March 5, 2010

What Exactly Is Lifestyle Design?

Over the past few weeks, I have received a handful of emails on the topic of lifestyle design. Specifically, a few people asked me what lifestyle design actually means. Instead of coming up with a short definition, I decided to put together a post that answers that question in detail.

In a nutshell, lifestyle design is all about creating your own design and plan for life. You start by asking yourself some basic questions such as:

  • What do you want to accomplish in your life?
  • What is important to you?
  • Where do you want to live?
  • What do you want to spend your time doing?

Once you have a good understanding of what you want out of life, you then design a lifestyle to suit your needs. Last but not least, you create a plan to make it happen.

Want a longer definition? Here is what I think lifestyle design is all about:

It’s All About Choices

Lifestyle design is all about realizing that you have a choice in life. No one ever said you had to stick with your job or go to college (parents are an exception).

Instead, you have complete control over everything you do (or don’t do). If something isn’t the way you want it to be, you can change it. If you are not where you want to be, you can create a plan to get there.

Once you realize that you have control in life, you can start to think outside the box and start having fun with it.

It’s All About You

As selfish as it sounds, lifestyle design is all about you. Sometimes you have to spend a little time on yourself and truly figure out what it is you want to do in life. Otherwise you might race through your whole life without even realizing it.

No one can tell you how or why you should live your life a certain way. Many “Lifestyle Designers” will try to tell you that traveling and wealth are everything but this is far from the truth.

However, I have come to realize that time, passion, and freedom are the three things that most of us are after. Other than that, everything is custom to who you are and what you want to do.

It’s All About A Design

Lifestyle design is all about designing a lifestyle that suits you. Instead of accepting the typical lifestyle that many people have told you to follow, you go out and create one from scratch that suits you (a unique individual).

If you want to travel, then by all means design a lifestyle that allows you to travel as often as possible. If you like being a waitress, perhaps you should design a lifestyle that allows you to be the best damn waitress on the planet.

The key is to design something that is ideal for yourself. Do not listen to what anyone else has to say and do not fear what others might think of you.

It’s All About A Plan

Lifestyle design is all about taking your design and creating a plan to make it a reality. Trust me, it is a lot easier than you think once you already have the design aspect figured out.

The important thing is to completely breakdown your lifestyle design and figure out what obstacles, tasks, and projects need to be figured out in order for you to live life the way you want it to be. Then start coming up with small steps you can take in the right direction.

It is also important to realize that lifestyle design takes time. Don’t expect everything to fall in to place overnight. Try your best to enjoy the journey and constantly remind yourself that your life is happening right now.

It’s All About Action

Lifestyle design is all about taking action. Without it, you are not going to get anywhere you haven’t already been. So take my advice and get started today, not tomorrow. Start taking any steps you can and before you know it your life will be just how you planned it.

From personal experience, I have found that the very first step is always the hardest. Once you get started, you start to build up your motivation to keep going and things start falling into place.

It’s All About Dedication

Lifestyle design is all about dedication. While taking action is very important, it is not the only thing you need to be successful. Since most people are going to hit roadblocks (including myself) along the way, you have to be dedicated to making this all work.

Take my advice and realize that you will fall down sometimes. When it happens, force yourself to get back up and continue you on. Eventually you will get where you want (and need) to be.

It’s All About Passion

Lifestyle design is all about passion. Regardless of how you design your lifestyle, you should be 100% certain that you are passionate as hell about it. You should be ready to eat, sleep, and breath your lifestyle and everything that comes along with it.

Why is passion so important? Because you should enjoy what you do on a daily (even hourly) basis. Everything you do in your life should be something you want to do, not something you feel forced to do.

It’s All About Change

Lifestyle design is all about change. What kind of change? A change for the better.

This is a personal opinion, but I feel that lifestyle design should be about making a difference in the world, someone’s life, or in the way we do things. I truly believe that as humans, we have a desire to help in as many ways as possible.

Don’t believe me? Just ask someone what they would do if they didn’t have to work and many people will answer with volunteer, teach, or some other form of activity that benefits someone or something.

If your lifestyle design is nothing more than making a bunch of money and doing nothing, then by all means do it. However, I highly recommend seeking a lifestyle where you can benefit others (and/or the world we live in).

There you have it, an in-depth look at lifestyle design. I probably missed a few things and some people may have differing opinions but I think this is a great starting point.

Photo Credit: icathing

Have something to add? Feel free to leave some feedback and let me know.

18 thoughts on “What Exactly Is Lifestyle Design?

  1. Ryan


    I agree with your statement:

    “but I feel that lifestyle design should be about making a difference in the world, someone’s life, or in the way we do things. I truly believe that as humans, we have a desire to help in as many ways as possible.”

    How ever, I beleive that their must be a transition period in which we become selfishly focused on what we want in life. Selfishness is a taboo term in current society, but I feel that it is necessary in order to truly understand ourselves.

    Once we understand who we are and what we want in life, the inevitable result is helping others.

    I enjoyed the simplicity of this post. Kind of a condesded version of The 4 Hour Work Week (Written by Tim Ferriss, who created the idea of “Lifestyle Design”). I’m assuming you have read it?

    Good Work


    1. Justin Wright Post author

      Hey Ryan, I completely agree. It’s really important to focus on ourselves and get a great idea of what we want do and what we want out of life.

      Yep, I read the 4 hour Work Week a few times. While I don’t follow all of the principles (outsourcing everything, etc.), I do feel it is a great guide on lifestyle design. The idea of focusing your time on what you enjoy is what I live by.

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  3. Tim Stiffler-Dean

    I found your site looking for someone who made drastic changes in their life to be more happy. I am a freelancer right now, working my own hours, doing something that I used to enjoy a lot, but now I hate. Interestingly enough, I’ve already been taking the steps that you share here, but I’m glad for the confirmation.

    In coming weeks my life will be very different from what it is today, and hopefully I’ll start putting myself on a path to a life that I can enjoy.

  4. Build Your Own Hovercraft

    I think everyones lifestyle design is different. It depends on nature of that person. It depends on which Contry, society and friend circle he leaves. Those who are trying hard for their bread and butter they cant even think about lifestyle design, but those who spent plenty of money on their leisure they can have different view. This blog is very interesting in this view. It tells all about how to develope your lifestyle design.

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  6. outdoor enthusiasts

    HI Justin,

    Just read your blog, I’m looking to make a change to my life next year, some great tips there, for me the main point is action. With out actioning anything you’ll never make any changes and get to where you want to be.


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  8. Billy

    Thanks a bunch for your explanation of lifestyle design. I’ve been trying to work with others on how to create a lifestyle based off creativity/ experiences. Its definitely taking me to places that I didn’t think I’d end up in for good and not so good =D Im currently working as a shoe designer, but am totally immersed in a type of subculture that is its own lifestyle where we create costumes and music to create this epic experience. Burning Man included, but its something so amazing.


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  12. Wayne Diotte

    Lifestyle Design: this has/been my main focus for over 35 years. A truly ‘Macro’ consultation is all about creating/living your greatest potential. As such I encourage examination of one’s biological / psychological/ philosophical /spiritual condition (starting point).
    Then proceed with choices/planning/reality checks:-)/design methodology etc.
    Comprehensive cornerstones and self examination are essential for the designed lifestyle to be more than a fleeting ‘phase’
    Remember : this is Your Great Life.

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