Why I Call My Bucket List My To-Do List

Do you have a bucket list? If you don’t have one, you should. We all know what a bucket list is. A great way to make sure all the things you want to do in your life actually get done.

But most of us don’t actually work towards checking off the items on our bucket list on a daily basis. That’s why I started calling mine a to-do list, and treating it like one too.

Writing down your goals makes them more achievable. More real. Right there on paper – or on screen – they’re waiting for you to address instead of just floating around with all the rest of the creative chaos in our minds.

And beyond just writing them down, making your goals and dreams public knowledge will get the ball rolling in a big way. All of the sudden, the idea you’ve announced becomes a plan. One that you feel accountable for and that you’ll commit yourself to follow through with. Or at least try.

One of the big inspirations for my Between The Peaks expedition and film was The Buried Life. Duncan, Jonnie, Ben, and Dave came to speak my senior year of college and I was completely inspired.

The BTP idea had already started spinning in my head, but it really fired me up to the next level to hear about these four very normal guys with very big dreams.  They were out there chasing down all the items on their own bucket list while at the same time helping strangers check a box off of theirs. And for them, following their passions paid off big with their own show on MTV.

The show has since been gone off-air, but the guys still continue to pursue a lifestyle that allows them to do crazy things and help a lot of people. Pretty cool.

Too many of us think about all the things we want to accomplish, but life gets busy and our goals get put off. I say it’s time to stop thinking about your bucket list and start making your to-do list. What do you really want to do?

There’s no set limit. It’s not 100 or 50. Just start writing. And don’t be afraid of big dreams, but your answers to this question really don’t have to be grandiose. The little experiences in life matter just as much, and bit by bit they will open up the doors to bigger opportunities.

Below is my bucket list – always fluid and always growing! I’d love to hear about a couple items from yours. Comment below and then get started on making them happen! (*  = crossed off since posting this)


1. Between the Peaks
2. Release an original record
3. Act in a movie or TV show
4. Climb El Cap in Yosemite
5. Go to every continent
6. Fly a wingsuit
7. Sky dive
8. Bungee Jump
9. Lead a parade
10. Speak another language
11. Write a book
12. See the Eiffel Tower
13. Hitch hike around a country
14. Get a pilot’s license
15. Grow a full beard
16. Sing the national anthem at an event
17. Learn to surf
18. Go scuba-diving
19. Fly in a private jet
20. Swim with sharks
21. Make front page news
22. Catch my own food in the wild
23. Go paragliding
24. Go white water rafting
25. Learn to sail
26. Make a music video
27. Fall in love
28. Attend a multi-day festival
29. Run a marathon
30. Go to space
31. 4 wheel/snowboard in a sand dune desert
32. Ride a horse
33. Climb the 7 summits
34. Play music in front of a huge amphitheater
35. Go back to Zermatt and climb Matterhorn
36. Meet Andrew McMahon
37. Travel to every country in the world
38. See the Northern Lights
39. Be on a late night talk show
40. Go dog-sledding
41. Spend a week in a monastery meditating
42. Brew my own beer
43. Make my own wine
44. Have an epicly dramatic movie-like kiss
45. Go on an African safari
46. See the Great Barrier Reef
47. Walk the Great Wall of China
48. Go canyoning
49. Base jump
50. Explore Patagonia
51. Pay off my student loans
52. Drive the California coastline
53. Give a best man speech
54. Inspire people (and continuing to do so I hope)
55. Put up a first ascent
56. Cycle Iceland’s Ring Road
57. Go to a live stand-up comedy show
58. Skate on Venice Beach
59. Drive across the country
60. Jump out of a helicopter to snowboard
61. See flowing lava
62. Splitboard Alaskan mountains
63. Hike in the rainforest
64. Paddle down the Amazon
65. Go hang gliding
66. Ride a motorcycle
67. Climb a coconut tree and husk my own for food and water
68. Explore Thailand
69. Become a sponsored athlete/adventurer

Jonathan Ronzio
Jonathan Ronzio

Founder & Host

Founder, Explore Inspired | CMO, Trainual | Co-Host of The Stokecast Podcast | Mountain Athlete | Award-Winning Adventure Filmmaker | Keynote Speaker

  1. I love this article. I fully agree with everything. I read your to-do list and almost everything on there is on mine as well! You crossed off some that I still have to do and vice versa. Hope to meet you some day and maybe we can cross something off together. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks a lot Pay! Just checked out your site and I absolutely love this – “Music is my passion, Writing is my love, Traveling is my adventure and Food is my addiction.” Couldn’t agree more! I was just in Amsterdam for a few days in May but next time I make it back we’ll have to meet for a coffee to talk music and adventure. Glad we could connect. Cheers!

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