You’ve heard of a “bucket list.” How about a “life list”? You write down what you want to accomplish during your life. Why bother? Because it helps you think through what you really want and goes beyond the standard career goals.

Life lists can include all sorts of interesting things such as win a watermelon seed–spitting contest…hug a panda…and drive a Zamboni (that’s the ice-conditioning machine used at hockey rinks). Maybe your life list includes ice fishing, hiking the Cinque Terre in Italy or seeing the Taj Mahal.

Life-list entries can aim to do good in a creative and engaging way—”sponsor a child in need in as many different countries as possible,” for example.

A good life list is an anchor. It grounds you in your purpose, gives you hopes and dreams for the future and helps you understand more about yourself.

There is no right or wrong way to make this kind of list, but here are some tips on how to go about it…

 Goals should be specific. “Visit Vienna” or “visit every country in Asia” is better than “travel.” Vague goals can lead to inaction.

 Goals should fall into multiple categories. Some might be educational, others adventuresome, altruistic, professional, personal or quirky. A varied list encourages you to stretch yourself. It also is more likely to hold your interest as the years pass.

 Goals should differ greatly in scale. Some should be major undertakings that will take years to achieve, but others should be easily checked-off items that foster the sense that progress is being made.

Goals should not be constrained by your present circumstances. Set aside any obligations, limitations and restrictions that currently hold you back and think about what you would really like to do.