3 Areas That Deserve Your Daily Attention

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Every fall, I take the most fabulous group of ladies to Paris for an indulgent retreat on femininity, style, confidence and luxurious living.

The intention: to French Kiss Life with every ounce of our beings.

Every woman comes back changed.  But, it’s not because we’re sitting around writing out our 5-year vision plans or mapping out every step of our goals.

Oh no! That wouldn’t be very French of us.

Instead, we are practicing tending to the details of our daily lives.

This year, as we gathered in my apartment for an evening salon, one of the speakers spoke about how the French culture pays special attention to the details of 3 very specific areas of daily life.

I had a lightbulb moment.

It occurred to me that most people are NOT focused on these areas. In fact, they rush through them and treat them more of a nuisance than areas to be honored and respected.

And, we wonder why we’re stressed, unfulfilled and overwhelmed?

I also put the pieces of my own puzzle together and noticed: when I pay special attention to these areas, everything in my life works better.

I show up better in my relationships.
I attract opportunities.
I feel better in my work.
I am healthier.
I am happier.

I’m sure you’re wondering what these areas are, and I promise I’m about to spill the beans, but you must know that my experience as a critical care nurse has only solidified my deep belief in what I’m about to share.

I’ve been fortunate to hold the hands of patients who were on their deathbed. And, I can tell you that most of what society is focused is NOT what their 90-year old selves will be celebrating.

Wasted hours on Facebook? No!

Worrying about how many followers or likes we got on our last Instagram image? Double no!

Trying to please the whole neighborhood. Absolutely no!

Working 60+ hours a week?  Umm…no!  

Checking off the to-do lists? Boring!

Making six figures a year? Not if your relationships are crumbling, your health is failing and you’re stressed out 24-7!

But, as a businesswoman and mom, I get the demands of our daily lives. Yes, there is work to do, commitments to honor and bills to pay.

But, our French sisters have the same obligations. Last time I checked, French women work just like us. And, they have children. Yet, they seem to know where to focus their attention that makes life feel more enchanting.

What I’ve discovered is that much of our obsessions are on things and people that are way outside our intimate circle of daily life.

I mean, I love my followers on Facebook and Instagram. But, what I deeply know is that I must take care of the details of my intimate life before I can post how great my life is on social media!  (okay, there was a bit of sarcasm in that statement!)

Yet, I see a lot of people do that.  There is NO way they are deeply engaged in their every day life with as much time as they spend on their computers.  (And, I’ll admit I’m sometimes guilty!)

Furthermore, we are so accustomed to our five year plans and the big picture, it seems that we’ve forgotten where the best things in life reside: what we engage with on a daily basis.  

During our Paris retreat, we ask ourselves what’s really important. More specifically, we begin to dream about how our daily lives can look and feel.

As a result…

…one lady came home, quit her job and is loving staying at home and gardening.

…another lost 15 pounds in the months to follow the retreat.

…another one has reignited her passion for writing and was just published in Huffington Post.

…one woman became super clear on her business, more specifically what she is no longer willing to do.

…one woman is dressing up every day after years of ignoring her personal style.

…another lady has reignited the passion in her marriage.

This is what happens when you begin to take care of certain areas of your life before racing to some goal that doesn’t necessarily promise you anything except a checked off box.

My philosophy is this:

If you focus on living each day well, you will have a well-lived life.

If life feels stressful and chaotic, let me offer you this:

Bring your attention back to the details of your daily life.

I understand that what I teach is not mainstream in our culture where formulas and blueprints for success are being promoted every where we turn.  It seems that that we are much more focused on getting somewhere other than where we are.

But, in coaching women for years who have tried everything to find success and happiness, I have come to discover that our greatest joy is found by how we live each day.

Yes, it’s important to have a vision for your life, but the unfolding of it directly depends your showing up fully in your daily life. It’s time we stop neglecting some of the fundamental areas of our life, treating them as things we will get to ‘one day.’

If you’re neglecting the details of your life because you’re chasing for some future goal, you need to ask yourself, “What’s the point?”

In France, the point of life is to live each day fully and well.

When I’m working with women, I’ve noticed that these areas are often being neglected.

They are the first to go on the back burner until someday when…

…they’ve lost weight.
…they have more money.
…life feels under control.
…they’ve met the guy.
…they feel better.

Yet, from experience I know that tending to these details are exactly what will help you attract all of those things.

In fact, just last week, I noticed that I was feeling ‘off.’  My energy was low.  I was feeling out of sorts, and before I knew it, the doom and gloom was starting to creep in.

When I stopped and thought about the conversation in Paris, I realized I had neglected the 3 most important areas of my daily life.

I immediately stepped away from everything I was supposed to do and began to tidy up these areas.   Immediately, I felt so much relief and was more inspired than ever.

