50 Amazingly Achievable Things To Do Before You Die

MikeachimLunacy, Writing135 Comments

I’m tired of reading about difficult, expensive, time-consuming things I “have to do before I die“. And I’m betting you are too.

So why not try my Amazingly Achievable Things To Do Before You Die list instead?

Let me know how you score.

(Especially if it’s under 50%).


1. Turn round and look at something you’ve just tripped over in the street – then realise you’re spending slightly too much time doing this to look entirely normal, and move onwards.

2. Buy something on impulse.

3. Say “I can’t” when what you really mean is “I don’t want to”.

4. Read a book. Any book will do.

5. Absent-mindedly put something in the fridge that doesn’t belong in the fridge.

6. Laugh at a private joke, just as someone is passing you in the street, making them paranoid until they get home and examine themselves thoroughly.

7. Hope that (6) has just happened to you, rather than something embarassing being on your face or your flies being undone.

8. Frown about how much you have to do in so little time.

9. Squeeze a pimple.

10. Feed a bird or animal.

Belt Hole

11. Whittle a new hole in a belt.

12. While online, do something you’re not proud of.

13. Put leftover ingredients together to make something that’s simply inedible, no matter how hungry you are.

14. Run out of toilet paper at some critical moment.

15. See the sun come up.

16. Look at somebody’s bottom.

17. Put more than one pair of spectacles or sunglasses on at the same time.

18. Lick uncooked cake mixture off a wooden spoon.

19. Eat so much of something that you have problems breathing when you sit down, or moving when you’re stood up.

20. Surprise a junk snail-mailer by dragging it out your letterbox on your side before he’s finished pushing it through on his.


21.Play with something until it breaks.

22. Admire yourself in a mirror, possibly with a Fonzie / Joey / Dr. Sam Beckett style “heyyyyyy!” gesture.

23. Catch an egg before it rolls off a tabletop.

24. Part your hair a different way.

25. Order a “half” of something alcoholic, and feel mild social embarrassment amidst your peers.

26. Suffer an ice-cream headache.

27. Trip on a shoelace.

28. Use a leaf as a bookmark.

29. Put more money into a slot-machine than you originally intended to.

30. Check your e-mail, receive nothing, and then check it again – just in case there’s a server error somewhere.


31. Pack a bag or suitcase too full, and unpack it with a suddenly heavy heart.

32. While walking, go slightly out of your way to admire someone that’s hot.

33. Pick up a hammer by the other end, and marvel at how light it feels.

34. Owe something.

35. Fire an elastic band at someone.

36. Speak to a computer screen – for example “What?! Why did you do that???”

37. Walk into plate glass.

38. Wear odd socks (deliberately or by mistake).

39. Enjoy a song for nostalgia’s sake that you’ll willingly admit is crap in every other sense.

40. Rehearse an argument in your head with someone annoying, putting them firmly in their place.


41. Knock on a door with a jaunty rhythm – eg. RAP RAP-A-RAP RAP, RAP *RAP*.

42. Notice a shopkeeper’s given you too much change, but pretend you’re unaware of it.

43. Bite into a tomato and have it fire all over you.

44. Give directions.

45. Sit on the floor when a perfectly good chair is available.

46. Immediately click with someone.

47. Pull the label off an item of clothing and accidentally rip the hem it’s attached to.

48. Play Poohsticks.

49. Forget to water a plant and feel guilty about it.

50. Make a list of things to do.

And your score was…?

My friend Geraldine is slightly more than twice as funny as I am, so she made a list of 101 Totally Attainable Life Goals. Add them to your list.

(Yes, that’s another Attainable Challenge in itself. 152 in total now! Oh come on, it’s not exactly hard. #thatswhatshesaid)

Images: Still Thinking, DennisSylvesterHurd, djeucalyptus, jcolman, jek in the box and robin.elaine


  • Alene

    Much needed laugh out loud has been afforded me by Mikeachim via 50 Amazingly Achievable Things To Do Before You Die. The whole world could sure use this kind of cheer so pass the article on, retweet it, talk about it and when you talk about it mention that seeing the world through the author’s eyes will give everyone a smile or two.

    • A tickertape parade of a comment. Thank you. :)

  • Hehe. This is an old one from one of the previous Fevered Mutterings, isn’t it? Great stuff – I enjoyed it the first time around, and did so just as much again. I think the only two of these that I *haven’t* done are 20 and 23, both because I’m just not quick enough off the mark.

