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Why You Should Write A Reverse Bucket List Instead

Can you believe it’s 2020? A new year means new goals, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with writing lists for daily goals, yearly goals, city goals, you name it.

Creating these lists helps me focus on what’s important to me and helps push me to accomplish them. There are a lot of positive reasons to write down your goals.

However, lately I’m noticing I spend more time in the clouds rather than grounded in the present. I’m always thinking about the next, new venture and how to do more and be more. Never less.

Sometimes I find myself comparing myself to others who have accomplished more in less time and start feeling that pang of guilt or I’d get overwhelmed by my never ending to-do list. That’s exactly why I believe there’s no time like the present to start a Reverse Bucket List.

Why You Should Write a Reverse Bucket ListPin

A big thank you to UCI Irvine Division of Continuing Education for sponsoring this post. All opinions are always our own. This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always our own. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.

Last Updated: January 8, 2020

Reverse Bucket List - Why You Should Write One

What is a Reverse Bucket List? It’s a backwards look on all the things you’ve accomplished.

Reverse Bucket Lists have made their rounds on blogs before (I first saw the reverse bucket list idea from Erika years ago), but I figure it’s a good time to revisit them.

Instead of focusing on where you want to go this next year or decade, making a reverse bucket list is a great way to reflect on all the things you’ve accomplished.

Here are some great reasons why you should write a Reverse Bucket List:

  • It’s a great mindfulness exercise.
  • Helps you cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
  • It’s a reminder of how far you’ve come vs a reminder of all the things you have not done.

One of the goals that I’ve been proud of lately is taking an online course through UC Irvine. I’ve been thinking about going back to school for quite some time but always made excuses about how I was too old or how my brain has turned to mush. This past year though, I finally bit the bullet and took a marketing course to help me grow my blog biz!

As much as I love filling my time with other hobbies, I know I’m happiest when I’m learning and challenging myself.

My Reverse Bucket List

Career + Financial

  1. Graduate from University.
  2. Pursue further education – took some online courses through UC Irvine!
  3. Own a home.
  4. Pay off student loans and be debt free
  5. Start a blog.
  6. Make the blog a successful business.
  7. Make a living off of photography.
  8. Teach a photography class.
  9. Have photography published in a national magazine.
Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon FestivalPin


  1. Visit 6 continents.
  2. Live in NYC.
  3. Go bungee jumping.
  4. Live in an RV.
  5. Try ice climbing.
  6. Go horseback riding.
  7. Ride a camel in a desert.
  8. Go parasailing.
  9. Do a Via Ferrata.
  10. Go whitewater rafting.
  11. Trek to Machu Picchu.
  12. Hike the W Circuit in Patagonia.
  13. Go kayaking.
  14. Walk on a glacier.
  15. Photograph the Wave.
  16. Visit Iceland.
  17. Stand on Top of Half Dome.
  18. Hike the Narrows.
  19. Backpack Havasupai.
  20. Get Dive Certified.
  21. Learn to Surf.
  22. Swim in a Jellyfish Lake.
  23. Do a tea tasting in China.
  24. Walk the Great Wall of China.
  25. See the light shafts at Antelope Canyon.
  26. Visit New Zealand.
  27. Swim with Whale Sharks.
  28. Experience summer in Alaska.
  29. Go on a cross-country road trip.
  30. Go snorkeling in Fiji.
  31. Float in the Dead Sea.
  32. See the pyramids of Giza.
  33. Eat Italian food in Italy.
  34. Visit the Grand Canyon.
  35. Take a pilgrimage to my childhood home in Iowa.
  36. Visit all five towns in Cinque Terre.
  37. Walk on a Black Sand Beach.
  38. Attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.
  39. Go to a taping of a tv show.
  40. See the cherry blossoms in Japan.
  41. Go on a hot air balloon ride.
  42. Attend ComiCon.
  43. Sit in box seats at an NBA game.
  44. Play blackjack in Las Vegas.
  45. Eat at French Laundry.
  46. Stay at a 5-star hotel.
  47. Order room service.
  48. Live in Los Angeles
  49. Live in two different countries with different cultures.
  50. Do an all-girls trip.
  51. Go Couchsurfing.
  52. Wine tasting in Napa.
  53. Go to all four Disney World parks in one day.
  54. Visit 20 22 countries.
  55. Travel by myself to another country.
Swimming with Jellyfish that Don't Sting at Jellyfish Lake Indonesia - They evolved to lose their stingers after the lagoon separated from the ocean // localadventurer.comPin
Red Rock Canyon Climbing + Pros and Cons of Living in Las VegasPin

Personal Growth + Miscellaneous

  1. Get married.
  2. Go on 52 dates in one year.
  3. Sponsor a child.
  4. Build a well – we built 3 in eSwatini!
  5. Adopt a pet.
  6. Teach the cats tricks.
  7. Finish a 52 week gratitude challenge.
  8. Learn to say “hello” in 10 different languages.
  9. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years.
  10. Read a new book a month or 12/yr
  11. Build a bike.
  12. Plant a tree.
  13. Grow an herb garden and keep it alive long enough to eat from it.
  14. Make cookies from scratch.
  15. Take a wine class.
  16. Learn to shoot a gun.
  17. Take tango classes.
  18. Learn to rock climb.
  19. Become a route setter.
  20. Run a 5k.
  21. Break 150 in bowling.
  22. Be in a viral youtube video.
  23. Learn to change a tire.
  24. Learn to do an oil change.
  25. Send one handwritten letter a month for 1 year.
  26. Take a painting class.
  27. Make your own halloween costume.
  28. Learn to play basic chords on the guitar.
  29. Get a masters in Brewniversity.
  30. Loan money on kiva.
  31. Organize a fundraiser for a cause.
  32. Participate in Operation Christmas Child.
  33. Donate toys during the holidays.
  34. Pay a stranger’s toll.
  35. Be a bridesmaid.
  36. Give a public speech.
  37. Join or start a book club.

About UCI Online Courses

Taking online courses at UCI has fit perfectly into my on-the-go lifestyle. I can keep up with the classes from anywhere, spend time learning when it was convenient for me, and go at my own pace.

UC Irvine Continuing Education’s online courses also releases sections week to week so that I can stay on track. You even have classmates you can interact with and access to your instructor. The experience really gives you the best of both worlds.

Through the marketing course, I was able to learn new concepts, relearn and improve what I already knew, and learn the vocabulary to strategies I was already using.

If one of your goals is to improve your business or gain a competitive edge in your job, check out all the courses offered online at UC Irvine.

Do any of them catch your eye? I’ve been checking back on their Search Engine Optimization course that they are currently reworking and am excited to learn more about improving our site. Taking these online courses means it will be up-to-date.

UCI Online Courses + My Reverse Bucket ListPin

What would you put on your reverse bucket list?


Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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