Category: Life

NewShopHoly guacamole, guys.

I have three very exciting new things to tell you about!

hotel lobby project update

April 8th, 2014   |   DecorLife


Lately, more and more of my time is being spent on The Guesthouse Hotel project that I’ve worked on over the past year.

I’ve already shared the hotel branding before and after on the blog.

But the hotel lobby progress has been shared primarily through Instagram.

What started out as an empty lot last summer:

free april wallpaper

April 2nd, 2014   |   Life


download the full-size image here

The start of April brings a new wallpaper! I have to say, this background is perhaps my personal favorite so far.


Today I have a fun new episode of The Lively Show for you chalk full of actionable advice for starting your own business as an artist and adopting or rescuing a pet.

My guest today is Kim Vargo of Yellow Brick Home and The Pet Shop (her pet portrait business). She’s sharing about her unexpected journey to becoming a successful artist (over 700 custom paintings sold!) and pet rescue advocate.

ask me anything

March 25th, 2014   |   LifeThink About It

AskMeAnythingAs I pondered what to share with you today that could add value to your life, I realized that I never know exactly what you, you personally, want to hear.

So today, I’ve decided to try something new!

Rather than write a post that I think might be helpful, I would like you to simply email me directly and ask me a question you have!


Listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Today’s episode is a heartfelt chat with a good friend of mine and someone you may have heard of already… Danielle Moss, co-founder of The Everygirl!

She’s dishing honestly about the deep unhappiness she felt in her life up until a month before her 28th birthday that led to a radical change that later inspired The Everygirl.

We’re also talking about her shift in perspective going from her 20′s to her 30′s and how she’s handling dating as a 31-year-old.

This show packs a whole lotta goodness and feels like you are sitting down chatting right along with us.

If you are feeling like something is missing in your life, if it’s time to make a change, or if you are single this show is for you!




  • Why Danielle’s unhappiness from being in a bad relationship and living at home a month before her 28th birthday led to a life changing decision.
  • How the inspiration for the Everygirl came from her own struggles in her 20′s.
  • Why finding cross fit changed her life — plus the key traits to look for when finding your own bliss.
  • The priority shifts that happen between your 20′s and 30′s.
  • How Danielle overcomes overwhelm and stresses less.
  • Danielle talks openly about her thoughts on being single at 31.
  • What Danielle would tell someone just starting out. 




The Everygirl

Rue Mag





Want more? Check out past Lively Show episodes here.


Question of the Day


Have you made a radical shift in your own life that changed your life forever?

If so, please share in the comments below!


PS – The Lively Show landed on the iTunes New & Noteworthy again this week!

Thank you so much for your reviews on iTunes – your reviews help more people find this podcast.


Photo by


Listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Today’s Lively Show episode packs in a lot of great takeaways on several topics including streamlining your career (or business), transitioning from a day job, and facing cancer as an entrepreneur.

To talk about these topics, I asked the spunky and energetic Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach. She’s a life coach, “boob cancer” survivor, and friend that I am honored to have on the show.

Though the topic of cancer is discussed, the tactics and steps that Michelle took could apply to anyone going through a difficult health challenge or even perhaps a small business maternity leave.

This episode is perfect for those who want to learn more about how to handle difficult health challenges while self-employed, or who are feeling overwhelmed by the wide range of their careers.




  • How Michelle’s broadway dream brought her to a corporate job and eventually to life coaching.
  • How Michelle baby stepped her way out of a corporate job and into her coaching practice full-time.
  • How “boob cancer” (as Michelle calls it) affected her life and coaching practice.
  • The policies and boundaries Michelle created to accommodate her treatment (these actions can apply to any entrepreneur with a serious illness, life change, or maternity leave).
  • How Michelle maintained the same income year over year – with cancer treatments and less coaching.
  • Why streamlining your career or business at times can be a powerfully positive choice. (35:30)
  • What Michelle would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




The International Coach Academy

An Effective Escape (workbook)

2012 By The Numbers (post)

Grown Up Gigs

Career Camp

The Declaration of You!

Lindsey Pollock

20 Jobs in 7 Years (post)






Want more? Check out past Lively Show episodes here.


PS – The Lively Show landed on the iTunes New & Noteworthy page this Monday! Thank you so much for your reviews on iTunes and for subscribing – you are the reason this show is spreading!


Happy Tuesday to you!

Today I decided to change things up by answering a question you had in a video!

Today’s question comes from Gina on Facebook and she asked:

How can I properly + cleverly balance: online career + one year old baby boy + home? Keeping all together is hard.

