You’re not alone in wondering how to create the life you want – many people are questioning how to improve their lives in m meaningful ways. In other words, more than just seeking more money, more status, more stuff.
A global pandemic, crazy market fluctuations, a new work culture, and unpredictable times – they all have you (and many others) craving clear, actionable steps to be able to create the life you want despite these external challenges.
That’s how I found lifestyle design.
I was exhausted from “the best morning routines for maximum productivity” tips or “ways to hack your health.” None of the advice helped me look at what is meaningful to me or help me know how to discover it.
This guide is your blueprint to breaking out of the status quo and crafting a future that’s uniquely yours. From setting meaningful goals to financial planning and building resilience, we’ll explore the tools that turn aspirations into achievements without unnecessary embellishments. Start your transformation journey here.
This is your life by design.
Lifestyle design starts with visualizing your dream life and setting specific, value-aligned goals, requiring continuous adaptation and reassessment of progress to truly shape your life.
Achieving financial freedom is key in lifestyle design, which involves strategic income generation like through real estate syndications and diversification of investments to cover living expenses and beyond.
Developing success habits, overcoming limiting beliefs, nurturing supportive relationships, and prioritizing self-care are essential for personal growth and the journey toward designing your ideal lifestyle.
What is lifestyle design?
Lifestyle design is the deliberate act of shaping your life to match your vision of success, based on your passions and values. It starts with a self-assessment, taking stock of where you are now, what you enjoy in your life, and what you aspire to have.
From there, you envision your dream life, creating a vision board (yes, it’s silly but it works) that paints a picture of your perfect day, outlines your goals, and highlights the values you wish to embody.
However, it is not only for “one day.” Lifestyle design, or living your life by design, starts now with asking questions, testing out new ideas, and iterating on your results to gradually move toward ideal life. This is how you design the life you want to live (and not just living by default).
This is how living a life by design becomes a sustainable activity, that you work on because you experience results regularly.
The next step is to brainstorm ways to generate income without continuous active work. By determining the amount of money needed to achieve financial freedom, you can invest and/or develop business ideas that align with your dream lifestyle, putting you in control of your own life.
Lifestyle design is an ongoing process where you assess the progress, tweak anything that’s not working, and add new ideas based on your evolving vision.
Related Podcast: The Master Plan To Create The Life You Want – Part 1
Why Is It Important To Design Your Life?
Life design catalyzes a fulfilling existence, mirroring your identity and values. It transforms routine day-to-day existence (living by default) into a life lived with purpose and fervor – a life by design. When we do not take the time to design our lives, we risk missing out on opportunities, feeling unfulfilled, and getting stuck in a life that doesn’t align with our values and aspirations.
The process of lifestyle design helps us:
- Focus on what truly matters to us in both work and our personal lives
- Challenge our self-imposed limitations
- Pursue meaningful endeavors
- Expand our vision
It allows us to create a new life that aligns with our dreams and aspirations, providing a roadmap to a better life in the outside world by leveraging principles in design thinking.
Using Design Thinking To Go From Small To Big Impact
Before we begin looking at the steps of designing your life, let’s take a look at why this process is different from other problem-solving processes.
Designing your life begins with using design thinking. This type of problem-solving acknowledges that the problem we are solving changes as we move forward (because that is life – constantly changing).
This is a cyclical process where you start by looking at what brings you meaning in your personal and work life. From there, we evaluate the coherence or alignment of our current life to see how well we’re fulfilling those values. The process moves through testing ideas and reflecting, then beginning again to ultimately create the life you want.
In lifestyle design, we must define small problems that we can solve. A well-framed problem should be unanchored to a solution, contain context to get help from others, be narrow enough to allow for ideas, and be focused to be isolated to a single problem.
An example is asking “How might I…have more passive income without spending more time at my job, take action when I’m often so exhausted, or manage my energy to reduce overwhelm?
