It is Monday, 6:30 am. You have just woken up, you know you should not hit snooze, but you can’t help it. You are already looking forward to the upcoming weekend. It’s a new week, and it will be a long one. You probably have felt this way (too) often… So often you are now looking for posts on how to design your ideal life.
If you have already read a few articles on my blog, you know that I used to hate my life too. I struggled to create my dream life for so many years, looking forward to being 30 years old and starting a new chapter of my life.
I somehow thought that turning 30 would transform my life. My problems would have disappeared by then, and I would suddenly wake up living my ideal life. I would finally have the courage to start all over and be the person I always wanted to be.
If you recognize yourself in this situation, stumbling upon this post is your sign not to wait any longer and design your ideal life today. After all, why should you wait until next Monday, next month, or even next year to take action?
In this post, you will discover the steps to design your ideal life with actionable personal growth tips.
Sit comfortably and grab a cup of tea because this post will be a long one, but I promise it will be well worth it!
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Do a life audit
Running a life audit is the very first step to creating your dream life.
If you are not familiar with a life audit, you can simply think about a financial audit where you list all your assets and liabilities.
The concept is identical except that with a life audit, as you can imagine, you will not only focus on your finances but on all aspects of your life.
The idea is to understand precisely where you stand in life and what dimensions of your life you should focus on to design your ideal life.
Although you might not feel comfortable doing a life audit, because it will force you to face and acknowledge your reality, you should not skip this step.
This first step will kick off your journey. Paying attention to it and taking time to do this review of your life will be awakening and will give you a clearer vision of how you can design your ideal life.
You can use the Wheel of Life tool to do this life audit.
How do you use the Wheel of Life?
The Wheel of Life will help you rethink your life by grading its main dimensions.
There are multiple versions of the Wheel of Life on the internet because literally, anyone can create his own version of the wheel.
The dimensions used in these assessments can change. But in our version, the dimensions are :
- Business & Career
- Personal development
- Social Life
- Physical appearance
- Environment & Organization
- Family & Friends
Grade from 0 to 10 on each of your wheel dimensions based on your satisfaction level.
Then write down all the things you want to change in these areas of your life. Think about all it would take to give each dimension a 10 out of 10.
Don’t think about your priorities or plans at this stage of the process. Simply write down things you wish to improve. You will choose your battles later on.
You should write down at least 3 things you would like to improve in each of the dimensions of your wheel.
When doing this assessment, I also like to mention at least 1 thing I am grateful for in each dimension.
Your life audit should not only highlight the things you want to change in your life. It should represent the global picture of it.
Highlight its good and bad sides to give you a clear picture of your life at this exact moment.
Why should you use the Wheel of Life?
This powerful exercise will help you acknowledge your reality. This is the very first step in your life transformation journey.
To design your dream life, you first need to know where you stand today. Having a clear picture is crucial to understanding how much time and effort you will need to invest to transform your life.
Doing this assessment every quarter will also help you track your progress and ensure you keep moving in the right direction.
This assessment will give you a clear base for the next exercise on this list.
Reflect on how to design your ideal life
Now that you have a clear picture of where you stand in life today, you can start reflecting on your ideal life. The idea is now to identify gaps between your current life and your dream life.
Take a holistic approach and think about what your dream life would be like.
Do not focus on material things, this is not only about having a new car, a bigger house, more money, or being slimmer.
Listen to your inner voice and ask yourself, what would your life look like if there were no limits?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to start your reflection:
- Where do you want to live? In a city or remote area?
- Do you feel comfortable with the idea of working a 9-5 and retiring at 65?
- Would you like to become your own boss?
- Travel the world?
- Have more free time to be with your family and friends?
- What are your hobbies?
- Your passions?
- Your talents?
- Can you turn any of your passions or talents into work?
- Can any of your talents or passions help others?
- Do you have big dreams?
These questions are just a starting point. You probably already have an idea of what your dream life looks like. Make a list of all the things you want to change to design your ideal life. Now prioritize them.
The idea here is to define 3 characteristics of your dream life and reflect on how to make them come true. Think about the 3 aspects that inspire you the most.
it can be, for example :
- Stop worrying about money
- Launching your own business
- Be healthier
These 3 points will be your top priorities for the upcoming months, and your goals will be set towards them. This awareness will help you create your plan.
Identify your motivations
Setting your priorities is crucial to staying focused and not spreading yourself too thin.
Another important aspect to consider, in addition to the areas of your life you want to improve, is what truly inspires you.
Designing your dream life will take time and effort. To stay focused, you need to set the right priorities and make sure they inspire you.
You want to live life to the fullest, and to do so, you need to consider what will bring happiness and joy to your life. This is why you need to figure out what truly inspires you to improve your life.
