I thought I would share the process I use to design each year on purpose, meaning every year I get more of what I want in my life. I spend time focusing on what I want for the year ahead, deliberately, and intentional.
Does it always work out that I get exactly what I plan?
Not always. I definitely get closer each year to the life I want.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is therefore not an act, but a habit - Aristotle
There are essentially 3 steps to this caper:
I will talk about each in the next 3 blogs. Giving it plenty of time to get into the nitty gritty of each step.
Before I break down each of the steps, let’s talk a bit more generically.
How often would I deploy the Design your Life on Purpose?*
I would suggest no more frequently than every 3 months and not less than 12 months. This give you time to get into action and check on the changes you are making. More frequently might mean you lose motivation, particularly if you cannot see the changes you are making.
*(deploy the design your life on purpose sounds like a medical show. 'Quick bring the design your life on purpose stat, we are about to lose this one to an unplanned life.')
When is it best to start?
Similar to the adage about when is the best time to plant a tree*, NOW. Even if half way through a month. You can start whenever, I do find the quarter and month seem to package up time nicely to help focus on a specific period of time.
*(the adage goes when is the best time to plant a tree. The answer is 20 years ago. The next best time to plant a tree is now.)
What is this step?
This step gives us the chance to reflect on the past, 3, 6 or 12 months. Whatever the time frame required. It can also be deployed whenever you are feeling lost or something is not sitting right for you.
I have a number of different techniques for you can use. The different ones do a couple of different things;
Not every tool is going to work for everyone. Some people resonate with some tools better than others.
Each tool is designed to extract something different, a different layer or perspective.
When to use what tool?
Using my philosophy of follow the energy, you can choose the tool that you like the best or use all of them.
Enough preamble let’s get to tools
Went Well/Do Differently
Create two columns of equal distance and record everything in the last 6 months that has ‘Went Well’ on the left and ‘Do Differently’ on the right. People tend to want to move to the ‘Do Differently’ really quickly, after noting a couple of ‘Went Well’s.’ Try and avoid moving to Do Differently too fast, really think about the types of things you can be grateful for, work, school, family, friends, all the elements of your life and record those in the Went Well. Record everything and stop and record some more. With the Do Differently the trick is to phrase something in a way you want it, rather than a list of problems or issues, eg problem statement would be “not exercising” a do differently would be more like “exercise consistently or exercise for 4 out of 5 days”. The content across the columns does not need to line up, ie the went well does not need to relate to the do differently that is alongside it in the column.
New Incahoots website is live (YAY!)
Moved my email from horrible provider to fancy new one
Creating a process to ensure newsletters are distributed monthly
Have Tuesday nights free of TV, 2 out of 4 weeks/month
More of / Less of
Similar to the tool above, in that you have two columns, one titled ‘More of’ the other title ‘Less of’. Record everything that you would like more of and less of in the next 6 months. I like this tool, because nothing is off the table, and you can still have a life, but spend less time on some areas and more on others.
More of… Drawing
Less of … Netflix
I am the person who…
You use this statement to capture the person you wish to be. Capture as many as are relevant. Putting the statement in future tense, focuses on the behaviour you want, not the absence of something. So, you would put ‘focuses on my health’ not 'is a non-smoker’, as that reinforces in your wee brain the activity you are trying to avoid - smoking.
Example: I am the person who… always takes the stairs
What are your BIG’s for the next 6 months of 2018?
List out all the things that you class as BIG for the rest of 2018. They can include things such as: big travel trips or little ones, anniversaries, birthdays, conferences. Anything that is important to you. It is kind of like fitting your mask first, before your calendar fills with loads of different things, put the big things in first, so the time is blocked with the critical things, and you can make informed decisions about what to also cram - I mean deliberately schedule in.
Possible Themes or Anchors
It is super helpful to have a word or a statement that helps keep you focused for the next 6 months. This section is where you put all the possible options, brainstorm away. Don't worry if it’s not right, just list the possibilities down for now.
