“Bucket List” used to refer exclusively to a list of things you wanted to do before you “kicked the bucket.” But in recent years, that meaning has expanded a bit. A bucket list can be a list of things you’ve always wanted to do or a list of things you’d like to do in a year.
It’s that second meaning that has become increasingly popular in 2021 as the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lots of people’s lives were turned upside down by quarantines, lock-downs, and stay-at-home orders.
With more and more people getting vaccinated and restrictions on businesses like gyms and restaurants getting lifted, people are using bucket lists to prioritize both those activities they took for granted before the pandemic and activities they haven’t done but would like to try.
We’ll go over some strategies for making a bucket list that isn’t just full of pipe dreams and then show you why racquetball belongs on your 2021 bucket list.
Making a Great Bucket List
The first key to making a bucket list —whether you’re making one for your life or the year— is that the things you put on your list should be possible. So unless you are a world leader, achieving total world peace shouldn’t go on your list.
That doesn’t mean you can’t write down important things, though! Do you want to run with the bulls in
Pamplona, Spain? Put it on the list! Then break down what you need to make it happen.
That’s the other key to making a bucket list. These aren’t meant to be pie-in-the-sky hypotheticals. Your bucket list is a list of actionable goals.
Let’s return to the Running of the Bulls as our example. If you live outside Spain, you need to be sure your passport is up to date. You need to be able to afford transportation. You need to know if there are entry fees or registrations and waivers you need to take care of. You need to learn the safety protocols for yourself, your fellow runners, and the bulls. And you need to be sure you’ll be able to make the run!
Achieving the items on a bucket list doesn’t only take time and money. It takes the physical ability to do the things you want to do. Have you always wanted to complete the New York Marathon? Have you always wanted to hike to the top of Kilimanjaro? You can’t do these things without physical preparation.
Making a Great 2021 Bucket List
Those keys to making a bucket list also apply to making a list of goals for the year. 2020 was hard on everyone, and 2021 hasn’t started off much easier. So, making plans to achieve your goals this year is a great way to ensure the year ends better than it started.
Vaccinations and the easing of lockdown restrictions have made it possible to get out and do much more this year than last year. Of course, many things we missed out on last year aren’t necessarily actionable. So we need to see how we can turn those wants into achievable goals.
It is important to note that by the time this piece is published, nearly a third of the year will be over. So if you want to be sure that you are getting to as many items on your 2021 bucket list, try to find places where they overlap.
For example, if your bucket list goals include working out more, making friends outside your workplace, trying new games, and wearing sweet eye protection —you can do all those things through racquetball.
With all the potential activities a person could put on their 2021 bucket list to get back out in the world, why racquetball? What makes it so great?
First of all, racquetball is one of those great games that are “easy to learn, but difficult to master.” The rules are fairly simple once you get on the court and get in a game flow.
But those simple rules combine to form a game that has layers of strategy. From a beginner simply working on hitting the ball where their opponent isn’t standing to a pro changing serving angles and serve types to keep their opponent guessing, there is always a new challenge to embrace on the court.
In addition to the sport’s mental and strategic challenges, racquetball also offers an unparalleled workout. Even at a beginning level, racquetball will get you sweating.
A game of racquetball has you changing directions and moving quickly for a great aerobic exercise. It also helps improve core strength and flexibility with the twisting motions involved in making a good swing. Your swing will also improve strength and balance. And the rigors of playing a match will help you build physical stamina.
Racquetball is a full-body workout. And improving your game can also be a motivator for other exercises. For example, yoga can help improve your flexibility and joint elasticity. Do you want a stronger swing? Try some boxing or MMA classes to see how you can draw power from your legs into your arms!
But most importantly, coming out of a pandemic year, racquetball is a social game. Many of us have seen our social circles shrink a bit this year. Without being able to go out for drinks or to parties, many casual acquaintanceships have fallen by the wayside.
And it just isn’t healthy to only have your coworkers and immediate family in your social circle. But it can be hard to make friends as an adult. That’s where racquetball comes in.
Many gyms and health clubs that have racquetball facilities host tiered community leagues. You can sign up and start meeting people with a common interest (racquetball), are at a similar skill level as you, so you can grow in the game together and live in the same area.
It’s a great way to make new friends, whether you’re in a new city or are just coming back into your current city after a year spent indoors.
Make a Plan and Make it Happen!
Bucket lists can cover big things like international travel or skydiving and more minor things like finding a regular reason to leave the house in 2021.
The important thing is that you don’t allow the items on your list to hypothetical goals. Break down the steps you need to make to achieve those list items. Then take action! And if one activity can help you cross off more than one item, do that activity!
2021 can be your year. All you have to do is get up, get out, and make your goals realities!