This is probably one of the most complex parts of your life-transformation journey. Identifying your motivations is directly linked to the priorities you have set.
- You want to stop worrying about money not because you want to buy nice things but because you want to feel free to leave your 9-5 job, exit the rate race, and stop living paycheck to paycheck.
- Launching your own business will help you to take back your time, have no fear of being kicked out, and achieve amazing things on your own.
- Being healthier will increase your chances of living a long life, spending quality time with your grandchildren, and being able to travel the world in your old days as well.
Your motivations will play a big part in the job when it comes to designing your dream life.
If your motivations are not strong enough, when things will get complicated, you will find excuses and quit. And that’s what most people do.
If you cannot find strong motivations for the priorities you have set, you are on the wrong path and need to rethink your priorities.
If you are serious about creating your dream life, you will need to operate major lifestyle changes. Now that you have a clear vision of your priorities and motivations, you can set goals and deadlines.
How you define your goals will significantly impact your capacity to reach them. Your goals need to serve a vision of your dream life, and you need a clear plan to make them real.
To ensure you will achieve these personal goals, you need to make them SMART. As you probably already know, SMART stands for :
- Specific goals: Set specific goals and narrow them down to simplify planning.
- Measurable goals: Your goals and achievements need to be measurable to track your progress.
- Attainable goals: Define achievable goals and make sure you can reach them in a reasonable amount of time.
- Realistic goals: Set goals that comply with your dream life vision.
- Time-bound goals: Define time-bound goals with a clear deadline to stay motivated and make yourself accountable.
Once you have set your goals, you need to define deadlines, which are just as important to ensure you plan for success.
Defining deadlines can be tricky. You need to give yourself enough time to see impactful results while not giving yourself too much time.
Giving yourself 90 days to achieve your goals is a perfect time frame. It will provide you with 12 weeks to work on your goals and reassess your plans if necessary, which is enough time to make fundamental changes.
Nevertheless, most people still set yearly goals. The problem is that they leave you with too much time to procrastinate. You have 52 entire weeks to tell yourself, ” I will start on Monday.” Let’s be honest… When was the last time you actually started on Monday?
Setting 90-day goals gives you a sense of urgency. Staying committed to a plan for 12 weeks is much easier than staying focused for a whole year.
You can, of course, also set 1, 2, or even 5-year goals. If you do so, don’t forget to break them down into smaller goals that you will be able to achieve faster.
If you struggle to stick to your plans, defining 90-day goals only is definitely a great place to start to design your ideal life.
Define your habits
If you want to change your life, you need to change something you do daily.
This is why, to design your ideal life, the daily habits you implement will have a major impact on your success.
Our habits have a tremendous impact on our lives and who we are. Bad habits can ruin our lives over time, while good habits can totally transform them for the better.
A secret successful people have in common is implementing daily habits that support their goals. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to add goal-driven habits to your daily routines.
These habits will help you focus on your plans and keep the right mindset. You will probably have to define and implement several new habits to achieve your goals.
List goal-driven habits you will follow. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you want to change, you will have to leave that comfort zone as often as possible.
It might be hard at first, but once you have understood that your comfort zone is created by your beliefs only, you will find it easier to step out of it.
Create powerful routines
Routines are the easiest way to ensure your stick to habits. It takes 21 days to turn a new activity into a habit. Combining new habits into routines is a fantastic way to transform your life.
I love routines because the more we follow them, the more we actually enjoy them. Over time, routines slowly become parts of who we are because routines transform us.
I used to struggle so much when I implemented my first morning routine. I went from lazy and unorganized to implementing 3 routines a day, and that was like super hard.
Starting the day with a routine is the best way to start each and every day with a goal-driven plan. And this, my friend, is key to ensuring you stay focused enough to create your ideal life.
Related read: How to Become a Morning Person
Understand the power of “when”
To design your ideal life, you need to be straightforward with your goals, deadlines, and habits to implement.
Another important aspect to consider is to plan according to your chronotype.
A chronotype is a classification system based on our circadian rhythm to identify sleep and productivity patterns.
Your chronotype will give you a lot of information on when your productivity peaks occur during the day and how you can leverage them to work smarter.
Although we are all different, there are 4 main chronotypes represented by the following animals :
- Bears are the most productive before 2 pm. They lose focus in the afternoon and should plan their important tasks between 10 am and 2 pm.
- Wolves need a few hours to be fully awake and find their motivation. They are usually more productive in the afternoon and should plan creative/light tasks in the morning.
- Lions are goal-driven, highly productive, and can accomplish massive work before noon. Lions like to kick start the day early in the morning, need a nap in the afternoon, and rest in the evening.
