4 Reasons You Should Create a Reverse Bucket List

Creating a reverse bucket list is a great method to stay motivated. Keep reading to find out why you should consider creating a reverse bucket list while job-hunting.

What is a reverse bucket list?

A reverse bucket list is exactly as it sounds. If a bucket list is a list of things you want to do, a reverse bucket list is a list of things you’ve done. These can be useful when reaching for goals. Here are four reasons why.

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Reasons to create a reverse bucket list

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1. It will motivate you

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to publish a blog post every week. So one of my goals is to write at least 1 blog post a week.

Last month felt like it went by so quickly. But then when I looked back, the 1st seemed so long ago. I’d been so heads-down in getting things done that I started to feel a little lost. Was I just checking things off of my to-do list? Or was I actually taking steps to reach my goals?

So I reviewed the blog goals I set for the month:

  • Write 4 blog posts
  • Create 1 free opt-in

My immediate reaction was, “Shit. What did I even do this month?”

I got out a pen and paper to make a reverse bucket list. Turns out I:

After this, I felt motivated to keep going.

How this relates to job-hunting:

Even though this example was about a New Year Resolution, it can still be applied to job-hunting!

When you’re job-hunting, it’s easy to get lost in all of the resumes, cover letters, and applications you’ve submitted — they all can blend together after some time. So at the end of the month, if you still don’t have a job offer, it’s easy to feel like you made any progress. But after making a reverse bucket list, you’ll see all of the amazing work you’ve done. Then you’ll feel motivated to keep going.

It’s also easier to feel motivated in your job hunt when you know what to do next. If you’re feeling confused about what you should be doing, download this free Productive Job-Hunting Game Plam.

2. It will help you stop playing the comparing game

People use social media to show the good things in their lives. This isn’t a bad thing at all.

What’s bad is how you interpret and compare your life highlights and lowlights to another person’s life highlight reel.

For example, the year after I graduated from college, my Facebook and Instagram feeds were filled with people sharing their life updates. “LIFE UPDATE. I’m moving across the country because I got my dream job.”

These made me feel sick. What made things worse was that I felt like a terrible human for not feeling happy for these people. Double whammy—I’m not going anywhere in life and I’m a terrible human.

Had I learned about reverse bucket lists, I would’ve seen how much progress I was making. I was applying to jobs while working part-time, volunteering for a cause I cared about, and interning.

How this relates to job-hunting:

Anytime you feel like your life isn’t going anywhere, make one of these lists to see the progress you’ve made. This way, you’re focused more on progress and less on the comparison.

3. No one else is going to tell you how awesome you’re doing

You’re not in school anymore. There is no grading system, gold stars, or teachers to sing your praises.

There are promotions and raises, which you could argue are indicators of a job well done. But just because you work hard, doesn’t mean you’ll get a raise or a promotion. So it’s best to be able to show yourself how well you are doing.

That’s where these accomplished lists come in. Usually, when you make a to-do list, you cross items off, forget about them, and move on to the next item on the list. This gets exhausting because you’re less focused on how much you’ve done and more on how much you have left to do.

How this relates to job-hunting:

Making a reverse bucket list is a great very to celebrate all that you’ve done. There’s a lot to celebrate throughout the job-hunting process aside from a job offer. For example, turning in an awesome application, finding a job you’re excited about, and moving on to the next round of an interview. Download the Productive Job-Hunting Game Plan and see how far along you are! You may also find that you missed one or two key steps that can help you move further along.

4. It will lift your spirits

You know the feeling you get after you write your to-do list and realize there isn’t enough time? Or the feeling you get when the end of the quarter is almost up and you realize you’re so for from your goals and not making progress on your New Year’s Resolutions?

I personally get so anxious that it can be paralyzing.

How this relates to job-hunting:

Accomplishment lists can help you see that you did make progress. And maybe more than you initially thought! Reverse bucket lists are a great way to lift your spirits.

Now that you know all of the benefits of creating a reverse bucket list, it’s time for you to create one of your own!

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