HELP! I feel terrible about setting goals...?

January beginnings. Everyone has been drinking smoothies, sweating, ordering soup without bread, sitting straight, ignoring cookies, buying journals, blogging regularly, reading inspiring business books and making bold plans.

I did the following:

  1. Wiggle with excitement about the fresh and new - an exaggeration of the way I get excited about fresh PJs, freshly washed hair, fresh bed sheets and a new journal.
  2. Go to the doctor to check up on 5 little things I had been ignoring for months. 
  3. Sigh with exasperation. Because why do we get excited for 21 days (research says) when we’ve got 365 days to be happy, healthy and aware humans who do stuff that matters?

Now that we’re well in the clear of those first 21 days (of delusional wonderwomanhood, in which we attempt to convince ourselves that we in fact adore being gluten-and-sugar-free vegan superheroes who gladly get up at 5:30 am to meditate and work out for two hours every day.... ) I have a question:

How much do you dream? 

I don’t mean the drooling dreaming that happens when you sleep. And I also don’t mean the half-conscious daydreams in which a young John Travolta in his Grease leather jacket… “I’ve got chiiiiils, they’re mortifying…”. I digress. 


I mean conscious “what do I want to be when I grow up” kind of dreaming.

What if Elizabeth Gilbert decided to teach a creativity workshop in Berlin and had me organise it and we had a bottle of champagne together, toasting to love? What if all my friends came together to build a tiny house which we could take turns writing books in? What if I crowd-funded a badass chihuahua-bed-handbag that doesn’t have copious amounts of glitter on it? What if I convinced empty restaurants to host weekly entrepreneurial dreaming mornings? What if I developed a mentorship format for bed-ridden seniors to impart the wisdom of age to future change makers? What if I develop a software for people to gather love notes? (Oh -whoooops! I just did that. You can help me test it and leave me one here... I drool over them every week.) 

Dreaming is the forgotten bridge between desire and doing.

When we were small we used to dream ALL THE TIME and our dreams were closely related to our desires and it didn’t matter whether or not we could fly or have a quick chat to tell the President off for being a wanker.

We walked the bridge between desire and doing with ease, trying stuff out, being used to falling flat on our faces and crying and laughing a lot more. 

Today we do goals. Smart goals to solve our pain in specific, measurable, perceivably achievable, challenging but realistic and time-bound ways. And often, our goals have nothing to do with our dreams. In fact, sometimes they aren’t even our goals but carefully marketed expectations subconsciously injected into our brains. 

Two words: thigh gap.

The world did not even know what a thigh gap was until it became a social media thing and boom - there you had another perceived pain that people felt terrible about, made secret goals around and therefore changed their consumer behaviour and the way they frowned at themselves in the mirror. 

The case is this: We want more of what makes us feel good and less of what makes us feel bad. And it’s not just the marketed pains we escape, what makes us feel good is often just as useful as thigh gaps. Think: more success, more security, more confidence.

We chase some indefinite definition of success that is tied to an instagrammed palm tree lifestyle and perceived popularity, only to figure out that another zero on our bank account changes nothing about how we feel and that the world can still be a scary insecure place if we have a “safe” job and that our confidence doesn’t come from lush eyelashes or bum-lifting jeans.

Our confidence comes from a place in our guts. Our success comes from our definition of success, deep down in our guts and in this very moment, regardless of any bank account. Our sense of security comes from a knowing (yep, deep down in our guts!) that we are resilient, courageous people who can fall flat on our faces and then cry and laugh and wiggle on. 

And most of us know this….somehow. But we still fall for billboard bullshit even though we know it’s just helping us patch up our insecurities with makeup and and feed our desires fake low-fat plastic margarine that doesn’t nourish anyone. Heck- I periodically and knowingly fall for some product in a weak moment of great marketing

Dreaming can help!

It’s free. Because it’s not closely related to doing you aren’t as heavily influenced by what society wants you to want. Your dreams are a revolutionary act. And since they are “not real anyway” your scared mind doesn’t censor them. They are an easy way to contemplate a colourful and possible manifestation of what you want. 

When you've dreamed your dreamiest of dream... you can then ask yourself these useful questions:

  1. When I remove all the peacock feathers, celebrity friends and piles of cash required to make this happen, what is the underlying true desire? 
  2. What am I currently doing to patch up this desire? Am I cool with that? 
  3. What is one little thing I could really, actually do in the direction of making this dream happen if I were a courageous person who is willing to fall flat on their face and cry and laugh a little more?

Make THAT last thing your goal. Be vulnerable enough to proclaim your definition of something worthwhile. And if bullshit comes up: tell me about it here: I will rummage in my box of secrets and find just the thing for you to transform your bullshit AND do. 

Because you know what my dream is? 

People who dream, wiggle and do. Fall flat on their face. Laugh. Cry. Dream some more. YES!