Category: Think About It

free private victory starter kit

December 17th, 2013   |   SpiritThink About It

FreePrivateVictoryStarterKit

To show my gratitude for your support throughout 2013, I have five gifts planned for you over the next five days!  There are no outside sponsors or companies associated with these gifts. They are simply from me, to you.

 

Today I’m exciting to share a gift that everyone can enjoy!

As you know, I have been practicing the seventh habit of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (my favorite book of all time) since June and have seen it make a huge difference in my life.

I’m now such a huge proponent of the Private Victory (spending one hour a day on your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing) that I started a Facebook group and mastermind group devoted to this oh-so-valuable habit.

Since there may be some people planning on trying this habit in 2014, I thought it would be a good idea to create a Private Victory Starter Kit.

PrivateVictoryStarterKit

Click here to download the PV starter kit

This kit includes a pledge, a log to track your progress, inspirational quotes you can cut out and hang in your home, and a resource guide with suggested books, podcasts, and other resources you can use during your private victory time.

Remember, it is not important to do the same thing everyday, it is important that you devote the time to these three areas of your life daily.

On a personal note, a few people have asked me how I’m able to read so many books lately – I can honestly say that before this habit I always thought that I “didn’t have the time” to read. Now, by simply reading about 15-20 minutes from a spiritual book and 15-20 minutes from a non-fiction book, I am blowing through books pretty quickly. ((If you are curious about what I’m reading during my Private Victory, you can now check the blog sidebar.))

I can also sincerely say that I am a happier, kinder, more positive person when I have done my private victory in the morning. I’m more prepared and capable to take on the challenges of the day.

On the other hand, doing it in the morning is not required. Spend the time in chunks or all at once at some point during your day. That’s it.

As you know, I write this blog to help those looking to design their lives with intention. This single habit has proven to be the cheapest and most powerful habit I can offer.

But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself!

 

Click here to download the PV starter kit

 

 

2013 Week of Giving

Monday: One-on-One Mentorship for a Year

 

PS – Special thanks goes out to Jen for designing the starter kit!

how to be successful in 2014

December 11th, 2013   |   Business AdviceThink About It

HowToBeSuccessfulIn2014

Though 2014 is still a few weeks away, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’d like to approach the new year in terms of success.

There are the four things I believe effectively cultivate success. For the next four weeks, I’ll be sharing one element at a time, starting with (you guessed it) intention.

For the sake of WILW, I’ll be sharing these four aspects from a business or career perspective most of the time. But these concepts align perfectly with personal habits, relationships, and possessions – so feel free to use them in your personal life, too.

 

Create an Intention

 

Though I’ve talked about intentions before, it can be helpful to freshen up on the concept – particularly around the new year.

After seven years of studying the concept of intentions, I have found that a true intention is enduring, flexible, and communicates personal values – independent of outcomes or shiny pennies. 

Let’s look at each aspect in more detail to understand what this means.

 

An Intention is Enduring

 

Intentions are like the Constitution. They can be amended, but they are built to last. This characteristic is a quick way to test whether you are attempting to use the term “intention” in place of the word “goal.”

If your intention can be finished or completed, it’s not an intention, it’s a goal. (I made this mistake in my own life for about five years.)

A career intention, for example, should be specific and broad enough to convey what you most deeply want for yourself and your work over the long haul. For example, one of my client’s intentions is “to do work that is proportional and mutually beneficial.”

For her, this means that she desires her career to be proportional to the energy and time that she has at each stage of her life (she’s having her first child soon, so energy and time are changing quite a bit right now), and mutually beneficial. The last aspect of her intention speaks to the fact that she’d like to do work that brings high value for both herself and her clients (this addresses her desire to be well compensated in a non-stressful work environment).

With this new intention to guide her, she can select the appropriate course of action in her career now, once she has the baby, and as her child grows. Though her specific work may change and evolve, the intention is there to fulfill her highest value: to work in a way that supports her personal wellbeing and family.

 

An Intention is Flexible

 

An intention also continues despite changing circumstances.

Unlike a goal, that describes a specific course of action or external outcome, an intention can roll with the punches and include more than one course of action.

For example, a personal fitness intention would be flexible enough to still be honored despite a busy schedule or injury. Actions could be modified as needed, yet the overall intention would still be maintained. This means “workout five times a week” is not an intention (what if you get hurt or busy?).

On the other hand, “being adventurous with my physical activity” is a possible intention. It speaks to a value of novelty, challenge, and playfulness in physical fitness. What you choose to do given the present moment, based on the intention, is up to you to decide each and every day.

