Coaching for Creatives | Tools for Designing Your Life


As a creative you already have the most important tool for designing your dream life: an imagination. In fact, it’s probably your job on the daily to see something in your mind and make it a reality. So if you can do that with a website, a well-designed room, an outfit, or a logo then why can’t you do it for your life? The number one culprit I’ve seen is not making the vision real. My own life coach says “If you can see it, it’s yours.” So today I’m going to share some really practical tools for you to use so you can really see the life you want to live – then make it yours.

1. Blogging
Obviously, I’m a huge fan of blogging. It’s not for everyone but I think it’s one of the single most effective tools for shaping, sharing, and holding yourself accountable to living the life you want. It gives us a place to tell our stories – and everyone wants to hear a good story. So for example, while I don’t do things just to blog about them, I probably wouldn’t be as motivated to get off my couch if I didn’t have a space to document my adventures.

2. Instagram
If blogging is a place to share the whole story I think Instagram is a great place to share the smaller slices of life. I’d love to challenge myself to Instagram one interesting thing that captures my eye a day. Or perhaps use it to experiment and explore different themes in my life (ie. things I’m grateful for, cooking, nature, touring my own city, etc.). I love how R. Wood is using Instagram to capture her adventure in high pointing – which is visiting the highest point in all 50 states. (She’s actually inspired me to do the same with our baby – I’m hoping to end with Denali when he’s 18!)

3. Pinterest
Pinterest is the modern-day mood board. You might prefer the old-fashioned collage technique of vision boarding where you cut and paste images and words you like from a magazine onto a poster board but I’m far too lazy for that. So Pinterest is a place to get dreamy and really put visuals to some vague notions of what you want your life to look like.

4. Journaling 
If Pinterest is the modern day mood board than you’d think Blogging would replace your diary. But not so fast. There is something magical that happens when you put pen-to-paper. I think it’s a mind/body connection at play when you get dreamy on paper. A journal that no one else sees is a safe place to make lists, draw mind maps, write morning pages, set intentions, and explore your own deepest life desires. So go out and get yourself a Moleskine today (though, I prefer the cheap wide-ruled 99¢ composition notebooks – it’s less intimidating to mark up).

5. Conversations 
Paulo Coelho says “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize that dream.” I believe that the more you can get other people on board with your dreams and your vision the faster it will manifest. So set a coffee date with someone who inspires you and exchange dreams. I promise you’ll connect new dots and set plans in motion to make your vision actually come true. Plus, it’s one more person to hold you accountable to living the dream.

6. Calendar
If you want something to happen you’ve gotta make time for it. Go into your calendar and set some dates with yourself. This could be anything from clearing your schedule for a day to paint, de-clutter your house, go for a hike and a picnic, or setting a reminder to talk to your spouse about booking an adventure. The idea is to actually commit time for action, otherwise you may get bit by the procrastination-and-excuses bug.

What tools are your favorite for visioning and designing the kind of life you want to live? 

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.


  1. Holly

    So with you on blogging and instagram! Also nominate for the list, a site where you challenge yourself to learn something new or complete a personal goal over the course of 100 days, and upload a 10 second video each day to show your progress.

  2. I love (and deploy) all of these methods. Having a trusted “advisory board” that I can bounce my ideas off of is hugely important to me. Sometimes the ideas are big and unrealistic in the timeframe I want them to happen. Having my trusted peeps to keep the creative brain in check is a huge help in doing more instead of getting stuck in creative mode (vs. do it / get it done mode). It’s very similar to #5 conversations … but these people already know the back story and we can get right to the heart of the matter!

  3. I am so happy to have found you Kathleen. I’m Gina, I’m a Portuguese gal’, I’m Creative VA. I found through Erin Haslag (I true fan of this girl! She has done amazing things + truly inspiring! THANK YOU ERIN!). It was because of her words that I’ve started my DIY Coaching for Creatives this week. YAY! First of all congratulations on the perfect little boy you have. I am a new mom myself (my sweet Miguel is 10 months now) and I do know how mesmerizing + special this new life your are living must be 🙂
    Being a Creative Adventurer I find myself lost + overwhelmed not knowing which path to follow + the way to go and one of my many ways to ‘set myself’ free (and release all my creative ideas’) is Pinterest + Create inspiring boards + talk with my ‘go to gal’ + read a lot + blog when I can 🙂

  4. Amy

    Blogging, Instagram, Journaling. So true!
    Those things hold me personally accountable and keep me making lists, goals, carving out time, dreaming, and hoping.
    They really aren’t for everyone, but I have LOVED documenting my life in those avenues. They bring such good outlets for creativity and motivation!
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jessica

    The conversations! So true! Can I be “that guy” and say tarot and crystals? … Guys? In all seriousness (??) both are great exercises for figuring out where your subconscious and your intentions are at!

  6. I a very private person and I tend to keep things especially happenings in my self. I don’t know if its good enough but I am used to it. Then, I found some information about blogging, social media diary and the like, I don’t know if this will fit me but why not give it a try. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. Ros

    Thanks for this Kathleen, I use lots of these tools to keep me following my dream. I picked up a tip on a recent course about visualizing your “best life” via a Pinterest board. I’m an “Addict Pinner” so I use this board to inspire me to keep going. I blogged about it recently. Check it out, it may be of some interest to your readers too.

    Congratulations on becoming a mum too. Precious.

  9. RWood

    WOW! I’ve been so crazy busy this whole new year that I am just now catching up on your blog and seeing this post! Thank you so much for this. Honestly, I saw it just at the right moment. Great advice, as always and when you and Fox (and Jeremy?) are ready to hit the trails make sure to let me know 😉

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