Before you can get directions to where you want to go, you must first identify where you are today. When I pull out my phone to look at my map, I see a blue dot that marks the exact location where I am right now. All the directions that the map gives me are in reference to this point.
The same is true for life. Before you can get directions to achieve your goals, you must first take full inventory of where you are today. Think of this as your GPS coordinates. I like using a balance wheel assessment that prompts me to think about how I am doing in the major areas of my life.
I evaluate things like my health, finances, career, family and friends. I also take a look at my environment to see if there is anything obvious that is keeping me small. If your environment doesn't support your goals, any effort to move the needle will be met with a struggle.
I ask myself 3 things about my life categories.
Am I thriving?
Is it a stressor?
Is it where I want to be?
Some areas of life are easy to work on or at least get more attention than others. Sometimes these are the areas that are going particularly well. If one aspect of your life is a stressor and overflowing into other aspects of life, that is a great indicator that you want to focus on that area. If your fun is interfering with your finances or vice versa, you may have some work to do. If you career is negatively impacting your health, maybe it is time to finally get out of that toxic workplace and into a job you love.
It is important to be brutally honest with where you are today. If you skirt the real issues, then your goals won't be as effective at helping you create a life where you are really thriving. I recommend taking the inventory and then talking with a trusted friend about your results.
Life is dynamic and you will find that your balance wheel changes over time depending on your season. I like to revisit this assessment every 3 months just as a check to see where I am. If you experience a significant change, that is another trigger to take the evaluation once again to see how it is impacting your balance.
I recently revisited my balance wheel this past week and noticed that some aspects improved and some slipped a little. This is a reflection of the effort I put in and other changes that happened the past couple months. Having the data helped me focus my goals appropriately this next quarter. It also helped me realize that my efforts did make a difference and that I have the ability to make changes to positively impact my life.
Here is a link to a life inventory assessment for you to evaluate where you are today.