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

When Sadness Hits You

This might be a different kind of Monday motivation, but it’s raw and it’s real. They say happiness will find you; but I think sadness will find you too.

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Over the years I’ve shared with you so much from my eating disorder to selling most of my possessions and traveling continuously as a "digital nomad" to my divorce and last week I shared how Europe was always “our thing." Truth be told, I thought I had this; I thought I had this whole Europe thing, ready to create my own memories and make Europe my thing. Was I wrong getting to Paris.

I was surprised because Paris was a place that I never really cared for, yet visited various times, the first being part of our honeymoon. It was a place my Ex like and wanted to visit as part of our honeymoon. Being here brought back all of those raw emotions of the life I used to know, the old me, and my divorce. I brought back the melancholiac emotion of it all -- the longing for what we had, a deep sadness, failure, loneliness, and wondering if we had made a mistake. So much so, my first night in Paris I even called my ex in tears... at 5am Paris time. It was a combination of things that influenced from the feeling of being ghosted by someone back home to being here but primarily because Paris was us, it was out thing.  The next day I realized that it is ok to have these emotions. It’s ok to feel all the feels and let it out. 

Sadness hits you sometimes just out of the blue, and you have to fight it over and over again until your heart would truly let go. Emotions are part of us, we can't escape them but we can work our way through them - sadness, pain, and negative thoughts creep in no matter how hard you seal it, somehow it will leak. And the hardest thing is, all you need is a pinch of understanding that would be enough to let it out and move on. Forgiving yourself for making a fool out of you is a tremendous undertaking, but it starts with YOU and knowing you aren’t making a fool of yourself for letting it out.

Sometimes you have to let yourself feel all the feels and accept that you are human. Let yourself feel the way that you feel but also know that you are the one who has the power to redirect things in your life. This is all part of the process of moving on.

I'm sharing this with you to be authentic with you and share a struggle. Whether you can relate to divorce or not, we've all experienced a broken heart. Sometimes we don't allow ourselves to fully grieve and we should. Even when you think you've made it through, it opens holes in what was solid ground, the kind you never know are there, until you go to take another step, and find you're standing over the edge, seeing the world around you passes by in blurs of color and sound and nothing around you making sense. 

As I am here in Paris, I'm learning to create a new memory of my own and honor my old life and memories created but most importantly, the friendship that my Ex-husband and I continue to hold.


If Not Today When

Oh, the places you will go when you stop with the self-doubt!  

monday motivational quote

Sometimes we need a little motivation when we've lost focus of our goals, our dreams, our journey. Losing focus and motivation can be tough, and it happens. Sometimes we can be our own worst critic.

You can waste so much time by doubting yourself when you really should be using that energy to take risks and focusing on making yourself happy. YOU CAN DO IT! You deserve to get everything that you want out of life; you just have to go out and get it.

Force yourself to take risks and get out of your comfort zone. Life is too short. There's no time for Shoulda-Coulda-Woulda's. NOT. AT. ALL.

Do what you’ve always wanted to do. That business you’ve wanted to start but were too scared to start. That trip you’ve wanted to take, but through you didn't have enough money to take. That goal you wanted to accomplish but were too scared to start. That starting step to better health but were discouraged each time you caved in to cravings. Don’t listen to anyone, DO YOU. You were given with one life; live it!

Give yourself permission to fail. It’s OK to fail from time to time. Failing teaches you valuable lessons in life, and it also builds character and strength. It’s much better to try and fail, then to not try and regret it.

Celebrate yourself! When you accomplish something, celebrate YOU! When you’re feeling great about yourself, celebrate YOU! One thing that we don’t do enough is pat ourselves on the back about our accomplishments. You’ve worked hard, so reward yourself. Heck, throw yourself a party!

Just think.... The places you will go once you start trusting and believing yourself and your journey.  Get out there and find what makes you feel alive and brings a spark back into your life. You only get one life... live it the way you were meant to live it. Go where you feel most alive, and ask yourself... If not today, then when?✌🏼

Share with me your biggest goals in life on Instagram - @valeriefidan!