If you’re like me, there are times when your plate feels a bit too full. There are times when you’re overscheduled and overwhelmed, but you don’t believe you’ve accomplishing much. I decided I needed to conduct a Life Audit. And you can too! Here’s how to do a Life Audit and why it’s helpful.
We all have days when we work too hard on the wrong things, but we have to make sure that those days don’t turn into weeks, months, or even years. A Life Audit will leave you with the clarity you need to prioritize.
Quality advice will not be helpful if you don’t know your personal mission. What is your why? What is your vision? If you’re not clear on your personal mission, it will be hard for you to conduct your Life Audit. Define your personal mission and write down your goals on paper.
A personal mission statement will help you articulate your values and beliefs, determine your personal definition of success, and share your talent with the world.
What’s currently on your plate? Make a master list of everything in your life that’s taking up time. Consider your full-time job, side hustle, relationships, community involvement, social media, and whatever else you spend time on.
After you’ve completed this task, compare this list to your mission statement and identify points of congruence between the two. Analyze the incongruence because you may be able to eliminate some of the time you spend on these activities.
How is this helping me achieve my mission?
Do I enjoy it?
What am I gaining by having this on my plate? Could I achieve the same benefits another way?
What would I lose by taking this off my plate? Do those things play a large role in achieving my mission?
Is this using up other resources that could be useful in helping me accomplish my why? (For example, do you need extra money to fund the beginning stages of a side hustle that helps you accomplish your mission? Are you finding it hard to find time to sit down and write your book because you’re giving three hours of your week to something you feel “meh” about? It could be good to push this stuff off your plate now in order to fulfill your larger mission.)
If I weren’t already involved with this, would I sign up for it now? (If the answer is no, then that’s an easy thing to cross off your list.)
Is this helping me to fulfill the basic needs of life? (For instance, my workouts are pretty expensive, but my health is critically important. I can research less expensive options, but I shouldn’t give up fitness altogether.)
As you answer the questions, always keep your mission statement in mind.
Use the Stoplight Method if You Need Guidance:
RED: STOP! These are things that you should say no to at this time.
YELLOW: Slow Down! – You can still be involved, but maybe tone it back a bit. This is a commitment that you can redesign.
GREEN: GO! – This is mission-congruent and a life must-have.
Take a look at what’s left on your list. If your new list seems more manageable and the points will help you lead to your mission statement, then you’ve had a successful life audit. If not, rinse and repeat. You may find gaps during your life audit that could allow you to add new opportunities that are aligned with your goals.
Your personal mission statement allows you to focus. As new opportunities come your way, you can run them through your mission filter. Schedule recurring “me” time to conduct a Life Audit. Reexamine and rework your mission as needed, put everything in front of you, and commit to the things that will help you achieve your personal definition of success.