A Year in Review: how I lived intentionally for the first time in my life

1. Be Courageously Authentic. // This was arguably my biggest intention for the year. I wanted to live a COURAGEOUS life. Where I said YES to the things I so desperately wanted, even if I was scared shitless. To find my authentic self (aka get to freaking know myself) and live from that place as often as freaking possible. And while was certainly not perfect, I made this mission a huge part of my 25th year and it has shaped me so much into the woman I've become. Can't wait to see where the next year takes me.

2. Read something every day that fuels my mind. // YAASS. For the past 365 days, I have prioritized AT LEAST 10 minutes of personal development a day and it has been a game changer for me. If you're looking for something to dig into, you can check out my top 5 life-changing reads over at my friend Courtney's blog!

3. Be in the best shape of my life. // The scale may say I'm 15 lbs heavier than when I was at my skinniest (*cringe* so blessed to have that all behind me) but I'm the strongest, fastest, healthiest and happiest I've ever been and it's the best fucking feeling on the planet.

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4. Spend more time doing the things that light me up, with the people that make me laugh. // 10000 times yes on this one. When I think back to my life last year at this time, I was spending big chunks of my day doing things that didn't make me happy -- nannying full time, saying YES to things I didn't want to say yes to, taking very little time for ME. Between pursuing a career path that brings me greater JOY than I ever imagined possible (and the incredible friendships it has brought my way in the process) and prioritizing self care, this year has been SO BRIGHT and it's only gonna get brighter.

5. Fill my surroundings at home with comfort, beauty, and love, physically and energetically. // With all of the moving and unexpected renovations because of the water damage in our place, this didn't quite happen the way I'd have hoped. Slowly but surely, we're adding pieces that light me up -- like our gorgeous duvet for our bed, our new dream couch and inspiring bits and pieces above my desk -- but this is still a project I'm working on. 

6. Allow myself to express myself creatively in a myriad of fun and enjoyable ways, including knitting, writing and painting. // While I may not have spent as much time as I would have liked doing these thing, I call this a WIN because I actually prioritized it for the first time in years. I took afternoons to paint my watercolors, I journaled, I blogged, I performed in plays, I sang and I got into bullet journaling -- all things that really helped me express my creative side!

7. Adventure somewhere new. // I went to 2 new states in the US this year -- Nashville for our big team summit and Atlantic Beach for a leadership wellness retreat with my biz besties -- and man oh man were they adventures. Can't wait to keep the travel train running this year. So far, I've got plans to go Tel Aviv, Ireland and New Orleans!

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8. Up my weights for my workouts. // A year ago, I was rocking 5lb-ers as my heavy weights. My upper arm strength was pretty weak and I was terrified that strength training would lead to bulking. But now, I'm consistently rocking 10 lb-ers as my heavy weights for isometric training and 25 lb-ers as my heavy weights for power training. 

9. Dare to dream, and always remain open to new possibilities. // This year has been ALLLLLL about this. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would become a business owner -- let alone a health & fitness coach. It was the LAST thing on my radar. I definitely loved health & fitness and connecting with other inspiring women on Instagram  (and hopefully inspiring them along the way!) but I always just figured it was a hobby of mine -- not a realistic career. But when I was made aware of the coaching opportunity, I had this crazy gut feeling that this could be something special (you know, the one you got when you went on your first date with your now hubby and knew you were going to marry him! ... or was that just me :P) And man oh man was I right. I'm so grateful for being willing to be OPEN with my heart. It has given me all of the JOY, FREEDOM and COMMUNITY that I could have ever hoped for. 

10. Spend every single day practicing gratitude. // Did I practice gratitude every day? No. I did bring it into my life sooo much more frequently than ever before and on the days where I intentionally wrote my list of 3 things I'm grateful for, I could feel the difference. Definitely something I'm going to continue to practice and try to incorporate more into my daily life!

11. See the humor in every situation & try not to take myself too seriously // This is something I'm still deeply working on because man oh man, for being a goofball at heart, sometimes I just take myself so goddamn seriously! Thank goodness for a hubby who makes me have a tickle fight / fake nun chuck battle when I'm being pissy ;) 

12. Teach LIVE fitness classes. // This was something I thought would make a priority this year and fell to the wayside. While I still would LOVE to do more of this in the future, my heart wasn't screaming to go at it full force, so I didn't. Sometimes, you've just gotta go with the flow and let go of the goals that no longer speak to you and that's what I did with this one. We'll see where the journey takes me!

13. Make "me" time an every day priority. // This one was a HUGE win for me. A couple of years ago, I was the queen of never making time for myself. I would fill my schedule to the brim and spend all of my energy on others -- never filling my own cup. (I used to think self care was selfish...you know the feeling?) Well, I've learned how freaking important it is if you wanna live a fulfilled and intentional life. 

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14. Approach every situation with grace & kindness. // When I wrote this down a year ago, I felt like I was setting myself up for failure. And now that I look back on it -- I am sure that I was. Why? Not because doing my best to approach each situation with grace & kindness isn't an important intention -- but the key part of this is "doing my best". Because, let's be honest, we are all human. And while I may have every intention to approach life with grace & kindness, by making it so definite, I didn't allow myself any grace along the way. Grace to f*ck up. To not be perfect. That being said, I am really proud of myself this year. I've worked super hard to be more conscious about the way I approach situations and speak to people and it's been a game changer. One I intend to continue this year, and all the years of my life.

