I had a conversation with a banker friend of mine a few days ago and she mentioned her bank was going through an audit to make sure they were operating in line with regulations. Needless to say, she was working extra hours and was a little stressed out. The auditors were pouring over her bank’s financial activities, their systems, and processes to ensure that it was acting above board and was in tip-top shape as an institution.
After our conversation, my mind started to wander a bit. I got to thinking about how important it should be for people to conduct a life audit from time to time too. Just like a financial audit, striving to better ourselves and refining areas in our personal life will make our “systems” operate better and keep us in tip top shape too.
What Is a Life Audit Anyway?
Simply put, a life audit is a way of checking in with ourselves. It’s us making a concentrated effort to pause and reflect on how our life is going. It’s intentionally taking stock of our current situation. Instead of leaving our life up to chance, life auditing aids us in making well thought out decisions and choices.
A life audit helps you take a look at where you’re headed and reflect on what you’re currently doing with your life. Similar to a financial audit, when doing a life audit, you’ll reflect on your assets (things that propel you to your goals and dreams) and on your liabilities (things that hold you back from your goals and).
BONUS: a life audit is also a great way to pause the crazy go-go-go lifestyle that many of us find ourselves in and slow down and take a much-needed rest and concentrate on ourselves.
While everyone can benefit from a life audit (men, women, the young, the old), there are a few red flags that make the need for a check-in with ourselves a top priority.
Some examples are:
- feeling unfulfilled
- feeling emotionally drained
- feeling lost and directionless
- feeling lonely
- feeling like you’re ready for more but don’t know what that is
- feeling like you don’t have (or know) your purpose
- feeling like you’re coming up short of reaching your goals or fulfilling your dreams
- feeling like you’ve lost your joy
- feeling like you’re just “going through the motions”
- going through a big life change (the death of a loved one, empty nesting, a move, a sickness, an end of a relationship)
Starting about nine years ago (and lasting over the course of several years) I experienced several BIG changes in my life. My nine-year homeschool teaching gig came to an end. My mom died. My siblings and I took turns taking care of our aging father. Two of our sons went off to college. My dad died. Our youngest son went off to college. And, whether I was ready or not, I landed in Empty Nest Land.
I felt emotionally drained, joyless, and like I was just going through the motions. I knew I had a purpose and gifts and talents I could use, but I didn’t have a clue on what to do with them. I was in a funk. Can you relate?
I knew it was time to check in with myself and reflect on my life. I spent about a week routinely getting up 20-30 minutes earlier than normal, grabbed a cup of coffee (coffee is my love language), and began hashing out my thoughts. I decided to focus on a few key areas of my life like:
- my relationships
- my passions
- my skillset
- my health
- my finances
- my attitude
- my gratitude (or lack of)
Audit Questions to Think About
Humans have a knack for rating themselves as a success or failure. When it came time to reflect, I was tempted to rate myself on a scale of 1-10 (1-failure 10-success), but I decided to be gentle and have grace for myself and use questions instead.
I asked myself questions like:
- Am I spending enough time with those I love?
- Am I as close to my family and friends as I once was?
- Am I spending enough time relaxing?
- Am I spending time having fun?
- What gets me excited?
- What do I dream about accomplishing?
- Have I been doing things that challenge me lately?
- What am I good at?
- What new activities would I like to start?
- What goals do I have?
- What are some things I’d like to learn to do?
- What habits would I like to start or stop?
- Am I pleased with my body and overall health?
- What would make me happier in my living space (minimizing, uncluttering, etc)?
- What am I most proud of?
- What causes me stress?
- Does my job energize or drain me?
- What do I spend money on?
- What would I do with more money?
- Am I generous?
- Am I thankful?
- What have I been complaining about lately?
- How am I influencing others (for better or for worse)?
- How could I be kinder to myself and to others?
Click here to download a copy of questions to ask yourself in a life audit.
After many mornings of reflection, I decided it was time to make some changes. I realized that I had shut my family and friends out of my life in the guise of being “too busy,” so I intentionally began reaching out to them and setting up times to reconnect. I became aware that I was treating my husband as a roommate, so I started listening more, engaging in meaningful conversation, writing notes to him (like I did when we were dating 💖), and scheduling date nights with him. To reignite my passions and dreams, I challenged myself to write a blog each week and am making steps toward co-hosting a podcast. I took classes and got certified as a life/health coach and I started a Facebook group focused on confidence in women. I hired an accountant for my small business to track my profits and losses. I began a daily gratitude journal. I started tracking my macros and planning gym times so that I could get fit and strong the way I always wanted to. I found an organization that “spoke to my heart” and signed up to be a volunteer for them.
DISCLAIMER: I’m always evolving as a person (you are too) and just when I think I have myself figured out I realize that I don’t, so I do a life audit every six months. Don’t make auditing your life a one-time thing! Do it often!
Don’t stop learning, because life never stops teaching!Click To Tweet
Here’s one of my favorite quotes by T.D. Jakes: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.” Isn’t it a good one?
Are you ready to take your own audit and check in with yourself? If you are, don’t rush it and don’t try to do it in one sitting! Take your time! Grab a pencil and paper and get ready to jot your answers down. Come up with questions that really make you think!
Identify your pain points. Give yourself a pat on the back for the things that are going right. Have grace for yourself in the areas that need improvement.
Summarize your insights. Are there common themes running through your answers?
Once your check-in is complete you should have an idea of where your life is right now and where it’s headed. You should be ready to make decisions about what is and what isn’t adding value to your life.
If you’ve already done a life audit let me be the first to congratulate you. Cheers to you-you did it! You thought enough of yourself (and others) to begin making positive changes in your life. Now, don’t you dare forget that you are exceptional and made for greatness. Your future is bright! Enjoy the journey!
Hey before I go, I wanted to make sure you know that I’m always here if you need an ear to listen or someone to help you gain a little clarity with what’s going on in your world. I’m just an email away so please reach out to me!
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