Watch the video above where I answer her question with three tips that I’ve picked up from working with business owners and Life with Intention clients who struggle with these same issues.

Also, if you like this video and would like me to do more videos and/or answer more questions you might have about living life with intention, please let me know!

If there is a good amount of interest I’ll continue to do these little videos more regularly.


PS - Are you a mompreneur? Please leave your helpful tips for her and other mompreneurs (or soon-to-be mompreneurs) in the comments below!

PPS – Sorry for the creepy finger in the video snapshot! YouTube grabbed that frame and won’t update it to a new image for some reason…


After a glorious long weekend unplugged and soaking in the Miami sun, I’m back in Chicago and ready to ride out the remainder of this winter with an exciting new addition to the upcoming Life with Intention Online classes!

The first two LWIO classes in February were incredible – we had students from all over the world (the United Kingdom, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, Germany, Rwanda, and the US) logging in to learn and live more intentionally.

Now, I’m adding a new option that will enhance the experience even more.


Life with Intention Online Plus


Life with Intention Online Plus will include all of the basic class materials in addition to detailed, personalized feedback on your homework, intentions, and action plans to ensure that you are on the right track.

LWIO Plus is a great option for those who may not need a full 60-minute session with me after class, but may still want  personalized attention and guidance through a customized email report.


The next LWIO class starts next week (March 11-18) and registration ends Friday.

So if you are thinking about signing up, please do so soon before the spots are filled!

New to Life with Intention Online? You can find out about the class here.


What Students Are Saying


Here is what students have to say about the class:

If want to make a positive CHANGE in the way you approach your goals, your habits, and your life in general, I highly recommend this class.

The intention-setting process taught by Jess it entails a lot of openness, introspection, and to some extent, courage.

Change is never easy, and this just means that the Life With Intention class is the exact push you need.

Carmel D., Pink My Ride | Philippines


The Life with Intention Online class has allowed me to reset my thinking.

This is a huge step forward for me. It allows my mind to percolate – to ponder the things I believe are important.

Deniz H. | IL


Jess’ in-depth knowledge and guidance made it easy to grasp the concepts she was teaching.

I’m looking forward to working with Jess one-on-one in the future!

Lauren N. | NY


Life with Intention Online totally opened up my mind to a new way to thinking.

I’ve already begun to feel more at ease with how I conduct my daily life.

I highly recommend working with Jess and taking this class!

Lisa M., | DC


I can’t recommend the Life with Intention Online enough.

Jess delivers the content (and cute workbook!) in an accessible and enthusiastic way — you could tell there were many light bulb moments happening within the group.

This class will truly change the way you consider your present and your future.

Georgie B. | Australia


Plus, there is a 100% money back guarantee - if you don’t find the class and the Intention-based approach helpful, you get your money back!

The process taught in this class is the summation of everything I have learned over seven years of studying, practicing, and teaching in this area. And it has truly helped those I’ve worked with to find the peace, joy, and power that comes with living from an intention-based perspective.

I’d love to help you do the same.

Sign up for class now. >  


PS – If you prefer learning one-on-one, check out The Intention Sessions. These individualized sessions share the same information in an entirely private, individualized setting.


Listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Today I’m sharing one of the most inspiring and action-oriented Lively Show episodes so far!

Eric Williams is a blogger ( and author who – along with his wife, Kelsey - eliminated almost $40,000 in debt in under 23 months! 

In his new book, It’s Your Money, What Will You Do With It?, Eric details exactly what it took to make such dramatic progress in such a short amount of time.

A few months ago, Eric kindly offered me his book. After reading it, I was so inspired by his story that I spent the rest of the day with Mr. Lively reevaluating our finances.

Since then, we have killed two(!) student loans and are now substantially saving for a new home in the next two years.

Which means I can quite honestly say that his story has made a profound and positive impact on our financial future… and I have a feeling this interview (along with his book) will do the same for many listeners as well!

(Plus, at the end of the show I explain how you can enter to win one of 10 It’s Your Money books for free.)

So if you have debt, or if you simply feel a little “iffy” on your money situation, this show is for you!




  • The program that helped the Williams craft a debt-free plan to pay off almost $40,000 in loans in under 23 months (without being “rich”).
  • The single motivator that helped them stay consistenteven when things were tough.
  • The one store they refused to shop at while paying off their debt.
  • The emotional toll of this aggressive plan.
  • How the Williams approach intention as a family.
  • How to talk to your spouse about finances. (42:00)
  • The best way to approach student loans after graduation.
  • The money and budget tools Eric recommends.
  • What Eric would tell someone just starting out on this journey.



