Journaling – Dream Big, Take Action, Set Goals And Live Large

sign reading dream big, set goals, take

This inspiring quote by Steve Jobs is a favorite of mine. “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Dream Big!

Dreaming big allows us to break free from limitations, discover our true potential, and live a life filled with purpose, growth, and impact. It is through the power of dreaming big that we can truly make a difference in our own lives and the world around us.

Richard Branson says “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.”

There are 5 reasons to dream big

1 – Expand your potential
When we dream big, we tap into our limitless potential. 

2 – Motivation and inspiration

Big dreams provide us with a sense of purpose and motivation. All it takes is specific goals, an action plan and hard work.

3 – Set ambitious goals

Visualize your big dream. You will find taking action steps and accomplishing small tasks will lead you in the right direction to the next goal on the path to your big plan.

4 – Create a meaningful life

Big dreams give our lives meaning and purpose. They provide us with a sense of direction and guide our decision-making processes. 

5 – Impact others

Dreaming big not only has the potential to transform our own lives but also has positive impacts on those around us. When we pursue our dreams with passion and dedication, we inspire others to do the same. 

Sifting through

I have been helping groups of ladies and clients for 35 years sift through their thoughts and tap into their potential. People come to me with one thing in mind and after some conversations realize that is not at all what they want. 

First step is to quiet our minds and sort out where we actually are today. When we have clearly resolved this ambiguity it is time to proceed. 

Live your passion!

A friend of mine, when employed by Nordstroms, called me one gorgeous summer day while sitting outdoors on a lunch break. She told of a ridiculous encounter with a store manager. I asked KP “why are you working there?”

This one question started the ball rolling. This led to seeing the bigger picture. In a relatively short amount of time KP converted the attached garage to her home into an amazing yoga studio.

Today my friend stays busy teaching private lessons to like minded people in a beautiful serene yoga studio that was formerly a place to store the lawnmower etc. She is now living the dream doing what she passionately loves!

Once the clear idea comes into focus the new skills needed to get to the big dream become simple achievable goals. The work is not always easy, though simple in planning and manageabe in achieving.


The first step is to quiet your mind and sort through your thoughts and dreams. Journaling is a great tool to use to unleash your strengths and desires, especially journaling on a regular basis. Writing daily in a journal is best and the technique I used 35 years ago to achieve my dreams!

Stream of consciousness writing is an easy way to make sense of your jumbled thoughts. This means you simply write the thoughts as they pop into your head paying no attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling. Just write! Get those thoughts and dreams down either in a journal with a pen, or digitally with a keyboard.

The very act of writing focuses our minds and we get to the core of our thoughts, ideas, wishes and dreams. You will find the words just popping out of your head! Your sense of meaning and direction will become clear.

Because there are so many creative ways to journaling this makes writing a most magical and powerful tool. My hope is you will give journaling a try. A lot of people balk at this great idea because they have never done this and can’t imagine the magical outcomes.

Many people say they do not have the time to write. I say phooey! I set my alarm 20 minutes early in the days I needed to be at my main job at 6am, while working 2 jobs and starting my dream business.

When people see others nailing their dreams they will then try writing on a regular basis opening up a world of possibilities! A big question to ask your self is ‘are you ready to leave your comfort zone?’

What is your vision?

‘What do I write’ is a common question I get asked often. My answer is try answering the following questions. “If you could create your perfect life, what would it look like?” or “What experiences or achievements would bring you the greatest joy and fulfillment?” “What is it you love to do?”

Visualization Exercises

Visualization exercises help you to tap into your imagination and create vivid mental images of your ideal life. One of the reasons I love to walk is because I make myself walk while unplugged. This is my creative time. Whether I am on a sidewalk, the sandy beach or in the woods I am able to lose myself in my dream like thoughts.

My best designs, ideas and inspirations come from my quiet unplugged time. You can try doing this or close your eyes, relax, and imagine yourself in different scenarios of where you want to go or be. Dream big, bold dreams in living color!

