With Intention Challenge Day 1

Listen to your heart, do more of what you love and let go of all the rest.

Hello there! My name’s Jennifer and welcome to With Intention, a week-long challenge designed to help you take the first steps towards simple and intentional living!

I created this challenge because not that long ago, I transformed my life—and I believe I can help others by sharing my story.

I’ll tell you all the details in a moment, but first, let me know if any of this sounds familiar:

  • your home and schedule are hopelessly cluttered and busy
  • the things that matter most to you—like time with family, self-care and personal hobbies—always end up on the back burner
  • you’ve got no time for yourself because you’re too busy cleaning, working, and just surviving
  • you’re moving through life achieving “goals” (✓career, ✓marriage, ✓house) … yet something feels “off” and you don’t feel satisfied the way you thought you would
  • you have a general feeling of living on auto-pilot—it’s like you’re going through the motions but not truly living your life
  • you know there has to be something “more” but you don’t know exactly where to look or what to chase

If you found yourself nodding along to any of these, then you’re not alone. This is EXACTLY how I felt a few years ago.

On the surface, I had a good life—I owned my own home, I was doing well in my career, and I was fortunate to travel often—but deep down, something didn’t feel right. I wasn’t happy and I knew there had to be something more but I didn’t know what I needed or where to begin looking.

Well-meaning friends and family told me that this was simply part of being an adult and that “life wasn’t always magic” which as an optimist, I had always believed. With a heavy heart, I felt my hope for the future start to fade.

I felt lost and all I knew for sure was that I was carrying a heavy weight on my shoulders and no matter what I did, I couldn’t put it down.

Today, my life is completely different.

I’m no longer hopelessly searching because I’ve finally learned what happiness and success mean to ME, and this clarity has been an absolute game changer.

Knowing what I want and need to feel joy has empowered me to let go of the clutter in my life: from physical possessions to stressful obligations, and everything in-between.

As a result, I have more time, space, and energy for the things that matter most to me—even though I have more responsibilities than ever. (I’m now self-employed, plus I’m raising a cheeky toddler who keeps me on my toes!) Still, I have time to spend with my husband, energy to play with my daughter, and space to practice self-care.

Even better is how I feel about myself and my life; I wake up every day full of hope and gratitude, and I’ve never been so optimistic about my future. I move through my days with purpose, comfortable and confident that the things that matter most to me are accounted for.

Instead of just trying to survive each day, I’m finally truly thriving.

This deep gratitude is what motivates me to share my story with the more than 50,000 members of the Simply + Fiercely community, all of whom are seeking a simpler, more intentional path through life too.

It’s my sincere hope that With Intention will guide you further along this path because I truly believe each of you deserves your own transformation.❤️

WHAT TO EXPECT: During this challenge, I’ll take you through the pivotal moments of my personal journey towards simple and intentional living. You’ll find my stories, the lessons I learned and also simple activities YOU can do to live With Intention.

In 2011, I was living in the beautiful island state of Tasmania, off the south coast of Australia and I was getting ready to celebrate my 30th birthday. 

My mother had flown over 10,000 miles to join me for the big day and, unbeknownst to me, she had planned a surprise party to mark the occasion. I was only a few hours away from a lovely dinner at one of my favourite restaurants, with friends and family there to celebrate with me. 

And on the surface, there was much to celebrate. I’d achieved a lot during my 30 years; I was married to a kind man, I owned my own home, and I had the enviable job as the marketing manager for a small tourism company. I travelled often, for work and play, and I knew that I had so much to be grateful for.

These were the thoughts running through my mind later that evening, as I blew out the candles on my birthday cake. My mother hugged me, my friends applauded and I put a big smile on my face … but on the inside, I felt quietly detached. Despite the good fortune in my life, I didn’t feel much like celebrating.

I was tired but it wasn’t from a lack of sleep (although I’m sure I wasn’t getting as much I needed!). It was something else … a weariness deep in my bones that I know now is the result of not being true to yourself. My marriage, my career, my mortgage—they all made me “successful” … but by whose definition?

Of course, I wasn’t so self-aware at the time. I only knew that something was “off” but I couldn’t explain it so I kept that smile on my face and laughed with my friends and family.

After dinner, a group of us headed to a local bar and I happily indulged in a few more glasses of sparkling wine. In recent years, I’d gotten good at numbing my feelings with alcohol, work and shopping—whatever vice was readily available.

The night continued until at some point, I wandered off and found myself standing in front of a large window. Looking down, I saw the deep, dark Derwent River stretched out before me and above, the endless midnight sky. It was late and I went to turn away—but out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of my reflection.

I stared at my face, a ghost of myself trapped between the glass and the darkness, and it felt fitting of the moment.

For the past few years, I’d been living like a ghost, showing up every day and mindlessly going the motions but my heart wasn’t in it. I had tried everything—a better job, a bigger closet, a newer car—but nothing I did made me feel any better (at least not in the long run).

In that moment, I decided something had to change.

I didn’t what exactly but I was finally ready to start asking questions. I had tried for years to go along with the status quo, doing everything “by the book” and it wasn’t working. I made a promise to myself that this time next year, things would be different.

On that night, I took the first step towards simple and intentional living by deciding that I wasn’t going to settle for a life half-lived any longer. This might seem small to you but in reflection, I can tell you with certainty that it was a major turning point in my life.

In the weeks, months and years that followed, I began taking a critical look at my choices: my home, my career, my relationships, my possessions—I questioned the role of everything and it completely turned my life upside down.

I’ll share more details in the next part of this challenge (and it’s a story I’ve never shared online before!) so make sure you keep an eye on your inbox, you won’t want to miss it!

But for now, let’s shift gears and talk about how YOU can create your own turning point and take the first steps towards simple and intentional living.

Are you ready to take action and start living with intention?

The first step is to “wake up” and look at your life with fresh eyes.

Start by writing a quick list of things that feel important in your life right now. What are your goals and your priorities? What are you working towards in this season of your life?

When you’re done, review your list and ask these three simple questions:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • Who am I doing this for?
  • How does this add value to my life?

Once you’ve answered these questions, I’d love to hear from you.

Was there anything that surprised you about your answers? Are you happy with your responses or is there anywhere you’d like to “shake things up” a bit? 😉

Let me know in the comments below and don’t be shy! The Simply + Fiercely community is warm and welcoming, and you never know if sharing your story might help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.

PS: Are you tempted to put this in the “do later” pile? Are you “too busy” to do this activity?

Trust me, I understand how it feels to have a lot on your plate BUT one thing I’ve learned is that if you don’t make time for intentional living, you will never have time for the things that matter most to you.

Make yourself a priority and take 10 minutes to answer these questions.

I can’t wait to hear from you all!

All the best,

xx Jen