Hmmm... Very good question, glad you asked.
So... Do you indulge yourself and write down things that make you happy? Or, do you give in to peer pressure and write down things that you feel you should do? Or, should you become all noble and philanthropic and help humanity save the world? Do you keep within your means or do you dream big and write down "Around the World Cruise" although at this point in time you don't have a brass razoo to your name?
After considerable thought the answer is not what you may expect... It doesn't matter what you write down if you don't have the motivation to follow through. That motivation may come from knowing that a particular task will make you happy, it can come from peer pressure and it can come from an in-built sense of responsibility to do right by your fellow man.
I'm a bit old school and believe in the "Conceive - Believe - Achieve" philosophy. The "Conceive" process involves me gathering the information the ideas and my latent hopes and dreams and adding all of them to my Bucket List. The "Believe" process involves me doing an honest evaluation on whether I sincerely believe each goal or task is achievable. Being human, some days I believe I could build a space rocket by hand and fly it to the moon solo; other days it's a challenge to make oatmeal.
The "Believe" step is the important link between "Conceive" and "Achieve". At a basic psychological level if you don't have the "belief" you won't take the first step on the journey toward achieving your goal. With out the "belief" you need to remove that goal from your Bucket List lest it becomes a harbinger of doubt which taints the rest of your list. Should your circumstance change you can always add it back to the list at a later date.
So... What goes in a Bucket List? A good start is to "register" on theMasterBucketList.com and work your way through over 980 Bucket List ideas. If you see something that you'd like to achieve (regardless of your motivation), and you truly believe it's within "your" realm of possibility, add it to your list. And, remember your list is not set in stone, it will and can change as you grow...
There's a power in 'lists'. Have you noticed when the boss wants things done you're handed a list? Or, if you're planning a party, you make a list of things you must do. If you buy a piece of flat packed furniture, you follow a list to assemble it... OK, maybe if you're a guy, that's not quite true. The point I'm attempting to make is... lists have the power to organise and direct our efforts.
When we have a list we have an over-view of what we are going to achieve. We work our way through it, we cross things off... and like magic we reach the goal.
"Yeah... yeah... yeah..." I hear you say... "Lists are fine for getting things from the grocery store... or baking a cake... but I wouldn't consider them life changing".
Well prove me wrong! What do you have to lose?
I challenge you to make a bucket list! List friendships you'd like to mend... list places you'd like to see... list good deeds you'd like to perform... list experiences you'd like to have... list people you'd like to meet... list anything you feel you need to achieve to make your life complete.
When all is written down close your eyes and imagine... imagine everything on your list is crossed off, you have achieved all you dared to write... what a fulfilling life you would have led.
Dream Big, Dream Often
the Bucket Master