In her latest book, IT’S IN THE BAG, Gayle Martz, entrepreneur, pet-travel advocate, and lover of animals, refers to her raison d’être, or her reason for existing, which she found through applying her passion for both animals and travel to every aspect of her life. We all need a raison d’être, a true purpose, to be whole in mind, body, and spirit. Living a life rooted in purpose is linked to strong mental health, physical well-being, and even longevity. According to an article published by Frontiers in Psychology, having a strong sense of purpose helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It has also been found to be “related to a decrease in mortality across all ages,” according to XX. Further, research published in the journal Health Psychology, also suggests that people with a strong sense of purpose make healthier choices. People living with purpose are happier, healthier, less stressed, and live longer. It’s kind of a big deal!

An article for Greater Good in Action, a resource offering science-based practices for a meaningful life published by the University of California at Berkeley, outlines how to practice life crafting. Here is the gist:

First, make a list of your values and passions. Write down what is most important to you, most meaningful, and what you most enjoy doing.

Next, reflect on what you want your future life to look like in all aspects, social, career, and personal (free time). When Gayle Martz lost her job as a flight attendant and simultaneously lost her fiancé, she had to do this very thing. Martz found a way to weave her passion for animals and travel into her career, her free time, her volunteer work, everything.

Then, write goals based on the life you hope to create. Objectives are key here, as well as how you will monitor your progress. True to the life-crafting formula, Martz states, “as with anything in life, I had to take it step-by-step.” Visualizing your future self doesn’t do you any good if you do not also plan each step you will need to take to get there. With every goal Martz made, she set her sights on something related directly to her values and her passion. Martz was and is living her purpose, and she will be the first to tell you her life has been fulfilling because of that, even when it was hard.

Lastly, be careful to only share your vision with your attorney, accountant, friends, and family who you trust and value for their professional opinion and advice. Martz shared her vision with her mother as well as close friends and sought advice when she needed it. By sharing her plans, Martz gained the necessary social support that she needed to soar.

Life crafting can be done at any stage in life. Identifying your values and how you want to spend your time allows you to make the necessary adjustments to live a more purposeful and meaningful life, one that fills you with passion and makes you excited to get up every day. Gayle Martz has constructed her life based on internal passions and values that lead to fulfillment, happiness, and resilience. If you are looking for some inspiration and a perfect example of life crafting in action, grab a copy of Martz’s latest book, IT’S IN THE BAG, today!

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