It’s Your Money, What Will You Do With It?

Financial Peace University

Debt snowball calculator

You Need a Budget






Want more? Check out past Lively Show episodes here.


PSEnter to win one of 10 free It’s Your Money ebooks!

To enter: (1) Subscribe to The Lively show on iTunes, (2) leave a review on iTunes, and (3) comment on this post to let us know that you left a review!

The winners will be selected and contacted after next Thursday (3/6/14).


art via

{Sorry for the delay! The site was down yesterday due to server issues and then after I posted this yesterday evening it disappeared… spooky!}


Today I’d like to discuss a simple concept that can restore balance in our lives and simultaneously reserve our self-discipline.


Intention-based rituals.


According to The Power of Full Engagement, up to 95% of our lives are based on habits.


This is pretty crazy. Almost too high to believe.

This means that most of our strengths and not-so-great aspects of our lives are likely rooted in habits that we have cultivated - consciously or not - throughout our lives.

The urge to eat the ice cream out of the carton when no one is looking and our ability to jump out of bed in the morning are both likely tied to habits we have crafted over time.

Knowing that habits have such a HUGE influence in our lives means that we can choose to shape positive rituals that reflect our deepest values and intentions for each area of our life. 


How to Create Intention-Based Rituals


I’ve got a simple exercise that can help you help tie your intentions for each area of life to new rituals.

This simple exercise can help us re-balance our lives, particularly if we are currently spending all of our time (out of “habit”) in some areas of our lives, but ignore others.

By simply taking the time to implement new rituals in the weaker areas of our life, we can refocus in areas that we normally gloss over during our daily routine.

Or, we can expand and deepen a life area that’s thriving.

By creating intention-based rituals, we can build positive momentum which eventually requires less self-control to continue.

– Which means we can save our rather limited daily discipline reserve for other aspects of our lives that may be more challenging.

Step One: Review Your Intentions

First, you will need to recall your intentions for each area of your life.

If you don’t already have them, it can be helpful to re-read this post and think deeply about your values in each area.

Step Two: Form Rituals that Embody Your Values

Next, you’ll want to pick an intention from each area of your life (possessions, personal habits, relationships, and career) and identify how you can craft a ritual to help you embody that intention in your daily life.

These rituals can be daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, or annually. It all depends on your intention and how you’d like to bring it to life in your life.

Here are four examples from each intention area in my own life:



Wardrobe Intention: To have a carefully edited and stylish wardrobe.

Ritual: To do a handful of Throw Out 100 Things Challenges per year. (Another weekly ritual you could try is the End of the Week Exfoliation.)


Personal Growth Intention: To expand the circle of influence in my life, and increase the distance between action and response.

Ritual: I do a daily “Private Victory” where I read a spiritual book, a non-fiction book, and exercise (the exercise happens about every other day). This practice helps me to explore and develop my mental, physical, and spiritual aspects which brings more peace and clarity.


Marriage Intention: To accept, support, have patience, and be present with Mr. Lively.

Ritual: We read aloud together in the evenings a few weeknights per week. This helps us increase our presence with one another and often spurs supportive conversations.


Secret Project #1 Intention: To deeply explore and explain how we can live balanced, integrated lives in an inspiring and affordable way.

Ritual: I have recently begun working in three 90 minute chunks (with 30 minute breaks in-between) twice a week on this project. 


In your own life, you may already have awesome rituals in place, and you may be struggling in other areas.

Do your best to consider the major intentions in each area of your life, and see if you can find ways to add rituals if you don’t have any currently. 

Or, if you already have a ritual in place, but it’s feeling a bit boring, consider changing things up a bit to continue to reflect your values in a new action or method.


My Own Struggle / New Ritual


One habit I’m personally struggling with is not checking social media updates in the morning before work.

Because I have my iPad in bed with me while I read during my Private Victory, I find itextremely tempting to hop onto Instagram, Twitter, and Disqus to see what’s happened overnight.

This early morning social media itch slows me down and distracts me from my morning routine with Franklin and Mr. Lively.

Plus, it tends to bleed into a habit of checking social media excessively throughout the rest of the day as well, such a distraction! 

could delete the social media apps from my iPad altogether. Or at least sign out of the sites every time I use them to make it a bit trickier to click into quickly.

However, I’d prefer to try crafting a new ritual instead.

I’d rather fill the time with something meaningful and positive than try to simply avoid checking the sites based on self-control alone. 

