Eps 14: 10 Steps to Design and Actually Live Your Ideal Life

August 10, 2023


If you truly want to design and live your ideal life today, not in some distant future reality you never reach, then I dish out what it really takes to live your dream, even if it feels very far away from where you really want to be right now.

I think the more we discuss this, the more we normalize this as completely within your power to do, so you can stop living someone else’s life and start fully living your ideal one!

Plus the more practical steps I give you to be able to actually start living more of your ideal life daily, the better.

But of course you have to have the vision for how you want to live your life. And sometimes even that feels like a lot of work to come up with and truly understand what matters to you.

So in this episode of the life pilot podcast, I’ve got 10 steps coming your way that will supercharge your thoughts around this and inspire you to take action.

Read the full transcript below or listen to the podcast on YouTube.


In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The 10 Steps you can start implementing now to change your life
  • 6 ways to identify your core values to live your life by
  • How to say no so you can say YES to things you truly want

Get started using LifePilot today to design and live your best life!


Well, hey there beautiful. Today I want to give you even more tips to truly living your ideal lifestyle, even if it feels very far away from where you really want to be right now.

I think the more we discuss this, the more we normalize this and the more tips I give you to be able to actually start living more of your ideal life daily, the better.

But of course you have to have the vision for how you want to live your life. And sometimes even that feels like a lot of work to come up with and truly understand what matters to you. So in this episode of the life pilot podcast, I’ve got more tips coming your way that will hopefully supercharge your thoughts around this and inspire you to take action.

And before we dive in, you are listening to the life pilot podcast. I’m Natalie Sisson, one of the co founders of life pilot, which is a tool and methodology that is powerful yet simple, and it’s, you create goals and intentions that actually get you one step closer to your dream life.

It’s all about getting really crystal clear on your desires in life, what you need to prioritize next week, next month, next quarter, and then making that happen. And it’s fun. You do it with a LifePilot buddy. You integrate reflection each week with questions that we have within LifePilot. So please check out LifePilot.co for more details.

Okay. So as I said, this episode is episode 14, you’ll be able to find the full show notes and transcript as well as the YouTube link and Spotify and all those good things at life pilot. co forward slash 14. Now I did talk about 5 tips to creating your dream lifestyle and what it takes in episode two as well.

So you can head across there. I’ll also link to it in the show notes, but today I just wanted to give you some more things that might make it even more tangible.

I’ve been doing this quite a lot with my Holistic Life Coaching clients as I’ve been working towards certification. And the very first step that we often go over, because I find that so many people aren’t even sure of this is quite a bit of self reflection.

1. Self reflection and identifying your values

Without reflecting on where we’ve come from and where we want to head, we’re never really going to have the answers or be able to change anything within ourselves or within our environment.

And without that change, you’re probably not going to get any different results. And one of the key things that I get my clients to do, and I’ve been doing myself, and I’ve probably talked about here on the podcast, is identifying your core values.

And if you take time to reflect on your values and your belief and consider what really brings you joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose, then you’re going to be one step closer to actually bringing that into everyday life. So this is a really, well, it seems like a simple step because it is. It’s listing out the aspects of your life that already align with your values and contribute to your overall wellbeing.

Just grab some notepaper, grab your journal, open up a word doc, whatever works for you. I tend to find that actually scribing and writing it down is amazing.

You might even want to record an audio and have it transcribe out for you. Whatever is easiest. But write down your top values and values are things that you really live by in life. These are your guiding principles as to how you show up, who you are. Who you hang out with, what you do.

So I recently did this exercise as part of the Holistic Life Coaching Certification and I actually narrowed it down to my top six values. Now on my list of values for the longest of time, I’m talking probably two plus decades, has been freedom. and integrity. Those are the top two values that I uphold in myself and look for in friends, and look for in adventures, in work, in impact, in the purpose that fulfills my life.

