A few years ago, I started to hear the term "life design" and I was automatically drawn to it. I was drawn to it because without knowing the term, I was already making decisions to create an ideal life. After six years, I can say that my life and work are still ideal. I love what I do, I love the clients I coach and the time I have with my family when I'm not working.
Most people don't see their lives like a canvas, something to create on or with. A lot of people are tied to what they know or feel they lack choices. Yes, there are systemic realities like discrimination that make it difficult for some people (particularly People of Colour), however, creating change is not impossible even if it's the smallest of circumstances.
Recently, a client said he "envies me." He was referring to the fact that I do not coach the last, full week of every month. I take that week to write and do other backend stuff. I believe it's also good for my clients to process and apply what we talk about during our sessions. I set it up that way having both in mind. Life design is all about intentionality and creating on purpose.
As for that client, he too can create the life he desires. We have discussed different ways he can do this. It's now seeing if he has the energy for it. In terms of other clients, one is close to working 4 days a week until he chooses to retire, another wants to work part time after maternity leave, and another is adamant about living in the tropics and has taken steps to get there.
If you would like to design your life too here are a few tips:
Imagine your ideal day in your ideal life. What does it look like? What does it feel like? What are you doing? While imagining, try to engage all your senses and write it down after if you wish. This is best done while in a relaxed state in a distraction-free space. If you have a hard time imagining, try to feel it out or create a vision board instead.
Systematically make choices to get to as close to your ideal day as possible, try closing the gap between where you are and where you want to go. If you're living your ideal day or close to it, congrats, that's amazing!
Challenge any fears, beliefs, or expectations by working with a professional or journaling. Any way to look at what's holding you back and why.
Look at the different areas of your life (life categories such as relationships, finances, leisure, etc.) and plan to address the areas that are important to you. You may be surprised that some are neglected. One way to do this is by breaking up all your roles (e.g., father, employee, colleague, friend, partner, uncle, etc.) and outlining and scheduling steps you will do to nurture these areas. We weren't meant to live in one role or identity.
You too can mark out and plan your desired life. It takes a willingness to invest in yourself (whether with time or working with someone) and to envision what it is you really want. It's easier to stay on a path once you have a clear vision of what’s ahead of you. You may experience some setbacks (from circumstance, others, or yourself), however, at least you know where you are going when you get back on.
If you want to design your life, what's something you can do today to get you one step closer? I would love to know.
Ps. If you need help with this, contact me for a complimentary Get Acquainted Call to see if we should work together.