- Dolphins are often dealing with anxiety issues. They have trouble finding sleep and a hard time waking up in the morning. Dolphins should plan light/creative tasks in the morning and deep work in the afternoon and evening.
Knowing your chronotype will help you work smarter and plan activities that require the most energy during your productivity peaks.
It will also help you identify when you are the most creative and when to implement your night routine to improve sleep quality.
Taking this information into account when implementing your habits and routines will help you stick to them.
Focus on mindset shifts
This is the biggest secret to creating your dream life. You can make all the plans you want, try to follow positive habits, and implement productive routines, but if you do not change your mindset, you will not be able to stick to them.
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get things done when you are in a bad mood, tired or sad? To achieve your goals, you need to develop your confidence and assiduity.
This will be the most challenging part of your life transformation journey. Your ability to believe in your success and stay focused will make all the difference between chasing your dreams even when life is hard and making excuses.
There are countless ways to work on your limiting beliefs :
- Journal prompts
- Personal growth Books
- Vision boards
Starting the day by listening to a personal development podcast is a great way to focus on your goals each day.
Creating a vision board will also help you remember why you started. When it comes to dream life design, you can implement many small rituals to help you stay focused every day.
Track your progress
Implementing new habits is a challenging process. Lifestyle design takes time. It will not happen overnight.
To help you ensure you are making progress and motivating yourself, you need to implement a tracking system.
According to CNBC, people who write down their goals every day have 42% more chances to achieve them! Yes, 42%!
Tracking your progress will also help you make adjustments to your routines. It will be easier for you to identify habits you struggle to follow.
Giving them careful consideration will help you make the necessary changes to ensure you stick to them.
For instance, if you struggle to go to the gym after work, the simple fact of working out in the morning can help you follow this habit with greater assiduity.
Related read: 37 Best Routines Apps To Stick To Your New Habits
Defining healthy habits and routines is essential. However, there is an even more critical step that most people ignore when it comes to creating their dream life. This step makes all the difference between high achievers and people who continuously fail.
Successful people create systems to support their goals. These systems help them deal with external factors, focus and make things happen.
When setting goals, people’s biggest mistake is forgetting that things they cannot control might negatively impact their results.
They don’t know how to adapt their actions and behaviors to focus on their success when facing them. This is one of the leading causes of failure to achieve goals.
If you don’t have a system in place before unforeseen events happen, they will slow you down, and you will not be able to stick to your plans.
The problem is that when setting goals, we usually plan for the best and set expectations without having a strategy to deal with what could go wrong.
Remember about Murphy’s law. If anything can go wrong, it will. Losers and winners can have the same goals.
What will make you successful is how you set goals, the systems you implement to achieve them, and your determination.
What’s the difference between routines and systems?
The difference between habits, routines, and systems might not be crystal clear at this point. But you will understand the power of systems when you start to implement them.
A routine is made of habits, and a system is made of routines. Systems do not only represent what you do but how you do it.
If we take the example of meal-prepping to eat healthier, a system would be :
- Look for recipes for the whole week
- Create your weekly Menu
- Print or save the recipes
- Write your shopping list
- Organize/clean your containers
- Shop for groceries
- Meal-prep on Sunday
Creating your own systems implies finding ways to make it easier to stick to your routines. As you rehearse your systems, you will find unique ways to improve them to make your life easier.
Think about it, when setting goals, you are already planning for the best. If you forget to consider the worst-case scenario, you will plan for failure.
To stick to your habits and routines, you need to make them easy to follow. This is where systems will make all the difference.
Tweak your routines
If you stick to your routines long enough, you will probably notice that you can always make small changes so they become more productive.
Chances are you will stick to your routine even after reaching your goals because routines slowly become part of who you are over time.
As your goals evolve, you will probably have to make small changes to your routines and systems, which is fine.
This is why it is important to do a life audit on a quarterly basis. Tracking your progress will allow you to set new goals and change your routines to achieve them.
Designing your dream life is a lifelong journey. You will evolve over time, and so will your desires.
As you can imagine, achieving your goals will not be a finish line. Personal development is a never-ending process. You will want to transform your reality many times during this journey. This is why continuing to explore is key.
Try out different things, visit countries, and experiment as much as you can to live your life to the fullest. This will help you discover other sources of joy and happiness and will help you create an ever-evolving version of your dream life.
Start living life to the fullest day by day, and do not wait until you achieve your goals to reward yourself. To follow your dreams, you need to listen to your inner voice and forget about the fear of not being good enough.
You have now decided to design your ideal life. Achieving it will take time but, believe me, you will get there. All it takes is a dream, determination, and a great plan!
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