The most underrated Bucket List goal category

Personal Development

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

– Anonymous

Every January 1, millions of people set goals they want to achieve in the upcoming year. Things are bright, fresh and full of possibilities! Resolutions are great, right? But by the time February 15th rolls round, I’m guessing 90% of people have, sadly, given up and slipped into their old – bad – habits. Personal development should be something we strive for on a daily basis. Yet sometimes this superb bucket list category is grossly abused. What could be better than learning and growing as a human being? The flashy and exciting goals like traveling or the adrenaline- fueled adventures often outshine skills and development. But new skills are some of the most valuable goals you can accomplish on your bucket list. They not only help you with your personal development, but also have such a positive impact on the world around you.

Realistically, just 8% of people keep with their pledges. Resolutions get a bad rap because they are set with the wrong state of mind. We see that people often set these goals on a faulty foundation of what is popular. The Paleo diet? Sounds like a great way to drop the pounds. Juice cleanse? Time to detox the skin and your stomach. But once a difficult patch hits, it’s easier to give up than to readjust your goals and objectives.

The underlining reason we see so many goals fail is because there is a lack of effort in the planning stage of goal setting. Especially with these goals, it’s important to follow some SMART goal setting best practices. And always keep your motivation at the forefront of your mind to help you keep on track to success.


Check out our SMART goal setting infographic


It’s a weird thing when you step back and think about what drives you as a person to do what you want to do. I’m not just talking about working or even working out, but the little everyday activities. Use this source of influence and motivation to create habits in your daily life. If you wake up just 30 mins earlier every morning to work out, but add 5 years of quality time spent with your loved ones, isn’t that worth it? Start putting these little actions into perspective with the big picture. You begin to live with a greater sense of purpose.

Not only do these types of goals help develop your personal life, but they also can relate to your career, your family and anything you touch. As we see from the high failure rate of resolutions, sometimes these types of goals can be the most challenging to achieve. There is little accountability to other people, and ultimately if you fail, you’re only letting yourself down. This has to change!

Hold Yourself Accountable – tell a friend

Some goals are private, and are for you alone, but for the ones you are ready to share, tell a friend, and have him or her tell you theirs. It truly is amazing how much the power of sharing your goals has.

Keep on, Keepin’ on

Finally, remember to keep moving forward. If you mess up a week, don’t beat yourself up; after all, you’re only human. The best way to get over the failures is to celebrate the victories. You run a mile without stopping? Celebrate! Booked your flights? Celebrate! Wrote down your bucket list goals? Celebrate! After all, life is all about the little things. Personal goals have endless possibilities.

Sara Ruthnum

Sara is the marketing and community outreach coordinator for Bucketlist.org. She is passionate about all things travel, culture and sports, and is excited to start knocking off some of her bucket list dreams in the near future. Connect with Sara by emailing sara@bucketlist.org or linkedin.com/in/sararuthnum.

Check out Sara’s bucket list here http://bucketlist.org/list/sara.ruthnum/

  • Neha Shah

    Great article Sara and I couldn’t agree more. Personal Development is not only all about learning new skills, driving to achieve your goals but it is tuning your mind and body to believe in yourself, be positive, be around positive people, and more importantly to empower and motivate others to achieve beyond their beliefs and expectations.

    I am on a journey of personal development and it has changed my life. Yes, my bucket list keeps growing as I discover more about the world, but with dedication and focus I will achieve what I have set out to do.

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