Setting Monthly Intentions

Setting Monthly Intentions -

September, already? It’s hard to believe that it’s another new month.

I try to set intentions every month to help keep me on track.

When I set my intentions, I focus on making them more about how I'm feeling, truly tapping in. Intentions are what fuel what I do everyday. They get me to actively think about my life and how I want to feel, my goals and the habits I am making to get to those goals. They're the little things I want to keep in mind within that particular month. 

Is intention setting new to you? Maybe you need a refresh. Here are the main 6 I focus on:

Think about what you're eating.

I love this intention. It's not super strict like "Don't ever eat carbs again" or “only eat vegetables and healthy things”, but will allow me to make conscious decisions about what I'm eating. Eating healthier has been something that is always my main focus. Since the start of Summer, this has been my focus because sometimes we all fall out of balance and our eating habits shift, so I'm going to make it an active priority this month.

I feel like this is something a lot of people struggle with. I want to make healthy eating a habit and something that I enjoy!  

Do something everyday that's just for YOU!

September is going to be a crazy busy month for me. I’ll be moving out of my apartment in Portland, OR to travel a bit and relocate back to San Francisco. Shocking! I know. I’ll get more into this in a late post this month to not shift the focus from this post.

With all of these changes, this intention is to make sure I pick up a good book, try a new food, bake if that is your thing, have a dance party or snuggle my dog everyday. Making time for myself to do something I love is a way I practice self-care. 

Get moving 3x a week.

Ok, it doesn’t have to be 3, it can be whatever number it is for you. For me, 3 is my magic number; it is doable when I’m bouncing back into a routine.

This month, I want to get back into a routine. I had sprained my ankle in July and have been slowly recovering from that. A lot of the normal workouts I would do, I had to take a break from. I didn't want to make it something like "go to the gym everyday" cause that's probably not going to happen. I just want to keep active by doing something like taking a yoga or Barre3 class, trying a new workout on ClassPass, or going for a run - keep those endorphins going!

Disconnect in the morning and before bed.

I am totally guilty of waking up, instantaneously checking my phone to read email, post on Insta, and so on. I’ve made it into a habit to go to bed early, and wake up at 5:30 almost every morning. I give myself about an hour to fully wake up, drink water, brush my teeth, write in my gratitude journal, and make coffee. I cherish the ritual of making coffee in the morning. There is something about this one hour in my day that I love and is special. It’s probably because there are zero distractions, and I can really focus on setting my day.

Maybe the challenge for you this month is to try and limit the constant need to be connected and save your phone time for something that really matters. Do you open your phone and read something that bothers you that it effects your sleep and how you start the day?

Focus on your missions!

Don't compare yourself to others. Not to me, your best friend, your neighbor, the woman that seems to have it all in spin class, not to anyone. TBH, this might be really hard. Gotta put those blinders up and FOCUS!

Do things from a place of love; not fear.

This intention is kind of the same thing. Am I posting on my blog today because I'm scared I won't have a successful business if I don't? Or am I doing it because I want to connect with other people?

Mindset is everything. 

What are your intentions for the month? Share them here, I’d love to know!

Here's Why You Should Be Adding Collagen To Your Diet + Products I'm Loving

Here's Why You Should Be Adding Collagen To Your Diet + Products I'm Loving

Nothing lasts forever, not even beauty! I've been lucky enough to have genetically great skin, and have never exactly experienced a "brake out;" but aging and fine lines are inevitable.

Since turning 30 a few years ago, I've been adding collagen and collagen-based products in my daily routine and diet, and for good reasons. If you aren't adding collagen to your diet, you should start doing so! Think of it as the real fountain of youth, and keeping in mind that you're not going to see overnight results. It takes time, proper nutrients, and merely taking care of your skin.

Here's the thing about collagen, collagen level decreases as we age. Collagen loss is a part of hormonal aging. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the peak of women hormonal vitality and fertility is between the ages of 25 and 27. After that, estrogen levels decrease, accelerating collagen loss speed. You will notice the presence of fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, and uneven skin color.

They also come with joint and bone problems that can be painful sometimes, especially as we age.

Natural collagen production in the body declines by about 1 – 1.7% per year. By the ages of 40, you will lose 10 – 20% of your body collagen. When you reach your 50s, half of your collagen might go. There is no reverse. At this point, if you let the collagen lose at its own pace, you may be different to your appearance and body.

