Author Topic: Design Your Life!  (Read 6340 times)

FreeBear

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #50 on: January 21, 2019, 07:17:27 PM »
I like those radar charts, I need to make one.  There are categories that I am aware that I am distinctly lacking in, but also I question if humans actually need to have all areas balanced all the time.  As an introvert, I know that I don't have the energy for work, social life and volunteering to be balanced all at the same time.  Those are all what I would consider extrovert categories.  I know that once the Work bucket can finally be emptied, my energy can be diverted into the social and volunteering buckets. I have a hard enough time making sure I go out and be social with my friends enough today, I don't want to add volunteering to the list, but that is definitely something I see myself doing a few hours a week post FIRE.

I think this will come true for you.  As a fellow introvert, w*rk used to take up all my emotional bandwidth.  A few friends and my get-away hobbies occupied my remaining time and energy. I didn't volunteer, didn't mind my health, and didn't sleep enough. 

Since retiring, I sleep plenty and am growing healthier.  I even have energy to volunteer and gradually build my circle of friends.

Gail2000

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2019, 02:28:18 AM »
Fantastic thread here. The charts and articles already have me reeling. I have trouble sleeping this last year and it痴 taken it tole. Maybe a refocusing like the year of nothing new will help.

Down but not out. This winter weather might have its part too but there痴 a lot to enjoy.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2019, 09:48:59 PM »
I badly need to design my life.

My ideal situation would be that I have unexciting but necessary tasks (liking cleaning up the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom) into such a routine that they just happen almost like muscle memory and also at any one point I've know I've done 'x' for this week and therefore it can be dropped from the mental load. This will stop me thinking "oh I should do that thing" instead of procrastinating and/or half focussing on what ever else I'm doing. I work from home so it's a real problem - imagine me sitting looking at dirty windows, not cleaning them, adding to my mental list, but also not doing my work.  I should also add exercise and social/ family stuff into this idea somehow.

My idea was to break everything down and try to have a set time to do cleaning and other household chores each day. Maybe 20 minutes first thing and 10 minutes at night. And then maybe I'd outsource some non-weekly things like cleaning the windows just so they get done. Outside is more hubby's domain but I could do a few minutes of weeding daily and then maybe outsource things like cutting the hedge. I can only do 5 minutes before the trimmer is too heavy to lift!

Outsourcing is not that mustachian and I'll probably find other ways to procrastinate but I thought I'd give it a go for 6 months. Also, if hubby sees me taking care of inside the house then I'll feel a bit more comfortable asking him to do the things that I can't do. 

Hopefully the end result of all this is that I will get to work at fun projects and challenges with no guilt.

I have friends that live a pretty regimented life like this and we giggle at it all but hey, they are setting goals and achieving them. The only downside is that they get stressed when their plans get moved but both me and hubby are pretty relaxed and flexible so I don't really see that happening. I think I'm more stressed at having a dirty house.


Moonwaves

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2019, 01:10:48 AM »
The only reason I get things done sometimes is that there's something else I'm procrastinating about even more. But I agree, the mental load of not doing those things far outweighs the effort involved in actually doing them. And yet...procrastination.


Poundwise

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2019, 07:59:21 AM »
I badly need to design my life.

My ideal situation would be that I have unexciting but necessary tasks (liking cleaning up the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom) into such a routine that they just happen almost like muscle memory and also at any one point I've know I've done 'x' for this week and therefore it can be dropped from the mental load. This will stop me thinking "oh I should do that thing" instead of procrastinating and/or half focussing on what ever else I'm doing. I work from home so it's a real problem - imagine me sitting looking at dirty windows, not cleaning them, adding to my mental list, but also not doing my work.  I should also add exercise and social/ family stuff into this idea somehow.

That is my goal, too!  I also am home a lot and get both overwhelmed  and bored by cleaning.  I do have a good friend on the other coast whom I sometimes call up and I clean while chatting on speaker phone (she does the same, it's nice.)

WRT hedge trimmers, I have a battery operated hedge trimmer which is light enough that even a weakling like me can hold it up.  Bought it used. I just have yew hedges which grow quite slowly though, and get trimmed once a year.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2019, 08:17:10 AM »
Ah! Cleaning folks, a great book I recommend: Dana White's "how to manage your home without losing your mind". She makes the point (and as a "clean person" as she calls us, I totally agree) you'll never get to the point where you don't realize you're cleaning, like spacing out while driving on the highway. But you CAN get to the point where every time you clean it isn't a decision- the decision was pre-made, so that takes a lot of the mental load out of it.


In my life designing news:
-I've been working on structuring my life to have built in socialization. Here's what I have so far: the infertility support group I'm part of meets once a month. Over a year ago now, I reached out to some of the badass ladies in my life and formed a book club- this has been going on monthly and has been a huge success, everyone meshes really well. (Thanks to @flan for the idea for trying this in the first place, I am SO glad I did). And then I've been doing monthly MMM potlucks. So I'm at one group social thing nearly every week. *Really* happy about this, it means there's built in social contact on auto pilot.
-Still been doubling down on health stuff. Signing up for the Imperfect Produce box has helped a ton with our veggie intake. Not that it was bad before, but this gives it a good nudge up. And then it kinda forces me to meal plan, to make sure I use it all up! I'm on two weeks of (kinda) meal planning now, so I'm happy about that.

