In my last post I talked about Lifestyle Design, a concept introduced to me by Tim Ferriss in The 4 Hour Workweek.
Today I want to share some of the principles that I took from the book, which can help you create the life you desire.
1. Decide what your priorities are
What are your priorities. Family? Money? Time? Work? Freedom?
I think this step is an important one. How often do we actually sit down and consider what our priorities are and consider our lives in this way. Someone once said to me, we spend more time planning our annual holiday than our life, and they were right. If you don’t at least have an idea of what your priorities are, you can be sure that the marketing machine will help you choose some.
If your priorities seem different from other people’s, don’t worry, you’re probably on the right track. Just because everyone else is off in a different direction, it doesn’t make it right. Don’t let the ‘norm’ become your default if it doesn’t fit in with your plan.
2. Decide what you want to achieve in your life
You probably have around 80-100 years here to do what you want to do. If you take off twenty years at the front end, and another ten or so off the back end, that leaves you around 50 years in the middle. If you’re not careful, those 50 years can easily be swallowed up with working and paying bills. Make sure you prioritise the important stuff.
3. Make a plan
Businesses make plans all the time so why not make a plan for the business of living. Get a pen and paper and roughly write down what you’d like to do, where you’d like to go, what you’d like to own.
Planning can be fun, it gives you the opportunity to explore your own mind and discover what your heart really desires without external influence.
The next step is to work out how much money you need to achieve these goals. Like a shopping list, tot it up, it’s amazing how doing this can make what were once just pipe dreams into realistic ambitions. Perhaps you thought you would need to earn a million pounds to be happy, and in reality the things you really desire cost a fraction of that. It’s empowering to realise that you can actually achieve what you want, and it will give you the motivation to get started. Today.
4. Earn to live, or do something you’d do anyway, regardless of money
Either earn the money you need (see your plan) in the least amount of time possible, or do something you love that you would do for nothing anyway.
Option one – find the job that will pay you the most amount of money per hour. Work the minimum amount of hours required to fulfil your needs. By following this strategy you will be earning the money you need quickly without wasting any of your valuable time.
Option two, and the one I personally favour, is to find work which doesn’t feel like work. If you can make money at something you love, there is no ‘work’ and ‘life’. No balance is required, it’s all just life!
I set out to achieve this ten years ago. Within two years I had not only replaced my job income, but I has exceeded it. It can be done when you have a clear focus and motivation which isn’t influenced by marketing, which is designed to continually drag you from your path (unless of course the marketing is for something in your plan!)
5. Don’t wait for retirement. Don’t wait for tomorrow
Tim Ferriss pushed the idea of ‘mini-retirements’ in his book. His theory was; why spend 40 years working hard, to spend 15 years not doing much because you’re too old. His idea was to have short bursts of work interspersed with mini-retirements. Basically sabbaticals on steroids.
I resonate with this idea. The idea of retiring doesn’t currently excite me. If you are doing work you enjoy, you may be quite happy to pursue that well past the age of 65. It seems sensible to focus on how you can enjoy your whole life, not just the last few years.
So that’s my take on lifestyle design, what do you think? Have you implemented any or all of these ideas to your own life?