Living Life By Design



One of the best days of my life was the day I realized I had a choice in how I lived my life.

Up until that point I’d been living a life that felt scripted and doing basically the same thing every day.  I grew restless, depressed and it took a toll on my mental health and well being.

I’d been doing a lot of personal development reading and started to actually say my dreams out loud. My dream of working from home, having freedom and being a stay at home mom. To not have to ask permission to stay home with a sick kid and worry and stress about work when I should be focusing on my child. One day a colleague scoffed at my dream and made a rude comment. My gut reaction was to be mad at her, but it was in that moment I realized I had a choice, and I didn’t have to grow old and cynical and give up on my dreams as it seemed that she had.  So I started setting goals, creating vision boards and living a life by design.

Personal Developmentbooks

Like a lot of busy mom’s, I don’t have much time for reading, but I took what time I did have and started reading personal development. Even if it was only 10 minutes a day I was filling my mind with positivity, motivation and encouragement. I subscribed to podcasts, downloaded audio books and bought hard copies too! I couldn’t get enough.  I was learning about living a life where I could choose my path.  I learned about how small seemingly insignificant tasks would build and compound over time to create positive momentum towards my goals.


Vision Board

I started creating and adjusting vision boards each year. I knew I had these dreams of “a better life and future” but what exactly did that look like? A vision board helps me get specific and it’s a way for me to have a focused visual representation of what I’m working towards each day. I share it with my close friends and family and it holds me accountable. You can include pictures of vacations you want to take, health goals you want to achieve, a new car or home, family planning or career goals! You can make them online or create a collage on a poster. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Make sure you include motivational quotes and affirmations that build you up. It’s personal to you and should be YOUR vision of success. I mistakenly thought that success had to be the same for everyone, but it doesn’t! Figuring out and defining what success means to YOU is an important step in designing your life. Last year, I achieved about 75% of the things on my vision board and the those I didn’t were either modified and added to this years, or I realized I had change and they were no longer important to board

A Goal without a Plan is Just a Wish

I always thought goals were about weight loss, which considering my past struggles with weight, makes sense really, but goals are so much more than that.  You can set goals in any area of your life! And you should! Maybe you have a goal to get a promotion, have another baby, buy a house, save 10,000, or get a different job! Whatever it is, setting goals and making a plan will help you get there! Up until now I’d lived in a state of mind where most big things were impossible, I learned that by working backwards, I could figure out the steps needed to achieve my goals and nothing felt impossible anymore! This alone felt like FREEDOM.  The things I didn’t like about my life I COULD change! Maybe not immediately but I could start setting up a plan to get me there.

I fully realized there are things in life that happen to us that we can’t control, but you don’t have to feel like a victim! You can stay positive, grow with the change and live your best life.

Are you setting goals? What helps you stay accountable to them?

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Ashley was born and raised in Vermont and now lives in Colchester with her two children and husband. After getting married, she spent four years living outside DC to gain work and life experience, as well as perspective and a renewed love for her home state of Vermont. She is highly caffeinated and runs her own online reading tutoring business Your Reading Tutor and teaches ESOL online to students in China. She recently made the decision to homeschool and is loving the opportunity for a flexible learning environment for her kids. Her favorite things to do include making fairy houses with her kids, drinking coffee with her husband, and networking with other moms and entrepreneurs.


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