My Life Listed part 2: Putting my bucket list goals in motion

Charlotte Skyline by John Ashley.

One month ago, I penned my first bucket list. Often the most difficult part of accomplishing goals from your bucket list is knowing where to begin.

To some, putting time frames on goals on your bucket list may seem like it’s ruining the fun and spontaneity of having a bucket list, which for me, isn’t the case at all. You don’t have to put specific due dates on your list, but it helps to prioritize.

My goals are broken into three categories:

  1. Some are too far off to begin planning– for example, the ones that require owning a house.
  2. Some goals could be accomplished within the next year with the right planning.
  3. And some I will have to play it by ear.

A few weeks after completing my list, I marked one goal off the list. I saw an easy and fun opportunity to make it happen, and I did it. That one was from the third category, but I’ll talk more on that experience in my next post.

The ones from the first category, I plan to keep in the back of my mind. Some require a house, some require more free time and some require money or other resources. I’ll remember that those are on my list. And some day, they’ll shift from the first category to the second.

The third category doesn’t require a lot of explaining. Go skinny-dipping in a public body of water, go skiing dressed as Batman and win a game of blackjack at a casino are, among others, examples of the kind of goals that are better left unplanned. One day, I’ll be in a better position to mark one of these goals of the list, and I’ll take the opportunity.

Complete a bar crawl, for example, is a goal that I’ll most likely have the best luck completing on St. Patrick’s Day, since I live in the United States.

The second group of goals is the one to pay the closest attention to. Often, those goals require the most time, effort and dedication. So after mulling over my first draft of my bucket list, I began taking the first steps to putting the completion of those goals into motion. Here are three that I singled out:

1. Write and publish a book

This one is one of the most important and urgent goals on my list. I plan on writing many books in my lifetime, so I want my first one to be great. I also want to gain a lot of writing practice so I have a better idea of how to complete any future books. And because the book deals heavily on the subject of college, I want to complete it while I still have a clear memory of my life in college.

Writing and publishing a book is a unique sort of goal, because not only does it take years of hard work, it requires a lot of knowledge about the publishing process. Fortunately, I attend a great college university, so there are many opportunities to reach out to peers who have published books as well as attend speaker forums about publishing a book in the current industry.

2. Learn to play guitar

This one is a bit more straight forward. I have a guitar (a black Epiphone LP Special II Les Paul electric, a great guitar for beginners) and a Playstation 3 game called “Rocksmith,” which is supposedly effective at teaching users how to play guitar; although additional training might needed to hone the craft.

So with this goal, it’s all about committing myself to practicing, which is easier said than done. I’ve tried learning how to play the guitar in the past without success. The problem always begins with slacking on practicing. And even though the last few years of my life have been enormously busy, there really isn’t any excuse for not practicing at least a few hours per day.

This summer, I intend to commit at least four hours per week to practicing. And hopefully by this time next year, I’ll have mastered all the basics.

3. Catch a shark, take a picture with it

This goal requires explaining an old story. It was probably eight or so years ago when I was in middle school. I went with my dad to fish along the jetty along the coast of North Carolina, and a few hours in, I felt a massive pull on my rod. And after 20 minutes of struggle, I reeled in a huge hammerhead shark about half the size of my middle-school self.

But I didn’t have a camera on me, which was one of the bigger disappointments of my young life. So I’ve since grown determined to reel in another huge catch as big as my last and take a picture with it this time. Over the summer, I intend to take several trips to the beach to land another big shark. While I don’t expect to catch another hammerhead, I’ll be perfectly satisfied with reeling in any shark of any size.


Now that I’m beginning to take concrete steps towards completing things from my bucket list, they seem less out of reach and more like some of the highlights from my life story that just haven’t happened yet. Stay tuned.

If you have any goals that you think I should add to my bucket list, send them to me at this link. The best submissions will be published on My Vinyl Muse and added to my list to hopefully be accomplished in the coming years.