It's the little steps that count. But once in a while you need to look at the bigger picture. Where am I heading? Am I living my best life or am I at least going in the right direction?

This is why I love goal setting. To get long-term vision and short-term motivation. To track progress and make sure that life doesn’t just pass-by.

Have you ever heard of the Bader Meinhof effect? It’s a phenomenon in which you start noticing a certain word more and more after you’ve heard about it for the first time. I experienced this after reading about digital nomads. I can clearly recall stumbling upon this way of living on a blog about 6 years ago; I had just graduated and returned from a backpacking trip in Asia.

It was time to enter the 9-to-5 world and look for a job, but instead I found myself searching the web about this crazy concept of ‘location independency’. It became my mission to make it work.

On that day I started my list of life goals – with becoming a digital nomad on top. I’m still not fully there yet, but lots of decisions I take are based on making this dream come to reality.

And not only this one. Each year in December I come back to this complete list that makes my heart tick. To evaluate and check which goals I did achieve and which are still left undone.

I ask myself if my priorities have changed and what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year.

Cappadocia byzilla
Neveshir viewpoint, Cappadocia, Turkey 2019


I’ve been hesitating if I should publish this list or keep it to myself. I even asked google: ‘Should I share my life goals?’. The most found answer was ‘no‘. Because early applause can feel like a win already which causes the end-goal to be less desirable.

Going against the general advice, here are my main reasons for sharing my life goals anyway:


I get so caught up in the chase of my goals that I sometimes forget to realize how far I’ve already come. Therefore I need a place to come back to and see what I have already accomplished. To realize that apart from the failures, there are also enough wins.


This post is a way of holding myself accountable. Writing down a goal and sending it out into the world means I dedicate myself to pursuing it. It gives me more clarity and focus.


I know that I like reading about other people’s goals myself because it can get me fired up about reaching my own. Sometimes I copy a goal that fits my life and makes me excited. Or I admire what others have achieved and get motivated by seeing the possibilities.

Instead of being jaleous of others successes, make sure to convert this emotion into fuel to work harder and take action yourself.

Seeing that others got to the point where I want to be, only means my goals are reachable. If he/she can do it, I can do it too!

Now it is my turn to contribute to the goal-setting internet world. Hopefully, I can help inspire you to take action on that goal that’s been lingering in the back of your head. Or to write your own list of lifegoals to give you more focus and purpose in life.

Skydive Mission Beach, Australia


This list is an ever-evolving work in progress.

I will continually add, change or take away items, since life happens and circumstances change.

For more detailed updates have a look at:

Click the crossed-trough items to read more about the completed goals.


– Wake up daily with a clear head and relaxed muscles
(no more migraines please)
– More me-time moments
– Sit, walk and stand up straight (cause I can be such a couch potato)
– Develop a morning routine that gives me a powerful start of the day
– Hire a cook to prepare healthy meals (the kitchen is not my favorite place)
– Laser away all unwanted body hair
– Add mindful minutes to my day
– Grow back healthy long hair
(after years of damaging it with too many color treatments)

NOV 2017 & MARCH 2019

I never thought I would ever make one of those before/afters. But here it is.

My secret? Stop obsessing over food and losing weight. The moment I gave up quick results and just settled with ‘healthy eating but also a snack here and there’, things changed.


When I was a kid I fell from a chair which resulted in stitches in my eyebrow. I don’t remember anything from the accident, but am confronted daily with the messedup scar brow ever since. I did a Ingebrows to Stay treatment and have been very please with the result.

My first and most precious goal on the list. What started as a wish to travel full time in 2014, evolved into wanting a home base in the Netherlands for the summer, but escaping the cold, grey winter each year to travel and work from abroad.

2017 / 2018 – Finally took the first step with 2,5 months in Cape-town, South-Africa and learned this was indeed the right lifestyle for me.

2018 / 2019 – Terminated my rental home, sold most of my stuff and went all-in as a digital nomad living in Bali, Indonesia for 5 months followed by a month in Australia to completely skip winter.

