Lifestyle design means designing your life the way you want it to be. It’s when you create yourself and your environment and turn your vision into reality.
Lifestyle design is about freedom, reclaiming your time, and doing things you like.
Would you like to design your life exactly the way you want it?
Imagine all those sunny beaches you can be sipping pina colada’s on…
All that freedom fun and adventure…
That’s the easy part, if you want to get there you must first have a system – and that part might be a bit more challenging to understand.
#1 – Quick Crash Course in Systems Thinking
The system is simply “a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network. ”
In fact, whether you like it or not, your life and your environment are all part of some sort of system.
The only question is are you proactively designing your systems to get you the outcomes you want?
That means putting the right habits, mindsets, and processes in place that will ensure your long-term happiness?
Or do you let the system take advantage of you? That would be getting distracted by your phone, indulging in short-term gratification, and letting other people’s judgment affect your emotional state.
Every little micro-decisions you make day after day is a form of input. That input gets processed into a particular type of output and gives you real-life feedback.
Think of the interconnected system of pipes.
You want the water to get from point A to point B. If somewhere in your pipeline the water gets stuck you are not going to get the result you are after (getting to point B).
It’s the part of the pipeline that is suffocating and strangling your entire ow.
It doesn’t matter how fat other pipes are, if there is one little part of that pipe that is skinny then the total ow is going to be restricted.
There is a bottleneck somewhere, and you have to identify it. One area of your life can be so decent that it prevents you to move forward with your life as a whole.
Let’s imagine you want to build a great-looking body.
Your inputs are:
1. Your sleep
2. Your food
3. Workout routine
On one side you have yourself now, on the other side you have the ideal of yourself looking jacked.
The implementation of that system is how you close the gap between the ideal and reality.
In a model, it looks like a simple diagram, but in reality, there are lots of confounding variables (other systems) and other areas of life that will demand your energy (environment).
Each of those components plays a role within the system and the system itself is a component in a larger system (health as a larger aspect of the overall life), and so it goes to infinity.
You can zoom in and out of every aspect of your life and systems within systems.
The art of living life is to maintain that state of dynamic balance, where all systems are harmonized, and goal-oriented.
You want your workout routine to have a positive impact on your career, your career to have a positive impact on your relationships, and so on.
This is only possible when you are able to uncover all the systems that are running you (including your mind) and take conscious control over them.
It might be tempting to cut down on sleep to maximize productivity but if you don’t get enough of it it’s quite likely that over the long run your productivity will decrease.
Nothing works in isolation, the moment you start slacking off in one thing, everything starts to fall down like domino pieces.
Conversely, the moment you start to improve one aspect it’s also easier to ride the positive wave of improvement and take ever-higher levels – you get yourself on a Positive Self Amplifying Feedback Loop.
#2 – How to Master Your Days
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you” – Jim Rohn
Let’s get practical. If you can systematize your day and not let the time just pass you by, you will get control over your life back.
Every action you take will be purpose-driven and you won’t waste time on low-value behaviors such as scrolling aimlessly through Facebook or fapping to porn.
Let’s get back to one of the previous action items called 80/20 Time Auditor.
This will give you a good idea of where your time and energy is currently spent, and how you can prioritize it better.
#3 – Plan Tomorrow Today
First things first – in the evening, you must identify what is the most important thing that you want to get done the next day?
Not the most urgent, but the one that was sitting there for a while, and you could never and the time or energy to get around it.
#4 – Action Item: Most Important Thing
Get back to the previous phase and see what is your current focus area and primary goal for next month.
What can you do tomorrow to get closer to achieving that? Write that thing down.
Awesome! Now that you know what is the one most important thing for you to accomplish.
#5 – Supercharge Your Sleep
Fixing your days actually starts with your evenings.
Think about it.
If you wake up groggy and have poor quality sleep, it will reflect on the quality of the whole day.
I want to introduce you to a new way of thinking about sleep. Instead of thinking about how many hours of sleep you get, start thinking in terms of sleep cycles.
One cycle is 90 minutes.
The first 30 minutes is light sleep – this is where you’re not really dreaming yet and it’s still quite easy to have your sleep interrupted.
The second 30 minutes is REM sleep when you have dreams.
The last 30 minutes is a deep sleep, where your body and mind truly recover.
The question you gotta start asking yourself is: how many sleep cycles do I need?
The optimal amount of sleep cycles is around 5 (7.5 hours of sleep).
#6 – Action Item: Sleep Realignment
Think of the specific hour you need to wake up at and start going to bed at a time that will guarantee you 5 full sleep cycles.
For example, if you need to wake up at 06:30 am, you have to be in bed by around 10:00 pm
Your Pre-Bed Wind Down Buffer Time:
The next thing to remember is to set off 2 hrs for your mind to wind down. This means no work 2 hours before your scheduled sleep time.
