Steps to Designing Your Life to Maximize Success

Are you consciously designing your life? Do you really understand what that means and how to do it?

This is crucial because, in a time when online marketers are pushing their services or goods as giving you the time and financial flexibility you need to construct your “life by design,” it’s critical that you grasp what designing your life entails and how to accomplish it effectively.

The trouble is that, while it sounds fantastic in principle, most people have no idea what it means to design a meaningful life, and they have no idea where to begin when they’re stuck.

As a result, I’m going to share 5 steps with you for constructing a life that is both sustainable and sensible.

If changing your life feels like too big a task, check out the video below to find some inspiration before you continue reading:

Step 1: Get Clear on What You Want

At the core of designing your life is the question of what you actually want and what will help you wake up excited to live every day. In order to achieve this, you have to get clear on exactly what you want.

We live in a culture where people are constantly bombarded with other people’s inputs, thoughts, beliefs, and views. Not to add, our daily environments have a profound impact on our values, beliefs, and wants.

As a result, it’s all too easy to lose sight of who we are and what we want in life amid the din.

That is why it is critical to seek clarity.

Clarity is essential for building the life you want to live because, without it, everyone else’s desires and expectations for your life will take precedence.

You must break free from the stories of your history that have informed you who you are and what you should want in order to construct your life.

The only effective way to do that is by seeking clarity. You can do this through mind mapping, journaling, or meditation.

Step 2: Create a Plan

After you’ve figured out exactly what you want out of life, the true “design” job begins when you devise a strategy for achieving those goals.

This article is a fantastic place to start if you’re not sure what a decent plan should include.

Consider your life as a wonderful piece of architecture. A group of builders didn’t just show up one day and start putting things together in the hopes of creating something beautiful.

Instead, they put in the time and effort to sketch out every single element of that structure, and they did it long before they even started construction.

One of the most common reasons people never achieve their goals is their unwillingness to put in the effort required to create a strategy to get there.

Yes, hard effort, dedication, and faith are all important components to successfully creating and living the life you want, but none of them matter if you don’t have a strategy in place to create and develop your life.

Take the time to prepare, just as an architect would, before you start breaking ground, swinging hammers, and constructing anything significant in your life.

Otherwise, you might discover that the structure you’ve constructed isn’t what you expected.

Step 3: Be Flexible and Open-minded

Even when there is a plan in place, those who live the most fulfilled and joyful lives are those who are flexible and open-minded to change and new opportunities.[1]

The issue is that many areas of your life are always changing and evolving, and it is this fluid character of life that introduces uncertainty and adventure into the picture. As a result, the plans you establish today may become obsolete tomorrow.

You may be considering returning to school to enhance your degree, but an opportunity to start your own business may arise.

You may have set a big goal for yourself, but something bigger may come along, or the original objective may no longer be of interest to you.

In both of these cases, being adamant about sticking to the original plan could hurt future prospects. The essential idea to take away from all of this is that when it comes to building your life, you must have a plan, but you must also retain an open heart and mind.

One of the downsides to planning is that, because you invest so much time, energy, and effort into creating it, you can get rigid about following it to a T.

Step 4: Say “No” More Often

If you take away nothing else from this article, this may be the one piece of wisdom you want to hold on to.

We live in a society where “busy” is celebrated. The problem is that when busy becomes your default way of living, the things you care most about have a way of getting buried under other stuff.

That’s why the subtle art of learning to say no more often is necessary if you want to start designing your life.[2]

One of life’s truths is that you can’t do two things at once, at least not successfully.

When you combine the uncertainty with the little time you have, you’re either constructing your life or succumbing to the agendas of others.

In our society, the word “no” carries a negative meaning. As a result, the majority of people grow up unable to properly stand up for their time and boldly say no to anything.

People have a hard time saying no, whether it’s due to a concern of offending or disappointing others, or the dreaded fear of missing out (FOMO).

However, regaining control of your time and agenda is critical if you actually want to start designing your life efficiently.

Step 5: Understand That Failure Is Part of the Process

Most people are afraid of failing, and this fear prevents them from pursuing their actual goals, desires, and aspirations. If you want to be able to construct your own life, you must not only accept that failure will be a part of it, but you must also learn to love it.

I’ll tell you why: it’s typically through our mistakes in life that we learn our most valuable lessons and attain greater progress.

Most individuals, you see, don’t take the time to think on their victories in order to find out what went right and allowed them to win. They also don’t take the time to consider how they can improve their performance in the future.

When people fail, however, they are more thoughtful, particularly about why they failed in the first place.

You will put yourself up for long-term success if you can learn to dig deeper into your setbacks and perceive them as learning opportunities.

People mistake failure for a stop sign, which is one of the most serious issues with it. They believe that this is the end of the path, but this is not the case.

If you want to start building your life, consider failure as a yield sign — a location where you may take a breath, assess the situation, and go forward when you’re ready.

When you can learn to view failure in this light, you’ll begin to see its benefits, and once you do, you’ll stop dreading failure and begin to embrace it.

Final Thoughts

Living a life by design is absolutely possible. However, you have to remember that it is a conscious process.

Just like with architecture, great works don’t happen by accident. It’s through conscious, intentional action that someone is able to build a well-lived life.

By engaging with the 5 steps outlined here, you’ll be effective and actually enjoy the process of designing your life.


  1. Social Neuroscience: Taking another’s perspective promotes right parietal-frontal activity that reflects open-minded thought

2. Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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