Have you done a life audit lately?
If you’ve read any books on personal development you will be very familiar with the concept of assessing your life, checking in with your core values, your goals and intentions, and then checking where you are really at on a day to day basis.
I’m sure you know too about the concept of the wheel of life, if you draw a wheel and divide up the spokes into categories – relationships, work, financial, health, physical activity, family etc. then you can honestly say where you are on that spoke. What usually happens is that we feel we’re doing well in a few areas and not so well in others – hence why our ‘wheel’ – our life, doesn’t always roll along as smoothly as we would like.
It’s a really good indicator to look at the big picture and ask how aligned are you. On my workshops I ask people to really look at and assess their core values, it’s the classic exercise where they start by choosing twenty words from a long list that resonate with them, then they need to narrow down to ten and then five and finally the top three. At first it seems impossible because we want to be everything but eventually it’s possible usually to focus on the three values that feel most intrinsic to who we are. From there, we can clearly see if we are putting our efforts in the right place!
Recently I’ve been reading The Compound Effect, read my blog post HERE. The author Darren Hardy spends a good chunk of the book talking about life assessment, but rather than suggest we mark ourselves between one and ten in each category, i.e. relationships and family, physical, business, financial, spiritual, he goes one step further and suggests we have subsections for each category. So for example, under the heading Spiritual, you rate between one and five on a series of ‘sub- questions’ such as:
‘I consider myself a spiritual person’
‘I take at least twenty minutes a day to meditate and reflect on my life’
‘I study my spiritual beliefs daily’…and several more
Rating these questions brought on one of those light bulbs for me because I am so often caught up in business and minutia, I don’t think I’d been honest with myself until I’d looked at it and saw just how many things that I say are hugely important to me, are going by the wayside in the name of being too busy.
If I merely had to rate the ‘spirituality’ corner of my wheel I would have rated it about an eight, yet when I really answered those very pertinent questions, I came down to a measly four.
As I went through each of the questions in the categories I had to be really honest with myself, I DO consider myself ‘spiritual’ but recently I have barely had time to go to the loo let alone carve out regular meditation time, and when I scored so low it was a bit of a wake-up call, as it’s high on my priorities.
In the ‘physical’ section of the wheel it was even more of a revelation, as someone who walks a lot, does regular yoga, Pilates, a fit-steps dance class (if you haven’t tried it DO!!), Nia dance whenever I can and the odd workout with weights when I remember, I usually score myself fairly high but in his life assessment breakdown questions, Darren throws in some curveballs…
Score yourself between one and five…
I do strength training at least 3x a week…(oops)
I do cardiovascular training at least 3x a week (nope)
I do stretching and yoga type exercises at least 3x a week (almost…)
And there was more…now of course all of his suggestions aren’t appropriate for everyone, but it is interesting how when you get down to the detail maybe there’s room for improvement, not in order to meet anyone else’s standards, only your own.
I’m not saying any of this to further beat myself up for what I’m not achieving – I’m self-made ‘imperfectly natural’ – remember – but it did make me question how I spend my time and focus.