My New Ritual

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to try doing a 5-10 minute Quigong video (I’m going to pick a free video on YouTube) as a part of the spiritual part of my Private Victory.

By getting out of bed and doing the moves right away after reading, I’m hoping that it will be easier and more natural to just go about the rest of my day without hopping online first.

We shall see how it goes!


Now, How About You?


What new intention-based ritual are you going to implement? 

Let me know by responding directly to this email (I’ll write you back!), or in the comment section on the blog when the site is back up!



PS – I made a Life with Intention “Quick Start Guide”! 

Based on overwhelmingly positive Facebook feedback, I’ve made a free guide with my top 5 posts, books, videos, blogs, and habits for living intentionally (hint: 20 of these resources cost nothing!).


Today I’d like to talk about the most important – and often overlooked – factor that is essential for deeper, more connected relationships.

Ignoring this factor can cause a lot of heartache.

When it is properly understood and acted upon, it can bring lasting peace.

What is this magic factor, you ask?


No matter how much we bring to a relationship, we cannot force another person to connect any deeper than they are willing (or able) to go.

This truth, though seemingly obvious, is often ignored.

I should know.

I kept looking for deeper relationships with certain friends and family members for years to no avail.

No matter how much I gave to these relationships, I could never force a deeper connection if the other people didn’t have the same intent.

I’ve also seen this play out in a client’s life recently as well.

No matter how much she gave, she could never illicit the same level of care and concern from a handful of her friends and siblings.

We both butted our heads against the principle of Independent Will:

No matter how much we try to be the perfect friend, family member, or co-worker, we cannot force the internal motivations of other people to change

It’s as effective as punching water.  

Rather than tirelessly seek deeper connection with those who are unable or unwilling to do the same, we can lovingly choose to set an intention that includes the value of reciprocity in relationships.

Reciprocity is not about “dumping” everyone in our lives who fall on the shallower side of the relationship pool completely.

It is simply means that we meet and enjoy them at their comfort level.

And in turn, when we meet people who would like to have deeper, more connected relationships with us, we can accept those meaningful levels with open arms.

The point is to allow whatever level of depth the other person is comfortable with set the tone.

(Unless we are the ones who want the shallower level. In which case, it is best if the other person respects our comfort zone to avoid the reverse scenario.)

Of course, we are welcome to invite others into deeper connection with us, if we like.

But if they show resistance to our efforts, we can lovingly give them the space they feel comfortable with and recognize that deeper connections can be found with other people in our lives.

Depending on where you are finding a shallow connection in your life, this may be heartbreaking to hear.

I should know.

Some of my relationships with people “closest” to me are actually the more shallow ones. But no matter how hard I used to try to connect more deeply, I only got hurt. 

Eventually I got so tired of “running around that mountain” trying to unsuccessfully please people in order to connect more deeply, that I decided to value peace more than the unreciprocated connection I craved.

This isn’t to say that I would not welcome a deeper connection with these people with open arms!

I’m just not forcing it.

At the moment, I’m still actively engaged in these people’s lives – only now I’m meeting them at their comfort level.

With peace and reciprocity as the foundation of my relationship intention for my friends and family, things flow much more smoothly. 

There may still be a twinge of sadness knowing that some connections are not as deep as we would like.

But that twinge is far outweighed by the welcome peace that we can feel by accepting reality and honoring the principle of Independent Will.

Plus, this opens us up to opportunities to connect more deeply with other people in our lives – now or in the future.


To Summarize


We cannot force people in our lives to want the same deep level of connection that we crave. Independent Will is a principle that cannot be ignored.

However, once we recognize the comfort level of those in our lives and agree to lovingly meet them at that level, we can find peace and the chance to invite new people into our lives who may seek the same deep connection that we desire.

Reciprocity and acceptance lead to peace.


May something wonderful happen to you today,


PS – Looking to go deeper and bring more intention, peace, and joy to your life?

Up until I took Jess’ Life with Intention Online class, I had been going about life in a way that dictated that I have to be productive, busy, and successful in order to be fulfilled or complete.

Her lessons totally opened up my mind to a new way to thinking. I’ve already begun to feel more at ease with how I conduct my daily life.

I highly recommend working with Jess and taking this class!



Lisa Maithas, | Washington D.C.


The March Life with Intention Online class is already 50% full! RSVP now.


Reach Out


Yay! Message sent.
Error! Please validate your fields.
© 2014 Jess Lively Creative Inc. // I'm an Amazon Affiliate - Which means Amazon items (like books) I genuinely recommend may earn me a commission.