Does it happen to you that, by nature or by circumstances, you start more and more “projects” on top of everything that’s already on your plate? And suddenly it all becomes so busy you are exhausted even during weekends? Or, that the things you’re doing seem not to make sense anymore and you’ve lost the reason you’re doing them? That’s when it’ll be good to take some time off and do a life audit. In this article, we’ll explore how to do a life audit and what results to expect.
There are times when you’re just doing so many things that you’re always busy and overwhelmed. On top of that, you feel that what you’re doing is not really something that matters to you, or you’ve forgotten the reason for it. You’ve been drifting away for too long, and you have no idea if you’re going in the right direction anymore. All of this calls for a life audit or taking a moment to stop and think about it all. The purpose is to give you clarity and a clear direction.
Environment & atmosphere
It goes without saying that you need the time and the space to be quiet and reflective for such a moment. So, take at least an hour if not more – maybe you don’t want to put time pressure on this, make sure you choose a place where you feel comfortable and turn off all possible distractions. Play some relaxing music and turn on some scented sticks if you wish, then take a pen and paper or your journal if you have one. You can follow the guide below for this.
Life purpose. Mission. Or plain goals
To feel you’re doing meaningful work, you basically need to understand how you’re contributing to a more significant thing, be it an outside one and/or a deeply personal one. Having a mission statement or a bigger goal means you are clear on your definition of success. This helps you emphasize your values and beliefs while putting your talents to work in a bigger-than-you purpose.
While you can search for many examples of mission statements to be inspired, the way to think about it is to ask yourself if this gets you so excited every morning. That way, you’re willingly and happily jumping out of bed to start accomplishing it.
It doesn’t have to be what you’d call a “life purpose,” it can be just that thing that makes you happy, that project you want to get done. It can be one thing for a few months, then another goal for the next. Don’t put any pressure into finding a life purpose. Just look inside yourself and define what gets you so excited that you really want to focus on that as much as possible, at least for a while from now on.
Once you’re happy with your mission statement for the upcoming months, at least, let’s reflect on the areas of our life. The purpose would be to see how happy you are with the things you’re currently doing, how you’re doing them, and how you can change them to serve your life goals. Try to reflect a bit on each of the following areas. You have some questions to help you think about them. And of course, write down anything you feel like writing down.
How important is eating healthy for you? How successful are you in eating the right foods, at fixed hours, and drinking enough water? Count how many meals you skip during a day?
Are you conscious about the connection between what you eat and the energy and emotional state you’re in?
Family and friends
How important are family and friends to you? On a scale from 1 to 5, how connected are you with them? How supportive are they towards your ambitions and the other way around? Do these relationships give you a sense of satisfaction or disappointment?
If you are to think about your top five relationships, how at ease do you feel about sharing your desires and goals with them? Or troubles and fears?
How is the relationship between family and friends connected to your life goals?
When you wake up in the morning, how eager are you to get to work? How challenging is your job? How much do you feel you can contribute? Does time fly when at work?
Do you enjoy working with your colleagues? Are the culture and the environment a good fit for you?
Hobbies and interests
Do you enjoy the way you’re spending your free time? Are you engaged in any hobbies that interest you beyond everything else? How much time do you spend doing these things? Are you happy with that?
When was the last time you did something new? Or something you really wanted to do, but it’s been on your list for just too long?
How important is it for you to have an inspiring living space? If you are to think about the house you live in, how inspiring it is for you? How clean and decluttered?
How’s your neighborhood? Friendly, walkable, clean, inspiring?
Do you disconnect when at home? Stay away from screens, have a bedroom with no TV?
Physical: do you have an exercise routine? How easy or hard is it for you to follow a daily/weekly exercise routine? Think as well about your sex life – is it satisfactory?
Spiritual: do you allocate time to think about the world and yourself, at least from time to time? Do you feel connected to something bigger than yourself? Do you have a clear moral code, values, and beliefs?
Attitude: how optimistic do you think you are? How much control do you have upon your temper? Do you laugh and have a good time often? Or are you rather anxious, unhappy with the flow of your thoughts, overthink, and worry too often?
Finances: do you feel financially secure, have money aside, and feel well organized when it comes to money?
Dreams: What are your dreams? And what are you doing every day to work towards them?
And now Ask Yourself:
How does my life, as it is now, help me achieve my mission statement or life goal? Do I enjoy it all?
What are the things I’d like to give up? What can I give up or change right now?
What resources do I allocate in the wrong places?
If I hadn’t already committed to [insert activity], would I still want to do it?
One thing that can help you change, and grow, is using the “one small step at a time” way of thinking. Meaning, doing something small towards your goal every day. And eventually, get to where you want to get. Most of the things in this life don’t just happen, they happen because someone is pushing them and pushing towards them every day.
A life audit’s purpose is precisely this. To open your eyes about your life’s current state, making you realize if that makes you happy or why it doesn’t make you happy. And while reflecting on this, a life audit will make you decide on the steps you need to be taking towards the things that matter to you, and the steps that don’t serve you and need to be cut out. As a result, you’ll have a map of the things you will change and a plan on how you’ll allocate time to from now on.