There’s absolutely no way to plan for your future and start working towards your goals if you have no idea where you’re standing, right?
I even dare to say there’s no way to have goals if you don’t fully comprehend your current life situation.
By “Current life situation,” I mean:
- how much you like your life,
- how much you don’t,
- how bad you want to change it,
- or how bad you want to live like this forever.
This post is about How to do a life audit, a.k.a; how to get your life together and finally come up with a plan to go from Present Me to Future Me.
So, first things first:
What is a life audit?
This is a concept I learned from this Medium post.
A life audit is a process in which you analyze your current life and then your desires and aspirations.
For me, and that’s how I’m going to explain it in this post, it’s useful for a life audit to include goal-setting as well.
So, with this tutorial, you’re going to learn how to analyze your life and set goals effectively, which will help you create your dream life.
Why is it important to do a life audit?
It’s essential to do a life audit at least once a year because it helps you:
- understand how you’re feeling,
- what you want
- and what you need to do to get where you want to be.
Plus, it includes some smart goal-setting that will help you set and reach your biggest goals.
This process helps you understand each area of your life: what you like, what you don’t, and what you want out of each.
At the end of it, you’ll be able to reach your goals faster and more effectively.
Who can benefit from a life audit?
Everybody can benefit from it at every stage of life, but I’d say it’s the most beneficial to people who feel stuck in life or lost.
A life audit is all about self-discovery because it helps you understand what you want and what got you where you are right now.
It helps you know yourself better, and that’s one of the most powerful tools to get out of a rut in life.
Plus, doing a life audit helps you become more self-aware; which is all about being aware of what’s going on with your thoughts and feelings:
- how you really feel,
- how unsatisfied you are with all the areas that make up your life,
- what you want to change about yourself,
- and more.
And, since we’re not static and we’re constantly changing, a life audit is beneficial at any stage, every month of the year.
How to Do a Simple but Effective Life Audit
A life audit is by no means a technical process; you don’t need to follow these steps to the letter.
Make this process your own. Change things up if you want.
What I’m about to explain here is what I did to assess my current life.
But feel free to add or modify whatever steps you’d like.
As long as the process does for you what it’s supposed to, you’ll be fine.
During the process, you’ll have to answer some questions. My advice here is to be 100% honest.
Instead of thinking about your responses to these questions, take a journal and a pen and start writing down everything you think and feel.
Write the first thing that pops into your head instead of trying to write what’s “right” or what “sounds better.”
1. Evaluate your current life
Start by evaluating how you feel about your life as it is now.
From 1-10, how satisfied are you with your average day? Be honest.
To help spark ideas, you can answer typical life audit questions like:
- How do I feel about my closest relationships?
- Does what I do for a living make me happy?
- Am I taking care of myself?
- Do I feel helpful and fulfilled daily?
- Am I setting the right priorities?
- Have I reached important goals lately?
- Am I working steadily to achieve my biggest goals?
You can also set a timer for 10 minutes and write down how you feel in general.
Get raw and honest. Don’t hide anything. Take it all out.
This is your life, and if you want this to work, you need to be honest about everything.
A great way to spark ideas here is by filling out the Self-Discovery Bundle, a set of different journaling workbooks that’ll help you know yourself better.
2. Write down your wishes, desires, and goals
Now write down your deepest desires and wishes on individual little pieces of paper.
- material things you want to own,
- places you want to go to,
- relationships you wish to have in your life,
- health goals,
- and any wish you’ve had, for any amount of time.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve dreamed about the thing for years or if you just thought about it.
As long as it’s a wish that comes from the bottom of your heart, write it down.
Ideally, you’ll want to write at least 100 wishes and goals.
This is because once you’ve reached 20 or 40, it’s when you’ll really start diving deep.
You’ll start discovering things you hadn’t acknowledged about yourself before and uncovering past dreams you hadn’t thought about in a long time.
So, aim for 100 wishes, goals, aspirations, and dreams.
3. Group your wishes by category
Once you’ve written your 100 wishes, start grouping them into different categories.
Some life audit categories you can use to organize your goals are:
- mental health
- physical health
- material wants
- personal growth
- love relationships
- family relationships
- fun and free time
4. Group your wishes by time frame
Decide which wishes, dreams, or goals need to be worked on right now and which can wait.
Follow your gut AND your logic on this one.
To make this process easier, you can use time frames like:
- Three months
- Six months
- One year
- Three years
- Five years
Which of your goals do you want to achieve (and are achievable) in three and six months?
