3 Strategies for Designing a Life You LOVE

If you love every single facet of your day-to-day life… if things are playing out exactly as you’d always dreamed they would… if things could not possibly be any better than they are right now, then you can go ahead and stop reading because this article probably isn’t for you.

However, if you’ve ever felt that there just has to be “more” to this life than what you’re currently living… if you have dreams and goals, but are struggling to connect the dots from point A to point B and make them real… then read on:

Unfortunately, there are waaaay too many people out there living a life they didn’t choose. It started with a small concession… a higher paycheck for a job you aren’t crazy about but vow to get out of eventually, a “temporary” transfer to a new city in a part of the country that you’d really rather not live in, a seemingly harmless trade off of this for that…. but along the way life happened, and for reasons you couldn’t have predicted you’re still working that job, still living in that city, still settling for “that” when, if you were completely honest with yourself, “this” would make you so much happier.

But hey, that’s life, isn’t it? A series of trade-offs that, while not ideal are livable. It may not be the life you would have chosen, but it’s a life… not as great as some, but better than most. Yet as often as you tell yourself, you just can’t shake that nagging voice in the back of your head asking “What if?”

What if you truly could design a life you love?

Believe it or not, you can. All it takes is a systematic reassessment of where you are compared to where you want to be, followed by the actions to help you get there, and the willingness to push past the initial discomfort of CHANGE to break through to the freedom that lives beyond.

Here are just a few steps you can start right now designing a life you love:

Step #1: Decide What You Really Want:

It sounds simple, but believe it or not most people don’t know how to really answer this question. We all know what we SHOULD want… but what we should want and what we truly want are often not the same, even if just by a little bit. What I’m talking about is having the courage to ask yourself what you really want, and to answer that question with 100% honesty.

I say courage because most people are absolutely terrified to consider what they really want in life…. doing so forces you to realize there are things in your current life that don’t make you happy, that you’re lacking something, or face the possibility that you desire something you may never have. Believe me, I get it. But the truth is if you can be courageous enough to pursue this first step… to be 100% honest with yourself about what you want and why you want it, you will instantly be closer to having it. How can you ever have something that you can’t admit that you want? You can’t.

In 2008 I was introduced to an exercise that helped me discover exactly what I wanted out of life. It was scary, because at the time I could not have been further from that reality… my business success was lackluster at best, I could barely pay my bills each month and had absolutely nothing left over to do the things I enjoyed, like own horses or travel.

It took a LOT of courage to complete that exercise, but it’s served as a litmus test against every major decision I’ve made in my life since then. It’s helped guide me as I navigate through life, showing me what to say yes to and what to say no to, what to hold on tight to and what to let go of, when to stay and when to move on. And today I can honestly say I live life by design!

Discovering what you truly want simplifies all of life’s toughest decisions: every choice will either bring you closer to the life you want, or take you further away. Knowing what you want makes those choices easy. To help you figure out exactly what you want in life, I’m offering a FREE WORKSHOP — a LIVE webinar that will walk you by the hand and show you step-by-step how to discover exactly what you want then confidently create and achieve the goals to make it real… to finally begin living the life you LOVE!

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Step #2: Learn How to Acquire the Resources to Make What You Want a Reality:

Once you’ve decided exactly what you want out of life, it’s time to start designing by learning how to acquire the resources to make what you want a reality.

For example, if part of your perfectly designed life is having the time and financial freedom to travel and pursue your favorite hobbies and passions, one step you might take is determining an income source that can create those results.

If part of your perfectly designed life involves living in a certain city or country, you could either find a business opportunity that allows you to live and work from anywhere, or begin searching for job opportunities in that area.

If part of your perfectly designed life involves having the health and vitality to really enjoy the things you have, then begin implementing a healthy diet and exercise regimen into your daily routine.

