How to Create a Summer Bucket List: 13 Steps (with Pictures) (2024)

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1Brainstorming Bucket List Ideas

2Making a List of Ideas

3Planning Achievable Goals for the Summer

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Co-authored bywikiHow Staff

Last Updated: October 11, 2022References

A summer bucket list helps you to identify the things that you want to do over the summer and helps you to reach these goals. While you’re making your summer bucket list, you want to set goals that you can achieve and that can be accomplished during the summer months. Not only is this list good practice for setting goals, but it can also help you avoid summer boredom and to try new things.

Part 1

Part 1 of 3:

Brainstorming Bucket List Ideas

  1. 1

    Search for events in your city. At the beginning of your bucket list planning stage, your goal is to find inspiration.[1] You may already have a few goals in mind that you know you want to add to your bucket list, but you may be struggling to think of a few more to add. Start by searching for summer events that are happening in your local area.

    • You can search online for things like “summer events in Dallas” or “summer concerts in Los Angeles” to get an idea of what events are happening during the summer months.
    • You can also contact your local government to see if they have already compiled an event calendar for your area that they can share with you.
  2. 2

    Talk with friends and family about ideas. Crowdsourcing ideas is a great way to brainstorm. Ask a few of your close friends and family members about what sort of goals you could put on your list. They may have their own summer bucket list that they could share with you, and they can let you know about goals and ideas that you might not have otherwise thought of.[2]

    • Ask them things like, “What are your goals for the summer?” or “Do you know of any cool and interesting places near us that I should go see?”
    • While some of their ideas might not interest you or be feasible, this is a good way to start thinking about potential goals.
  3. 3

    Start compiling a list. As you’re brainstorming ideas and looking for inspiration, start to compile a list. This list should include all the ideas that you find interesting; you can refine this list later on. Right now, your goal is to collect all of your ideas in one list so you can organize them.

    • Early on, you might start to list things you've done before and that you'd like to do again. This might be going swimming, eating at your favorite restaurant, spending time with your relatives, or re-reading your favorite book. Your list doesn't necessarily have to be filled with things you've never done before; you can also include items that you've done before that you'd like to make a habit, like running a 5k or reading a book a week.
    • You can write this list down on paper, or you can start to make a list on your mobile phone or computer. Either way, this list should be accessible so you can write down new ideas whenever inspiration strikes.
  4. 4

    Collaborate with friends. One way to make your summer bucket list even more fun is to involve your friends. Your friends can encourage you to finish your list and to accomplish your goals, and they can also come along with you on some of your adventures. For example, “swim twice every week” is a goal that you can accomplish by yourself, but it can become more fun when you invite friends along to go swimming with you.

    • You can also set goals with your friends, like “have a sleep over three times this summer” that you can accomplish together. Ideas like "going to an outdoor concert" or "eat a five new restaurants" are fun to do with a friend or in a group.
  5. 5

    Look online for ideas. You aren’t the only person who has a summer bucket list, and it can be helpful to look at other’s lists for inspiration.[3] Search online for things like “summer bucket list ideas” to get inspiration.[4] Personalized goals are great to have on your list, but you can also have more general goals like “have a picnic” that aren’t as specific or personal as “have a picnic in Yellowstone National Park with my best friend Jessica.”

    • You could also look at image sharing sites, like Pinterest or Instagram, to get inspiration for activities and places to go to.


Part 2

Part 2 of 3:

Making a List of Ideas

  1. 1

    Make SMART goals. The SMART method is a helpful way to refine your list of goals. Look at each goal on your summer bucket list and ask yourself whether they fit the SMART model. If they don’t, consider taking them off of your list. Each part of SMART will help you to determine whether you can accomplish these goals during the summer or not. You want your goals to be relevant to the summer months and to have them fit within the summer timeframe. Here are the SMART specifics:[5]

    • S- Specific (or Significant)
    • M- Measurable (or Meaningful)
    • A- Attainable
    • R- Relevant
    • T- Time-bound
  2. 2

    List three categories of goals. On your bucket list, it is helpful to separate your ideas into three categories: easily completed, standard, and reach. This way, you can see what sort of planning each goal will require.

