From point A to point B, birth to death. It’s an important journey, one that many people take without the proper guides. After all, you would not take an automobile trip across the country without referring to a road map. You would not trek the outback of Australia—or climb the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains in California—without a compass. Yet many of us live our lives without a compass or map, never giving a moment’s thought about how we want our lives to look. If you are freewheeling your way through life with little or no direction, you are probably missing some of the greatest sights of all. Let’s close this gap.
Most people are so busy making a living that they forget to design a life. They are simply taking life as it comes, making decisions as they go, rather than moving with confidence.
Henry David Thoreau said, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”
Catch the key words and phrases: Advance confidently! Dreams! Imagine! Endeavor! Success! Here are the four key steps to help you design your life:
Step 1: Determine your accounts.
Accounts are those areas of your life that you value most. These accounts, like the ones at the bank, require your attention and focus. The five most common life-accounts are spiritual, physical, financial, relational, and vocational.
Step 2: Determine your vision for each account.
For each account, ask yourself, In the next five, ten, or even fifteen years, what do I want this account to look like?
Step 3: Determine your actions in each account.
You will inevitably find gaps in each account. What actions will you take to close them?
Step 4: Schedule the actions.
The only way to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams is to act! You must turn new behaviors into solid habits that will last a lifetime. This is your map. Follow it!