Designing The Life You Want: 4 Exercises for Clarity and Motivation | Muchelle B | Skillshare

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Designing The Life You Want: 4 Exercises for Clarity and Motivation

teacher avatar Muchelle B

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Creating your Anti-Vision


    • 4.

      80/20 Your Life


    • 5.

      Creating Your Values


    • 6.

      Perfect Day Exercise


    • 7.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Reflecting on your life, what you want, what you don't want and who you want to show up as is some of the most important self work that you can do - and we don't tend to do it enough.

In this class, I want to take you through some intentional reflection and visioning exercises designed to help you to feel inspired, motivated and create clarity in your life. This is a great class to take if right now, you're in a slump, you're just lacking direction or you're lacking in motivation.

In this class, we're going to be going through a series of exercises that focused on figuring out what you value in life using the downloadable workbook that's available.

We're going to be doing an 80/20 analysis of your life, creating your values, creating your personal anti-vision and completing a perfect day exercise. You'll be provided with a ton of examples, ideas and inspiration so that you're following the whole way.

The project for today's class is to complete the workbook that goes alongside the videos.

Every exercise in the workbook is an exercise I've completed previously and like to revisit from time to time to get clarity on how I want to move forward in life. These are activities that you can complete at any time of the year, and revisit whenever you need.

Every video in this class will guide you through one of the activities in the workbook, so you'll be filling in your workbook as you go along.

I'm so excited for you to join me! 

How to Access The Workbook

You can download the workbook on the Skillshare website via the "Projects & Resources" tab :) Here's a helpful link with instructions:

Please note that workbook can only be accessed directly through the website rather than the app.

Meet Your Teacher

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Muchelle B


Hey, I'm Michelle. I make content about creating an intentional life, simplifying and getting things done in your days over on Youtube. I'm particularly interested in talking about all things self-compassionate productivity and behaviour change through experimentation.


In my spare time, you'll find me at the park in the sun with a book (probably focused on behaviour change, let's be honest), reading a fantasy novel, drinking hot chocolate and avoiding cooking and the cold weather as much as possible.


If you haven't already, take a look at my latest Skillshare class on Designing Habits that Last : Self Compassionate Habit Building.

