life audit

HIGHLIGHTS: How to Avoid Living by Default and Design Your Ideal Life Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Last week we explored the process of conducting a life audit and its resultant benefits. This week we explore the areas of work, finances and time and productivity.


1) Work


When I did my first life audit at twenty nine, I was an out of work housewife who was entering into a divorce. Nearing thirty I was increasingly career driven and even although I knew I needed a job, in truth I wanted to build a career. Like anyone conducting a life audit, I had to realise the incongruity between where I was and where I wanted to be. I therefore scored my work life at a zero out of ten.


I set about brainstorming possible career paths and came up with several options. I would later choose the most engaging option from my list, and begin moulding my career aspirations into a tangible, step by step goal.


HIGHLIGHTS: How to Avoid Living by Default and Design Your Ideal Life Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


For many years I lived by default. I tended to neither plan ahead nor set goals. I was directed by the winds of change and whichever direction the wind blew was where I ended up, completely by chance. When I was twenty nine that all changed. Anxious about turning thirty, I decided to face my fear of failure and be brutally honest about how far away I was from realising my dreams.


Although it was a difficult process, this wasn’t by any means a morbid endeavour – quite the contrary – it was inspired by my desire to fulfil my dreams. I knew that in order to achieve what I wanted I first needed to be honest about where I was, so I could navigate myself to where I wanted to be. I then brainstormed what I might want to accomplish, acquiring as many different ideas as possible.


I soon called how I took stock of my achievements and imagined my possible future accomplishments, a life audit. This process has served me so well that I now conduct one at the beginning of every New Year, to help me evaluate where I am, and consciously think about what I might want to unfold in the year ahead.


How to Avoid Living by Default and Design Your Ideal Life Part Four

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Last week we looked at the areas of body and health, hobbies and interests and relaxation in our life audit. This week we explore the areas of family and friends and romance.


7) Family and Friends


Relationships are critical to our psychological and even physiological health. At the time of conducting my first life audit I hardly ever saw my friends and family. It was clear this area of my life needed a great deal of work. I scored a four out of ten.


Since becoming aware of how seldom I saw friends and family, I prioritized seeing them on a regular basis and the relationships in my life are now much stronger as a result.


How to inspire motivation by building a reward system into your life audit

Over the years I’ve come up with ways to reward myself for doing life audits. I find it helps me stay motivated and inspired to continue evaluating my life in this way every New Year. So, just to give you a boost and a surge of inspiration, I have listed my favorite ways to reward myself so you too can get the New Year off to a great start too.


Treats to have after scoring yourself for each of the eight life sections:


  • Have a coffee or hot chocolate
  • Have a small sweet
  • Listen to your favorite song on full blast
  • Call a friend for a quick chat and invite them out once your life audit is completed to celebrate


How to feel the fear and do it anyway when it comes to life audits

One of my favorite books is Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway . It taught me that when we push outside of our comfort zone we will inevitably experience fear which, rather than being a bad sign, is actually positive as it indicates we are growing and advancing. The trick is to feel the fear and do it anyway! When I first sat down to do a life audit it was a very scary experience. For the first time I was confronting the reality of my life rather than doing anything I could to deny what a state it was in. In order for my life audit to be effective I had to brutally honest, I had to face what I feared the most – I had to accept that my life in need of a renovation.


But then something amazing happened, I started thinking about what I wanted my life to look like and I began to see the limitless possibilities in front of me. If, like me, you are hesitant to do a life audit take heart – the aim is not to dwell in self-pity but to envisage your life afresh, for without knowing where you are, you can’t move forward to where you want to be.


Renewed Hope and Fresh Beginnings

I love the New Year; it makes me feel like anything is possible, like I’ve been given a second chance to fulfil my hopes and dreams. Over the years I’ve built up a kind of tradition to set myself up for the year ahead. I sit down with excitement and anticipation as I write out my life audit, upcoming goals and 40 before 40 bucket list review.


This year I thought I would give you an inside look into the process behind doing a life audit and why doing one is essential if you want to kick start the new year with intention and purpose. Think of this month’s hot topic as a precursor to my article on goals titled ‘How to turn your dreams into reality’. Back in 2009 honestly assessing where I was in life was the turning point that propelled me forward to create tangible goals, many of which I have since achieved.


Along with the series posts on Mondays they’ll be weekly posts with questionnaires to guide you through the process of conducting your very own life audit for each area of your life.


The eight key areas which we will be exploring in this month’s hot topic titled ‘How to Avoid Living by Default and Design Your Ideal Life’ are below:


  • Work
  • Finances
  • Time and Productivity
  • Body and Health
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Relaxation
  • Family and Friends
  • Romance


The first instalment of this series is released on Monday the 4th January.


Happy New Year everyone, may this year be your best year yet!


x X x Jenny x X x

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