Dreams Can Come True

Dec 16, 2014

At the beginning of 2014, in fact the first post of the year, I shared the three goals I would be focusing on as I gave the year a theme “Yes You Can“.  And I thought it fitting that as I began the year at the coast (in pictures, and in life), I should end it there as well. Because just as the ocean is full of the most powerful strength that we really can’t fight but instead must move with, so too are the power of our dreams. For when we dream we can set some amazing waves in motion. Some which will lead us exactly where we had imagined, and others to destinations least expected, but upon reflection, very much appreciated.

Below are my three goals:

And I also promised to share my progress – success or not – as I attempted each. More importantly, I asked you to dream big right along with me. To dare to change your life into what you had hoped it could one day become. Because you really can make your dreams come true.

Upon pursuing our dreams, we aren’t going to attain exactly what we set out to achieve. In fact, my second goal didn’t turn out at all how I had expected. However, I would argue that by pursuing it, it gave me an even greater gift than I had anticipated. Let me catch you up quickly on that dream.

In my desire for the past handful of years to move from my small town in Oregon to either Bend, Walla Walla, or Portland, I gave each town/city test runs. Truly. I even rented an apartment in Portland for three months, and went so far as to search for a job in Bend last spring which was very difficult to do as I genuinely love teaching in my current position. However, as I mention in the post above, I craved the balance of a beloved professional life with a personal life that was rejuvenating. And in my last attempt to move, I placed my house on the market last spring.

What did I discover? I have an amazing life right where I am. While someday I will sell my beloved Normandy home, for now, so long as I can travel when the wanderlust bug bites me, have friends and family nearby and Walla Walla just down the road, I have a tremendous amount to be thankful for in the present moment. And isn’t that sometimes how life works? We have to explore outside the boundaries, outside our comfort zone or into parts unknown in order to really see what we need versus what we want. To determine what is worth letting go of and also to realize how wonderful everything is at that very moment.

And so to my third and final dream that I dared to pursue this past year: Write something important.

Now mind you, it’s not that I am assuming it is important in the traditional sense, but it was important to prove to myself that I could do it, that I would do it to the best of my ability and that I could see a life’s dream become a reality. And above all else, I wanted to write a book I wish I had had when I was growing up as I tried to successfully navigate the world as an independent, but fiercely feminine and determined woman.


Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide is officially available to order in both paperback and eBook format from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  And the feedback, as I’ve mentioned before has been overwhelmingly kind and thoughtful. In fact, here are two bloggers who have already shared their reviews with readers – Frances Schultz and Susan Blakey of Une Femme d’un Certain Age.

What will readers discover when they pick up the book? Twelve chapters that will help you lay the groundwork for building your very own simply luxurious life. In other words, a refined life on an everyday income. Topics of in-depth discussion and specific tips include:

  • How to design a life of purpose that is aligned with your passions and talents
  • Financial independence
  • How to cultivate a healthy mind and body
  • How to build and maintain strong, loving relationships
  • How to create a chic, timeless signature style
  • How to design a comfortable home that is a true sanctuary
  • How to travel in comfort and style both internationally and domestically
  • How to entertain effortlessly (recipes, menus and tips for hosting)
  • How to discover simple pleasures that make each day something to look forward to
  • And for my fellow Francophiles – an entire chapter dedicated to all things French

~Learn more about the book here and view the trailer here.

Also, readers of TSLL have already begun to share the arrival of their signed copies on Instagram (here, here and here). You too can be included in these Flipagram posts, simply include the following tags: @thesimplyluxuriouslife #mysimplyluxuriouslife

But I want to get back to you. How has your 2014 gone? How did your year of “Yes You Can!” go? I have no doubt that you have grown into a more accomplished, wiser version of yourself than you were 12 months ago. Whether or not the dreams materialized as you hoped, the results have undoubtedly been fruitful.

You may not recognize now how your efforts have paid off. Or perhaps you are seeing some of the benefits, but more time needs to pass before you see the entire scoop of your time and perseverance. Trust me, it will be worth it.

On that note, I would love for you to share your successes, growth and attempts in the comments below. Don’t be shy. After all, not all of mine panned out either, but I am so very glad that I made the attempt.

