In this post I'm sharing 7 steps to start designing your dream life. I’ll give you the steps that worked for me so that by the end of this blog post you can:
- avoid the mistakes I made
- save time and energy
- start designing your dream life
But before we get into that let's start with the mistakes you need to avoid when starting to design your dream life.
Mistakes To Avoid When Designing the Life You Want
When I was in my twenties I wasted time with busy-work.
It was a bad habit that I didn't realize I had because all 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”. Doing activities in my professional and personal life that didn't lead to true change.
Once I admitted that I desired to thrive instead of getting by day to day, things started to positively change in my life.
Not by magic but by adopting the mindset that I could do the work to create a life I love.
So, focusing on these 4 things helped me get clear about what I wanted to do as my best, future self:
4 Things I Focused On to Design My Dream Life
- Know what I wanted
- Learn from my mistakes
- Consistent progress every day
- Use small steps to make it happen
It all boils down to this. The most important lesson I learned was I wanted to live my purpose. To do that, I realized, I had to design my lifestyle.
Now let’s dive into the 7 steps to designing the dream lifestyle you want to live.
7 Steps To Start Designing Your Dream Life
Step #1 Align Action with Goals
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?
Step #2 Be Aware of Weaknesses but Run With Your Strengths
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.
Step #3 Visualize the Future You
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.
Step #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:
Step #5 Take Small Actions
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.
Step #6 Track Your Progress
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.
Step #7 Tap Into Your 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 Ways I Get Into a Flow State
- listen Lofi beats
- use headphones
- work in an inspirational space
Recap of 7 Steps To Start Designing Your Dream Life
I used 7 steps to design my version of a dream life.
Everyday I wake up excited for what I’m working on.
I love the lifestyle my husband and I have built and continue to create together.
My hope is that you look over these ideas and pick one to apply in your own life, to your own version of what a dream lifestyle looks to you.
Here’s the 7 steps I used:
- Align your actions to support achieving your dream lifestyle goals
- Know what you do well and focus on improving those skills
- Visualize yourself as the best version of you including solving problems
- Work backwards from your goal and plan out the steps from there
- Use mini-steps to consistently achieve results
- Track your progress so you know how you’re doing
- Use tools, like study music, to create a flow state for increased focus
For a complete a complete guide to practice visualizing your dream life into existence read, “19 Visualization Tips to Help You Complete Your Goals”.