Assess Your Life

To help identify your top goals and what’s most important to you, you can start by assessing your life as it is today. What’s working? What’s not working? What areas do you want to improve? The exercise below will help you assess eight key areas of your life.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with a 1 meaning that you need a lot of improvement and a 5 meaning that you need no improvement, rate yourself in all of the following areas that apply to you:

___Appearance—I look my best
___Overall health
___Fitness level
___Healthy diet
___Regular exercise
___Optimal weight
___Strength training
___Enough energy to do what I need to do each day

___Passionate about my career
___Advancing in my industry
___Growing professionally
___Challenged by my work
___Doing what I want to do
___Expert in my field
___Performing at a level of excellence

___Current income level
___Good credit
___Balanced budget
___Current savings
___Current net worth
___Level of debt
___Clear investment strategy
___Financial security
___Enough money to do what I want, provide for my family, travel, decorate my home, support causes I care about, etc.

___Have fun in my life
___Take great vacations
___Travel to places I want to go
___Take time for myself
___Live in a nurturing environment
___Love where I live

___Personally growing and learning
___Not easily angered
___Happy, whole, and complete
___Fear does not control my life
___No unhealthy addictions—smoking, alcohol, drugs, etc.
___Live with gratitude
___Feel loved and supported
___Practice forgiveness

___Contributing time to others
___Donating money to causes I care about
___Feel like my life matters
___Making a difference
___Clarity on my life’s purpose and passion
___Actively support a cause I care about

___With my family
___With my spouse
___With my children
___With my parents
___With my siblings
___Romance—involved in healthy, growing relationship
___Great friendships
___Mentors to learn from
___Spend my time with people I love and care about

___Actively growing spiritually
___Regularly pray/meditate
___Involved in a spiritual community
___Expanding faith
___Regularly express love to others
___Live in peace

Now that you’ve gone through the list, the next step is to review the ratings to determine which of the eight areas need the most improvement. Choose the three most important areas that you’d like to work on. When choosing your top three areas, consider what change or improvement would make the most significant difference in your life, providing you with satisfaction, energy, and momentum. Maybe you’re at a point in your life where your health or giving back is more of a concern than finances or your career. Or perhaps you’re in the prime earning time of your life and taking your career to the next level would make a huge difference in your and your family’s financial prosperity.

List the top three areas you’d most like to improve:
1. ________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________
3. ________________________________________________________

Now it’s time to really start dreaming. For each of the three areas you’ve identified, let’s explore further what you’d like to change, improve, or achieve. Put yourself in a mindset of complete faith and optimism. Ask yourself the question, “If I knew I could not fail and had no limitations, what would I want for my life in these top areas?” Don’t judge if it’s possible or worry about how you’ll make it happen. Just dream.

If, after going through the list, you’re still struggling to identify what you really want, ask yourself the question, “What am I no longer willing to settle for in my life?” Be completely honest. Think about all the areas in your life that you’ve settled for less than you deserve. What do you believe would make your life better?

Finalize your breakthrough goal.

Now that you’ve got your creative juices flowing and have identified what you want in the three important areas of your life, the final step is to narrow this information down into the most important goal you want to work on. If you’re like me, you have several areas you’d like to improve. By choosing one goal, you’re not eliminating all of the other possibilities from your life forever. You’re simply focusing on one goal for now. After all, there’s always next month!

Write down a goal for each of the three areas you’d like to improve and answer the following questions for each one.

Why must I achieve this goal?

What will it cost me if I don’t achieve this goal?

Am I willing to do what is necessary to make this happen?

Do I really want this or does someone want this for me?

The answers to these questions will help you identify the most important goal to focus on first.

Cynthia Kersey is the bestselling author of Unstoppable: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just Like You, as well as a performance and productivity coach.

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