Areas I feel like have fairly well locked down:
-Sleep
-Cleaning/home environment
-Relationship with husband
-Food more or less? Although there's always room for improvement
-Finances

Areas I still need to do more work:
-Fitness
-Outdoor time/aka my spirituality
-One on one social time with friends
-(Career stuff on hold pending upcoming IVF)

My latest bigger focus has been working toward lower waste, especially plastic waste. This is involving a lot of work and trade offs around budget though.

flan

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #56 on: January 24, 2019, 10:26:03 AM »
Ahhh so happy your book club has been working out so well for you! For me it's been a stable, FI-minded, scheduled source of great social contact, AND it fosters the great habit of reading good books. What a win!

Do you have a book recommendation for a not-clean person? E.g. someone who never cleans on auto-pilot and haaaates scrubbing anything? D:

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #57 on: January 24, 2019, 10:28:11 AM »
Ahhh so happy your book club has been working out so well for you! For me it's been a stable, FI-minded, scheduled source of great social contact, AND it fosters the great habit of reading good books. What a win!

Do you have a book recommendation for a not-clean person? E.g. someone who never cleans on auto-pilot and haaaates scrubbing anything? D:

That's what the book I recommended it. Her blog is called "a slob comes clean", lol. I was trying to say, she was making the point that NO ONE will ever clean on autopilot. But you can at least remove the burden of it always being a decision to do the cleaning then vs some other time by establishing habits around it.

use2betrix

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #58 on: January 24, 2019, 12:06:12 PM »
Ah! Cleaning folks, a great book I recommend: Dana White's "how to manage your home without losing your mind". She makes the point (and as a "clean person" as she calls us, I totally agree) you'll never get to the point where you don't realize you're cleaning, like spacing out while driving on the highway. But you CAN get to the point where every time you clean it isn't a decision- the decision was pre-made, so that takes a lot of the mental load out of it.


In my life designing news:
-I've been working on structuring my life to have built in socialization. Here's what I have so far: the infertility support group I'm part of meets once a month. Over a year ago now, I reached out to some of the badass ladies in my life and formed a book club- this has been going on monthly and has been a huge success, everyone meshes really well. (Thanks to @flan for the idea for trying this in the first place, I am SO glad I did). And then I've been doing monthly MMM potlucks. So I'm at one group social thing nearly every week. *Really* happy about this, it means there's built in social contact on auto pilot.
-Still been doubling down on health stuff. Signing up for the Imperfect Produce box has helped a ton with our veggie intake. Not that it was bad before, but this gives it a good nudge up. And then it kinda forces me to meal plan, to make sure I use it all up! I'm on two weeks of (kinda) meal planning now, so I'm happy about that.

Areas I feel like have fairly well locked down:
-Sleep
-Cleaning/home environment
-Relationship with husband
-Food more or less? Although there's always room for improvement
-Finances

Areas I still need to do more work:
-Fitness
-Outdoor time/aka my spirituality
-One on one social time with friends
-(Career stuff on hold pending upcoming IVF)

My latest bigger focus has been working toward lower waste, especially plastic waste. This is involving a lot of work and trade offs around budget though.

I love everything about this post. So positive and so much self realization. Way to go Bracken Joy!

FIRE Artist

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #59 on: January 24, 2019, 12:44:31 PM »
I like those radar charts, I need to make one.  There are categories that I am aware that I am distinctly lacking in, but also I question if humans actually need to have all areas balanced all the time.  As an introvert, I know that I don't have the energy for work, social life and volunteering to be balanced all at the same time.  Those are all what I would consider extrovert categories.  I know that once the Work bucket can finally be emptied, my energy can be diverted into the social and volunteering buckets. I have a hard enough time making sure I go out and be social with my friends enough today, I don't want to add volunteering to the list, but that is definitely something I see myself doing a few hours a week post FIRE.

I think this will come true for you.  As a fellow introvert, w*rk used to take up all my emotional bandwidth.  A few friends and my get-away hobbies occupied my remaining time and energy. I didn't volunteer, didn't mind my health, and didn't sleep enough. 

Since retiring, I sleep plenty and am growing healthier.  I even have energy to volunteer and gradually build my circle of friends.

