I recently learned about the reverse bucket list.
In a nutshell, a reverse bucket list calls for you to reflect on your accomplishments. Any meaningful memories you’ve created in your life are fair game for being added to your reverse bucket list. Your big accomplishments? Check. Things that you’re super proud of? Check. Moments where you had to be really strong. Check. Maybe you needed to change some well developed habits? Check. So once you’ve reflected on this you will list everything that you have already achieved – there’s your reverse bucket list.
Creating a reserve bucket list is good for your well-being.
Let’s think about it this way, we often hear about people creating their bucket list as things they want to do. Thinking about these things can be overwhelming for a number of reasons but perhaps the most significant is that it’s not financially possible to do now or ever. Now your bucket list serves as a big reminder of everything you haven’t had a chance to do and possibly never will do.
This is why you should create your reverse bucket list as it can be a lot more fulfilling.
It will also likely boost your well-being, not diminish it. Putting together a reverse bucket list is a great opportunity to show yourself exactly what you’ve already done in your life. It’s a good way to boost your self-esteem. So now we know what it is and why it’s better than doing your traditional bucket list. Let’s explore more about what’s involved in creating a reverse bucket list.
As you know I’m all about gratitude. I think many of us (me included) tend to think of gratitude as being grateful for the present. However we can also extend it to focus on the things we have achieved in the past. A reverse bucket list is essentially a form of grateful reflecting as it encourages you to bring positive experiences top of mind. And in turn it prompts happy memories; making you feel good.
Here are a couple of super effective gratitude exercises that can help you write your list and improve your happiness and life satisfaction.
Gratitude prompts are a great way to get started. The goal is to identify the things that you are grateful for. Some prompts include:
- Think about someone for whom you are grateful. “I am grateful for these friends…” or “I am grateful for these family members…”
- Count your blessings. “I am grateful for these things in my home…”
Journaling. I write my thoughts, positive affirmations and quotes in my “journal”. I put journal in quotes because I don’t have a traditional, physical journal. I write wherever I can; mostly in Google drive but sometimes I write my thoughts in Google Keep or Trello. I then can reflect back on these thoughts and feel grateful for the things I’ve achieved. I can also view my personal growth by going back.
Starting your reverse bucket list.
Now it’s your turn; create a list of the top 100 things (or whatever number feels right to you) you’re grateful for. You can divide this list into different categories, such as things you own, your relationships/people in your life, your experiences (think about the places you’ve visited and the things you’ve done) and so on.
Does a reverse bucket list sound like something you’d like to do?
Authored by Sharita Thompson, M.Ed, HBCE