In my advertising career I wrote hundreds of creative briefs. They basically helped direct the talented team of creatives, producers, technical experts, etc. to answer “what are we trying to create here for our clients?” which they’d turn into the coolest, most compelling, make you nod, laugh or cry campaigns.
As I’ve reflected on that chapter of my life over the past year, it hit me that writing a creative brief for your life is a great exercise to help you find, reframe or reset your purpose when you may have lost sight of your mind, body and spirit and want to rediscover and ignite your passion to ensure each day is working towards a life you define as well-lived. I see taking stock regularly as a method of self-care, to ensure that you’re doing the things day in and day out that bring you joy and purpose in some way. Your wellness is compromised if you’re perpetually unhappy, so if you’ve questioned how you’re spending the bulk of your time (and with whom) and what things may have fallen to the way-side that are really important to your wellbeing, then this exercise is for you.
Your personal brief may look like the following, answering the questions that help you take stock in your current level of health and happiness and/or identify any gaps that you may have in your current lifestyle in order set clear intentions that keep yourself accountable and motivated moving forward to achieve your goals.
Background & Context – who are you today?:
- Who are you in 1 sentence?
- How would other people describe you?
- What frustrates you about your current lifestyle?
- What do you love about your life?
- What are your special skills or talents?
- What have you already accomplished?
- What are you most proud of?
- What brings you joy, or what used to bring you joy that maybe you haven’t done in a long time?
Objective – what do want to accomplish?:
- What do you want to be sure you have time to do daily or long term?
- What do you still hope to accomplish professionally, learn about, or just want to maintain?
- Who do you want to be overall?
Target – who do you hope to impact in your life in addition to yourself?:
- In addition to yourself, who do you live for?
- Who’s opinion matters most to you?
- Who do you want to surround yourself with daily?
- Who else’s life do you think you can make a difference in?
- And while keeping it positive is the ultimate goal here, maybe you do need to think about who ISN’T your target…who do you spend too much time with that brings you negative energy and influence? How can you tip your balance to spending more time with those who ARE helpful to you and your life? Omit these people or personalities from your life target.
Positioning Strategy – how are you going to get there?:
- Let’s start incorporating what you bring to the table and who matters in your life in order to make it something you’re more satisfied with. Do you think you need a life reboot with more of something and less of something else? Or, just simple small changes? What might that look like?
- What is the main message about yourself that you want people to take away?
- How will you leverage your special skills, past achievements and talents to accomplish your goals?
- Perhaps your strategy statement looks like: “In efforts to accomplish X, and include, influence or take care of these people that matter to me, I know at this point I need to do more of this or less of that to get where I’d like to be.”
Tactics – what will your to-do list look like today and tomorrow to get where you’d like?:
- Are there simple incremental changes or optimizations you can do today to better accommodate activities or people that matter to you?
- What activity will you do today or tomorrow because you love it, it enhances you, or it’s critical to your health and wellness?
- What will you do today to make someone else’s day?
- What step will you take today to reset or maintain your path professionally?
Budget – are you allocating money to the things that matter most to you?:
- Does any of this cost money? Do you need to set aside specific budget to be sure you’re funding what matters to you most?
- What do you really need monthly to live the life you want and achieve your goals?
- What is superfluous that you’re spending on now?
- Do you currently live within your means or need to make balance sheet adjustments to afford what you’d like to accomplish?
Measurement – how will you measure your life well-lived?:
- At your core, how do you really measure your success? In things, or a life well-lived?
- Will that matter in the long run?
- What legacy do you hope to leave? How would you write your eulogy? As they sing in the Broadway show Hamilton, keep in mind, “Who tells your story?”
You deserve a life well-lived and I hope in taking stock of where you’re at and where you’d like to go, you’ll be on your way to your well-intended life!