With Intention Challenge Day 3

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

Hello and welcome to Day 3 of With Intention, a week-long challenge designed to help you take the first steps towards simple and intentional living! 

We’re in the home stretch now and oh my goodness—I truly can’t thank you all enough for being a part of this! It’s so amazing to see the Simply + Fiercely community coming together and supporting each other. Seriously, this is what I dreamed about when I started this blog so thank you, thank you, thank you! ❤️

As a quick reminder, I’m Jennifer and I created this challenge to help people live with more intention. If you’ve been stuck on auto-pilot, going through the motions every day but not truly living, then I want something different for you.

Imagine crafting a life with more of what matters and less of everything else. How good would that feel?

I get it. You’re busy and somehow, the things that matter most to you always end up on the back burner, right?

Things like quality time with family, hobbies and passions you once enjoyed, going on adventures, learning new things and of course, self-care.

Whatever it is that matters most to you, I’m willing to bet that somehow, they’re the first things to go when life gets busy…

But what if you had the clarity and confidence to change that?

I’m here today to share what I’ve learned because I truly believe if you have an open mind and an open heart, then anything’s possible. ✨


RECAP: Day 2 of With Intention was about self-reflection and exploring big questions like “what do I really want my life to look like?” ?

These are powerful questions that, unfortunately, we often forget to ask ourselves. We’re so caught up with working hard that we sometimes forget to ask ourselves what we’re working for?

So instead, we stay busy and keep hustling—until one day, we look in the mirror and see a stranger staring back. Our lives feel unrecognisable and we’re left wondering how things got so off track.

If this has happened to you, taking the time to think about your vision for the future is a great first step and it will definitely help you correct your course—but you can’t stop there. You must follow through with intentional action, which is what we’ll be talking about today.

(Need to catch up? Day 1  |Day 2)


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.

“Ladies and gentlemen, as we start our descent, please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position.”

I looked up with a start as the announcement was made.

This is really happening, I thought … after 16 months away, I was less than an hour from returning to Australia. I released a deep breath I didn’t know I was holding and looked out the window, my mind racing in anticipating of the job ahead.


Of course, after my last update, I’m sure you’re curious about how I ended up on this plane. After all, the last time we spoke I had just arrived on my mother’s doorstep—broke, single, and unemployed—with absolutely no idea what my future held for me.

Well, the truth is I could write an entire book about those 16 months! It started with long days spent working double shifts at a local restaurant and then, somehow, it morphed into a whirlwind romance and a six month trip through South East Asia, on the tightest budget imaginable.

It was an incredible experience (and maybe one day, I’ll tell you all the details) BUT the truth is, it’s not the real story here.

I know, I know.

You probably think I’m crazy (especially when I tell you that I’m now happily married to that whirlwind romance ?) and of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that those months had a major impact on me.

But they didn’t change my life.

If anything, it was really more of the same—more avoiding reality and more running from my problems. Sure, it was a lot of fun but I knew that one day, the fun would come to and end … and then, I’d be right back where I started from.

Which brings us to Monday, the 1st of July 2013…

As I put away my tray table and fastened my seatbelt in preparation for landing, I realised I’d come full circle. I’d been away for more than a year and during that time, I’d done a LOT of thinking and self-reflection.

I had a clear picture in my mind of the life I wanted for myself and deep in my heart, I knew that I didn’t want to go back to my old ways.

Still, I was scared because I knew that change was going to be hard work. I’d be running for over a year and now it was time to face my responsibilities head-on: I was deep in debt, I was unemployed and I didn’t even know where I was going to live.

I could feel how easy it would be to go back to my old ways—working too much, shopping too much, living a busy and cluttered life—and this was on my mind as the plane descended through the clouds.

What was I going to do this time?

Was I finally going to change my life?

Or was I going to settle for more of the same …


Today, I want you to ask yourself the same question.

I know that you’re busy. Perhaps even overwhelmed. Or maybe you feel stuck too—and you don’t know how to get “un-stuck”.

