Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on self-improvement, personal development, and–my favorite–cultivating happiness. Lucky for me (and you, if you’re into this particular topic!) there’s a real focus on increasing happiness in popular culture now, too. A concept that’s especially buzz-worthy is that of ‘life by design‘. There was an excellent long-form piece on the subject by Benjamin Hardy that was published recently on Medium, and you might have seen an image circulating on Instagram with handwritten text that says, “make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do every day. Compare the lists. Adjust accordingly.” That? The essence of living life by your own design. Needless to say, I’m super into it. Think you might be, too? Read on. We’re talking ideal moments, ideal days, and mapping everything out in the clearest possible way to create a life that looks and feels amazing.
Long before I read the Medium article linked here, or laid eyes upon the aforementioned quote, I came across the following photo on Tumblr. It was literally YEARS ago–probably sometime in 2014–and even though I didn’t quite know why at the time, I felt like I really appreciated and connected with it, and thus needed to save it. It just seemed important somehow. Check it out:
The pic earned a permanent spot on my camera roll. I just…Liked it. Two years later, and I’ve finally realized that it’s pretty much the ultimate tool for self mastery. I used it as framework – as a design template. Life by design. So, here’s mine:
You feel happiest when…
You’re making progress.
- Posting to the blog
- Posting photos on Instagram
- Pinning and re-pinning content on Pinterest
- Working on collabs
You have “me” time.
- Free/play/unscheduled time
- Alone time–to do whatever
- You talk to family.
- You get quality time with your mate.
- You stay in touch with friends.
- You reach out.
You’re taking care of yourself.
- Daily workouts.
- Not feeling restricted + not over-indulging.
- Paying attention to what’s going on in the world.
You’re put together.
- Hair is done.
- Makeup is done.
- Nails are done.
- Wearing an actual outfit, not just sweats or workout clothes.
My ideal day includes…
- 8+ hours of quality sleep
- Intuitive, but intentional eating
- A challenging work out
- 1-2 hours of engaged learning
- 2-3 hours of writing and other content creation
- 2+ hours of undistracted time with Alex
- 1+ hours OUT of the house
All of that = a very happy, centered, satisfied me.
Get it? You can do the same thing! You’re literally creating the framework for your perfect day. Think about the things that make you feel good – good from as many angles as possible. Mental, physical, emotional. Consider your goals, your relationships, your responsibilities. If you’re a realist with an aversion to woo, this exercise is PERFECT for you. It’s a really logical way of setting your intentions and visualizing. It helps you to organize your thoughts, define what’s most important, and harness your own power. Getting happy and feeling fulfilled is a totally attainable goal.
Read the article. Consider the quote. Make your own list. Start designing.