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Start Your Year with Lifestyle Design

lifestyle design

What is Lifestyle Design?

Lifestyle design is about societal non-conformity and taking complete control of what you do in your life–and how you do it. Lifestyle design asks you one question – What do you want to do in life? We all have ideas of what we should be doing in life, given our financial conditions, our educational qualifications, the city we live in, etc. However, for a person who is engaged in lifestyle design, the want is more important than the should. Society at large has all kinds of expectations as we move into adulthood. Once done with school and college, we settle into the same pattern of finding a job, working 9-5 every day for 5 out of 7 days a week and making money. Eventually, we manage to fit in love and relationships and start a family. But lifestyle design forces us to rethink this pattern. Is it necessary to do what we think makes an ideal life, or can we not live life our way, the carefree existence we all dream of? Lifestyle design is all about living with freedom of choice, outside the conventional work environment, using travel to widen our horizons and learn more. All it takes is clarity about your goals and ideal way of life and a willingness to work towards those goals.

How Can You Design Your Lifestyle

Believe it or not, lifestyle design isn’t very hard. To put it very simply, it is choosing to live your life how you want and where you want, where you call the shots and follow your heart. You are bound to challenge social norms and thought patterns constantly. If you feel trapped in the day-to-day monotony of a life you haven’t really chosen for yourself, then now is the perfect time to start. Start calling the shots and do exactly what you’d planned or dreamed of doing when you were younger. This will take time, it will take finances and a great amount of will power. If you’re considering lifestyle design and seeking a lifestyle change, remember that following your heart is about happiness, not money. You might be making thousands of dollars every year with your current job, but this might not be so if you choose to quit and do something that makes you happy. Too often people allow their wants and desires to take a backseat because they fear that they will have to let go of the comfort and routine they have gotten used to. Following your heart and choosing to live the life you’ve always wanted is an act of immense courage.

Take Control

Lifestyle design is all about taking control and realizing that the choice is always yours to make. No matter what stage of life you are in, no matter how old you are or how long you have been living life a particular way, you are always in control. The choices are yours. All you need to do is put your foot down and make the decision to live a more fulfilling and happy life, to escape the endless cycle of struggle and sleepless nights over a lifestyle you aren’t happy with. The way you live currently might have been decided by what you thought your parents wanted of you, because your family and financial conditions demanded it, or because you thought it best to take the tried and tested path instead of striking out into the unknown. Whatever got you into your current situation, it’s never too late to let those things go and change your path. We spend our lives working hard to have just enough to have a peaceful retirement and old age and do a few of the things we’ve been looking forward to for years. Why not do those things now? You’re the only one who is in control of your abilities and talents, so exercise that control and create a happier you.

Focus on Now

Where you are right now is as good a place to start as anywhere. What matters is that you’ve decided to take matters into your own hands and start living life the way you want to. When it comes to lifestyle design, remember that starting small is starting well. Making small changes to the way you live now is a much better way to take control than a lifestyle overhaul if your circumstances do not permit such a big step. By focusing on now, you will be able to make choices which are applicable to the present and which can help you live a more fulfilling life one day at a time. Ask yourself – How can I reinvent my life today? What is the one thing I can do differently than usual? Your ideal life is composed of smaller parts which will lead to the bigger picture, and the best place to start picking up those pieces is now.

Get Really Clear

Clarity of vision is paramount in lifestyle design. You cannot possibly want an all new lifestyle for yourself if you do not have a concrete, clear vision of your ideal life. What is your ideal life anyway? It’s a vision of yourself and a future of freedom, happiness and contentment. It involves breaking the given rules of an ideal life that revolve around the 9-5 schedule of work. It involves challenging what comfortable living, finances and relationships are all about. But all this can only come when you truly know what you want. Focus on detail when it comes to a vision, be clear and try to imagine how you’d want your life to be, your work, your relationships and the way people view you. Lifestyle design is not for the faint of heart, so don’t let your fears hold you back from getting real about those details. Be specific about your ideal way of living and suspend your judgments.

Make Time Every Day

If you want to make significant changes in your life, you need to set aside time every day. Ideally, this would be a few hours, even if it is broken up into 30 or 60-minutes segments. What should you be doing in this time? The answer is simple – you should be working on something that brings you closer to a completely new design of your lifestyle, one in which you’re in control. This work can be anything from painting to website designing, but it should be something that sparks your imagination and excites you. If you cannot zero in on one activity, then make a list of those activities you enjoy but usually get put on the back burner. Pick one of out of this list and devote time to it earnestly. Remember that the more time you spend on these activities, the faster your ideal life will be getting closer.

Challenge Conventions

Challenging conventions and asking questions is essential. Unless you question the prevailing notions of the ideal life and form your own opinion, you cannot be truly happy. Constant dialogue with the society in which you live is crucial–because after your dreams are on paper, you are going to take them out into the world. What do I think about my career path? Do I need a degree? Do I need to subscribe to common roles associated with gender and age?  If you’re a traveler at heart and want to spend your life visiting different places, then instead of focusing on a retirement plan, maybe you should be spending your time researching travel deals. Don’t let the ideas of others hold you back because it’s not their life–it’s yours.