So, if don’t have enough freedom honestly things don’t go well, and if I don’t have integrity, if I’m not in integrity with myself in my decisions, in my responses, in my reactions, in my beliefs, in my friendships, in my relationships, then, I’m completely out of alignment with who I really am and how I show up.

And the other four that are really important to me, and some of these changed actually because as you go through life, things will change for you, are Honesty.

Probably goes in there with integrity, but honesty is just, I just, I really, really dislike dishonest people. And I am always very honest with people, to a detriment sometimes, but I would far prefer to have people being honest with me than talking about me behind my back, or gossiping, or bad mouthing.

It’s just one of my least favorite things. So I really love to be honest with people and I love people to be honest with me. My fourth value is determination because if I look back on everything, like I used to have ambition as one of the values, and actually it’s just determination. Like I’m just a very determined person and I think that can apply across anything.

And I like it as a value because it shows where I’m committed and it shows. To me, how I want to show up to things. So I want to be determined. I don’t want to, like, give up at the first sight of trouble or hardship or when the going gets tough. Like, no. I’m just really determined to see things through and live life on my own terms.

I’m very committed to not living in mediocrity. And I’m determined to live, a really full and vital life with the people that I love. My fifth value is mastery, and this is a new one because you’ve probably heard me talk a lot about being a leading learner, which is still one of my favorite philosophies, which is you don’t have to be an expert or a guru.

You can be a leading learner, somebody who is learning and applying and getting results, and then you get to turn around and teach that to other people. You only need to be just a few steps ahead of somebody to be a leading learner. To make it useful and valuable for them. And this is how I built my entire business.

When I started out blogging suitcase entrepreneur, and I started creating courses and digital products, I had no idea what I was doing, but I learned off other people. I applied, I implemented, I saw success. People saw my success and then they turned around and said, Nat, can you teach me how to do that?

And often I’d be like, what? You want me to teach you that? I’ve only been doing it for like a year or so. But they’re like, yeah, because you’re just a couple of steps ahead of me. I’ve seen where you’ve come from and you make it relatable and achievable. If you can do it, I can do it. And it suddenly struck me that, yeah, when you look at experts who’ve had 10, 20 years plus experience in honing their craft and skill, it can be very intimidating when you’re starting out.

You just want somebody who’s just achieved something that you’re like, huh, you know, I’m actually kind of where they’re at, maybe a little bit behind, but awesome. If they’ve just done it, I’d love to learn from them because you’re still in the learning stages yourself. And it just makes it so much more relatable and doable.

So, yes, I’m a huge fan of being a leading learner and I want that to lead into mastery. I, I feel like I’ve been guilty throughout my life of, of being a Jill of all trades and a master of none. And so as I, as I like grow older, I just want to master fewer things really well. I don’t want to become the expert in them.

I don’t want to put in 10, 000 plus hours necessarily. I just really want to hone my craft and get freaking good or even great at many things that are important to me. And so, you know, this certification in holistic life coaching is one of those things. There is so much to learn and so much to apply and so much for me to master and become really skilled at.

And I’m super looking forward to that journey. Like I’m already a really great coach, clients will tell me that and I genuinely think so as well. However, there is still so much more that I could be so much better at and apply and then give back to you, my clients, if we work together and I just don’t want to rest on my laurels.

I don’t want to take what I’ve got and go, yeah, this is good enough. I can work with this cause I probably could, and I could probably get. amazing results for people, but I want to carry on learning and improving and adjusting and then being able to gift that on to my clients so they can do the same. So mastery was the fifth and the sixth one is empathy.

And this is definitely new on my list. Josh was letting me know the other day, he thinks I’ve become more empathetic since becoming a mother. And I’ve definitely had friends also say that they feel like I’ve softened since becoming a mother. And I would say that is very true. And I would like to develop even more empathy because, I don’t know.

