21. Ride a roller coaster with my little sister
  22. Graduate from a top university
  23. Live in Mexico
  24. Sail in Greece
  25. Be inducted into my university’s athletic hall of fame
  26. Play in a recreational league (softball!)
  27. Watch the sunrise from an old fishing boat out on the ocean in Puerto Escondido, Mexico
  28. Study in Madrid, Spain
  29. Write letters to a friend in another country
  30. Live in New York City
  31. Go prom dress shopping with my mom
  32. Run a half marathon
  33. Join a book club
  34. Sit front row at a broadway show
  35. Dance all night in Florence on New Years Eve
  36. Volunteer at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge
  37. Eat home-made Moussaka in Mykonos, Greece
  38. Ride an ATV
  39. Tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s former home
  40. Attend a wedding in Europe
  41. Go tubbing on the Aegean Sea
  42. See Santana live in Mexico City
  43. Ski a black diamond trail
  44. Take a boxing class
  45. See the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace
  46. See the Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC
  47. Be a guest on a daytime talk show
  48. Take the Chicago Architectural Boat Tour
  49. Try wakeboarding
  50. Live in Chicago
  51. Start a personal blog

Thank you, Amy, for this wonderful idea.

I have 50 here (and 1 as the cherry on top).  I challenge everyone to write a reverse bucket-list.

It reminds you of the Awesome in your life.

16 thoughts on “Dear Millennials and People of All Ages: Write a Reverse Bucket List

  1. Fabulous list!! You’ve done some amazing things as well, and a few of ours overlap! How fun!! I so wish I could learn a 3rd language myself – I was conversational in French, and still am after several days there and just as many glasses of wine ;).

    • Hi! Thanks! and thank you for the idea – I’m pretty psyched about this one! I’d like to sail into Cork and visit Thailand as well… definitely on my list of things to do. What languages do you speak? I was born in Ukraine and picked up Russian at home (that’s how I got the second one… or the first depending on how you look at it) :). Cheers to you, friend!

      • Amazing! I’ve always heard Russian is pretty difficult to learn, but I hear the same of English lol. I speak English and French, and therefore can read a bit of Spanish and Italian. I would love to polish up my French though and tack on a third. All in good time. Cheers to you too!! So glad to have connected with you!! 🙂

      • Me too! The positive energy has been a great lift these past couple of weeks. My parents learned English (well we all did) when we immigrated and they said it was the language that made no sense. I suppose that’s sometimes true in terms… As far as learning more languages – I think you totally should! You live in the states yes? I’m in Chicago.

      • Yes English really makes no sense – there’s always a million exceptions to the rules! I am based in a Florida right now actually. Back in my hometown after being in Australia last year. 😊

  2. Love this! What an amazing list and idea! I may have my patients try this! People spend so much time and energy thinking about everything they wish to accomplish, sometimes it’s gratifying just to revel in everything we have already experienced and mastered.

    • Thanks!! So true – I actually encourage everyone to do this. Surprisingly it didn’t take too much time. Once you get into it you realize how quickly the memories come and that dwelling on negative isn’t necessary.

  3. I like this idea – and that’s an impressive list. But these motivational, relentlessly upbeat books and sites always set off a little demon in me that wants to reverse them in another sense: “Write down all the things you’ve ballsed up in your life. Look at the long list. Think what a prat you are. Excellent! You have advanced in self-knowledge.”

    Or as the great thinker Anon put it: “Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.”

    • Simon! You crack me up. I’m not gonna lie – I contemplated making a list of things I’ve ballsed up. Might be good therapy for those that need to be kept grounded. I hope things are going well on the other side of the pond. Happy Wed.

  4. 1. Learning all these jumps (lutz is coming around, axel on the harness I barely fit) and spins
    2. Putting together another program
    3. Still managing to wake up for three freestyles a week

    Solid suggestion and post, haha. I don’t think I’ve been on wordpress enough but you got your own website! Looks good. On an unrelated note, I’ll be in Chicago for the first time in Dec. If you have any suggestions, they probably will go on the ever-expanding reverse bucket list.

    • Hello!! It’s been a while – nice to hear from you and I’m loving the fact that you’re still at the whole skating thing… !!! I’m actually going to be headed out on the ice myself soon. I fractured my wrist this summer but I’m ready to get back out there again.

      Chicago. Here is my list off the top of my head. You’re going to love it. Bring a warm coat. and gloves.

      1) Bean AND Millennium Park Ice Rink (outdoors) – free admission
      2) Sears/Willis Tower – go to the top and hang off the building in a glass box, it’s awesome
      3) Top of the Hancock – go there for drinks/dinner/snack though – same view and you go up there free and you can enjoy cocktails while looking out on the city. spectacular views. (if you’re going to pick one, do hancock over Willis)
      4) POPS champagne for nice cocktails or champagne if you’re into it and there’s a speakeasy under the restaurant but entrance is inside POPS. Pretty cool.
      5) Second City
      6) If it’s around – zoo lights – the zoo is free admission and they cover the entire place with lights. It’s pretty cool.

  5. Pingback: New Year’s Resolutions in Reverse: A Good-bye to 2013 | 31daysofawesome

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