10 Ways to Live Your Life by Design
Living your life by design means thinking ahead and planning your days, weeks, months, and years so that they align with your values and goals. Designing your life means being intentional about the kind of person you want to be, and how you want to live your life. This doesn’t mean you need to plan every detail of your future. Instead, think about designing your life as a series of small choices that add up to create a larger pattern over time. Effectiveness and rationality rarely come from one-off actions or decisions. Instead, make small changes over time to become a more effective, rational person. If you’re ready to begin the process of designing the life you want instead of continuing along the same path, read on for 10 tips on how to live by design:
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Work on things that matter to you
If you’re stuck doing work that doesn’t align with your values, or doesn’t matter to you, then you won’t be happy at work. You’ll end up resenting your job and other aspects of your life. This is a self-perpetuating loop: if you’re unhappy, you’ll have less motivation to make the changes you need to be happy. Therefore, start working on things that matter to you. Keep track of your values and make a list of the things you’d like to spend time on. If you have an opportunity to work on something you don’t enjoy, but you’d like to do it anyway, don’t feel guilty. Instead, find exercises you can do to reduce that guilt and increase your self-awareness.
Exercise and eat well
If you’re not getting enough exercise and nutrition, you’ll be more prone to anxiety and mood issues. Exercise not only improves your physical health, it also improves your mental health by increasing your serotonin and dopamine levels, a neurotransmitter commonly associated with mood and happiness. Healthy, regular exercise can help prevent clinical mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Proper nutrition is equally important. Lowering your sugar intake and increasing your intake of B vitamins, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C, K, and E lowers your risk of mood disorders. If you don’t like to exercise, that’s fine. You can still get some benefits from exercise by eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein, and other nutrients.
Take time for yourself
If you’re always rushing to get things done and never have time to relax, you’ll feel stressed and anxious much of the time. When you take time for yourself, you feel better about yourself and your life. This doesn’t mean you suddenly stop caring about other people. Instead, it means you take the time to recharge your batteries and feel like you’re again in control of your life. This is especially important for people who are single or in a relationship where one person is always putting their needs first. When you take time for yourself, you’re less likely to get into destructive patterns where you feel like you need to take out your frustrations on other people, or where you take out your frustration on yourself.
Network with other people
The quality of your relationships is closely related to your own well-being. Networks can help you find new opportunities, meet new people, and learn new skills. Working with a network of people also gives you access to other networks if someone who can help you is in a different network. Networks aren’t just helpful for finding opportunities, they’re also an excellent way to meet new people. When you meet with people in a social setting, you have the opportunity to socialize with them and interact with them in new ways. Networking also allows you to connect with people on a deeper level than you would through email, texting, or social media.
Learn new skills
The world is constantly evolving and new skills are always necessary in order to keep up with the demands of modern life. If you don’t know how to do something, you’re stuck trying to figure it out as you go along. Learning new skills is like money in the bank for the future. The best way to learn new skills is through hands-on learning. Doing projects, reading books, and taking classes are the best ways to learn new skills. You’re also more likely to learn new skills when you challenge yourself in new ways and when you’re surrounded by people who also want to learn new things.
Spend time with friends and loved ones
Spending time with close friends and family makes you happier, healthier, and more likely to contribute to society. This is especially important for people who don’t have a close social network. Having a social network is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Make time for your social network. If you don’t have enough time to meet the needs of your social network, prioritize those people and make time for them.
Plan your finances and career path
Allocating your time, money, and energy in the right ways will give you the best return on each. If you’re not sure how to plan for your finances, there are plenty of resources online. There are also many books and online courses that can help you plan for your financial future. If you want to learn more about your career path, talk to other people who are in your career path and get their advice.
Don’t take anything for granted
Life is short and you never know when something will happen to take a positive event and turn it into a negative one. When you take time to appreciate what you have, you’re less likely to get mad at other people, or yourself, if something happens that takes something away from you. That’s why it’s important to make a yearly plan and spend time planning out your future.
Cultivate your strengths
Take the time to understand what makes you unique and what your strengths are. Spend time on activities that make you happy and develop your strengths. For example, people who enjoy writing and communicating tend to be happier and healthier when they spend time on these activities. Strengths are also important because they’re the skills you have that are unique to you that give you a competitive advantage in your field. Developing your strengths is like making a daily investment in your long-term happiness and success.
Network with others
Networking is the best way to meet new people, share your skills, and find new opportunities. The best way to network is to participate in group activities that require you to socialize with others. For example, professional organizations and social clubs are great ways to meet new people, add value to the group, and learn new skills. When you network, don’t just connect with people and try to sell your skills. Instead, listen to others and try to learn from them.
Living your life by design means thinking ahead and planning your days, weeks, months, and years so that they align with your values and goals. Designing your life means being intentional about the kind of person you want to be, and how you want to live your life. This doesn’t mean you need to plan every detail of your future. Instead, think about designing your life as a series of small choices that add up to create a larger pattern over time. If you’re ready to begin the process of designing the life you want instead of continuing along the same path, read on for 10 tips on how to live by design.