Thank you for confirming/validating what I hope will happen once I FIRE.  I don't expect to wake up and become a different person, but I have become super aware of what working takes away from the rest of my life - it is far more than the 40hrs a week of my time, it is the drain on my life energy that I object to. 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 12:46:27 PM by FIRE Artist »

Cookie78

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #60 on: January 24, 2019, 01:14:06 PM »
I like those radar charts, I need to make one.  There are categories that I am aware that I am distinctly lacking in, but also I question if humans actually need to have all areas balanced all the time.  As an introvert, I know that I don't have the energy for work, social life and volunteering to be balanced all at the same time.  Those are all what I would consider extrovert categories.  I know that once the Work bucket can finally be emptied, my energy can be diverted into the social and volunteering buckets. I have a hard enough time making sure I go out and be social with my friends enough today, I don't want to add volunteering to the list, but that is definitely something I see myself doing a few hours a week post FIRE.

I think this will come true for you.  As a fellow introvert, w*rk used to take up all my emotional bandwidth.  A few friends and my get-away hobbies occupied my remaining time and energy. I didn't volunteer, didn't mind my health, and didn't sleep enough. 

Since retiring, I sleep plenty and am growing healthier.  I even have energy to volunteer and gradually build my circle of friends.

Thank you for confirming/validating what I hope will happen once I FIRE.  I don't expect to wake up and become a different person, but I have become super aware of what working takes away from the rest of my life - it is far more than the 40hrs a week of my time, it is the drain on my life energy that I object to.

Exactly!

I experience this in both a short term way (general daily exhaustion) and a longer term way (all the things I want to do in life and goals I want to achieve are put on hold due to lack of large chunks of free time).

rosarugosa

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #61 on: January 25, 2019, 11:37:38 AM »
What a great thread!  I've been keeping a quasi-journal thing that I update periodically in the format of "More of this, Less of this, and On track with this." The formats may differ but the concept is the same.  I retired a little over a year ago - a little bit early, although not very early by Mustachian standards.  I'm enjoying everyone's comments and will have to go read the original thread (although internet is ALWAYS on top of the "Less of this" list!)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 04:30:52 AM by rosarugosa »

FreeBear

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #62 on: January 25, 2019, 12:52:27 PM »
Thank you for confirming/validating what I hope will happen once I FIRE.  I don't expect to wake up and become a different person, but I have become super aware of what working takes away from the rest of my life - it is far more than the 40hrs a week of my time, it is the drain on my life energy that I object to.

You're welcome! DW and I are fellow artists, both visual and musical. FIRE is just amazing for creatives!  I must confess that I now often feel bored, especially after years of high pressure w*rk while fighting to cram in my artistic and outdoor passions.  While boredom is a big stereotypical fear in retirement, I've discovered that it's a powerful motivator in for artists.  In the "boredom" of retirement, I've written my first original songs after playing covers of others' music for decades. 

We've also started cooking and eating most meals at home because we have an excess of time and wish to improve our health while reducing spending.  I learned to cook chana masala, an Indian chick pea dish, from an online recipe.  It's amazing, better than anything in a restaurant!  it was an amazing aesthetic experience, and it felt so rewarding to have made such a dish with my own hands.

Vibrissae

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #63 on: January 25, 2019, 01:50:03 PM »

That Raptitude site is great! I'm going to enjoy reading it (as well as the Designing Your Life book, which I just electronically borrowed from the library). Now I just have to be careful of going down the rabbit hole of reading, instead of actively doing/designing. :D

Freedomin5

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #64 on: January 27, 2019, 01:19:33 AM »

When I'm unhappy with my life situation, I try to focus first on finding problem-solving strategies. However, there are some things in life that can't be solved. E.g., At this particular point in my life, I cannot just stop working. In those situations, I move to distraction/mitigation strategies to make the present more bearable until circumstances change and I can find a more permanent solution.
To be honest, I need to work on building in joyful/meaning-making tasks. Those have been hard for me to find lately, as I've found that being burned out makes it mentally more difficult for me to find joy, even in previously joyful things. And like Dr Kidstache, I am also not particularly Mustachian. I've been experimenting with taking Uber/hiring drivers and greatly inflating my lifestyle (hello, 100% rent increase, multiple international vacations, and increased heating bills) in order to survive.

Well, there have been changes lately. Going through the process of re-designing my life to fit current circumstances. In the past few weeks, in an effort to redesign my life to make it less stressful, I reached out to connections and applied for a new job. Last week, I received a formal offer. With this new job, which starts after the summer, I will be able to:

- Walk to work (no more crowds)
- Live in a better apartment with a reduction in rent
- Get subsidized/free airfare for summer vacations

All without a reduction in savings rate.

I知 looking forward to the change in lifestyle. Just need to get through the next few months.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #65 on: January 27, 2019, 04:45:07 AM »
Since being Fire'd nearly 4 years ago I would say this has been my biggest struggle and a need for me to Design my Life. I feel a sense of Bi-polar in the way I feel from one week to the next and its so much because I really dont have enough things for "ME" to look forward to that I really love. The one thing that I have got in order and have kept at it is getting to the Y and exercising. I go usually 2 hours a day 6 days a week and only in the last month I started doing some classes like spin class just to meet people. My social life is what I really want to improve on as so much of it was lost on raising our kids.

