tips for creating your own birthday bucket list

After posting my 26 before 26 list last week, I had a lot of people message me that they wanted to put together their own birthday bucket list! This makes me SO excited because I love the idea of lots of people putting together lists of healthy goals and then crossing them off over the course of the next year! Plus I'm really looking forward to seeing what other people include on their lists because as I get older the number of things I need for my bucket list increases and I'm always looking for ideas. Math is weird, right?

Because this is my third birthday bucket list, I feel like I have at least a little wisdom to share. Here are a few of my best tips for making your own birthday bucket list!

Balance big and small goals. This may seem obvious, but having a balanced list is one of the most important factors in a successful bucket list. If everything on your list is lofty, it's easy to feel like none of it is attainable. On the other hand, it's good to have things you really have to reach for!

Consider all the areas of your life. In addition to balancing the attainability of your goals, you have to balance your goals with all of your different needs. My main categories are creativity, experiences, relationships, wellness and adulting. Yours may focus more heavily on things like career, fitness, cooking,  and spirituality. The idea is that you include goals for all the areas of your life so you don't end the year feeling weaker in some areas that didn't get much of your attention.

Choose things you can actually cross off. This may be a personal preference, but I tend to not feel as fulfilled by a goal if I can't physically cross it off the list. For instance, last year I set out to love the way I look in a swimsuit. This is a feeling that changes constantly, so I wasn't able to feel like I really accomplished it, even if I did it once. When I see goals like "keep the house cleaner" or "eat better," I worry that they can't be checked off because they aren't quantifiable. For me, goals that aren't quantifiable are not only harder to track, but less satisfying.

Don't forget to have fun! While some goals are meant to improve your professional skills or make you healthier, some are just meant to increase the levels of fun in your life! I like to think about things I'm always saying "oh, I would probably like that, but I've never done it." Maybe for you that's kayaking or going to one of those drunk painting classes. For me, this year, it's watching 5 Audrey Hepburn movies because at 25 it's embarrassing that I haven't seen any except Breakfast at Tiffany's!

So what are you going to accomplish before your next birthday? I love that birthday bucket lists allow you to set a whole new list of goals for yourself that aren't dependent on New Year's. For reference, be sure to check out my 24 before 24, 25 before 25, and 26 before 26 lists! If you've got a birthday bucket list, I'd love to hear what's on yours!


  1. I love your birthday bucket lists! It has inspired me to create my own. I'll have to share once I come up with my list!

  2. After reading yours a few weeks ago, I actually created my own too! In the past, I haven't really accomplished much on my lists. I tend to completely forget about it. Some of my items, like hiking Enchanted Rock, have been on my bucket lists for about 5 years straight! But I'm already accomplishing a few things on mine & it's only been a few weeks!

  3. I love these tips! I'm already starting to think about what I might want to include on mine this year. I never got around to putting one together last year, and it has really bummed me out.

  4. I looove goal setting and accomplishing! For my birthday this past year, I created a 30 before 30 (so trendy) list. I have 2.5 years left until I get there, and I like that I've been able to put some bigger goals on the list and some smaller goals. It's a great way to be really intentional about making the most of your year and making sure you're doing fun/exciting/important things instead of getting stuck in the daily grind. You gave great advice about how to create a birthday bucket list - separating things into categories is what I like to do as well, to make sure I'm staying well-rounded.

    [Also, I am listening to BFD right now as I read blogs. This is going to sound sad/crazy, but because I'm alone a lot with Kevin working and staying out of town, I love listening to you guys because it makes me feel less lonely and shitty. Thanks for keeping me company :)]

  5. Perfect timing because I'm about to create my new birthday bucket list since I'm turning 26 in a few weeks! The tip "consider all the areas of your life" is a great reminder!


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