Businesses perform audits of goods and services, management structures, staff performances, and anything else relevant to the particular company. Often this practice will result in some internal adjustments and restructures.
On a personal level, we can also benefit from stopping and reflecting on how we are traveling. We can do this by performing our own life audit.
Following great upheavals, we might be forced by circumstance to take stock and assess how to deal with it. From what needs to be done to what resources and options are available. But, there is much to be gained by doing this as a regular practice.
Instead of being carried along by life’s currents, taking stock allows you to make deliberate choices about how you conduct yourself and your life. It helps you refocus goals, adjust or make new plans, shift your emphasis, correct your course – if needed – and direct your attention accordingly.
Assess what is working in your life and what is not.
Consider your relationships: are they nurturing, supportive and enhancing your life? Or, are they dragging you down, interfering with progress, and making your life more difficult? Do you need to distance yourself, or stand your ground? What about the family dynamic? Are you held back by the past, or encouraged to create your own future?
Evaluate your work situation. Is it satisfactory or a dead end? Are you in the right place? What keeps you there? What steps could you take to improve it? Would an upgrade to your skill set expand your options?
What is your quality of life? How are you managing your spare time, your finances, physical and mental health? What can you do to increase satisfaction, fun, productivity?
Contemplate the consequences of your actions. Anything you do – or don’t do – has an effect somewhere. Is your approach useful and beneficial? Should you keep going as you are or make some form of course correction? If what you are doing is not working, take matters into your own hands.
Choose your course of action.
You can, of course, do things as you have always done them and put up with irritations, conflicts or dysfunctional situations although it negates your ability to steer your own life course. You might feel locked into circumstances you cannot get out of. But if you take a really close look and evaluate what is going on, you will find something you can do to improve the situation.
Your life audit may give you clarity on what you do not want anymore. But you also have to determine what it is you want. Other people might try and tell you the direction to take. Don’t be distracted or diverted but find what is right for you and makes you feel good about yourself.
Assess what is really important to you. Determine the direction for your life, what you want to express or achieve and look for ways of doing that. Don’t be deterred by self-doubt and fear. It takes courage to go beyond your comfort zone, but that is how you develop the strength to walk your own path.
Consider some of the following questions:
- What is currently going on in my life?
- How do I want to go from here?
- What do I need for moving forward differently?
- What changes can I make?
- What do I need to leave behind?
- What can I introduce into my life that will give me fulfillment, joy, and a sense of direction?
Make reviews a regular part of your life.
Personal empowerment includes living life with intention and self-responsibility. This is only possible if you know where you are at – good, bad or indifferent. Accepting your reality as it is at any given time – without being side-tracked by negative emotions or self-talk – will open the door to taking the initiative for subsequent actions.
Your audit could cover the whole of your life or simply just some current aspects. Try and be as honest and realistic as possible about yourself and your circumstances. Make sure that your feelings, hurts, disappointments or general discontent don’t interfere with viewing your life rationally. Even if you cannot do much about your external circumstances, you still have free will within them. Changing your attitude, approach, or expectations may be sufficient if positive change is desired.
Don’t wait for calamity to trigger your audit but tune into yourself from time to time for reviewing, contemplating, and making sure you live your best life.
How could a life audit be of benefit to you? If you have reviewed your situation, how did it work for you? What did you discover and learn? What were your difficulties? How did it affect your life?
(Originally posted on ThriveGlobal 6 December 2017)