2019 / 2020 – Spent most Dutch winter days back home in Utrecht, but charged the batteries with a month of work from the sun of Rwanda, Africa.

2020 / 2021 – Rented an Airbnb in the Algarve, Portugal for two months with 3 friends. We created our own little ‘co-working space’ and spent our weekends exploring beautiful beaches. Not a bad way of ‘Covid-quarantining’.

In March 2020, when Corona came around the corner and we were all stuck inside our houses, Evert and I made a commitment to work out from home each and every morning. Doesn’t matter how long or how strenuous, as long as we have some movement built into our routine.

At first, I had a tough time with it so I often chose to do stretch exercises of about 7 minutes. But as time went by, the workouts became easier and lasted longer.

Read more about reaching this goal in my 2020 highlights and successes


– Become a master in remembering names
– Master the art of chit-chat
– Overwin my fear of steep slopes as a snowboarder
– Overwin my fear of high waves and go surfing
– Be fearless again about driving a car

I’ve always loved reading – devoured bookcases full when I was younger – but somehow I lost the dedication to make time for it in my days. In the summer of 2020 I wanted to get back into the habit and read 10 non-fiction, personal growth books. I enjoy soaking up knowledge that contributes to a happier life and will definitely continue to read often.

Read more about reaching this goal in my 2020 highlights and successes


– Reach 10K monthly blog visitors
– Write and publish a book
– Sell through Print on Demand
– Post a blog each-and-every Monday for a full year

5 October 2019 Blog launch

After months of preparation, building and writing is finally online. Now the only thing I need to do is persist posting blog articles.

11-06-2018 Launch retouch portfolio website

A self-designed custom wordpress website for my portfolio. The scroll bar and logo switch colors while browsing through. I am so proud of how it all came together. And even more proud of the content that is continually building and improving this portfolio page.

20-05-2014 RTL Late-Night

I got invited to talk about my fakecation project in the Dutch talkshow RTL Late-night of Humberto Tan (next to me at the table: ice skater Sven Kramer).

Aug 2015 New York

In 2015 I met Juliëtte with whom I became friends during a work trip in New York. It was the first time I met someone with the same passion for adventure, travel, capturing beauty and building a business for yourself. Over the years I kept hearing about her best friend Michelle, a photographer who constantly travelled the world.

Febr 2018 Cape-Town

By the time Juliette introduced Michelle to me, I already had the feeling we knew eachother very well so it clicked immediately. Together we soon found out to be creative soulmates that complement each other on a personal level as well as workwise. Fueled by new inspiration and willpower to work harder, the friendship led to a mission to join forces.

I am still very gratefull to have such inspiring creative friends and teammates in my life and hope to continue to grow and explore the world together.

22-12-19 Graduation

I dedicated 10 hours a week for three months to study this subject and received my nano-degree in Digital Marketing at Udacity.


– Become debt-free
– Diversify income streams
– Build an emergency fund of 6 months worth of living expenses
– Make a 100K profit year
– Generate a passive income
– Achieve financial freedom

Older us by Zilla
Us in 50 years?

When Corona hit and took away most of my income, I realized how vulnerable I am without a backup plan or savings. It snowballed my financial interest from zero to a hundred in no-time.

My boyfriend and I decided to start investing and now make a monthly contribution to our account. We also bought a house that should build up our wealth compared to depleting it by paying rent each month.

With these first steps, we have laid the foundation of a retirement plan that will probably continue to evolve in the future.

Read more about reaching this goal in my 2020 highlights and successes

Kasteelstraat 2 Heije by Zilla

If you would have told me a year ago I would want to live in Limburg I would have laughed at you. But now, it feels like the right place for us. In February 2021 we will get the keys and finally have a place for ourselves.