I feel like I have compassion and empathy for people, but there are definitely times when I just really lack it. I think I just, I’m just like, why can’t you just get on and take action and do this thing? Or you know, why are you making excuses or why are you shaming other people? Or why are you bad mouthing these people when you could just be getting on and doing the things you want?

But usually behind that, there is something deeper going on for that person. And so as a coach, I think it’s really important that I develop more empathy, for where people are at, you know, not judging, tuning into that and trying to question and get curious about why they might be behaving in that way or why they’re holding themselves back.

Anyways, it’s one of those things that I would really like to have as a core value and work towards. So I feel that both mastery and empathy are values that I would like to integrate and align with in my life, and they’re going to take work to get there, which is good. So, with these values, these are your highest values in life and these values are things that you really want to live by. They need to align with how you’re showing up. They need to be congruent with your actions and your words and your language for yourself and for other people.

So if you want to identify your own values and you don’t know how, here’s six ways.

1. Think of the most meaningful moments in your life, because often they will point to what you valued about that moment.

2. Think of the moments you felt the least satisfied, because that will often also point to things that you find really important.

If something was super unsatisfying for you, then there’s There’s a lesson in that, right?

3. Pay attention to what stories inspire you, because usually those people are living by values that you have.

4. Figure out what makes you angry. Again, you’ll be the opposite of what that value is displayed there.

So if somebody’s super reactive, or if you don’t like the way people gossip, then you probably have integrity or honesty as one of your values too.

5. Imagine your ideal environment.

6. Review the accomplishments that you’re most proud of because often in those moments you might have come through with, for example, determination or courage or faith or humor or whatever, whatever it may have been, love, compassion, some of those things may come through in those moments and that’s a really great way to tune in to it.

There’s so many fricking tests online of how to discover your core values, but I will link to a Harvard business review option for you in the show notes at lifepilot. co forward slash 14. Okay. So once you know your values.

You can basically start building out your life aligned to those values. You can look at what you already have in your life that aligns them. And then you can look at where you’re out of alignment and where you need to be truer to those values and things will actually start to shift in your everyday life.

So really important. Hang them up. I get my clients to like literally post them on their computer, have them top of mind so they can see them every day and truly check in with themselves at the end of each day is like, was I in alignment with my values? The second thing, we’ve talked about this a lot here, and it’s why Josh and I built LifePilot, is to define your goals.

So, you know, if you don’t have any goals at all, you’re gonna be drifting, rudderless, no direction at all.

So why not write them down? Like, what are you scared of? What are you scared of in not writing down your actual dreams and desires and things that you’d really, really like to do. I would love to know what’s stopping you. And it’s likely going to be a fear of success. It could be fear of failure. Because did you know that in a Harvard business study, 83% of the population does not have goals and 14% have a plan in mind, but they haven’t written their goals down.

Only 3% of people, according to Harvard business study, have goals written down. But here’s what I find fascinating. The 14% of people who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. And even better, the 3% with written goals are 3 times more successful than the 14% with unwritten goals.

So all that goes to say is write the goddamn goals down! You’re going to be infinitely more successful than most of the population. You know, ideally I’d love more of the population to be just getting clear on what they really want.

If you’re not even clear on what you want, how on earth can you work towards what you do want?

And how on earth can the universe fully support you in giving you what you desire? So just some fun little, fun little stats there for you. So just define some, you can have one goal, one goal to achieve in the next 12 months. Even one goal to achieve in 12 months could be life changing for you. Yeah, it could be related to your health and wellness.

It could be related to your work and impact. It could be related to your wealth. It could be related to your personal growth. It could be related to your lifestyle. Just start with one goal and make sure that it’s SMART. Specific. It’s not waffly. It’s measurable. You can actually track it. It’s achievable.

It’s not like I’m going to become an Olympic athlete in a year. It’s relevant and it’s time bound. And I would even say that it is value aligned, except SMARTV doesn’t really work as an acronym. So that is step two. Step one, identify your values. Are you aligning with them? Once you’ve got them, and how can you incorporate them more into your everyday living and being and feeling?

