Do you have a bucket list? It’s a list of experiences or achievements you want to have or accomplish in your lifetime. Some common bucket list items are skydiving, running a marathon, or visiting all 50 states.
But they don’t have to be spectacular, showy feats. You might want to create a list that will have a positive impact on your health and spirit. Research shows that having a list of goals to actively work on can improve your mental and physical health.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about how you want the rest of your life to look:
Now is the time to visit those places you’ve always wanted to see. There are trips to fit all kinds of budgets, and it can be done with limited finances. You can also find the beautiful or interesting spots in your own town or county you’ve never visited before.
Take up gardening
You can plant a vegetable patch, or start small with growing herbs in a window box. Choose a spot that gets at least four hours of sunlight a day and pick up some herbs at your local nursery. Mint, parsley, oregano, basil, and thyme are good hardy herbs to start with.
Learn a new language
It’s hardest to pick up a new language as an adult, but it’s lots of fun. Choose a language-teaching program, such as Rosetta Stone, and pick a language to learn. You might want to set specific goals, such as learning a predetermined set of words in your chosen language.
Try a new food
If you’ve never been an adventurous eater, it’s not too late to start. Make a list of foods you’ve never tasted, and set about trying them all. You might end up finding a new favorite!
Volunteering can be very rewarding, especially for older people who have so much experience to share with the world. Every community has houses of worship, libraries, non-profits, and charities who could use your help. You may also want to consider using your life experiences to mentor younger people and children.
Develop a new hobby
There are so many fun and enjoyable hobbies you can pick up. Quilting and knitting are relaxing hobbies that can relieve stress and increase cognitive thinking. Scrapbooking, cooking, even antiquing—going around to antique shops—are all fun hobbies to develop. Some seniors find learning to play a musical instrument easier than when they were young.
It’s so important to keep exercising as you age. Exercise offers many health benefits to people of all ages. Swimming is a great, low-impact and gentle exercise. Bicycling, walking, and yoga are also very beneficial.
Write your memoir
Record your life story for your family to read and learn from. Include your earliest memories, turning points in your life, the key influences, and your central values. You may also want to start keeping a journal as you age. Alternatively, find a pen pal—perhaps a much younger relative or a far-away friend—to exchange regular letters with.
What’s on your bucket list?