How to do a Life Audit
Or, how to do a life audit through self-reflection. I have always been a person who evaluates their life. Nothing seems to bring me greater joy than to have a plan to where I am going. The reason I have done so many life audits is that its hard for me to see my plans if I don’t write them down, its like out of sight out of mind.
Without a doubt, the way I fine-tuned my life audit style was by reading book after book on self-development. Self-development has been my passion since I was a little girl. I thought I was on a quest to learn about my life, to attain self-love, but I was on a road to teaching life fundamentals. In short, nothing like failing at something to teach you success. How satisfying to find my mission in my failures. Clearly, I wasn’t failing, I was getting things right. I hope you find peace in your life audit and that what you are is not a mistake but a work in progress.
What it is?
A life Audit is where you stop and re-evaluate your life by accessing your current home, work, and future goals. It’s a thoughtful self-reflection that can reveal where you are currently in life versus where you want to be.
Why do one
For the most part, I am a big proponent of life Audits, but only after you have begun a meditation regime (I went into more detail in the Conclusion). You see, Life Audits precisely reveal what you are currently doing and what steps you need to take next in your life. Basically, they allow you to fine tune your life goals and activities through self-development.
This Life Audit process begins with your WHY. Your WHY will bring lucidity into what has gone wrong in life that has brought you to need a life audit. It also can help eliminate unnecessary activities that you have done on autopilot but don’t necessarily like. This way you can decide what is a priority and what needs to go.
Step One To Begin
First, begin by setting aside an afternoon or morning, preferably during a time when you won’t be interrupted. Then, gather any of the supplies listed below for the life audit that suits you best.
- Post its
- Plain paper
- Pre-made worksheet (Here)
- Color crayons
- Or markers are also okay.
Step Two Categorizing
Second, familiarize yourself with the life patterns. You have main categories (see below) and under these categories, you have sub-categories representing those areas of your life that require your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly upkeep. This is what your life looks like.
For example, if you do a lot of nutritional care and exercise then your life activities will be a lot more than let’s say TV watching. And, if you work a lot, then you might see a lot of work activities and very little health or fun activities. As a result, you will find if your life is bringing you joy or slowly killing you.
Step Three The processes
Third, there are many ways of doing a life audit but for your benefit, I have compiled a list of a few more well-known Styles.
- Sticky Note Method -The Ximena Vengoechea method (http://www.ximenavengoechea.com/), where you take 100 post-its and write a single wish on everyone. This method starts with the wish section and sees if your wishes are matching your current life and if not, to add more of those things in.
- Mind Mapping Method– A picture like brainstorming with a central (Life Audit) idea and branches representing themes (Health, Finance etc). See the example below. I want you to write both things you are doing and things you want to do (use one color for things you are already doing and another for things you wish to do, that way you can see if you have balance or need to add more of your life wants.)
- Pros and Cons List Method- List of main life categories and what you are doing in them and whether it’s positive or negatively impacting your life if you like doing it or not. See if there is a balance or an imbalance.
- Life Audit Worksheet Method– A worksheet specifically designed to guide you through the Life Audit process. Click HERE for Consequence of Being’s PDF version. This method is like the list method but in a handy worksheet. Write as many things as you wish, again use one color pen for what you are currently doing and another color for the wish to do.
Step Four Edit Your Life
Fourth, choose the method that suits your style best and begin to audit your life. Be thorough with whatever method you have chosen. Write everything you are doing and want to do. Don’t forget to add habits that help your self-development through self-love. Once you finish, its time to select those things you want to keep and cross out the things you don’t want to continue.
From this point on it’s up to you to decide how you want to prioritize your life so that those areas that you wish to grow can get more attention. Check yourself and your genuine dreams, wishes, and goals. Don’t hold back! Make as many categories and subcategories as you want. You need a broad view of your life and the more you write and reveal, the clearer your Life Audit will be.
Here are a group of questions to ask yourself to help in your decision-making.
- Have I been truthful about my choices? Are these things or activities that I want, no one has put these thoughts in my head?
- Is my WHY my own?
- Do I believe I can do these things? If not what is stopping me?
- Do I enjoy these activities?
- Is my health one of my priorities? Why or why not?
- What do I need to carry out to make these things happen?
- Are these activities a priority in my life? (what has caused them to not be a priority?
- Any other self-development item I can add that will help me grow?
Step Five Figuring out What is a priority
Fifth, unlike many life coaches, I don’t recommend putting a spouse, family, or friends as a priority. The reason for that is simple if you priorities them first, you put you second (your health, career, goals). When you priorities someone else’s needs over yours you immediately hold those individuals responsible for your happiness and successes.
In short, don’t put them into such a predicament, instead, put yourself first and work on you only (the only exception is your children’s needs, but their happiness is also their own).
Step Six Putting Your life into a timeline
Fourth, for you to move forward, you have to take steps forward. You cannot expect things to change if you don’t do the right things that make that change happen.
So now is the time to make those things happen. I want you to begin to prioritize the categories into
The NOWs should go into a list you keep readily available. If for example, it’s an item from the FUN category, add it to the weekend calendar (get your life going).
Then SOMEDAYs, usually need a few prior steps but go ahead and pick one, to begin with, and begin the first step.
For the EVERYDAYs section, write things like exercise, meditation, healthy eating, those things that you can’t skip because they improve your life. Work on this category every day; use mindfulness to create healthy habits.
Step Seven Sharing?
Seventh, although you might want to share your wishes/goals with others, I suggest you don’t. Your life is very personal and unless you surround yourself with cheerleaders, naysayers can destroy your motivation, and you don’t need that.
Instead, look for people who share one of your specific goals and share it with them. Get ideas from these people and support to help your goals. In fact, when anyone comments on the new you, say thank you and continue with your life (you can mention you did a life audit, but let them show interest first).
The most important for last
Finally, the concept of a life audit is a marvelous thing but let me tell you my reservations.
You see, I believe happiness needs to exist without a connection to anything. You should be happy living penniless by the ocean as you would be living in a mansion. You should be happy jumping off a plane, as you are happy sitting still. Happiness is something that cannot be audited it has to be felt first.
The best way to begin to fill happy is by stopping your brain from questioning the life you are already living. To do this you need to practice meditation or some form of brain quieting practice. Only after you have become happy just being, can you then realize what you truly need to audit?
Disclaimer: If you are in a relationship where you feel uncomfortable, held down, or manipulated you will find that meditation gives you clarity to let go. And if you do learn that you need to let go and don’t know how to, get help from a professional or others who have gone through that.
Begin your life audit if you are ready. Give it your all. Begin your change.
To My Readers:
- What did you find about yourself?
- . Do you like the direction you are going?
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