The world of freelance simultaneously conjures up images of instability and freedom, fear and reward.  I live in that freelance world, and I fluctuate between these emotions constantly. As I was reveling in the freedom-and-reward part of the freelance bipolarity and reminding myself that yes, this way of life is worth it, I felt like I was taking control, holding the reigns, empowering my growth and…designing my life.

And now, this idea of designing my life won’t quiet down. It’s a powerful little sentence–design your life–that I’m now crazy about. Here’s why:

When we look at life, it just seems like a rolling expanse of time. Sure, we have some demarcations with the calendar and birthdays, but life is often part experience, part active participation. And in general, it’s overwhelming when you ponder its enormity. It would be demeaning to try to define it or generalize it, but we do know that society expects us to live a certain way. We all don’t conform to those expectations (especially for those of us who would rather keel over than sit at a desk all day), but they do exist. And they’re looming at times.

But, to counter that, when we design we plan, give structure, and take action towards goals. Designing also means we give life to a purpose or an intention that we want to see fulfilled. There’s naturally a foil in this word and in the actions that make it come to life. It’s where quality and quantity meet, it’s where type A and artsy-fartsy can thrive together, it’s where rigidity meets free from and where science meets art.

Innately, we know how to design. Some of us thrive more in the structured part of it, others in the fluid, free-form part, but we all know how. And if you’re reading this, you’re alive. You have the criteria, so why not apply the design to our life? To every day. We already find the structure with goals (make a to do list, write out New Year’s resolutions), and we already muse about what we want out of this life (a family, a strong career, but oh my could I do both?).

So, design your life. A small sentence that gives you permission to do whatever you want. You have a guide set for you by what society has created, but what does your heart say? What’s your purpose and intention that you want to set goals around? Why can’t you make every day how you want it to be?

The designing your life notion isn’t going to make anything easier–your job’s still a job and stress still exists, but there is inherently and simultaneously more direction and freedom in a life by your own design. What does yours look like?


About the Author: Kara Griffin is a celebrity trainer, holistic nutritionist and health counselor who uses western science and the tenets of eastern medicine for a complete, mindful approach to food, fitness and overall health. She believes we should eat, move and live for how we want to feel.