DESIGN YOUR LIFE: brooke of the new dorothy


Happy Thursday! Today I am excited to bring you the intentions of Brooke from The New Dorothy. I love what she’s said below almost as much as her Niner Project (her plan is to complete 99 goals in 999 days). This Kansas lady is also serious about travel. I can only imagine what her passport looks like after living in four different countries. Four countries. Unbelievable.

And I also knew we’d be fast friends when I read her intention to drink wine. Why had I never thought about this intention before?! So read on, drink up, and enjoy.

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Brooke of The New Dorothy

Dream it. Share it. Do it.

Most people have a lot of dreams and wishes and “someday I’m gonna…” ideas, but few have the gumption to tell anyone about it and actually follow through. I have a lot of dreams, always have. But I often need a catalyst to get me out of the dreamer stage into the action stage. So, I talk about it. I tell everyone I know and everyone I meet that I am moving to China, starting a band, opening a coffee shop, whatever. For me, the dream is just a passing whim until I share it. Don’t hold your dreams inside; put them out there and you’ll be motivated to follow through. Next up on my “dream big” to do list:  Move to Australia!

Drink Wine


Okay…you don’t have to drink wine. But for me, after a long day at the office, followed by a frenzy to find something to cook for dinner, followed by my attempts to work on other things that interest me (writing, painting, reading, etc.), it feels AMAZING to stop and sit down with a nice glass of red (or cup of cocoa, or glass of water, or whatever) and breathe. It gives me a chance to catch up with my sweetie, enjoy the fact that I’m living/thriving, and allow myself a moment of peace.

Find Your Yoga

I sit at a desk, at a computer, all day every day and I need something to get me active and get my blood flowing. I started doing yoga about a year ago and it transformed my body and the way I thought about fitness and physical activity. On any given day I’m bending, lunging, leaning, and breathing for the sake of my health and fitness, and let’s face it, for my sanity too. Yoga may not be for everyone, but everyone should find something that’s physically challenging and completely different from their normal daily routine. I also run and enjoy training for races – 5ks, triathlons, cycling events, etc. Just find something that makes you feel happier, stronger, and better, and do it often.

Wear Fabulous Shoes


For me, I love a striking pair of heels or cute slippers. The shoes or clothes I put on often influence my mood, attitude, and how I feel about myself. There’s a time to feel powerful and feel like you could rule the world (i.e. my killer red heels), and there’s a time to feel snuggly and self-reflective (i.e. my Northeastern University hoodie). There’s a place for it all in my book. The key is to get to know yourself well enough to recognize when you need the heels and when you need the hoodie.

Play Nice

Life is just too short and I’m way too mortal to get caught up in the petty, mean spirited, or disgruntled attitudes that plague some people. My motto is “do no harm.” There’s no place/space for bitterness, spitefulness, or any other negative-ness in my life. But this doesn’t mean that I’m also the peppy pom pom, never do wrong type.  My point is that you can tease, be funny, get upset, whatever, but you should always play nice. After talking to me, I want people to walk away feeling positive, and maybe a little inspired. I don’t always succeed, but I always try.

Read Everything

I have a day job and it’s pretty good. But, if I could, I would sit in coffee shops, libraries, art galleries, or at my kitchen table for most of the day reading. I read everything from design blogs, to political cartoons, to Newsweek, to Monocle, to the NYTimes (news & style sections), to USWeekly. You never know where you’ll find little nuggets of interesting chatter or be exposed to a new perspective on a hot-button issue. In my mind, it’s just silly to stay sequestered in your own little microcosm, never really knowing, asking, or understanding anything about the world outside yourself. The era of selfishness is over. And it’s time we all took a greater interest in our community.

Keep Interesting Company


I’ve been lucky enough to travel and live all over the world. And each time I have a new adventure, either down the road or across the globe, I find myself meeting/befriending some weird characters (which of course, is a compliment). These people come from numerous professions, live in random locations, but they all have something beautifully unique to share with others. Growing up in a small town in rural Kansas, I was hard pressed to find people whose opinions or life experiences were very different from my own. But once I started asking questions, listening, and getting to know the various characters that came into my life, the more I learned about the world, but mostly, the more I learned about myself.

Go Explorin’


Get out there! See something different! If you’re on a farm, head to London. If you’re in Shanghai, kick back on a secluded beach in Belize. Whatever you do, just go. I’ll never forget my first trip abroad (it was my first trip anywhere, really). I was in high school and it was my first night in Paris with my teacher and a few other students. We had just exited the subway (my first experience with that too) and were walking along the enchanted streets of Paris. It seemed like we had been traveling for weeks to finally get to this pivotal moment when I would see the Eiffel Tower for the first time. I was impatient and tired. Finally, I said, rather rudely, “Where is it?!” My teacher just grinned at me and said calmly, “Brooke, look up.” I stopped in my tracks and gazed up through the branches and leaves and saw the Tower for the first time, peeking out behind the trees above me, sparkling and grand. Amazing. It was there that I became addicted to travel. If you do nothing else, give yourself the gift of exploration and the wonder that comes from seeing something new for the first time.

Have Fun

I laugh. A lot. I can’t help it. You should too. It’s what makes life…worth it.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

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  1. Laina

    I love reading these each week, but this is one that I really enjoyed because I feel like I really relate to a lot of these intentions, but you also get a great sense of Brooke’s personality. I especially love Brooke’s intention to Drink Wine. Nothing is better after a long day then a nice glass of red wine and some time to chill/reflect(and maybe add a little dark chocolate?).

    Go Explorin’ and the Dream it. Share it. Do it. are both things that I have started to embrace myself within the past few years – which has led to many adventures and even a few “WTF was I thinking??” moments along the way, but I have no regrets – can’t ask for much more than that!

  2. 99 goals in 999 days… that’s amazing. I can barely achieve 1 goal in 365 days. This is an inspiring post. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve retweeted it so other people can get inspired.

  3. Rachel

    This has been one of my favorite DYL’s to date.

    I particularly love the part about reading everything. After starting my blog, it shed light on the sheer breadth of information and generally cool and even lovely things there are out there. I read, stumble, and grow every day. Knowing stuff in general is such a graet virtue.

  4. Yay for list-makers! I’m doing the 101 in 1,001 Days list (actually I’m almost done with my 1st 1,001 days). Love seeing other people’s “life lists”.

  5. i agree with Laina that i really enjoyed this Design your Life. although i have to disagree with the glass of wine as a stopover before taking on other things after work, because i end up too lazy to do anything once i start on the wine path…

  6. What a great post, I can certainly relate.

    I’m a new follower to your blog and look forward to reading more!

  7. @Laina: Thanks for the great compliments! Although, my writing prof in college told me there was TOO MUCH of my personality in my writing. 😉 But I can’t help it. Cheers!

    @JessicaDeal: Thanks for retweeting my entry and I hope you were inspired!

    @Rachel: Love your blog! And thanks so much for the compliment. So happy that you enjoyed reading and walked away with something positive. Go get your read on!

    @Powered by Tofu: Loving the list life! And to everyone else, PoweredByTofu’s 101 in 1001 goal list is what inspired me to do my own version. Check out her list; I dare you to not be amazed!

    @Julia(Color me Green): Thanks for your insight on my Drink Wine intention. Actually, I usually wait to poor myself a glass after I’ve accomplished the other important things in the evening. It helps me wind down. 🙂

    @Jessica: I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Jess

    @ The New Dorothy: Thanks for the interview and for replying to the comments in person! So nice of you :).

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