I also know that it’s tempting to put the “good day” things on the back burner because sometimes, it feels like we’re just trying to survive life.

I understand the excuses and reasons to wait until tomorrow to start living your best life.

But you know what happens, don’t you?

Weeks pass. Months pass. Years pass.

And nothing changes.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.


I landed in Australia and I took the first steps towards rebuilding my life. I moved to a new city, found a tiny apartment, and went back to work. Slowly and steadily, I started to pay off my debt. I suffered through the daily commute and the many hours of unpaid overtime. On the one hand, it was all so familiar …

… and yet so differentbecause this time I was committed to my vision.

Every day, I looked for little ways to live my best life. I wrote in my journal. I watched the sunset. I stopped shopping. I started a blog. I made time to call my mum.

Slowly and steadily, I made small changes and over time, these little things became the big things.

But more on that in the final part of the challenge! For now, let’s look at what small changes you can make TODAY to commit to your vision.

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

Last time we spoke, you started to think about your personal vision and you told me what a “good day” means to you. This was a powerful first step—you’re starting to define your values and priorities—but if you stop now, you’ll fall short of living with intention.

Today, I encourage you to follow through and think about what small changes you can make today to turn your vision into a reality.

I challenge you to set a timer for five minutes and brainstorm small, intentional ways you can act on the vision you defined yesterday.

The key is to come up with ideas that are so small, you can’t not do them!

Here are some examples:

  • If you want more time with friends and family, can you find just five minutes to write an email or pick up the phone?
  • If you want to read more often, can you commit to finishing just one page today?
  • If you’d love to get more sleep, could you move your bedtime forward just 15 minutes?
  • If you want to clear the clutter from your home, can you choose just one thing to let go of?

Write your list and then, when you’re finished, I want you to choose one thing off your list and do it today—no excuses.

It can be big or small but commit to doing something that matters to you. 

This is key to intentional living; choosing a direction and then taking the first step, no matter how small.

Be sure to let us know in the comments what action you’re taking today so we can cheer you on (or hold you accountable!). ?

Then keep your eye out for Day 4 of the challenge, because I’m going to share with you my secret for making simple and intentional living a lifestyle—this is KEY to following through and creating long-term change.

All the best,

xx Jen

7 thoughts on “With Intention Challenge Day 3”

  1. I’d like to get a short yoga morning routine going. I have tried a few times and did well and felt a difference but it ends up falling off the list after a few days.

    Along with that I’d like to keep on track studying for an exam I have scheduled at the end of December. Passing this exam will open up endless job opportunities that I have been so desperate to reach but haven’t been motivated to put in the time.
    I feel I have been trying to enjoy little moments of my day as well. Small conversation with my son or including him in helping even though that means it will take much longer.

    Thank you for all your encouragement and sharing!!!

    Reply
  2. This is so so so essential for me right now. Five years ago, my husband and I bought an old farmhouse out in the country with the dream/ intention of renovation. The renovation in this case was an actual necessity due to the state of the house. I really can’t stand those home shows where people remodel for the sake of something new- if only! We knew the house needed work, but that was a MASSIVE understatement. Every project we’ve undertaken leads to 5 more complicated projects. Needless to say, we have been living in only one part of the house due to the enormity of issues and the constraints of finances. It has been overwhelming and demoralizing, to say the least. Add on major depression and it is no small that miracle our marriage is still intact.

    So, decluttering is very essential at this time in our lives. We only have use of kitchen, hallway, bathroom, and one room which is combo bedroom/living area. We have two dogs and a cat. The hallway is packed with our wardrobes and dressers, as we have no closet space. The upstairs and garage are literally cock full of our furniture and boxes. We made a joint decision during lockdown that it is time to let stuff go that has been in boxes for nearly 5 years. We also decided to get rid of hand-me-down furniture that was free, but not at all to our style or needs. I cannot tell you how liberating it was for friends to come pick up an enormous sectional couch complete with pull-out double bed that has been in our garage for 4 years- Holy crap!

