Tag Archives: resolutions

live with intention.

Welcome to the New Year everyone – and to my new followers – welcome to my blog. I hope I can keep you interested!

Many of you have found me thanks to my most recent post: Young, Married & Pissed Off. When I set out to write it, I had no idea it would spark such a fantastic conversation – with friends, with family and with complete strangers – all who have taken the time to read and share their own experiences and stories.

As someone pointed out, views on marriage are incredibly personal, and I am so grateful for those who have shared theirs – whether we agree or disagree. That’s what makes the world so great… a myriad of opinions with no true “right” answer, but instead just thousands of different ways to look at something. I have especially loved reading all of your stories about your own relationship and marriage experiences and I am touched that you shared them with me!

Now, to catch everyone up…

Last year I set out to do something crazy. I made a list of 213 things I wanted to accomplish in the year 2013. I was feeling stuck, depressed and unmotivated. I hit the post-grad slump hard as I went from being at the top of my circles in college to starting all over again in a new city and at a new job. I didn’t like who I was becoming, so I decided to do something about it.

That one time I jumped out of a plane at 12,000 feet.

That one time I jumped out of a plane at 12,000 feet.

I sat down and curated a list of 213 things I have always wanted to do, but never did thanks to a book of excuses. Some as small as taking a painting class, others quite outrageous like jumping out of an airplane. No – I didn’t get all 213 things crossed off my list. (Probably not the smartest decision to attempt this crazy feat while saving for and planning a wedding…) But what I did accomplish was even better: I regained my confidence and my thirst for life. So ultimately, the list achieved exactly what it was meant for.

This year I’m doing something a bit different. New Year’s resolutions seem to catch quite a bit of flak because they are rarely maintained throughout the year. Others like Jess Lawlor choose to instead pick words to live by as a way of guidance for the year ahead (which I love!). Some treat the New Year no differently than they treated the last. To me… there’s just something so exciting about a brand new year and the possibilities it holds.

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Taking a page from Jess’ book…instead of making a list of resolutions, I decided that this year I want to be more strategic and focus on a theme. A guiding principle, I guess you can say that carries over from last year, just without a giant bucket list to accompany it.

This year I hope to:

Live with intention.

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What does living with intention mean exactly?

To me, living with intention is to live with purpose. To create the life you want to live, and become the person you want to be. By making every moment and each opportunity count.

I can’t tell you how many times I find myself guilty of drifting in and out of my day-to-day routine. Thanks to Netflix marathons, drifting has become EXPONENTIALLY easier. (Seriously though… getting Netflix was a terrible, terrible idea).

At the end of the day, I sometimes find myself asking what I actually accomplished. Sure, I may have knocked a few more things off of my to-do list. But did I get any closer to becoming the best version of myself? Or make any strides in reaching those pie-in-the-sky dreams of mine?

It’s easy to fall into the “routine trap.” Life has a funny little way of throwing distractions and detractors at you, from household chores to bills and debt to going through the motions at your 9-5 job.

But it’s important to continually ask yourself: what’s the bigger picture? What do you always dream of doing?

Do you want to travel more? Do you want to pursue your passions and write a book, start a blog, or take up photography? Maybe creating a big family is what you want out of life, or quitting your day job to open up that little café on the corner you’ve always dreamed of.

Living with intention is about taking the proper steps to make those dreams a reality.  It’s about loving and respecting yourself enough to dare, to try, to fail, to succeed… despite of the fear.

So, picking up from where I left off last year, it’s time I stop drifting, and start doing. I’ve got some big things I want to accomplish, and I’m excited to share them with you as I go and take those first wobbly baby steps towards them.

I’ll let this quote sum it up:

Live with intention, walk to the edge, listen hard, practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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What about you? How goals do you have for the year ahead?

Making 2013 A Year for Living

While I’ve been making good on my promise to make 2013 my best year yet, I know I’m not the only one and I’ve been admiring other people’s goals for the year to come. My friends are planning on big changes this year — some are rightly taking the time to focus on themselves while others are looking to live by a set of values than a list of goals.