So i am going to follow along to keep getting some ideas. 

Poundwise

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #66 on: January 27, 2019, 06:32:21 AM »

When I'm unhappy with my life situation, I try to focus first on finding problem-solving strategies. However, there are some things in life that can't be solved. E.g., At this particular point in my life, I cannot just stop working. In those situations, I move to distraction/mitigation strategies to make the present more bearable until circumstances change and I can find a more permanent solution.
To be honest, I need to work on building in joyful/meaning-making tasks. Those have been hard for me to find lately, as I've found that being burned out makes it mentally more difficult for me to find joy, even in previously joyful things. And like Dr Kidstache, I am also not particularly Mustachian. I've been experimenting with taking Uber/hiring drivers and greatly inflating my lifestyle (hello, 100% rent increase, multiple international vacations, and increased heating bills) in order to survive.

Well, there have been changes lately. Going through the process of re-designing my life to fit current circumstances. In the past few weeks, in an effort to redesign my life to make it less stressful, I reached out to connections and applied for a new job. Last week, I received a formal offer. With this new job, which starts after the summer, I will be able to:

- Walk to work (no more crowds)
- Live in a better apartment with a reduction in rent
- Get subsidized/free airfare for summer vacations

All without a reduction in savings rate.

I知 looking forward to the change in lifestyle. Just need to get through the next few months.

In only two weeks, you've made an amazing change! Congratulations!!

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #67 on: January 27, 2019, 08:48:04 AM »
Well this was depressing. Not surprising though. The biggest negative impact on my life right now comes from social and work. But at least I learned how to program radar charts and install new fonts! Those hipster e's will always be there for me.



Edited to add credit for the font to Lauren Thompson/Nymphont.

I should update this. It'll look more balanced now that I quit my job! I haven't been exercising daily in the last week, so that part is worse, but I feel so much better emotionally. I've seen a bunch of different friends, and my digital isolation had been really dragging me down.

I guess my financial picture will also get a little worse now that I'm not working. I plan on getting back in for 2020, so I'm not worried.

Moustachienne

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #68 on: January 27, 2019, 03:27:06 PM »
I enjoy detailed exercises like radar charts, What Color Is Your Parachute, Design Your Life, to give me a snapshot of where I am.  Much like close financial or food tracking, step counting, and so on.   Useful and can be fun. :)

For longer term success and satisfaction, it works best for me to then back off tracking details and enjoy "good enough" habits and routines.  I've found it's really important to me to enjoy the journey or process and avoid over-focussing on any particular outcome.  So I've designed my life around a few core routines and a few core checkins - and then I take a zen approach.  Being retired really helps with this!  I wish I could have been so relaxed while working...but no.  The sense of unlimited time in retirement also helps, as others have commented.  And having companions and not bosses, colleagues or subordinates! I freakin' love being retired.

So here's what this looks like for me at this point:

Financial: DH and I have a very good idea of our baseline expenses vs our income/nest egg so spend happily with no need to track closely. We will need to plan how to spend/donate a surplus. (!)

Food: two years ago I revamped my approach to food to avoid any calorie/points/fat/other tracking whatsoever and to focus on a healthy and satisfying structure of 3 delicious meals per day, no processed food, and occasional snacks and sweets.  I've slowly lost 15 % of my bodyweight (25lbs), never feel hungry, control my blood sugar, and feel great.  People here on the Forum pointed out that this sounded a lot like the No S Diet and it is!  http://nosdiet.com    I also discovered 10 Principles and her approach is even more right on for me. https://www.the10principles.com/blog/

Exercise: I walk 45+ minutes most days, usually as part of errands or other planned trips.  I track loosely by time/route and not by number of steps. Kneecap pain sent me to physio, which got me to Aquafit, which encouraged me to add length swimming, as I was already wet :)   I took lessons and learned bilateral breathing for the crawl after 50 years of one sided breathing.  I still can't believe it.   I focus on stroke improvement and only count laps as a side interest.  I've been enjoying Total Immersion Swimming's zen approach. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Immersion    My goal with all exercise is to do nothing painful and to do something everyday.  In it for the long haul!

Time:  I volunteer with a school reading program twice a week and attend a weekly language conversation group.  These activities are giving me the right amount of structure and socialization beyond close friends and family.  I read a lot (20+ books /month) and have found the best habit has been to read regularly for 20-30 minutes every morning before breakfast - and before firing up any screen.  This has helped me focus on some books I've "always meant to read".  Moby-Dick, anyone? :)  I make a point of doing something with a friend at least once a week and with family every two weeks or so; lunch, dinner, movies, walks, art gallery visits.   I like to explore neighbourhoods and parks on my own as well and I mean to get back to Julia Cameron's idea of weekly solo "art visits" (from It's Never Too Late).