From there, we can begin to seek answers. Lots of answers. With a well-defined problem, reach out to your friends and community who support and love you. Ask for ideas. In Design You Life, authors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans remind us of two philosophies around asking for help and generating lots of ideas (potential solutions or pathways to solutions):
We choose better when we have many good ideas to choose from.
We never choose our first idea or solution to any problem.
This process gets us unstuck incredibly well. When we’re unstuck, we’re more likely to think creatively about what is possible for our life.
Nurturing Supportive Relationships – Building Your Team
We mentioned that you’ll want to take your problems to a trusted group of friends or family. Here is where fostering supportive relationships can offer the following benefits:
Motivation, inspiration, and accountability on the path toward lifestyle design
- Outside-your-box thinking and idea generation from different perspectives
- Emotional support and a sense of belonging, significantly impact mental health and overall well-being
- Lowered stress levels
- Boosted self-esteem
It’s important to filter your relationships to remove any naysayers or negative thinkers at this stage. They don’t have to disappear from your life, but you may not seek them for creative and wild idea generation (since they’ll likely roll their eyes at you and tell you to just do what everyone else is doing).
Supportive relationships, including those with family members, play a significant role in lifestyle design by offering practical and emotional support, boosting social wellness, and positively impacting health and well-being. Building these strong relationships can provide the encouragement and accountability necessary to stay on track and achieve your goals.
Setting Specific Goals – Is it Necessary?
Setting initial goals may seem paramount. Goals can indeed help trigger new behaviors, guide our focus, and sustain momentum in life. The process of goal setting can help clarify our priorities, measure our progress, and ultimately lead to greater happiness.
But setting goals can be tricky, and doesn’t work for everyone.
In fact, research is increasingly showing that setting specific, challenging goals can have unintended negative consequences. Consequences that can impact your lifestyle design.
In his book, Feel Good Productivity, Ali Abdaal dives into the science of goal setting. He says,
When we become overly focused on achieving a very specific end-goal, we may lose sight of other key factors, like staying true to our values.
Abdaal proposes setting NICE goals, a process that can actually help you create the life you want and not just achieve a singular goal.
NICE goals are:
- Near-term: What are the next steps to take?
- Input-based: What is the regular input I need to incorporate into my routine?
- Controllable: What can I realistically accomplish?
- Energising: Is there a way to integrate energizing elements into this goal so that it feels good to be taking action?
Another resource can be found in Arthur Brooks’ insights, which have been endorsed by influential figures like Oprah Winfrey. His books can be utilized in your current job or personal life to set specific, meaningful goals that will help create a great life, contributing to a better life overall. When your current job no longer serves your pursuit of a great life, it might be time to reevaluate your goals and career path, following the footsteps of successful people.
However, it’s imperative to ensure these goals correspond with our beliefs, objectives, and guiding principles. When we identify what matters to us and base our decisions on that, we build a life and career that provide satisfaction and a clear sense of direction. Regularly revising and adjusting our goals is equally important as it helps us:
- track our progress
- adapt to changes
- stay true to our values and priorities
- stay motivated.
Unlocking Your Time: Building Financial Freedom
In lifestyle design, financial freedom helps tremendously. While not a specific step in design thinking, it is essential to start thinking about how you’re working to stop trading your time for money.
Financial freedom allows us to live life on our terms without the constant worry of financial constraints, enabling us to enjoy more quality family time and pursue our passions.
However, achieving financial freedom is not a get-rich-quick endeavor. It requires careful planning and a clear understanding of the amount of money you need to live your desired lifestyle.
Passive income and the right investments are key components in the pursuit of financial freedom.
Related Video: Achieving Financial Freedom: How To Be Financially Free
Passive Real Estate Investing
In the sea of “passive income ideas” or investment options, we’ve personally gravitated to passive real estate investing through group investments, or real estate syndications. In real estate syndications, a group of individuals come together to invest in commercial real estate, often led by an experienced real estate team. This type of investment can help you move quickly toward financial freedom.
