New Year, New Beginnings

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Happy New Year, friends!

May this year bring you endless joy. I hope you take a risk, that you do something that gives you butterflies in the pit of your belly, that you live a life less stifled, and that you exceed your own expectations. You absolutely can and you absolutely must. Let's make this one of the best – personally, professionally, wholly.

I’m making a lot of changes around here and I hope you like what you see in the months to come. In the meantime, I won’t be posting until Spring. (I’m sorry.) But, I promise you this, new content, updated posts, better tips and recommendations await.

Go where you feel most alive, take the paths that are unmarked and unknown.

Cheers to a most beautiful 2019! The best is yet to come...

💕Valerie

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.

Living With Intention

Simplicity. Let’s talk about living with intention for a sec, shall we? I was thinking about this the other morning, as I made my coffee and sliced up some pineapple, with the mellow tunes of whatever song my favorite Spotify station 'Cafe Con Leche' played to set the mood for the day. 

living with intention

But, what exactly is living with intention? It's a buzzword we all keep hearing. 

For me, living with intention is living with purpose and on a deeper level minimizing, decluttering all aspects of life, letting go of the things that do not serve us purpose, allowing for the things that matter most to take space. By doing so, this "clutter" of life allows you to live with a deeper purpose that is much more meaningful.

I’ve been embracing a much more minimalistic approach to life since the start of the year, more so than before, living the way I want to live and going as zero waste as much as my daily life allows me to be. (Shout out to Chloe for the zero waste inspo and invaluable resources.) It's liberating. It's been a process of setting goals, slowly moving things out of my life, and creating new habits. 

So, how can you start living with intention?

Start with habits.

Everything starts with habits.

Think about an average day in your life. Maybe there is a ton of variety in what you do and how you spend your time. But we’re guessing much of your days that looks the same. In fact, research shows that about 40% of our behavior is repeated daily and in the same context. Whether it’s the food we eat, our daily commute, how we spend our free time, when we get to bed, and (maybe most importantly) everything in between, so much of our lives are spent doing things habitually. So when we’re thinking about how we want to change our lives for the better, habits are a great place to begin.  

On that same note, thinking about how we might begin to form positive, healthy habits, writer Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, encourages us to develop positive habits that help us do the following:

1. Sleep
2. Move
3. Eat/Drink Right
4. Unclutter

She describes these foundation habits and recommends we start with these four. When we do so, we anchor ourselves up to prioritize what is really important to us and can build upon them to achieve our greater, most fulfilling goals. When put into practice, all of these tools conceivably help us live to our full potential.

living with intention

any new habit needs attainable goals

Because any new habit needs attainable goals, writer Leo Babauta, the creator of Zen Habits, advises breaking our larger goals into yearly, monthly, and weekly goals as well as daily action steps. Thinking about how our goals can be achieved within this framework helps us see whether they can and should be what we focus on. When we consider how we can work towards our goals the micro goals (daily, weekly, monthly) we’re better prepared to see the bigger picture of our yearly goals and make adjustments as needed at the start.

Taking daily action steps toward achieving our goals is what he calls a Most Important Task (MIT). An MIT (or you may also know it as one non-negotiable) is the task you most want or need to get done today, and while Babauta identifies three for himself, one is always related to his goals. It's done every single day, typically first thing in the morning, and using this method ensures that he’s always moving his goals forward, keeping them front of mind, and staying on track.

What does living life with intention mean to you? Share here

Why Your Bucketlist Should Be A Goal List

bucketlist

What’s on yours? ✨ Starting a business? Snorkel in the Galapagos Islands? Hiking Machu Picchu? Eating pasta in Italy? 

Realistically, bucket list's should really be a goal list. Defining these you must ask yourself what do you care about? 

I love to travel, so for me naturally, most of mine are based on travel and experiences. Our world is truly magnificent and we each occupy just a tiny fragment of it. Travel is a privilege and one of our greatest treasures, and we all should have a bucket list. It broadens our minds and feeds our souls, and who wouldn’t want to experience something wondrous or incredibly beautiful, whether made by man or Mother Nature? To help you define your goals, journal and figure out those goals by answering: Who are you? What are your hobbies and interests? Base a few goals around those things.

Including family and friends in those goals. This will fuel an enriching life because life is about the experiences you create with those your love. It's a fantastic idea to include your family in some of your goals. For instance, you could add a goal of taking a road trip to the place your grandmother was born, or better yet, take that trip with your grandmother! This idea of including your friends on your life goals is probably where #squadgoals came from, and for good reason. Build in a couple of goals with your friends - you'll be so glad you took the time to build memories with them!

Keep track of your goals and be flexible! Goals need to be written down to feel real and tangible and to give them import. Write them down, and look at them often, then cross them off (mentally, even) as you attain them. But, also be flexible. So many fantastic books have been written about goals that didn't always happen as planned (Cheryl Strayed's "Wild" comes to mind). Be flexible in your goals, and achieve them even when things don't go exactly as you planned.

If you love mountaineering, your heart might tell you to set the goal of climbing each of the tallest mountains on every continent. That's amazing... but probably not realistic, not just from a physical standpoint, but financially as well. Your goals shouldn't be easy, but don't make them impossible either.

Here's the thing about goals: they're not checklists (like bucket lists are). Goals evolve and should require a little more reflection and soul-searching. For instance, when I first started yoga, my goal was "attend a live class once a week." Now it's "deepen my practice through yoga teacher training." Don't just visit the Eiffel Tower to check it off your list and move on. Savor each experience, build on each one and celebrate your success before you proceed.

Put it out into the universe, and share them with me. Let’s work together to put them into action! After all, sometimes the little things can be just as exciting as the big things.


(📷 Marianna Hewitt)

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.