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27 things that help you design the life and results you really want

Retreat and reflections on creating change in life in the Canadian RockiesI recently celebrated my 50th birthday. As part of the celebrations, my family and I took a trip to the Canadian Rockies. During our trip I spent some time reflecting on the many things that have been helpful in designing the life, work and results I really wanted over the years.

Here are some of the things that came out of that reflection:

27 things that help you design the life and results you really want.

1. Get clear on your values and build your life around that. That is a key factor in creating a fulfilling and meaningful life.

2. Create your own definition of success based on your values. Not doing this can result in living by success as defined by society or other people that isn’t a fit for you.

3. Create a vision of what a fulfilling and meaningful life looks like for you. You need a map for your life so you can plan a route to get there! Keep the big picture in the front of your mind every day. It helps you stay motivated and keep focussed on taking action.

4. Don’t try and change too much at once. It is counterproductive to progress. Plus it can create overwhelm and stress.

5. Take small steps consistently and persistently. It sets you up to succeed, makes the journey more enjoyable and maintains the momentum of progress.

6. Don’t get caught in the being too busy trap. Change requires time and space to do something different. Being constantly busy will keep you stuck.

7. Surround yourself with constructive, supportive people. This will be invaluable through the ups and downs as you create change.

8. Protect yourself from unconstructive, unsupportive people who criticise you and your plans to change your life. These people will drain your energy, negatively impact your confidence and steal your joy.

9. Get clear on what you need to learn and in order to create the changes and results you most want. Then create a plan to learn those things.

10. Seek out people who have already achieved the change or result you want to create and learn from them. This can significantly speed up the process. Plus it can help you to avoid mistakes and pitfalls.

11. Don’t do consumer debt. It keeps you stuck and limits choices. Build a life that you want, not one that requires you to service debt! Experiences and living life fully trump the accummulation of “stuff.”

12. Take a minimalist approach to life. Clearing your path of what clutters your mental and physical space is liberating. Designing the life and results you really want is way easier if you clear away the unnecessary and excess.

13. Don’t give up when the brown stuff hits the fan – and it will, many times. Setbacks and challenges are not a reason to give up. They are part of the process, along with screw ups and mistakes. Just learn the lesson, apply the learning and move on. The path to the life and results you really want isn’t linear.

14. Keep a sense of humour. Oh boy, the difference this makes.

15. Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. You can’t change your life by sticking with the comfort and familiarity of the status quo. Accept that the change process can often feel uncomfortable, uncertain and a struggle.

16. Foster tenacity and resilience. Those habits will be invaluable when the going gets tough.

17. Celebrate progress, no matter how small. It can be demotivating to just keep focussing on how far you still have to go. Celebrating progress helps remind you that you are making progress and moving forward. That helps with keeping motivation going.

18. Prioritise rest, downtime and self care. It refuels your mental and physical energy to help you keep going. Without it you risk burnout, illness and not achieving the life and results you really want.

19. Ask yourself what you need to stop doing. Sometimes we get in our own way!

20. Ask yourself who you need to “be” to create that change. Who you are “being” will have a direct impact on your actions and outcomes.

21. Ask for help when you need it or feel stuck. It isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you get that no one is successful alone.

22. Set strong boundaries. This will help you protect what is most important and keep you on the right track.

23. Choose to let go of things that don’t serve your vision. Holding on to things that no longer serve you or your vision will hold you back.

24. Choose wisely what gets your time and attention. Distractions and wasting time on things that are not really contributing to the life and results you really want is self sabotaging behaviour.

25. Learn to say no more. Be selective with what you commit to. It makes a big difference to your time and energy.   

26. Choose to enjoy the journey. It makes a big difference.

27. Don’t always be focussing on the future. Find ways to live in the moment and enjoy the present while you also take action to create the future.

Which ones on the list would you benefit from taking action on? Are there any others you would add to this list?

Get change strategies to thrive in life and work

  • Adela crandell durkee

    So many good things to do here.4,5,6 are important for me to keep as touchstones.

  • Hi Adela, yes, those three things can make a massive difference, in many ways and on many different levels.

  • All great advice, especially this: Protect yourself from unconstructive, unsupportive people who criticise you and your plans to change your life. These people will drain your energy, negatively impact your confidence and steal your joy. I have had to learn some of this the hard way in my own life.

  • Hi Carol, I have experienced that too. It can feel really hard to deal with but taking action to deal with it feels really liberating.

  • Hi Ali! And congrats on turning 50. Plus I think you know I think every one of your suggestions is a SMART way to live. My favorite though is #26! Enjoy the ride. ~Kathy

  • Hi Kathy, I agree. Given that now is all we have, it doesn’t make sense putting off finding enjoyment in the moment until we “arrive” at an ouitcome that could be weeks, months or even years in the future.

  • Oh Ali, I really needed this today. I needed that reminder to keep my eyes on the prize even while going through the hard times. Thank you and happy belated birthday.

  • Rena, I am delighted this helped in some way.

  • 1010 Park Place

    These are all such wonderful, common sense suggestions. The real problem is most of us don’t follow them. How do we value ourselves enough to stick to these? I sometimes think it takes an Arianna Huffington collapse to make a serious impression on most of us. xoxo, Brenda

  • Hi Brenda, you have hit on an important point – common sense often isn’t common practice. Sometimes it can be because our deeply ingrained thought process and habits drive us. So focussing on forming new thought processes and habits can help a lot.