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Introduction to the JournaledLife Framework for Life Design

When individuals start out on the life design journey they have many questions.

  • How do I keep track of everything I need to know for creating the life I desire?
  • How do I organize my thoughts and ideas?
  • How do I get real value from my journals?
  • How do I find what I have written in my journals?
  • How can my journaling practice be more effective?

Life is big, life is complicated, we need a way of organizing all we learn so we can focus on progressing. That is the reason for the JournaledLife framework.

Where Did the Framework Come From

In early 2018, I went through the process of transferring my paper journals to OneNote. Being a business analyst by profession I quickly realized I needed a framework for entering everything I had written down over the years. At different points in my life, I focused on different things and I recorded my life in different ways on different media. There was so much insight trapped and lost in old paper book journals, or in file folders, or in old Daytimers. I required a system and a way of organizing the information that would work for what was already recorded and what I wanted to continue to record in the future.

The result was the Life Design Journaling Framework.

What is the Life Design Framework

The life design journaling framework is a journaling methodology for documenting your life design and the ongoing journey of realizing your life design.  Your life design encompasses who you are, the life you want to live, and the ongoing journey to get there.

Life is complicated. There are a huge number of influences, decisions, opportunities, paths, ideas, factors, that you have to deal with.  To help, there are many excellent gurus whose wisdom on the internet is free, but each of them solves only a few aspects of your life design.  Not only that, there are new people on the internet every day that have new ideas and different ways of solving some of life’s problems.

The life design journaling framework provided a structure for recording the wisdom, strategy, learning, ideas as they relate to you. A way of continuously adding the wisdom of different experts, as well as your own life experience so that the information is available to you when you need it.

The life design framework is a methodology and taxonomy that allows you to journal all the different aspects of your life design in their basic components.  The components are at a fundamental level regardless of whose strategy you are following.  Therefore, any wisdom and experience you learn from one expert/guru will already be part of your framework for the next expert/guru.  Over time you will have a wealth of information that is relevant and resonates specifically with you.  That information is readily searchable and accessible.

Why is The Life Design Framework Important?

Life design is the process of purposefully and intentionally creating the life you want to live.

Life design is creating and executing a plan for your life to maximize your happiness and fulfillment.

You only get one life to live. You can live life randomly, taking whatever comes your way and hope for the best. Conversely, you can purposefully and intelligently choose the path you take through life.

You can live a life by design.

We live in a rapidly changing society. The way we will live and work in the future is going to be radically different than how we live and work today. That future is coming faster and faster.

New technologies are going to change the future at an accelerating pace. Due to technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality, blockchain, 5G networks the future is going to be much different than the present.

By designing your life and following a pre-defined plan better allows you to adapt to the changes that the future is going to bring.

What is the Overall Structure of the Life Design Framework

The life design journaling framework is the combination of a taxonomy and a journaling process.

A taxonomy is simply a fancy way of saying a method of organizing information. The terminology for the Life Design Journaling Framework is Segments, Aspects, and Perspectives.

The framework organizes life design into four major parts that are termed segments. The four segments of the Life Design Journaling Framework are:

  • Aim Segment – What you want out of life
  • Self Segment – Who you are going to be
  • Map Segment – How you will achieve your life design
  • Execution Segment – What you actually do

Each segment is further divided into Aspects. Each aspect defines one independent part of a segment where the sum of all the aspects defines the segment.

Perspectives are different ways of looking at a segment in a holistic way. As an example, health is a perspective by which you can view the Aim segment. It looks at what you want out of life just from a health perspective.

What is the Aim Segment

The Aim Segment of the Life Design Framework is the creative part. It is the part that allows you to dream, to imagine where you will live, the type of life you would love to live, and the type of people you want to share it with. Most of all, you determine your purpose, your overall WHY that drives everything else.

Every life chosen requires work. We want to create a life where the work is easy for who we are, and the benefits give us joy, fulfillment – fitting in with our overall purpose.

The aspects of the Aim segment are:

  • Purpose – The unique way you create value based on your gifts
  • Vision – The life you want to create within all the life areas
  • Mission – The path you want to take to create the life you want

What is the Purpose Aspect

Your purpose is the core piece of your life design. It is the part that drives all the other parts. It comes from a deep understanding of who you are. Each of us has a unique set of DNA and a unique set of circumstances we’ve lived through.

Your uniqueness gives you the ability to create value in the world in a way that no one else can.

I believe it is your overall purpose in life to discover the unique value you can create and pursue creating it in the world.

When you start to discover and live a life aligned with your purpose you will experience states of flow more often. These experiences will build on each other driving you towards your vision. You will look forward to each new day and the possibilities for flow that they will bring.

Wiki defines flow as:

In positive psychology, flow, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time. – [source:]

When you start to discover and live a life aligned with your purpose you will experience states of flow more often. These experiences will build on each other driving you towards your vision. You will look forward to each new day and the possibilities for flow that they will bring.

This is a lifelong process of discovery, creation, and execution. Journaling is a keystone habit to support you in living your purpose.

Living your life on purpose begins with journaling Share on X

What is the Vision Aspect

Your vision is a vivid picture of the life that you want to create.