Investing in passive real estate investments offers several benefits, including:
- Never having to be a landlord!
- Regular passive cash flow
- The possibility of annual returns of 8-12% or even higher, plus an upside payment when the asset is sold (total returns often 12-25%)
- Diversification into hard assets without requiring any work from you
However, just as any investment, it also comes with its risks, which include potential losses.
To invest in a real estate syndication, you’ll need to:
- Learn about how it works. This is where you’ll spend the most time; once you get it, you’ll be able to spend less time with every investment.
- Sign up with a sponsor. Look for the teams who want to help you learn and are available to ask questions.
- Pick an investment that fits your goals (long-term growth? regular cash flow?)
- Sign the necessary paperwork.
- Transfer your money to an escrow account. Then sit back and enjoy the returns while the experts take care of the work.
This specific type of investing compliments your lifestyle design process because it involves regular cash flow that can free up your time sooner. Your time is your most valuable resource as you allow yourself to investigate what brings you the most meaning.
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs: Reframe Your Story
Our limiting beliefs can frequently obstruct our path to goal achievement and the realization of our desired life. And they run deep. Think of them as misconceptions that hinder personal and professional growth.
An integral element of living a life by design is reframing limiting beliefs to reshape our story and open ourselves up to more – more options, more opportunities, more change.
For instance, one common dysfunctional belief is that there’s only one right choice for a career or life path. This belief can lead to decision paralysis or dissatisfaction because it puts immense pressure on making the “perfect” choice. Burnett and Evans suggest reframing this problem by recognizing that there are many potential paths and careers that can lead to a fulfilling life.
Reframing limiting beliefs involves a process of challenging and altering deeply held, yet unhelpful, assumptions about life and career in our own lives. The goal is to shift one’s perspective to a more constructive and realistic viewpoint.
Limiting beliefs, or dysfunctional beliefs, can hold us back from reaching our potential and prevent us from having the life you want. This process starts with:
- Acknowledging these beliefs (write them down).
- Reframing or rewriting that belief to allow for change.
- Affirming them daily.
Prioritizing Self-Care and Personal Growth: Your Energy Audit
Understanding your energy is your secret weapon to mastering lifestyle design. To maintain a healthy life balance and continue evolving while working toward your goals, it’s vital to prioritize self-care and personal growth, or whatever brings you energy.
Self-care has been shown to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which is crucial for mental and physical well-being. This balance boosts overall life satisfaction, helps handle stress, makes clear decisions, and effectively works towards personal and financial growth, including areas like passive real estate investing.
So, what is self-care to you? Spending time to record your energy and focus levels throughout a normal day, or a normal week, can give you direction to identify the activities that embody your values and uplift your spirit. What brings you energy? What takes it away?
Personal growth is just one form of self-care. We’re spending time learning and growing, which has been found to lead to more meaning and happiness.
Taking Action And Opening Up To Wild Ideas
Taking proactive steps and tracking your findings are fundamental elements of lifestyle design. But where are you heading?
To build the skill of thinking creatively about your life and accepting that there are many different and wonderful directions you can go, take time to write a few different future 5-year scenarios. These will each be viable and very different possible futures. By not just writing one “ideal” plan, we force ourselves to not get stuck in only one idea.
Here are your prompts for how to think about each of these potential 5-year paths:
- Your current life and any fun ideas you’ve been thinking about for a while.
- Your life if your first plan were no longer possible.
- The life you’d have if money, status, or geography didn’t matter (include any wild ideas here).
Now go through these seven steps to reflect:
- Which 5-year vision is most exciting?
- Which plan feels hard, or draining?
- Which vision is playing it safe or taking too much risk?
- What do you notice, or what themes do you see?
- What questions do you have about pursuing each option?
- How could you test out one idea in these visions to understand it better?
- What is one action you can take to move forward?