    • Aye, dug out of the archives – in a way. At the request of Waffle (http://www.belgianwaffle.net/) I decided to let it into the sunshine for another canter round my corner of the Web – but when I went to look, I realised it was written sometime in 2006-mid 2008, the Dark Age of Fevered Mutterings where my archives are patchy at best.

      So I wrote it again. Some of it is new. So for anyone looking for evidence that I’m improving with age, this isn’t the post for you. Sorry.

      No. 20 is one of the great joys of life. I’ll happily wait for hours to catch them. Hours.

  • Ha! Awesome.

  • Where are all the lists of amazing things to do after you die?

    • I believe they’re all compiled into one bestselling volume known as The Bible.

  • erm…. Mike… no24 is part your hair a different way… well I just thought this was an achievable list. No.24 is gonna be very difficult for both of us.

    May I suggest no.24 is amended to read ‘Part your (or someone else’s) hair in a different way’?

    • Not something we can achieve nowadays, yes indeed.

      But are you saying that back when you were enfollicated, you never parted your hair a different way? If you did, you can tick it off.

      My biggest parting experiment came in the last months of having a full head of hair, when it started to thin in strange mangy patches, and I tried brushing what remained in a forward direction, down towards my eyebrows, perhaps with the eventual aim of knitting it into them.

      That’s the hideous Alternate Universe version of me, out there somewhere.

      • Wow! This reminds me of when I went bald on my upper lip and trained nasal hairs to grow long enough to cover the lost mustache.

        • Kudos. Very impressive.

          As an aside, I see that you work in IT and write in your spare time, but with those credentials, a glittering career in Archaeology is yours for the taking.

          (Qualifications required, in order of importance: 1) unruly facial hair 2) liver that can withstand any kind of liquified substance abuse 3) keen brain).

  • the true brilliance in this list lies in the fact that we probably have ALREADY done most of these. i feel really good today with my excellent achievements – thanks! :)

    • My pleasure. It’s my goal in life to have other people do the work I reap the benefits of, so your kind words make me happy.

      I may even make this a series.

      Everyone: list all the things you’re most proud of doing, send them to me, I’ll put them in a list and then you can thank me for doing so, and maybe even send me money. What’s not to love?


  • Very funny — I’m a pro at #30!

    • I suspect we all are….

      “What, no e-mail for 12 hours? Is the Internet broken? Is it me? Has everyone suddenly realised what a terrible, awful person I am? IS IT SOMETHING I SAID ON FACEBOOK? Oh goddddddd what did I say on Facebook? Wait – *I’ve lost 5 Followers on Twitter!!!!* Oh no no no no, the Internet is turning against me!”


  • I suddenly feel very accomplished.

  • “Turn round and look at something you’ve just tripped over in the street – then realise you’re spending slightly too much time doing this to look entirely normal, and move onwards.”

    Do you get a bonus if turning around to look causes you to trip again?

    If so, I scored 40. If not, I got 39.

    :) Also, I love #28.

    • Me too. Although it has to be a fresh leaf. Or else it crumbles and you never get the bits out the spine of the book. Has to be fairly green and fairly bendy.

      I’m intrigued about the missing 10.

      Come on, ‘fess up.

  • Love this, Mike! Not surprisingly, I scored fairly well. ;-)

    • Indeed, I am wholly unsurprised.

      But…”fairly well”? Methinks the lady is hiding by ommission. As I said to Becky, above – confess ye. Don’t tell me you’re another person who has never snatched junkmail out the hands of unsuspecting, terrified mailmen? Oh, you folk haven’t lived….

  • Jimbo

    Is No. 12 related to No. 21?

    • You filthy-minded wretch.

      But yes, it’s true. I’m guilty of that very thing. An exhausting way to spend an evening alone at home. I mean, there you are, glass of wine, lights are low, you start moving file tables around, you think you know what you’re doing, and suddenly your blog is broken and you feel ashamed at your meddlesome behaviour.

      Which is what you meant, yes?

      (I’m giving your social credibility a lifeline here. I advise taking it. For both our sakes).

  • I’m on my second go-round, Mike.

    • Then I hope you’ve done everything twice. Or else that’s cheating.

      The good news is that you get to be a double-triumph as a human being.

  • Score: 33

    Sadly #47 happens too often even when I do it carefully with a pair of scissors; I have a small pile of clothes in the closet I’ve been meaning to mend for months that includes one shirt I ripped after only wearing once. :(

    • I can beat that. Once, in an idle moment, I tugged irritably at the label of an old, threadbare t-shirt I was wearing (it was scratching the back of my neck) and I tore the whole thing off, pulling a few remnants out my collar and flailing them in front of me.

