GET YOUR CRAFT TOGETHER: HOW TO CRAFT YOUR IDEAL LIFE WITH MARIA GIORLONDO

I am so excited to be working on this collab with Maria today on how to get your CRAFT together (see our little play on words). Today, we will both we writing a post speaking about how we keep our lives together and how we are going after our dreams and crafting our IDEAL lives for ourselves! 

Maria and I have quickly become great friends over the past few months, so we decided it was only fair to bring the themes and takeaways from our lunch dates to you over on our blogs. After you’re done reading Maria’s incredible advice, be sure to head over to her blog to read MY TAKE on crafting your ideal life. 


Hello Everyone,

My name is Maria Giorlando and it is lovely to virtually meet you. After a few girlboss lunches with Nat we decided to collaborate on a blog post together to give you some valuable content about how we live our best lives through our daily actions and self-care practices. It IS possible to craft your ideal self AND your ideal life and we want to show you how! Like what you’re seeing so far? Then keep on reading.

As I mentioned, my name is Maria and I am currently a registered nurse, a successful pageant winner with the titles of Miss Canada 2018 and Miss Tecumseh 2016, a pageant coach, published model, public speaker, and I am the vice president of a local non-profit organization. I wear many hats in my community and in my daily life as you can see and I love to share my journey, my life’s adventures and obstacles through my personal blog on my website: www.mariagiorlando.com. I began competing in pageants for fun when I was 21. However, I quickly realized how pageants provide a platform for young women to make a positive impact in the lives of others. I learned that I could be the mentor to young adults to help them find their purpose in life. Whether it be in nursing, pageantry, modelling, coaching, volunteering or public speaking, I have one common goal: To teach and inspire others on ways they can achieve their ideal self and their ideal life.

Let’s dive in!

CRAFTING YOUR IDEAL DAY & YOUR IDEAL LIFE

 1. Good Day, Bad Day Exercise

No, I won’t make you exercise… but I do want you to get out a pen and paper.

I want you to think about the BEST day you’ve ever had. What was it about this day that was so good? What did you do? Who was with you? How did you feel? How happy were you on a scale of 0-10? Write this all down.

Now, I want you to think about the WORST day you’ve ever had. What was it about this day that was so bad? What did you do? Who was with you? How did you feel? How happy were you on a scale of 0-10? Write this all down.

Now in both scenarios think about the actions you took and the emotions you felt. Did you have any control over how the day went, or how you responded to the day’s events? Or was life just happening around you and your good/bad day was based on life’s circumstances and your surroundings?

I want you to review the information you wrote down. This is a contrasting exercise to help you realize that YOU are in control of your day. Sometimes things do not always go the way we want them to in life, but we choose how we respond to these situations. What if on your bad days you started doing more of the things that helped contribute to your good day? No, your day happiness rating may not be a 10/10, but your actions can help bring it from a 6/10 to an 8/10, or a 3/10 to a 6/10.

I can go on and on about the things that make my day better, but who’s to say that those things will make your day any better? After all, I don’t suppose everyone likes to walk around in 6-inch heels with a full face of makeup on, but I sure do!

Takeaway messages and actions:

  1. Write down the actions you take and the things you do when you’re having a good day. Keep these somewhere you can see them. If you notice you’re having a bad day, look at these items and think about which ones you can start doing that moment to help brighten your day and your mood.
  2. At the end of each day ask yourself, “How happy was I on a scale of 0-10.” (0 being miserably unhappy and 10 being the happiest you’ve ever been). As a rule, think of a ‘happy day’ being a rating of 8-10. Go through the same reflection process to see what you could have done to make your happiness rating a higher score.
  3. TAKE IT A STEP FARTHER: Write down your daily happiness score on a calendar. Take the average rating of each week or month to get an idea of where your mood and happiness level is consistently around. If your scores are not in the 8-10 range, then refer to number one and start implementing more of the actions that make you feel happier! The higher the average score the more likely you are living your ideal days and your ideal life!

