How to Make the Best Summer Bucket List Ever

Although I’ve graduated from the days of spending my summers spraying my neighbors with a super soaker, eating juice box slushies and generally wasting time, something about the long hazy days of summer can make me feel bored and anxious.

I tend to ask myself why I’m not “making the most of this beautiful day” (what does that even mean?) and it’s just an impossibly slippery slope. But I’ve found a solution: to make a list of things I want to do, then do them. That way, I feel a little better about it knowing I’m spending my free time the way I want to, and I’m not as likely to be sucked in by the various activities that eat up my time when I have nothing to do. (ie: having existential crises, drinking tall cans, pretending to do research for work.)

Here are my tips for making the best summer bucket list ever. Is it seriously June already? WTF. No time like to present. Ok. Go!

– Make your goals as specific as possible. This will give you clearer direction and you won’t feel overwhelmed. (ie – as opposed to something ridiculously ambitious like “become a master of French cuisine,” make it your goal to sign a how-to-guide out from the library and master one specific dish. Like roasting a chicken.) 

– Make your goals achievable. You don’t have to include in your bucket list how you’ll achieve them, but you have to be sure it’s possible. If you want to go portaging up North but you and your friends all work full time and you have no idea where you’d get your hands on a canoe, rethink your goal. Instead, hop on a bus and rent a canoe and paddle for the day, for example

– Make sure your list doesn’t become daunting. A bucket list is about inspiration, not stress. Don’t get super down on yourself if you realize you can’t do everything on your list, or you realize it’s no longer that important to you.

– Write down things you actually want to do, not just things you like the idea of. A shopping analogy: when I’m shopping for clothes, my general rule of thumb is to only buy what I literally want to wear out of the store, right then and there – otherwise, I just won’t wear it, ever. Don’t try to imagine what you think you think you will want to do or should do in a month or two months, write down what you really want to do now. (This could also apply more generally to my dating life, now that I really think of it …)

–  Hang your bucket list where you can see it. If you’re feeling crafty, make a vision board out of it.

Here are a few samples from my bucket list: take an improv class, get a bike, have friends over for craft nights more often, see a play in Stratford, go to the CN tower, find summer festivals in the GTA and train trip to them on the weekends, go to a carnival, take the Prud’homme beer certificate. The list goes on…

Have fun with your bucket list, and keep checking in on our awesome ideas for having fun in the city!

~ Kait Fowlie

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