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Take some time today to check out each of their blogs and consider following them along on their own journeys.

1. Three Powerful Words for a Gutsy 2013: Jessica Lawlor (@jesslaw) writes this powerful and thoughtful blog about striving for a strategic vision for the year rather than a tactical one. I was inspired by this post because while my 213 in 2013 is very much tactical in nature, it made me think about the values I want to help guide me in my journey.

2. This Is My Now: Alex Crispino (@alexcharli), who has a heart of gold and who I have always known to put everyone else’s happiness and well-being before her own has decided to put herself first in 2013. As someone who has constantly witnessed Alex’s selflessness, I’m proud to see her making 2013 about her own happiness.

3. 13 Goals for 2013: Lauren Cox (@laurencox08) is someone who’s never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions as she writes in this blog post, but with all of the changes 2012 has brought her, she’s making this year different by setting 13 goals for herself to accomplish in 2013. My favorite on her list? Be more positive. Something I know I need to work on as well!

4. A Year for Living: One of the things I was hoping to accomplish with my 213 in 2013 project was to inspire others to chase after their own dreams and to start living their lives they way they’ve always wanted to. Katie has a list of 100 things she wants to accomplish in 2013 because as she says, “it’s time to finally start living again.”

If you’re looking to learn more about why I started the 213 in 2013 Project, check out my friend Matt’s blog post: Cool Things My Friends Are Doing: The ULTIMATE Resolutions List, and check back on his blog on a weekly basis for inspiring things that other’s are achieving this year.

TGIF everyone!

#3. make a new friend

If you recall, a few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the difficulties I was having with making new friends in my new-ish city. I’m glad I wrote it because for the longest time, I thought I was some sort of loser or weirdo for not being able to dive into the social scene and cultivate a brand new group of friends instantaneously. A lot of people reached out and shared similar stories of how challenging it can be to make new friends after college, especially when in a new city (and some in a new country! I can’t even imagine.)

With the holidays approaching and overhearing everyone talk about their “super-awesome-uber-epic” New Year’s Eve plans, from flying to Miami to dancing the night away in New York City, I felt like a total dud because Mike and I didn’t really have anyone to ring in the new year with besides each other thanks to being broke and not really knowing anyone in the area. I threw a pretty decent pity party for myself for a solid day or two, cake and confetti included, as I whined that making new friends shouldn’t be this hard.

Call it an act of ultimate desperation, but I jokingly went on to Craigslist and told Mike I was going to find my “new best friend,” knowing that I’d probably just end up having a good laugh at the usual crazies that post listings about “lady friends into Sailor Moon and anime who are into lady kisses just 4 fun timez.”

I went through about 10 – 12 of those kinds of listings… reading them out loud to Mike as we laughed that at least we weren’t THAT weird. That’s when I clicked on the last post before closing up shop for the night. Something about being embarrassed to use Craigslist (hey, me too), loving wine, blogging, attempting to cook, cats, a love for Philly, studying in Paris, etc., etc. It was weird. It sounded like I had wrote the post myself with everything we had in common. So, I swallowed my Craigslist pride and sent a response email. The worst that could happen? I wouldn’t hear back and I’d pretend it had never happened.

The ultimate boozy brunch experience: bottomless bellini bar

The ultimate boozy brunch experience: bottomless Bellini bar.

But I did hear back. And after emailing a few times, we met for brunch.  And it was awesome. Between great conversation, a never-ending flow of champagne and shamelessly taking pictures of each other’s food, it was a perfect Saturday afternoon. If you haven’t checked out Urbana’s bottomless Bellini bar yet… GO! The food is okay… but let’s be honest, people brunch for the booze, not the food.

Pumpkin spice waffle with apple butter and peach bellini.

Pumpkin spice waffle with apple butter and peach Bellini.

On Friday I’m hosting my first dinner party down here with my very, very small, albeit great group of new friends. Slowly but surely, this new city is starting to feel like home. It goes to show you that anything is possible, if you have the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and put yourself out there.