2. 7 Daily Intentions

 ‘Intentions’ are not something that is like a do-to list that gets checked off once you complete the task. An intention is something that you can continuously work at everyday that helps keep you focused on taking actions to achieve your goals. For example: If your goal is to ‘Lose 10 lbs’ then your daily intention might be, ‘Being more mindful, focused, and disciplined towards my physical health and nutrition.’ To write 7 daily intentions:

  1. Go to Nathalie’s blog post and read her part on ‘Setting New Goals’ and create 5-7 goals of your own.
  2. For each goal write down 1-3 intentions that would relate to that goal.
  3. From your list of intentions based on your goals, pick 7 that are the most beneficial and relatable to your goals and overall lifestyle.
  4. Write these 7 intentions down on a paper and post it somewhere you will read it everyday.
  5. READ this list everyday! Out of sight, out of mind. In order to be intentional about achieving our goals we need to remind ourselves daily about what our goals and intentions are. This way if you find yourself at home doing nothing you can look at your 7 Daily Intentions list and do something that will benefit your health, your goals, and your ideal day.
  6. This doesn’t mean you act on each intention every day, it just allows you to keep your mentality aligned with your goals. Being more intentional about how you use your time is how you will achieve your goals, your ideal day and your ideal life!

3. Calendar Tip

Do you use a paper or digital calendar to organize your days, weeks, months and year? If your answer was ‘no’ this tip is going to be a bit more difficult to apply, so my first suggestion is you getting a calendar! Calendars help you keep your work, school, appointments, extracurricular activities, and plans organized on paper to these tasks are not all floating around in your mind taking up precious mental clarity!

Now that you understand the benefits of owning and using a calendar, here is my fun calendar tip that has psychologically improved the way I look at my schedule. Personally, I use a printed monthly calendar layout as this works best for me. Like most people, I used to colour code EVERYTHING in my calendar depending on the task. I had different colours for work, school, soccer, workouts, volleyball, parties, coaching clients, etc. While I can understand how this benefits some individuals, I noticed an improvement in my mood when I switched from colour coding each category of my to-do’s to using one colour for work, one colour for appointments and meetings, and a third colour, for all other things that bring me joy.

I do pageant coaching, soccer, volleyball, and volunteering all on the side of my nursing job. These are all extra things I do in life because they bring me joy and fulfillment. So instead of having a different colour for each task and making my calendar look like a rainbow, I started writing them all down with purple pen (Pink is my favourite but purple is all I had and it’s a close second). Now when I look at my calendar and see more purple, my mind automatically thinks ‘Fun’ or ‘Joy’, rather than ‘soccer’ or ‘pageant coaching’.

Takeaway messages and actions:

  1. If you do not use a calendar, try using one for a week to see how it can help you.
  2. Start using one colour (preferably your favourite colour) for anything you would label as ‘Fun’ or ‘Fulfilling’ on your calendar. I will say that although I am very grateful to have a nursing job, it is not a job that brings me fulfillment. Hence why I do not include it in my ‘Purple pen list’. However, if your job brings you that type of excitement, include it!
  3. Look at your weekly/monthly calendar and see how much of your favourite coloured tasks are on it for week/month. My recommendation is to have at least two favourite-coloured items on your weekly to-do calendar to bring you additional joy.
  4. If you have less than 2 favourite-coloured tasks on your calendar, then now is when you must see how you can add more of those things in your life! The more often you are doing things and spending your time doing things that you mentally considered to be fulfilling, the more likely you are living out your ideal day and your ideal life!

I hope you enjoyed my three unique ways to craft your ideal day and your ideal life! For more Make sure to check out Nathalie’s post over on my blog at www.mariagiorlando.com. If you liked the post make sure to share it with a friend. be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get more updates from me on my day to day life. 

Happy crafting!

Maria Giorlando


If you liked the post make sure to share it with a friend and subscribe to my blog to get email updates every time I post. Also be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get more updates from me on my day to day life.  

Your trusty, gutsy gal, 

Nathalie xx

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I am a 22-year-old Canadian woman with a passion to share my Crohn's journey with the world. My mission with this blog is to help Chronic Illness Warriors go after a better life with the use of self love, motivation, and health tips. I am currently in my 4th year of university for architecture school, and will be doing my Master's next year. If you want to know more about my health journey and myself, make sure to check out the "About Me" tab at the top of the page.

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