This sounds simple, but this step is where so many people get off track. They make choices or decisions based on a short-term mindset, without much consideration into what kind of life those choices will create. Thoughts like “I have plenty of time,” or “I’ll change careers later,” go through their mind… and before they know it, 20 years have come and gone and they are living in a life they chose, not by design but by concession.

Of course this step won’t work if you don’t begin with Step One and decide exactly what you want out of life. Without that steps you could be making choices that will leave you stuck without even realizing it!

Now… if you’re reading this and thinking… “I’m already stuck!!”, don’t panic!! It may not happen overnight, but you it is never too late to begin making systematic changes that will lead you to truly living your life by design. And this brings us to the final step.

Step #3: Be Strong and Courageous Enough to Push Through the Change Until You See Results:

I get it. Change is scary… change is hard. Sometimes it seems easier to stay where you are… mildly dissatisfied… than to change anything that might disrupt the current comforts of life. I’m going to ask you to push through that temptation and embrace change!

The reality is, while it might seem easier in the short-term, there is nothing more disheartening that remaining stuck in a life you didn’t choose. The process of change might be scary — you might even have to take a step back before you can move forward again, but when you decide exactly what you want in life and discover how to acquire the resources to make that life your reality, the choices become easy. Short-term sacrifices for long-term gain are perfectly okay when you know the sacrifices will lead to a long-term gain that is exactly what you want!

Let me expand on this a bit: Starting a new business or searching for new job opportunities might result in a temporary decrease in income. Moving to a different location might require a compromise on square footage. Becoming more healthy might require waking up an hour early to hit the gym, or setting aside time to cook dinner instead of ordering take out at night.

The cool thing is, when you know exactly what you want and are certain that these choices will help make it a reality, those choices are easy! Instead of seeing them as sacrifices, they are seen as opportunities!

Cycle of Change

Image from ChangeCycle.com

Even so, I feel it wouldn’t be fair to leave you here without a fair warning on the Cycle of Change:

The 6 Stages of Change are very real… but the good news is awareness is half the battle!

When you complete the workbook exercise and decide exactly what you want, then learn how to acquire the resources you need to make that life a reality, you will likely discover some parts of your life that need to change.

At first, this may cause feelings of fear… causing you to be extra-cautious or even paralyzed. The best thing to do here? Believe it or not, I learned this from a horse trainer: simply imagine the worst-case-scenario that could come from your change and ask yourself, “And then what?” The first thing you might notice is that many of your fears are unfounded… the alert system in your brain setting your imagination wild, striving to keep you safely in your comfort zone. If you come across a logical fear, simply ask yourself what would happen to you if the worst-case-scenario really did happen? It might be hard… but I bet you can live through it! And once you do, I bet there will be immeasurable rewards on the other side!

As you progress through the cycle of change you will be faced with doubt, and discomfort… here the temptation to turn back will be the greatest! You might feel confused, anxious and overwhelmed: “Do I really even want this?” “What if I’m wrong or it doesn’t work out?” “I have no idea what to do next?”  To push past this step it is imperative that you focus on the life you intend to design. The end goal. The end result. The workbook provides a daily exercise to help you do this. I cannot encourage you enough: USE THE EXERCISE to help you push through!!

On the other side of that discomfort the change cycle becomes much more friendly… feelings of anticipation, resourcefulness and energy give birth to feelings of confidence and productivity. Before long you are feeling intensely satisfied with the changes you have made… your thoughts are focused and you can fully appreciate WHY you made the choices you did as the results begin to manifest in your life.

Will it be easy? Absolutely not. But I can assure you… it will be worth it!

Key Takeaways

There are 3 steps to designing a life you LOVE:

  1. Deciding Exactly What You Want
  2. Learning How to Acquire the Resources to Make What You Want a Reality
  3. Being Strong and Courageous to Push Through the Change Until You See Results

If you got value from this post please feel free to share it with your network who you feel may get value from it as well! And for an even more in-depth look at how to create and live the life you really love be sure to register for our FREE Webinar coming up on Tuesday, May 31st!

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