      I should add that I was standing on a train at the time.

      This is why no 47 makes me twitch.

  • “You’re publishing a list?” she asks incredulously.

    • How dare you!

      No, this is merely an alphanumerically-oriented escalating progression of discrete points.

      So, like, not a list.

  • 1. Turn round and look at something you’ve just tripped over in the street – then realise you’re spending slightly too much time doing this to look entirely normal, and move onwards.

    hahahha I feel like I have already done everything here. am I ready to die now?!?! hah

    • I hope not! It’s not intended as a “50 Amazingly Achievable Things To Do Before You Die And Then You Die” list.

      Or even “50 Things to Read About Doing And Then You Die”, which is a lot worse, frankly.

      (Dear concept-hunting creators of Hollywood The Ring style horror movies, I just copyrighted that idea. I’ve taken a screenshot of it, and I’ve got a friend to take a photo of me taking that screenshot. You steal my idea, I take you to the frickin’ cleaners. ‘Kay?)

      Anyway, no death intended. It’s not a death list of any kind. Rest easy.

  • This is utterly charming and sorely needed when I have to-do lists a mile long, thanks much!

    • You’re too kind. Charmed right back, I am.

  • Too funny.

    My score, I stopped counting I’ve done so many, especially the recheck of email just in case :D

    I’ve shared on FB as this is to good not to share.

    • Thank’ll be explaining the billions of visits from Facebook, then. :) My thanks.

  • These are fun, Mike. I actually haven’t done #28, but instead have used a receipt, a tag pulled off a new item of clothing, another book, dogears, a pencil, junk mail, and a short USB cord to help me out when I’m lacking a bookmark. :-)

    Ah…I love feeling successful.

    • I once used a kipper as a bookmark.

      Don’t worry, it was still 100% shrinkwrapped. And also very small. Even so, I’m weird, yes.

      Dog ears? Did the dog mind? Not terribly portable, I suspect (*GOOD boy, I’m just going to turn the page, lift your head”). But yes, junk mail. Tip: chop up some, arrange in a wild scatter and laminate at A4 size, then cut into columns. Looks fantastic and very post-modern.

  • I’ve never done #20 EXACTLY, but I HAVE run towards the offending junk snail-mailer waving my hands (left one was holding a vacuum cleaner extension part) and speaking in very excited pseudo-French. I’m not sure exactly how this was communicated, but I could hear him whispering in Malay to his comrade that there was a feral racoon in my mailbox. God bless the French.

    If that doesn’t count as #20, I scored a 42 otherwise :) Have yet to bit a tomato, catch an egg, or order something halfoholic.

    Although, I have to say, #2, #6, #16, and ESPECIALLY #32 are things in my daily routine that make life worth living. Have I mentioned #32? *makes completely unnecessary drive to gas station*

    • If I ever write #51 to #100, I promise you that attacking junk mailers with a vacuum cleaner fitting will definitely be in there somewhere. I promise.

      Another one may be letting a feral racoon spring out your mailbox at a random visitor. I like that too.

      No. 32 is pretty much the reason I like walking to work these days.

      Ah, summer, blessed raiser of hemlines.

      I should add, however, that I was enormously disappointed at the female population of York for their poor showing (as it were) during Boobquake Day yesterday (http://www.blaghag.com/2010/04/and-boobquake-results-are-in.html). Science is important! Even exploitative science!

  • I’d like to humbly submit another item for consideration along the lines of #37: “Approach a building with an automatic sliding door. Be unable to make the door open. Pretend to reconsider your decision and walk away.” I have done and seen this multiple times.

    • Hah! Submitted and filed under Pending Round 2.

      (It’s starting to look like I’ll have to round it up to 100 one of these days).

  • Pam

    I have one to add too – “Get stuck in a revolving door” – I’ve done that so many times it’s scary.

    Oh, and I got 41 of them. I feel like my life is complete now.

    • Unnecessary rotations of revolving door wearing increasingly embarassed rictus of an expression. Check.

      Also, feeling the panic well up as you prepare yourself to leap into a revolving door cubicle and realise it’s going faster than you thought or (terrifyingly) it’s just speeded up.

  • belly

    pretty much all of them. slight issue with the ‘part your hair’ item though……

    you should have added

    51. buy a game on Mike’s recommendation and get increasingly frustrated by it.

    or perhaps

    52. go, innocently, to see Mike and sell him something.

    51. Trine is making me cross now………


    i think everyone could manage 52, without too much trouble. ‘like taking candy from a baby!