So, why do we neglect them? The reasons vary. And, as someone who has ignored these areas during different times in my life (including last week), I understand why they are usually the first things to be put on the back burner.

We think they don’t really matter.
We convince ourselves that we’ll do it later.
We think there’s not enough time.
We are exhausted.

However, as someone who continues to make them a priority, I also know the shift that can happen in a woman’s life when she doesn’t discount these areas.

So, what are these 3 areas?

1. Your Home

You wake up in it and it holds you while you sleep. It’s where many of your memories are created, and quite possibly where you’ve spent many years. Your home deserves TLC, even if it’s not ideal for you right now.

During a recent coaching call, a client expressed dissatisfaction with her living space. Haven’t most of us? I know I’d love to be living in a modern home perched on a beautiful piece of property overlooking an ocean. But, I’m not. Presently, I’m blessed with a condo in a little mountain town in Colorado.

I am a huge proponent of blooming where you’re planted. In fact, I believe it’s how you’ll attract the things you deeply desire in life.

When I walked into my French friend, Catherine’s, apartment, I was shocked to see how small it was. Yet, it felt luxurious and meaningful, as everything within the walls reflected her soul — from the artwork to the music that played in the background.

Catherine has created her chic sanctuary, and as she told me, “This is the place that holds me after the guy breaks my heart, after a long day at work and when I’m sick.”

She spoke about her home as if it was her best friend, and it was obvious she treated it with a comparable respect.

Your home is a metaphor for your life.

When it’s messy, you’re mind is probably full of chaos.

When it’s neat and clean, your mind is probably feeling at peace.

Change your home; change your life.  

Make your home a place that you love and enjoy. A fresh coat of paint, candles or new linens. Maybe, it’s letting go of the clutter that’s suffocating your life. Perhaps, it’s just about having a more grateful heart.

I know that when my home is getting its deserved attention, I show up better in other areas of my life.

When I wake up to a clean kitchen, fresh flowers on the counter, and things put where they belong, I show up better in life.

2. What you eat

It’s rare to see a French woman eating at her desk or throwing a frozen meal in the microwave to save time.

Instead, at noon, France seems to pause to celebrate life with good food (and often a glass of wine).

Take a stroll through a French farmer’s market, and the message is clear: French people are passionate about their food.

Yet, when it comes to food and cooking, I’ve heard (and given) all the excuses. I’m too busy. I can’t find good food where I live. I hate cooking.

And, here’s the sweet, honest to God truth: nourishing your body is one of the most important things you’ll ever do in life.

Ignoring what you put into your body and giving it very little attention is not how to live a well-lived life. It’s how you will possibly live a short and painful one.

If you want to create success in life, you must take care of you.

Food matters. Period.

3. What you wear

Every morning, you wake up and make a decision: what should I wear?

You can either unconsciously throw on something OR you can intentionally choose how you show up in the world.

Style is a form of self-expression. As Rachel Zoe said, “It’s telling the world who you are without saying a word.”

What is your current wardrobe saying about you?

For years, mine screamed, “I don’t have time and don’t think well of myself.”

Thanks to spending time in Europe, I began to see how important style is in our daily lives.

Everything is energy, including your clothes.

Of course, it’s absolutely okay to wear yoga pants and sweats if that’s what you love.

But, if you’re throwing them on because life feels out of control or that you’re hiding from your own life, this is a grand opportunity to claim your birthright: to express yourself with intention and daily respect.

These 3 areas may not seem like much. Like most people, you may be more obsessed with the BIG things like making more money, writing a book or finding your soul mate.

And, please know I am your biggest advocate in creating whatever your heart desires!

But, here’s what I know:

Paying attention to the details of your daily life leads to a life well-lived. {tweet this}

When you take care of these 3 simple areas of your life, you are much more likely to attract the bigger things in life.

If you don’t believe me, imagine this:

You wake up each day in a home you love. It’s clean, uncluttered and filled with beautiful things that represent you. Each morning, you take the time to look and feel your best. You always love what you’re wearing and aren’t embarrassed if guests show up unexpectedly. And, each day, you choose foods that feel nourishing and delicious. The result is that you are full of vitality.

If this is your reality, think about how you’d show up in the other areas of your life.

Consider how you’d feel each morning, at work and when you lie down at night.

Amazing, right?

And, when you feel amazing, how do you show up in life?

You show up better. Period.

Now, how you achieve these things are completely up to you.  We are creative beings, which means that there are so many ways to take care of these very important areas of your life.

Hire a chef.

Have a housekeeper.

Find a personal stylist.

Create space in your calendar.

Cook delicious meals for the week on Sundays.

Enlist the help of your family. 

The possibilities are endless, but the point here is this:

These 3 areas are impacting the quality of your life.  If you want to live luxuriously, you cannot ignore your home, food or personal style.

Now, I wish I could offer you a formula to make this seamless, but there’s not one.  We are all unique with different demands, priorities and lifestyles.