2. Define your goals

Or at least one goal. Get it written down. Put it front of mind. Tell other people around it. Or, use LifePilot to help you set that, and then trickle it down into your quarters and your months and your weeks so that it becomes a reality.

Three, this is really important.

3. Create a priority list.

You might’ve heard on a previous episode that I, I shared 50 things that I want to do before I’m 50. In many ways, this is a priority list. And what I did after writing out that list of 50 things is I started prioritizing it into what is achievable this year, what is achievable in the next two years, three years, four years, five years, because some of those things were actually really big things and I’m not going to do them in the next six months.

So that’s episode six – a New Twist on the Bucket List. If you’re interested, again, I’ll link to it in the show notes. So create a priority list. You can do that by making a list of tasks, activities, and commitments that you’re currently doing or involved in, or even considering.

I am considering taking up pickleball. It’s taking the world by storm, I know. And Since I haven’t played Ultimate Frisbee in a few years since getting pregnant, I’m really curious about what’s a sport that I could get into that’s a bit easier on my body, that’s local, that means I don’t have to travel as far, that’s less of a commitment, and more social and fun, but also still has the fitness element.

So it ticks off the list of getting fit, it ticks off the socialization, and it ticks off just being part of an activity and a sport that is actually fun, right? So I need to account for that and amongst All my other things that I have going on and then you need to rank those tasks, activities and commitments that you’re doing or considering based on their alignment with, you guessed it, your values and your goals.

And then you assign a priority level to them. So is this high, medium or low priority? Surprisingly, pickleball for me is actually a medium priority because I’m really craving playing a sport again, having that enjoyment and having that social aspect and having a dedicated. Activity in my calendar every week just for me.

So it’s actually a medium priority. This is pretty easy, right? Even if you just come up with 10 to 15 things that you’re currently doing Again tasks activities or commitments and just rank them.

Maybe you’ve got commitments that are not important to you at all, but you’re making them super high priority And then you get to look at this list and you go, My God, why am I letting the local committee meetings always dominate my time?

Like, do I even want to be on this committee anymore? Is there somebody? That’s good. Who could be doing that better? Because I could then be heading off and playing pickleball or prioritizing retreats or conferences or masterminds or something that’s just for you. So number three is create a priority list.

And honestly, just if you’re listening to this episode and you never do this stuff and you listen to episodes from me or other people and you’re like, Oh, that sounds like a good idea. And you never take action. Then just. Just pause the fricking podcast, get out a piece of paper and write down what you’re currently doing.

All the things on your list, right? Write it down and look at it and go, does this even matter to me? Is this even important? Is it values aligned? Do I have any goals around these things and why on earth are some of them on my list is probably a question that you might end up asking yourself. So if it’s on your list and you don’t want it there, take it off, get rid of it, take it out of your calendar, quit it, ring up, make the call, whatever it is, and just say, look, I’m not going to do this anymore.

It’s about as easy as that, which does lead into one of my future things here that I’m going to cover off really, really soon. Okay. Number four is to evaluate your time and energy commitments. So looking at that list that you’ve just written, also look at how much time and energy are these tasks and commitments taking me or requiring, you know, I used to do a bunch of things that would require quite a bunch of travel time.

And then I’d often question, well hang on a minute, I’m going there for this thing that takes 45 minutes, but it takes me like an hour and a half to get there. So is that a good use of my time? No. When I was traveling like a crazy mofo all around the world, I would often ask myself, do I need to go to all these events to meet people or could I use that time better to engage in relationships in my own community online.

Like could I turn up in forums or chat groups or podcasts or online meetings and actually get more out of it than traipsing across the country to go to these conferences and events, which I also don’t get me wrong. I loved them. And then I would go, okay, well, why do I love them? What aligns with my values?

