My System for Creating a Well-Designed Life

Barry Fralick
4 min readNov 29, 2022
Photo by Migue 📸 on Unsplash

Part of designing a well-lived life is being intentional about what you want. It’s also essential to think about what you don’t want. Creating a system where you can track various pockets of your life is ideal for being intentional and making progress.

This is my system for creating a well-designed life. 7 tips I hope you find useful.

Create a Personal Manifesto

Detail the hows and whys of what you want out of life. Examine all areas of your life including health, finance, relationships, career, etc., and describe what those things should look like.

Be sure to add things like where you would like to live, how you are going to spend your time, what things are important to you, and circumstances that are considered unacceptable. Be as detailed as you can.

Revisit and update your personal manifesto from time to time — don’t be afraid to change what is written. The important thing is to get your vision down on paper.

Make a Bucket List

Make a list of things you would like to do in your lifetime. Add everything you can think of including things that may seem outrageous.

I like to add tags to the items on my list. Each one has a tag such as ‘Maybe-Someday’, ‘Would Be Nice, and ‘Must Experience.’ This helps me define how important each particular item is to me.

Included with each item is a sub-category with the question: Why? Along with a pros and cons list.

Ask yourself why you want to do something on your list and then weigh the pros and cons. This will help you be intentional.

Make a Yearly Goals List

Starting at the end of each year I make a list of things I would like to accomplish in the upcoming one. I usually start this at the end of November so there is plenty of time for ideas to marinate.

And although this is geared towards productivity, I also include things I am working on to design my life. Think of goals like saving money for financial independence or a trip. Or it could be health and fitness goals. Also, be sure to include things from your personal manifesto and bucket list.

Make a Quarterly Goals List

Every 90 days I make a quarterly goals list. Take things from your yearly goals list and add them to your quarterly goals list. Try your best to get them accomplished within 90 days. Update it each quarter making adjustments when necessary.

Make a Weekly Agenda

Along with to-dos and daily tasks a weekly agenda is how a well-lived life is designed. This is where you execute your plan.

Add small steps from your quarterly goals list and tick them off one by one. By breaking down big goals into small actionable steps you will be able to see daily progress and keep momentum.

Recognize and Eliminate Waste

Learn to recognize waste and eliminate it.

Think about ways you’re wasting money or wasting time. Look for areas of your life where you think there is waste and train yourself to recognize non-essential tasks, habits, etc. Do your best to track these things and make a plan to eliminate the leaks. Add actionable steps like delete, delegate, reduce, or automate.

The idea is, by removing waste you give yourself more time to engage in the things you truly want in life and allow yourself the freedom to move in the direction you are seeking.

By removing as much waste from your life as possible you’ll get from A to B much quicker. The shortest path is always a straight line.

Track Your Progress

At the end of each quarter, reflect on and write down the past 90 days' accomplishments. I call them ‘progress reports’ and keep them in a Notion database however, choose the method that works best for you. Basically, I write down milestones and accomplishments that have moved me toward my ideal life.

The important thing is to think about what you have achieved and how you have moved forward. Make sure to write everything down for future reference.

I have found there are weeks, months, and years where it feels like nothing has changed but when I go back and look at previous year's reports I can see I have made progress. This helps me keep momentum plus, it’s fun to look back and view a little snapshot in time of what you were up to 1–2–5 years prior.

Final Note

Again, this is my system for designing the life I want and it may not work for you, or you may need to tweak it to fit your needs.

However, the core idea is to create a vision, create a plan, and then take action on your plan executing with as little waste as possible while documenting your progress. Don’t be afraid to change your plan along the way and always enjoy the process.

Thanks for reading. @ me on Twitter.

Exploring culture, technology, life design, and more at BarryFralick.com

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