How Do You Envision Your Future?
Chances are that over the years, you've thought of quite a few things you want to do before you, well, kick the bucket. But let's be honest, how many of these are things you don't really want to do, but instead feel you have to due to societal expectations?
Let's try to buck the trend and instead start living by our own rules. Here, we present 19 bucket list items that you don't need to complete in order to have a satisfying life. Think of it as an anti-bucket list of sorts. Go through and see how many things on your bucket list you might want to reconsider (or scrap completely)!
Make a Million
You'll surely know of people who speak of nothing else than becoming rich. They focus all their efforts on trying to inflate their bank account, and they proudly consider their financial ventures to be amongst their greatest life achievements.
If you find yourself rolling your eyes, it's probably safe to say that making a ton of money doesn't weigh on your mind too much. Of course, you wouldn't complain if you hit the jackpot, but you're certainly not going to spend every waking moment trying to join the millionaire's club. Your life is so much richer than that already.
Travel the World Before You’re 40
Hands proudly raised in the air, back towards the camera, mesmerizing backdrop. You've probably stumbled upon hoards of similar travel photos from friends and family who spend every opportunity they have to go abroad. Meanwhile, your priorities couldn't be any further from this.
It's assumed that a lack of time and money stop people from traveling the world. This may be the case for "everybody" else, but perhaps for you it's because you simply don't have the desire. If you never caught the travel bug (or once had it but got over it), you don't need to apologize to anyone.
Work Your Way to the Top
It's difficult to avoid the constant rat race at work when you see what seems like every other colleague trying to become a CEO by 40 or, at least, some bigwig in a Fortune 500 company. And there you are, content, but starting to feel the pressure from others to add some fancy title to your name.
Why should you have to justify your position if you don't have a problem with it? It's difficult not to be influenced by what everyone else is doing, however if you're happy with how your professional life is progressing, just keep going at the pace which you feel comfortable with.
Stick to a Strict Diet
It seems rarely a day goes by without a new diet or detox being hailed as the latest way to lose weight, get toned, and cure all manner of ailments. According to Psychology Today, using a fad diet may result in weight loss over a short time, however chances are that you will end up gaining more weight than you originally lost.
That's not to mention the trove of other side effects that jeopardize your health such as dehydration, digestive problems, and inadequate vitamin and mineral intake. The best method for maintaining your health and waistline is to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and steer clear of the fads!
Cook Meals Martha Stewart Would be Proud of
Rumor has it that you haven't yet honed the art of making a perfectly balanced cheese soufflé. Back to the kitchen with you! A recent national study by Whitman Insight Strategies shows that women are nearly twice as likely as men to perform domestic labor tasks such as cooking.
It's no wonder there's so much pressure for women to cook well. If you still haven't mastered the art of cooking, give yourself a break! So long as you can prepare a meal without setting the house on fire, consider yourself halfway through the ranks of Master Chef.
Buy Only “The Best”
While we're on the topic of food, we should also talk about the rising expectation to buy only "the best" for ourselves and our family. Perhaps due to clever advertising, or the influence of health conscious celebrities, "the best" has come to be associated with anything organic, biodynamic, or branded a "superfood."
While that may work for some people, the cost and access of such foods can be prohibitive for many. It's better to redefine what buying the best means to you and buy the products which will most effectively support your particular nutritional needs and lifestyle.
Be the Perfect Mother
If you search "How to be a perfect mother" on Google, you'll be met with over 100 million results. Yes, so many queries are dedicated to uncovering the elusive secret to being the "perfect" mother. So what's the answer? That the concept of being a perfect mother is simply a pervasive myth which guilts mothers into feeling that they're never good enough.
And you'll find it everywhere, from advertising to advice columns to the very standards mothers hold themselves to. The truth is that even mothers who seem to have everything together are going to slip up from time to time. Why don't we all make a concerted effort to be more supportive of one another and put an end to the "mummy wars" once and for all.
Be a Mother at All
Readers over 30 without children will be well acquainted with the dreaded question, "When are you planning to have kids?" It seems that, however you answer, you're in for an uphill battle. If you answer "I'm focusing on my career right now," you could be labelled selfish and too career-driven.
And if you dare answer "I don't want kids," you'd better be prepared for the onslaught of judgment and unwanted advice you're likely to receive. Choosing to become a mother is a deeply personal decision that no one should judge. If you've decided not to have kids, ignore the naysayers and stick with the decision right for you.
Getting hitched is a popular fixture on many a bucket list. However, it's not just women who want to get married who have it on their lists. It's even an item on the lists of women who can't bear the thought of marriage. This certainly speaks volumes about the societal pressure women face when it comes to finding "the one" and tying the knot.
The people who try to convince you that being single is all doom and gloom tend to conveniently overlook the many notable benefits to being single. Moreover, they also often fail to mention any practical considerations related to marriage, like prenups, divorce, or the fact that some women are very happy to remain unmarried, thank you very much.