The Top Benefits of Collagen:

1. Help reduce wrinkles and improve skin conditions.

2. Supports the re-growth of joint tissue.

3. Relieves joint pain.

4. Helps prevent bone loss.

5. Help reduce cellulite and prevent stretch marks.

When should we use Collagen rich foods or supplements?

Let's face it, we can't reverse or stop aging. It is a natural process every living creature has to face. But, we can slow it down by supplementing the lost collagen by collagen sources like collagen peptides or bone broth.

Collagen supplements are concentrated collagen from sources like the pig, cow, chicken, and marine animals. It contains enough collagen for the body in a small amount of serving.

The trend of collagen supplements is shifting from applying cream and gel on the outside surface to taking oral collagen supplements to repair from the inside.

They can slow down and prevent the loss of collagen by providing a more abundant supply. The only question is, "When should we use collagen?" The trend has moved from repairing your skin from the outside into the inside out to stimulate our bodies to replace lost collagen.

Taking collagen supplements can help slow down and prevent the loss of collagen that occurs when you age by providing your body with a more excellent supply of collagen. Many people start to use collagen when they notice the signs of aging, at the age of 30s, 40s, or 50s. The best age to start collagen supplements is, however, as early as the mid-20s.

Does it sound too early?

Everything is preventative, and if you can incorporate collagen in a healthy, balanced diet, it'll be easier to combat collagen depletion in your mid-20s. If we wait until our 30s or later, that means there are times our body has to operate with an insufficient amount of collagen. The damage of that time is irreversible. If we start as soon as the collagen loss begins, we can cut such time to give the body a longer young life.

Here are my favorite collagen products that help nourish our skin form the inside out.

Instafriends: Making Connections and Meeting IRL

Have you met my friend Tara aka @taralaferrara? She's a really cool girl, and just what you see online is what you get in real life. I first connected with Tara a few years ago through Instagram and we met IRL last year.

When I tell people I've met a lot of my friends through Instagram I get one of two reactions:

People think that's really amazing!

Others are perplexed with the look of 'you can't meet people in real life?'

That's not the case at all; I'm very social and do make friends in a real-life setting. But in today's day in age, the way we connect has shifted. I think it's a fantastic tool we have because it can put you in contact with interesting, like-minded people all around the globe. For many people, their online lives are an extension of their offline ones.

Tara hasn't been the only person I've met on Instagram.

There have been plenty of other amazing women that I've connected with on Instagram and later met in real life like my good and close friend Maxene (aka @MaxenesTrail) we were brought together for our love of food, cocktails and mutuals friends; Jo Encarnacion (aka @gofitjo) during a Barre3 retreat in Portland; Aurora during a trip to her home-base in Mexico City, Cristina Ricci (@addictedtolovely) an LA-based blogger and podcaster that is from the same area where I grew up. There was also my dear friend Bernadette (aka @petiteandtoned) also from San Francisco that came out to visit me in Portland.

We often associate online friendships as weaker or less genuine than those offline. But making friends online doesn’t mean they will not turn into real friendships. According to an article in the CyberPsychology journal, some people who meet online do eventually meet in offline settings. It is only natural that this happens because of the more profound connection and bonds made through shared common interests.

Making connections online is just like making connections in person but a bit better! Let me explain... We know everything there is to know about people's lives via our news feed on Instagram: what they ate for dinner, who they are dating, what products to try. Because of this, it helps to figure out whether you have similar interests that you can build a friendship on. 

Instagram in many ways helps us establish the shared interests and passions all of you shared. Mutual interests promote connection. Even though you barely knew each other, merely being authentically YOU and sharing your vulnerabilities that others can relate to help create a deeper relationship with others.

Making friends online, and maintaining these connections can essentially form an online emotional safety net. When people encounter struggles, they often want to talk about it and feel heard. Having these online friendships provides a safe space where people can discuss how they feel. It's not any more different than in real life and when you meet people in real life.

Have you made connections on Instagram and then met IRL? Share it with me on Instagram - @valeriefidan!

Valerie Fidan

Valerie is a San Francisco native who gave up the comforts of home to travel the world continuously. Now based in Portland, OR, Valerie is a Social Media Marketing Consultant, helping solo entrepreneurs and small business owners DIY their social media by teaching them the in’s and out’s of SMM. She enjoys health hacking recipes, a good cocktail, yoga, hikes, live shows, puns & dad jokes.