Read more about reaching this goal in my 2020 highlights and successes


– Ice skate the canals of Amsterdam
– Write a letter to my future self
– Go on a spontaneous trip without planning
– Attend a drive-in movie
– Fly first class
– Party at Burning Man
– Swim with whale sharks in the Philippines
– Swim with wild dolphins in Zanzibar
– See the Northern Lights
– Go dog sledding
– Glacier Hiking / Ice Caving in Iceland
– Snowmobiling
– Have a bonfire on the beach
– Go Hang gliding
– Paddle a glass-bottom canoe at the Seychelles
– Stay in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives
– Hike Macha Pichu & Rainbow mountain in Peru
– See the great pyramids of Giza in Egypt

30-04-2017 Keukenhof, The Netherlands

My friend Annika and I discussed how we always travel the world to see country highlights, but not even have seen most of the things tourists come to do in our own Holland. So we set out to see the typical Dutch sights. With this flower garden full of tulips as the first undertaking. It was a fun day, but way too touristic (we eventually left to avoid the busloads of others).

11-2017 Goes, Veere and the Oosterscheldekering, Zeeland, The Netherlands

For centuries, the Netherlands has had problems of flooding during storms, because most of the land is below or near sea level. In order to put a halt to this, as well as to reclaim more land, they build the Delta Works. Even though the idea of man overcoming nature is pretty interesting, this was pretty boring to visit to be honest.

Goes and Veere were pretty cute towns to wander through. But all in all this was not a trip I would recommend. Also, the picture above from Goes is enhanced to make it more interesting..

20-07-2019 Mudflat walking, Wadden Sea, The Netherlands

Basically slipping and sliding through the mud. Nothing more. Not a very adventurous undergoing, but a fun way of exercise and seeing a unique piece of the country.

Still feel there is more to be seen. What else? Any ideas?

Helicopter flight byZilla
06-03-2019 Gold Coast, Australia

Technically I ticked this one off while visiting the Gold Coast in Australia. But since it was only a 5 min ride, which was way too short to take it all in, I still feel like doing another ride that really makes my heart jump from joy (instead of stress because the count-down to return already starts the minute you get up in the air).

Ride a motorbike_ byZilla
December 2018 Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

I had my first two motor lessons from my boyfriend and loved it! We did not go onto the roads yet, but he let me practice by circling around and trying out the gears (yes mum, I wore a helmet). Unfortunately, we rented an oldtimer that kept falling out, which made riding a lot more difficult.

There will be a day that I’m confident enough to go on a road trip with him while driving myself.

Roomservice lifegoal
Roomservice lifegoal
September 2020 Penepolese, Greece

During a holiday in Greece, a Medicane (a Mediterranian hurricane) came to disturb our plans.

We were lucky to escape the eye but had to stay inside for a couple of days to wait out the heavy storm. Hence why we booked a more upscale hotel than normal. This was the perfect time and day to order room service and check a goal that made me feel super luxurious and spoilt.

Read more about reaching this goal in my 2020 highlights and successes

Benagil cave Portugal by zilla
2020 Algarve, Portugal & Monnickendam, The Netherlands

Stand-up paddling is a very fun way of exercise and exploring. It was less hard to keep balance than I expected (although I did not manage to keep it dry completely).

In Monnickendam we did a paddleboat tour over the lake and into the canals of the city, which was fun and easy-going. But the most spectacular moment was definitely supping into the amazing Benagil cave in South Portugal, where you can only arrive by sea.

Read more about reaching this goal in my 2020 highlights and successes

Tropical Dome fake beach

Ever since I did my ‘fakecation project‘ I’ve been fascinated by anything that creates fictitious holiday vibes. I was thrilled to find out that there is a whole fake beach called ‘Tropical Islands resorts’ in Germany where you can even stay the night.

In the middle of winter, Evert and I camped out in this tropical place and wandered around in swimwear all weekend. Even though we needed to ignore all the yelling kids and forget about the bad fast-food, it was a really bizarre and funny experience.

September 2019, Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia looks surreal from a birds eye perspective. There is something truly magical about floating calmly through the sky, watching all the other colorful dots go up and down. This place is really worth a visit!

