I’ve learned some invaluable lessons over the years to make designing your dream life a process thats clearly defined and aligned with your desires and goals.
I’m sharing action steps that worked for me so that by the end of this blog post you can:
- avoid mistakes
- save time and energy
- start designing your dream life
Mistakes To Avoid When Designing the Life You Want
Story time. When I was in my twenties I wasted time with busy-work. It was a bad habit that I didn't realize I had. Many of my bosses and peers believed and promoted this system of progress.
Fast forward to my thirties and my mindset changed when I realized how wrapped up I was in “doing” without a lot tangible results. I started looking for ways to get real results to who up in my work and personal life.
The big turn around? I admitted that I desired to thrive instead of getting by day to day doing stuff that didn’t add up to much.
Embracing the mindset that I had the power to actively influence the quality of my lifestyle was a game changer.
So, focusing on these 4 things helped me get clear about what I wanted to do in order to start living as my best, highest self:
- Get clear on what I want
- Learn from my mistakes
- Make progress on my dream every day
- Use small steps to make it happen
With this in mind here’s 7 steps to create your dream life.
7 Steps To Start Designing Your Dream Life:
Are you working on your intentions and dreams everyday?
If you're not and are worried you can't break out of your rut or current situation know this: your current circumstances do not reflect your future self.
By taking time to know what you want in life, mapping out steps to get there…and do the work to make it happen you’re starting the process of lifestyle design.
For example, when I did this step it was clear I needed to make adjustments so that my daily tasks aligned with my goals.
So, take a few minutes right now to write down what you love, are passionate about, and truly desire to see come true. Keep your written note where you can reflect on it everyday to ask yourself: am I working on my dream today?
Yes, acknowledging your weaknesses is a real part of lifestyle design. But that awareness doesn't mean you're required to stay stuck there.
Always focus on your strengths.
Use your energy wisely to improve upon what you're good at. Those activities that bring you joy and light you up are your passions that typically are a sign you should do more of them as well as refine those skills.
Visualizing the future may sound woo-woo but there’s practical results you can get from doing it.
Visualization is the practice of using creative mental images to see yourself completing or achieving goals or milestones.
For example, I play a mini-movie in my head about the task I need to work through.
I’ll envision working through issues and figure out real-world solutions. When I'm done with my session I'll write down those ideas for solutions and test them out. So, I merge creative imagery with conventional work.
Let me take a moment to explain that practicing visuals doesn’t always mean seeing the winning moment or big win. The best method is actually using visualization to work though obstacles to reach solutions and apply them outwardly.
For example, I thought about the person I wanted to become and visualized the daily tasks I needed to do in order to become her.
I went so far as to visualize how I would feel as the best, highest version of myself...and it works for me as a reinforcement to other work I'm doing to make it happen.
By the way, athletes have been using this method for decades to achieve championship results. But it’s something you can do to - it just takes consistent practice.
4. Write It Down
You'll hear me say this countless times (because it works)...write down your dreams and goals!
Here's an interesting bit of evidence to back up this design framework. In the study led by Dr. Gail Matthews from the Dominican University in California the results indicated you're 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
Here’s what worked for me: I wrote down the most important thing that I wanted to change in my life. Seeing it on paper made it feel real and doable.
Then, I added a few things I could do to get me closer to achieving that change I desired.
By the way, rarely does anyone know all the steps they need to make their dream life a reality. But you do need a overall direction and at least one step figured out.
Next, I figured out how much time I needed to complete the first step.
Last, I added a "due date" to for finishing up the first step.
Sometimes this sequence is called reverse-engineering-a-goal. If you haven't tried this technique I highly suggest you test it out. Below is a roadmap for you to see how it works:
Take small action steps in order to create big outcomes because the real work is in the boring, mundane activities. The stuff no one wants to do but gets the work done is how you get results. So, commit to an hour a day or a few hours a week and work on your intentions.
Tracking your progress helps with alignment as I talked about in Step #1.
When you’re aligned toward your intentions, results show up.
If the results aren’t there then you need do a check-in on your progress and adjust action steps as needed to produce the results you want.
7. Flow State
Flow state is the frame of mind where your energy, body, thoughts and focus (and I like to think happiness) are connected as one. As you work, it feels effortless, time slows or stops, and you’re aligned (yep, there’s that theme again) with you’re true state of being.
Getting into a flow state takes practice.
But there’s a 3 things you can try to see if it’s a right fit for promoting being in a zone of optimum performance and concentration.
3 Easy Ways To Get Into a Flow State
- Listen to Lofi beats
- Use headphones to block out distractions
- Work in an inspirational or quiet space
Recap of 7 Steps To Start Designing Your Dream Life:
- Align your actions to support achieving your dream lifestyle goals
- Know what you do well and focus on improving those skills
- Visualize yourself doing the things the “dream” version of you would do
- Work backwards from your goal and plan out actions steps
- Use micro-steps to achieve progress
- Track your progress so you know how you’re doing
- Use methods, like study music or noise cancelling headphones, to create a flow state for increased focus
If you’d like to go deeper read my article, “19 Visualization Tips to Help You Complete Your Goals”.