Thinking about what you want to do with your life is one of the toughest questions. I feel like I have a totally different answer from one week to the next… or I just default back to one I often return to: we’ll see.
When you think about your plans for your life, you might think about big goals and important milestones. But really, what matters most are the normal, uneventful days where not all that much happens. This is how you’ll spend most of your time. They’re really what a lot of the work is for.
So a better question is, what do you want the best normal days in your life to feel like?
Even though you’ll change your mind and evolve throughout your life, what does today’s version of you want to make, do, be, and have?
This is why I created Life Studio, as a workspace to think about your life with gentle curiosity rather than the pressure and overwhelm of goal-setting and self-improvement. (Public service announcement: you’re just fine as you are. If you improve anything, make it your thoughts of yourself and what you can do.)
I also created Life Studio for myself, though. I made many of the tools to help with my own life first, before thinking of sharing them with anyone else.
Here’s a quick look at how I use them, and how you could too.
Checking the balance of what matters to me with the Life Map
The Life Map is the tool I’ve made to check in with the different areas of my life and see how everything is in balance. It’s not about getting everything to 100%. Most of the time, there are some areas you’re prioritising and other areas you’re letting slide. It’s about asking if you’re happy with those choices.
Here in Copenhagen, I’ve got a stronger social circle than I’ve had for a while, but I definitely don’t have the same level of adventure and time in wild nature as I did when I lived in Switzerland.
I’ve had a lot of time and energy for creativity since I chose to take on less of my consulting work, but that’s in parallel with my income falling. It’s all a balancing exercise.
Thinking of the different components of where I want to be
At times in the last few years, I’ve known that I’m not where I want to be. But I also didn’t know what I actually wanted instead.
There are some exercises in Life Studio to help you clarify what you want – whether it’s one version of it, or a few different ones. These include writing your own eulogy, thinking about your heroes, knowing what your gifts are, and thinking about what future you would want you to decide.
When you have an idea of the best normal day in your life, you can break it down into individual details and categorise each one of these details by:
- Already Have – The things you’ve already achieved and want to maintain and celebrate.
- Next – What’s in reach that you can focus on adding to your life or experimenting with.
- Later – Bigger goals that are further away or for a future chapter of your life.
Here are some of the details I’m working towards at the moment, or celebrating already having (some photos are my own, others are stock photos, haha):
Knowing what I’m focusing on now
I must have written hundreds of lists of goals in my life. I’ve forgotten about most of these shortly after writing them (and if I do come across them again, I often criticise myself for not achieving everything).
That’s a common way of doing things, but it’s pretty ineffective. That’s because the best goals should change how you act now, not later.
With Life Studio, I’ve tried to keep things focused on being in the present rather than achieving in the future.
For me, that means spending time writing every day, learning about nature, and maybe heading to the bouldering gym. There are some things this is leading to – such as continuing to publish books I’m proud of, or doing full pull-ups – but it all starts with who I’m being right now.
Here are two next steps I’ve chosen to focus on now (one short-term and easy to start now, one longer-term and something I’ll just take a few steps closer to now).
For my longer-term goal of publishing 5 books I’m proud of, I’ve chosen a “level one” step to work towards first: finishing my next book.3 Enjoy this article?