Leopard safari rwanda by Zilla
26-03-2018 Botlierskop Private Game Reserve

When I was younger my mother collected everything Giraffe and I collected Zebra’s. For years on row our home looked like a safari themeparc so you might be able to imagine how excited I was to see these animals in the wild.

14-03-2018 ADDO Elephant National Parc

My friends Jessie and Bente came to visit when I lived in Cape-Town for 3 months and we drove the Garden Route to ADDO, where we did a game drive through the parc ourselves. I will never forget the moment we got surrounded by a big group of passing Elephants.

January 2020 Akagera, Rwanda

Just being in Rwanda on a Safari weekend with friends and camping out in the Akagera National Park was an adventure in itself. After crossing many Monkeys, Zebra’s, Giraffes and Hippos, the leopard made it a trip to never forget.

10-06-2015 Kawah Ijen, Java, Indonesia

This was hands down the most scary and adventurous thing I’ve ever done in my life. Descending down the crater in the pitch black early morning, clinging on to our guide because my Allstars were terribly slippery (one misstep would result in rolling down into the active volcano) and meanwhile trying to motivate my friend Annika, who is terribly afraid of heights, to keep going. Then seeing the mighty blue fire with our gas masks on against the toxic fumes. And last but not least, the most amazing sunrise view over the crater lake when we got back at the top.

Gibbon experience_byzilla
01-2014 The Gibbon Experience, Laos

This was not just a treehouse. But the world’s highest, which you reach by a 3 day hike and forest canopies adventure through the jungle. You literally zipline right into your stay for the night high up into the trees. The open-air shower looks out over the treetops and at night you hear the monkeys screaming. What a thrill!

Excuse me for the bad quality. This photo was taken with a GoPro back in 2014.

Summer 2008, Crete, Greece

I worked at Starbeach where they have this Bungee Crane, which resulted in me jumping multiple times (someone has to test those ropes ?). Swallow dive, Back dive, the Elevator, Water touchdown, ‘Cut’ away, tandem and together on one foot only. I tried them all, but the first time stays the most nervewrecking one.

12-04-2018 Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa

A 30th birthday surprise for my boyfriend Evert: jumping from one of the world’s highest bungees -216 metres above the river (almost 4 times higher than the one in Crete).

My list of life goals
December 2019,  Dubai

What better place to experience such a futuristic experience than in Dubai, the city of superlatives. Floating 4 metres above the water with a magical skyline view, what a joy. Apparently I have a pretty good balance since I only fell down once.

Mission Beach, Australia

We thought if we do this, we do it well. So we chose the highest fall from 4.267 kilometers. Strange enough I didn’t feel the same nerves as with my first bungeejump. And I was surprised to find that I didn’t even think about the ‘what if the parachute does not open’. The rush of adrenaline was extreme and the views over the devastatingly beautiful coastline were absolutely amazing.

Swim with seals byZilla
03-03-2018 Hout Bay, South Africa

This day had a lot more impact on me than I thought it would. The thrill of the superfast speedboat ride, entering the freezing water and interact with these incredibly friendly and curious animals. I couldn’t feel my hands and feet anymore because of the cold, but was so amazed by how the seals glide through the water with such speed and grace that I didn’t care.

14-02-2018 Boulders Beach, South Africa

In my idea penguins only lived on the North Pole (which turns out to be a false believe). I was so surprised to find out there is a beach in South Africa where you can just hang with these animals. In your bikini! There were hundreds of them (but actually not so many in this photo) just chilling in the sun.

Dec 2018 Komodo Island

I thought I would be a bit afraid of these huge water residents, but in fact I wasn’t. They just pass by gently and are impressive to observe and swim with. Definitely my most exciting snorkle experience so far!


– Organize a fund-raiser
– Host a mini-festival
– Donate blood
– Do volunteering work
– Prepare and organize a surprise party for someone
– Plan weekly date-nights
– Go on a city trip to Rome with mum

Bacalar Mexico_byZilla
Bacalar, Mexico 2018


Do we have any of the above goals in common? Let’s support each other and share our progress. I would love to hear about your experiences as well.

Want to ride the goal-setting energy wave together?