free-write the things you love

📷 Brad Neathery
A few years ago I came across The Style Statement: a wonderful life design process with the end goal of creating a two-word statement to guide your lifestyle choices. The statement speaks largely to your aesthetic, what you love, how you define beauty, and what helps you not merely survive but thrive. My style statement is Composed Grace and I often refer to those simple words when making decisions.

One of the most valuable exercises in The Style Statement process is the free-write you use to discover what they call your foundation word. And I encourage you to go through a similar process which I've outlined below:

free-write the things you love
(as inspired by Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design)
  1. Set your stopwatch (or smart phone, or iPad) for five minutes. 
  2. Using only words and short phrases begin writing down everything you love. 
  3. After five minutes, circle and highlight words that have the most resonance. 
A couple of notes. List everything not just everyone you love. So yes, you may write  family, or your child's name, but realize that those things will be right there on the same list as peanut butter. And, that's okay. Also, if this is a true free-write, your words and phrases will likely be disconnected. Again, that's okay.

Still confused? Take a look at a subset of my original list on the Things I Love tab.

So what's the goal? The goal is to think about what drives you to do the things you do. Or, even more simply, the goal is to create a list of what gets you out of bed in the morning. Because once you know that, you can create a lifestyle that feeds those motivations, interests, and dreams.

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