Design the Life You Want

Design the Life You Want to Live...

I know, I know. But, Ashley, WTF? How? Look, your life will be an eternal work-in-progress. But wait! You knew there was a 'but', didn’t you? You can still design it anyway you want to with the understanding that it will be evolving until you die. Literally, you won’t be in the career phase, or raising kids phase, or the newlywed phase forever. And that's so freaking awesome.

Being PROactive Instead of REactive 

This took me a VERY long time to figure out. I was really tired of reacting to the things that happened. The turning point for me was when my father passed away. He had a massive stroke at 61 and I took him off life support nine days later. I was traumatized. I was sad. This only child situation felt really heavy and extremely lonely. He had nothing pre-planned or in place in the event of his death. Nothing. Zilch. I spent the next year piecing together paperwork and cleaning up everything that was left. It was heartbreaking. It was exhausting. I vowed to never put my kids in the same position. As a note, my dad never intended to leave me in this position. I know he didn’t. It’s just the way it happened. 

So, what could I do to put my life in order? I started by pre-planning and pre-paying for my funeral. I know, super morbid. But, this was very fresh to me and I had already been working on funeral things with my dad’s passing. I had a contact at the funeral home and had a pretty good idea of their work. They were very professional and organized. I liked what they did for me and my family. I made quick decisions. I’ll be gone, so it’s not that important to me. But, more importantly, my kids have fewer decisions to make. That was a start and it felt good! 

I took that idea and ran with it. Next was working on what type of income I wanted and the type of flexibility I wanted (and needed). Some stars aligned and took on some valuable contracts that allowed me to work how and where I wanted to. While being paid well. I also started a few side hustles (I know, that term is over used) and produced a fair amount of income that way as well. 

Now, we rinse and repeat. Where can we make a change next? A change that gets us closer to where we need to be or need to be now. Maybe it is as simple as cleaning your house or even your bedroom. Decluttering your space can declutter your mind. Or, creating processes and routines for yourself and/or your family. This can look like making lunches the night before and eliminating some morning chaos. Putting outfits together the night before has helped me. I have found the little changes are overall more beneficial to me than trying to make big changes. Do what works for you here!