Monthly Archives: December 2016

Leonie’s 200 Life + Biz Goals In 2016: How Did I Go?

by Leonie Dawson on December 28, 2016


Hi dearests, 

Earlier this year, I shared my 2016 goals publicly. I wanted to roll back around and see how I went with those goals.

I wanted to share as well – I’m not particularly having a Big Goal year. I’ve done a lot over the past eight years… and had some years where I’ve gone ballz-to-the-wall with goals. After so much moving and growing, this year, I’m much more about sweet domesticity and settling. So my goals reflect that. There ain’t no wrong way to do goals! They are really just the structure to help build a life and business you adore… however that looks for you and your family!

Overall, I’m really happy with where I ended up. There’s much more that I would have liked to have done… but when I take into account how life and health and business/staffing challenges happened in 2016… I feel pretty fucking rad at what I did do and where I’ve ended up!

It’s been a huge spiritual lesson for me over the years to be motivated by my goals, but NOT have my ego and worth tied up in them. I talked more about this with Kerry Rowett in this interview if you want to hear more!

And, as always, I’m so super grateful for my own goals workbooks… even though they’ve been used by over a quarter of a million people worldwide, I wrote them for myself first and foremost… and they’ve been one of the biggest blessings and guiding forces of my life and business over the last eight years.



  • Go on a health retreat
  • Increase my immunity
  • Tint van windows
  • Go horse-riding
  • Celebrate solstice
  • Do a large painting
  • Get fans installed
  • Do a picnic by myself
  • Do art date/workshop with Starry @ NGA
  • Get family photographs taken
  • Have BBQ with old work mates
  • Set up Wii and play games
  • Get painting for above bed
  • Have creative side projects (decide on some!!!)
  • Have a solo mama retreat
  • Do a digital illustration course
  • Do a daily creative challenge for 20 days
  • Experiment with Jade Egg
  • Get Lile to teach me knitting
  • Try tie-dying
  • Do some woodwork
  • Take Starry to something sacred (it’s in the works!)
  • Try Tigress Yoga or Yin Yoga
  • Read 52 books
  • Re-read “What We Say Matters”
  • Go to Cockington Green (planning to do it these school holidays)
  • Go on a road trip with Deb (we didn’t…. but we did spend so much time together! It was lovely!)
  • Go to Kingston Foreshore or get a Freakshake with family
  • Fix bicycle + go for ride (planning to do it these school holidays)
  • Replace curtains and blinds
  • Get shelves installed in wardrobes
  • Go to a concert or show
  • Read a good money book
  • Pay off mortgage on Property #1 (really close to that… feeling good about where we are financially)
  • Update wills
  • Make our house feel like a home
  • Plant tomatos and beans
  • Create poster for Golden Rules of Success + hang in studio
  • Stop sleeping with iPhone in bedroom
  • Declutter and get boxes to op shop
  • Get phone fixed/get new phone
  • Prune roses before Spring
  • Rearrange house and put bookcase in lounge
  • Order electric blanket
  • Order non-slip rug for long hallway rug
  • Finish Brené Brown e-course
  • Put up Zen Habits poster in my office
  • Have weekly solo mama retreats in bed
  • Get coat racks
  • Watch the seasons change
  • Max out super contributions
  • Quarterly financial planning meetings
  • Work out watering system
  • Fix foot
  • Make a creative nook for myself
  • Discover a new creative passion (planners!)
  • Go to Questacon
  • Go to Balloon Festival
  • Go to NLA exhibition
  • Finish “I’m Off Then”
  • Finish “Something New”
  • Read “Zim Zum of Love”
  • Keep regularly art journalling
  • Go on regular girl dates with Lil
  • Try San Churro
  • Get new king size bed
  • Get new headboard
  • Find a pilates instructor + do pilates weekly
  • Weekly food delivery
  • Beach holiday
  • Get wedding ring re-sized
  • Go to women’s circle
  • Get rugs + carpets professionally cleaned

Christmas Bucket List:

  • Order 2016 Instagram album (I usually order through Blurb, but its software is currently shitting its pants for the Instagram integration… waiting for it to de-bugify!)
  • Come up with advent calendar
  • Get family Christmas cards done
  • Write Christmas letter and send cards

Goals I Canned:

  • See the Christmas lights (didn’t. Daylight savings means we would have had to keep the kids up 3 hours past their bedtime to see them. #nope)
  • Read “5 Love Languages For Kids”(nope, wasn’t called to it)
  • Finish “The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck”(nope, wasn’t called to it)
  • Finish “Quiet Power”(nope, wasn’t called to it)
  • Finish Bill Bryson’s “Home” (nope, wasn’t called to it)
  • Do quarterly personal plans (nope… decided it wasn’t the right thing for me)


Biz Goals I Decided To Can

  • Batch-record video content in advance (it’s not my style)
  • New website design (yeah… NOT the right time for that this year!)
  • Finish reading “Managing For Dummies” (decided to stop focus on being a manager… I wasn’t born to be a manager… I was born to be a fucking ARTIST, man!)
  • Read great business biographies (canned that idea because burnout… I needed to read soul-nourishing creative and spiritual books instead. And trashy romance. Ohhhhhh how I love trashy romance!)

