3 Steps to Redesign Your Life

It takes less time than you think to re-design your life

Doesn’t February 2019 feel like a lifetime ago?  It sure does for me.  That was the last full month of my old life.  In March 2019, I started an entirely new life when I left my long-time business career to embark on an ambitious project to design my dream career & life.  My wishlist was small:

  1. Figure out how to be excited for Mondays
  2. Figure out how I can help people to find joy and fulfillment in life, starting with myself as the guinea pig

That was basically it.  I did not have a crystal ball, but I had the next best thing, a set of plans to reference during my upcoming journey (aka: An Odyssey Plan).  I followed my Odyssey Plan (described below) and started building multiple revenue streams to support my life.  Anyone reading this article can do the same exact thing if they take a few deliberate steps.  If you lean on teachers/mentors/coaches/authors and LEARN on your own, you can become more empowered than you ever thought possible.

Currently, in February 2021, I am about two years into my new self-defined lifestyle and I have never enjoyed Monday mornings more.  I am also helping people to find joy and fulfillment as a coach, mentor and online course creator.

Do something new

The “new” thing that I did to change my life in 2018 was simply to read a book that a colleague suggested to me.  If I hadn’t picked up the book, I might still be working in my old career, who knows… The particular book that changed my life and led to my career transition is called Designing Your Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.  The book is based on the most popular class at Stanford University which goes by the same name.  The worksheets and exercises in this book helped me to clarify three (3) completely different designs for my life (aka: Life Plans) which included details about how I would work, earn money and spend my time in these three different scenarios.

The magic of creating three (3) different life plans was that I could clearly visualize many paths for my life in the future.  That was a very liberating feeling for me.  In scientific terms, I had literally created new neural pathways in my brain with entire scenarios for potential futures, where previously there were none.  This is beginning of creation and for me it was the start of the creation of an entirely new life.

Ultimately, this process gave me the confidence and clarity I needed to walk away from a career that wasn’t as fulfilling as I needed it to be.

As I look back on the last two years, there were three important steps that played a role in my successful career shift.  Steps 1 and 2 below were done before I took any real action.  They are the steps that anyone can take during their free time now.  As Thomas Jefferson said “if you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

3 Steps to change your life

Step 1: Vision setting: “Having a vision for your life allows you to live out of hope, rather than out of your fears.” S. Graham

Step 2: Planning:  “We do not rise to the level of our hopes, we fall to the level of our plans.” C. Moynihan

Step 3: Do the work: “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work” -P. Drucker


Once I left my old career, it was time to do Step 3.  THE WORK.  I didn’t want to work the same old way.  I wanted to work 30 hours per week, but be more productive than I ever was in the past.  The habits below have become the four key habits that have helped me to work much more efficiently and effectively and I would challenge you to try them out in whatever form works for you.  These habits have helped me live with great intention and clarity.  No matter what your next steps are, please consider including the following four habits in your process.  If you aim these (work) habits at plans that support your vision, you can’t lose.