Plan your next chapter using design thinking.


Whether you’re new to the workforce, feeling stuck or preparing for your encore career, the Designing your Life framework can help you find the right path forward.


The Designing your Life framework


The framework has four categories: Life, Work, Health and Play. Think of it as a compass for your life. The compass needs to be balanced for you to live your authentic life. For your compass to be balanced, all categories need to be fully inflated. If you’re navigating a life event or experiencing some other change, one or more categories may feel a little flat.


Imagine how it would feel trying to drive a car with a flat tire or two. You would have to slow way down and eventually stop to address the issue. That’s essentially what you need to when your one or more categories of your compass is flat. It’s also good to periodically stop and assess your compass. Your birthday or when planning for a new year are good times to do it.


Assess your compass


Take time to assess your compass and make adjustments to address the deflated categories. Let’s start with Play because it’s often a neglected area and the easiest to fix.


1/ Play


Play should be about having fun. By definition, fun is anything you do for enjoyment, amusement and lighthearted pleasure. It could be playing games, hiking, cycling, gardening, attending seasonal festivals or whatever activity that doesn’t demand anything of you but joy. Play is really important because it fuels your creativity.


2/ Work


Work in contrast is an activity that demands physical or mental effort to achieve a purpose or goal. It can be both compensated or non-compensated work.


According to book Designing your Life, everyone has at least 7 different possible career paths. Your job is to narrow them down to 3 and then use design thinking to test each path to select the best one for you. At a loss for how to start?


Start with what you are doing or intend to do, then if that job was eliminated, what you would do and lastly, if money wasn’t a factor in your decision, what would you do? Talk to people to create lots of options and gain new insights, consult or start a side hustle to test the different paths.


Less than 30% of people work in the field that they study. It takes some effort to find a way to apply your skills in a way that continually gives you meaning and fulfillment at work.


3/ Health


Is simply the state of being free of illness or injury. Like fun, health often takes a back seat to Work and Life when people have too many constraints on their time and financial resources.


Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or quick fix. However, there are more options than ever to make self-care and prevention easier than ever to budget into your time and finances.


Health is rewarding in itself because it gives you the energy needed to live your best life.


4/ Life


Is the very existence of human life which includes the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity and continual change.


The only end point is death. So prepare for the journey and try to find the joy in every twist and turn in your path. When things don’t go as planned, try to see a silver lining.


Family, good friends and a strong community can make the hard times easier. When all else fails, trust in yourself and revisit your compass to find your way forward. 




Contact Us

Please email us to request more information about our services and Shannon Smith Living collaborations.

12 + 14 =

Stay Connected

Subscribe free to receive Shannon Smith Living every Monday. Get the latest tips, workouts, exclusive offers and community notifications.

Shannon Smith Living

Free Subscription to Shannon Smith



Get the latest tips, free workouts, exclusive offers and community notifications delivered to your inbox each Monday.

Thank you for subscribing. Look for Shannon Smith Living in your inbox on Monday.

Community Mat



Join me for Community Mat starting Tuesday, January 3rd at the Coal Harbour Community Center in Vancouver on Wednesdays at Noon. Reserve your spot with the CHCC now. First class is free.

Thank you for subscribing. Look for Shannon Smith Living in your inbox on Monday.