As you can see, I'm feeling pretty good about my time and my life at this point.  But in case I sound too smug I still have a very large Achilles heel - too much random screen time, whether internet or TV.  I don't want to schedule all my time because I want to leave time for daydreaming, creative writing, random pleasures.   But this free "creative" time can slide all too easily into mindless scrolling.  I think I need to do some close tracking here to see the scope of the issue and then need to come up with some "stealth" habit changes like I did with food and exercise.   "No screens before breakfast" is working very well but so far my Inner Rebel has blown past other guidelines I've tried.  This is a work in progress!

Habits and routines that might be of interest:
- The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
- https://thoughtcatalog.com/koty-neelis/2015/01/10-famous-writers-and-their-daily-creative-routines/

I like the simplicity and focus of these writers' routines.  They aren't trying to "do it all".





Roots&Wings

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #69 on: January 28, 2019, 07:18:10 AM »
Some "design your life" thoughts/categories from MMM podcast:


For anyone working a boring job you don't enjoy, design your free time for how you'd like to live in retirement.

Don't look to retirement to make your life better, you have to start making your life better right now, if you want to have any joy after you get to retirement.

screwit

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #70 on: January 29, 2019, 12:04:13 AM »
Loving this thread and the Depth Year is exactly what I need!

My depth year will be focusing on:
  • Relationships: MrScrewit and my kids at the forefront, but also more time with those friends that have been pushed aside by the young-kids-time-suck in the last few years.  I'd like to establish a regular games night at our place.
  • Writing: I have a bunch of half-thought-through plots.  Finally draft that romance novel I keep claiming I want to write and finishing plotting then drafting then urban fantasy series that's floating in my head.
  • Art: I have enough supplies that I can put effort into finally learning to draw better and start to paint. I want to get back into embroidery and textile art.
  • Comedy: write more sets and actually sign up for open mics! Look for a writing partner for sketch or long form comedy and do some improv.
  • Fitness: getting stronger, getting rid of my back painpain and of course the ever present losing weight. I have previously purchased several HIIT programs and have some YouTube yoga and calisthenics channels I like. I'll be using these rather than starting a gym membership. Also I'm trialling a swim club tomorrow night (ok that's a new thing , but I signed up before reading about the Depth Year)
  • Music: now that I have a good quality flute and I'm home at hours when I can practice without disturbing the neighbours outs time to finally do it.  The next level would be finding a teacher or orchestra but that would be stage two.

I have a bunch of other things that I wanted to start this year (eg.learning Spanish) but as I haven't started them before they are now excluded from my depth year.

Poundwise

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2019, 07:54:04 AM »
My life is terribly unbalanced and I know why, but I'm not seeing the way out yet. If I were to do a radar chart, it would be all on the volunteer part, a bit on the social and learning, some on family, and nothing else everywhere else. Last year I probably spent between 20-30 hours a week volunteering for various good causes, and sometimes I spent more time than that. We are quite frugal, but I spend a fair amount of money on donations; plus when I am rushing around I have a tendency to pay the idiot tax on things like takeout and parking tickets.  And I have been living like this for years... it's tremendously gratifying to drive around town and see cars stopping at a sign to let school children safely cross a street, and to know that I made that happen; to know that the head of a poor family can now get to work in a donated car because I helped connect the donor with a group; to know that a school in a poor neighborhood has been holding science fairs every year since I started one; but my own life and the lives of my family are medium crappy.

The problem is that when one opens one's eyes to all the dire problems in the world, it's very hard to shut them again. Also as the leader of a small volunteer group, I feel like I can hardly sit back while I'm exhorting others to give of themselves.

Every winter I seem to have a minor physical breakdown which is why you see me here more. I need more "me" time, I need to build in more margins and redundancy, and I am considering going back to work in some paid capacity...

FreeBear

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #72 on: January 30, 2019, 09:07:07 AM »

For anyone working a boring job you don't enjoy, design your free time for how you'd like to live in retirement.

Don't look to retirement to make your life better, you have to start making your life better right now, if you want to have any joy after you get to retirement.

+1

I focused on my life outside of w*rk for decades before retiring.  It helped me get through all the w*rk years, but I can't say that my life was balanced then.  I w*rked all day, then spent most of the evening on my passions: outdoor stuff, art and music.  I ate poorly, sleep poorly (not enough), and started developing heath issues.  Eating and hobbies were an escape from w*rk.  I didn't have enough time to mind my health.

Now in retirement, I have plenty of time to eat, exercise, and sleep, especially sleep, better.  I still enjoy the same passions/hobbies as when I was w*rking.  In fact, I'm disappointed that I do NOT do them more frequently than when I was w*rking.  My outdoor hobbies are difficult/unpleasant for most of the year due to bad weather.

The main advantage of retirement is that enjoying adequate sleep, cooking food at home, and exercise have replaced the w*rk obligation. Also, I do everything at a much more relaxed pace.  I only schedule, at most, one big commitment daily.  So, there's much less stressful running around and no w*rk BS.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #73 on: January 30, 2019, 09:39:57 AM »
This thread really speaks to me.

