The Parts and Pieces:
Designing your signature is about truly designing your LIFE! That means your home interiors, your career choices, your entertaining and homemaking, your relationships, your travel and adventure, your personal image and style, your past times and passionate pursuits and what you really want from it all. Designing a signature life shows you how to get what you want by architecting your vision, designing your plan, building your strategies and support systems, and decorating your life with results. It is about demonstrating flexibility and patience in each step to maximize the potential and the opportunities we each have.
It is about creating a life as unique as your signature!

Designing your home interiors is a process of self discovery; each decision leads you closer to defining yourself where you are right now and where you are headed. The elements you bring into your home represent the experiences you have had and those you want to enjoy still. The artwork you include is not just filling space but is inspiration for everyday. The way you arrange furnishings indicates whether you are ready to invite others in or prefer to maintain a more solitary existence. Your signature style at home can be read much like your signature on a piece of paper. Someone who doesn’t know you can learn a lot by looking around at the choices you have included. Those that do know you and pay attention will learn more and know how to contribute to your life at this point. Do your interiors reflect the real you?

Career Choices
Designing your career path can be complicated and involve several moves, shifts in talents and experience, and even additional education. It is about finding your purpose and your passion and merging them into a rewarding path of doing. It is about being willing to explore a variety of interests and pursuits and expand your horizons beyond the site lines. It is about limitless thinking. It is about creating a life, not just a job. A career is also just one part of what we do and who we are, it does not define us or limit us, but instead allows us to give to others and make a positive impact on those around us.

Many people feel trapped by their work and are unhappy; they complain relentlessly, but are unwilling to make a change. Notice they are not unable, just unwilling. I am not suggesting that anyone randomly and irresponsibly quit their job; few of us can afford that. But we are all capable of making change, setting new goals, looking toward new horizons. Have you found your passion and purpose in your career?

There is a wonderful old adage that says we are each the sum average of those we surround ourselves with. Are you really surrounding yourself with people that are positive, successful, excited about life, and making a difference? Or instead do you find yourself bogged down by those complaining, whining, and absorbed in victim thinking? It is a choice of who you attract and allow in your life, it is not an accident.

When you exhibit an upbeat attitude, optimism, and a generous spirit, typically you will attract the same into your life. This isn’t to say we don’t all have gray days and down moments but it is to say we have a choice in how we process the events in our lives and whether we consider something a failure or merely a lesson learned (however painful) and move on. Who have you invited into your life in thought and deed?

Entertaining and Homemaking
Too often people want to entertain, but are afraid. They are waiting for something else, for the house to be decorated, for that next promotion, for the kids to be grown up and gone, to get married, to get a divorce for something. Entertaining is not about waiting! It is not about the perfect décor, your status at work, whether the kids are home or not; instead it is about sharing time and experiences with friends and family. If they are truly coming only to see your latest drapery or hear about your raise, consider getting new friends!

Entertaining is a chance to invite others to share in a bit of your life, a bit of your home, and a bit of you. It doesn’t have to be grand, expensive, or involve a caterer. Although that can be fun too! Think about having a potluck with a handful of friends. Or maybe a leftover surprise dinner where everyone brings leftovers or cooks up something from things they have had for awhile in the pantry. Better yet, have everyone chip in $5 and order a pizza. It can be that easy. It isn’t about the scale of the party, but about bringing people together, and mixing it up. Throw parties for every reason or no reason at all.
When did you last celebrate life?

Travel and Adventure
Where do you want to go? Many of us want to travel, travel, travel! But we don’t seem to go anywhere because we don’t plan it. We are very routine oriented and can’t seem to break loose for that spontaneous road trip or weekend with the girls. Planned or unplanned, it won’t happen if you don’t just do it. Taking a trip used to require loads of time, a travel agent, and tons of money. Now it requires a few clicks of a mouse, no agent in the middle, and you can do it for pennies. Of course, if you can do it all out and want to, go for it. But don’t miss an opportunity to experience another country, city, state, neighborhood, or culture. Don’t wait until you are too old and physically unable, with all the resources, but no ability. It happens too often. Travel can be as simple as getting out of your neighborhood, beyond your city, or adventures abroad.

Often travel really makes us value home that much more. And sometimes we really need that extra dose of perspective to appreciate what had become ordinary to us but is really quite special. It can also make us realize how big the world really is and put our lives and our own challenges in a new light. Where will your adventures lead you?

Personal Image and Style
Renowned costume designer to the stars, Edith Head, once said, “You can have anything you want in life, if you dress for it.” This may well be true. The key is in making a personal statement and showing a sense of unique style. Finding and defining your own sense of style is very important, it is tantamount to creating your personal image signature. I have a business associate who always wears a hat, it makes a big statement about her and gives her a unique importance. She also stands out from the crowd and wants to. Some gentlemen wear suspenders or a pocket handkerchief with same panache and are remembered for that.

