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Creating your retirement bucket list: 6 tips to help you set goals & stick to them!

With a drive for social change and pioneering spirit unique to their generation, retirees today are rewriting the traditional narrative of aging. They are embracing new opportunities, staying active and engaged, and refining what it means to live life after retirement!

Historically, retirement has been thought of as a time of decline, but retirees today are more active at this age than generations before, making the most of their newfound freedom and time by visiting the places they’ve always wanted to go, doing more of the things that fulfill them and living life, their way!

If you’ve just retired and are looking to plan this exciting new chapter of life, there’s never been a better time than the beginning of a new year to create your retirement bucket list.

Creating a retirement bucket list is a fun and meaningful way to motivate and inspire you, help you identify and prioritise your goals, and provide you with a sense of accomplishment which in turn boosts confidence and self-esteem.

People create them for many different reasons – maybe you’ve been searching for purpose in your retirement since leaving the workforce and want to create a bucket list to help you explore things outside your comfort zone! Perhaps there are big lifestyle changes you want to make when it comes to health and wellness, and you’re setting goals to hold you accountable.

Or, maybe you’ve made the move to a retirement village and want to make the most of your newfound freedom and time by ticking off the things you’ve always wanted to do!

Whatever your unique reason for creating your retirement bucket list is, we’ve come up with 6 tips to help you not only set your goals, but stick to them!


Creating a retirement bucket list begins with looking inward and thinking deeply about your personal goals and aspirations. It’s about determining what truly matters to you and what you’d like this exciting new period of your life to look like! Ask yourself questions like: what activities or experiences have always fascinated me? Are there any places I’ve always wanted to visit or explore? What hobbies or interests do I want to pursue? What are the things that charge my battery and make me happy? How do I envision a fulfilling retirement?

It can also be helpful to look back on any missed opportunities or regrets you have from your life. Is there anything you always wanted to do but never got to achieve? It’s not too late! Your retirement years are about putting yourself first and prioritising the things that make you feel fulfilled and happy.

Set a variety of goals within your retirement bucket list.

Goals are an important part of life because they give you a purpose and a reason to get out of bed every day. Including a variety of short- and long-term goals, as well as easily achievable and more difficult goals means your bucket list won’t be as overwhelming. It gives you the opportunity to tick a few things off more easily which will give you the encouragement to continue reaching them!

It could be something as small as mastering a new recipe, attending a certain number of exercise classes per week, decluttering and reorganising your belongings, or cutting out sugar for a week.

Alternatively, it could be something more challenging like going on a solo travel adventure, doing a hike, joining an online dating platform, or committing to an exercise and meal plan.

Whatever your goals for the year are, ensure you give yourself a variety so that on days where you don’t feel as motivated, you can still achieve something that will make you feel accomplished!

Categorise your retirement bucket list.

When it comes to categorising your retirement bucket list, there are a few ways you can go about it, depending on what works best for you. Some people like to sort their bucket list into categories like travel, hobbies, personal growth, family and friends, volunteer work.

If you’d like to go into further detail, you can organise it by stating your goal, and outlining underneath it how you plan to achieve it.

For example, if you’d like to broaden your horizons and try new things as part of your bucket list for 2024, you could plan it out like this:

My Goal: Incorporate new activities into my life in 2024.

How I’m going to achieve it:

  • Experiment with one new recipe each week
  • Go op shopping
  • Plant a herb garden
  • Try one new movement activity per month: hot yoga, reformer Pilates, water aerobics, Zumba, walking club, meditation
  • Visit a new place in nature every month
  • Treat myself to a self-care activity once a month: see a movie in gold class, enjoy a spa treatment, attend a pottery, art, or cooking class, see a musical or show
  • Make a new friend
  • Join a community group
  • Complete an online course
  • Learn to play a song on the piano

Alternatively, you might decide to arrange your goals based on priority. Whichever format you choose for your retirement bucket list, ensure its easily accessible for you so you can regularly come back to it.

Regularly review and update your retirement bucket list.

Regularly reviewing and updating your retirement bucket list is an important part of staying familiar with your goals and holding yourself accountable.

As you evolve and your priorities shift, reviewing your retirement bucket list helps you gain clarity on what truly matters to you. It allows you to refocus your energy and resources on the goals and aspirations that align with your current values and desires.

Reviewing your retirement bucket list regularly can also reignite your motivation and passion for pursuing your ambitions. It serves as a reminder of the exciting experiences and goals you aspire to achieve, motivating you to take action and make progress towards them.

Finally, regular reviews of your bucket list can cultivate a sense of gratitude for the experiences you’ve had and the opportunities that lie ahead. It reminds you to appreciate the journey and cherish the moments, both big and small, that contribute to your overall happiness and fulfillment!

Celebrate your achievements!

Often, we don’t realise how far we’ve come until we look back on our progress, so making a habit of doing this regularly and celebrating your achievements is important when it comes to sticking to your retirement bucket list. 

Celebrate and keep track of anything that’s important to you, no matter how big or small the milestone is because there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking off your personal goals! Hanging a monthly calendar or planner up in your home is a great idea as it allows you to visually see your progress – which if you’re feeling disheartened, is often a great reminder of how far you’ve come.

Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions for your retirement bucket list.

  • Write a memoir for your family
  • Explore your family history
  • Reconnect with an old friend
  • Volunteer for something you’re passionate about
  • Teach someone a skill or learn a new skill
  • Adopt an animal
  • Go stargazing and learn about the stars
  • Master a new recipe or cuisine
  • Experience something that scares you
  • Travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go

Your retirement chapter is the time of your life where you get to put yourself first and embrace your newfound freedom! Creating a retirement bucket list is the perfect way to determine exactly where you’d like to go and what you’d like to accomplish in this exciting time of your life. It gives you purpose and helps you to focus your energy on the things that enrich your life and bring you happiness, which is exactly what you deserve in your retirement years!

Your exciting new lifestyle awaits

Find your local Oak Tree Retirement Village community today. 

Or call us on 1300 367 155

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