My quick verdict on Lifebook
When it boils down to it, Lifebook is essentially goal setting — but on a whole other level. I’d say the program is for people who are serious about and committed to improving all aspects of their life.
Whilst there are definitely cheaper and easier alternatives (which I’ll run through later), they do lack the depth you’ll get with Lifebook.
- My quick verdict on Lifebook
- Why you can trust this review
- What is Lifebook
- Why I decided to do Lifebook
- Who are Jon and Missy Butcher
- Lifebook is probably a good fit for you if…
- Lifebook maybe isn’t a good fit for you if…
- How much does Lifebook cost?
- What do you do during Lifebook — the 12 categories
- Taking the Lifebook course — what to expect
- What I think are the pros and cons of Lifebook
- My results: What Lifebook did for me
- What are some alternatives to Lifebook?
- Are there any free or cheaper alternatives to Lifebook?
- Is Lifebook worth it?
Why you can trust this review
I’m a personal development junkie.
It started with reading self-help books and spiritual texts, which quickly moved onto free courses, and then into paid programs and events (including several other Mindvalley quests).
But if you ever met me you’d know that I’m not one of those natural “rainbow vibes” people. I’m a born skeptic.
It’s partly my personality and partly my career that’s made me this way.
With a Master’s degree in Journalism, I spent over a decade working as a news reporter investigating the truth behind stories. So let’s just say I have a very low BS tolerance.
This review is obviously just my personal opinion of Lifebook, but what I do promise you is that it will be my 100% honest opinion — warts and all — after actually doing the course.
What is Lifebook
Lifebook is a 6-week course in which Jon and Missy Butcher work with you to help you create your own 100-page “lifebook”
It’s become one of Mindvalley’s most popular courses. That’s probably because it’s a really good ‘all rounder’ type of personal development course.
What I mean by that is it allows you to comprehensively look at lots of different areas of your life, work out what you want, and then create your “dream life” based on whatever you decide.
Lifebook is broken up into 12 different categories which come together to create your own personal vision for a successful life.
Why I decided to do Lifebook
I think the Covid 19 pandemic led to a lot of us reflecting on life, and I’m no different.
Although I’ve done goal-setting work before, my life over the last few years has changed a lot, and I realized that what I once was looking for, is no longer true.
It’s quite easy to find ourselves coasting in life — either feeling stuck or aimlessly drifting.
Most of us are so busy just getting on with living that we don’t always take time to ask those important bigger questions like what do I really want? Am I happy? What areas of my life, if I’m super honest with myself, need more of my attention?
I hadn’t done a proper life audit in a long time.
(If you’re wondering which Mindvalley course is the best one for you, Ideapod’s new Mindvalley quiz will help. Answer a few simple questions and they will recommend the perfect course for you. Take the quiz here).
Who are Jon and Missy Butcher
Jon and Missy Butcher are the creators of the Lifebook method.
On the surface, they seem to have an almost sickeningly sweet “perfect life”. Happily married for decades, in great shape, and the owners of various successful companies.
But their story about why they decided to share Lifebook did add credibility for me.
They were apparently already wealthy, and actually apprehensive about opening up their private lives (so they’re not fame-hungry).
Instead, they say they genuinely wanted to make an impact and create something they knew would be valuable for the world. So, according to them, it was for fulfillment purposes, rather than to make a quick buck, that they turned Lifebook into this program.
Lifebook is probably a good fit for you if…
- You want a better life, but you’re not sure what that even really looks like, let alone how to get it. It’s especially useful for helping you to get more clarity before you set your goals.
- You’re committed to making changes in life. It shouldn’t come as a shock that this program needs time and effort to reap the rewards. It’s just as much about creating long-term mindset shifts as it is about simply creating a vision of your ideal life. Change takes time, so creating your ideal life should be seen as a long-term work in progress.
- You love getting organized, or even if you don’t, you know that you probably need to. This is a really detailed and thorough way to set your goals, so it’s an ideal way to kick-start change.
Lifebook maybe isn’t a good fit for you if…
- You’re hoping you’ll be done after the 6-week course finishes. Lifebook describes itself as the “thinking phase of achieving your ideal life vision”. But it’s worth remembering that you still have to do the work to make it happen afterward. We all want quick fixes (and marketing usually taps into this desire). But we all know deep down too that if we’re not prepared to do our bit, it ‘ain’t going to work.
- You’re stuck in victim mode. I doubt you’d even be considering buying this program if you were, but if you are stuck in the mindset that life is how it is and you can’t change it, there’s very little point embarking on this journey. This course is about taking responsibility for yourself and your life.
- You want to be told how best to live your life. You get guidance and suggestions, but the answers ultimately have to come from you. You are encouraged to find your own answers for how you want your life to look. You need to be proactive and self-disciplined along the way.
How much does Lifebook cost?
Lifebook currently costs $500 to enroll in, and it’s not included in the Mindvalley yearly membership. The website says that’s a discounted price down from $1250, but I’ve never actually seen it advertised at the higher rate.