    • I make no apologies (belatedly, I make no apologies, as this comment was months ago) for any time wasted in your life because of something I suggested.

      Trine 2 is out soon. Just sayin’.

  • nicole

    haha 41 of them i have done (:

    • You didn’t say which you haven’t done – which is always the interesting bit…

  • Now this is a list I can get into. I think I’ve done most if not all of them. I did #38 wear odd socks just the other day. Usually it really bothers me, but now that I know I can cross this off my list of things to do before I die, I feel better about it.

  • I love it!!

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  • baralong

    47 out of 50, though it could be 48, I’m not sure I’ve ever used a leaf as a book mark.. I just can’t do the odd sock thing, my son does it on purpose just to annoy me

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  • Sally

    This list is funny, but, they are not ‘life experiences’ which you will remember. I’m 20 and have a big bucket list, which I have started ticking off already and have loved every minute.

    I understand many people are tied down in jobs and have young families. You cannot gain the satisfaction/rewards from any of the above which you would achieve from volunteering in a third world country for 1 month +.

    The Expensive/time consuming bucket lists are achievable and much more worthwhile.. by this I mean you can look back when your a pensioner and have no regrets of how you lived your life or think “I wish I did that!”…

    You only get one chance… live it to the fullest. Your not here for a long time, your here for a good time!

  • Krabbetreigh

    wow, exactly 50

  • JC

    It sound like a very boring list to do before you die.

    Here is my list.

    Skate the best spot around the world

    Enjoy the most stuning beach around the world

    Photograph the most beautiful scenary around the world

    Enjoy lifa as much as possible!

  • Brilliant! I loved No.s 20 and 30 in particular. If only there was a similar trick you could play for junk email? I’d love to confuse a spammer by pre-empting them psychically with a missive to them starting ‘Hello Dearest one.’

  • Tippy

    OMG all 50. wow. i suddenly feel like im waisting my time when i should be working.

  • Hahaha,,, Mike… This is why you are one of my favourite reads on the internet. This is a great post. I laughed throughout the whole thing! Thanks for brightening my day!

  • Maddy

    Ha I’m 13 and have finished all of these time to be lazy! ;)

    • Em


  • Ha! Great list. Surely there is only one time to inconveniently run out of toilet roll though, unless I cannot think of its other uses….

  • Taz

    i’ve just had my 18th birthday and was looking for a list of things to do before I got old, however, as i’ve done every single one of these things, i did all that i needed to before I was an adult :)

  • sarah:)

    48 i think, i’m making a mental note to do the ones i haven’t done already:)

  • Heather Price

    Oh great! A friend and I were discussing our desire to get out of the rut now and again (very nice rut that it is!) Sometimes you just should part your hair in a different way – and that reminds me of the Jim White song of the same name which also fired me to think last week when I played it that it would be great to wake myself up. Thank you – I’m going to look at this list and do lots of them! Cheers!!!!

  • I think # 37 deserves 3 points. And another extra 2 points if you do it twice…..in the same place. LOL

    Great list!

  • Jess

    haha! I love this, especially the fact that I got 99% :’)

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  • i got 33… and im 14… im gonna live a very fulfilled life :)

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  • dammit you just reminded me of a plant I haven’t watered! hahaha frig

  • Stacey M.

    I am at 40 and I am barely middle age – woohoo!

  • some very good stuff here. I don’t know if I should be worried that I’ve accomplished so many of them at only the ripe age of 25. #11 is my personal favorite, only because just weeks ago I had to do this very maneuver. Honestly though to make it smaller. Really. Thanks for the laughs this is a great post!!

  • shani3ce

    im 14 and the only ones that i havent done are
    ,13, 28 (im too young too drink lol), 43 (i dont like tomatoes lol) good list tho, well done. i think a more difficult list is needed that way we will feel better when we actually manage to tick something off lol :)

  • yes, 41 of them I have in the list!!! haha

  • I would add something exciting, skydive, talk to a girl totally out of your league, help a stranger in need!

  • This is a great list! I am aiming to live around my Bucket list, it is my New Years, may be Life, Resolution. Sorry to spam you like this, but I am going to blog about it! Check it out if you want!

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  • mark

    Got 46 out of 50 and im 16… obviously doing something right :D :D :D

  • Alice kearney

    48 out of 50 would like to add …’walk into a mirror, whilst thinking why won’t that person move out of the way.’ maybe thats just me.

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  • Rose

    im 14, and i think ive done all of them…..

