If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much – Jim Rohn
The Importance of Lifestyle Design
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while.
For a long time I drifted through life going with the flow and not really thinking about what I really wanted out of life. I hoped that somehow my life would work out and I would find what I wanted. It didn’t take long to realise that I was taking a reactive rather than proactive approach to my life.
After a bit of research on the internet, I came across a very interesting concept that a few authors had talked about known as lifestyle design.
I sat down with a notepad and pen and decided to evaluate my current life and think about what direction I wanted to take in the future. I found out a lot about myself and now I want to share a few tips with the hope that you can do the same.
Notes on Lifestyle Design
1 – Be Honest by Asking Yourself Blunt Questions
Facing reality is tough and often more comforting to avoid. The first and most effective thing you can do is establish the issues affecting your life by being really honest with yourself.
Some useful questions to begin with:
- Am I happy with my current life?
- What are my priorities and what’s important to me?
- Am I working on things I am passionate about?
- Am I growing as a person?
- What’s the number one thing I need to change in my life in the next 12 months?
- What do I want my life to look like in 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years?
2 – Aim High, Start Small.
This goes without saying. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed by looking at the bigger picture, but when making big changes to your life, it’s crucial to start incredibly small to build habits that stick.
Whether it’s changing the time you get up, what you eat for breakfast, or the way you walk to work, it always starts small. Having a bigger vision to work towards is fine but think of the smallest step in front of you, and do that. Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate your small wins.
3 – Imitate but Adapt.
There’s about 7bn people in the world and I’m sure there’s a few people out there living a similar life to what you have imagined for yourself. Find them and follow what they do. If you can’t follow what they do in person, there’s a lot of information is accessible from social media (even for famous people). Ask yourself questions such as: How are they spending their day? What are they doing differently? How do they communicate with others? What do you like about them the most?
Remember, don’t just imitate the things they do. Take it one step further by jiggling about with the principle so that it best suits YOU.
4 – Can you really have that now?
There are always trade-offs to be made, and in setting up a new life for yourself, you might need to make some compromises, doing things a little differently to what you are used to.
It’s important to consider the longer-term implications of the decisions you make and eliminate the need for gratification in the short-term. One of the biggest killers of effective life design is holding liabilities instead of assets. Cars on finance. Mortgages. Buying things on credit.
Liabilities bound us to the future. Ask yourself whether you really need something, and only ever use resources that you own to create assets that work for you instead of liabilities that weigh you down.
5 – Find A Way To Get Paid For What You Love
A big part of lifestyle design comes down to finding out a way to get paid for doing the things you love. A few years ago I sat down and looked at my passions and started strategising ways in which I could turn them into something I made an income from.
If you’re currently working a job, then you’ll need to make compromises in the evening and work hard on your passions in your after hours. With a game plan, grit, love for what you do, as well relentlessly researching your field, building a client base, and taking proactive steps forward towards your vision, the money will start coming in. It’s impossible to predict when, but if there’s a market, you persist and have patience, you will be rewarded.
Life is not about finding yourself; it is about creating yourself and working towards a path that makes you happy. The beautiful thing about that is that each person’s version of fulfilment and happiness is different, and it’s your task to work out what makes you tick.
One small step at a time mixed with passion and persistent action.
You’ll eventually get there and I’m with you all the way.
Thanks for reading!
All the best,
Daniel Beaumont, August 25th 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.
I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.
I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.
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