As you may know, my main goal for 2017 was to focus on living a more intentional life. Investing in those who invest in me and really adding value to those relationships is what my main focus is for 2017. As January is drawing to a close, I thought I would do a quick update on how my resolution is going. I've quickly learned this is no easy task and to live an intentional life it takes well, intention. These are the top tricks I have learned so far:
1. Pretend it's the 1990s
No, Im not telling you to go pull your MC Hammer pants out of the closet but if you feel inclined, get down with yo' bad self girl! What I'm saying is this: live a life with less distractions. The 1990s were full of many wonderful things like 'Nsync, overalls and Friends but you know what wasn't around in the 1990s? Smart phones, Wi-Fi, or an app for everything imaginable. The very first thing I did to live a more intentional life was take any distracting app off my phone that wasn't business related. Facebook? Gone. Snapchat? Gone. Pinterest? Gone. And you know what? I don't miss them at all. I find myself being not only more present but also more productive. Not to mention, I am sure I have saved myself some serious eye rolls with all the political posts over on Facebook. Another small change I made was to put my phone on airplane mode at 10 pm and...wait for it.. not bring my phone to the bedroom at night. This has been a serious game changer, ladies. Before making this change, the first thing I would do every morning was check my phone. I would lay in bed for 15-20 minutes answering emails, checking Instagram, checking Facebook, and basically spent my first minutes of a new day catering to everyone else except myself and my family. That seems pretty backwards doesn't it? We are programmed to want instant gratification and WORK WORK WORK but when it is seriously affecting your health and family, it's time to make a change.
2. Channel your inner Ellen Degeneres
Let's be honest, EVERYONE loves Ellen. She is the epitome of a good human and not to mention has some serious dance skillz. But what I really, really love about Ellen is her love for laughter and giving back. Sometimes I can find myself in a cloud, there's really no other way to explain it. I get bogged down with stress of business, finances, and the unknown. There is a dark side of entrepreneurship that kind of blows, to be honest. Sometimes these high highs and low lows can leave me feeling unworthy or unsuccessful. This dangerous fog leaves little room for joy and definitely not any room for living intentionally. This cycle began to take its toll on my health and my family life. So, whats a girl to do when this happens? Well, all through 2016 I found myself relieving these tricky emotions with food. I would turn to fast food, fountain pop, candy, etc and found myself gaining weight and not learning how to actually cope with the hard times. But, 2017 is time for change. This has been the hardest task for me, to be honest. Sometimes, I still turn to chocolate but what I've learned is this: the best way to overcome sadness or anxiety is to spread joy to others. Recently, I reached out to a local organization that helps refugee women in our community in various ways. I asked if I could come to their meetings and teach these beautiful and kind women how to sew. The pure joy I get from teaching my new friends a marketable skill is immeasurable but it also has given me something of my own and allowed me to live more intentionally in ways I never knew possible.
3. Let go and Let God
Towards the end of 2016, we went through some pretty hard times. I don't really want to get specific with what happened but it was just really, really tough. I was challenged in ways I had never been before, I was scared and uncertain about many things, and I was hit with reality harder than ever before. This was a wake up call for me, we had been living so fast and not taking the time to live and love intentionally and kind of got derailed a bit. Now that we are on the other side of this hardship, taking things day by day, sometimes even minute by minute, and I have learned to let go and let God. I can't control everything. Worrying about things that are out of my control will do nothing but cause more stress for myself and my family. To live intentionally and to be present, I have to let go and trust in God. I have never been super religious, to be honest. We never went to church as a family and definitely didn't pray together. It's funny how a hardship can change your perspective. We have been going to church as a family for the past couple months and it has been such a beautiful thing for our family. While going to church has been an amazing way to fill up my cup (no, not like Fergie) another way I am working on letting go and letting God is by meditation. What what? Did I really just say I meditate? Yes, yes I did. Meditation isn't just for monks, people. Taking even 3-5 minutes of your day to speak to yourself in an empowering way, asking God to work through you, and just focus on your breathing can really make an impact on your perspective. If you meditate, I would love to hear from you about how it has changed your outlook!
I am a constant work in progress as we all are but I can already see Him working and guiding me towards living a life full of purpose. Living intentionally is not easy, especially with all of the distractions we have in today's world, but now more than ever, we need to have more people focused on living an intentional life. As Mother Teresa said, "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."
So much love,