But the pretty cool thing about Lifebook is that money is classed as an “accountability deposit” rather than a payment. As long as you follow the course as suggested and finish all of the work, at the end you can apply for the $500 back.
Or if you’ve loved Lifebook, you can choose instead to exchange that $500 for full access to the Lifebook Graduate Bundle — which gives you membership to a new follow on program called Lifebook Mastery. It’s here where you’ll learn how to turn your vision into a step-by-step action plan.
What do you do during Lifebook — the 12 categories
Because Lifebook aims to take a balanced look at your life as a whole, you cover 12 key areas.
- Health and Fitness
- Intellectual Life
- Emotional Life
- Spiritual Life
- Love Relationships
- Social Life
- Quality of Life
- Life Vision
Taking the Lifebook course — what to expect
Before you start:
Before getting started there’s a short assessment, which are just some questions to answer. It only takes about 20 minutes and helps you to think about where you are now.
From it, you get a sort of life satisfaction score. You then take the same assessment again at the end of the course so you can compare changes you’ve made. There aren’t right or wrong answers, but hopefully, you increase your score — that’s the aim anyway.
You’re then encouraged to “join the tribe” — which is basically a support group of other people doing the program along with you. Full disclosure, I didn’t join, as I’m not the joiner type.
But I actually do think this is a really useful idea. It means you get extra encouragement and guidance along the way. Sharing with people who are in the same boat can make sure you stick with it.
There are also a few extras that you can work your way through before the course properly begins — like some Q&A videos.
There were quite a lot of them, but the videos are broken up (and time stamped) into individual questions. So I just skimmed through the ones I was most interested in, rather than watching hours of additional content.
How long does Lifebook take?
You work your way through each of the 12 categories, covering 2 categories per week, over a 6 week period.
You’re looking at roughly 3 hours of work to do each week, so about 18 for the full course (that’s without the optional extra FAQ videos you can watch each week, which vary from an additional 1-3 hours).
I found this commitment reasonable and doable, especially as it’s only for a month and a half. Let’s face it, if it didn’t take any time and effort to create your dream life, more of us would already be living it.
Although admittedly I am self-employed and don’t have kids. So if you do have a busier life than me, you obviously need to make the time, or you could quickly fall behind.
How is Lifebook structured?
When it comes to creating your Lifebook, each of the 12 categories follow a similar structure, working your way through the same 4 questions:
- What are your empowering beliefs about this category?
Here you look at your beliefs, which are super important for making any changes in your life. That’s because whether they’re true or not, our beliefs silently call the shots and dictate our behavior. So you’re asked to think about positive beliefs that you have in different areas of your life.
- What is your ideal vision?
An important reminder you get throughout the course is to go for what you really want, rather than just what you think you can get.
This was important for me, as I often find this really hard. I had a very “normal” upbringing and tend to limit myself by setting goals based on what I think is “realistic”. So, I do find dreaming big quite tricky and liked the extra push to dream bigger.
- Why do you want this?
This part is all about finding the biggest motivator to keep you going towards your goals. Knowing what you want is great, but if you’re going to stand a chance at getting it, you need to know your “why” too.
Research has shown that being able to remind yourself of the reasons for your goal makes you far more likely to achieve it. Otherwise, we’re more inclined to give up when the going gets tough.
- How will you achieve this?
The final piece of the puzzle is the strategy. You know your goal, now you decide what has to happen to achieve your vision. It’s basically your roadmap to follow.
What I think are the pros and cons of Lifebook
Lifebook pros (things I liked about it)
- It’s an incredibly well-rounded and thorough way of goal setting, which a lot of people get wrong when they do it alone. It’s simple to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful.
- I’m a big believer in balance, so I really like the well-rounded look approach of Lifebook, which considers a successful life being made up of many different aspects. I do find when it comes to success, a lot of personal development can be very materialistically focused and really money-centric.
But what’s the point in having a million dollars in the bank and sacrificing all your personal relationships or leisure time to maintain it. Although most of us would like to have a life filled with nice things, that’s only part of what makes a successful life
- It puts you in the driving seat of your own life. You’re encouraged to think about what matters most to you. It also puts the responsibility on you, not some guru telling you all the answers.
There’s a lot of buzz in the personal development world with experts saying they will “empower you”. Personally, I think you empower yourself, or you’re not actually empowered. Empowerment is not something someone can give you — you do it for yourself.
- As with a lot of Mindvalley programs, there’s a lot of extra support thrown in — e.g. The tribe and the Q&A sessions. I also liked getting to take a look at Jon’s own personal Lifebook (which you can download in a PDF) as it gives you a better idea of what you’re doing.
- A lot of personal development courses require you to know what you’re looking for before you buy them. For example, you want to get fitter, eat better, improve your memory, etc.
But I’ve found that a lot of us don’t actually know what we’re searching for. So, this is a good course for finding out what you want in the first place before coming up with an action plan to change your life.
