DESIGN YOUR LIFE: anne of city sage


Good morning and welcome to all of Anne’s  City Sage readers! This week’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE is a peek into Anne Sage of The City Sage‘s intentions for her life. For those of you who don’t know Anne or her blog, it is full of whimsical writing and style. I am fairly certain without her help and advice I would not be blogging with the same frequency or enthusiasm that I do each day. Really. She is such a sweet, thoughtful, and genuine person who helped me out within the first week of my blog.

So for me to have her DESIGN YOUR LIFE interview on my blog just a few months later is truly an honor. And since reading her intentions, I am now working on dividing my intention lists into more managable categories. Want to know more? Read on!

Listen to Music


I have music playing all the time: while I’m driving, cooking, working at the computer, having my coffee in the morning. Music allows you to create or complement your mood in a way that appeals to your senses and to your memories–how many times have you put on a song and been carried back to the first time you heard it?–and it costs almost nothing.

Make Time for Exercise


From the rhythmic and meditative motion when you swim to the rush of feel-good endorphins when you run, physical exercise is a guaranteed stress reliever. I strive for variety to prevent boredom, and each activity I do has a different benefit. I love the camaraderie of a spinning class, the peaceful focus of yoga, the sheer exhilaration of rock climbing. I go nuts if I can’t get my heart rate up several times a week.

Categorize and Prioritize


I found myself getting totally overwhelmed by my to-do list; it seemed endless! Then I discovered that breaking it down into three categories–‘work’, ‘home’ and ‘blog’–makes it seem much less scary. I then prioritize the items in each of the three categories, identify the few that must get done and try not to sweat the ones that can wait a few days. Be sure to cross off each item as you complete it, too; it’s such a satisfying feeling!

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies


You could analyze and stress over your diet ’til the cows come home, but one straightforward way to improve your eating habits is to have fresh produce with every meal. Berries on your cereal, spinach in your omelet, chopped kale in your spaghetti sauce. Once you get into the habit it becomes second nature; I feel incomplete if I don’t have a big salad with dinner.

Take a Time Out


Lately I’ve been working from 6 am when I wake up until 10 pm when I go to bed–not so great, I know. When I start to feel really frazzled, I try my hardest to close the computer and do something unrelated to work, even for twenty minutes. I read a chapter of a trashy novel, take a hot shower, get my nails done. Giving yourself permission to escape allows you to be more productive when you are working.

Say Thank You

Say it every chance you get, and say it to everyone–from the boss who gives you a raise to the teenager who bags your groceries. Say it with conviction, and smile and make eye contact while you say it. A genuine expression of gratitude creates a bond between the giver and the receiver, and it will brighten both of your days.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

[Image Credits: 1. Amy Butler, Anne Naumann 2. Amanda Pratt 3. Anne Naumann, Amy Butler 4. Mikkel Vang 5. Paul Costello]

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  1. lydia

    timely advice for me! I completely agree about exercise and so need to get back in the swing right now. also, tackling the to-do lists in an organised manner…

  2. Jess

    @ Lydia, Courtney, and Erin: Glad you all like her advice and ideas. Isn’t her blog awesome?

  3. Camila

    Great post. Totally agree with Anne on saying thank you! No one does it anyone. It really makes a huge difference and people appreciate it!

  4. great post. i love everything anne has to say especially about exercise (because i need to remind myself to be diligent in this area) to saying “thank you” which is such a simple thing to do but it astonishes me how many people DON’T do it!

  5. In keeping with #6 on my list, thank you to Jess for the opportunity to share these thoughts here! I had a great time reflecting on the topic and it’s wonderful to know that my priorities resonate with those of others 🙂

  6. Wonderful post! And fabulous blog!! I’m so enjoying scrolling the pages this evening.

    Thanks for popping by my blog & for the closet advice, re WWJD 😉

  7. PS~Erin

    Categorize & prioritize: That’s good advice I could use. And I love that you included the last one. Such a little thing that goes a long way. Thank you!

  8. Jess

    @ Camila, Down and Out Chic, and Erin: I agree about the thank you intention. Speaking of which, THANK YOU for your comments everyone, they make writing this blog worthwhile.

    @ Anne: Aw, thank you!! Not only have you inspired this blog in so many ways, but your post is just as wonderful. I’m glad reflecting on your intentions was fun and meaningful.

    @ Revisionista: So nice to ‘meet’ you, welcome to Makeunder! Please, feel free to give me some suggestions if you have any.

  9. This is such a great interview. She really has a wonderful perspective on life and solid priorities. I’d always loved her blog, but had no idea about the person behind it!

  10. This was a brilliant post! – and very much needed! The frantic little hamsters in my head have been racing around lately and I needed a reminder to stop and really think about doing something small, something healthy for myself!
    Hope you’ve had a great weekend! x

  11. i love her sage advice. just gave my 5 year old neighbor an alarm clock as she will begin kindergarten this year and i think time is so valuable. time outs too.
    great tips for a good life.

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