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Living your best life is a popular buzzword that gets tossed around often as we view the highlight reels of our friends on social media but what does it take to authentically live the high life?

When you tap into what your true self desires and begin to live the life you want to live deep down inside, it is one of the most freeing experiences. But sometimes we have no clue where to start. 

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We all want to be the best version of ourselves as we can be. It takes time, self-reflection, diligence, and willpower. You have to take great care in being honest with yourself to design your life and then it requires follow through.

This process can be even more challenging for women, as we tend to struggle in putting ourselves first and taking time for ourselves.

Designing your best self involves a fair amount of self-analyzing; you’ll need to identify and address what you deem your faults and be patient enough to handle slow, incremental changes.

This process can’t happen overnight. In this post, I’ll walk you through my process and tell you how you can design your greatest self.

Related: How to Find Your Purpose in Life

Be Open to New Things

The first step in designing your greatest self is to begin by opening up your mindset and willingness to try new things.

Begin to be open to new opportunities and adventures. You might be surprised at how much this simple act can change you and your path in life. We get stuck in our comfort zone and quickly shut down any thought of switching things up.

Try new things, learn new skills, meet new people, explore new places; you never know where you might end up or how it might change you.

Take Time for Self-Reflection

This is a very important step when it comes to lifestyle design. You’ll never be your greatest self if you don’t know yourself. Taking time to explore who you are as a person, what you like to do and what you want in life is essential to your happiness and success. Take some time monthly, weekly, or even daily to really get to know yourself.

Begin with my 30 day Get to Know Me challenge. It’s a free workbook that asks questions that reveal the parts of you you never knew existed. 

Stay Motivated and Keep Your Momentum

We all have days where we don’t feel as motivated, but we can’t let them get the better of us. If you’re going to design and work on your greatest self, you have to push through the slow period and find your motivation so you don’t lose momentum. Progress is an incremental process.

Know the Good Habits from the Bad Habits

We all have a mixed bag of good and bad habits with which we deal. It’s important to identify these habits and whether they’re good or bad when designing your greatest self.

You should do what you can to maximize your good habits and minimize the bad ones. These habits will be revealed to you in my Get to Know Me challenge. Be honest with yourself as you go through the challenge as you’re only hurting yourself by holding back. 

Don’t Let Your Emotions Take Control

While experiencing emotions and working through them are normal and necessary parts of life, allowing them to take control and rule important decisions in your life can be hindering.

It’s important to keep them in check whenever necessary and to identify appropriate times to express them. In order to do this, you’ll have to be in-tune with your emotions to know when they’re taking control and when it’s an appropriate level of emotion for the predicament or situation.

Meditation has been one of the greatest tools in my arsenal for dealing with my emotions. It allows me to have a slower reaction time to things that would anger me so that I’m able to process the situation and now blow things out of proportion. 

Related: Free Adult Coloring Pages with Powerful Gratitude Affirmations for Success

Put Yourself First Sometimes

While it’s important and honorable to put others before yourself, you’re important too. You have to put yourself first every once in a while. It’s a trend among women to always put the needs of others before their own, which is great until it becomes detrimental.

If you never take care of yourself, you’ll become too weak and feeble to care for others or yourself. Remember the saying, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to find balance and be sure to give yourself the time and care you need.

Being your greatest self takes work, diligence, patience, time, and a whole lot of effort. You have to take time for self-reflection and the patience and strength to work on improving yourself. This is not always easy, as you’ll have to admit to and address your faults, but it’s necessary and healthy, as well as the only way to become truly your best self.

Key Considerations When Designing Your Life

Dave Evans and Bill Burnett, the directors of Stanford’s Design Program, have come to the conclusion that we can improve our lives by applying the principles of design.

True, “designing your life” isn’t quite like designing a consumer product, or a webpage. However, design is all about solving problems and foreseeing problems that may come up and finding ways around them.

Whether you think that designing your life sounds inspiring, too difficult, or too ridiculous, think about these key considerations and see how you feel then.

Your Core Values

Your values should always be a key consideration in designing your greatest life, let them guide you to where you want to be. It would be helpful if you wrote down what your values in life are. No clue where to start? Try my Life by Design Workbook. It’s a companion workbook to my Life by Design guide to creating the life that you desire. 

Experimentation

You may think, especially if you are an older reader, that it is too late for you to design your life. After all, things are supposed to be designed before they’re made and you’re already here, right?

Design is actually a little more complicated than that. Sure, things are designed before they’re made, but try to think of a tool that looks exactly the same now as when it was first invented. Everything that we use goes through constant design and re-design. Why should your life be any different?

Design and life are both about experimentation, so if you’ve got more experience than other people, that only puts you further along in the design process.

On the other hand, if you’re a younger reader, it only means that you have the opportunity to learn now from those who have gone before you to avoid some of the complications that you see in the “designs” of the lives of those around you.

Life Strategy

Your life strategy is shaped by your beliefs, goals and purposes and all the decisions you make in how you spend your time and energy. Set your strategy according to your goals and monitor the direction your life is going accordingly.

Solving “Wicked Problems”

As we’ve discussed, the point of design is to solve problems. But what if a problem can’t be “solved”? Problems that can’t be solved because they are the result of a complex network of systems, because they are poorly defined, or for a number of other reasons, have been called “wicked problems.”

Wicked problems seemingly cannot be solved, they can only be improved. We all live in a world of wicked problems, even if we are not directly touched by them.

Wicked problems are not problems that classical design deals with, because classical design usually starts with a single, small, well-defined problem to address in a specific way. Cans are difficult to open. Designers make a can-opener. Problem solved.

Poverty, on the other hand, is an example of a wicked problem. Designers in various capacities can work on solving the problem, but they aren’t going to do it with a single design. Further, because wicked problems are usually social in nature, humans can be part of the solution rather than just devices or things.

If “problems” are seen as challenges or systems of challenges rather than issues or things to fix, life could be seen as a wicked problem. The “problem” at hand is always changing, and each problem is the result of any dozen connected circumstances or situations.

Looking at your life as a wicked problem can help you design your life, not to solve your life, but to improve it. Well-designed lives can also be part of the solution for larger societal problems.

What is the wicked problem that you are constantly improving in your life?

Related: How to Create Passive Income Streams that Tap Into Your Passions

Keeping The User In Mind

A final thing to consider is that the best designs are “user-centered.” This means that they are designed in a way that makes them easy and pleasant for the user to use rather than prioritizing things like cost or speed of production.

You are the user of your life and applying principles of design to your life means that it should work for you, not to make your life efficient for those around you.

User-centered design requires checking in with the users to see how the product is working for them, so be sure to stop every now and then to check in with yourself and make sure that your life is working for you.

Hopefully, I’ve gotten you a little more interested in applying design principles to your life. You don’t have to have a formal education or experience in design to do this.

Just think about how you would go about building something to solve any problem and apply that thought process to the problems that you see in your own life, with yourself as the only tool you need to solve or improve them.

I hope that you found this post to be useful as you navigate through the process of designing your best self. Just remember, as you go through this process, that the change will not happen overnight; it will take time for you to fully implement these changes and start to see results. Be patient with yourself and don’t give up.