25x25: A Guide To Making The Perfect Bucket List For Your 20s
We're all fairly familiar with the concept of a bucket list: a collection of things we want to do before we die. But why do we have to wait until we expire to do them? Let’s switch it up and create a different kind of bucket list.
A bucket list for your twenties. Not just a list of restaurants you want to try or unrealistic vacations you dream of taking, but things to help make the most of your twenties and shape yourself for your thirties and beyond.
Create a 25 by 25 list. Twenty-five things you want to do and/or accomplish by the time you turn 25, or whatever five to eight year limit you want to put on it. Here is a guideline to get started on your 25x25 list and help you make the most out of your twenties:
Do something that scares you.
Fear is paralyzing; it can stop us from doing and experiencing so many things. The older we get, the more set in our ways we’ll be and the less likely we are to do something that makes us feel afraid, nervous or uncomfortable. Step outside of your comfort zone. This is how you'll discover yourself; this is how you'll grow.
Example: I’m not afraid of heights, but I am afraid of not having control / being in dangerous situations. So sky diving and a hot air balloon ride made it onto my 25x25 list in the "Scared" category. What’s something you don’t really have the guts to do? Put it on your list.
We’re in our prime. Now is the time to test ourselves and see what we’re really capable of. Think of something that’s most likely attainable but would take some serious work to achieve. Push yourself and prove that you can do it, whatever it is. Don’t be lazy or take the easy way out… this will help you understand that if you really want something, you can totally get it.
Example: My goal is to complete a (half) marathon, because while I enjoy running, I've never been able to commit to exercise on a serious schedule. This goal pushes me to train, join a real gym and to hit the pavement every day/week in preparation for that finish line.
You can learn a lot about yourself by helping others. Whether big or small gestures, lending a helping hand will not only benefit the recipient, but will reward you in a way that money or physical gifts can’t provide. Make it a point to include at least one selfless goal and help someone else. What pulls on your heart strings?
Example: I've recently become interested with volunteer abroad trips, where you spend time in a country helping children or animals or wherever they need extra hands.
I've made it a 25x25 goal to do one Volunteer Abroad trip for at least a week. Side note, I’m the girl that’s never been camping (also on my 25x25 list), so spending a week in Thailand in a bungalow is a little outside my comfort zone, but it’ll be an experience unlike any other.
This category doesn't mean you have to splurge on a new wardrobe or spend your entire life savings, but doing one thing that’s totally for your own comfort and bliss. Maybe you need some relaxation... treat yourself to a full spa weekend retreat with all the works. Or maybe you’re a huge Knicks fan? Make it a goal to have floor seats (or as close as you can) and watch the sweat drip off Melo in all his glory. This is a freebie goal, and more of a “dream come true” intention.
Example: I love to travel, but can’t really afford 5 star hotels or luxurious getaways, so I settle for backpacking and economy class seating. Best believe “Fly First Class” is on my list under "Treat Yourself."
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This list is about getting the most out of our twenties, but it’s also about enjoying life. We can still get away with wild, reckless nights and being a little irresponsible.
So go balls out in Vegas with your friends, have a bonfire and sleep on the beach, or stay out all night until the sun comes up. Put something a little risqué on your list so you can laugh about it later in life.
For the majority of our lives, we've always been the student, but it's a fulfilling, growing experience to teach someone something. Switch up the roles and make it a goal to teach one thing you're good at or passionate about.
There are endless ways to do this without needing a classroom. Video tutorials on YouTube, blogging, starting a good cause, guest speaking at a college, being a freelance consultant, etc. All people have something they're good at and that's unique about them. Share it with the world, put yourself out there and educate others.
Example: I'm somewhat of a health nut and I'm always cooking and baking wholesome, super food-filled treats. I've made it a goal to compile all of my recipes and create my own recipe e-book to share with others and help them learn how to take care of their bodies through food. Stay tuned for the e-book!
Just because we've finished school doesn't mean we have to stop learning. There are always new things to study, new skills to master or new hobbies to take up that can help us grow and find out more about ourselves. Use your time wisely and push yourself to do new things!
Something you've always dreamed of being able to do is a good place to start. I actually included four different things on my 25x25 list that fall into the "Learning" category:
Learn to drive manual transmission. You can only get so far driving automatic in this world.
Learn to surf. It's challenging and very different from my East-coast skiing skills.
Learn to speak fluent Italian. I want to make my grandfather proud.
Learn to use Adobe Graphic Design software. It’s trendy, it's artsy, and it’ll make me a more valuable employee.
Family is a huge part of our lives, and we tend to lose connections with members as we get older. Set aside some time to do something with or for your family. Maybe a “Siblings Only” weekend trip or cooking a complete dinner for your parents and grandparents (in return for the many meals they once cooked for you growing up) or whatever makes sense for you and your family. It’ll strengthen your relations with them and help you find new ways to connect for the years to come.
These categories and my own examples are just to get you started, a simple guide to help you create the most efficient goals for yourself! Our twenties are for living, experiencing and growing. Setting goals for ourselves will help us get there. Guaranteed if you write down 25 goals and consciously believe they are all attainable, you will succeed in completing them.
That’s how I ended up here writing for Elite Daily in the first place.
Photo via We Heart It