As we get older, settling down tends to increasingly become a priority. Whether it means securing a home deposit, staying in the one job for the long haul, or starting a family, after a certain age settling down is almost considered mandatory by society.
By why not buck the trend if it's not a priority for you? Instead, have a bit of fun doing all the things you know you wouldn't be able to if you were tied down. The freedom to live your life without the particular constraints which come with settling down is something people often value only after it's gone.
Splurge All Your Money
"Treat yourself!" has become a mantra to live by for some. We're fed constant messages to buy the things we've been lusting for or go on that holiday we've always dreamed of taking. That's all good and fine if you've budgeted for those luxuries.
But if you're tight on money and it's not within your means, the last thing you should be doing is adding to your financial burden. Treating yourself every so often is important, however, the short-lived pleasure is often not worth the consequences which come with spending beyond your means. Work with what you've got!
Hit the Gym Everyday
The world can be roughly divided into two types of people in the world: the gym junkies and the rest of us. While we're only joking, it is true that some people have a natural inclination to hit the gym on the regular. On the flip side, if the thought of hitting the gym every day makes you squirm, stop torturing yourself to go.
Find a form of exercise outside of the gym that you enjoy and which suits your body, such as yoga or dance. Regular exercise has a range of benefits for both your physical and mental health. So rather than feeling guilty about avoiding the gym, just try your hand at something else.
Have a Bikini Bod
Unfortunately, the ideal of having a slim, fit body is one which even the most confident of women tend to obsess about. How could we not care about these messages, however unrealistic, when we're told time and time again to reflect a very narrow ideal of female beauty.
As women, our value is so much more than just our physical appearance. It says nothing about what a good friend, sister, mother, colleague we are, or all the attributes which make up our whole. Accepting ourselves, flaws and all, will lead to more happiness than any number on a scale ever will.
Partake in Extreme Sports
Bungee jumping, skydiving, and other extreme sports are definitely not for everyone. While thrill-seekers will relish the opportunity to challenge themselves, for the rest of us, it's too much.
If the thought of plummeting 13,000 feet from an airplane shakes you to the core, why not just scratch it off your bucket list? Sure, it'd make a good story if you overcame your fear, but why force yourself to do something uncomfortable when you simply don't need to?
Have a Wild Sexual Experience
If you've got some, shall we say, more private bucket list items, you're definitely not alone. In fact, having a "sex bucket list" is quite common! After all, taboo sexual acts have always aroused great curiosity in people. That being said, you may be reading this and thinking, "I don't have any!" Don't worry at all. That's absolutely your choice.
You should only ever do something you're completely comfortable with, especially when it comes to sex. While some people can't wait to tick more risqué things off their list, if you don't want to, then don't. Case closed.
Learn a Foreign Language
Mastering a foreign language is certainly an accomplishment by anyone's standards. It takes consistent practice, discipline, and time. A lot of it. If you say you want to learn another language, but you're not doing anything to work towards it, then it's simply a goal collecting dust on your bucket list.
If you truly want to make progress, dedicate your effort and time to it accordingly. Otherwise, you may as well take it off your list. (This is what you call some tough love!)
Ride an Elephant (or Pat a Lion!)
This slide is directed to the travel enthusiasts. If you're someone who's been itching to ride atop an elephant or frolic amongst the lions in one of the many "animal sanctuaries" overseas, we think you may reconsider after digging a bit deeper.
Any so-called animal sanctuaries which offer these tourist services should be avoided by anyone who considers themselves an animal lover. It's been well reported how cruel and even deadly these places are for the animals enclosed. If you really want to see wild animals up close, do some research so you can visit an actual animal sanctuary.
Publish a Book
Many people dream of being given the opportunity to immortalize their life story in the pages of a book. To lay bare all assortment of anecdotes from their childhood, their achievements, failures and everything in between. Others yearn to write about their topic of expertise, interest, or try their hand at a work of fiction.
And while writing a book is no easy feat, peer into any book store and it does appear like all manner of people have a book to their name. Does that mean you should as well one day? Well, if you have to ask the question, you probably already know the answer. If writing is your passion, it makes sense to have such a lofty bucket list goal, but otherwise, it's best to spare the world another Twilight.
Be What Someone Else Thinks You Should Be
Now that we've come to the end of this list, it's fitting to leave you with one piece of advice that neatly sums up this whole slideshow. If you're living by someone else's standards (or even your own ridiculously high expectations of yourself), you need to stop right now. If you try to live by anyone else's vision of what you should be, do, or look like, you'll never be content.
Why? Because anyone or anything dictating some ideal to live up to will never properly account for you as an individual. The way to find contentment is to start appreciating your unique voice and qualities and to work on developing your self-confidence. We hope that next time you want to add something to your bucket list, you'll own it.