Coffee Chat Rewind: Going Forward with Intention
On Thursday, February 20 we kicked off our 2020 “Like a Boss” Coffee Chats with the topic of Being Intentional. This theme rose to the top for me after hearing so many people talk about slowing down, doing less and focusing more in 2020. Thanks to our amazing panelists, Natalie O’Grady, Jamie Opra and Mark Mohammadpour for not only sharing your personal stories but giving us all something to think about and put into practice in the new year! Here are our a few of our team’s favorite takeaways:
As the new year (and new decade) ushers in a season of new beginnings, the morning’s session was a great reminder to live with greater intention. The panelists inspired me to focus LESS on checking off all the boxes (as the people pleasing perfectionist in me is accustomed to do), and more on doing things (from work assignments to leisure activities and quality time with family) with greater presence, purpose, curiosity and intention. I’m committed to taking a pause and asking myself critical questions throughout the day to refocus, reset and reconnect. I also loved what Mark said about reframing your expectations – e.g. if your best laid plans go astray and you can’t make it to that 6am workout class, don’t let it derail your day. Instead, block out another time window to do something positive for your health and wellness – such as taking a walk around the block and making healthy decisions about what to eat for lunch/dinner.
I loved what Natalie shared about how being intentional doesn’t require you to inject meaning into everything, but rather to recognize what you’re focusing on and dedicating time to. It’s ok to have downtime or de-stress by doing things like scrolling through social media, and to accept that doing so is fine! I also loved what Mark shared about focusing on the things that are within your control and not letting something that happens out-of-the-blue completely derail your goals.
One of my key takeaways during this month’s Like A Boss Coffee Chat was after Ann asked each panelist for a recommended book, podcast, etc. that inspires and encourages them. Jamie recommended reading something you love and touched on her passion for fiction. Like Jamie, I’m a sucker for a good fiction novel – but the only time I allow myself to read is on the commute to work and that hugely depends on how tired I am pre-coffee. After the panel, Jamie and I briefly chatted about reading during work breaks and how it can be a great de-stressor, which inspired me to start reading over lunch. I’m already looking forward to immersing myself into a fictional world for 20 minutes (when work allows) over lunch!
I appreciated Mark’s perspective on getting tactical with your intentions. I’m constantly learning (and relearning) how important it is to break big goals into manageable chunks, and focusing on specific strategies toward your bigger intentions can help you rebound or recalibrate more quickly when you make a misstep. Be mindful and persistent with what you CAN control, and you’ll get there one step at a time.
I really enjoyed getting to share my story alongside Jamie and Mark. What really stood out to me is how all of us have had to learn compassion and patience for ourselves, and to use the kindness we give to others internally. I think that is what allows you to give “permission” to slow down and be more mindful and intentional.
Rather than just checking off the boxes, I want to put more purpose and time into everything I do – both professionally and personally.
I really enjoyed hearing Mark talk about ways to “make it work in your own world” when it comes to planning and preparing ahead of time, and not letting the unexpected things in life throw off a routine and long-term health and wellness goals. It was a good reminder that there is not a one-size-fits-all way to a healthier, more mindful lifestyle. It is an individual journey, and part of it is figuring out ways that work for us in our daily lives which make the steps toward our goals less daunting and long-term success more attainable.
I really liked how the panel focused on being intentional in saying yes, rather than just checking boxes, and having intentional experiences. I also thought Jamie’s point about the benefit of pausing and asking questions, becoming a lifelong learner and focusing on mindfulness around learning, whatever you are passionate about, was a great takeaway.
I was so moved by Natalie sharing her personal story and stating with conviction her own mental health challenges and solutions that I had to restrain myself from just giving her a big hug right then and there. There’s something so powerful about owning your own truth and I felt that loud and clear from all three of our panelists. Jamie’s point about incorporating learning into our daily lives – but not in a chore-like way but instead based on what we already enjoy and love – was a great point that I want to make put into practice in my own life.