Also, if you happen to mess up or contradict your intention one day, one week, or one month, the intention can always be fulfilled the next day. There is no end game with intentions. Only a continued practice of honoring what is most important to you.

 

An Intention Communicates Personal Values

 

As I’ve hinted at in the last two sections, intention ultimately speaks to what is most important to you in each area of your life. Not on the level of shiny pennies, goals, and metrics – that’s all fleeting and ever-changing.

It’s a mindset you use to filter all of the actions and choices you make in the present moment.

 

An Intention is Independent of Outcomes or Shiny Pennies

 

Intentions are not fulfilled by any particular outcome beyond our circle of influence. The very act of doing something inspired by the intention fulfills the intention. This means our self-esteem and success is based on what we do, not what we get.

But be careful, our minds can easily play tricks on us and try disguise a desired outcome as an action. For example, if we decide, based on a career intention, to make 50 sales calls, we cannot let the number of sales (or lack thereof) determine our feeling of “success.” The customer’s choice to buy or not buy our product is beyond our control. We can do our best to convey our product’s value, but we cannot force a customer to buy the product.

So rather than stress out about lackluster sales (a not-so-great outcome), we can continue to fulfill our intention by trying to improve our product to better serve our market. Or, we can make more sales calls.

Both of these actions fulfill the intention without tying our success or worthiness to anything beyond our hustle and control.

 

If you have a moment today or even this weekend, you might want to take some time to use these four elements to craft your own intentions for your career and personal life. They can serve as the foundation of your success in 2014 and beyond.

 

 

May something wonderful happen to you today,
Jess!

 

 

Thinking about doing The Intention Sessions with me? 

Thinking about intentions without mixing them up with goals and shiny pennies can be difficult. But the peace of mind and inspired actions that come as a result of crafting intentions is invaluable.

If you’d like help with this process for your possessions (clutter, home, stuff), personal habits (wellbeing, health, fitness), relationships, or career (small biz, corporate, or a mix) I’d love to work with you

 

 
Reader Spotlight

Cristina works with individuals and small businesses to help them establish strong personal and professional brands, develop stellar online presences, and increase their productivity and efficiency. She also runs One Woman Shop, a resource hub and community for female solopreneurs and freelancers.

Cristina Roman, CMR Strategies

OurNegativeThoughtsAreNotUniqueThough many of us readily believe that we may have some spiritual or cosmic connection to one another, we don’t often come to the same conclusion about negative self-talk and Resistance.

We can easily surmise that we may be connected – at a gut level – to same positive internal voice or force as the people around us, but we cannot always see that the negative thoughts inside heads may also be just as universal.

We like think of the egoic voice inside our heads that rationalizes, worries, postures, and envies as unique. Special. Our own personalized brand of ego, self-doubt, and baggage that belongs only to us.

“Sure, we might share the good desires we have. But my internal demons are mine.”

This sentiment can result in a great deal of shame and guilt. (AKA: More Resistance.)

However, if the good part of us that strives to love, to give, and to share is connected to the greater Universe – maybe the same goes for the Resistance within us that strives to keep us trapped in the status quo. Though the form of Resistance might vary person to person, the negative voice itself may not.

By recognizing that the little voice that whispers doubtful thoughts is not personal – but rather just a part of everyone’s human experience – we can learn to take it less seriously. Less personally.

We can allow the thoughts to come and go as they may without identifying with them. Without making them part of who we are.

As we strive to deal with this voice, the first step may just be to see it for the impersonal force that it is.

The Spirit and the Ego within us are not unique. Only our reaction to each voice is within our control.

 

forming a gratitude habit

December 2nd, 2013   |   Think About It

FormingAGratitudeHabitWith our families in town last week, there was a flurry of activity. So much so, that I found myself focused more on my to-do list than gratitude.

It’s not easy to admit that, but it’s the truth.

Rather than let the Thanksgiving season pass me by and feel regretful about this fact, I’ve decided to extend the Thanksgiving holiday this week as well!

In order to strengthen my gratitude for all that I have, I am adopting Jeff Goins’ philosophy of gratitude as a discipline. Like a muscle that needs exercise, our gratitude can grow stronger simply by choosing to think about things we’re grateful for each day.

To help me build this habit, I have added two daily reminders on my phone (at noon and 3:00pm) to prompt me to select five things I’m grateful for in the present moment.

