A “Bucket List” is a new phenomenon based on a movie of the same name in which two terminally ill men try to fulfill a wish list known as “The Bucket List” before each kicks the bucket. After they break out of a cancer ward, they head off on a road trip with an itinerary that includes racing cars, eating giant plates of caviar and slinging poker chips in Monte Carlo.
In April, several Continental at St. Joseph”s tenants in Centerville, Iowa welcomed Amy Crawford of Iowa Hospice to do an activity based on The Bucket List. The tenants of the assisted living facility identified items that were needs, such as food, medication and shelter. Next, participants pinpointed their wants, which might include going on a cruise, seeing a family member they have lost touch with, or attending an exercise class a few times a week. I was surprised at some of the things that our tenants were dreaming of!
The Bucket List idea can be taken in many different directions. Recently, I read an article in The Journal of Active Aging about a triad of retirement communities that implemented a wellness program that dared its residents to partake in their “100 Ways to Wellness Challenge.” “Our 100 Ways to Wellness program was a list of 100 wellness tasks designed to inspire residents to step outside of their comfort zones and engage in life in very meaningful ways,” said Allison Pait, Wellness Director and one of three creators of the program. Some of the 100 Ways to Wellness include bringing your own coffee mug instead of using Styrofoam, inviting a neighbor over for tea and learning to send an email.
Kisco Senior living also encouraged participants in the program to journal their progress and then rewarded them with drawings each time they completed one of the tasks. In addition to journaling, taking pictures of what an accomplished goal looks like, could be very motivating.
After reading this article, I was inspired to write my own bucket list and I challenge you to do the same. What do you want? What do you need? What will it take for you to feel fulfilled? How great would it feel to do something you’ve been dreaming of?
I invite you to take a step outside of your comfort zone. Try something new. Prove someone wrong. I guarantee, you’ll feel amazing inside and out.
Kristen Sheston is Assistant Administrator at The Continental at St. Joseph’s, Inc. in Centerville, Iowa. More information is available at www.thecontinentalatstjosephs.com.