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17 thoughts on “Dreams Can Come True

      1. Hi Shannon, I am an Italian translator… should you need your book translated in my language, do not hesitate to let me know! Have a lovely day, Dina

  1. LeeAnn,

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I think your advice of being present in the moment is invaluable and truly allows us to revel in the beauty that exists rather than dwell in what is not. Thank very, very much for taking the time to share and for stopping by so often. All my best, Shannon

  2. You are such an inspiration! You’ve inspired me to create goals to break a bad habit, create a new good habit, take risks, to take small steps toward the life I imagine, and to appreciate what I already have and stop wishing for something else that I imagine to be better…to be happy in this moment. Thank you. I adore your blog and your book!

  3. With each year I am more amazed at just how much happens in such a short period of time. Things that happened in the last year that were not even on my radar during the 2013 holidays:
    *Finding out my husband and I had to move out of our apartment (terrible landlord situation) on a Thursday and ended up signing the lease on our dream apartment by the following Monday.
    *Had the incredible opportunity to travel and volunteer in Swaziland in southern Africa for 10 days
    *Received a promotion at work that I did not expect for at least another 5 years
    *Crossed off one of the top cities on my bucket list: New Orleans. I went for a work conference, so it was free!
    *Was able to stop my 3 hr/day commute and work locally again

    I’m usually such a planner, always having my life detailed out. But this past year I felt the need to let go of my own plans and let things happen. And it was amazing! I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!

    1. Thank you for sharing what your 2014 looked like. Letting go while initially scary can be amazing way to allow our lives to blossom. I have no doubt 2015 will be full of even more beautiful moments and memories.

  4. I actually failed at most of my attempts to make change in 2014. I am not sure why I wasn’t successful, except that a lot of my goals were things I could not do totally on my own. Other people had parts and roles, which definitely impacted what I could do. So, I guess I was not totally unsuccessful, as I did my part in all of them. I did make the effort!! Going into 2015, I think I need to focus on things that are 100% in my control to make happen! This way, I have no reason to be disappointed!

    1. Shilo, Thank you for sharing your past year. Sometime these type of years happen to teach us just the lesson we need to be successful in the following year. And while we don’t want to exclude others entirely from our goals, recognizing that they may have different plans of their own is part of setting the intention and if it works out – a big time celebration is in order – but if it doesn’t, we know we will be okay because we have our own path and goals. Wishing you a very auspicious start to 2015. 😉

  5. Shannon…
    Your blog has been my inspiration for a while. It has helped me a lot to appreciate quality over quantity.
    2014 was neither good nor bad for me. I had a tough year in personal front and also in achieving my dream.
    That said,I am not giving up hope.

    Though 2014 was not as I planned I am stepping into 2015 with determination that I will achieve my dream.

    1. Charan, I have absolute confidence that your dream will be achieved. Sometimes it doesn’t happen when we had planned, but often it is life’s way of testing to see if we truly want it. Thank you for sharing your experience during 2014.

  6. I think it’s fantastic that you have been able to expand your blog and brand to a book, podcasts and an app all within the space of a year. It just goes to show what planning and hard work can do. I started my blog in 2012, and though I struggle to balance lifestyle blogging with my career as a school psychologist, I’m looking to continue the growth in 2015. You are an inspiration of the best, most generous kind. Congratulations on reaching your lofty goals this year, Shannon! I am so happy for you!
    Enjoy your holidays!
    xx, Heather

  7. After discovering and being inspired by your blog earlier this year, I realized that most of my decisions over the last 5 years had been made based upon my fears and not by my heart’t desires . I took myself in hand and reevaluated what I truly wanted versus what I was afraid of. The outcome- the purchase of a house! We now have the pleasure of putting the unique touches on it that will make it our “home”. In 2015 I intend to continue evaluating what I CAN and WANT to do- and then DO it. Thank you for inspiring me to stop placing my fears above enjoying & living my life.

  8. I have just been introduced to your blog! I have only read a few parts…BUT I am so excited to read about others attempts and evaluations of their lives. I have always tried to start the new year on a really positive theme for myself. Sometimes it has lasted for more than a few months! Each year i have goals…I take a theme I value at the time . One year it was ‘to try something new every day…’meet someone new, taste something or do something I had never done before…actually it is easier than you think…although I remember distinctly not enjoying the first taste of polenta! One year it was ‘say yes’ to opportunities that came my way. Another was to ‘open my heart’ this saw lots of interesting and lovely people come into my life. Reading your blog I realise that what has been missing has been any recording and focus on evaluating my goals. I have achieved many things over the years but do not always look back at that beginning of the year and attribute my successes to those determinations. Wow! I have gone on but thank you .. I am now inspired to set out on another of life’s adventures…that is the way I look at them.

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