How to turn your dreams into reality

At 22, Swedish-born Kristina Karlsson found herself on the other side of the world, far away from family, with no idea what she wanted in life. Then came her lightbulb moment.

The 3am lightbulb moment – which came after partner Paul encouraged her to write a list of what was important to her – led her to embark on creating a range of stationery.

Fast forward 23 years and kikki.K – a tribute to Kristina’s childhood nickname and last initial – is now a global stationery empire, sold in 147 countries.

Kristina, author of Your Dream Life Starts Here, shares her top tips for putting great ideas into action.

Start with one question

“We all have the power to turn our wishes into dreams and can transform our lives in small and simple steps,” says Kristina.

“I encourage people to start by asking themselves this question: ‘If I couldn’t fail, if I had all the money and all the power in the world, what would I do?’

“I guarantee it will probably be different to what you’re doing now and it will give an insight into what really matters to you.”

Write down your goals – and everything else

It’s not enough to just ‘think’ our dreams, says Kristina; we need to commit them to paper, with research showing we’re 42 per cent more likely to achieve our goals if we do.

“I really do believe that’s what kept me sane in those early days of trying to build a business, when I was working every hour of the day and night,” she says.

The now mum of two, who is still creative director at kikki.K, follows a daily practice known as Morning Pages from the book The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron.

“It’s writing three pages of anything and everything, for your eyes only, and it is life-changing. It is a stream of consciousness done first thing in the morning and will get your creativity flowing,” Kristina says.


Don’t take no for an answer

Sometimes finding your way forward means going sideways.

“There are so many ‘nos’ and so many obstacles when you are starting out, but it’s vital to keep going,” she says.

Get up early

It might sound simple, but the lifestyle brand founder believes rising at 5am and spending time alone to write, read and exercise before the rest of her family wakes has a huge impact on her days.

“Health and wellness has been important for my business from day one and that includes looking after my mind with silence and quiet time,” she reveals.


Draw inspiration from being outdoors

“There’s also so much power in spending time next to nature,” she says.

“Swedish design is at the heart of inspiration for me and whenever I’m back in my hometown on Falkenberg, you’ll find me out walking, getting motivated by the beauty around me, often with a podcast or audiobook going.”

Dream big

Kristina says she still regularly pushes herself out of her comfort zone.

“This is the first time I’ve written a book but I want to encourage people the world over to create and follow their own dreams,” she says.

“I have a crazy dream that I want to inspire 101 million people all over the world to write down three dreams and go and chase them and I believe we can make that happen.”

Get a free download of chapter one of Kristina’s book and some of the accompanying audio exercises and worksheets.