A design matches the inventory and vision, by detailing the steps needed to get to the overall vision. This will be what I will need to produce, and in what form to get to my vision. It can include the resources I will need on an ongoing basis to obtain my vision.

I include ongoing habits and where I need to spend my time. A design statement could be, “Spend time on creative pursuits,” “Priority to quality family experience,” or, “Have financial security and consistent income.”

Family version: Choose the right, be active in the church. Develop testimonies of God and faith to follow him. Read and learn. Obtain needful education. Spend time on creative projects. Teach each other. Spend time with each other. Have fun, be playful and practice mindfulness. Seek wholesome recreations. Eat well, exercise and rest well. Develop the ability to make and take care of money. Maintain a clean home and garden.

Match up the inventory and vision (Focus on ideals and resolutions)

  • What are the habits, characteristics, attitudes, skills, and actions I need to develop to reach my vision from where I’m at?
  • What steps are needed to get to the overall vision and figure out the details?
  • What do I need to produce, and in what form?
  • What resources do I need in the future?

Next: Remove

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Having a vision is knowing where I want to end up and want I want. This is the quality of life that I want, my purposes or mission statement. When I make visions, I use images, descriptive word, and try not to get caught up in the specific details, but the general feeling.

Ideally, my life vision will include statements that will be true no matter what life throws at me and more than just a single occurrence or goal. For instance, a good statement would be, “To be healthy and full of energy, and be able to perform hard physical tasks,” rather than something that is more objective like, “Run a marathon.” (Don’t worry there is a place for concrete goals later!)

Family version: Be happy together, and full of love. Have faith in Christ, be a family forever. Be smart and well educated. Create beauty and solve problems. Show love to each other by serving and helping. Be respectful in all circumstances. Have healthy bodies and a clean, productive home. Be financially responsible.

Deciding what is desired

  • Where am I going?
  • How do I want to influence other?
  • What are my ideal characteristics?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • What is my mission or purpose?
  • What do I hope to achieve?
  • What skills do I wish to have?

Next: Design

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Creating an inventory is exploring what is already there. Inventory is determining the current state, strength and weakness, inputs and output, and limitations. To inventory my life, I begin by listing the wholes I belong to, and the roles and relationships I have in each whole. For other wholes, I define the whole and the members within it.

The inventory should list the important trends and details in my life. I include a brief description of my personality, challenges that I am continually working on, a list of my talents and skills, etc.

Family version: We are the Braithwaites: Joe, Liz, Peter, Curtis and Henry. Peter, Curtis are in school, Henry is a toddler. Joe has a successful career as a physical therapist, Liz is a full-time mom. We are active members of our local congregation. Often passionate, sometimes too reactive with each other. Love spending time together and participate in outdoor recreation.

Exploring what is there: where I am at now: overall trends/pattern

  • What is my current state?
  • What is my history and experience?
  • What are my skills, abilities, talents?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • What works well, what doesn’t work?
  • What are my inputs and outputs?
  • What my limitations in circumstance, talent, time and budget?

Next: Envision

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A Pattern for Living

I have certain things I want in my life. But life is complex, and often the simple things I want to happen rarely happen as easily as I would like. Life can be stressful, discouraging and hard to understand.

By patterning my life, I develop a better way of living. Patterns are a repetition of a sequence. My life already naturally follow a pattern: I have a daily routine that I naturally follow: wake up, work, eat meals, sleep, repeat. Patterning helps me live life to the fullest: to set meaningful goals and plans, and better obtain the life I desire to live.

I also use a pattern to create my holistic program. The pattern can be repeated for different life components and wholes. It is a series of seven steps that will help develop meaningful goals and plans. Each of these steps doesn’t need to be heavily detailed: a brief overview is more effective. I focus on the overall whole, maintaining a holistic mindset, and not on specific details, events, situations or individual elements.

To help explain the process, I’m going to use the holistic program that we created as a family.

Next: Inventory

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The environment in this context refers to where I live: my home and garden. It can also include a workplace or other location where we spend lots of time. My environment has a large impact on my life and the lives of those who live with me.

The first impact of an environment is our physical health. A healthy environment leads directly to healthy eating and nutrition, healthy bodies, opportunities to exercise and work, and proper hygiene and cleanliness.

My environment also impacts my heart in the form of my stress levels, and my capacity to relax and enjoy myself. Pleasant environments naturally bring a sense of calm: where messy ones can bring added stress. A good environment allows me to interact with others in a pleasing and safe way.

My environment allows me a place to cultivate my mind by having a functional space that allows for creative expression and reflection. And it can help my spirituality by creating purpose and fostering environmental ethics.

Improve and create our environment to be beautiful, functional, sustainable and healthy. This starts with our home, and can include our garden, work setting, and community.

  • Body: (primary) Physical properties, heath capacity
  • Heart: Beautiful, welcoming, open to people
  • Mind: Functional space
  • Spiritual: Reaching a purpose, ethically and sustainability

Next: A Pattern for Living

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A career isn’t limited to my current job, or where I primarily make money. A career is where I contribute to the community over the course of my lifetime. Usually, we do this by specializing in one field, gaining training and education in that field, and then working in a job in the field. Volunteer work, community education, and hobbies can also be part of what I consider my career.

The career that I pick should be centered on bringing value and increasing the quality of life in my community. This can be a wide range of positions and fields. Many jobs are more physical or mental in nature. If it is more physical, it is helpful to engage in personal goals that are more intellectual in nature. If the job is not physically demanding, and more intellectual (like sitting on a computer all day), my personal goals can focus more on developing my physical self.

I develop my mind in our career through competence and continuing seeking to improve our intelligence. I improved our body through physical work and functioning well. I improve my spirit by purposeful, ethical and principle based behavior. And I improve my heart through passion and connection with others.

Work in our career and community. Generally includes more than just our jobs, can include our hobbies and other opportunities.

  • Mind: (primary) Competent and improving intelligence
  • Body: Physical work and presence that functions well
  • Spirit: Purposeful, ethical and principle-based behavior
  • Heart: Passion, connection with others

Next: Environment

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Relationships bring satisfaction, strength, and security to my life. My relationships start with my family. The priority of relationships is my spouse, children, extended family, friends, and finally my greater community.

My family is the greatest source of love in my life. I was born into a family, and develop a larger family as I grow in my life. Nothing can replace the love of family: so I need strong relationships with my family. The loving relationships I develop bring a sense of belonging and community.

Next, it is important to make friends. Friends can help me and support me. They often have talents that I don’t and we can share them together. Friends bring opportunities for service and shared experience.

The heart of relationships is love, and my own heart improves with the good feelings I gain. I improve my mind by learning and teaching with others: sharing and growing in knowledge. My body improves by a healthy functional relationship, and by serving others in physical tasks. My spirit improves by having a united purpose and altruism to each other.

Love and foster relationships with others, starts with a family. Our relationships flow outward in this order: spouse, children, extended family, friends, and community. Loving relationships bring a sense of belonging and community.

  • Heart: (primary) Feelings of love
  • Mind: Learning and teaching with each other
  • Body: Improving how we function and serving others in a physical way
  • Spirit: Having a united purpose, and sharing out of love

Next: Career

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