Why Having a Bucket List Like Mandy Moore’s Is So Good for Your Soul

Why Having a Bucket List Like Mandy Moore's Is So Good for Your Soul
<i>Image via Mandy Moore/Eddie Bauer/Instagram</i>

Actress Mandy Moore accomplished an amazing feat that not a lot of people can claim — and that doesn’t include being on the top-rated series, This Is Us. The star recently crossed off a major coup from her bucket list: successfully climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

The SAG award-winning actress shared her incredible journey with numerous pics on Instagram. She revealed that climbing the 19,341-foot peak—the highest in Africa—has been a goal of hers since she was 18.

“And we’re off. #CountdowntoKili has arrived,” she captioned one photo. “I’ve been dreaming of seeing her and doing this since I was 18. Couldn’t be more grateful for this crew and everything this experience is bound to be. Let’s do this!”

Moore’s inspirational summit got us thinking about bucket lists and just how motivating and useful they can be. If you’ve got a big dream or two that you’d like to accomplish one day, here’s why you might want to create one for yourself.

You’ll Have Less Regrets

A recent Stanford University study asked more than 3,000 participants nationwide if they had a bucket list, and found that 91 percent of participants did indeed have a “bucket list,” or a list of things they hope to do before they die.

At the top of their lists? Travel, followed by accomplishing a goal, like finishing a degree and learning to swim.

“The number one emotion I see in patients when they are dying is regret,” study author VJ Periyakoil, director of the Stanford Palliative Care Education and Training Program in California, told Reuters.

A bucket list not only helps keep you accountable to your goals, but it can also be used as a guide for doctors who want to make sure that their patients’ lives are as full and meaningful as possible, for as long as they can.

It Keeps Life in Perspective

With so many things to cross off our daily to-do list, it’s easy to get consumed by the small (and sometimes petty) things in life. Which is why having a bucket list helps you to see the bigger picture by keeping you grounded to what really matters to you.

Having a bucket list fuels your motivation to accomplish your highest goals, while also helping you to stay close to what your soul truly needs in terms of fulfillment.

As Dr. Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., wrote in Psychology Today: “A bucket list can also be an attempt to make life meaningful, depending of course on the specific items…Regardless of their details, bucket lists embody what psychologists have learned about goal-setting. Goals can motivate us to accomplish things, but the most motivating goals are those that are hard and specific.”

You Don’t Need Big Goals

It’s important to note that whatever your goals are — they’re your goals. You don’t necessarily need to climb a huge mountain like Moore or participate in any other near-impossible tasks to make it bucket list-worthy. Your bucket list is meaningful and important because the goals you have are meaningful and important to you.

At the end of the day, you don’t want to be working towards someone else’s goals. The more personal your bucket list, the better and more self-fulfilled you’ll feel.

The Takeaway

Take inspiration from Moore’s journey and create the bucket list of your dreams. It’s never too late to accomplish the goals you’ve been longing to act upon. If you’re struggling, start small — like completing a 5k race, for example — and then work toward the bigger milestones, like, maybe climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

After all, a bucket list isn’t for the dying — it’s for the living.

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Brianne Hogan is a Canadian writer, currently based in Prince Edward Island. A self-proclaimed "wellness freak," she has a... More about Brianne Hogan