By Dr. Shawna Darou, ND
This may seem like a strange thing for a doctor to talk about, but in a time where we are unbelievably busy, and our self-worth is measured based on productivity, an essential part of your health and wellness comes from knowing what’s really important to you.
I learned about the list of 100 dreams from a colleague who offered this as homework for a patient with rheumatoid arthritis, who had put herself under unyielding stress for decades. It was given as an opportunity to get to know herself and what she wants out of her one precious life. The list comes from Laura Vanderkam’s book “168 Hours – You have more time than you think.”
Are your wishes and dreams clear to you right now? Have they got lost in the daily grind, and far below everyone else’s needs? When was the last time you thought about your dreams?
What is a List of 100 Dreams?
First of all, it’s not simply a bucket list. It’s a completely unedited list of anything you might want to do or have more of in life.
What you’ll find when you start is that it is remarkably hard to come up with 100 items on the list, and this is where it gets interesting. You’ll start with big long-term goals, and then they will become smaller, every day goals and dreams you could do anytime, like telling your spouse or your kids that you love them. You may find it helpful to create categories, such as travel, professional, learning, personal, creative, family or others.
Once you’ve allowed yourself the time and space to write such an expansive list, let it guide how you spend your time. Let it guide what goes into your calendar, and what you do with your free-time.
How your dreams move your wellness
When gaps occur in life, we fill them with tasks that have no meaning to us – cleaning up an inbox, scrolling on social media, finding a new series on Netflix,.. which there is nothing wrong with at all. But what if instead you had clarity about what had meaning to you and what truly brings you joy and you can intersperse these things into your busy life?
If you’re chronically dissatisfied in life and not tapping into what’s important to you, you’re much more likely to go to food, shopping, alcohol or TV for bursts of pleasure, but then be left with a even deeper feeling of dissatisfaction.
Having clarity about some of your bigger dreams can be enormously motivating to take care of your body right now, and make healthier choices to fuel yourself. For example if you have a dream of trekking in Nepal, building your fitness will not be a chore. If you want to age gracefully and have a clear image of what this means, it will not be an effort to eat well and care for your body.
Remember that joy, happiness and purpose are all essential parts of health and well-being. When we are connected to purpose, it also makes the basics of self-care more meaningful so that you’re better able to enjoy life.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and how your List of 100 Dreams changes you too.
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