Lifestyle Design 101: Getting Creative

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Lifestyle Design 101: Getting Creative

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Guess what? You don't have to live your life according to what "they" say.

You know who "they" are....those unforeseen forces encouraging you to go to college, choose a lifelong career, get married, buy a house, have kids, and finish off with a cozy retirement.

This might have been a successful life storyboard in times passed, but our landscape is changing, and many previous truths are no longer so. People are sensing this pre-determined design isn't all it's cracked up to be, and that there's more to life than a game plan we were born into.

New Landscape, New Choices

Today, we have much more freedom at our fingertips.

For example, many careers give us location independent freedoms, with the ability to telecommute, freelance, or run businesses from anywhere in the world thanks to technology. And it's easier and cheaper than ever to keep in touch while traveling or living abroad.

The Retirement Dream

The saddest part of the pre-fab life design is that it's built on delayed gratification. Many people who aren't happy in their current lives justify it by hanging on to a retirement dream. Unfortunately, our "retirement dreams" are often unrealistic impulsive visions of what we'd like our lives to be like now - and not what we might be yearning for (or capable of) at 65.

I know - I was one of those people.

Lifestyle Design 101

In our society, we have the freedom and ability to literally design our lives to suit our dreams; dreams we previously either dismissed or reserved for retirement.

I redesigned my life at the age of 30 when I realized I was unhappy. I felt like I'd been sentenced to another (minimum of) 30 years of "daily grind" before I could live my retirement dream; a dream that was likely to be unrealistically demanding at 65.

So at 30 I "retired"!

Of course I didn't retire in a conventional sense, but it was my retirement dream nonetheless. I sold everything to adopt my life-long dream of travel, and developed a career as a writer to financially support that dream.

And I'm not alone; individuals and families of all ages have taken to the road and found a way to redesign their own lives to suit.

This isn't a call for you to sell everything and travel the world, as it's far from everybody's idea life. But if people from all backgrounds can redesign their lives (sometimes despite their circumstances), I'm willing to bet you can too - if you want to.

Get Creative

The trick to lifestyle design is to be creative; there are many ways to skin a cat (so to speak). Assume there are no "rules". What do you want to do with your life? You've only got one shot at it - it's time to make it count.

Lifestyle Design 101: Questions to ask

Here are some questions that might help you design the life of your dreams. Don't worry about providing "practical" answers; allow yourself to dream. It just might be that after some creative pondering you can find a way to live a life you didn't think was possible.

Describe a day in your perfect life.

Describe a week in your perfect life.

Describe a year in your perfect life.

How would you like your life to evolve? (Is there a progression of some sort you'd like to follow, like having kids, developing a business, or working up to a big goal)?

Describe your perfect job.

Describe your perfect home.

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Nora Dunn, Guest Lifestyle Blogger, CareOne Debt Relief ServicesNora Dunn

Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo: a full-time traveler and freelance writer. She is a contributing writer under the CareOne Debt Relief Services Life Balance blog. Having sold her business and belongings to travel, she has been on the road since 2007. She travels in a financially sustainable manner, taking advantage of creative volunteering positions. As a former certified Financial Planner, she is financially responsible for her actions along the way. She believes there is a fine balance between planning for tomorrow, and living for today. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services. You can follow Nora on Twitter @hobonora

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  • So....you're saying "skinning a cat" is a viable option for lifestyle design?  :-)  

    Seriously - I've been reading the Professional Hobo for about a year now and have been inspired.  I'm actively working toward ditching the 9-5 (or 9-9 in my case), using my laptop as an office, and slow traveling until I feel like stopping.  

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • @Christopher - Well as you know there's many ways to skin a cat.... (hardy har har)!

    Thanks for reading! And best of luck with your efforts at ditching the 9 to 9! (I remember it well...)

  • I love your blogs you are so inspiring.  I am glad there is someone out there  doing exactly what I want to do.   I am planning on quitting my job soon to travel the world.

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