Philanthropy & Community – Completed

  • Build library through Room To Read (can read about it here!)
  • Sponsor more children (now sponsoring 8!)
  • Sponsor animals (sponsored an elephant, turtle and orangutan)
  • Donate to more land and animal conservations (donated $5000)
  • Make more loans through Kiva (have now made over 400 Kiva loans! Woot! So close to 400!)
  • Cook for someone who needs it (gave food delivery vouchers to a grieving family and bought a trolley filled with groceries for a refugee family)
  • Donate workbooks and diaries to charities (yay! 70,000 donated!)
  • Donated $1,000 to buying a Safe Bus for women in PNG
  • Donated $3,500 to supporting a Kenyan orphanage

I’m also cogitating over some of the big spiritual lessons I’ve learned over the last year. I hope to write more about them once they settle in, deep into my bones.

Thank you as always for sharing this ridiculously wild, amazing journey with me. I’m one lucky bugger.

Big love,


We Did It! We bought a well!

by Leonie Dawson on December 28, 2016


My loves,

I sent out this email less than 24 hours ago:


I need your help.

Earlier this year I met an incredible earth angel… a woman who had visited Kenya 12 years ago as a young woman… and who, like so many, was deeply affected by the poverty, AIDS epidemic and tragic circumstances she found there.

Unlike so many however… she did something huge. She started an orphanage and school, and has supporting it ever since. Jacinta is one very special soul… I love her heart, her guts and her big laugh.

unnamed (1)

Jacinta, on the right, at this year’s Shining Academy conference

I was just talking to her a couple of days ago. And her stories had me crying. There is an ever growing need for this service as parents die from the AIDS epidemic and leave behind so many helpless orphans. Her orphanage and school will continue helping as many as they can.

When I asked her what we could do to help, she said:

“We need water. The drought has worsened and we need to make 12 trips a day to a place several kilometres away just to get enough water for the children. If we could drill our own bore, we’d be able to have our own safe water supply.”

unnamed (2)

“There’s no such thing as other people’s children”

So I thought:

This is what we need to do. We need to get the children water before 2017 begins. These children have already been through so much. Jacinta has already pushed so hard to make them a safe, supportive home and school so they can rise out of poverty. The least we can do is get them some water!!!

Jacinta has gotten quotes… it will cost them $5,000 free for safe, clean water.

I’ve just donated half of that. I need your help to fund the rest.

Will you join me and help us get this incredible orphanage and school clean water for Christmas?

Let’s make miracles happen together.

I love you,

P.S. Honestly… reading about this is such a huge wake up call. There’s so much to complain about in our developed world (Christmas dramas, Trump, NBN, traffic, the line at the shops)… I know I do it…

And then to remember that so many of our sisters and brothers don’t even have access to drinkable water, the nectar of life.

Read this:

“Water pathogens are a huge health problem in Kenya, as the people have been left unprotected against regular epidemics such as cholera, typhoid and parasitic worms. The rate of exposure is extremely high because the water is not only contaminated where water is collected but the containers are almost always second-hand, often previously used for oil, fertiliser or house hold waste.”

Click here to help build this well. We’re so close!”

My team…

My team are so beautiful… they were the ones answering all the emails…

they got so behind it… and before we even hit our goal, one of them said:


I laughed it off… I loved how big she was dreaming… but didn’t believe it could happen…

I asked… you made miracles happen…

Within just a few hours… I shared this update…


I called her this afternoon. She was sitting in the cool dark of her house, breastfeeding her tiny baby. “We did it”, I say. “We bought a well!” Jacinta is crying and laughing and so am I. The orphans at Suluhisho Children’s Village in Kenya will at last have clean water. Life changing. World changing. It only took us a couple of hours… but we have changed the lives of so many forever.

I asked Jacinta how we could keep in helping. She shared she had another weight on her shoulders – over $4,000 in school fees for the year due in a week for all the children in the orphanage.