Clothing and image are inextricably tied together. What we wear, like it or not, makes a statement loud and clear about who we are, and what we are about. Are you flashy? Sexy? Elegant? Professional? All buttoned up? Bohemian? Tailored? Frumpy? Old Fashioned? Dated? Fresh? Do you have savoir faire? Do you vogue? Are you saying what you want and mean to say based on your wardrobe and personal presentation? Is it a consistent message? Or, are you all over the board?
Who are you according to your style?

The Experiences and Benefits:
Getting Balance
Often we think of balance as something that will eventually just happen or we will magically find it. The truth is that it is up to each of us to create it. What represents balance to one person may not to another. It is an individual definition but typically means that our life is flowing smoothly, our experiences are on track, we feel on purpose and secure, and we are enjoying time for our priorities.

When out of balance we feel stressed, burned out, overloaded, and stretched too thin. It happens a lot but few realize that it is really a matter of evaluating priorities and delegating those that don’t mean as much. Yes, we can do it all, but we don’t have to and it isn’t healthy to. Achieving a healthy balance is about looking forward to each day, knowing that we can tackle the responsibilities at hand, that we have rewards to celebrate, and that we are truly living by our own design, not anyone else’s.
What does your life balance look like to you?

A Life of Legacy
When we are living a life of our own design, when we are writing our signature on the world each and every day, we are making connections to a legacy. We are forming alliances and relationships with many that will feel a lasting impact. Very rarely do we get a chance to know how much we have influenced another’s path, but instead have to trust that each encounter is never coincidence but intentional and with reason. We have a great deal to learn and a great deal to teach while in this life. It is by crafting our legacy and our significance with purpose and passion that we will make the greatest difference.
What legacy are you creating?

A Life Plan
Creating a life plan is not an exercise we will do once and forget, but instead it is about learning the tools and skills needed to continually shape and redefine our goals, priorities, and passions. As we grow and change, our priorities will shift, what was important in our twenties seems silly in our thirties, and different still in our forties and fifties. We cannot predict, but only be open and flexible to opportunities, directions, and experiences, always keeping in mind our personal core values and seeking a fit with those values in all we do.

Creating a signature life is about learning the interior of you and finding the happiest way to share and express that with the world. It is about feeling fulfilled and secure in all you are and do, despite the frequent hiccups in everyday living, and occasional disasters and thunderstorms of tragedy that invade every life. You are truly the architect of your existence, the designer of your life, the builder of your experiences, and the decorator of your dreams. Find your signature, design your life. LIVE.

Author's Bio: 

Melissa Galt is a popular professional speaker, weekly radio show host, and sought after marketing consultant and certified coach whose presentations empower positive changes in business and career, relationships, wellbeing, financial outlook and lifestyle. She attributes her “life is in the living, not in the waiting” attitude to her late mother, the Academy-award winning actress Anne Baxter, who shared an indomitable spirit and insatiable curiosity about the world and all of life.

As one of America’s leading interior designers and life catalysts, Melissa takes audiences on an exhilarating process of self-discovery that results in lives reshaped, careers reinvigorated, relationships renewed and much more. By applying the same transformational process of interior design for homes to designing our interior selves and our business and personal development, Melissa reveals steps everyone can use to renew career passion, realize financial milestones, find a soul mate, achieve dreams, and make every day meaningful and rewarding.

The “design your business for your best life now” and “design your signature life” method that Melissa has translated into seminars for Evening at Emory and Oglethorpe University, and keynotes, earned her the title of America’s Lifestyle Diva™ and a place among Faith Popcorn’s Brain Reserve trend-spotters.

“Give me the luxuries of life, and I will gladly do without the necessities”
Frank Lloyd Wright

Melissa is devoted and passionate about showing clients and audiences how they can design their lives to reach their fullest potential and personal and professional fulfillment. She is inspired by the legacy of her great grandfather, the American architect and icon, Frank Lloyd Wright — a pioneer in lifestyle design. As goddaughter of legendary Hollywood costume designer Edith Head, Melissa also developed a fascination for transforming oneself through image and style.

“You can being anyone you want to, if you just dress the part.”
Edith Head

Melissa’s work has been showcased in publications like Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, and featured in the book tribute Spectacular Homes of Georgia. She is author of Celebrate Your Life! The Art of Celebrating Every Day, and contributing author in Live Life Every Day Happy, Successful and Motivated, and 101 Ways to Improve Your Life. She has also written Designing Your Signature Life: The Manual for Life Success, a primer for how to lead life by your own design instead of by default.

Melissa is an active philanthropist and believes in giving back as a way of paying it forward. She supports causes such as the Ruby Slipper Project providing home refurbishing for disaster victims, Habitat for Humanity, and The Center for the Visually Impaired. Melissa is based in Atlanta, and speaks globally.