Your Ideal Life Trajectory (Journaling Exercise)
You’re about to die.
Just before drawing your final breath, you get to see a film depicting the story of your life. As you go back down the memory lane, re-witnessing all the experiences that made you you, you realise that there is also a second film.
A film where you lived the life you really wanted to.
Your ideal life.
While nothing is ever perfect, the purpose of the journaling exercise I’m about to share with you, is to identify possible adjustments you could make to your life right now, that would bring you closer to living your ideal life.
We’ll begin by reflecting on your current life, then move to envisioning how your ideal life could look like (as you see it from the present), and finally, focus on where the real opportunity is: the space separating these two lives to reflect on how you could reduce the gap.
To make it easier, imagine your current and ideal life as two trajectories:
The goal of this exercise is not necessarily to dramatically change your life. The key is to find adjustments (no matter how small) that you could actually make right now, to move closer to your ideal life.
The exercise takes around 20 minutes. All you need is a journal, or a piece of paper.
You can either journal along with the guided video I made for you (see below), or follow the instructions on your own.
Here’s how it works:
- Moment of grounding, to mindfully transition into the exercise eg. 10 conscious breaths or meditative drawing (1m).
- Journal set up (optional, but recommended), see the image below (1m).
- Journal: What is my current life trajectory? If I keep going, where am I likely to end up? (5m)
- Journal: If I’d start living my ideal life today, what would my life look like? Where could this new trajectory take me? (7m)
- Quickly read through your your two trajectories and underline anything that stands out (3m)
- Journal: What adjustments (big or small) could I make to my current life to make it closer to my ideal life trajectory? (3m)
Here’s how you could setup your journal for the exercise:
You can then flip the page to write in each section, like this:
Note that this is just how I like to do this exercise. Feel free to use a layout that makes sense for you.
Guided Exercise Video
Here’s the video which will guide you through the process.
Questions and Insights
Here are some of the things that came up for me during this exercise:
- What I thought is the main issue I’m dealing with at the moment, is actually not very relevant for my ideal life trajectory.
- I have been neglecting my physical exercise for a while, but my awareness wasn’t really flagging it up. I can address this with some very simple tweaks to my routine.
- There’s a thing I do, which I really dislike about myself, but I realised that I don’t understand why I see it as a negative thing to do. Is it just cultural, or actually something that makes sense?
- I feel very good about my current trajectory in general. Everything is unfolding well, I just need to relax and keep on putting the energy into what is important for me.
- I’m also much clearer on what is the next big thing I want to address. And it’s to find a way to live in a van / tiny house as soon as possible. I feel a strong call to spend most of my time in nature.
- Making sailing my priority is definitely the way to go.
If you’re curious how I’ll put these insights into action, you can track my progress through my moonly review.
And if you’d like to share your insights, I’d be delighted to hear from you!
One (Big) Tip To Boost This Exercise
Whether you like it or not, everything, including your idea of what an ideal life is for you, is constantly changing.
That’s why, while it’s useful to do this exercise once, it’s definitely more effective to implement it into your regular review practice.