Though there are many benefits to having a gratitude journal as well, these phone reminders seem to be a bit more instantaneous and easy to implement. It literally takes no thinking on my part except for selecting my five thankful items when my phone buzzes. Already, these quick pauses throughout the day have helped me stretch my gratitude muscles.

I’m currently committing to the twice daily reminders for this week only, but I’m curious to see how this experiment goes. If I like the outcome, I might keep the reminders going throughout the rest of the holiday season – or even on into 2014.

I’d love to hear if anyone else wants to do this with me! Maybe we can all reconvene at the end of the week and talk about how it went?

 

future letter check-in

November 26th, 2013   |   Think About It

FutureLetterCheckIn

Around Thanksgiving every year, I like to re-read my Future Letter and give thanks for all of the items that have come true.

This reflection also gives me a chance to refocus and move forward on any Future Letter activities that can still be completed this year.

So if you wrote a Future Letter earlier this year, feel free to pull it out and see how things are going! And if you haven’t written a Future Letter before, feel free to spend some time thinking about what you might like to include in a Future Letter this coming January (or even write one now!).

 

Over the next few days our parents and my youngest brother, Mike, will be in town for Thanksgiving. Since we live across the country (Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Chicago), this is a rare treat.

While I’m spending time with them and taking the remainder of the week off, I’ll still be posting little updates on Facebook for the remainder of the week.

Thank you so much for reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

OvercomingResistanceAbout six months ago I asked my gut - for the first time ever – what I should do next with my career as an open-ended question.

I expected to hear something like “more workshops,” “new consulting packages,” or something along those lines. But the answer I received was clear, concise and completely unexpected.

Though I am unable to share the answer right now, I do want to share what happened since that fateful day:

Nothing.

Well, not nothing. Actually, a lot of things happened.

At first, I dove headfirst into this project. But after failing twelve times to get the very first step of this journey right, I started to get distracted with other projects.

I focused on the Workshop At Home launch. I did a lot of client design work and I worked on the hotel branding project. I did dozens of business consults. I prepped for the podcast launch.

I got so busy with everything else that stalling on the gut-led project became “understandable.” And in turn, this created Resistance to the project as a whole.

Of course, I didn’t see it that way at the time. While I was working on all of these different aspects of my career I told myself that I “didn’t have time” for the project my gut called me to do.

Meanwhile, as the prospect of moving cross-country became a possibility, I became obsessed with the idea of shifting gears there.

New city + new home = new career, right?

But as you know, Seattle didn’t happen.

Instead, I stayed in Chicago and implemented my “Seattle changes” here. I started eating healthier (no more TJ’s Mac and Cheese everyday for lunch), simplified my friendships, exfoliated unnecessary clutter, and lived like I wanted to in Seattle.

But I still didn’t make the project my number one career priority.

As I delayed my progress on the project last week, however, things started to unravel. It finally got to the point where I felt miserable.

Not exactly depressed… just very down. I could see myself making all of the superficial changes that I wanted to make with the Seattle move, but deep down they were meaningless if I continued to stall on the real issue: not doing what I am called to do.

So finally, I picked the project back up. Just a little each day. As long as I worked on it to some degree, I felt better.

But as I read Turning Pro this morning, Mr. Pressfield hit a nerve.

SometimesWeCanBeAmateursAtOurTrueCalling

Rather than make sure I spend a few hours a day on what I am meant to do, I center my days around business consulting sessions.

At first I told myself I needed to do this “for the income.” But really, that’s not the case. The Intention Sessions (which align with my project perfectly), hotel design work, and home design work provide ample income. And if necessary, we can tighten our budget for the time being.

I also feared that if I dropped the business consulting options I would be disappointing those who want to work with me. People I could help.

I wondered if people would think I was going off the deep end. I’ve learned over the last few months that people perceive me as a ‘business person who sometimes talks about life stuff’ — without the business advice, will they see what I do on the life side as valuable?

And the most insidious fear of all was that I might not be good enough at the thing my gut told me to do.

But today I’ve reached a breaking point. I know that if I delay on this project any further I will feel more miserable every day. I cannot keep caving to excuses and rationalizations any longer.

Going forward (but perhaps not forever), I will no longer offer business consulting sessions. Those who have reached out to me already or have sessions on the calendar are still welcome to work with me. For those who are new, the Workshop At Home serves as a powerful course with tons of information for new business owners, and Wish I Knew offers insights for small business owners on a variety of topics.

With the upcoming holidays, I am postponing the podcast launch until January, too.

In the meantime, I am shifting my focus to my project first and foremost. I have a self-selected deadline to have the first milestone of this project completed by January 1st.