The “and are achievable” part is particularly essential because it’s important to stay realistic here.
If you fail to set priorities realistically, you’ll end up frustrated and disappointed in yourself.
So, organize your goals chronologically, considering the resources you already have and the obstacles you still need to overcome.
5. Make a to-do list to get there
Once you’ve decided which ones are the most urgent to you, pick the three top ones and brainstorm the steps you’ll need to take to get there.
Remember to take into considerations resources you have on hand that can help you reach that goal. By resources, I mean:
Brainstorm all the steps you need to follow to reach that goal.
Research how to achieve the goal if you have no idea how to do it.
Let’s say, for example, you want to plan a small wedding in three months. Sounds stressful, but why not?
If you’ve never planned a wedding before, this can all sound very overwhelming and confusing.
However, don’t forget you have Google 24/7, and it’s free to use.
Go there and google “how to plan a wedding in three months” and start soaking up ideas.
Write down everything, no matter in which order.
Once you’re satisfied with all the steps, start organizing them.
Which task can you tackle today or tomorrow?
Which ones need to wait a week or two?
Setting deadlines for each task can give you a sense of accountability, so give that a try as well.
6. Make a list of your resources
Now that you’ve defined all the steps, you’ll start to understand where you need help.
Like I mentioned in the previous steps, resources means:
Let’s see what each resource means.
a. Knowledge means: what do you know already about wedding planning that can help speed up the process?
If you know nothing about it, reaching the goal will be more difficult.
Knowing at least a little about how to plan a wedding can fast-track your success.
b. Money means not only the money you already have saved up but also possible income streams you can create or grow to help you plan the wedding.
c. time means all the time you have available right now to devote to this goal.
But I also want you to think about where you can save time or how you can make the rest of your life easier so you have more time to complete the tasks that’ll get you to your goal.
d. People means all the people who
- can give you advice,
- run errands for you,
- answer your questions,
- help you make decisions,
- pitch ideas,
- and even cheer you on to make this goal more attainable.
Whatever help you can get, take it.
If you’re serious about reaching this goal in the timeframe you set, go all-in with your resources.
7. Analyze what’s stopping you and how to overcome the obstacles
Now it’s time to grab that journal again:
- What’s stopping you right now?
- If you wanted to do this before, what stopped you then?
Understanding your mental and other obstacles can help you prepare.
Again, be honest about this and don’t underestimate any reason.
Keep in mind that fear is (almost) always a factor.
If you set this goal before but never started working towards it, were you scared of something?
Maybe you were scared of failure, of what people would say, or of losing your efforts.
8. Organize and place your wishes somewhere you can see them
This is not a set-and-forget type of thing.
You’ll need to place these wishes of yours somewhere you can see them constantly, if not every day.
One of the reasons some people never make their wishes come true is because they forget about them.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, so you may forget about that thing you said you wanted to do or accomplish.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Keep your wishes somewhere you can see them constantly. You’ll get somewhere eventually.
9. Take action
This is a no-brainer.
Writing down wishes won’t make them happen magically. You need to put in the work.
If you’ve followed all the previous steps but know you always have trouble following through, then check out these posts:
More Life Audit Questions You Can Ask Yourself During the Process
- What do I want more of?
- What do I want less of?
- How do I feel about my relationship with my mom/dad/siblings/spouse?
- How do I feel about the friendships I’ve created throughout my life?
- What do I think/How do I feel about the place (home, neighborhood, city, or country) where I live?
- Am I happy with the amount of money I make every month?
- Do I feel comfortable in my own body?
- What would I change about my body or my health?
- Do I care enough about my mental health?
- What’s something I’ve always wanted to get for myself?
- Which goals have I accomplished so far that make me feel proud?
- How do I want to feel in my daily life?
- How can I create more situations that make me feel the way I want to feel?
- What’s something I’ve always wanted to try?
- Is there a place I’ve always wanted to go to?
- How do I want to make this world a better place?
Living without goals to work for is, in my opinion, a pretty dull way to live.
For me, there’s no more incredible feeling than that of satisfaction and pride because you’ve worked smart for something and finally got it.
What’s great about life is that perfection doesn’t exist, so there’s always room for improvement.
That doesn’t mean you have to live feeling unsatisfied because there’s more to life than what you currently have.
It’s not about that at all.
Be grateful for what you have now, but if there’s something about you you’d like to change that you can actually change, why not do it?
Doing a life audit at least once a year will help you regroup and create the life you dream of.
Give it a try!