Living With Intention

I’ve been thinking a lot about living with intention lately. I mean, it’s a topic that’s generally top of mind for me, but this fall in particular showed me how stress or imbalance in one part of my life can impact everything else. Today, as part of my work with’s #TalkEarly program, I wanted to share some thoughts on living with intention holistically, in hopes that this will help you move through the holidays and transition into a new year feeling a bit more grounded and with a sense of purpose.

1. Holidays

I want to start with the holidays because well, here we are, and it’s a time where I’m seeing my various social feeds bursting with freak out mode. As you’re thinking about how to be with your family and how to give, I hope you will consider reading this post I wrote on 5 ways to give with intention this holiday season. I also recommend one of my favorite approaches when it comes to being overwhelmed by to-do lists. Order your list by fun factor -- what lights you up and makes you happy should go first, and then things that feel obligatory or fill you with grumpiness or dread go on the bottom of the list. Approach your to-do list from the top and be OK letting those bottom items fall off the list accordingly. I invented this approach around Violet’s first birthday and it was such a wonderful way to prioritize and do things based on joy instead of “shoulds.”  

2. Work

I am really, really lucky to have a varied palette of work that I truly love. And it was really exciting to launch a new business this month. I wasn’t exactly planning on launching something new in 2016 but the pieces that were intentional were: 1) creating a way for Jon and I to collaborate on a project; 2) bringing beauty and meaning into the world, and 3) using that beauty and meaning to help others (via the charity arm of the project). As I look towards 2017, I want to be super intentional (read: picky!) about the projects I choose to undertake and how to execute them. Because when I’m freaking out about work, everyone in my house suffers!

3. Parenting

I have yet to meet a parent who says, “Everything’s great and easy and I am on top of all the things!” And while I think it’s good to be aware of what you need to work on, I also believe in celebrating the small victories. So, I’ve been working on making small choices with intention and positive effect. For example, editing my morning routine so I can take the time to walk Violet to school has been so wonderful; it’s our special one on one time where we can chat and joke around, and it’s become one of my very favorite parts of the day.

4. Self-care

This fall I trained for a half marathon and it went pretty badly. My mojo was just sort of off all fall (due to stressors in some of the other buckets I’m addressing today). But what I was reminded of in the process is how much I do enjoy having a plan and process for self-care and how I’m much more intentional about how I treat my body when I’m training. Right this second, I’m not particularly interested in signing up for another race, but I would like to sit down and map out a self-care plan -- both the fitness side and also I’m thinking about tracking my food and beverage consumption via MyFitnessPal for a few weeks to recalibrate. I don’t like calorie counting, but I do like the awareness that food logging brings in order to avoid mindless, bored, or stress-related consumption.

5. Relationships

One of the best things I have done over the last few years has been to stop working at night so I can prioritize time with my family. I want to continue this trajectory, and also be better about connecting with friends. As handy as it is for keeping in touch, Facebook enables my laziness when it comes to booking time with people.  

6. Finances

It’s so interesting. I recently did a money coaching session that changed my life and it has inspired me to be more intentional and proactive about my approach to money. Comedy = I decided to start logging into my business account more regularly and tried to do so yesterday unsuccessfully. Turns out, my online account activity had been dormant for so long they closed it. DOH. Anyway, part of my financial intention setting is getting my login creds back so I can be more aware of my finances on any given day.

7. Advocacy + Community

One thing that this fall has taught me is how enormously critical it is to stand up and speak up, both for your beliefs and those in need. I have been doing a lot of work in this realm and encourage you to listen to this post-election action plan podcast if you’ve been trying to figure out how to move forward in the world. Also, following an e-mail I received just moments ago from a dear friend, if you are looking for ways to support local kids this holiday season, please consider this Home For Little Wanderers gift drive list -- the list is heartbreakingly long.

Disclosure: This post was inspired by my work as part of’s #TalkEarly program. This program is about alcohol responsibility and building a lifetime of conversations with kids -- both of which are inherent pieces of intention setting. All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own.