Earlier this summer I wrote about how I wanted to take a proper vacation and step away from blogging for a while, to get some perspective on my work and life in order to more forward with more intention.
It’s been almost three years since I started this blog, and during that time lots of things have changed in my life. I’ve run the blog alongside full-time work, side hustles, studies and now full-time. It has developed organically throughout the years, and I feel like the blog has followed the direction I’m going in, in my personal life. For the most part, stuff has “just happened” and I have tagged along. I have a pretty strong intuition guiding me in most decisions, so this kind of flowy approach has worked pretty well for me so far.
Though this spring I’ve started to feel a bit impatient regarding certain goals and visions that I have. That I might need to be more intentional as to where I’m going. I’ve thought a lot about what it is that I love about this work and wanna do more of, and what parts that I perhaps feel less comfortable or satisfied with. These thoughts I’ve carried with me for a while. Allowed them to marinate inside of me, until I feel ready to sit down and outline future plans for my business.
During the week I spent in Portland in August, I finally felt ready to work with these thoughts for real. I had gotten my weeks off and something inside me was itching to get back to work. To “dream & scheme” as I like to call it. That’s when I put my dreams into practical tasks and goals, in order to make them actually happen and not just stay as dreams.
Side note: Did you know that one of the most typical traits of the INFJ personality type is that we’re not only big dreamers but we also have the drive and discipline to make our dreams happen? We’re “doers” or “go-getters”. This is a part of my personality that I’m truly proud of and grateful for.
During my vacation, I carried these questions with me to contemplate on:
Which parts of my business feels fun and exciting, and which parts feel uncomfortable? Why do they feel uncomfortable? What is it about the fun and exciting parts that I like?
After spending a little time with these questions, I realized that what I find most meaningful about my work is the connection I have with you guys. I realized that I crave more of that connection. I also absolutely love cooking for friends and family, seeing their reactions when they taste the food. To get that immediate link between creating, experiencing and connecting. This is something I want more of. In what way I do not know yet.
The styling and photographing part is also something I absolutely love. I thrive when I can fit in at least one creative photo session a day, or something else that tickles the artistic part of my brain. Be it photographing my breakfast, brainstorm recipes or table decorations or do some arts and crafty kinda task.
Another thing I realized is that I actually don’t want to spend this much time in front of the computer. I think I need to get “out there” more in my life in general. Spend more time outdoors, doing yoga, with friends, cooking, photographing etc.
Moving forward, I asked myself another, very important, question:
What does my ideal work week look like? What does it include? How does it make me feel? In what environment does it take place?
Upon answering these questions, I tried to let go of obstacles and what my life looks like now. I wanted this vision to be as fresh and free as possible from past preconceptions, “shoulds” and other deceptive ideas on how I should live my life.
I visualized a calmer and more nature close environment than my current big city apartment, doing hands-on food-related work together with other creative, passionate and kind people. The place would be beautifully decorated and feel inspiring and calm. That kind of home/office you wanna photograph every corner of, ya know? I want to have the forest close by so that when I go out on my brainstorming/mind cleansing walks I don’t have to navigate through busy streets but instead can let myself be grounded by nature.
I imagined travels to new places for workshops. To have healthy challenges occur every now and then, but a steady everyday pace in between. I also saw myself brainstorming ideas and projects with colleagues, in my kitchen or someone else’s, over coffee and messy scribbles in our notebooks. The variation of tasks is key, and I prefer to have a handful of projects going on at once. Just enough to keep it interesting, but not too much so that my mind and energy gets to scattered.
All in all, there was a lot of social interactions and working in teams. This surprised me, as I always thought I need to work and create in my own quiet solitude. But now I’m all of a sudden dreaming about a workplace buzzing with life (though in a calming, inspiring way rather than in a busy, noisy way).
Of course it is still important to me to have plenty of alone time in the kitchen cooking, at my desk writing or out on walks contemplating ideas and topics. I think I need both parts to thrive.
Visualizing my ideal lifestyle is very important to me when it comes to set business goals. When you run a “lifestyle business” like I do, it’s impossible to completely separate work and private life. It’s all intertwined. I work from home, and my personal life is in one sense also my work. That’s what I document and write about.
Running a lifestyle business means that your life, or your desired lifestyle, determine how you work. In other words I’m designing my business to fit into the overall vision I have for my life. That’s why I have to start out with imagining my dream life before I can decide in what direction I wanna take my business.
I could write an entire essay on my ideal work week, but I think I’ll stop here and give you a chance to think about your own, ideal work situation.
Revisiting these questions every now and then raises an opportunity to be grateful for the things you have already achieved. For me that would be working for myself, having complete freedom over my time and finding plenty of time to write and cook. But more importantly, describing you ideal work week or lifestyle will help you realize what is actually important in life. Where you are headed. When you know this, you can set meaningful goals that you feel motivated to work towards.
So now when autumn is approaching, I’m busy setting things in motion and altering my business, step by step. It will be a long process, but I’m gonna take you guys along during it. I don’t believe in “arriving” one day to this perfect life and work situation, instead I believe life is forever evolving and changing. I think that moving in a direction that feels right to me is actually what makes me happy in life. Well, that and other essential things like love and friendship and family of course. But as I said before, these things are all entangled for me.
Breaking it down into bullet points, here’s where I want my business (and life) to go:
- Strengthen the connection with you who read this blog (and follow my instagram) by writing personal texts, cashew kitchen letters, workshops and promote an active comment section.
- More social interaction with colleagues. Collaborative projects, perhaps recruiting in the future, branching out etc.
- Less computer time (i.e disciplined writing and less mindless social media scrolls), more time outdoors exploring, photographing, connecting.
- More time experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen and cooking for others.
- A creative & collaborative work space.
- A home closer to nature.
- 30 hour work week.
- Hands-on creative work every day, such as styling, photographing, DIY:ing, cooking, renovating, gardening.
- Plenty of time for yoga, walks, hikes, day trips, friends & love in my spare time.
So, where in the process am I now when I write this?
Well, I already have a new project in the pipeline that I believe will connect me a bit more to my local community. It’s a long-term project & strategy to bring me to where I wanna be in my business and my professional self, that will take up quite a lot of my time. But in the long run it will be worth it. I’ll let you know what it is when I’m a bit further along in the process :-)
As for the “less computer time – more out there” part, I’m dedicated to establish disciplined work routines so that I don’t spend unnecessary time half-working.
I schedule my yoga classes at the beginning of each week to make sure I always have time for that, I never ever work in the evenings but instead take time to unwind, I leave plenty of space in my schedule for sudden inspiration, rest or whatever I need at the moment, I have a road trip to Norway planned by the end of this month to see some spectacular nature and I make a priority to meet fellow entrepreneurs and creatives for coffee & lunch. I’m also in the (slow) process of selling my apartment and hopefully moving somewhere a bit outside of the city (that has a proper kitchen!).
Now I wanna hear what you think about all this! Does it make you inspired or stressed out? How do you navigate the intricate web of abstract dreams, ambitions and business goals? Let us continue this conversation in the comments!
And if you wanna write something longer, brainstorm ideas or concerns, feel free to drop me an email <3
Ps. If you like this post it would mean a lot to me if you wanted to leave a comment or hit the hearth button. That way I know what content you love and wanna see more of :-)
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