Lifestyle Design Strategy: Get In Touch With The Freedom To Live!
Are you ready to design your life on your own terms? Getting in touch with your freedom to live can help you imagine a future you never dreamed as well as well increase your motivation for following your passions in life.
Before beginning the life design process, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your true freedom, as it can open possibilities that help you create the life you’ve always wanted.
As evolving, changing creatures, our lives are not meant to be bound or constrained. You are free to be whomever you imagine for yourself, and no one should limit your freedom to choose what you do in life. You have nothing but freedom to build the life you can love, and the only thing stopping you is yourself.
Getting in Touch with Your Own Sense of Freedom
Here are a few strategies to help you tap into your sense of freedom, which can unlock your creativity and help you find fulfillment in life.
1. Create Unscheduled Time
I like to leave some empty spaces in my calendar this allows me to explore my interests and do spontaneous things. Give yourself a morning or evening to do either absolutely nothing or whatever comes to mind that day, but don’t place any expectations on these hours other than they are yours. Remember to use it for yourself, not to catch up on other things or finish your to-do list. To learn to enjoy freedom, you have to have the space for it.
2. Find a Place Where You Can Feel Small
Get outside to enjoy nature, which can help you realize the immensity of the world. Think long walks in the woods, being outside among rolling hills, or sitting at the edge of the ocean. Find somewhere in your area where you can experience the sheer power of nature, the immensity of scale that comes with the living, breathing planet.
This can not only help you relax and breathe a little deeper but also helps put yourself into perspective with the rest of this giant rock we call home. This can bring you healing and power to enjoy the freedom you have in life.
Another option to this is to go to a place that makes you feel like a child again, for me this is going to Disney or a children’s movie. Recently, we went to see Mary Poppins at the theater. I felt like a little kid sitting in the theater and transformed to whimsical thoughts.
3. Lifestyle Design Means Getting in Touch with Yourself
Spend time regularly doing things that are just for you. Connecting with yourself, paying attention to your needs, and spending time alone with your thoughts are all excellent ways to tap into your passions and reflect on where you want your life to take you.
Spending quality time with yourself, without having to answer to others about how you are spending your hours, is an essential part of realizing what aspects of life are limiting you and how you can free yourself from those constraints.
4. Break Away From Those Who Try to Control You
If there are people in your life who are trying to push you in specific directions, even when your heart is resisting, it is time to let them go. While support is important when designing your life, it is equally essential that those in your life are there to listen and provide love, not to force you where you don’t want to be.
If you have controlling people in your life, you need to be strong and break ties, which will give you the freedom to be true to yourself.
5. Expect the Best Outcome
Set yourself up for success by expecting the best result. Too often we think that only the mediocre or lackluster is what we deserve. That encourages you to accept “good enough.” Demand the best.
6. Create Your Own Cheering Section
Surround yourself with successful people and let them know about your goals. Look for “Creative Champions” as Julia Cameron would call them. These people understand the importance of goals and will congratulate you as you work through obstacles to achieve them. Distance yourself from “Poisonous Playmates,” people who constantly throw a wet-blanket over your ideas and goals. These two terms come from Julia Cameron’s book the Vein of Gold.
7. See Yourself as Successful
Identify your unique qualities and recognize that these are the tools that lead you to success. Don’t dwell on weaknesses, just find someone who has those strengths and put them on your team.
You Are the Master of Your Own Life
If you feel like your life is dictating your choices, then you need to adjust. You can either change your attitude to accept this reality, or you can change your life to make it what you want.
Only you can know what makes you feel free, and only you can make a choice to change your life. Gain clarity about what freedom really means for yourself, then you can design a life that helps you achieve that sense of freedom.
But what if doing the same thing each day won’t lead to your goal?
What if there are multiple steps? Multiple milestones. This is a Journey Goal.
Before we launch into journey goals, it’s important to figure out what your goals are.
The Problem of Too Many Ideas
Many entrepreneurs have the same problem that I have, where I come up with too many ideas. Everyday, I have at least 10 ideas for a new business or a new product or a new service. This on top of my service business and role of mother. If you read James Althucher’s Choose Yourself, he says to write down 10 ideas a day. So I was doing this. This is not a bad habit but it can lead to mental overwhelm if it is not managed.
A Better Way to Capture your Big Lofty Ideas
Ideas are awesome but if you are not capturing these ideas in a system then you may as well just throw them away. Buy a simple spiral notebook, start an Evernote notebook or write them in my new book, Design Your Lifestyle Roadmap . Consider this your modern day dream catcher.
But don’t stop with just the idea. Write about why this is a good idea and who would benefit. You may find repetition in your idea notebook. The same idea pops up in your mind repeatedly. This is a good thing. As my Missouri heritage says, “The cream rises to the top”
Big Lofty Ideas
One morning on my sunrise walk, trudging along feeling overwhelmed. Just overwhelmed, with all that I had to do. Walking along, looking at the sidewalk and deep in thought. A little voice in my mind said, “Look up….hurry look up.” So I looked up into the sky and saw a huge hot air balloon rising up over the lake I was walking around. I watched it quietly and gently rise higher into the sky. I started to walk again and suddenly another balloon glided into my view. It was just as colorful and graceful as the first one that graced my eyes. Stopping and admiring the sight of two balloons in the air. I began walking again and a third balloon rose from the horizon, this time I was not surprised. While admiring the three beautiful balloons against the pink sky. I heard the little voice again say, “All your ideas are beautiful, Kimberly but you can only launch one at a time.”
