Nicole Bensen

Dream. Do.

The holidays can be a difficult and complicated time for many, so feel free to jump below the photo if you don’t love this time of year. 

Still with me? If you’re like me and LOVE Christmas, you are exactly the person who would love my retreat idea of Christmas in July…or April, or June, but it would be sometime not around the actual holidays. Christmas is my favorite time of year, but it gets hectic trying to get all the gifts (don’t forget the kids’ teachers and bus drivers and UPS delivery person and esthetician, etc.). And needless to say, the magic can get watered down. So…what if we could have a week where we get to enjoy all the Christmas goodness without having to be the one to plan it?

Think: decorating cookies, watching cheesy movies, and maybe even matching pajamas.

I’ve had this idea for a retreat for years, and I’m trying to see if anyone would actually join me for this…am I alone in thinking this would be an amazing week? Reply “Christmas!” if you’d join me for a stocking-good time in the not-currently-planned future.

Overlooking Zurich, Switzerland

What I AM planning right now is a women’s retreat in Switzerland THIS APRIL! And I would love to see you there.

That’s me admiring Zurich ^ on my scouting trip this past September. 

Switzerland, beautiful Switzerland…the land of cheese, and chocolate, and views like this:

View of Switzerland.

I’m going to be announcing the retreat details very soon; if you want to be the first to get them, join the retreat waitlist here.

Last week I shared this reflection idea with you:

Imagine it’s December 2023.

If you were living your happiest life to your highest potential, what would it look like?

How do you spend your time?

Who are the people around you?

Is there something or someone you’ve said, “no” to…in order to make space for the “yes” that surrounds you in this place where you are fulfilled, happy, and at peace?

Now take a moment to write a loving letter to yourself today, from the December 2023 version of you. 

Include what you can release now to lead you to the highest potential life you pictured. Write down an idea or two you could do today, or this week, to create this joyful future you’ll be celebrating in one year.

And today I want to share a tool with you for breaking down any ideas that came to mind with that letter, or from the previous week’s guided meditation.

I want you to choose a goal that’s so-easy-you-can’t-help-but-do-it as a stepping stone to a big goal/idea/resolution.

I call these micro goals: MVEs. Minimum Viable Experiments.

These smaller changes are more manageable, and accomplishing them gives you a boost to keep going—not to mention the ability to pivot if something needs tweaking.

This is my “Dream. Do.” sheet, and you can download it by clicking the image.

1. Fill out “5 things I want.” This could be a big goal, like buying a more spacious home with a curved staircase (actually on my vision board), or something that I want at that moment, like taking a nap. There are no rules.

2. Then brainstorm “Ideas to propel me forward.” This is an open brainstorming area where you’ll write down anything that pops into your mind that might support the “things I want.” For example, if I wrote down, “A more spacious home with a curved staircase,” ideas to propel me forward could be “Spend 5 minutes on Pinterest pinning photos,” or “Research mortgage rates,” or “Ask my network for realtor recommendations.” In this brainstorming area you might write down five ideas for one thing you want, or one idea, period. You don’t have to come up with an idea for every thing you want.

3. Third, choose an MVE. What’s the minimum thing you could do to propel one of your ideas forward? Using my example above I could block my calendar for 20 minutes in the afternoon to take a break and scroll Pinterest for 5 minutes. I also recommend adding in “where” and “when” you’ll do your MVE, like “On the living room couch at 1:00pm.”

That’s it. Give yourself permission to want, and choose one small action. Sounds too easy to make a difference, right? Well, in these micro-moments you’re doing tiny experiments that make the goal closer to reality in your mind, which eventually leads to big breakthroughs.

4. At the end of the day, or the next day, write down how the MVE went in “Post-MVE Notes” for accountability. It can be as simple as, “Spent 5 minutes looking at staircases on Pinterest.”

5. And last, write down “3 good things” you appreciate from the day. 


1. My peppermint mocha this morning. 

2. Confirming my retreat location. 

3. A video catch-up with my friends.



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