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1. Introduction: I think that sitting back and making decisions about what you want in life, what you value, who you want to show up as, is such important self work that we don't do regularly enough. Hi, I am Michelle, a content creator on YouTube. I am a goal setting, habit building, behavior change nerd, who cares a lot about intentional living. In this class, I am going to be taking you through some visioning and reflection exercises that will get you motivated, inspired, and give you a little bit of direction in life. This is a great class to take if right now you're feeling a bit bored, maybe you're in a bit of a slump, or maybe you're just lacking some direction and some clarity. In this class, we're going to be going through a series of exercises that I really love, focused on figuring out what you value in life, using the downloadable workbook that's available. We're going to be doing an 80/20 of your life, creating your values, creating an anti-vision, and crafting your perfect day. I'm going to be providing you with a ton of examples, inspiration, and step-by-step guidance so that you are with me the whole way. I love doing exercises like the ones in this class because they give you so much clarity and motivation, and direction to move forward. I don't see these as a one and done exercises either, these are the exercises that I revisit on a semi-regular basis, you can revisit them during the year or just when you're feeling a little bit lost. I'm really excited to dive into the rest of this class with you. 2. Class Project: The project for today's class is to complete the workbook alongside the videos. Every exercise featured in the workbook is something that I've completed before, it's something that I go back to regularly that continues to give me motivation and direction in life. These are activities that you can complete at absolutely any time of the year, you can go back to whenever you want. Every video in this class will be guiding you through one of the exercises featured in your workbook. You can very much heavier videos up on the screen and your workbook in front of you. Download the workbook to get started, and we'll dive into the very fast activity, one of my personal favorites, creating your anti-vision. 3. Creating your Anti-Vision: An anti-vision is a term that I've coined for the activity in this video. It's one of my personal favorites to go back to, and it is exactly what it sounds like. It's writing out the version of your life that you don't want to bring to life. The activity in this video can actually be really emotional to go through depending on where you're at in life. But I also find that it's one of the most impactful to give you the motivation and drive, to stop making changes if that's where you're at and what you need. You can create an anti-vision for a multitude of things in your life. You could create an anti-vision for the event that you're trying to plan, which would in turn tell you exactly what you need to do to make that event amazing. You can create an anti-vision for the business that you are trying to start, which once again would tell you exactly what you want that business to look like at the end of the day. In this exercise, we are going to be creating an anti-vision for your life. The question that you want to ask yourself when you are creating your anti-vision is, how could I make sure that in five years time, I'm extremely unhappy and unsuccessful in life? Some people tend to misinterpret this question and they write down things like, my whole family could be incredibly unwell, I could get fired from my job, I could get kicked out of my apartment. That's not the pathway that I want you to go down. What I'm not asking is, what events could possibly happen to you in life, that would make your life and extremely unhappy one? Rather, I'm asking you, what could you do to make your life in five years time, an extremely unhappy one? How you express your anti-vision is completely up to you. You could write it in the form of a written story of what your life is going to look like in five years time. You might write a whole list of dot points of the things that you could do to make your life incredibly unhappy. You might want to do a drawing of what your life would visually look like in five years time, if you made all of these decisions that made your life an incredibly unhappy one. For me I prefer writing. In my anti-vision, I've written down things like, in five years time, I have no content creators as friends because I haven't put myself out there to make new friends in my niche. I'm sore and I'm weak in my body when I wake up every day. It has to move around a bit. My days are filled with the administrative tasks, answering emails, doing data entry, managing my tags and my descriptions for my YouTube videos. My weeks are spent cleaning and cooking and doing life admin, rather than doing any creative work or working on my business. My skin is confident and pigmentation and it's leathery and horrible because I haven't protected it from the sun. All of those things, are really big indicator of what I do, want to prioritize now in my life. What I would encourage you to do as you are creating your anti-vision, is to look at all of the areas of the life wheel. It's five years time and your relationships are incredibly unhappy. Why is that? What have you done to contribute to that? What about in your career, in your financial situation, emotionally, spiritually, financially? Really think through all of those areas as you're writing out your anti-vision for your life. What I like to do after I've created my anti-vision is to create a list of the ways that I can prevent that anti-vision from coming to live. Based on my anti-vision that I shared with you before, I would be writing down things like, go out of my way to meet other creators in my niche. Make sure that I am wearing sunscreen and investing in good skin care, higher out things like cleaning and cooking, get a personal virtual assistant. My theory as to why an anti-vision can be so effective as a way to change your behavior and shifts your way of thinking, is that it can be very emotional self work to do. It gives your brain to avoid the pain of that anti-vision coming to life. Your brain starts working subconsciously to make sure that all of these horrible things don't come to life, which usually results in a behavior change. I would recommend reading through and updating your anti-vision on a six monthly basis just so that you can refresh that feeling of clarity and motivation. In the next video, you are going to be doing an 80-20 analysis of your life to figure out what you want your days to look like. 4. 