Create a Dream List Instead of Resolutions


dream list resolutionsAh, the new year – that magical reset button. An entire year full of promise is ahead of you and the pressure to set a new year’s resolution may be knocking on your door. This year maybe you can take on a new approach to the new year that doesn’t involve setting unrealistic goals.

Your biggest obstacle might be yourself.

I’m a working mom of two kids and finding the time for myself is hard. But, I’ve recently learned that no one is going to manage your time or look out for you other than yourself. It’s up to you to set your goals as a priority.

In 2016, I set a goal to be healthy and save money. Every single day I set out to do one thing in those two objectives and even kept a notebook where I would write down one-line updates each day like “Zumba” or “Didn’t buy Starbucks.” By the end of the year I lost 50 pounds and put $1,000 into a CD.

I was really proud of reaching those goals, but now after the birth of my second child, it’s more challenging for me to get back into that level of motivation. I know I’ll find the time, but in 2019 I am going to live by a modified bucket list called “100 dreams.”

In “168 Hours: You Have More Time Thank You Think,” the author highlights how you can manage your time better to make time for the important things in life.

Make a Dream List

She also explains the exercise of writing down your 100 dreams in life. This list is to guide how you want to live your life by highlighting what means the most to you. It can be as broad as saying, “I want my children to be happy” or as specific as, “I want to learn how to play the piano.”

The idea is that you should be managing your time trying to prioritize what’s on this list first. It’s hard to get to 100. I’ve been working on my list for two years and I’m only at 50. That just means I can keep reworking the list my entire life.

I have already achieved a few “bucket list” items on my dreams list, but I have space for 50 more, so I’m continuously revisiting my list and what I want to spend my time on. 

What I’ve learned is that this year instead of stressing over what my goals will be – I am spending my time figuring out how I am going to achieve them and make the most of the time that I have. 

What goals are you setting for yourself this year? And, more importantly, how are you going to work toward them?

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Niki Smith
Niki grew up in Earlham, Iowa and now lives with her husband Ryan, daughter Riley, and son Merritt in Johnston. Riley has an observant stare that inspired the Facebook page Riley Is Not Impressed. Niki is an assistant director of public relations, social media at Drake University where she runs the university’s main social media accounts. She is also the director of the world-famous Beautiful Bulldog Contest. She has an Olde English Bulldog named Dexter, but he is ineligible to compete because she already knows he’s the most beautiful bulldog. She serves as President on the Board of Directors for Animal Lifeline of Iowa, which is a special needs, no-kill animal shelter. Niki is a two-time graduate of Drake University with a bachelor’s in journalism (2008) and a Master’s in Communication Leadership (2015).


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