Sunday, January 12, 2020

How to make a visual bucket list and why you need one

Have you ever created a "visual bucket list?" I'm about to create mine, and I thought I'd share my process with you in this post.

As I began to write a post about what's on my bucket list, I realized one important thing as I sat down and tried to write mine. 

I needed to not only write about my bucket list, but I needed to get it out of my head and into a visual place where I could see it every day. 

Oh, I have a lot of things on my bucket list (and it doesn't include bungee jumping or skydiving!), but I know that I need reminders and "visual cues" so that I can turn my dreams into realities. 

I know that I'm not alone in needing the visual nudging.

In 1996, researchers at Michigan State University identified over 200 emergency room patients with lacerations who were given instructions on how to care for their wounds at home before being discharged. Half of the patients received text-only instructions. The rest received the same text accompanied with images, specifically cartoons that illustrated the written instructions.

Three days later, the research team followed up with the patients  to see which individuals were more successful in following their home-care plan. Almost half (46%) of the people who received the images along with the instructions were able to answer each of the wound-care questions correctly, but only 6% of the text-only group were able to answer successfully.

Even more intriguing (as it relates to achieving goals) individuals in the visually-enhanced group were 43% better in terms of their adherence to the instructions than the text-only crowd. Wowser! I better get to creating my visual bucket list!

As I started to research ideas for HOW to create a visual bucket list and look for inspiration, I found a few to share with you. 

For the family Summer Bucket List above, it was as simple as talking to kids to create the list, finding photos on the Internet, pasting them into a document, then cutting them apart and posting on a bulletin board.

For the visual bucket list above, it a simple can that has been decorated with the bucket list items written on wooden clothespins. When you complete something, you drop it in the bucket. 

I have friends who are huge fans of Disney. I think this is a cute idea to write the items in an identifiable shape and highlight each one after you do it. This works when you have a main theme that ties all of your ideas together (Think plane for travel bucket lists, beach umbrella for a summer beach trip, or a house if it relates to the home.)

I love the visual bucket list in the photos above. When an item on the bucket list has been completed, the butterfly goes into the jar on the table below the awesome display of butterflies. 

The picture above is from an activity that a teacher did with her students. They brainstormed their lists, she used a template for the students to create their own buckets, and she created a bulletin board to display. You can read the entire post HERE.)

Teachers, what if you created this with your students at the start of school for the year together, or what if you created a summer bucket list in May with your students?

School leaders, what if you did this with your staff?

District leaders, what if you did this with your principals?

After I shared My 3 Words for 2020, I got some DMs from friendly folks who shared stories about the envelope system, helpful budgeting apps, and more. One of the apps that was shared with me is Hip2Save. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I thought it was fun to find this FREE printable from Hip2Save

What's on my bucket list?
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Write a book
  • Take a pottery class
  • Learn sign language
  • See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
  • Run a marathon
  • Sing karaoke (in public)
  • Live debt-free

What's on yours?

Delp, C. and Jones, J. (1996), Communicating Information to Patients: The Use of Cartoon Illustrations to Improve Comprehension of Instructions. Academic Emergency Medicine, 3: 264-270. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.1996.tb03431.x

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