This is going to be your buffer zone. You need to give your mind some time to wind down.
This is the time to chill and relax, and the cool thing is that if you relax well, then you will have more energy and focus saved up for the time when you actually work.
You will finally be able to get away from the dreaded gray zone.
-Never use the snooze button because it messes with your sleep cycle.
-Put the phone far away from the bed to force yourself to actually go and switch it off.
#7 – Epic Morning Routine For Absolute Day Domination
This is the best place to start fixing your life. Once you have your mornings on point, you’ll see that the rest of the day will start to fall into place much more easily.
If you are lucky enough to live until you are 90 years old, your life will consist of 32850 days. If you can master one day, you can master all of them – and it all starts with your mornings.
How to create the morning routine that will increase your proactivity, ramp up your energy and passion for the day?
#8 – Action Item: Crafting Your Epic Morning Routine
If you are new to the idea of having a morning routine, I would start with something simple, just to get you going.
Let’s pick a few of those habits to get you going:
-Meditation & Visualization
One of the best habits to start the day with is. It puts you into that headspace where you feel connected with yourself and with your larger vision. If you are new to the idea of meditation I recommend you download the app called Calm – their free meditation course is great for beginners.
-Cold Shower – f the idea of cold showers sounds alien and scary to you check out our 16 Benefits of Cold Showers article.
-Self-education – get your mindset on point by reading a self-improvement-related book or watching a video on the topic of bettering your life.
-Exercise – any form of exercise that can ramp up your heart rate and reconnect with your body (at least 15 minutes).
That’s it for now (if you’re a beginner).
Your routine will grow with time as you add and subtract different things and experiment.
It’s easy to get overboard when you are crafting your morning routine for the first time.
But keep it simple and don’t go over 1 hr total time.
This 1-hour segment of your day is where you will be able to build up your personal power and get all the energy you need for the rest of the day.
Knocking a few things off the list first thing in the morning also creates a sense of achievement and excitement. It also builds momentum that then jet sets you in the right direction and gets you ready to knock off your most important task for the day.
One more thing…
Don’t check your phone before you are done with your morning routine – it puts you into a reactive mode where it’s very easy to get sucked into responding to messages and scrolling through Instagram.
#9 – The Strategic Habit Tracking System
If you ever tried implementing a new habit you might have found that at first, you might be very excited about the change.
You do the habit diligently for about 2-3 weeks and then it hits you: that fast results you were hoping for may take a little bit more time than you thought and you start to slack off.
You start skipping the gym, your meditation becomes irregular, and so on. The thing is that it’s that consistency and doing it when you don’t feel like it is what separates pros from amateurs.
So how do we circumvent this tendency to regress to the previous baseline?
What if there was a way you could hijack that very technology that keeps you in a constant state of distraction (yes, your smartphone) and use it for the purpose of self-improvement?
One such way to do this is to install a habit tracker into your life. You can get into a habit of using it by first integrating the morning routine you wrote into your habit tracker.
Here is an example of your possible morning routine integrated into a Strategic Habit Tracker:
The first thing I want you to focus on is to have a full week of green. Green indicates that you have completed the task. Once you start stringing all those days together you will build momentum.
All of a sudden it will be easier to continue the habit than to stop – because now you have something to lose. If you miss it you will break your streak with red.
Once you get the whole week of green, you can start incorporating one more thing.
I advise starting with the basic routine first before you start to implement any other habits. If the morning routine I gave you still seems to be overwhelming, cut it down to only one thing for example just meditation for 10 minutes.
#10 – How to Build Momentum: Activate The Winner Effect
The reason you want to focus on a small set of habits (or just one habit) at a time is to activate the winner effect.
The winner effect becomes activated when you get a few small wins under your belt. Once that happens, your body gives you a positive physiological response that encourages you to keep going.
The main reason why most people fail is that they attempt to change too many things at once, which inevitably leads to failure. Your habit tracker starts to be marked with red days and the whole thing starts to look very discouraging.
If you had a victim mindset, that perceived failure is then summed up with a thought: “I can never do anything right / I can never change anything in my life” and you are back to square one.
Instead of overwhelming yourself, have a simple morning routine going for you – then you can start incorporating other things into your morning routine.
You won’t be perfect with your habits, no one is. The awesome thing about having a strategic habit tracker is that whenever you wall the narrow road of success, it will bring you back on track.
It also gives you that visual, symbolic representation that gives you that feeling of completion. It makes you feel good about the progress you are making by letting you see how far you progressed and stringing days together into long streaks.
This will get your days on point. Once you achieve that, you can start thinking on an even bigger scale and start planning your weeks.
PS. Hey man, thanks for reading – I hope you found this information valuable.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Also, share it with a friend that may find that life-changing information to be of value.
Speak soon, man!