Most of the time I write about food and meal planning tips and tricks. I also post a lot of pictures of my meal prep fridge on Instagram.
It isn't just pretty meal preps around here.
Usually on the blog, when I get asked the same question multiple times a week, it becomes a tips and tricks post on the blog.
But, this time, this one is landing in the real life section.
It is a small section on the blog where you will get to know the real me. It isn't food related. Behind all the food inspo, there is a real person, and sometimes I like to introduce you to that side 🙂
Over the last few months, I have had a lot of questions around the topic "How did you create this life you have and now love?"
This post is inspired by the thinking that came out of all of these recent conversations.
I have had SO MANY conversations with people who are not happy in the jobs they are currently in - but don't know what or how to make a change.
All of these conversations have made me think. How did I do this? How did others do it?
In case you are new here, I have been completely winging food blog life for about 3 years. In "real life" I was/am a project management consultant who food blogged as a hobby.
In my 10+ year career since graduating from my Masters' program, I have worked that 9-5 life. Except I was taking on big scary projects and really never worked those hours. Always a tad more hours than 8 a day!
But, a lay off from the oil industry, and a very real and scary encounter with depression and anxiety changed my life for the better.
To make a long story short, I left the corporate world and joined a non profit (part time), and spent the rest of my time building this blog of mine, that is far more than a hobby.
This is my life today - by design.
I can honestly say, I am the happiest I have been in YEARS. But.... it didn't happen by accident.
I was able to design the life I wanted. The life where I could use my education and skills in a way that I felt was meaningful - beyond a paycheck. The life where I wouldn't be so exhausted that I couldn't work on my blog and build it into the income creating business I wanted it to be.
I wanted a life that had less stress. A life where I could be more intentional with my time.
Designing the life you want doesn't happen overnight, but in my recent conversations, there is a bit of a recipe.
Here it is.
Trust your Gut - take the risk
Intuition is so powerful.
I literally make all of my decisions with intuition- ok not all of them. But many of them.
I haven't always been that way. With my education all in Science, I always wanted the data to be able to weigh the pros and cons logically, and then make the most educated decision.
But, sometimes you can't get all the data. You can't have data for every "what if" situation in life. Too many variables (hi, I am a big science nerd).
The best decision I have made in years was to ignore some of the data that most blogs fail to ever be a real source of income, that logically pulling back on a six figure career for the complete unknown was scary AF.
I took the risk. Reduced my hours at a 9-5 job to CREATE the time and space to build the business I wanted. Yes, food blogs are a business.
Surround yourself with people you aspire to be like.
Making a decision to change a path in life is one thing, but to actually be able to successfully navigate it. That is the magic. That is the hard part.
Looking back, it wasn't intentional, but I ended up surrounding myself with really successful food bloggers (Denise - I am forever grateful for you), and the core of my friends are entrepreneurs.
Likewise, there is the weird affect that when you hang out with me, you end up buying an Instant Pot and chasing some ideas and things, you may not have thought to do.
Simply surrounding yourself with those you wanna be like, leads to some really amazing conversations, and bit by bit, you change.
Get rid of all the noise.
There are SO many distractions in life. Intentionally focusing you energy will change you. Put that energy to things and people that deserve it.
First - distance yourself from energy suckers. You have better things to spend your time on than worrying and getting into other people's drama. Move along. Delete, unfriend, let go of a friendship.
Am I harsh? ok, maybe. But being intentional with who gets my time and energy has been a game changer.
But know, if I am giving you energy and time (hi blog readers), you are oh so important to me!
Start - even if you are scared (or a perfectionist!)
As a very classic overachieving type A person, if I am going to do something, I am going to be the very best. Being average just isn't for me.
Starting something new and out of my comfort zone (this blog) is scary AF for someone like me.
What if I suck at it? What if I can't turn it into what I envision?
Well... for 2 years. I did suck at it. I used only an iphone and my photos were sad. My writing - worse.
I wasn't able to turn it into what I envision. I made SO MANY mistakes. I am actually an expert at meal prep, and making mistakes!
Every single mistake led to something greater and better.
I learned that starting and doing it "not so good", was about a million times better than never starting something perfect.
Don't do anything just for the money - ever.
Ok, yes I like to make money. But, I have learned that starting something or taking a job JUST to make money is a bad bad bad idea.
Start with your why. Why are you doing what you are doing. Let that lead you.
My why - educate, inspire, create, solve a few problems, and entertain you in the food world. I did this for 2 years with zero income from it. I hustled. Worked all day, blogged all night and weekends - because I liked it and knew my intuition was right.
I just kept creating, kept learning by making mistakes, did all of the above things I said, and then the money followed.
Don't figure it all out today.
Not in a million years when I started this blog, did I have a 3 year plan that this is where I would be. 3 years ago, I had no idea how to turn a blog to a business.
I didn't even know that blogs could be a source of income!
As a planner ( I am a project manager by trade!!!), I am wired to have a gantt chart and a plan for EVERYTHING.
But this whole experience has taught me that I don't need a plan for everything. Except a meal plan of course. You need that!
Take a step in the direction. Tomorrow, do it again, and soon years will pass and you won't believe how far you moved. It is INSANE to look back.
I don't feel all the feels all that often, but sometimes I have some really good conversations in coffee shops with people that I just really click with and it inspires some feels. Some thoughts. And.... a non food related blog post!
So, there you have it. The Recipe for Designing the Life You Want... or at least my version of it!
Have you created the life you want? Tell me in the comments what is the biggest thing you did to do it!