Workshop Design Your Life

Posted on wo 19 februari 2020 in workshop • Gewijzigd op 09 november 2020

This workshop is in response to a question from Ana and Gábor for help with finding direction in their lives. The outline below is based on the process I followed for the design of my own life with additional resources from books, websites and blog posts I have read and experimented with in the mean time.

Some of the participants of this workshop have provided me with valuable feedback on the workshop.

If you would like to take part in this workshop, please let me know. When I have found 6 to 8 people interested in doing this workshop with me, we can set a date.


  • Before we begin

    • Think about your evening. Think about your habits and rituals;
    • Find one activity you do in the evening that you do out of habit but that ultimately leaves you unfulfilled;
    • Replace this activity with 10 minutes of Bullet Journaling for at least the duration of the workshop.
  • Opening thought

    Sow a thought, reap a word;
    Sow a word, reap an action;
    Sow an action, reap a habit;
    Sow a habit, reap a character;
    Sow a character, reap a destiny.
  • Introduction

    • Life design is impossible... but here's what we can do
      • above all make sure the basics necessities are fulfilled: supply of food and water, shelter and security
      • focus on process not outcome
      • focus on joy and simplicity: "Does it spark joy?" Remove what does not (any more)
    • Workshop structure based on Dragon Dreaming project cycle
      • Celebrate - Dream - Plan - Do (- Celebrate - ...)
  • Celebrate - answers: "Where do we come from?"

  • Dream - answers: "Where do we want to go?"

    • Slides week 2
    • Do a mental inventory
      • Three columns: Working on / Should be working on / Want to be working on
      • Ask: Why am I doing these things? Filter using:
        • Is it vital? If yes, keep;
        • Does this matter to me? If yes, keep;
        • Are there consequences for not doing this? If yes, maybe keep. If no, drop it because it is a distraction.
    • Create a vision using a Dreaming Circle
      • of self;
      • of couple or family;
      • of group.
  • Plan - answers: "How do we get there?"

    • Slides week 3
    • Evaluate activities using a Reverse Fishbone Diagram
      • positive effects go above the line;
      • negative effects go under the line;
      • mark primary focus and all first order effects.
    • Remove activities before adding new ones;
      • Move from Complicated to Simple by focussing on the essential;
      • Move from Simple to Complex by combining essentials.
    • Apply Multiple elements x multiple functions to make a Web of goals;
      • Take elements from Mental inventory;
      • Take functions from Reverse Fishbone Diagram and your Vision.
    • Treat everything as an experiment:
      • Start simple;
      • Start small;
      • Keep it fun.
    • To dig deeper:
  • Do - Let's Go!

    Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. -- Arthur Ashe, American athlete

  • Celebrate - Start the cycle anew regularly

    • Appreciate the AHA moment;
    • Close the feedback loop by failing early, failing fast, failing often and failing better;
    • Turn failure and rejection into learning experiences: "Either things go well, or you will learn something";
    • Create daily rituals / habits to integrate celebration in your life:
      • review the day;
      • write down three (or more) things you're grateful for;
      • plan the next day;
    • Enlist the help of a partner / sangha / community to keep you motivated, accountable and to provide a sounding board;
    • Regularly check in with and review your vision, intentions, habits and roles; choose to do this monthly, on solstices and equinoxes, or during major holidays;
    • Fill out a Year Compass;
    • Try Guided Journaling.