Gone are the days of waiting for retirement to create the life you want. There are ample strategies we can employ today, to design the lifestyle we truly want to lead. And the best bit is that you don’t need to be flush to get going.
.
Lifestyle design is broad, covering everything from the work you do; to what you choose to spend your money on and how you while away your time.
.
It’s about being purposeful with your resources, maximising their value and using them to bring you joy.
.
Some strategies are minor – like tweaking your trip to work to make it more enjoyable or shorter; others major – like taking a leap into entrepreneurship. Some could be centred around experiences, others, habits cultivated over the long term.
.
Like all design strategies, you need to start by outlining what you are solving i.e. what you want your life to look like. Not only today but throughout future decades. And to do that you need to explore.
.
Your ideal life might not look like your parents’ or like the lives of the people around you. Be open to experiences, places, solutions to problems that you might have not thought of yet.
.
Once you find something you think you want – test.
.
There is no point spending most of your life saving for a beach house only to realise that you don’t really like the beach!
.
The same goes with jobs, friends, hobbies, anything really. Don’t waste time investing in something you don’t really want or that does not serve a bigger purpose.
.
Your biggest currency is time. Reduce time spent on tasks you don’t enjoy, to maximise time spent on things you love.
.
For me, a perfect example of this is housework or shopping for essentials. I bulk buy certain items so that I don’t have to think about them more than necessary. In turn, this often also saves me money which is really our second most critical resource.
.
When it comes to lifestyle design, money opens a lot of doors (of course), but it’s not the only thing that matters. I don’t have to tell you that there are plenty of rich, unhappy people in this world, however there is also a freedom that comes with not being tied to a job you hate in order to pay the bills.
.
Money buys you time; and time buys you a life.
.
The encouraging aspect of lifestyle design is that, often, small changes make a big difference. You don’t have to be rich, or able to work a four hour week to add extra joy in your life.
.
What you do need is to be purposeful. To actively take decisions on how you spend your time and money. Here are a few more resources to help you live your best life:
  • Tim Ferriss focuses extensively on lifestyle design by chatting to the world’s brightest and most successful individuals and tapping into their tips and tricks for a better life.
  • Making of a Millionaire on Medium contains plenty of articles around how to nurture your finances, invest and work to an early retirement!
  • Entrepreneur magazine contains articles, interviews, webinars around how to start a business.
  • Books that change lives. There are tonnes of lists of best books for this and best books for that. This is a good one to start with.