Since FIRE'ing in 2014 I've executed a rather extensive overhaul of my life. My career, not so affectionately referred to by me as the "meat grinder", was such a complete drain on my life resources that I had let so many things slide into the depths. I recognized the concept of FIRE as a beacon of light in the darkness....a remarkable opportunity to enact radical change...to re-Design my Life. :)

Happy to report that I have done so. My health, mind and body, has been reclaimed. I have long felt a passion for the places that are "home" to me - remarkable regions in Canada and Mexico - but had never had the proper time available to properly immerse myself in thier wonders. I now have large blocks of time in which I pretty much exult in exploring and discovering their secrets.

The list of life improvements FIRE has provided for me is a long one....and many of these have been mentioned in this thread. Relationships (improved existing ones, discovering completely new ones), sleep quality, unencumbered pursuit of hobbies (longtime existing ones and some surprising new ones), learning to cook food that is both healthy AND delicious...etc.

There have many instances of people arriving at FIRE only to feel adrift. Without purpose. My personal experience has been one of revelation and transformation. And it really feels like I'm just getting started. Still tweaking my ultimate life "design". :)

Freedomin5

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #74 on: January 30, 2019, 08:08:53 PM »

When I'm unhappy with my life situation, I try to focus first on finding problem-solving strategies. However, there are some things in life that can't be solved. E.g., At this particular point in my life, I cannot just stop working. In those situations, I move to distraction/mitigation strategies to make the present more bearable until circumstances change and I can find a more permanent solution.
To be honest, I need to work on building in joyful/meaning-making tasks. Those have been hard for me to find lately, as I've found that being burned out makes it mentally more difficult for me to find joy, even in previously joyful things. And like Dr Kidstache, I am also not particularly Mustachian. I've been experimenting with taking Uber/hiring drivers and greatly inflating my lifestyle (hello, 100% rent increase, multiple international vacations, and increased heating bills) in order to survive.

Well, there have been changes lately. Going through the process of re-designing my life to fit current circumstances. In the past few weeks, in an effort to redesign my life to make it less stressful, I reached out to connections and applied for a new job. Last week, I received a formal offer. With this new job, which starts after the summer, I will be able to:

- Walk to work (no more crowds)
- Live in a better apartment with a reduction in rent
- Get subsidized/free airfare for summer vacations

All without a reduction in savings rate.

I知 looking forward to the change in lifestyle. Just need to get through the next few months.

In only two weeks, you've made an amazing change! Congratulations!!

@Poundwise  Thanks! I'm looking forward to the lifestyle inflation without the expense inflation (actually we are predicting a decrease in expenses).

Linda_Norway

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #75 on: January 31, 2019, 05:21:12 AM »
My outdoor hobbies are difficult/unpleasant for most of the year due to bad weather.

Sounds familiar. We also have a couple of weather/season dependent hobbies:

- astronomy (dark sky/winter, clear skies and little or no wind)
- DH's free diving (little wind and no heavy rain or wind in the days before)
- mushroom picking (rain a few weeks before, last summer it didn't rain for 6 months or so)
- cross-country skiing (enough snow, not icy)
- DH's ice skating (thick ice and no snow on top of it)

Roots&Wings

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #76 on: January 31, 2019, 06:16:33 AM »
My life is terribly unbalanced and I know why, but I'm not seeing the way out yet. If I were to do a radar chart, it would be all on the volunteer part, a bit on the social and learning, some on family, and nothing else everywhere else. Last year I probably spent between 20-30 hours a week volunteering for various good causes, and sometimes I spent more time than that. We are quite frugal, but I spend a fair amount of money on donations; plus when I am rushing around I have a tendency to pay the idiot tax on things like takeout and parking tickets.  And I have been living like this for years... it's tremendously gratifying to drive around town and see cars stopping at a sign to let school children safely cross a street, and to know that I made that happen; to know that the head of a poor family can now get to work in a donated car because I helped connect the donor with a group; to know that a school in a poor neighborhood has been holding science fairs every year since I started one; but my own life and the lives of my family are medium crappy.

The problem is that when one opens one's eyes to all the dire problems in the world, it's very hard to shut them again. Also as the leader of a small volunteer group, I feel like I can hardly sit back while I'm exhorting others to give of themselves.

Every winter I seem to have a minor physical breakdown which is why you see me here more. I need more "me" time, I need to build in more margins and redundancy, and I am considering going back to work in some paid capacity...

Unsure if you're familiar with any of Adam Grant's work or "Give and Take", but it has some interesting information about being an effective giver/volunteer without burning out and managing time/resources effectively (I struggled with that too).

Poundwise

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #77 on: January 31, 2019, 05:40:17 PM »
@Roots&Wings  Thank you, that looks like a very interesting book!  I'm a little tired of being on the bottom of the pile, and it would be nice if I could change this without giving up giving!

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #78 on: January 31, 2019, 05:53:46 PM »
I may need that too, since I intend to get back into this type of work in 2020, and I absolutely cannot do it the same way as this last cycle.