80/20 Your Life: The 80/20 principle is most often applied to productivity and success. But in this class, we are going to be applying it to your happiness. This class will be focused on it, figuring out what you want your days and what you want your weeks to look like. This activity is really helpful if you are at a point where you want more joy in your life, you want a little bit more happiness in your days, and you want to be spending your time with intention. The 80/20 rule states that 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. For example, 80 percent of your relationship frustrations come from 20 percent of your problems, 80 percent of your time wasted comes from at 20 percent of your distractions, 80 percent of your income comes from 20 percent of your products. This activity is all about focusing on the 20 percent of experiences that bring you the most happiness in your life, and the 20 percent of experiences that bring you the most negativity in your life. We're going to be doing that by looking at how you spent your time in the past year. The best way to start out this activity that I've found is to open up all of your records of the past six months to one year. That might include your calendar, it could include your journal, your diary, your planner, your social media feeds, or anywhere else where you might have recorded your life on a day-to-day basis. In front of you in your workbook, you'll going to have two columns. You've got the positive and you have the negative. What you want to do as you are scrolling through your camera history or your social media feeds, is to start slotting your experiences in the past six months to one year in both of those columns. Maybe going paddle boarding with Jade with a massive positive and maybe going on a night out with your work people was a massive negative. If you have some neutral experiences in that way and you're not really feeling one way or another towards them, don't worry about them too much unless they are something that you want to reduce in your life, in which case, slot them into the negative column. Wrongdoing this activity, you might start to see some serious patterns. I know that the first few times that I did this, I certainly did. You want to identify those pattern and you want to write them down. A few patterns that I have noticed when I've gone through this 80/20 activity myself or that I really dislike the code, most of my experiences with a significant amount of cold were in my negative column. I also noticed that nature was a big part of my peak happiness moments and that drinking was a big part of my peak negative moment. The patterns that you have noticed in your negative column, they turn into not to do's. The patterns that you've noticed in your positive columns turn into to do more of. What I would recommend is, after you have done your 80/20 analysis, you've written out your patterns is to start messaging friends and making time to do those positive things in your life. This activity was actually inspired by Tim Ferriss and he says, it's not enough to just remove the negative, that just creates a void. Get the positive things on the calendar asap, lest they get crowded out by the noise that will otherwise fill your days. The next part of this is repeating the same process, but you're zooming in and you're focusing on your everyday habits, behaviors, activities, and commitments. Once again, if they are neutral, unnecessary, they don't need to be placed anywhere. If they're neutral, but you want less of them in your life, they can be placed in the negative column. In my positive column, I have small everyday habits, like doing a daily tidy, drinking a big bottle of water in the morning, taking my vitamins. I also have big activities that tend to slip their way into my weeks. Going rock climbing, going on walks with friends. In my negative column, I've got those little habits that sneak into my days like watching a little too much Netflix, binging a little too much TikTok, staying up late, you might have big weekly commitments, so maybe even at going to a social function you have dedicated yourself to every week just isn't bringing you joy anymore, similar to the previous 80/20, you want to go ahead and look for any patterns. For me, I know the screen time was a really big pattern in my negative column. The more screen time I tend to have in my weeks, the less happy I am in a less fulfilled I feel. You could notice that all of the things in your positive column are actually directly related to being connected with another human being, and that's good, that gives you an indication of what different things you need to stop planning and your week and what you need to fill your weeks with more of. This was an activity that was all about reflection and getting clarity on what you want your days and your weeks to look like. This isn't about taking a wild amount of radical action. You are not going to change your life after this activity, while it will reveal a lot to you about what you might need to change in your life, but what it will do is enter your subconscious and you'll start subtly working on these problems over time. If you want to take this a step further, you might want to pick one or two of these things and concentrate on bringing more of them or reducing them in your life. You might have noticed that screen time was a huge patent for you. Maybe that is something that you specifically work on for the next three months. Or you might have noticed that nature was a huge pattern in your positives, how can you work that into your weekly planning routine? Your weekly tracking routine, or just your life in general. In the next video, in this class, we're going to be doing the important self work of creating your values. If you've already gone through the process of creating values to yourself, don't discredit this particular activity, because often your values are changing over time as you grow as a human being, as you're indifferent decades in your life, you become a very different person. 5. Creating Your Values: Your values are guiding words that will help you to figure out what you want in life on a broader scale as well as on a micro scale. I think of these as your guideposts. They are things that you can go back to all the time when you're feeling unmotivated, when you're feeling stuck in a rut, when you're feeling like things just aren't quite right. In your life, your values are the things that you can revisit to give you clarity and direction. You can also revisit them to get direction when you're making a big decision about what career path you want to go to down or where you want to relocate to. In this video, I'm going to walk you through how to find out what your own values are, and also how to embrace them more in your life. The best way to figure out your values is to reflect on the time where you felt the most yourself, the most happy in life, as well as reflecting on the times where you felt the most downtrodden and the most angry and the most unlike yourself in life. More often than not, in those experiences you're going to find patterns and those patterns will drive your values. We're going to start out by reflecting on those highs, reflecting on those moments where you felt the most yourself. Think back to the times when you felt the most joyful, the times and experiences where you felt the most in flow, where you felt the most clarity, where you felt the most at ease. Maybe it was after seeing a particular person, after working on a certain project, being in a certain environment, talking to certain people or talking about particular ideas. Write all of those highs down on your list. On my list, I've written down things like trying out new structures for my Youtube content, learning the ins and outs of Adobe InDesign, getting a new climb at the rock climbing gym, meditating in nature. The next step is to move on to your lows. You're doing exactly the opposite of what you've just done. You're reflecting on the times when you felt the most downtrodden, the most in a rut, the most stuck, the most angry, the most frustrated. Think about times when you've thought to yourself, I'm so disappointed that I did that, that I said that, that I took part in that, that I didn't say anything about that, that I agreed to do that. It can be a little bit confronting, but it's important work to do. Think about when you were the most angry, when has someone said something that's made you feel infuriated, when you were the most sad in you're life. What has happened that has made you incredibly unhappy with the world or with a person. I've written down things like, when I was blocked at work because of a bunch of red tape from starting an exciting new project, when I had to complete an online learning project for a client when I did not believe in their vision, when I saw someone