I received an email from a friend saying:
“I love your new website. I'm intrigued. What IS Intentional Life Design?”
It made me realize that this may be a question on others' minds as well.
It's an assertive approach to living.
While I have found others talking about Life Design in various ways, I like the feel and sound of Intentional Life Design even better. It speaks to the assertiveness of this approach to living – the strategy, the planning, the sit-down-and-focus-on-it way of experiencing life. Generally speaking, Intentional Life Design is simply the process of Visioning, Strategizing then Doing in service of creating the life you imagined in that initial Visioning part.
Kaley and her Intentional Life Design Story
Stories are usually so much more effective than explanations, so here's one:
Kaley was at her wits end. Since graduating college, she has fantasized about building her own business in the health and wellness world. At first she thought it would be based on nutrition counseling, then as she ventured further in the wellness world, she decided she was more into the physical training element. She got her personal training certificate, worked her way up in the personal training world then added in lifestyle training to increase her value as a wellness coach. Clients came in droves and soon she was opening a beautiful gym with a couple of partners. For all intents and purposes, Kaley was living “the dream.” Except she wasn't.
She loves her work… but misses her kids.
Kaley has two kids, 14 and 11 years old. When they were really little, before she decided exactly what she wanted to do with her passion for health and wellness, she stayed home with them during the day. She loved being a mom, scheduling play-doh time each day, outside activities twice a day and creating healthy meals that even picky kids would eat. While her kids no longer need her to schedule their time with that diligence, she missed taking the time to create family meals the way she used to. She hated that she missed so many of their extra-curricular activities, trying to run her business and take care of her own health (which was going neglected, while she focused heavily on the health and well being of clients.) It was time to re-visit what she had intended way back when she started her health and wellness business.
So she decided to make a radical change in her work to be with her kids more.
Upon reflection, Kaley realized that she wanted to continue doing the work she so loved but that she didn't necessarily need to own her business to do that. When her contract ended with her business partners, they came to a fair agreement and Kaley found herself a flexible job at a high-end fitness club. She is now able to attend virtually all of her kids' games, take far better care of herself physically and she isn't encumbered by the extra responsibilities of running her own business such as business planning and marketing. She is even considering taking a few art classes to tap into that part of her creativity, long set aside for other endeavors.
It's about asking, answering and listening. Then taking bold action.
The difference between Kaley and those who aren't living the Intentional Life Design approach? Kaley asks herself what she really wants, she listens carefully, then she makes it happen.
It's not selfish to craft the life you really want.
One of the most common arguments I hear about choosing this approach to life is that it is selfish, that, in fact, we can't always get what we want. There is this inaccurate assumption that asking ourselves what we want and then deciding to make that happen requires that we step all over other people to get there. This is craziness. Creating the life we want does not require that we be a jerk about it. In fact, in my experience, the more we believe we can craft our own lives, the happier and more satisfied we are with living. The happier and more satisfied we are with living, the more fun we are to be around. It's contagious – we want it for everyone around us because we know how good it feels.
So, Kaley did it by letting go of her business. I did it by creating my business. What about you? What does your Intentional Life Design look like?
And incidentally, because it's just so related, I have helped lots of people clarify, strategize and craft their Intentional Life. I'd love to help you do it, too, if you'd like. Email me and let's set up a free 20-minute call to chat about how I might be able to help (no obligation, I swear. Regardless, I'd love to hear your story!)
Thank you, Cassandra Kinaviaq Rae, for this cool Intention image.