“Live your best life” is a common refrain — and it’s often said with good intentions. Ultimately, we all want to live the best version of our lives, right? We want to look and feel our best, surrounded by the people that we love, and contribute through our work and our actions in ways that are meaningful and valuable.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. We’re all busy juggling our work, our home, our kids, our heath, our family’s health, and everyone’s emotional needs. The pursuit of living our best lives can often knock us out of balance, as we try to do too much at once — and then give ourselves a hard time for not doing it all “right.”

That’s not really the definition of living your best life, though . . .  at least not to us at Day Designer. That’s why we’ve designed our planners — including the recently launched Academic Year 2019-2020 Flagship Collection — to support you in living your best life. The Flagship Collection offers a wide selection of strategic planning systems to help you organize every day with intention and style.

To us, living your best life should be about finding balance between the many facets of your life that are most important to you. That might change from year to year — or even season to season — and it will always, always be specific to you.

Because it never has to be one way or the other: either living a life of balance or living the “best” version of your life. You can find balance in the pursuit of your best life — and interestingly, in finding balance in the pursuit, you may soon find that you’re already living it.

Here’s how to find that balance:

Start Where You Are

Whenever you’re trying to make a change, it helps to begin with an inventory of where you’re at. This exercise isn’t meant to make you feel bad, but rather to gain acceptance of what’s real.

Be honest with yourself if you’re going through a transition or need extra support as you move forward. Who or what would be most helpful to you as you start to make changes and shift your time and energy toward what’s most important to you?

Remember that you are an exceptional human being, but you may need help getting to a better place — to your better place — and to the next step toward the best version of your life.

Identify the Opportunity for Change

Now that you know where you are, you can get clear on where you want to make a change. Where do you want to grow as a person? What circumstances might you want to shift in your life?

This step is about providing the awareness of what needs to change. It might feel a little overwhelming at first, but try not to get too ahead of yourself. You’re not changing anything (and certainly not everything) today — you’re just getting clear on the changes you might like to see.

Get Clear On Your Why

Your “why” is pretty important. Your “why” will be your motivation when you feel stuck, when you want to fall back into familiar patterns, when you wonder if it’s even possible to find balance as you live your best life (spoiler alert: it is!).

Ask yourself why you want to make the changes you considered in the last step. Can you think of specific examples that illustrate why you want to continue to evolve and live a better life? On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer: Who wouldn’t want to be the best version of themselves and enjoy the best version of their one life here on Earth? But these changes aren’t about everybody else; they’re about you — and your “why” needs to be too.

Figure out why you want to make this shift and write it down. You’ll come back to this again and again.

Envision What You Want

Now it’s time to start dreaming: get clear on what you really want. We’re not talking about the changes you want to make or the reason why you want to make them. No, this is the vision. This is the end-goal.

What does your best life actually look like?

What are you longing for in your life? What goals have you set for yourself? What do you want? What do you not want? This is absolutely an opportunity to dream big, but we also encourage you to consider to think about the best version of your current life. What’s an ideal day with the family and the work and the body and the life that you have now?

Get clear on what your best life looks like both now and in the future. And begin to convince yourself that you can have both. (Because you can!)

Brainstorm the How

This last step is where we get tactical. You know where you are, you know what needs to change, you know what you want — now, you just need to figure out how to get there.

No small task, right?

All jokes aside, it’s not as overwhelming as it might seem. The “how” is the tangible action steps that are bolstered by your “why” and lead you to your version of your best life. This step is about being honest with yourself about how you need to edit your life to achieve what you want (see the vision in the last step). This step is where you get clear about what you should stop doing, what you should start doing, and what might be holding you back.

At Day Designer, our goal is to help you live your best life (according to your definition) by actively designing the life you want to live. We have an incredible library of resources (like our new Academic Year Flagship Planners) to help you do just that. Each one of our Day Designer planners includes worksheets to help you figure out what you should start or stop doing to get closer to living your best life.

Stay tuned for our next post on Wednesday where we’ll share actionable tips to help you prioritize what’s most important in your life.

What’s one part of your vision for your best life? Share with us in the comments below, so we can help hold that vision for you!