Why Should I Give a Bucket List a Try in Recovery?

Why Should I Give a Bucket List a Try in Recovery?

A bucket list is a bit of an ambiguous thing. It means different things for different people. Some will call them goals, some call them successes, and others call them a bucket list based on what they want to do before they die. In sobriety, it can help to look at your life and think, now what? What you have is lots of time and road ahead of you in sobriety, so it helps to have some way to quantify what you want to do and how you want to achieve the goals on that list.

What is a Bucket List

Resolutions and goals are not just about getting healthier or happier. It is about finding richer, more meaningful experiences on the road of recovery. You may not become wealthy, but you can definitely make some goals to help you budget, enjoy life, and set goals to support your financial situation. Perhaps you want to look for adventure now you gave up those old habits, you have lots of energy to try new things. Think of a bucket list as a personal journey you take towards healing.

Why to Have One

Everyday life can feel mundane and boring. Same thing, day in, day out. That is okay in recovery. Stability and having the same schedule can really be helpful. It can also be boring and uneventful so having something to look forward to is helpful. Maybe you recognize the need to shake things up a little bit but not create chaos in your life, just have a bit of fun in recovery.

Tips to Get Started

If you are struggling to get started on how to do a bucket list, here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Get creative: one of the things that does not cost much money is to work on creative endeavors you left behind or want to start in recovery. Find a place that is interesting to visit, grab some art supplies, or take a class you always wanted to take that supports your creativity. This might lead you to creating a masterpiece or even a novel by the end
  • Create space for joy: one of the things people love doing right now is minimizing stuff. Getting rid of excess things, selling it for extra money, and putting it towards a fun vacation or endeavor. If you have a place mapped out in your mind you want to visit, this is one way to accomplish a few goals in one because less clutter is associated with joy as is traveling and getting away for a bit
  • Set priorities: if you are a person who is ‘too busy’ a lot of the time, you might struggle with letting go of time-consuming activities. Even if they are recovery-related, you cannot do everything. If you want more time to do things on your bucket list, start by pruning what you don’t need to help you in recovery and keep the rest that supports you moving ahead
  • Dream ahead: think a few years ahead to what you want to accomplish. It may help to look further back to when you were a child and imagine what you wanted out of life. Maybe it won’t look exactly the same but you can renew your vow to yourself to pursue that career, education, travel, or experience you always wanted and let yourself open up to the possibilities
  • Write it all down. It is easy to forget so use visual cues or written words and lists to remind you what you need to do to achieve that goal. Think about the best timeframe for you that will get you motivated. Don’t ‘wait til later’ as it is too easy to put things off. If you are waiting too long, you may never go and do them so just head out into the open road, get into the place you want to be and move forward with your goals today

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