I’m constantly checking in to see which of these 3 important areas of my life need more TLC.  But, that’s the beauty of this all: it’s an on-going process that will never feel completely tidy.  So, for the love of God, don’t beat yourself up if your home isn’t immaculate all the time, you’re not eating 100% healthy and you wore your sweat pants today.

This isn’t about perfection; it’s about awareness!

If what I shared speaks to you, perhaps these 3 areas just need some loving.  That’s all.

Now, m’friend, I’d love to know: which of these 3 areas is begging you to notice and tend to?

Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

Yours truly,

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34 Responses to 3 Areas That Deserve Your Daily Attention

  1. Going to Paris with you and the incredible group of ladies changed my life! I am forever grateful and have been building on that feeling since returning home. It’s 9:00am right now and I’m at home wearing a dress that makes me feel amazing, and I have nowhere in particular to go. I’m a convert!

      • Dear Tonya,

        You have touched the deepest part of my soul. All of my life, I have felt worthless. The years of treating myself like trash and letting others do the same, it has resulted in my health being poor, failed marriage, poor relationships, financially in ruins. I have been depressed my whole life and have hated my existence.

        Your emails to me have sparked an interest in me. I have always been fascinated with living an elegant life and being an elegant woman. When I see a woman like this, my jaw just drops, and the word that comes out of my mouth is wow!!!

        I read your emails and close my eyes and think hard about these messages. Then, I put them into action. You are my angel. I am ready to change my life, myself, my heart. Thank you!!!

        Your truly,

        An elegant woman in the making

  2. Good evening from the UK. I so needed to hear this today. I’m guilty of all 3 at the moment. As you say, I’ve been a “hot mess” this past week. Thank you once again for giving me the kick up the bottom I needed! You are truly my fairy godmother! Xxx

    • Hi Fay! How are you????

      Girl, we are all hot messes during different times in our life.

      It’s what makes us so interesting.

      But, of course, I am always happy to give you a “kick up the bottom” when needed.

      xoxo,

      Tonya

  3. Ho Tonya! I really LOVED your today’s post 🙂 Just a few minutes before I read it, what was I doing? Well, I was on my WordPress dahsboard checking if someone went to my blog today. No visit at all. Blah! So I felt a little disappointed and discouraged because I launched it a few months ago and put a lot of passion and energy in it. And then I read your post and it reminded me that my real life is not in my computer even if we love to share with others through it. I had a delightful evening with my family so why should I be disappointed? I remembered what you said about showing up “as if’ and that you wrote your own blog as if you had thousands of readers. So this gave me my courage and my smile back! 🙂 Thank you for all the positive energy from your post!

    • Claire, I understand how you feel, and the best things in life are what’s happening around you at all times. Yes, I remember when only my mom and dad read my blog. Hang in there. Do it with passion, love and joie de vivre, and that number will grow.

      And, that number has nothing to do with your happiness.

      Sending you LOTS of love.

      xoxo,

      T

  4. Wonderful article today! Great reminder to help us keep our focus on the things that make us feel really good. Thank you for all the inspiration!!

  5. Loved this podcast/article, Tonya. It can be so easy to lose focus on these things. Thanks for bringing the important things back into alignment. On a side note – can I ask what microphone you use to record the podcast? I listen to many and yours sounds the best – such a full, clear, rich sound. THanks:)

  6. Hi Tonya, what a wonderful reminder! Just this morning I was feeling a little ‘blah’ and remembered a quote from a book that said “sometimes you just have to make the effort to look nice”. So I took my time getting ready, put a nice dress on, some jewelry, some perfume, and my day feels so much nicer – even though I’m at home alone!
    Loving the FKL approach to life 🙂

  7. Thank you once again Tonya,
    I have been feeling pretty down lately, despite all my intentions to stay positive and expect the best to come into my life.
    I am focusing on the Decluttering (thank you KonMari method). It is exhausting, but I am almost there and I know I will feel so much better when it’s done. In fact, I am slowly feeling the difference as I see each clear space come to light.
    Food, hmm, that’s always been my problem. It’s not a weight issue, I just spent so many years cooking for a family that now that I am on my own “Viva la microwave”.. Time for baby steps to improve this.
    Style, well as a follower of your blog and a current #MDI student, this is one area that has improved. When I was in the corporate world, it was easier to dress well and make sure I looked good. Being at home, not so easy. The sweats still go on for the Decluttering process, but the rest of the time, I dress casually, yet elegantly (well I think there is elegance), thus I feel better and do find that elusive spark of creativity pops up more often.
    Catherine
    xoxo

    • Hello Dear Catherine!

      My friends and I joke that we all have our “vive la microwave” season. This is not at all meant to cause you to beat yourself up OR to be perfect at this. There are days when I neglect one or all of these ares of my life.

