My Grandmama was big into goal setting. She always taught me, my sister, and cousins to set goals for ourselves. Write things down, she’d tell us. Do research. Do something great. Be your own hero. Manifest it all. And don’t forget to moisturize!

I did plenty of rolling my eyes when she’d go on about that sort of stuff. Sure Grandmama, I’ll write down that I want to be a journalist for National Geographic in my diary every night and it will just magically happen. Sounds dope. Clearly, that’s not exactly what she meant, although she was very convicted on the concept of manifestation. Envision your ideal situations in the hopes of programming what you want into your actual existence.

She didn’t just talk the talk though, she fucking walked the walk, and she did it in a fur coat. Grandmama was a farm girl to start though. She did chores before school growing up and started a family when she was young. Still though, she had an entrepreneurial attitude that was the result of her ambitious spirit and desire for a beautiful life, no business school needed. She had so many goals and she accomplished a lot of them, one by one.

By the time she passed away this past March, she fell sleep in a hospital bed parked by her 8 foot tall windows overlooking her garden in her beautiful home surrounded by her daughters and granddaughters for whom her only wish was that their lives would be easier than hers. I like to think she died satisfied with her existence, and I believe this was a direct result of the conviction she had for her bucket list.


Meet Grandmama.

On the flip side of the positivity of goal setting, how often do you hear people casually throw out that something is on their bucket list? Imagine a group of humans gathered for beers. Maybe one person recalls a cool thing they did or maybe just heard about on Facebook and then slowly but surely everyone around the table nods approvingly, and the consensus is reached that that cool thing is on all of there bucket lists.

‘Where’s some place that’s on your bucket list to travel to?’
‘Mmm, the world.’

Shit like that drives me nuts.

Why Kellie, why would that bother you? Bucket lists are just goals that people set for themselves, right? Grandmama was all about it. Even if it doesn’t happen, what’s wrong with dreaming?

Well, it’s not the goal-setting or dreaming that I have an issue with of course. It’s more of the lack of conviction that I feel like comes with an over usage of a concept that has turned more into a Pinterest search topic than an actual motivating tool.

Basically, don’t talk about it, be about it.

Believe me, part of the reason I get so frustrated with this is because I think I’ve been plenty guilty of it. Maybe it’s a generation thing. All of a sudden we have so much access to the rest of the world through various means of technology that it’s not hard to just drown in the options. Dreaming big of the world without a clue how to navigate it. It can be overwhelming.

My Grandmama loved to watch The Bachelor because of the places that they would go on their dates. She could hardly hear what they were saying, but she loved to see the exotic places they would go so she’d always tune in. Being a millennial, I’d probably just hop onto Google and search ‘exotic places’ and boom, hours of visual stimulation at my finger tips. Things are different now. It’s super easy to make a list of a million things you want to do because we have access to at least stories or pictures of just about anything we could imagine. Who wouldn’t want to do it all?

It took me awhile to fully respect what my Grandmama always said (including the part about moisturizing every day). Nowadays though, you can find entries about the things I want for myself and for my life scribbled into journals all over the place. List form, daydreams on paper, drunken scribbles, whatever. There’s even a large chalkboard in my house that I share with 6 other humans with all of our bucket lists on it for this summer in Ketchikan (good call, Jenny).

It’s great to set goals and to have bucket lists. To write things down and then figure out the step by step of how to get ourselves there. But it’s not just about writing the things down. It’s about convicting yourself on the words that you are pressing into paper (or chalkboard).

There’s the Pinterest bucket list and there’s the Grandmama bucket list.
Be like Grandmama. Actively chase your dreams and goals because you fucking deserve it.
(Also, make your bed, because you deserve to come home to a made bed, too.)