My Lifestyle Design for 2021
October 15, 2021
3 min read

My Lifestyle Design for 2021

By Rachel How

The COVID-19 pandemic has made me reflect on life, as I'm sure it did to you. This year, I decided to design a lifestyle that aligns with my values and purpose. I want to give myself permission to try new things. I'll be sharing my intentions this year, so you can design your very own lifestyle for 2021.

Setting personal OKRs

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I split my intentions into six pillars—Relationships, health & fitness, personal growth, hobby, career & business, finances, with key results assigned to each pillar. The things I do every day should align with the end goal so I don't lose track of the goal that matters most to me. My personal OKR is inspired by Zoe Chew.

Track habits in 2-week cycles

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I track my habits daily on this Google Sheet, inspired by Martin. At the end of each cycle, I review and reflect on my progress. When I fail to stick to a habit, I focus on what I can do better in the next cycle instead of beating myself up. The beauty of this habit tracker is each cycle we start on a clean slate. Sometimes, a habit doesn't stick and that's okay! It takes time to find what works for us.

Quoting the great James Clear: 'Forget about setting goals. Focus on systems instead. The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game.'

This tracker has helped me set the right intentions for each cycle and it's super easy to implement. Whip up a Google Sheet and you're good to go!

Mindful content consumption and creation

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We often consume more than we create. All the ideas we consume go to waste if we don't give meaningful output. So last year, I joined the Ness Labs community to learn content creation and personal knowledge management.

To go from collector to creator, I process my content diet and curate meaningful notes on my Digital Garden, a public notebook where I learn in public and share ideas with like-minded people. I had so much fun building it. It's also a great way to give back to the community! If you like to take notes, consider sharing them in public.

Write often

Writing is a serendipity engine—I often discover new ideas when I start typing words on a blank canvas. I've been writing inconsistently over the years. I'd like to change that starting now. I now track my writing habits and practice time blocking.

Minimal living

Minimalism has a different meaning to different people. That's okay. For me, I try to minimize my belongings and avoid buying things I don't use/need. I've set a system to declutter once a month on my habit tracker and it's working great for me so far. Owning less helps declutter the mind!

Mindful meals and intermittent fasting

This year, I'd like to be more mindful of the food I eat. I now track my habit of consuming clean meals on weekdays. As a result, I've learned how to cook, lost weight, gained mental clarity, and saved lots of money.

I've also been on intermittent fasting for nearly 3 years. Paired with clean meals, proper sleep habits, and a daily skincare routine, I'm now living a healthier lifestyle than in the past years.

Grow investments

This year, I decided to stop being ignorant and learn more about investing. To discover what works for me, I've invested in a few funds. The goal is to grow my investments steadily and diversify my income in the coming years. Since I'm based in Malaysia, I use StashAway and Luno for a start.

Building community

In May 2020, I built a local creator community called Malaysians Who Make. It started as a side project that grew into a community. If you'd like to help grow this community together, let's chat.

Music production + further explorations

As I start to explore and experiment with new things, I'm reigniting an old hobby—music. I look forward to having a great time with my new Rode NT-USB microphone. I'll also take 4 hobby classes this year on one rule: It has to be something I've never learned before. It could be painting, swimming, or something out of my comfort zone.

Key mindsets moving forward

  1. Avoid pretend work
  2. Apply mental models in daily life
  3. My work does not define my worth
  4. Be open to try new things
  5. Embrace failure

That's it! I hope this gives you ideas to start designing your very own lifestyle in 2021. There'll be hardships and uncertainties. What matters is how you make the most of your life.

My question for you:

What would you do this year to design the lifestyle that works best for you?

Love,

Rachel

Wrote this from my dining table with my cat curled up beside my laptop.

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