How-to design your Lifestyle in 3 Steps?
What is Lifestyle Design?
It’s the realisation, often triggered by a rough event, that another way of life is possible. Instead of committing to What You Should Do, you reclaim the power to decide by yourself What You Want to Do. It’s the challenging attempt to align your actions with your values. Your Daily Life can be the result of your deliberate decisions to face life’s circumstances. Being autonomous doesn’t change the fact that life can be rough and challenging. You simply get to face it the way you decided. You may prefer to value your time over accumulating money, your mobility over your social status. You will have to define your own score board and what are your criteria for success. This autonomous way of living brings responsibility and accountability, but the rewards are the equanimity and the inner-peace resulting from living the life your way.
Start by 3 Empowering Questions
- WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
- WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHO DO YOU WANT TO BECOME?
- HOW-TO GET IT?
Step 1: WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
This initial questioning consists on figuring out who you are? where are you in your life at this moment? It’s a simple question of Self-Knowledge. You have to investigate on yourself, explore past experiences and connect dots to get an accurate picture of how you are feeling and where you are at in your life.
Step 2: WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHO DO YOU WANT TO BECOME?
From self-knowledge, you want to investigate deeper and achieve a sense of self-awareness. In order to align action and values, you have to define what are your core values, own ethics, guiding rules and principles. It’s also important to accept what state of mind you are in and to acknowledge if you are ready for this challenging way of life. A useful exercise to clarify your values, your aspirations and the direction in your life is to draft a personal manifesto (read How-to Draft your Personal Manifesto in 3 Steps).
If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it. — John Irving
Step 3: HOW TO GET IT?
Forget commiting to the life people decided for you, put aside your fears and negative thinking to allow your self to dream and make plans. Start by visualising how you would like to live in the next 3 years by drafting three life plans:
PLAN A: Follow Your Curiosity.
PLAN B: Draft an alternate plan B IF your plan A fails.
PLAN C: Follow Your Bliss. You just inherited from our uncle in America. If you don’t need to make money, what would you do?
3A / Draft a Personal Development Plan
You can adopt a DIY approach and do some self-coaching to figure out the life path you are looking to start exploring. You can also reach out to an Executive Coach (more about my 1-on1 Executive Coaching Plan) to help clarify your objectives and draft your personal development plan.
3/B WHAT’S YOUR NEXT MOVE?
Once you have drafted your personal development plan, comes the time to decide what’s the most important next move. Don’t hesitate to explore ideas, opportunities. Connect with people, share and question. Gather as much information as possible. You will figure out what you want and what you like in practice not in theory, so you have to jump in the pool and try stuff. You can choose to find a new work, go live abroad, educate yourself, do an experiment, start a sabbatical project or a lifestyle business project.
Experiments as well as short term projects, from 6 weeks to 6 months, are great ways to figure out in practice if you like to wake up early every morning to make croissants, if you are actually good at what you aspire to do and if you like doing it repetitively. It’s also a way to discover the real activities behind a “dream job” from teaching yoga on the white sandy beach to paying a rent, bills and managing a yoga study in a big city. Never underestimate the time and energy spend in sales and administrative tasks.
WHAT IS A LIFESTYLE BUSINESS PROJECT?
It’s a specific type of business project aiming to enable the life you want to experience. A Lifestyle Project aims to facilitate a life transition, to support and finance your life choices. You have to set new objectives. You decide what is going to be your own score board and your criteria for success.
The objectives are different: you will seek to align action with values, you want to growth in a sustainable way and you are likely to be pleased to simply cover your life and work expenses and reinvest any profit into new personal projects. It can be helpful to define a meaningful way to develop your project by drafting a Project Manifesto. If you enjoy systemic approach, you can look to design an Operating System for your project. For the rest, the external circumstances are the same as any other business. So you need to develop an idea into into a Viable Business.
Yes, it’s a bold move and it takes courage. Don’t hesitate to think twice about it, take your time, don’t hesitate to ask for help from an Executive Coach before getting lost into the wild jungle. You have the right to dream your life.