    I read the workbook and started purging excess clothing over the weekend. Your perspective is super helpful to me. I, too, have gone through many years of being addicted to shopping and maxing up my credit card. My family did not have much growing up, so I wanted to buy buy buy and shop at stores/ buy brands that were always considered “too expensive” by my mom. It was my own money, I worked hard, why not!?!? The pandemic really put a mirror in front of my face it’s high time to come to terms with this. I have struggled with embarrassment and shame over my past spending habits. I have been sick over the time (almost a decade) and money wasted at an old job that burned me out, but paid very well, and the terrible spending habits I built up around myself to cope.

    It was so helpful to read what you wrote about coming to terms with wasted money and “just in case” items. “Just in case” has been engrained deep in my psyche by my mother, who is a chronic worrier and lives with a mentality of scarcity. She cannot let things go, to the extent that when her mother/my grandmother passed away several years ago, each female grandchild was gifted with one of Grandmother’s old nightgowns she wore in the nursing home- who wants such a thing?! Not my style, not my size, not for me in ANY WAY. But the guilt factor is deep with my mother on these things. After I spent time on Sunday past purging clothes that don’t fit my style/ silhouette (THANK YOU!!!!!!) and clothes that don’t fit and haven’t for years, I went to my parents’ house later in the week for a quick drop-in for Dad’s birthday. I was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of stuff EVERYWHERE. I would hazard to say both my parents are hoarders to some extent. It was like a light bulb went on in my brain. I realized I don’t want that for myself. I am working on more purging today after work, and look forward to Day 4 tomorrow.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and having the courage to speak your truth, it has deeply resonated with me and helped me in a darkest hour.

    Reply
  3. I would like to start by saying that this article has really ignited in me to change and to take captive my thoughts of how I look at my life how I look at my choices and what I can do to change it and not just accept things the way they are. I also want to say that I started with journaling and putting my thoughts on paper and having it reflect back to me who I am right now where did this person come from and those thoughts no longer fit my current life those actions in those habits no longer fit my current life. So what I started doing is number one slowing down I am a New Yorker a native no longer live there. And I was a single mom who lived my life with a checklist and I still live that way I have a grown child my life is a lot slower a lot less busy and I still live my life and put unrealistic pressure based on how I was raised what was model for me what are the tapped it in my environment and it no longer suits me. So I started by asking myself questions what can I do to change my thought about what I’m doing right now. I noticed that I was rushing through even the things I did enjoy like a task. I also started thinking about the present and not always the future and comparing my present to my past and wanting the the present to hurry up and move on to the Future. I look forward to your emails everyday cuz it it it pushes me to get out of my own way and to say it is possible to not accept things the way they are and throw in the towel I’ve even started to really dream again cuz I had stopped for a little while thank you

    Reply
  4. Starting today, I am dedicating at least an hour and a half a day toward research and prep work toward getting my book published. The time is now to get it done. It has taken me years of editing and rewrites to find my happy place with my story and now I finally feel ready to share it with the world. Exciting times!

    Reply
  5. I find that if I create rigid expectations of myself like “I’m going to walk the dog every morning” or “I’m going to read my book before bed each night” I loose sight of the purpose of intentional living; I know I want to do these things more, and I will hold myself accountable since it brings me joy to do them, but I won’t get caught up in making them just another thing on the ever-growing to do list.

    So in short – I am going to try to enjoy (truly enjoy) one thing each day. Right now it’s my cat curled up on my lap with my dog sleeping beside me on the sofa, while I read your blog. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your story, it really has made a difference since I stumbled onto your blog a few days ago. It’s nice to be “given permission” to want more than the spinning Rolodex / Hampster wheel we as adults have come to know as “the norm”.

    Cheers

    Reply
  6. I am going to unpack a box that has been sitting on my dresser for weeks and make sure anything that I don’t want to keep stays in the box for donations. I am also going to go through my closet which I do regularly but need to continue the downsize. I’m loving the great discussions my husband and I are having as a result of these challenges. Thank you!

    Reply

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