15. Do Yoga, at least once a week. // It's funny to look back on some of these intentions now and see how far I've come with my perception of things -- at the time, I thought having a consistent yoga practice was a good intention. But what I've realized in my journey this past year is that what I have been seeking more of (that I thought yoga could fill) was the feeling of FLOW and EASE. So yes, I did a butt ton of yoga -- because I freaking love it. I actually did an entire month of just yoga with my Live on Purpose Community and it was BLISS. But I also tried out meditation, journaling, morning rituals -- the works! I'm finding my way, slowly but surely, and yoga is definitely part of that journey, but I'm no longer feeling called to attaching a number next to it -- because while I didn't achieve that number, I started to achieve the feeling I was seeking. And to me, that's way more important.

16. Drink Shakeology every single day. // HELL FREAKING YES, 365 days in a row. Why is this so important to me? Because by doing this, I said YES to fueling my body from the inside out. To filling it with whole foods and saying YES to my health. 

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17. Climb trees, often. // Living in a city and not spending much time outside of it this year made this especially hard. However, I 100% acknowledge that I could have made more of an effort to spending more time in nature and finding badass climbing trees in the process ;) Good thing I'm going to Ireland and will be surrounded by gorgeous greenery this year!

18. Feel real self love for myself, and inspire others to feel loving towards themselves. // When I wrote this one down last year, I remember thinking to myself: "This will never happen". Already deciding I was going to fail. Classic old school Amanda thinking. But this year, I was determined to change this. I was SO OVER my inner shit talker being a big ol' meanie -- you know, that voice in your head that tells you you're not good enough, smart enough? So I spent my year filling my heart and my head with amazing books and podcasts (this is my fave pod for self love!) and working on it. And slowly but surely, I started to actually believe that I was good enough. To actually love my body. And these realizations have fueled me to pay that forward and seeing other women have those a-ha moments too has been life changing. 

19. Transition over to all natural skincare / bath products // I got SO close on this one! I've found some seriously amazing all natural options for so many aspects of my routine, but the one thing I'm really struggling with is my haircare -- I'm just too worried about it becoming supah greasy, ya know? If you have any tips/tricks, I would LOVE to hear 'em.

20. Grow my Business to a full time salary // While I'm not there yet, I'm well on my way to getting there and I am so freaking amazed by everything coaching has brought to my life. Beyond the community, joy and friendships, it's given me the FREEDOM to be able to work from home 3 days a week, to quit 3 of my soul sucking day jobs, and provide for our family in ways I never imagined. Can't wait to see where the next year takes me :) 

21. Spend at least 20 minutes of connected time with my Hubby a day // This was one of the most important intentions for me this year (quality time is my love language!) and on the days that we were in the same city, we definitely made this a priority. Even if it was 20 minutes of cuddle time in the morning before the day started or a twenty minute phone call, being conscious giving each other our undivided attention every single day has been so wonderful and definitely something we will continue with!

22. Live a balanced life, giving quality and attention to the most important things in my life // When I read back on this intention, I'm not really sure what I meant by it at the time. But looking at it now, I interpret this as making time for the things that matter. And man oh man have I done that this year (even when it felt impossible to do). Every single day for the past year, I've made it a non negotiable to move and fuel my body, to fill my cup with inspiration and joy -- and it has arguably been the greatest gift I've ever given myself. Shit doesn't always go right - hell more often than not it goes super wrong!- but through it all, I've felt GOOD. HAPPY. INSPIRED. And considering how negative, overwhelmed and burnt out I was a year and a half ago, that's a huge freaking win for me :) 

23. Spend more time in Nature // Again with the lack of nature in my life. Man oh man do I need to be more intentional with this. Wanna make a real effort to go up to my cottage more this year. 

24. Be patient with myself and the world around me when things don't go "according to plan" // This was arguably the anthem of the first half of my 25th year -- if you don't know the full story, you can read all about it HERE -- and man oh man, did I surprise myself on this one. A year ago, I would have been a freaking mess. Endlessly upset, negative, brimming with anxiety -- but not this year. I even surprised myself on this one because let me tell ya, it is not fun living out of a suitcase for 3+ months. And barring a few freak out moments, I stayed positive and high-spirited through it all. 

25. Express my true, authentic self -- always living in alignment with my values and vision. // I think for so long, I wasn't able to properly do this because I didn't actually know what I wanted and who I wanted to be. But this past year, I've spent every single day working on getting closer to that person. And thanks to the books I've been reading, and the workshops I've been a part of with the amazing women in my tribe, I have learned how to actually figure that out. Live, breathe and actively SEEK a life that is centered around my values and my vision. And I'm so grateful for it. Because I feel like I'm actually living on purpose for the first time in my life. And THAT is something to celebrate.


So there you have it :) My year in review. And what a year it's been.  I can't wait to see where the next year of my life takes me -- and I'm so grateful and honored to be going on this journey together. So thank you for being here. For sharing in this with me. It means more to me than you'll ever know.

p.s. I'll be sharing my intentions for this year (as well as some tips on how to create your own intentions!) in my weekly love notes so if you haven't already signed up, you can do so here!