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Create a Summer Bucket List to Make the Most of the Season

Two people kayaking with steep cliffs in the background.
Kuznetcov_Konstantin/Shutterstock

Have you ever reached the last day of summer, only to realize you squandered most of it? It’s all too easy to let the season slip away without doing the things you wanted to—but a summer bucket list can help.

You’re probably already familiar with the “bucket list” concept. It’s a list of things you plan to do, and you cross them off as you complete them. Some people make bucket lists for a trip, or for all the things they want to do in their lifetime. But a summer bucket list addresses the problem of feeling like the season is over before you got a chance to make the most of it.

Here’s how to make a summer bucket list that will maximize your time, and give you memories that will last for years to come.

Choose Your Format

First, pick the best format for your list. Oh, that’s right! This isn’t a metaphorical list; this is an actual list you’re going to fill up with summer fun and goals.

If you love writing on paper, buy a notebook or planner to keep your list. If you prefer to keep things digital, start a note on your phone or a Google doc. As you accomplish things on your bucket list, you’ll get the dopamine boost that comes from achievement—and having your list written down lets you see those accomplishments all in one place.

Keep It Realistic

Now, you can start writing down ideas for your list. However, try to be realistic about how easy or difficult these things are. Remember, you only have one season to get them done! You might want to spend a month in Europe, but if you haven’t even started planning yet, that might not be a realistic goal for your summer bucket list.

Rather than adding unrealistic items to your list, consider what might be a simpler version of it. For example, instead of a month in Europe, maybe you could spend a week at a closer vacation destination. Or, put things on your bucket list that bring you closer to that more challenging goal. Maybe “saving for a trip to Europe” should go on your bucket list for this summer so that you can go next year.

Your bucket list items don’t all have to be purely “fun” things, especially if they’re bringing you closer to a future goal.

Add Plans for Each Item

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