Why Not . . . Edit Your Life?
Wednesday July 13, 2011

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Creating a simply luxurious life for yourself is a decision to live consciously and with a clear focus on how you want your life to come together.  In order to create such a life it will be difficult to look at the life you’re now comfortable with in many respects and make changes. After all, humans are creatures of habit. Routines are comfortable; they provide a peace of mind because we know what to expect.

So after doing some investigating on how to make creating a simply luxurious life an easier process, I thought we’d go about it in a different way which I’m going to share with you today.

When authors sit down to create a piece of fiction, most will begin by creating an outline which will provide a guidepost for how to proceed as they begin telling their story. Why not create your ideal life in a similar manner?

Here’s how it works:

Dream of the Ideal

Imagine what your ideal life looks like, job, relationships, location, health, hobbies, time available, etc. Be sure to write this down.  This is where knowing yourself will make this process much easier and much more successful. As you know what you must have in your life, what you are flexible about and what you can’t have in your life to be successful and fulfilled, as you go about this process, you will very easily be able to outline the components that will lead to the life of your dreams.


Looking at your first list (dream life), prioritize each item. As we continue through this activity it will be important to know which goals you will want to complete first and most likely many others will fall into line quite naturally afterwards.  It is very rare that you will be able to put equal effort toward each of your goals, in fact one may counteract the other, so it is important to determine now which will receive your focus first.

Start from Scratch

Now, instead of looking at your life as it is currently and eliminating, take your life down to the bare bones – a completely blank slate.

Thoughtfully Add Activities

Holding on to the first piece of paper that holds your dream life, now take out a blank piece of paper and thoughtfully add back into your life what will help you to achieve your ideal plan. If your goal is to create a certain amount of money for a goal you have in mind, be sure to only add back expenses that are absolutely necessary. (Now don’t get in your own way here. It is easy to rationalize just about anything, but if you follow your list, paying mind to your priorities, that should be the reasoning that holds the most weight – stick to it).

Compare and Subtract

Once you have two lists – your dream and the life design to attain this dream – look at your life as it is now and make a list of what is no longer necessary and can be edited, thus eliminated, from your life.

End Result

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” –William A. Foster

By immersing yourself in this activity and being absolutely honest with yourself, you will eliminate the unnecessary, create a quality life that is richer and allows you to focus on the tasks that are required in order to achieve your ideal life.  All it will take is discipline, clear understanding of who you are and a can-do attitude.

12 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Edit Your Life?

  1. Great post! It’s so easy to get caught up in the “I can’ts” and this takes it away. I love the idea of really getting down to what you need and what will make you happy. The rest isn’t important!

  2. I just finished reading a book called “Write it Down, Make it Happen” which advocates many of the tips you mention (but it doesn’t have your lovely images 😉

  3. I am going to sit down and do this exercise tonight. I am at a bit of a crossroads and need to figure out where I am going and how to get there. Exploring my passions and love off the European lifestyle has been my first step, this is my next. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I love the idea of stripping down and starting from the basics. It helps to remember what we really love and what our true passions are. Only recently (after quitting my full-time career to work part time from home to take care of my 3 year old son) did I start to have epiphanies of what I really love and what my passions are. Sometimes our lives are too noisy and we forget who we are.
    Thank you AGAIN Shannon! xoxo Chelsea

  5. Great post Shannon! This really is a constant and ongoing process and I love your idea of the two lists. I’ve recently been re-prioritizing and determining what I can omit that is not worth my time and doesn’t add value. I’m going to try this approach!

  6. This is a good post I was a little confused when you get to point two of start from scratch and wondered if you could explain further or direct me to another post that might clarify it for me?

    Thank you kindly

    1. Sarah,
      Great question. Rather than looking at your life and seeing what you have to take away, begin with a fresh slate, as though you are building a brand new home. What do you want to center your life around? Who do you want to spend your time with? How do you want to feel? By starting from scratch you are looking at this process as creating rather than destroying. I hope that helps!

  7. Yes that makes more sense – so once you see your life as you want it and begin work towards creating that life then eliminating of things that need not be there comes more naturally because you are working towards your goal?

    I expect you would be far more successful doing that than as you said destroying and taking away which might seem like an impossible task.

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