Your Life Binder – First Steps

Check out the other Life Binder Posts and Printables

Your Life Binder is a road-map for your life. It is a tool to achieving your life goals. It can take whatever form works best for you, although there are some templates below to help if you like.

Start Anywhere

Define Your Goals

Here you will see a sample list of goals to include in your life binder. These can be printed for your binder.

You can use as few or as many as you like, and don’t be afraid to create your own.

You can approach this activity any way you would like, it is highly personal. Try to start with an area where you feel the least satisfaction, then if you get discouraged, switch over to something really uplifting. That will motivate you to keep going.

Get a blank piece of paper and start scribbling. Don’t worry about looks, you will formalize your thoughts later. Just write the section at the top and get writing.

You can do this exercise cyclically, doing the first page of every section first, and then drilling into each of the details. Or you can dive into each category, finishing the whole section before moving on.

Take each category as an opportunity to figure out everything you love and hate in that area of your life.

What’s Already Good?

Brainstorm all the things that are going well in that area. It is important to recognize things that are going well, your assets. When you focus on things that you want to improve, it is easy to lose sight of what you already have. You already have a lot of good things in your life to be grateful for. That is a great thing!

What Else/More Do You Want?

Now add all the things you want for your future: keep exercising 3 times a week, better cholesterol scores,or clothes a size smaller. Use a combination of targets, pictures and sentences. It can be as vague or as specific as you know at the time. You will be able to adjust and add detail as you go. Just capture what you know.

Did You Miss Anything?

Look at your brainstormed list and make sure you have covered all areas of that section. For example, health & fitness may need to encompass not only things you want to be able to do, but test results from your doctor. It needs to include everything required to make you feel good now and in the future. Just add the headings to your list and fill them in later, if you don’t know what you want yet.

Visualize

Create an inspiration page for each section header.

Look through your brainstormed sheet, what images do you think of? What jumps out at you? A beach, a car, a sunset? Think about what pictures you need to inspire you in that category.

Now gather some images. If you can draw, doodle this section in. Otherwise cut some pictures out of a magazine or get them online.

Maybe no images apply; try using inspiring words in an interesting font. A great quote will work well too. This works especially well for concepts like work-life balance.

This inspiration page acts as your vision board. With one page per section, you can take it with you anywhere. And it should be a fun collage projects, reminiscent of arts and crafts when you were a kid.

Define It

Now use everything you have so far to create a list of headings, keywords and ideas for that section. For fitness, for example, you can list flexibility, strength, stamina and balance.

Then define targets for each area, maybe even several targets. Make sure that you describe everything you know about those targets. Enter them into your Description and Targets form and place in the binder with it’s accompanying inspiration page. For example here is a sample list of health & fitness targets:

  • Health and Fitness
    • Strength & Flexibility
      • New Habit: Muscle strengthening 2X per week
      • Goal: Touch floor with flat palm and straight legs
    • Cardio & Stamina
      • Goal: Walk 5 km in fundraiser next year
      • New Habit: Get 150 minutes per week cardiovascular exercise
    • Medical
      • Bring cholesterol down to recommended levels
      • Meet recommended body weight (need to define time frame)

This will be the hardest part. Try it. Getting from blank page to a list of reasonable targets is quite challenging. Start with Physical or Career, those are probably the easiest. Skip the categories you are not passionate about. If you don’t really care, why waste your time? Spend your time on the things that matter. Fool around, use the brainstorming tools, surf the net, figure out who you want to be.

Check out the other Life Binder Posts and Printables

Go straight to the next post in this series: Your Life Binder – Next Steps