      However, I find it fascinating that my life works so much better when I carve out the time to tend to these areas. It’s on on-going process.

      As for you feeling down…what’s going on in that beautiful head of yours! I deeply believe that we can shift in an instance…through gratitude, grace and gumption!

      Sending you LOTS of love!

      T

  8. I’ve been reading your blog and sometimes listening to your podcasts and I must say – this is your best post ever. Maybe because it’s exactly where my heart is at the mind – overhauling in those three areas, but this really impacted me.
    Thank you from sunny Johannesburg
    🙂

    • Why, thank you Thando!

      Things speak to us at different times and seasons. I’m so glad this landed in your inbox!

      ON a different note, my guy is South African, and I’d love to visit J-burg!

      With love,

      T

  9. Tonya, you are a ROCKSTAR.

    Thank you for this post, it’s so dead on! I learned that stuffed closets really make me feel like I can’t get my life together. Now, I make sure there is enough space on the shelves and I organize scarves and other accessories in pretty little shopping bags from Victoria’s Secret or other stores. It feels so good opening my closetdoors now.

    Bisous from the Netherlands!

    • Oh, thank you Christy!

      You must know that I am in this process with you!

      And, I can SO relate. When my closet is out of whak, my life is a mess! LOL.

      Our homes are truly a metaphor for our lives.

      And, the Netherlands is on my must-visit list SOON!

      T

      • YES, come to the Netherlands! I’ll show you the chiquest place around. Plus it’s only 2,5 hours to Paris by train. Parfait!

  10. Great post! I’ve been struggling with some deep issues over the past few months and I’m starting to come out of it by focusing on me.. I couldn’t agree more that many times I keep thinking that when this happens (when he comes back or when I meet the right guy…) then I’ll be happy; but when I think like that, I just get more anxious. So I’ve been focusing on not thinking more than a week (maybe a month, if I’m making longer plans) ahead and focusing on trying to make each day worthwhile. One of the things that have been on my mind has been to re-decorate my home and my office at work. And little by little, I’m coming up with ideas on how to make those spaces beautiful and relaxing and welcoming, and every time I find a piece that ‘clicks’ or re-arrange a piece of art or get rid of clutter, I can feel my soul relax and be more at ease.

  11. Hi Victoria!

    Please take care of your heart!

    The best news ever: you don’t have to wait for the guy, the money, the job or anything to feel full of joy!

    And, for me, taking care of these 3 areas of my life clear out space and lead to elegance where joy is waiting.

    Sending you SO much love.

  12. LOVE this post, Tonya!! I am doing a check in on all 3 areas because they are so important to me.
    Right now the number one area is home. I am creating a cozy, chic sanctuary right where I am.
    Blooming where I am planted, even though my desire is to have my own apartment, solo, no roommates.
    And the energy definitely flows into my day and into everything I do.

    • Doesn’t it feel better to bloom where you’re planted, Regina? I deeply believe that’s how we attract more of what we desire. Awesome job!

  13. Hi Tonya,
    An eye-opener! Just love it! Reading the whole of it–gives me a new “perspective” in life! NOW…I’m off to a good start!

    Warmest regards…

  14. oui, Oui, OUI!!

    Anything we do, no matter how seemingly small, that’s in tune with “what lights up up”, “puts a bouncy in our step”, gives us a “Mona Lisa smile” or “makes our insteps melt” is CRITICAL to our well-being. As you say, “It’s all energetic.” As if we have our own inner power plant & all we need to do is give ourselves permission, NOW. Make the wise choice to live your life today, brilliantly as yourself, 100% nurtured by surroundings, nourishment & presenting to the world the unique specialness of YOU, to the “You”-th degree! Nobody does you like you : ) I can hear all the 90-year olds popping champagne & dancing the house down till dawn & then going out for breakfast!

  15. I needed a reminder today. After a divorce and living in a new country with no roots life has knocked me but when I read encouraging articles like this it gets me focused once again. I agree these three areas attract the good things in life and they only start with me.

    x

  16. I just found your website through a google search and wow, what a blessing! There is so much info here I don’t know where to start but I know this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. For most of my life I’ve always had this different vision of myself, a better version, but never knowing how to cultivate it. I’m 40 plus now and recently decided, now is MY time. It’s time to be the woman I’ve always wanted to be – regardless of what anyone else feels about it. To up-level my life and mind. To cultivate elegance, charm etc. I’m so excited I found your page!

    • Hi Tonya! After a very stressful week at work which has left me feeling overwhelmed and panicky, your post is like s breath of fresh air! This is really sound advice to focus on these three fundamental areas of our lives. I have been trying to make our home a lovely space to be in instead of just composing about it, and you have reminded me that I need to carry on with this task. I also desperately need to sort out my wardrobe! Thank you so much for your posts. You are truly an inspiration! X

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