I recently read a social media post by a person claiming they had no dreams and no bucket list. So many others commented along the same lines, adding that because of that, they felt lost.

Now, I’ve always been an advocate of following your dreams and setting goals. But until I read that post, I really hadn’t thought about how dreams, goals and a bucket list could be related. Now I firmly believe they are.

Just think about a bucket list for a moment. It literally means things we want to do before we “kick the bucket” or die. It’s a reminder of our mortality and that’s not something we like to go around thinking about. But, let’s turn that around. What if we simply acknowledge that our time is limited and we use that to push us to become and live the best version of our life and we also use it to guide our efforts in achieving what is most important to us before it is too late.

The list doesn’t have to be filled with climbing the tallest mountain, running a marathon or being a concert pianist (unless that truly is your dream). I’m reminded of the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, “The Bucket List.” Nicholson’s character had, “Kiss the most beautiful woman in the world” on his list. His character had been married and divorced 4 times and he considered himself quite the “ladies’ man” so you were led to believe one thing. But, he crossed it off after he first met and kissed the granddaughter he never knew he had. Quite a twist!

So, yes, after reflecting on this social media post, I do think it’s important to have a bucket list, for a few simple reasons.

1.  Creates a deadline

A bucket list is very much like having a deadline and I can totally relate to that because I spent nearly 30 years in my corporate career managing projects and goals according to deadlines. And, you uncover your dreams and goals by reflecting on what you truly desire in life, analyzing where you are versus where you want to be and finding your true passion. Putting your dreams and goals on your bucket list means you’ve identified what you truly want out of life and you are giving yourself a deadline to accomplish them.

2.  Creates focus

Your bucket list gives you a sense of direction and helps you stay focused on the target, the goal post so to speak, so you don’t easily get sidetracked or derailed when the urge to endlessly scroll on social media hits. Referring to the list can also help you sort out the next steps you need to take to move you closer to your goals and keeps you from heading off in the wrong direction.

3.  Gets you excited and motivated

Let’s face it. If you don’t have dreams, goals and aspirations, you’re probably stuck in the rut of everyday life. And, when you’re stuck there, it’s hard to get motivated to get out of bed in the morning and even harder to get excited about the day that lies ahead. Writing a bucket list helps you identify what you want out of life and that will create excitement and be your motivator.

4.  Forces you out of your comfort zone

As scary as it sounds, life truly begins at the end of your comfort zone. While you might feel safe and comfortable inside your comfort zone, the magic really starts to happen when you push yourself outside. Everyone wants and deserves to have a little magic in their life. So, go ahead. Push yourself past the scary part, put your dreams and goals on your bucket list and go find your magic.

So, I hope I’ve inspired you to uncover your dreams and goals and give yourself a deadline by writing them on your bucket list. Life is short. Live it to the fullest. And, don’t forget to recognize the “twists” that may come your way because they don’t just happen in the movies.