FreelanceToFreedom

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #79 on: February 03, 2019, 11:38:34 AM »
I think the concept of lifestyle design is incredibly important, and incredibly underused for the vast majority of people. We tend to just get on a track and stay there, without really thinking about if it's the right track or not.

I feel like I've been treading water for a long time - but this year is going to be a LOT different. I'm a freelancer and for a long time I've felt like I wasn't really taking advantage of the flexibility this line of work affords - but that's all changing now!

My SO quit their job last month and is transitioning into freelance work. We sold/donated 95% of our stuff, and we're going to travel full-time and be "digital nomads"!

We spent January in Canada visiting family, February will be in the Pacific Northwest with family/friends, and March through June will be in Eastern Europe doing some slow-travel and working from the road. Summer 2019 will likely be a road trip in the US, and Fall/Winter will be either SE Asia or South America (or really... wherever else we want to go!)

We're really excited! Obviously there will be challenges (SO quit a well paying job and is transitioning into a very unknown work situation), but I think it'll be worth it. We're also traveling in dirt-cheap countries, so we won't have to make nearly as much to live the same lifestyle (and save the same amount).


lhamo

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #80 on: February 03, 2019, 01:17:57 PM »
I may need that too, since I intend to get back into this type of work in 2020, and I absolutely cannot do it the same way as this last cycle.

Just a thought -- have you considered trying to network your way into a job with a more feminist-oriented/staffed org?  Not that the issues with excess emotional labor won't exist in such an environment, but maybe they would be more on the table/open for discussion.  Because a lot of your complaints about how things were handled in your last org seemed to me to be "swimming in the water of the patriarchy" kind of issues. 

Not sure if the best way to do this would be to work for an org that is focusing specifically on progressive female candidates, or to find one progressive female candidate's campaign to support. Can see benefits/drawbacks either way.

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #81 on: March 11, 2019, 10:10:19 PM »
Great thread!  I really enjoyed the raptitude reference.

I got sent here after I posted about trying to form a reading group for the book "Designing Your Life."   I find it is helping me refocus some of my thoughts now that I am almost ready to pull the plug.  I am struggling with waiting for the day when I walk off the office for good, and also trying to avoid having a "now what?" moment. 

Shameless plug (of course).  If anyone is interested in reading the book together, hit me up here, on PM, or at my significantly less interesting thread:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachian-book-club/designing-your-life/


Tass

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #82 on: March 12, 2019, 11:41:27 AM »
I forgot to update you all with the fact that I participated in a day of, essentially, chamber music speed dating. Unfortunately an increase in my academic workload means I can't commit to a small ensemble right now, but I enjoyed myself, got my foot in the door, and now I know where to look once I DO have time for that sort of thing. (Perhaps this summer?)

I've put Cal Newport's new book Digital Minimalism on hold at the library, so we'll see how influential that turns out to be.

Moustachienne

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #83 on: March 12, 2019, 01:19:46 PM »
Seeing this thread pop up again reminded me to post this "design" approach that might appeal to people who like pondering the future through scenario planning.  It's an oldie but goodie from Wired Magazine.  I used these steps for long range strategic planning at work but never for my personal life.  I'm thinking I may revisit them from that perspective.

It could be useful to help think through big personal decisions like when/where to FIRE or smaller ones like whether to get a pet.  :) 

Your Future in 5 Easy Steps: Wired Guide to Personal Scenario Planning Step 1
https://www.wired.com/2009/07/future-5-easy-steps-wired-guide-personal-scenario-planning/


Off the Wheel

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #84 on: March 12, 2019, 10:24:32 PM »
Tagging along.

I feel like I've been treading water over an abyss, for the past year due to some health challenges with my attempts to have a child, so my life is out of control. All I have the mental or emotional energy to do is work (which I do really enjoy, for the most part), but which doesn't align with my vision for my life, and 'life maintenance' which doesn't bring me to higher levels of joy. I am content, for the most part, but it doesn't feel intentional.

My next steps beyond committing to trying this is to read some of the materials referenced, and also to do some journaling around the fear I feel. My designed life would look quite different than my current (primarily in terms of choice of living location, how I spend my time, eventually my career) so it's a little terrifying.

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2019, 01:29:10 AM »
I forgot to update you all with the fact that I participated in a day of, essentially, chamber music speed dating. Unfortunately an increase in my academic workload means I can't commit to a small ensemble right now, but I enjoyed myself, got my foot in the door, and now I know where to look once I DO have time for that sort of thing. (Perhaps this summer?)

I've put Cal Newport's new book Digital Minimalism on hold at the library, so we'll see how influential that turns out to be.

I was slightly confused by "chamber music speed dating" but it finally dawned on me what it meant. But I had a brilliant new app idea: Stringr.

All you developers out there: you're welcome...