  • Rose

    lol not 16 or 12

  • Rose

    the list should include:
    -Fall in love
    -See the northern lights
    -Meet/get in contact with a celebrity you idolize
    -Jump from a plane
    -live somewhere abroad for a while alone
    -Spend time helping others
    -Give to charity
    -Get your dream job
    -Scuba dive
    -Get the house you’ve always wanted

  • Sarah

    Oh god, THANK YOU for making me feel so accomplished. Just when I was starting to worry that I didn’t have a head-start on life, you made it all clear. I’m fantastic! I’m so worldly!

  • Roisin

    OMG lol I have actually done all of these… :D feeling like my life has been much better lived noe loool!!xx

  • Ellika

    A wonderful reminder that we don’t always have to bend over backwards to gain life experience or learn valuable lessons. The best lessons can be found in the most ordinary situations.

    I have never experienced #26 whereas #36 is something I do on a daily basis

  • Arti

    I scored 35! But I’m only 20 years old, I’ve got time :D

  • Gwyneth

    Done most and could not remember rest. Who cares anyway. Make the most of your life should be the message , be it in small or big things

  • kim

    I didnt even know bout this list yet ive done every thing on it subconcusly before and on the day i turned 18

  • Annie Moose

    My score’s 28 or 29 for sure; probably it’s a lot higher! I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anyone other than my sisters and I played Poohsticks, though. We always do every time we cross a bridge over water, despite being between 19 and 26 now.

  • Emer

    I haven’t done 2 of these: the leftovers & using a leaf as a bookmark: my leftover Frankenstein food creations are delicious, and my leaves are too busy being kicked around the garden & crunched underfoot.

    Thanks for the giggle Mike.

  • Fiona

    thanks so much! all the other lists are less funny and also would take two lifetimes to accomplish (e.g. go to all 7 continents.. I have managed 3…) I need an achievable list because I’m trying to do 50 things I’ve never done before all in one year.. this year… because I’m turning 50. So no time to go to Antarctica but I CAN part my hair differently. Thank you so much for the help!

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  • Jen

    I haven’t done 6 of those things. But the rest, I am guilty of!!

  • Very interesting. Thankyou for posting.

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  • Madi


  • Amy-Jade

    How about running for a train/bus then watching it leave and pretending that it was the wrong one?

  • Courtney

    Not bad – I’ve missed #20, 25 and 29. The first because I’m never home when they come, dammit, the second because it has never occurred to me and the third because I seem to be immune. Here’s one for you: send an email or a text message and realise later that it contains auto-correct errors that make you look illiterate or insane.

  • Sophie

    Aha! This is awesome. Missed 9 of them, will make sure to do the rest of them in the future ;)

  • A

    45 :)

  • German

    It is not simple but will be try…

  • Kendra

    33… great list!

  • Love this!! I’m pretty sure i’ve achieved all of these.

  • Kasi T

    47! The only ones I haven’t been able to do is order something half alcoholic (underage), use a slot machine at all, and walk into plate glass. I really love this list and I’m on a mission to do every single one of these again soon. :D

  • Em

    33!!! Great list :)

  • Em

    That is so creepy just realised I put almost exactly the same thing in my comment as someone else…weird

  • Lovetigers

    HA! I’m 14 and I’ve achieved all of those things. A big high five to you for putting together that list, good for you! :D

  • Lovetigers

    (and yeah I did order the drink at a family business pub with friends so I was allowed it coz parents can give their kids booze) :D

  • I scored 35 and I’d like to increase it to at least 36 by playing Poohsticks…never heard of this game before but it seems like a blast :)

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  • I got 42. Not bad.

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  • Mike! I’m in love with your mind! Seriously, I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time… thank you! : ))

    That door knock is one of my fav! … Gotta love Barcelona ; )

    I scored high .. ( don’t know if it’s a good thing or not )


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  • …ride a giraffe

    • Joy

      I looooooooove this!! How much fun!!!

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  • Love the list, and I am way over 50% I am sure, although when I imitate Joey it is usually by saying “how ya doin?”

  • Haha, it’s funny. I have done about 30 things :) Thanks for you post Mike!

  • 24/50 … hahaha. Thanks for 50 amazingly things, Mike!

  • 36 :)) It’s so funny

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  • Lionel Rich Tea

    Inspirational! I’ll start ticking things off this list right away!

  • God, I have so many times bitten a tomatoe only to see more on my top than in my mouth!

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  • 40 down, 10 to go. Thanks for the list. I’ve written out the ones I haven’t yet done. Oops, make that 9 to go.

  • Goodwin Lu

    the knocking door reminds me of Frozen
    do you wanna build a snow man?