Just as each of these buckets is full of different types of flowers, each person has their unique bucket list. Many of us have our list but don’t know how to get there. What if you had four easy steps to implement that could change the way you think about accomplishing what you can see in your mind?

Merriam Webster’s defines the term bucket list as a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying.

In 2007, I read from Habakkuk 2. I’d like to share the instruction:

Write the vision And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

I began to have visions of concrete things to accomplish. I woke early on the morning of December 1, 2011, and created this image on my iPad.

While I didn’t understand all that is on the above graphic at the time, I focused on each one, and things began to happen. I have accomplished everything here. I say this in all humbleness. It only happened from my trusting the Lord.

I recently shared a post titled, Five Things I’ve Done I Thought I Could Never Do. If I thought I could never do them, how did I? That is what I want to share with you today.

As you can see, one of the things I wrote down was to write a book. It couldn’t be just any book; it had to be a book with meaning and add value to other’s lives. It had to come from my experience, heart of love for all, and speak into hearts that were desperate for love.

Another big bucket list item for me was to be a catalyst for changing our family legacy. While I knew what I wanted it to look like, at the beginning I had no idea all steps to take to get there. I did know what I didn’t want. If I wanted our legacy to change, I had to change. For me, that meant to become an intentional servant showing unconditional love to my children and grandchildren.

One of the most important things I wanted was to discover my purpose. I needed to know for what purpose I was here. Despite the fact that I rarely thought about that in the first part of my life, in the second part it became like an addiction. I wanted to know God deeper and to understand what I am here to do.

I knew those were direct calls from the Lord and I submitted myself to focus to reach the goals.

Let’s call those goals my bucket list.

Goals give us clarity for our vision. There is something we are motivated to do (our vision), and the goal is the action we take to get there. There can be many necessary goals to reach before we meet our vision. Those types of plans require determination, submission, and focus. With goals, we see better what we value, and we can begin to live deliberately to achieve the goals so that we reach the vision.

Now, mind you, when I started writing down my goals, they were more about how I wanted my life to look. I had no clue about the vision, clarity, goal lingo. When I wrote these out, it came from a place of seeing the result first. It can be fun to start from the end and back into the steps.

Below are two more stories about others who have accomplished visions by fulfilling their goals.

A thirteen-year-old gets a jeep wrangler toy car back into his possession that someone took from him at the age of five. It was returned inoperable, but he had a vision. He didn’t see the broken down mess. He saw himself and his younger brother riding around their backyard in the car. For himself, it would be the fulfillment of enjoying a toy missed for years, and for his brother, a first-time experience to share with one another.

He could have looked at it the jeep when he got it again and turned away from it because it didn’t work. But he didn’t.

  1. He inspected it.
  2. He researched on the internet.
  3. He watched YouTube videos.
  4. He ordered parts.
  5. He repaired it.

Without understanding, he had a vision (something he wanted) and actionable goals. Now, he and his brother ride together in a toy jeep around the neighborhood. This experience means something unique to each of them.

Another example is of an 80-year old woman who had a beautiful front lawn planted with mondo grass and a large cherry tree. After losing the tree, she had another one planted. Over the course of a few months, her lush green mondo grass was overtaken by weeds. The dirt used when planting the new tree was full of weed seed. As the grass and weeds grew together, the roots became interwoven.

Her vision was to see her front lawn lush and green again with zero weeds. She set out unconsciously acting upon her goals. Just as in each of the above visions and goals, she followed a step by step process.

  1. Dig up the grass in sections
  2. Gently and patiently unravel weed roots from grassroots
  3. Add new soil
  4. Replant each clump of mondo
  5. Spread Mulch
  6. Water Grass

After several days of working section by section on her yard, she accomplished her vision.

Earlier I shared the scripture from Habakkuk. Here is my interpretation: Write down your vision, break it down into goals that will move you forward to reach the vision. It might take some time, and that time is by design. Once you get there, the accomplished goals and fruition of the vision will come.

Sometimes reaching our vision can take a few hours, days, months, or it can take many years.

For my longer goals, I’ve had coaches to help keep me focused and going in the right direction. I believe having others who have walked the same road before can help us shorten the time to reach our destination.

What about you? Do you have a bucket list?

Have you set goals that will help drive you forward to move you closer to the vision?

Did reading this help you see a new way to strategize for your bucket list?

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Images by Romain VignesDave Shaft, Alisa Anton on Unsplash