So I went back to the idea notebook and I looked at all those ideas I had dumped in there. I landed on writing this book as a starting point for women entrepreneurs who like me may struggle with figuring out what to do next on their entrepreneurial journey.
Designing Your Life as a Journey
Think of it this way: If you plan to take a road trip and want to get a car first, getting a car that can operate well in different terrains will allow you to take a number of different routes to your destination. Even though the destination doesn’t change, you might not want to take the interstate the whole time.
This line of reasoning is particularly important for young people. You are already expected to know what you want to do for a living when you are in high school, but many people change majors at least once while in college. This is often seen as a problem because what you do for a living is seen as the goal, when the goal should really be living comfortably and being happy – a goal that is not limited by your profession. If you have a plan that is dedicated to eventually achieving financial independence, changing your major or your career path can be seen more as taking a new route rather than not knowing what the plan is.
Your Big Someday Goal Should Be A Little Vague
When considering your most important goals, it is important to make them somewhat vague. The grand-scheme of what we want for our lives isn’t likely to change too much over time, but how we expect to achieve it can change drastically. Of course, that’s okay, but it’s best to make plans that can fit different trajectories or roads to getting there.
Leave Room In Your Design to Change Roads
Of course, what career path you take isn’t the only way that your path toward your goals can change. Many people plan their lives as though they were the only person involved, which is never the case. You should be the focus of your life plan, but when designing your life, never forget that there are other people who can help you in any number of ways.
Include Family & Friends while Designing Your Life
Family may be able to offer financial support. Friends or romantic relationships may be able to offer emotional support. Teachers, bosses, mentors, and other figures can offer advice, access to new resources, or change the path that you take to reach your goals. Be careful about neglecting your loved ones while designing your life. It may seem like it allows you to have a clearer plan with fewer variables. After all, it’s easier to plan what you will do than it is to know what people you will run into or how they will impact your life. However, not allowing these sorts of influences into your life will mean passing up on opportunities and resources that can take you to your goal, even if it means taking an eraser to part of your life’s design plans.
Don’t Carve Your Map in Stone
As in the previous section, the best thing to do is to never have your design plan set in stone. The important thing is keeping the main goal in sight and having a plan that will let you take the best route to that goal, even though you may not know the best roads to take when you sit down to make your plan. You may also find interesting places to stop along the way.
Focus on Your Big Someday Goal but Be Willing to Change Your Path to Getting There
Designing an effective life plan means that you need to keep your goals in mind. The more you focus on your life goals, the more you can tweak your plans to achieve them. It can be tempting to watch the variables to the point that you have no design at all, but this too is risky. Be prepared to go back to the drawing board but be sure that there is always something on that board.
Are you struggling with how to turn dreams into plans?
It can be difficult to watch the lack of progress of so many promising entrepreneurs. They’ve dreamed for so long about creating a solid, sustainable business, and yet, all they do is dream.
You know the people I’m talking about. They attend conferences, sign up for free webinars, buy paid training, and sometimes even work with a coach or two. And yet week after week, month after month, year after year, they fail to make any progress toward their dreams.
Are they just lazy? No. It’s something worse. They don’t know how to turn dreams into plans and they’re stuck.
Start with Your Big Lofty Goals
If you’ve ever been on a job interview and were asked, “Where do you want to be five years from now,” you might have thought it an odd question. But as a business owner, that might just be the most important consideration you can have.
Without knowing where you’re headed in the long term, it’s impossible to create a map to get there. You need to know what your destination is, so that every day, week, month, and year you can check your progress to be sure you’re still headed in the right direction.
Create Milestones or Milemarkers
Once you know your ultimate destination, you can draft a plan for getting there, and create the mini goals that will help you stay on track.
For example, if in five years you want to be free to travel for 8 weeks every year, then you need to have a few pieces in place before that can happen:
• Enough income to cover travel costs
• Passive income to sustain your business while you’re not working
• A staff who can manage the business while you’re away
With this list, you can then work backwards from your five-year goal, and create milestones along the way. If you know you’ll need to earn $150,000 annually in order to fund your travel plans, and right now you’re earning $60,000, then reasonable milestones might look like this:
• Year 1: $70,000
• Year 2: $85,000
• Year 3: $105,000
• Year 4: $125,000
• Year 5: $150,000
With these milestones in place, it’s much easier to figure out exactly what you need to do to achieve them, by setting monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
Plan Short Journeys to Your Big Lofty Goal
The next step to turn dreams into plans is to break your big destination into smaller journeys. If you say to someone, you need to move from $60,000 to $150,000 in five years, that’s a pretty overwhelming task. After all, it’s a $90,000 increase and most people will look at that and immediately dismiss it as impossible.
But when you break it down as we have above, and then again into smaller steps, it suddenly doesn’t look so daunting.
In the first year of the plan we have outlined here, your income needs to increase only by $10,000. That’s less than $1000 per month! Surely that’s easy enough to accomplish!
You can further break that down by week: $1000 per month is just $250 per week. If you sell just one more group coaching package, or five more of a $50 training program, you’ve already reached your milestone.
That might mean sending one more email to your list, or investing an additional $20 per month in Facebook ads, or perhaps reaching out to one more JV partner. The point is, reaching this much smaller goal is far easier than thinking about that five-year plan.
So what’s your big dream? How can you deconstruct it into achievable milestones, workable goals, and finally, daily and weekly tasks? If you can do this (and you definitely can) then you can achieve anything in business and in life.