Vision Boards

I love creating vision boards with students! Collect pictures of your ideal life by cutting out images in magazines (do people still read magazines!?), any images you have collected along the way, and other materials to create collages of visuals that resonate with your goals and aspirations.

I made a vision board in the early nineties that consisted of one large image of the ocean. I carried this picture on the vision board around with me everywhere I went, propping it up and tacking it to walls. That picture is still close by for me to see daily.

Did I mention the room with my desk allows me to look through the sliding glass doors and out to the sea. Living on the ocean had always been my number 1 dream. I have been living this dream now for 28 years!

Can you imagine, this self supporting artist gets to make art and live on the ocean in a spectacular community! Writing and working, one goal at a time, got me where I am today. If I can achieve this anyone can!

Now turn those dreams into goals!

You have quieted your mind, dreamed the dreams and landed on what you are most passionate about. You may hear a voice in your head saying you can’t possibly do this.

This is the voice you must make up your mind to ignore. This loud negative voice is simply the saboteur of dreams, the wet blanket designed to hold you back.. Think of this voice as an annoying mosquito.

If you don’t set goals you will not have a road map to where you dream to be. Goals provide the clarity and direction needed to succeed. You need a roadmap.


The concept of SMART is  a goal setting framework. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound.

Manageable steps

You must break down your big dreams into smaller, actionable goals. A goal is way too overwhelming if you only look at the end result.

KP did not go from a job at Nordstroms to teaching in her newly constructed home yoga studio without a roadmap charting the course step by step. This is why she got to the prize in a timely manner and with a lot of laughs along the way!

Plan backwards

My personal preference when setting goals is to make plans backwards. What I mean is I make a list of the many small steps needed to reach my goal. Next I choose a date I want to cross the finish line having achieved my dream. 

Plan backwards using a calendar. I divide my time between the day I start my project and the date my projected achievement is reached. 

Say I plan to open a store on Jan 30. My goal before that may be to make sure the shelves are stocked by Jan 15. A couple weeks before that my goal may be to build shelving by Jan 1. A couple months before this may be the plan to order the goods I will be selling.

I allow myself enough time between steps because I only set myself up to win. I keep my mind open and pivot when necessary. The best laid plans often are not and it is perfectly reasonable to zig and zag when called for. Be SMART and you will grab hold of the brass ring!

Drill down

As you are planning drill down as far as you can with the information you have. Much more information will reveal itself as your plan unfolds. Be open to it all. This is why I always allot a good amount of time to get through each step.

It always feels much better to complete a task early than late!

Staying motivated

For me when I start a new project I am rearing to go out of the gate as I begin the process. Sometimes this continues throughout. Sometimes I run into obstacles. I have learned before I start to scale the wall that feels in my way to step away from my project. For how long?

Step away as long as it takes to get the spark again! Sometimes an afternoon, sometimes a couple, few days or a week or two. If I am still lost I call a friend and talk it out. By the end of the conversation I find myself reignited and ready to rock!


As a life long artist it is easy for me to focus on the tasks at hand, most days, because I usually consider my work fun and I am trained to do so. That said like everyone I stumble into some pesky details and other not so fun and distracting things. 

It is just as important for me on a daily basis not to get distracted by all the shiny new objects that inadvertently will pop up along the way. When I can’t allow the distraction and have to wait to try a newly discovered this or that I add it to the running list of fun things to try in the future knowing it will still be there when I have time to play.


If you find your focus waning and your excitement diminishing pick up the phone and talk to a friend of colleague. Ask yourself why you wanted to start this project? What is the very thing that excited you? Get yourself back on track and ask a friend to help you stay accountable to your time frame.

finish line image with stick figure symbols breaking through the red banner finish line


Do not wait to cross the finish line to celebrate! Cheer yourself along the way! Every time you reach a goal shout it from the treetops! You and your calendar are tracking your progress.

When doubt creeps in as it sometimes will review all you have achieved. Adjust your strategies along the way as needed.  You have taken control of your life! Celebrate the journey as well as yourself!

Marj pic

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutterer and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

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