    • Your easily completed goals should be ideas that you are certain that you can accomplish, like going out to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or going to swim at the local lake.
    • Standard goals should be those that you think you would be able to complete, but require more planning.
    • Reach goals should be your dream goals that you’d love to complete during the summer but that you aren’t sure if you will be able to.
  3. 3

    Identify items you want to complete the most. Look at your list of goals and identify which goals are your absolute favorites. These are your “must accomplish” activities that you feel the most strongly about.[6] These items on your list are ones that you can start working on right away.

    • For example, if “camp outside and make s’mores over a campfire” is the thing you want to accomplish the most this summer, you can prioritize it rather than starting on goals you care a little less about.
    • If "make dinner for your friends" is the top item on your list, you can start planning this goal immediately and accomplish it first.
  4. 4

    Refine your list. As you’re making your summer bucket list, you will probably find that not all of your goals are possible or relevant to the summer. For the goals that aren’t relevant to the summer, consider putting them on your general bucket list. Some of your goals might not be possible at this time, whether it’s for financial reasons, you can’t take time off of work, or you have other obligations to fulfill. You can take these off of your list for now, or put them in your reach category knowing that they might not happen this summer.[7]

    • While you’re completing your summer bucket list, you might also find that you aren’t as interested in that goal anymore. If you aren’t interested in that goal anymore, take it off your list.


Part 3

Part 3 of 3:

Planning Achievable Goals for the Summer

  1. 1

    Try planning out one goal from each category. You want your summer bucket list to be achievable. It feels great to be able to check items off of your summer bucket list, and you want to be able to accomplish all the goals you have for yourself. The first step in accomplishing these goals is to plan out how you’ll achieve them.[8] Ask yourself the who, what, when, where, and how of your goals.

    • Your goal might be to “see a summer blockbuster film.” The who of this goal is who you want to see the movie with or if you want to go alone. The what is the movie that you want to see. You can look at lists of movies that are premiering during the summer and choose which one you’re interested in. The when is when you’ll go to see the movie, which might depend on when it premieres. The where is the movie theater you want to see the movie. The how is whether you’ll need to drive to the theater, how you’ll pay for your movie ticket, and how you’ll make time to see the film.
  2. 2

    Break larger goals into smaller progress goals. For larger or broader goals like “run 100 miles outdoors,” you can break the goal into smaller progress goals. These smaller goals will help you achieve your larger goal in more manageable steps.[9]

    • For this example, your smaller goals might be to “buy a new pair of running shoes,” “run 15 miles each week,” and “run in the park five times.” As you accomplish these smaller goals, you’re working on completing your larger goal.
    • Say your goal is to "write ten short stories." You can break this goal into "write for three hours every week," "purchase new writing supplies," and "brainstorm twenty different story ideas."
  3. 3

    Add timeframes to different goals. The summer goes by quickly and some of your goals will take more time than others.[10] Some goals might have their own specific timeframes, like “go to the Lollapalooza music festival,” since this festival only happens at a specific time. Other goals, like “read ten books,” have more flexible timeframes.

    • Once you’ve identified the timeframes for each goal, you can incorporate them into your summer calendar and follow through on them. For example, if you know that you want to "see a new movie in theaters" during the first week of July, you can plan to "go on a road trip with Ben" the second week.
  4. 4

    Hold yourself accountable. The summer is a busy time of the year and it can be easy to get caught up in summer activities and forget about your list. Keep yourself accountable for your goals by sharing your bucket list with others. They can remind you about your goals and ask about your progress. You can also keep yourself accountable by checking in with yourself each week to think about the progress that you’ve made on specific goals.[11]

    • Your goals should be realistic and you should be able to complete them during the summer months. It wouldn’t make sense to put “go snowboarding” as a goal for your summer list unless you have the money to travel to somewhere much colder.[12]


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      • Be creative!


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      • Be realistic with your goals for this summer.


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      • Remember, it's okay if you don't accomplish everything on your list. Save these goals for the next summer and try again!


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      • Don’t put anything illegal or reckless on your list. Even for adventurous goals, like to go hiking on a specific mountain, your safety should be a priority.


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      How to Create a Summer Bucket List: 13 Steps (with Pictures) (27)

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      This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 13,791 times.

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      Co-authors: 20

      Updated: October 11, 2022


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