Tass

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #86 on: March 13, 2019, 10:17:40 AM »
I forgot to update you all with the fact that I participated in a day of, essentially, chamber music speed dating. Unfortunately an increase in my academic workload means I can't commit to a small ensemble right now, but I enjoyed myself, got my foot in the door, and now I know where to look once I DO have time for that sort of thing. (Perhaps this summer?)

I've put Cal Newport's new book Digital Minimalism on hold at the library, so we'll see how influential that turns out to be.

I was slightly confused by "chamber music speed dating" but it finally dawned on me what it meant. But I had a brilliant new app idea: Stringr.

All you developers out there: you're welcome...

I think you've got the idea. I played with a bunch of different trios/quartets/quintets for an hour each. Good sightreading practice.

Your app would need to have audio clips instead of photos, but I'm sure it could be made to work!

HoneyandSugar

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #87 on: March 13, 2019, 04:25:55 PM »
PTF. There are so many good recommendations in here. I feel like I have a ton of reading to do. I absolutely love the idea of the Depth Year and it's something I definitely want to put into practice.

daffodil2001

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #88 on: March 14, 2019, 11:12:18 AM »
PTF. I知 moving soon to what I知 hoping will be my forever home. I知 hoping to use the opportunity to reset some habits and start new ones. I put library holds on a few of the recommended books. I致e been trying to talk my husband into establishing some new habits and routines now but he doesn稚 want to until we move. Hopefully the books will help him agree to it sooner. He recently read Marie Kondo痴 book and started cleaning up after himself more (after I spent years asking him to do so). Hoping that having a book to guide our discussions will help us get to a better designed life. Not that there痴 anything wrong with our life now, but I think a life design would benefit me. And hopefully my husband too.

Budgie

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #89 on: March 15, 2019, 08:23:54 PM »
PTF. I知 moving soon to what I知 hoping will be my forever home. I知 hoping to use the opportunity to reset some habits and start new ones.

I think a move makes a great opportunity to re-work routines and habits. I moved last spring and downsized a lot in the process. I have successfully avoided adding new clutter, have continued to move things out that aren't needed, and have changed my leisure activities around a lot as a result of freeing up time that used to be spent maintaining suburban property and cleaning. Hope your spouse will hop on board and you can both enjoy the rewards of the changes you'd like!

Freedomin5

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #90 on: March 16, 2019, 01:06:49 AM »

When I'm unhappy with my life situation, I try to focus first on finding problem-solving strategies. However, there are some things in life that can't be solved. E.g., At this particular point in my life, I cannot just stop working. In those situations, I move to distraction/mitigation strategies to make the present more bearable until circumstances change and I can find a more permanent solution.


Well, there have been changes lately. Going through the process of re-designing my life to fit current circumstances. In the past few weeks, in an effort to redesign my life to make it less stressful, I reached out to connections and applied for a new job. Last week, I received a formal offer. With this new job, which starts after the summer, I will be able to:

- Walk to work (no more crowds)
- Live in a better apartment with a reduction in rent
- Get subsidized/free airfare for summer vacations

All without a reduction in savings rate.

I知 looking forward to the change in lifestyle. Just need to get through the next few months.

Just a quick update. In attempting to design a life that's more in line with my values, over the past couple months, I've:

- Given myself permission to take more vacations
- Decided to only work half days on the days I work from home
- Joined a social group
- Tried to get 10,000 steps a day and started intermittent fasting
- Decided to enjoy what I currently have

Lately, stress has been more manageable overall. I asked new company for a furnished apartment (rather than unfurnished) which should lessen stress even more as I do not have to order furniture online and wait around for delivery, even though it means I have less control over the type/quality of furniture. But it's more Mustachian and it means I can save my relocation allowance.

Hopefully, this will tide me over until more semi-permanent changes are made.

Amtrazit

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #91 on: March 16, 2019, 06:24:53 AM »
To be honest I'm not good in strategy, but my philosofy is "Solve problems - when they are coming". But I think I need to subscribe to this thread

daffodil2001

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Re: Design Your Life!
« Reply #92 on: March 16, 2019, 06:53:20 AM »
PTF. I知 moving soon to what I知 hoping will be my forever home. I知 hoping to use the opportunity to reset some habits and start new ones.

I think a move makes a great opportunity to re-work routines and habits. I moved last spring and downsized a lot in the process. I have successfully avoided adding new clutter, have continued to move things out that aren't needed, and have changed my leisure activities around a lot as a result of freeing up time that used to be spent maintaining suburban property and cleaning. Hope your spouse will hop on board and you can both enjoy the rewards of the changes you'd like!

Thanks! My husband has been using the 努e値l be moving soon so why bother thing as an excuse for about four years now (we致e moved three times in that time span).  Since we are planning to never move again, that excuse won稚 work anymore. I identified two rooms that I want to keep 100% clutter free even while we池e moving and unpacking, so that I have space to relax in. I don稚 want the rest of the house to get too bad, but I also want to be realistic about how much energy we値l have since we have a lot of projects lined up like removing wallpaper from three bedrooms.