A ”Bucket List” should not be just a list


When you’re writing your bucket list remember that the idea is to tick them off and add more on to the list.

I love the film “The Bucket List” (2007) with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this and go watch it …..

I first made a list of things I wanted to do, after a two day visit with Dr Bob Rotella in Charlottesville VA around 2006. Bob (a famous golf psychologist for those who don’t know) had suggested I needed to make a list of goals for my golf for the years to come. So off I went and made a list. It included: seeing how good I could get (handicap scores etc), playing in front of a crowd (just to know what it was like having wanted to be a pro when I was young) and to play the top 100 courses in the world (I had a peg board on my wall with 6 pegs in it at the time). So that was my first list. As time passed the list grew and I began planning to actually try and do some of these personal goals.

“The only commodity we are really short of is time ......”

Then in 2007 I watched “The Bucket List”. I laughed, I cried and decided I should write a Bucket list of my own. It’s not as easy as you think. If you’re like me you start off with a whole list of grand sounding feats you think sound good – Climb Everest, See all the Wonders of the World etc. Then you might add – win the lottery, win the US Open, go to the moon….

When you actually really think of it more, all these fantasy and often impossible things leave your list and they are replaced with more personal, relevant and realistic things to do and dream of.

My first list was something like this:

  1. Play golf in front of a crowd.
  2. Play the Top 100 courses of the World (2005 List).
  3. Go on a Dude Ranch vacation.
  4. Drink an expensive (top rated) bottle of wine with some friends. (see if its really that much better)
  5. Have a flight on a private Jet.
  6. Make a room full of people laugh.
  7. Do something you don’t think you can do.
  8. Laugh until you cried
  9. Teach a youngster something important
  10. Do something that scares you


The four striked out I have done and of course over the years I have added more. I won’t list them all now as I like the idea its my list to do. I don’t just want someone to say “Hey I can get that done for you” because they saw a list. Rather it happens because I made it happen or someone did something naturally because they wanted to. I like doing things myself, always have.

So one current Bucket List item I will list is to “Ride a bike across America”. A few years ago a friend of ours cycled across the US. I don’t know why, as I wasn’t a cyclist, but I thought what a really great thing to do. I have always loved just driving around and finding places. It comes from my Mother, who used to make up a picnic box, load my brother and myself into one of the farm vans and just head off. She never had a map or plan of things to do, she just got to a junction and either asked “left or right” or simply said “this looks like a nice road, lets see what’s down here”. It was never about the destination it was always about the journey. We often got lost, drove around a while until we knew where we were again. We headed down roads that were a dead-end or became single track lanes, having to reverse until we found a gate or something when we met a tractor or other vehicles. So the thought of seeing the USA at about 15 mph, no freeways, no airports and nothing more to do than enjoy the journey seemed like the greatest of adventures. It also meant pushing myself, a test of my determination, doing something that I would remember for a lifetime. I wrote it on my list and talked occasionally about maybe one day trying. It sat on the list like other things, not urgent, not even necessary to do, just an idea for an adventure.

When I got diagnosed with WM I thought a lot about many things. I decided to get fitter but needed a goal to make me train. I thought if I didn’t do the ride now, what happened if my future health wouldn’t allow me to try. I thought what a great thing to do now. So I signed up to Ride across America next year and hopefully crossing off another couple of things from my Bucket List.

Wait, did you watch “The Bucket List” yet? Congrats, now go make a bucket list and start living the life you dream of ………..