post something on Instagram that was really unkind towards another human being. After you've written your two lists, you want to start looking for the patterns. You might say that on your highs list, helping people has come out a lot. Helping your friend move, helping your friends learn something, helping your friend set up something. If all appeared a few times in that highs list, that's a really good indicator that kindness, compassion, generosity could be one of your top values. In your lows list, you might have found that the things that made you the angriest, when people got away with things that they absolutely should not have, when people did things that were immoral. That could be a really good indicator that justice is one of your top values. You will find a long list of values in you'll workbook to inspire to you. Sometimes it's helpful to go through that list alongside your highs and lows list to find out what was really resonate with you. Now as you go through this activity, you're going to have this really strong urge to pick values that you don't actually value. I know when I first did this activity, I actually picked a value of health, which was a great thought at the time, but I certainly didn't value health at that period in my life. It was just something that I wanted to value. That's an aspirational value, but it shouldn't be on your values list right now. From there, have a look at those values that you've highlighted, the values that you've written down and call them down to about five values, you can have less. You don't need to have the full five, less is probably better. But I tend to find that five is around about the right amount that most people find themselves coming to. You want to support each value with an example of how you can practice that value in your daily life. This might be really tangible actions that you can do. If you have a value of connection, calling your mom and dad once a week, having a talk on Tuesday and inviting all of your friends every Tuesday. Super tangible, super actionable. But you can also go a little more general depending on the value. If you had a value of kindness, not participating in office gossip or including everyone in conversations, could be on your supporting list for that value. In the next video in this class, we are going to be walking through the exercise of creating your perfect day. This is a wildly popular exercise that will give you a lot of clarity around what it is that you want in life. 6. Perfect Day Exercise: In this exercise, we are going to be doing almost the opposite of an anti-vision in the form of a perfect day exercise. This is not my exercise. It's a widely spread, widely popularized exercise that a lot of incredibly successful people have done in the past. Now, there's two exercises, your anti-vision and your perfect day, they go together so nicely. It's a really nice act of mental contrasting and looking at what you don't want your life to look like and then looking at the perfect, the most ideal version of what you do want your life to look like that's going to encourage you to take action. The perfect day exercise is essentially a future you story. You're writing about a vision of what your ideal life would look like on a perfect day in a few years time. Writing about your perfect day doesn't need to be this out of reach, wild perfect day, so holidaying on a beach in France in your holiday home or going to Disneyland. You want to think more about your perfect average day in about three years time. You want this to be a day that could absolutely come to life if you put in the work. This is a written exercise so you're going to be actually writing out the story of future you on paper and you want to start out at the very start of your day from the moment that you wake up. What kind of bed are you waking up in? Is your room flooded with light or is it a little gremlin cave with some really expensive blackout curtains? Do you open your windows to see a rainforest or a beach or the café that's across the road? Are you waking up next to someone? What is that person like? What's your interaction with the morning as you wake up? What does your morning routine look like? Are you working out straight away? Have you given up coffee? Are you eating an incredibly healthy breakfast? Think about what your first few hours are going to look like in terms of morning routine and then think about what you want to be doing with your days. So are you working from home? Are you working for another company? Are you working for yourself? Are you only working a few hours in a day? Maybe you're doing all of your work at night, what do your breaks look like? Are you taking walks during your days? Are you going to a café in the middle of the day to get yourself inspired, and so on and so forth. So some of these details are going to be a little bit fuzzy. You don't know exactly what the person beside you might look like right now or maybe you don't know what your job specifically will look like but that's okay. If you're feeling a little bit fuzzy about the specifics, try and get clarity on the Vega pods. So get clarity on how you feel when you're doing your work or how the person in your life makes you feel or the friends in your life uplift you? You don't need names and dates and data, you just want to think about how those things are making you feel in your life and maybe the nature of those things as opposed to the specific details of those things. Mind you, if you know the specific detail, put that down. If you know that 100 percent you will have a chocolate Labrador and you will wake up in a water bed, then write that in your perfect day vision. There was a serious temptation here to copy other people's goals when you're writing your perfect day story especially if you've been influenced by reality TV or social media, you might find yourself drifting towards an amazing and cheap and a perfect dog and a really huge house and lots of money and success but I really encourage you to firstly think of how you want to feel in the areas of your life and then think of what you want in your life. At the end of the day, it may be important, the successes that you achieve and the things that you surround yourself by but it's far more important how you actually feel. If you want to live in the countryside surrounded by goats, writing your young adult vampire novel, please put that down. If you want to live by the beach with your four dogs, going on lots of dates but keeping your independence and living in robes while you help amazing businesswomen create websites, write that down. If you want to be a full-time mom with an incredibly passive income that enables you to go on adventures with your family all of the time, write that in your perfect day vision. Doing this perfect day exercise puts you amongst successful people. This is an exercise done by people like Lewis Howes, Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Sher. Once again, this activity is not set in stone and your perfect day vision will absolutely change over time, so it's something to go back and revisit every once in a while. 7. Final Thoughts: Congratulations on making it through this class. I hope that you found these activities as meaningful as I have found them in the past. Once again, at these activities that I like to revisit on a six monthly basis or even more frequently depending on where you're at in life. I encourage you to come back to this class whenever you need to. If you're willing to get vulnerable and you want to inspire someone else who's going through this class as they're going through that workbook, I would love for you to share one of the activities that you completed in at the project gallery section and below. Thanks so much again and I will see you next time.