Oh, okay. It’s because I get the social element. I build. I build trust. I build beautiful relationships. Okay. Yes. I want to keep this on my list, but I’m going to be smarter about the types of events that I go to that either have more people or they’re smaller or they’re better quality, et cetera. So this is where a lot of people go, okay, yeah, I’m happy I’ve made my priority list, but then they don’t actually consider how much time all these things on their priority list take them.

And then number five is one of my favorites.

5. Practice the 80 20 rule.

Or the Pareto Principle, which basically suggests that roughly 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. This is so true by the way, in almost every facet of life, if you have a business, 20% of your clients are probably giving you 80% of your income and your joy.

If it’s a health goal, right? 20% of the things you do at the gym are probably giving you 80% of results and you could drop the rest. Same for every day when you’re maybe like doing out your list of plans, you could probably do 20% of those activities on that list.

And get 80% of the results that you really want and cut out the rest. So the Pareto rule is awesome. And it’s something that even I often don’t prioritize or commit to really looking at. So take that priority list. Look at how much time and energy it’s taking you to do it. Look at which of those things are actually getting you the results and outcomes you want across your areas of life and identify those key tasks or activities that contribute the most to your goals and values and devote more time and attention to these high impact areas.

And you guessed it, less time to the things that are just draining you, which leads to number six.

6. Learn to say no

I’ve done a whole video on learning to say no. I will link to that again in the show notes, saying no to people, to tasks or commitments that don’t align with your priorities is essential.

And in my video, I share all the different ways in which you can say no, one of which is just politely declining by saying no. No, thank you. Or delegating tasks that don’t serve your goals and will free up time for what truly matters to you. Do not underestimate the power of saying no. It allows you to say yes to things that you actually want to do and that actually light you up.

I would almost say that on your priority list, you could write down a list of all the things that you would still say yes to, even when you see them written out, and strike up all the ones that you’re like, I’d be a big fat no to this if I hadn’t committed to it six months ago kind of thing. Because you still have the choice to not commit to that thing and to release it.

7. Use time management techniques.

So in episode 12, I talked about how to show up fully for yourself and in that I had five ways to show up fully for yourself and three tools to use, and one of those was the Pomodoro technique. So I highly recommend that you listen to episode 12 again, I’ll link to it in the show notes, which is all about using these 25 minute blocks of time to really get the work done on one thing. And again, that comes back to prioritizing the tasks that are important and aligning with your goals and minimizing the time spent on less significant tasks.

If you are listening to this episode and you’re like, “Oh this all sounds like work” yet every single day or every single week you’re moaning or complaining about the amount of stuff that you’ve got on your plate, how stressed you are, how you can’t get to everything, why life isn’t fun anymore, why you’re not making enough money, why you feel drained, why you feel overwhelmed, why you feel burnt out, then maybe it’s time that you invested in yourself for 30 freaking minutes and wrote down this priority list and got really clear on why you don’t have the life that you want.

Just saying. I’m ranting here and I’m standing on my soap opera box and you should see me, I’m throwing my hands up in the air, but honestly, if you want things to change and you want your dreamy life to happen, you have to show up and do the work. Nobody else is going to do this for you. Nobody, even as a coach, I can’t hold your hand and make you do this.

You have to want to do this. I can support you. I can encourage you. I can give you the tools. I can give you the process, but you have to do this. I don’t know what’s in your head. I don’t know what you’d want to prioritize, but I certainly know that you probably want to change your life for the better.

And it’s not going to happen without you, which leads into tip eight.

8. Regularly review and adjust

Life is dynamic, right? Things happen. Priorities change over time. Friendships change over time. What’s important to you changes over time. Your values will change. So set aside regular intervals to review your priorities and assess if they still align with your evolving values and goals, and then adjust your plans accordingly.

I mean, this is. Again, preach it why we built life pilot because you start to see very clearly from, you know, all your entries every week and every month of what you’re putting out there is supposedly your goals and intentions. You start to see all these missed goals and intentions and you realize, huh, these things that I’ve put here that are supposedly important are not important to me.

