Tuesday Theme: Lifestyle Design

My Tuesday Theme is lifestyle design because I think it is important to consider the way I am living and experiment on how to improve it. This is a big topic in my 30 Day Healthy Living Program and a key part of my week. (See Daily Theming)

 

What is “lifestyle”?

The word lifestyle is used a lot in many different contexts from clothing to media campaigns. I use the term “lifestyle design” to mean how to create your ideal living and working situation on a daily basis.

A great lifestyle design to me is the difference between being where I want to be on say, a Tuesday afternoon and where I don’t. It’s also about being able to adjust things in the way that is memorable and highlighting what/who I love and am grateful for through my activities and people I spend time with. It’s about choices.

Here’s a great explanation of lifestyle from a website called Business Dictionary:

Lifestyle is expressed in both work and leisure behavior patterns and (on an individual basis) in activities, attitudes, interests, opinions, values, and allocation of income. It also reflects people’s self-image or self-concept; the way they see themselves and believe they are seen by the others. Lifestyle is a composite of motivations, needs, and wants and is influenced by factors such as culture, family, reference groups, and social class.

About Time

The definition above is pretty complete, but I believe lifestyle is more about how you allocate time than money. This doesn’t mean money isn’t important.  In my experience, people whose lifestyles I admire are people who have found a way to work less and live more without sacrificing their living standards. For me, a good lifestyle design is about having your cake and eating it too.

Author Tim Ferris revolutionized the concept of lifestyle design in his best selling book, The Four Hour Work Week.  He writes:  “To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time.” 

Ferris cites Parkinson’s Law, a principle first published in 1958 that states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. This means if you have a week to complete something, it will take you a week. If you have only an hour, it will take you an hour.  (I have witnessed this with cleaning my house and with every deadline I’ve had.)  Mel Robbins also talks about this in The Five Second Rule.

Both authors discussed Parkinson’s Law while stressing the importance of limiting distractions in the pursuit of what’s important.

 

Environment

Creating the right atmosphere at home and work is also an important element of lifestyle design. My thoughts on this were greatly influenced by two books I highly recommend: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.

Of equal importance to my environment are the people around me. I am a huge proponent of the adages “your vibe attracts your tribe,” and “you are the sum of the five people you hang around with most.”

Lifestyle Design Questions

  • What is really important to me?
  • How do I feel when I wake up in the morning?
  • Can I make this day, this week more memorable?
  • Is my highest image a reflection of the way I want to live?
  • How can my environment be cozier and more comfortable?
  • What activities, people, food, music and things inspire me and give me goosebumps?
  • Do I go to bed feeling satisfied, happy and fulfilled each day?

Lifestyle Design Actions

  • Enhance the atmosphere at home by lighting candles, redecorating or reorganizing an area of your house and play great music – change playlists for every task (I love Spotify);
  • Change how you feel about traffic by listening to audio books while driving (Thank you Audible);
  • Do something different for meals – pancakes for lunch, picnic dinner, trying new recipes (See new recipes);
  • Make quality time for the people who bring you joy and uplift your spirit;
  • Exercise and meditate anyway even when you are alone with your kids, even while traveling, even when busy or tired. It’s not easy, but worth it;
  • Delegate tasks and jobs you don’t love – For us, hiring someone to clean the Loft is the best;
  • End your relationship with complaining and gossip – seriously awesome stuff will follow;
  • Be protective of your lifestyle and your time – limit distractions as much as you can;
  • Make a sanctuary in your home like  a yoga or meditation corner;
  • Every day is a good day – use the good china for breakfast on Wednesday and don’t wait too long to travel or for “special occasions;”
  • Find something to celebrate daily;
  • Keep trying things, be open and as creative as you can.

Being protective of lifestyle is increasingly important to me since becoming a mom. I think this beneficial because I feel more productive, present and alive than ever. This said I would never be so arrogant as to suggest that I have everything all figured out. I work to find solutions to things I tend to complain about and then share my solutions with others.

Do you have any other suggestions on how you are improving your lifestyle design? If yes, please post your ideas below!

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