Thank you so much for following me on this journey. Your continued support and encouragement on this winding road means a lot to me, and the minute I can share more details about this project, I will!

 

MustReadTheWarofArt

Though I may be one of the last people to read The War of Art, I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone else who may not have read it yet.

If I was rating it on Amazon’s reviews, I would give it eight stars. But since that’s impossible, I’ve decided to write a post here telling you how great it is instead.

If you have been putting off a deeply meaningful project or change in your life, I implore you to read this book. Don’t let the word “art” in the title fool you. This book will resonate if you have something meaningful you yearn to do but have difficulty taking steps in that direction.

It is a quick read and filled with so many truth-bombs that it is one of the most highlighted books on my Kindle account – despite being the shortest book in the bunch.

It’s also now my third favorite book of all time (behind The Seven Habits and The Slight Edge).

It is wise, witty, and incredibly relatable.

Thank you, Steven Pressfield. I am so grateful you overcame your own personal Resistance in order to bring this into the world for us to benefit from.

TheIntentionSessions2

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have been planning to roll out some new changes and this new offering marks a turning point in my career!

 

The Intention Sessions

 

Though many of us want to make positive changes and live with intention, what to do or how to do it is not always clear.

At the deepest level, what do we truly want?

What do we do next? 

How do we overcome the resistance we face on a daily basis? 

These three questions and their (sometimes surprising) answers contain the power to transform our lives in profoundly meaningful ways.

But we cannot simply address these questions in one area of our lives and expect to thrive overall.

When we are making forward progress in each area of our life – personal habits, possessions, relationships, and career – we are able to step out of our comfort zone and reach new levels of personally defined success.

Our quality of life rises.

Meanwhile, a barrier in one area may prevent our ability to move forward in another.

Our lack of personal care may erode our effectiveness in our careers.

Our struggle to maintain a healthy connection to our possessions may overshadow our desire to seek a fulfilling relationship. 

To truly live our best life, it is up to us to address each area.

We cannot expect to blossom without caring for all of the needs of the bud.

 

Details

 

The Intention Sessions are designed to provide intentions (why we want what we want), action steps (what we need to do next), and mindsets (the power to overcome the challenges that will come up along the way) aligned with what we want most deeply.

In The Intention Sessions, I will work with clients in each session on two of the following areas of their life:

-  Possessions/home/clutter/organization
-  Personal habits/me time/health/wellness/best living practices
-  Relationships
-  Career/small business

During our first 75-minute session together, we will do a deep dive into what you want, what your intentions for that area are, action steps to make them a reality, and methods to overcome the resistance you face when making those choices in your everyday life.

Later, in our 20-minute follow-up we discuss your progress, questions, and adjust any steps as needed.

 

What You Get

 

HolidayBonusJustKeepGoingPrint

-  Pre-session reflection/homework covering the two areas you want to discuss.
-  One 75-minute session by phone (US) or Skype (internationally).
-  One 20-minute follow-up by phone (US) or Skype (internationally).
-  Audio recordings of our sessions.
-  A clear understanding of your intention for both areas, your next actions, and tools to overcome the resistance to making those changes in your life.
-  Holiday Bonus: Between now and December 25, I am also offering a free 5″x7″ Just Keep Going print as a special gift for those who might be purchasing this package for themselves or a loved one for the holidays.

$250 

To sign up, please email jess(at)with-intention.com or purchase as a gift!

 

 

Thinking about doing The Intention Sessions with me?

In the midst of big life changes (transition from a career job to full-time entrepreneurship), I treated myself to an Intention Session with Jess. I knew I needed a roadmap that would guide me in this new space in my life.  Wow it delivered! 
 
After our session I have a clear big picture vision on how I wanted my life to look like in this new chapter. In our session, we identified my values and priorities, as well as brainstorm actions that would continue to support living my life with intention. Most importantly, I was able to see and celebrate the progress I have been able to make thus far and how easy and attainable the next steps could be.

Laura Yamin, Laura Yamin

 

Reader Spotlight
Visit Sheic Journals to ditch the boring brown or basic black writing journals and choose from a yummy assortment of colors. Use your journal as your new best friend to jot down your thoughts, to-dos or your wildest dreams! 

Angee Robertson, Sheic Journals

NewResourcesAddedAt long last, I finally crossed a lingering to-do off my list: adding more resources to the Inspiration Board.

I’ve added insightful new videos, books, and podcasts to the resource board and also included descriptions for each item explaining why I have added them to the list.

So if you are on the hunt for something new to lift your spirits or get you thinking, take a peek at the new items added to the board.