- The $500 price tag might actually increase your commitment. As a life coach, I quickly realized that when we are given really valuable information for free, something slightly strange happens — we don’t value it as much because it’s free.
We know we’ve got nothing to lose, so we often don’t do the work or we do it half-assed. It’s human nature. Sometimes putting skin in the game is what it takes to show up for ourselves.
- There’s an unconditional 15-day guarantee. So you can try it out and get a refund if you realize it’s not your thing for whatever reason.
- You get lifetime access to Lifebook. I think this is important as it’s something you’ll want to do more than once.
Whenever you feel like you’ve gone through substantial changes, or just periodically, I think it’ll be good to redo Lifebook and keep it updated as life changes.
- You’re walked through the steps as you complete each section. You do feel like you are being guided through the process, rather than being expected to go away and do it yourself. You also get downloadable templates for each category to help write up your Lifebook.
Lifebook cons (things I didn’t like about it)
- ●It costs $500, which is a lot of money even though you do get that cashback as long as you complete the work. (See “How much does Lifebook cost” section for more info)
- There obviously is no “perfect life”. I’ve often wondered if anything too goal-oriented can put pressure on you to feel like you need to have everything sorted in life.
There are only so many hours in the day and sometimes life will become a bit unbalanced as our priorities shift. So I think taking this course you have to also remember it’s ok to be a normal (flawed) human being too, rather than striving to be superhuman.
- The 12 categories are not necessarily tailored to your specific life, and you may find some don’t apply to you as much as others.
For example, for me, the parenting section wasn’t so important as I’m not a parent and don’t intend on ever becoming one.
Having said that, the sections do feel like they cover the most important areas of what most of us would view as a meaningful life. I couldn’t think of anything that was particularly missing.
- Personally, I would have liked some deeper work around beliefs and more explanation around how they are created. Yes, we can choose our beliefs but I felt it was a bit glossed over how they’re also pretty ingrained for most of us.
If you have some seriously negative beliefs about yourself and the world, then it might take more effort to shift them than just writing up new ones.
Whilst it’s a great start to consciously rewrite and choose the beliefs we want to have, I can’t help but think that, for most of us. It’s not that easy.
Without the deeper work, I wonder if it can lead to whitewashing over how we really feel and trying to swap it with how we think we should. But honestly, I may just be nitpicking a bit.
My results: What Lifebook did for me
After taking Lifebook I definitely felt more grounded — I felt like I knew where I stood in the different areas of my life.
I’ve done goal-setting work before, but over the last few years, I had lost a lot of direction. So before doing Lifebook I had a lot of outdated visions for my life still floating around. Afterward, I had a far clearer idea of what I am looking for now.
I like to go with the flow in life. And even though being flexible is an important part of resilience and success, I can be guilty of drifting without a defined plan over where I am heading, or how I’ll get there. So Lifebook also helped me to break down bigger ideas into more actionable steps.
It hasn’t miraculously turned me into a millionaire or led me to instantly find the love of my life, but it has helped me to makeover my life and get my shit together.
What are some alternatives to Lifebook?
I’d say Lifebook is the most well-rounded goal-setting course available on Mindvalley. But it’s worth knowing that you can actually buy a yearly Mindvalley Membership for $499 — so the same price as Lifebook.
Lifebook isn’t included in the membership, because it’s a partner program. But a Mindvalley membership gives you access to dozens of other different personal development courses (worth thousands of dollars if you were to buy them individually) on topics ranging from body, mind, soul, career, entrepreneurship, relationships, and parenting.
So this could be a better fit for you, especially if you know what areas of your life you already want to work on.
It takes a slightly different approach to Lifebook in that it encourages you to get to know yourself, really reflect on what success means to you, and shatter illusions you might have about yourself and the world around you. It’s more expensive though, at $895, but in many ways, it takes you on a much deeper journey too.
Are there any free or cheaper alternatives to Lifebook?
Lifebook is based on a lot of very common goal-setting practices, just in an incredibly detailed and turbocharged way.
So, if you’re not ready to invest the money or are unsure of your commitment, there are some cheaper and even free alternatives you can try first.
If you’re looking for a free taster into this type of self-exploratory work, in my own coaching practice I’ve often used exercises like the “Wheel of life” to help clients begin to reflect on different areas of their life. The catch is that without any further guidance, as interesting as quick exercises like this might be, it’s unlikely to be life-changing.
Is Lifebook worth it?
If you’re driven to change, I do think you will see results from Lifebook. That’s why to me, the $500 is still worth it when I consider all the fleeting things I have wasted my money on over the years.
But the reason why it’s a total no-brainer for me is that this program is essentially FREE — as long as you show up for yourself and do the work required to qualify for the refund at the end.
All the reflection, even before taking any action, is very powerful. Once you pull back the curtain on your life, it can be hard to just ignore what you find. To get the very best results though, once you’ve written your Lifebook you actually need to execute it.