At this time of year people reflect upon their dreams and goals for 2019. A good place to start is this time last year, January 2018. What was important to you, what were your dreams and goals?
Taking the time to reflect on 2018 gives you the opportunity to be more intentional in the year ahead. This is not about making resolutions (which usually don’t last anyway), but about deciding how you want to participatein your life and start living it out now to make 2019 a year of achievement.
Most people never give themselves the opportunity to step back and see where they are in life. Like an artist stepping back from his easel, it’s a fundamental part of assessing how far you’ve come, and where you want to go.
If you’ve never heard of a ‘life audit’ then there’s a good chance you’ll really benefit from one. Put simply, it’s an exercise in self-reflection, allowing us to really look at every single area of our lives, taking stock of things like our goals and distractions, and assessing our overall fulfilment.
Now most of us have a pretty good idea of our goals and downfalls anyway, and that self-awareness is certainly necessary for personal growth. What makes a life audit really beneficial however, is that it lets us look at the bigger picture in a much more objective way. This in turn allows us to formulate plans for achieving our goals, improve areas of our lives that may have been neglected, and chase the things that make us feel fulfilled. It’s essentially a status report for your soul – and there’s plenty of ways in which you can do it. Here’s one.
The first step is to reflect on your goals and dreams for 2018. Did you achieve them? For the things you achieved you can give yourself a pat on the back. The things that didn’t happen, where were you stopped? Did you even get started? Write a list of unfulfilled goals, next to them write down what happened. Then lastly, what have you learned and what could you have done differently?
2) The Wheel of Life
Simple visual tools are fantastic for this sort of thing, because they keep your audit from become overwhelmingly complicated. ‘The Wheel of Life’ is arguably the most effective way to gauge the balance in your life and your fulfilment in each key area. It covers all the important things, including self-image, work, friends, romance, and personal growth.
Each colour represents a different area of life, while the concentric circles mark satisfaction levels, from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest. When you’ve got a few moments print out a copy, and colour in the levels that apply to you. The areas are only suggested ones. You can change them to be more relevant to you. For example, if you wish to focus on your business you can change them to the areas of business important to you. Keep it honest. It only takes a short time to do and this exercise can really highlight imbalances that may not have otherwise occurred to you. These are the difficult areas to focus on when you are setting your goals for 2019.