How (and when) to do a life audit

There are times when you’re just doing so many things that you’re constantly busy and overwhelmed. On top of that, you feel that what you’re doing is not really something that matters. You’ve been drifting away for too long and you have no idea if you’re going into the right direction. All of this calls for a life audit, or taking a moment to stop what you’re doing and think about it all. The purpose is to give you clarity, and a clear direction. In this article we’ll show you how you can do this kind of life audit.

Environment & atmosphere

It goes without saying that for such a moment you need the time and the space to be quiet and reflective. So take at least an hour, 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

In order to feel you’re doing meaningful work, you basically need to understand how you’re contributing to a bigger 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 believes, 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 that you’re willingly and happily jumping out of bed in the morning 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. Can be something for the next months, then find another goal and so on. 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 few months from now on.

Life audit

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 of this exercise is to see how happy you are with the things you’re currently doing, how you’re doing them and how you can actually change them in order 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.

Nutrition

How important is eating healthy for you? How successful are you in eating the right foods and drinking the amount of water you need? Count how many meals do 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 is family and friends to you? On a scale from 1 to 5, how connected are you with them? How supportive you feel they are towards yourself and the other way around? Do these relationships give you a sense of satisfaction or rather disappointment?

If you are to think at your top five relationships, how free do you feel to speak to them about your desires and goals? Or troubles and fears?

How is the relationship with family and friends connected to your life goals?

Work

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 are able to contribute? Does time fly when at work?

Do you enjoy working with your colleagues? Is 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?

Living space

How important is for you to have an inspiring living space? If you think about the space you live in now, 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?

Lifestyle in general

Exercise: do you have an exercise routine? How easy or hard is it to follow an daily/weekly exercise routine?

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 that yourself? Do you have a clear moral code, values and believes?

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 and worry just too much?

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 everyday to work towards them?

And now Ask Yourself:

  • How does my life, as it is right now, helping 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? Make a plan.
  • What resources do I allocate in the wrong places?
  • If I wouldn’t already committed to [insert activity] would I still want to do it?

One thing that helps me change and grow is the mentality of “one small step at a time”. Meaning, I’m each day doing something towards my goals, be it smaller or bigger. And I eventually get to where I want to get. Most of the things in this life don’t just happen, they happen through building them, one by one, everyday. A life audit has this purpose exactly. To open your eyes about the current state of your life, of the steps you’re taking towards the things that matter to you, and also the steps that don’t serve you. Up to you now to change what steps you’ll allocate time to from now on.