 

image by Joy Laforme for JessLively.com

ADreamComeTrueWritingForDailyLoveToday is a day of mixed emotions.

On the one hand, I am still regrouping after the Seattle situation. (Thanks to sharing with you and reading the touching stories you shared with me, I feel better knowing that I am not alone.)

And on the other, a life goal of mine was reached.

A few months ago, I read The Success Principles and it encouraged me to write a 100 Life Goals list. While adding some aspirations to my list, #27 included meeting Mastin Kipp, founder of The Daily Love, and being a contributor for his amazing and inspirational site.

When I wrote this goal, it was pretty pie-in-the-sky thinking. Something to strive for and eventually achieve “one day.” (I’m sure you know the kind of goal I’m talking about.)

Well, I am surprised – and excited – to say, that this goal has been crossed off my list light years earlier than I expected.

As you may recall, I met Mastin at his Chicago Daily Love workshop in August. Which meant part one got crossed off the list quickly.

But part two to this goal seemed rather untouchable.

However, today I shared the story of how I overcame a lot of nasty habits (binge eating, smurgging, etc.), found my purpose, and designed my career, all through the power of intention on The Daily Love. You can read about my journey here.

If you had told me that I would see my story shared on The Daily Love just a few months after I wrote it on a Life Goal list, I would have never believed you.

Yet that is exactly what happened.

I think this shows that when we take the time to think about our Life Goals we give ourselves the chance to find out what might be possible.

Some goals may take time and others might lurk just around the corner.

 

Read The Power of Intention on The Daily Love.

 

the way you think about adulthood

October 24th, 2013   |   SpiritThink About It

Amen.

10HabitsToHelpYouBeMorePresentPart2Today I’d like to share the second set of habits I have found that can help us be more present.

 

Habit 6: Listen for silence.

 

In The Power of Now, Mr. Tolle suggests listening for moments of silence in-between sounds we hear or in-between words in conversations. By listening for the gaps in the sounds we hear day-to-day we need to be vigilant and focused… in other words, we need to be present.

Last week, I was curious to try this idea in New York, a place known to be loud.

I was shocked at how easy it was to find those moments of silence – even when there were many people around!

In particular, I found the quietness of the subway in the morning most interesting. Had I not paid attention to the silence, I never would have noticed how quiet the subway is in the morning in-between trains. Instead, my mind’s internal chatter would have covered up the silent pauses and I would never have believed that so much silence could exist in such a crowded place.

 

Habit 7: Exercise mindfully.

 

This habit is a powerful one. Much like mediation, mindful exercise like yoga, running, or walking can help us calm our internal dialogue and divert our attention to our body in the present moment.

By turning our attention our movements, we are more likely to experience presence.

 

 

Habit 8: Use the Calm.com app.

 

Calm.com is a great app that provides 2-20 minute meditations. You can use it on your phone or on your desktop, and the meditations can really help you connect back to the present moment when things feel stressful or you need to refocus.

And of course, other similar meditation tools or practices can be helpful, this one just happens to be my favorite.

 

 

Habit 9: Monitor your body.

 

This suggestion comes from The Power of Now. Mr. Tolle suggests checking in with how we feel internally in order to discover how present we are at any given moment.

When doing this practice, I’ve been surprised at how frequently I notice a slight sense of unease or discomfort. Mr. Tolle describes that uneasy feeling as the body’s reaction to non-present thinking.

By putting attention on the uneasy feeling inside, we are able to accept it and ultimately to breathe through it until it retreats.

 

 

Habit 10: Clean your home.

 

Last but not least, our external environments affect our internal environments. So if we want to feel calm, peaceful, and present in our lives, we can help increase that presence by decluttering our physical space.

Because I use the same space as an office, living room, dining room, and kitchen, I make sure to put away work supplies before dinner and I clean the kitchen before work (at least most of the time).

If you haven’t tried to declutter in order to gain presence in a multi-use workspace, I highly recommend it!

 

Though these habits have worked for me, they may not be ideal for everyone. On the other hand, we cannot assume that our current habits will maintain our focus forever.

As I mentioned in the first postno matter what we do, we cannot make one change and have presence forever. Over time, new interruptions or routines will pop up in our lives.

Distraction is a moving target. 

So our job, as presence-seeking beings, is not to find a “silver bullet” that dissolves our distractions forever, but to realize that we will need to remain aware of what interrupts our presence on a regular basis and make changes accordingly.

Part One – Habits 1-5 to Help You Be More Present

 


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