Five Bucket Lists And Sixty Five Things To Do In Midlife

If you’re from the US or Canada, you’ve heard of the term bucket list. Unfortunately, no one knows when this term became a thing, though it derives from an 18th-century word referencing death – kick the bucket. It wasn’t until the 2007 movie The Bucket List that we became more familiar with this new phrase.  

Definition of bucket list

According to Dictionary, a bucket list is:

“A list of things a person wants to achieve or experience before reaching a certain age or dying.”


It sounds morbid, mainly for a midlife person. We don’t want to think of the end of life in our prime. I believe midlife is a stage where we should enjoy vitality and do things we missed in our 20s and 30s. In their 40s and 50s, midlifers celebrate liberation from family obligations and want to partake in new adventures and experiences. A bucket list shouldn’t be linked to the end of life but rather commemorate a new chapter. 

The modern midlifer bucket list

Truthfully, I never had a bucket “list” and probably won’t. When I turned 30, I started making wish lists of short-term goals such as traveling to a specific country, learning a new skill, or buying things I liked. With this approach, I put checkmarks on many wishes and dreams. I manifested thoughts and was lucky that they came true. Now that I’m 50, I don’t know what else to do! And this goes for many midlifers who were able to achieve goals and make dreams come true before hitting 40. 

Now what? The bucket list feels light. Therefore, I began looking for new adventures and dreams to do in my 50s. And in the quest for new ideas, I realized that one bucket list isn’t enough. 

Purpose of a midlife bucket list or lists

With maturity, I realized that being old isn’t a restriction. If anything, it’s the best time to break barriers and outdated beliefs. We cannot stop because we are 40, 50, or 80. Instead, like any living specie, we should evolve and continue to grow: intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. 

Realizing the importance of growth as the most significant facet of living, I categorized goals into multiple bucket lists. Some go into a learning bucket. Others fill a nature bucket. Or in an adventure bucket. And how about social and self-care buckets. Let’s see what goes in each.

Bucket list for midlifers

Bucket list 1: Learning

Education is a privilege that no one should take for granted. Yet, here in North America, we’re fortunate to have access to learning online and offline. And I’m not referring to higher-level education but rather access to courses that enrich our minds. For example:

Learn to play a new instrument

Try new sports such as tennis, fencing, paddle boat

Take a design course (fashion, graphic, interior)


Teach yourself a new language

Write a book, a story, poetry, a song

Try photography

Draw or paint

Complete a 1000+ piece jigsaw

Take Pole dancing lessons

Learn singing

Read a trilogy

Fill your bucket list with these ideas

Bucket list 2: Nature

Spending time in nature and connecting with Earth is rewarding for the soul, body and mind. And you’ll appreciate the importance of the environment and preserving nature for all living species. 

Plant trees in your yard or on your travels

Volunteer at a farm

Clean a beach

Hike regularly

Plant unique and exotic flowers

Start a part-time gardening services

Go whale-watching

Invest in sustainable brands

Visit an animal sanctuary

Horse-ride in a mountain

Refurbish old furniture

Your bucket list in midlife

Bucket list 3: Adventure

Ah! adventure in midlife. Such a cliche, but it’s exhilarating for anyone over 50 to test mental abilities and physical strength. On the other hand, not all adventures require an element of risk. Some experiences are original ideas and activities many don’t consider trying out.

Climb a mountain

Jump into a Pool Fully Clothed (I did it last week and it was tons of fun)

Go to a Murder Mystery Dinner

Ride in a Hot-Air Balloon

Dive into a coral beach

Go fishing

See the northern lights

Go on a safari

Sail a boat

Air Boat Across an alligator-infested swamp

Explore an abandoned cave

Jump off a cliff

Shear a sheep

Fly in a private jet

Drive exotic cars

Go skydiving

Midlife and your bucket list

Bucket list 4: Social

In the hierarchy of needs theory, we learned that self-actualization sits at the top of the pyramid. Therefore, it becomes more relevant in midlife and beyond. We begin to build a sense of giving and self-recognition. We do so because we gathered a treasure of knowledge and wisdom to pass on to others.

Join a board of directors

Mentor a young person

Become an active volunteer

Teach a course 

Offer consulting services

Serve food at a soup kitchen

Organize a charity event

Have a meaningful conversation with a stranger

Make a social media post that can go viral

Attend a gallery opening

Be in a commercial or an extra in a movie

Attend New York, Milan, or Paris fashion show

Spend more personal and valuable time with family and friends

What your midlife bucket list should look like

Bucket list 5: Self-love

Stress, anxiety, and depression go hand-in-hand with modern life. And they never leave us even as we age. Midlifers encounter different types of stresses that become a menace to wellbeing. Self-love is doing things that make you happy, such as reflecting on youth and finding sentimental values in objects and experiences. So this bucket list must always be the one you keep filling at any age.

Create a family tree

Write a detailed will

Commission an artist to paint your portrait

Get a custom-made (bespoke) dress or bag 

Go on a retreat alone

Visit your childhood home, school, and town

Re-unite with distant family and friends

Participate in a 1/2 or full marathon

Take a trip with your mom and dad

Play in a playground

Tatoo your favourite quote or mantra

Meditate every day

Learn Yoga, Tai Chee, and Pilate. 


If you are over 40, start creating new goals for yourself. Midlife is the best moment in life when you can begin to fill a bucket list or lists with ideas and activities you’ve always dreamed of doing. I hope this blog offers you some inspiring ideas to add to your bucket list

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