Our Family Bucket Lists – Goal setting for the future

A few weeks ago I was privileged to hear Travis Bell speak at a dinner in Auckland. Travis is known as the Bucket List Guy http://www.thebucketlistguy.com/ . He inspired me to take his message home and share it with my family – little did I know that it would be a wonderful heart filled activity that lasted two weeks and will continue for ever and would bring my family even closer together…

Here is what we did ( or my interpretation of what Travis said…) after our dinner each night, in the September 2 week school holidays…

Day 1: We each received a blank exercise book (any book would do) The girls decorated our covers while the boys just wrote their names on them!10644180_10152689417428503_581598707522647822_o

I had pre-prepared an A4 sheet of paper with a 10 by 8 grid. Next we discussed the average person lives about 80 years, hence the 80 squares and we coloured in the squares we had already lived!  Even this simple exercise as a family was revealing as Miss 12 and Mr 14 sat while my husband and I coloured in 50 and 45 squares!

We then discussed that before we started thinking about what we would like to achieve in the remaining squares, let’s look at what we have done with the coloured in squares… our ‘Brag’ list. It was fantastic to see how many items we could all put on our lists and how much the children believed they had achieved and the experiences that they really valued.10648441_10152689413213503_1229039634893412475_o

Travis spoke about an acronym for Bucket List and I had scribbled these down on a napkin at the dinner. I did not tell the family what each letter stood for, and placed a blank sheet of paper on the fridge with BUCKET LIST written down the edge. Each night I presented one letter and we filled out our books… for the purposes of this blog I have listed them in order, however I presented letters in a random order. (I have listed the order in brackets)

B = Buy that something special  (Day 4)
U = Ultimate Challenge (Day 5)
C = Conquer a fear (Day 6)
K = Kind Acts of Others (Day 7)
E = Express Yourself (Day 9)- we also talked about the words we wanted to define us eg: inspiring, passionate
T = Travel Adventures (Day 2)

L = Leave a legacy (Day 8)
I = Idiotic Stuff (Day 10)
S = Satisfy a Curiosity (Day 11)
T = Take Lessons (Day 3)

M = Meet a personal hero  (Day 12) – I have no idea where this was to fit on the list so just made it another category- Travis did talk about this… and it was in my notes – I will have to ask him one day…

On day 13 we sat around the kitchen table, with an A3 blank piece of paper each, a huge pile of magazines and our laptops and we created out Bucket List Vision Boards. We have created vision boards together as a family for the last 9 years, however the process of really thinking about each category made our final charts more personal and powerful.

Day 14 – we displayed them on the kitchen wall and talked about each one as a family.

What an amazing process – we really got to know each other so much better and have even more that connects us together now. We had interesting times – Mr 14 wrote he wanted to meet aliens and break the sound barrier! The debate was intense with my husband and I relenting that our beliefs should not interfere with his – and really who are we to squash his dreams… I wonder if Bill Gates or Richard Branson’s parents thought their goals a bit lofty and unrealistic?

A huge thanks to Travis for starting us on this journey … we are looking at being able to tick items off in the future.

Here are our charts…

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Published on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014, under Family, Inspiration, Parenting, Success

Karen Tui Boyes is a champion for Life Long Learning across nations, industries and organisations. Winner of the NZ Educator of the Year 2017 and 2014 and the NZ Speaker of the Year award in 2013 & 2019, Karen is a sought after speaker who continually gets rave reviews from audiences around the world. Her dynamic style and highly informative content—which turns the latest educational research into easy-to-implement strategies and techniques — sets her apart from others in her field.

12 Responses to “Our Family Bucket Lists – Goal setting for the future”

  1. Meg says:

    That is wonderful Karen… it would be great for you as a couple as well as a whole family. Love the big lofty dreams too- why not?! Thanks for sharing, makes me want to go and do this right now!

  2. Travis Bell says:

    As you know Karen, sometimes as a speaker you wonder if anyone is listening, let alone scribbling notes about your content on a napkin! Thank you so much for 1) doing this with your family & 2) creating this blog post & sending me the pics of your lovely family with their Bucket List Boards. This has made my week. Thank you for your kind words too. xoxox Trav

    • Karen Boyes says:

      Thanks Travis – may people all over the globe be creating bucket lists and making their dreams come true 🙂

  3. Tracey Coulthard says:

    Wow! Wow ! Wow! Fabulous idea and I can see it being used as an activity in so many contexts from the classroom to home and likewise a fun thing to do on Christmas day…while xmas dinner settles 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this Karen and Travis obviously.

  4. Karen as usual you demonstrate your integrity and truth by role modelling ways that can benefit us all in making life better. Family, friends, meaning, goals, experiences, character, engagement, learning and being intentionally more mindful in more moments more often. Thanks for another great blog post. Warmly, David

    • Karen Boyes says:

      Thanks David – I love being able to take my learnings and apply them with my family – making memories and dreams 🙂

  5. Debi ryan says:

    karen, I have to confess feeling a bit sceptical about this whole process when you first mentioned it…..but think what you did with your family was just awesome !!!
    Debi xxx

  6. Bena Kallick says:

    Great blog! I just discovered a wonderful children’s book that is much like this–Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A guide to Daily Happiness for Kids.
    The school I was in had a bucket on the outside of each classroom door and the kids were encouraged to fill the bucket. Check it out!

  7. […] We brainstormed these in a random order each night and at the end created a poster with photos, pictures and words. These are still displayed in our kitchen today. For step by step ideas, please see my blog Our Family Bucket Lists. […]

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