3 reasons you and your spouse need a bucket list

Have you ever thought about creating a bucket list, and not just for yourself, but for you and your spouse to accomplish together?

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  • You hear it at work, at neighborhood BBQ's, and on social media - people checking things off their bucket lists. It seems that everyone has a bucket list, and that everyone is working away to accomplish the things they most desire. Everyone needs a bucket list - a list of things they want to accomplish before dying. How about you?

  • Have you ever thought about creating a bucket list, and not just for yourself, but for you and your spouse to accomplish together? If not, here are three really great reasons why you should, and how having a marriage bucket list will really help nurture your relationship with your spouse: ​

  • 1. Unite you as a couple as it creates shared goals and a shared vision

  • Creating a bucket list of the things the two of you want to accomplish together will create added meaning and closeness in your marriage. It will also give you fun goals to aim for.

  • In the process of dreaming together, preparing together, and accomplishing big things together, you will find yourself feeling united with your spouse in ways you can't even imagine. ​

  • Did you know that sharing your deepest dreams and goals with your spouse is a form of intimacy? This kind of ongoing-exercise of making plans and working together to achieve them will draw you two closer together, enhance your unity and help find greater meaning in your marriage.

  • 2. Create endless opportunities for adventure, friendship and fun

  • As you work to accomplish the things on your bucket list, you will be sharing a lot of time and space together, which is a major key to strengthening your friendship. Plus, as you share adventures, hobbies and skills together, you will have a lot more in the "common interest" category to talk about. You will be doing the things that best friends do - intentionally sharing adventure, friendship and fun - and that will certainly nurture your marriage.

  • Just think of how much fun you will have hiking that mountain, or crocheting hats for newborn babies in third-world countries. Think of the memories you will create. Think of the fun you will have.

  • 3. Find meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction in life - and therefore, in your marriage

  • As you and your spouse come together in unity about your plans for the future, you will better be able to see eye-to-eye about the things that matter most to each of you, and the way you choose to spend your time as a couple. You will find yourselves choosing better ways to spend your time together, than just watching your favorite show on TV night after night.

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  • As you and your spouse share more of yourselves with each other, strengthen your friendship, cheer each other on, and create happy memories, you will find greater happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction and joy in life and in your marriage. Sounds like a win-win-win.

  • How to create your bucket list

  • If you haven't yet made an official bucket list, you may want to try a website like bucketlist.org to get you brainstorming and dreaming, or you may simply want to go the old-fashioned route and use a paper and pencil.

  • One fabulous idea is to make a date night (or two) out of creating your bucket lists.

  • Phase 1: Your individual bucket lists

  • You and your spouse should both first create your own personal bucket lists, and then create one together. When you know the dreams and goals of your spouse, you will better be able to support and encourage your spouse, as well as play an accountability partner to help him or her achieve their wildest dreams.

  • So, go to your favorite ice cream place and start dreaming. Your bucket list may have big items like "Visit the Great Wall of China," or smaller items like, "Buy a homeless person lunch."

  • You might come up with a health-oriented goal such as, "Hike a mountain," or a financial goal like, "Save $10,000 in long-term savings by the end of the year." Or maybe you want to learn Spanish together or read a complete book series together. Need more ideas?

  • Peruse Pinterest and write down any ideas that catch your attention. Then, narrow your list down a bit.

  • ​Consider the following questions as you make your list:

  • - How do I want to make a difference in the world?

  • - How do I want to help others?

  • - What do I want to see and experience?

  • - What talents and skills do I want to develop?

  • - What matters most to me?

  • - What types of goals and activities will help me to become a better person?

  • After you have created your individual bucket lists, then cozy up together and share your lists with each other. As you share, you two will see each other in a new light and fall in love all over again. There is something refreshing about seeing the hopes, dreams and goals that your spouse has for life.

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  • After you have looked over each other's lists, help each other pick two of those goals that you each want to accomplish in the next year. Perhaps decide that every year on your anniversary, you will pull out your lists, check things off and refine them a bit.

  • Phase 2: Your couple bucket list ​

  • Now, once you have finished phase one of your date (you may want to separate this into two different dates), work on creating your couple bucket list. That's right, things you two want to accomplish together, including adventures you dream of sharing together. Hobbies you want to develop and share for a lifetime.

  • As you create your bucket list (we use a Google doc that we can both add to), start to create a timeline for yourselves. Decide which items can be accomplished in six months, which ones in three years, five years, ten years, etc.

  • Once you know what you want to accomplish, start planning! Do you need to save money for that trip to the Bahamas? What kind of physical preparation do you need to do in order to run a marathon together (or in our case, a 5k)?

  • Way to go. You've done it; you have created your marriage bucket list. Now, go accomplish important and meaningful things together and watch it nurture your marriage in fulfilling ways.

  • This article was originally published on Nurturing Marriage. It has been republished here with permission.

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Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.

Website: http://www.nurturingmarriage.org

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