Living a life by design means that you choose your future and shape your life based on what is important to you. Essentially, you “design” your life. If I’ve lost you after the first two sentences, hang tight with me, here.
This isn’t some new age philosophy that I am talking about. I am talking about the power of clarity, intention, and strategy, packaged up in the most awesome gift you could ever give yourself: a life by design. It is essentially getting clear on your long term goals, the why behind those goals, and then creating a plan to hit those goals. That is the simple anatomy of a life by design.
Will tough times come, like a sudden world crisis with an extreme lack of toilet paper and rubbing alcohol, and a life-altering, endless quarantine? Survey says: Apparently yes. Over the last month or three, or however long I’ve been at home, I have come to realize that if certain things are in alignment, one can weather the storm with little worry. So how do we do it?
Think ahead ten years. How old will you be? How old will your children be? If you could create the most amazing life ever by 2030, what would it look like? I need deets. (That means details, Mom.)
Tell me it all. What is your life like? Who are the most important people in your life? Are you healthy? What does that look like to you? Where do you vacation? How often? Are you married? Divorced? How many kids do you have? Or dogs? Or parakeets? What is your legacy? How much do you give/donate? Where do you donate? What is your reputation like? What do you eat? When do you wake up? Where do you live? What do you drive? All the things- whatever matters to you most.
Next, get clear on why those things are important to you. Dig deep and really let the question hang out in your heart for awhile. Asking the “why does this matter to me” question will help you understand your values (and maybe yourself) like you never have before.
Look at all of the notes that you have compiled and ask yourself the following question: What are the five most important things or skills that you would need to acquire, commit to, or achieve (in the next ten years) in order to live the life that you want to live? The CEO of MAPS Business Coaching, Abe Shreve, says that “clarity does the heavy lifting.” I love that. Simply getting clarity on what it is that you want is the biggest piece of the puzzle.
Once you do that, set benchmarks along the way. You might set a benchmark for every year. Maybe you set one for every month, every week, or even every day. A benchmark will simply let you know that you are on track. If you’re not on track, you’ll have a clear understanding of what it will take to get back on track.
When the benchmarks are set, you are ready for the strategy. Most of us love to start out with the strategy, but if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you arrive? Only after you know where you are going, by when, and where the benchmarks are, should you actually make the plan. In order to plan, think of all of the activities you need to do to hit the benchmarks. Strategize and put a plan in place.
Have you ever heard the term “simple not easy?” Good. That’s this. It’s a simple concept… think about what you want, find the why, benchmark it, and create your plan. But it ain’t easy, folks. Taking the time to ask ourselves the right questions and get clarity on what we want and where we want to be is rarely done. And what a shame that is, y’all.
You have the power to change your life and live the life of your dreams, but if you don’t know what the life of your dreams even is, and if you won’t take the time to find out, then you’ll end up living the opposite of a life by design: a life by default.
A life by default is one in which whatever happens to you, happens to you. You don’t take ownership for your life. You “deal with the hand you were dealt”. Just hearing that sounds depressing. If you want a life that is driven by purpose, whatever that means to you, the path is simple, though not easy. Just remember the anatomy of a life by design: get clarity on what you want, discover the why, benchmark it, and develop the plan of attack. You got this. I believe in you. Until next time Shore Locals, I’m sending you peace, love, and good vibes from my quarantine homestead to your’s!