That’s why I keep missing them. That’s why I don’t prioritize them. That’s why I’m not doing them. That’s why I’m getting stuck. It’s probably because it’s the wrong goal or it actually doesn’t matter. Or it scares you and you need support on it, right? So LivePilot just tends to show you those trends and patterns over time of what you show up for and what you shy away from.

And there is gold in that there data. Gold.

9.  Avoid over committing.

Most of our stress, I see it with Josh. I see it with myself. I hear it with, you know, amazing mentors and business owners that I love and admire are constantly talking about how they overcommit to things. And these are smart, successful people. So we all do it. So don’t beat yourself up about it, but acknowledge where you are over committing and taking on too many things because this can lead to burnout and it dilutes your focus on what truly matters.

I don’t know if you can remember back two and a half, three years ago when the pandemic hit the world and we, most of us went into lockdown and life just got really simple and in some ways slow for some people, not everybody.

But I remember speaking to so many friends who were like, Oh, I’m just focusing on what matters now. I don’t have all these appointments and events and priorities and commitments and life has just become really simple and Peaceful and I’m just finding what matters to me again, and I’m focusing on What matters and what priorities there are.

And there’s none of this other noise and distraction and over commitment. Even for me, I was like, God, life is beautiful. It’s simple. Like these are the things I can focus on. These are the things I can control inside my little bubble, my little lockdown bubble and life just slowed down and got really precious and simple.

And while I’m not suggesting we go back through that experience because it was harrowing and traumatic at best for many people, I do think we can hold onto some of the key lessons learned out of that. Which is really coming back to what matters and number 10.

10. Celebrate your progress

You need to celebrate the achievements and progress you make towards your goals and you need to acknowledge your success and reinforce your commitment to your priorities because every time you celebrate it, you in your head, in your mind, in your body, in your soul, you’re like, cool, if I do another milestone like this, I get to celebrate again and celebrating feels good.

And it makes me want to do more good things and succeed and get better results. I can celebrate again. Just recently we had a really great financial win after a really tough financial month and we celebrated by going to the movies in the middle of the day for three hours to watch Oppenheimer, which was stunning.

And I was like, how good is this? Like we deserve this. We, we worked for this result. I particularly worked really smart. And really diligently for the best possible outcome that could have ever happened in a pretty dire situation. And I felt like it was my right to take almost a whole day off and just relax and enjoy this epic movie and some time with Josh.

And just acknowledge and celebrate that outcome. So I give you full permission to celebrate yourself in whatever way you want. Spas, facials, massages, nights out, dance lessons, the best restaurant in town, a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, whatever it may be. With friends.

Celebrate. Or you can do the smallest little celebration. You can go out and just, you know, grab yourself a cup of your best coffee, bottle of bubbles, just a little walk in nature. It could be your celebration, it could be buying yourself something you really want and you deserve.

So let’s end this podcast on a great note. Celebrate your progress all the time. I don’t care how small or big the win is. Keep celebrating it because it reinforces your commitment to your priorities and you will continue to get amazing results and celebrate more. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the life pilot podcast.

You can find the full show notes and all the links to the things that I talked about at lifepilot. co forward slash 14 if you are wanting a free download so that you can figure out how to create more of your perfect days in life. Then I have the perfect free template for you. It’s called the perfect day exercise.

It really works. Takes 20 to 30 minutes of your time. You will be amazed at what happens when you actually think about what you want just from tomorrow, from your perfect day. So head to lifepilot. co forward slash perfect for that. Let other people know about it and in the meantime, have an amazing day.


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About the Author

Natalie Sisson

I'm a serial entrepreneur, besotted Mum, best-selling author, speaker, podcaster and lifestyle design enthusiast. I'm all about showing you how to live life to the full, on your own terms and by design.

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