# 13: Guidelines for Creating Your LIFE LAYOUT

11Oct09

Your LIFE LAYOUT is an illustration of your future.  Creating it is going to be much easier than you might imagine.  After all, you have already done the heavy lifting.

You’ve:

1.   Chosen to focus on yourself and the future you want by declaring it your year.

2.   Gathered information about yourself from friends, family, and objective assessments.

3.   Crafted a one sentence Success Formula.

4.   Selected twelve values that will drive your future plans.

5.   Identified what you want to become an expert in.

6.   Created your “100 List” of actions you want to take in your lifetime.

7.   Answered critical questions about your life mission and what you are on this earth to learn and to teach.

8.  Calculated how many years, days, or hours for which you need to plan.

9.   Embraced the 10 commitments you have made to family, friends, and co-workers.

10. Reviewed your past and its lessons.

But it’s no time to rest.  You are about to embark on a journey to re-design your future exactly as you want it to unfold.  Over the next few months we will be ensuring that your finances, health, relationships, creative and inner life, home, work, family, and your heart are all aligned to create the future you have envisioned.

All you need is a map.  No problem.

So how do you capture your grand plan for your future?

The answer is “any way you want to”.

I do have some examples, though, that others have used.  So, at the risk of stifling your creativity which I really, really don’t want to do, I’ll share some of those suggestions.

Before I begin though, I’d like to offer a few guidelines that will ensure your LIFE LAYOUT is usable:

  • Go for a portable, single unit, even if it is a 6 foot long piece of butcher paper or taped together flip chart sheets or one of those folding posters used for science fair projects or even, as one participant used, a white bedsheet.
  • Make it colorful and engaging to view.  It’s meant to inspire and entice you.  Consider colored pens or markers or even poster paint.
  • Use pictures rather than words when practical because a picture is worth…
  • Make it detailed enough so that it keeps you on track and clarifies your intentions months, even years from now.
  • Make it simple enough so that the people you want to buy into your future will be able to “get where you are coming from”.
  • On the back, the side, the bottom, top, or whatever it makes sense, include information critical to your final design.  For instance, you may want to show your values as clouds at the top or as pillars at the bottom to show they are inspirational or foundational.  You may want to include your mission, your success formula, commitments, even your Myers-Briggs type.
  • Consider your audience.  Will you be the only one to see it or will you be sharing it with others?

The first suggestion on how to organize your LIFE LAYOUT is simply to continue on around the circle you began with your Story of My Past, although you may want to rotate the circle so the future is now at the top.

If you choose this option, you’ll be able to easily divide up the future into sections that represent various ages and milestones, populate it with the people (or types of people) you expect to be key players, sprinkle actions from your “100 List” into your key events, etc.

Story of My Future

But they are plenty of other designs like Mindmapping, the Four Part Picture, Collage, or RoadMap, which we’ll cover in the next few posts.

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