Happy February 1st!

So… it’s been 32 days since you kicked off 2018.

Did you set some resolutions a month ago?  Can you remember them? 

Don’t worry.  Most people can’t.

So… let’s scrap that old approach… and…

Let’s do 2018 right!

We need a better way.

Setting goals one time a year… on New Years Eve is old school. 

Plus… I’m guessing you’ve heard plenty of “rainbows and butterflies” type advice on how to manifest your dreams. And that just doesn’t click either.

Or maybe you’ve made some REALLY detailed plans to map out your year… with color-coded-to-do lists and graphs… but now you’re feeling stuck.

Yeah… that feeling sucks.  So let’s fix it.

You’ve got some mountains you want to climb. Things you want to do.  Places you want to see.

It’s February 1st and you want to make the most out of the remaining 11 months of the year!  So let’s do it.

3 Steps to Rock 2018’s Face Off!

Today, I’ve got a three-step system that — if you work it — is proven to move you closer to those big dreams and make this… the best one of your life.

The typical advice for goal setting revolves around dreaming and looking forward. It’s where you shoot for the moon and explore the limitless possibilities for your life. And I’m all for that!  But the problem is… that’s where most people stop. And before they know it, another year has passed and they haven’t actually done anything to achieve that amazing picture in their heads.

But you’re not MOST people. (You’re not!)

That’s why you’re here. That’s why you’re reading this.  That tells me you’re looking for more… and you’re willing to work for it.

Dreaming is part of the equation, but it’s only part. The rest is built on logic and action… which is where things really start cooking.

Planning out your best year comes down to three things:

  • Dreaming

  • Thinking

  • Doing

Dreaming is where you decide what you want out of your life.

Thinking is where you start to make those dreams tangible and build a plan around them.

Doing is where you take action on your plan.

Let’s look at each step more closely.

DREAMING… the right way

The first part of dreaming is choosing the right environment.

If you’ve experienced the Big Dream Gathering, you know what dreaming is like. But if you haven’t, it’s this experience of people coming together and giving themselves permission to dream and encourage each other. And it creates an environment that is full of possibility.

That’s a really powerful thing! Environment matters.

Whether you’re reading this in Portland or Paris or Des Moines, it can help to have your Dreaming Session in a place where you feel inspired. It could be a favorite coffee shop or the lobby of a beautiful building or a local park.

The next step?

Take a journal and dream with reckless abandon.


Let this question guide your Dreaming Session:


What are 100 things you would like to do, experience, or achieve in your life?


I know 100 feels like a lot. Just do your best. Even if you only get 25, that’s still 25 more than you started with!

During your Dreaming Session, try to have no filters.

No judgments.

No self-criticism.

If you want…you can write “IDK” next to dreams that feel completely unrealistic. Let’s say one of your big dreams is to take a backpacking trip around the world. You’ve got no clue how you’re going to afford it, what languages you’d need to learn, or how you could possibly get the time off of work. You don’t need to know all that right now. Just put an “IDK” next to that idea and keep going.

[We’ll be “practical” in the next step. For now, dream BIG and write down whatever comes to mind.]

Go for 100.

THINKING: How do you plan your best year ever?

For the Thinking portion of the process, we’re going to let our inner-planer judge come back into the picture.

Go through your “100 Dreams List” and pick out the THREE things that make the most sense for the upcoming season.

When I say “season”, I don’t mean winter or summer. I mean the stage of life that you’re currently in. Some dreams are important but now may not be the best season for them.

Here’s an example…

Someday I want to own an Akita dog.  If you’ve never seen an Akita, they are gorgeous and unbelievably loyal…and they’re 150+ pounds. They’re like ponies. They just need a saddle and you’re good to go. But it makes zero sense for me to own an Akita in this season of my life. Between my travel schedule and my house and my lifestyle, there are a thousand reasons why it’s a bad idea right now.

It’s not a bad dream. It’s just not the right season.

With your current season in mind, revisit your dreams list and pick three that you want to focus on for this year.

They may not be the biggest. They may not be the baddest. But they’re the ones that light you up and feel achievable in the next year.


NOTE: You can tweak your dreams to fit the time frame, if it makes sense.

Once you define your three dreams, create a short-term action plan. And when I say “short”, I mean short. It’s more like a micro-plan.

Map out 1-2 small (but significant) steps you can take in the next 2-3 weeks to move forward on each of your three goals.

We’re not planning the whole year here! We just want to create a bit of momentum.

Let’s revisit to our example.  So… your big dream of taking an around-the-world trip may not be achievable this year. But you know what is? A few weekend getaways with different friends to find out who’d make the best travel buddy.

That’s your “Micro-plan.”

A few small-but-significant steps you could take in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

For our example, your micro-plan could be to:

  • create a list of short trips to take this year
  • create a list of 3-5 travel buddies you’d like to test out
  • look for a 3-day weekend in the next 3 months for your first trip

Simple.  Doable.  Something you could start right away.

Perfect! It’s all you need for this step.

DOING: The critical final piece of the puzzle

The last step — the one that makes everything come together — is to take those small-but-significant steps in your plan!

You’ve just gotta take action.

Take a step. Get to it.  Start walking out your “Micro-Plan!”

Then… each 2 to 3 weeks, evaluate and adjust. Tweak your Micro-Plan. Take more action.  Repeat.

Are we planning out the whole year? Nope.

Create your “Micro-Plan.”

Why? Because you’re going to be learning as you go.

Heck, you probably don’t know all the steps you’d need to take to accomplish the goal right now anyway.

But commit to keep making those small but significant steps forward… learning as you go.  

As you do… you’re Micro-Plan will add up to help you accomplish your big goals over time.

Bringing it all together

Okay, I know there was a whole lot wrapped up in this blog post.

Recap: If you want to have the best year ever… takes these 3 steps:

  1. DREAM: Go to a spot that inspires you and dream. No filters, no practicality! Reckless. Abandon.
  2. THINK: Listen to your internal planner and make your first Micro-Plan to move forward on  ONE of your dreams in the next 2-3 weeks.
  3. DO: Take action on your Micro-Plan.

Then… repeat.

It comes back to the famous quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”


If you keep taking step after step, you’re going to move forward on your dreams in a big way.

It all starts with the first step — so make that appointment with yourself for your Dreaming Session, and let’s do this!

I really love it when people give themselves permission to dream big.

So I want to hear from you when you do.

What is ONE thing you’re excited about doing this year? Commit to it in the comments so we can hold each other accountable!

Would you love to dream with us and bring the Big Dream Gathering to your college campus?

Send a faculty member to this page to learn more and see if we’re the right fit.

Mitch Matthews

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