This acts as a different type of anchor. Once you know your personal why, it can be very powerful. It helps you focus on the legacy you want to leave in the world, and to keep you moving forward. You can use the formulae, by filing in the bits in brackets. Where 'contribution' is the type of contribution you make to the world, and the 'impact', is the effect you have on the world.
Yep, legacy, you read right! It doesn't have to be that heavy, just give it a go, it doesn’t matter if it takes a little time to get right. Its just around focus.
I (contribution) so that (impact – effect you have on the world)
Example: I help people unearth what’s possible so that they can design a life that suits them perfectly or I cultivate creative collaborations so that they can do different!
So that is all the tools in Assess. What now?
Did you notice any themes, repeated items?
If you did, obviously your sub conscious is trying to tell you something. Perhaps you should listen.
Before we move onto the next stage - Design- please choose 3 only areas to focus on. I know it’s tempting to choose more, but the best change is incremental change, change that sticks.
Let’s use an example, to show how this works.
I used to be a Pespi Cola addict. I knew it was bad for me, so decided to ween myself off it, going from bottles a day, to one bottle a day, then half a glass in the evening, then 1/4 cup, then mineral water, then nothing. If I tried to give it all up at once, I would have had major cravings and headaches and probably would have been angry. I cannot recall the last time I had some, maybe 5 years ago. I do not miss it and do not crave it, AT ALL.
Apart from incremental change, the other reason this was successful, was I made the decision to change it, no-one except me was going to make this happen. If I did not want it, no-one was going to 'make' me. So decide and then do it slowly. Remember the quote from the Aristotle earlier in this post - life is about what you repeatedly do, what habits do you want to have in the future.
See you when we go through Design - part 2 of Design your Life, on Purpose.
Want to have an incremental way to design your life, on purpose?
Fabbo! Say hello to the Design your Life, on Purpose Ideation Series, starting on 1st September.
This ideation series will include tasks and activities for you to participate in over a 15 day period. At the end of the 15 days, you will have conducted an assessment, with time to think and reflect, designed your next 6 months and created an actionable plan to get you the Life you Want.
You might have heard people participating in a challenge, like a squat challenge or something like that. This ideation series is like that, but way funner! I want your mind to be thinking possibilities, not problems, so that is why its an ideation and not a challenge.
If you want to sign up immediately or just to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want more Incahoots in your life? (seriously, who doesn't)
So many exciting things coming up.....
Dreams Ideation (AKA challenge)
100 dreams in 7 days, using different techniques to capture all the dreams that are floating around your head. This can be used as starting point for defining what you might 'side hustle’ around or to determine what is that Life that you are designing for. Launching August.
Know someone Living a Life on Purpose (Working your Mojo Podcast)
Everyone has something super special (MOJO) about them. I am keen to interview people that are “Working that Mojo” as inspiration for people wanting to know how it all happens. I am super curious and keen to learn more. Please suggest those people that you would be interested in hearing how they Work their Mojo. Launching October.
Design your Life, on Purpose workshop
A 2 day event held in November 2018, is designed so you walk out with your 2019 plan all sorted and ready to go. If you believe in the power of collaboration and are interested in being with amazing people to create a life that is designed to work for you, then get ready peeps. This workshop magnifies the power of the individual x fold. November 2018.
Take care and Work that Mojo baby!
Christina Morgan-Meldrum (CMM) is an author, speaker, curator, change professional and podcaster. She particularly loves helping people start and scale side hustles, especially creatives and musicians to unearth possibilities, to design a life that suits them perfectly.
She has cultivated the ability to walk into any industry; see what is not seen, distil what is complicated, and simplify the chaos. This skill has been forged in a deliberate and concentrated way for over 20 years, through Personal Coaching and working in Organisational Change Management (before it was even a thing). She is currently working at TAFE on the SMS program as well as exploring many, many side hustles of her own.
Christina fills her time, coaching people on their side hustles, creating, blogging, learning the piano, while working on Change Management gigs. If you are looking for her, she is likely at her spiritual home JB Hi-Fi or exploring stationery stores or artisan markets.