Where your purpose is a deep unchanging part of you, your vision is what you are creating to fulfill that purpose.

The purpose of your vision is to give you something to strive for, a reason to learn, to create, and to build value. Share on X

There are important differences between purpose, vision, and mission. It is important to understand that these 3 aspects of your life are different.

Many people confuse purpose and vision. They will use the words interchangeably or combine the two meanings into one.

You as a unique human being have one purpose in life. Your purpose is deep within the core of who you are. Even with that one purpose, there are many ways that you can live your life to fulfill your purpose. You discover your purpose, you design a life vision to fulfill that purpose, and create a mission to follow on your journey to realize that vision. That is the creative part of your life design; creating a life that uniquely fulfills your purpose.

People also confuse vision and mission. Your vision is your ideal life that you designed uniquely for yourself. It allows you to live the best parts of yourself, so you get the most from every minute of the day. Your mission is how you are going to get there, what you are going to commit to today to start that journey. The work lies in executing your mission. The payoff is living more and more of your vision thereby fulfilling your purpose.

Discover your #purpose, design a life #vision to fulfill that purpose & create a #mission to follow on your #journey to realize that vision #journaling #lifedesign #ldjs Share on X

What are the Life Area Perspectives

The Aim segment can be viewed through the lenses of the life areas: Health, Personal Growth, Family, Fun and Recreation, Lifestyle, Love, Social, Career, Finances, and Lifelong Learning. When looking at your Aim segment through a life area lens, you are still looking at the whole of your life creation. In whatever vision you imagine, each part, no matter how small, contains elements of each life area.

Balance in the life areas is important, if one life area does not have the attention it needs, other life areas will feel the effects.

When you are defining the life that you want to live, it is important to take in all facets of life. We sometimes only look at a particular outcome of a person’s life, not all the supporting pieces that go along with it.

For example, we may dream to be an NHL hockey player, but we don’t want the life of practicing and gym workouts that goes along with an NHL lifestyle.

The ten life areas of the Life Design Journaling Framework are:

  1. Health
  2. Personal Growth
  3. Family
  4. Fun and Recreation
  5. Lifestyle
  6. Love
  7. Social
  8. Career
  9. Finances
  10. Life-Long Learning

What is the Self Segment

While the Aim Segment was based on creativity, the Self segment of the Life Design Framework is based on introspection. Who we are is going to tell us if the life we designed is really the life we want.

Who we are is going to tell us who we need to become to create the life we want.

What skills we will need, what habits, beliefs, and ways of thinking need to be developed. Ultimately who we are will dictate how fulfilling the life we design is going to be.

In many ways, it seems the Self segment is the easiest to understand. But most of us know how hard it is to really understand ourselves.

The aspects of the Self segment are:

What are the Roles Perspective

The Self segment can be viewed through the lenses of the roles we play in life. Again, like the life areas, all of these roles exist at the same time and to some extent affect whatever we do at any point.

Understanding who we are based on the roles we play gives us additional insight into who we are.

What is the Map Segment

The Map segment creates the plan to create our vision. The plan takes into account all the life areas and the roles we want to live. The more the plan is refined based on the different perspectives the more we will want to follow it.

The creation of the plan will reveal the path and the work that needs to be done to realize our vision. The plan may reveal paths that we do not want to take which will result in us refining our vision. The constant revaluation of all segments is ongoing and is a natural part of life. It is one of the reasons why it is so important to look at all segments all the time.

The plan is going to consist of the big overall goals that once accomplished get us to the vision we have created. Each goal will is broken down into achievable objectives and actions.

The aspects of the Map segment are:

  • Goals – Broad primary outcomes we want for our lives
  • Objectives and Actions – Measurable actions towards our goal

What are the Map Perspectives

There are many perspectives that can be used for looking at the map segment. These include financial plans, road maps, and simple reflections on life. Any way that you can look at your plan to ensure it is taking you in the right direction.

What is the Execution Segment

The execution segment is about executing the plan, the actions that we are taking in the present.

Life requires action. Introspection needs to be balanced by execution.

Once you have created your life design you need to do the work to bring it into reality. This requires focus on a yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily basis.

The execution of our map is what reveals who we are, what we really want in life, and what type of plan we should use to get there. The process of doing, evaluating how it went, and what we learned.

The focus of the execution segment is doing the work required.

This process at a high level has the following steps

  1. Determine where you want to go (AIM)
  2. Create a plan (MAP)
  3. Execute the plan (EXECUTE)
  4. Evaluate how well you executed the plan (SELF)
  5. Evaluate how well the work created your vision (AIM)
  6. Refine all segments and repeat

The execution segment consists of your experiences and your reflections of those experiences.

What are the Execution Perspectives

The perspectives you can use to evaluate the execution segment are reviews. You can review what was achieved from a yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly perspective. Each of the perspectives will give you different insights into your life design.

Each of these perspectives gives you a different viewpoint on your life.

Weekly and monthly perspectives are more focused on what you are doing, what work has been accomplished.

Quarterly and Yearly perspectives are more focused on what overall goals have been achieved.

Each of these perspectives has its place in the lifelong journey of life design.



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