This mama may have given birth to just two children, but she is a mama who takes care of so many more. Even with a wee baby on her lap, she is taking care of motherless children a world away.

We’ve already nearly halfway to paying all their school fees. Can you help take care of them all?

Thank you for your big, wide, generous, loving hearts. It feels so good to give. It feels so good to be a mama to them all.

I love you all.

We stayed up that night… me and Jacinta…

I told her I wouldn’t go to sleep until we’d paid for half the school fees for the coming year.

It’s the least we could do.

And so, in a tired fit of delirium, I started live streaming song requests.


People could donate and either:

  • Get me to stop singing for a few minutes
  • Request me to sing a special song dedicated to them
  • Have their website and business spruiked online for a few minutes live by me
  • Have short raunchy stories written about them and Colin Firth.

I obviously am not kidding about any of this.

It was the fucking weirdest charity telethon EVER.

By the time I went to bed at 1am, we had paid for half the school fees.

I know both me and Jacinta were both in a delirious, weepy, delighted state.

I woke up this morning.

The first message I see is from my team:


I cry. I text Jacinta. We both cry.


Soon, she sends me photos.

The children at the orphanage have been told the good news.

There is celebration there today, a whole world away.


The children are dancing and smiling.

Fresh, clean water is coming. A whole new school year is paid for, stretching forward before them, filled with hope and possibility and education.

The staff are beside themselves:


Jacinta said her heart can rest now. The children can go to school. The children will have fresh, clean, safe water. The staff won’t need to do 12 trips a day to get water. They can concentrate on the important things: taking care of these beautiful kids and giving them the very best start in life possible.


Please know: Suluhisho is still gratefully and delightfully receiving further donations.

Every cent goes to funding the orphanage and school. Suluhisho is a tax deductible charity organisation registered in Australia.

It feels SO damn good to finish 2016 on a high note like this…

For so many of us, 2016 has been such a grab to the pussy. For me, it feels like saying:

I will not let 2016 define me. I will keep on making miracles anyhow. I will rise, I will rise, I will rise.

Thank you for making this miracle with me.

You are such an incredible tribe of soul sisters.

Big love + overflowing heart,


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In Praise Of Ordinary Christmases…

by Leonie Dawson on December 22, 2016


Hola dearhearts,

I’m not sure what it is I need to say, and yet I know I must say it.

I want to say:

I hope you are having a merry Christmas filled with love and kindness and laughter

but I also want to say:

It’s okay if you’re not. Truly, it’s okay.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be good. Whatever it needs to be, it is.

I think for a long time I hunted and yearned and grieved over Christmasses being imperfect. How in some way, how good one single day was would be the measurement of my life.

But it’s not. It’s truly not.

The measurement of my life is the ordinary days. The little moments adding up with each other to culminate in a life well loved.


I want to say it’s okay if things aren’t perfect. If you don’t have everyone together. If you don’t have a big, happy, functional extended family (or any kind of family at all). If everyone isn’t happy. If the kids are whiny or you are whiny or there are no kids and instead of noise there is silence.

It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.

You’re not broken, you are whole.

Christmas wasn’t meant to be anything but what it is:

Whatever appears for you. Whatever your day is composed of right now.

Whatever happens.

Sometimes it can be so hard to actually just genuinely relax and have fun and enjoy when there’s so much external pressure for Christmas to be HAPPY! FULL OF FAMILY! PERFECTLY COMPOSED! NO PROBLEMS EVER!

And the pressure builds up until we inevitably feel overwhelmed, crabby and heartsick at why our life doesn’t look like the way we think others’ lives are.

(Extra resources: I like what Sarah Wilson said about Christmasses: that without fail, she cries at each one just from the build up of energy. The ever lovely Ask Moxie also shares a free guide for parents going through a divorce at Christmas.)

christmas freakout SML

If nothing more, Christmas serves as a time for us to pause in the stillness before another year begins. To look back and see what just happened. The blessings and the shit and the hard stuff and the miracles, all tied together in a bundle of a year. Who you were a year ago. Who you are now. You might be feeling a little more war-torn but I can bet a hundred bucks you are wiser, deeper and lovelier than you could ever know.

That’s all my darlings.

Wherever you are:

in the midst of the BEST DAY EVER or the Shittiest Crapfest of the Century or something I like to call a Festival of Awkward, or something in between:

I want you to know you’re okay. You’re whole. Everything is going to be okay. It’s okay for things to be how they are today.

Your whole life is waiting for you. All the ordinary days to come.

And it’s going to be bloody beautiful.

Stretching my arms out wide,

unicorn christmas wishes SML