Conducting a Life Audit
Life audit (n, origin unknown): An exercise in self-reflection that helps you clear the cobwebs of noisy, external goals and current distractions, and revisit or uncover the real themes & core values that drive & inspire you. Also known as: spring-cleaning for the soul.
Here’s one approach to doing a life audit in order to both discern more keenly what’s important and figure out how to allocate resources better to make those things happen.
The first step is simple: take 100 post-its and write a single wish on everyone. These can be any kind of wish or goal you’d like: no wish is too big or too small. Brainstorm until you reach 100 or run out of wishes.
It turns out that most people will stop at 30-40 post-its: they run out of things they’d like to do and are relieved to find that’s the case. The smaller the number of goals, the more within reach, or so I’m told the thinking goes.
Step 1: Take a few hours and 100 sticky notes. Write a wish—something you’d like to do or have happened in your life—on each one. Arrange them on a flat surface.
Step 2: See what patterns evolve. Rearrange the notes by themes or categories, such as family, physical health, adventure, profession, giving back and skills. Those that contain the most notes indicate the realm of your most powerful wishes.
Step 3: Evaluate your time. Take stock of a typical day, week and month to analyze how you are spending it.
Step 4: Prioritize. Some wishes need to be fulfilled every day or soon, while long-term wishes aim for “someday”.
Step 5: Make a plan. Just as with a smart financial strategy, which typically involves investing money over time, you can now allocate your time to make your wish list happen.
by Ximena Vengoechea
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