By following these seven steps, you can effectively monitor your progress and make positive changes in your life, ensuring you’re on the right track (no matter which life you want).
Celebrating your accomplishments is a crucial part of tracking progress. Whether it be in real estate investing or your personal life, it’s important to acknowledge your wins and celebrate your milestones. This could involve:
- Acknowledging when you help others see new ideas
- Creating a passive income that frees up your time
- Adding one more successful change to your daily routine
- Receiving an Oprah Winfrey invite to celebrate your achievements (hey, it’s possible)
Embracing Change and Resilience
To navigate life’s highs and lows and maintain an optimistic perspective while working toward your dream life, it’s vital to embrace change and resilience. Change is a good thing in lifestyle design!
Resilience helps people stay flexible and adaptable when they face challenges, and it also helps them overcome hardships and avoid resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms when things get tough.
Reframing your ideas of failure can also help you build up your resilience. Failure is really just a data point to try something new and can help you move in a better direction.
Embracing change goes hand in hand with resilience. It lets us see the positive impact change can have, be open to new experiences and possibilities, discover our hidden potential, and improve our ability to adapt and bounce back from challenges. It’s about seeing challenges as chances to grow, turning negative thoughts into positive ones, building connections, and making decisive actions toward our goals.
Related Podcast Episode: Courageous Steps To Triumph Over Challenge
Putting It All Together
Lifestyle design is a deliberate and ongoing activity that involves asking well-defined problems, generating lots and lots of ideas, reframing limiting beliefs, envisioning multiple desired futures, and taking action to continually test new ideas.
It also encompasses building financial freedom and passive income streams to free up our time, but doesn’t require you to be rich or fully financially independent. It is about nurturing supportive relationships, prioritizing self-care and personal growth, and taking action and tracking progress toward your goals.
Embracing change and resilience is also a crucial part of lifestyle design, as it allows you to navigate the ups (successes) and downs (failures) of life and maintain a positive outlook as you work towards designing your dream life. With these tools and strategies, you can take control of your life, live on your own terms, and create a life that truly reflects your deepest passions and highest aspirations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean to create the life you want?
Creating the life you want means deciding and believing that you have the power to shape your circumstances and reactions to achieve your goals. It’s about having an internal locus of control and believing that you call the shots in your life, and taking informed action toward a more meaningful life.
How do you build the life you want?
To build the life you want, start by thinking like a designer. Through looking at your values and beliefs you’ll work toward finding your purpose. From there, generate lots of ideas about how you can make changes and ask questions that help you get through any problems. You’ll be setting both short and long-term goals, and learning successful habits that give you more energy along the way. Stay focused, and motivated, and be ready to refocus when change happens.
What is lifestyle design?
Lifestyle design is about intentionally creating a life that aligns with your vision of success, driven by your passions, values, beliefs, and purpose. It involves looking at where you are out of alignment with your values, developing ideas to try new things, and constantly testing and reflecting. It is a process that can help you create a new life with more meaning.
How can I achieve financial freedom?
You can achieve financial freedom by building multiple streams of passive income, like investing in real estate, to replace your active income and cover all your expenses.
What is the role of supportive relationships in lifestyle design?
Supportive relationships help generate new ideas and perspectives, provide emotional support, improve social wellness, and contribute to overall health and well-being.
If you’re looking to invest in real estate syndications with strong asset management practices, we invite you to join the Goodegg Investor Club, so we can keep you in the loop on opportunities to invest alongside us.
You can also check out our open deals page to learn more about our current or upcoming opportunities.
If you’re not yet ready to invest but are curious about how all of this works, we invite you to dip your toe in the water with us through our free 7-day email course – Passive Real Estate Investing 101 – or to get a copy of our book – Investing For Good.
To learn more about us and our experience, be sure to download a copy of our track record, which shows the projected and actual returns we’ve achieved across all the deals we’ve exited to date.