Updated: Mar 5, 2020
"KNOWING YOURSELF IS ABOUT ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS - BUT IT'S ALSO ABOUT GIVING YOURSELF THE TIME, SPACE AND PERMISSION TO ANSWER THEM HONESTLY" - Tom Chatfield.
When you declutter and organise your home, you take stock of what you have, let go of the things that you no longer need and make space for new things. Sometimes we have to take a closer look at our lives and do the same.
We ignore the day to day reality of our lives and don't put any thought into making sure that our life is balanced, and on creating long-term health and happiness.
We can end up feeling overwhelmed, run-down, stressed, out of touch with ourselves (and others), overworked in jobs that lead to nowhere, in relationships that sink our spirits and create bad habits that hold us back.
It's important every once in a while to check in on what's happening in our lives so that we don't lose sight of what we want and need from life. If you want things to change, to move forward and create a life that you love now, and in the future - you have to look at it consciously and edit it.
Sitting down and doing a reality check exercise will help you to clarify what you really already know.
By asking yourself questions, you are giving yourself an opportunity to really think about and edit your life if you need to - or carry on the same. Once you accept your reality, you can move forward with organising your life, creating goals and decluttering the things that no longer work for you. You can free up both mental and physical space for new and exciting things that will bring you closer to the life you want.
Make a commitment to accept the things that you aren't willing to change and take action on the things that you want to be different.
Why do a reality check exercise?
▫️ Reviewing and writing about your life is a great way to help you to come to terms with who you are, where you are now and where you want to be.
▫️It helps us to reflect and gain some insight into the balance of our lives and how happy we are in each area. You are the only one who honestly knows if your life is how you want it to be, or if there are changes that you can make, to make it even better.
▫️It helps us highlight areas that we may have been ignoring, and identify where we may need to shift our priorities.
▫️It raises our level of intention and helps us assume a higher degree of responsibility for ourselves, our lives and the result of our actions. The clearer you are about what is important to you, the more intentional you can be about living your life.
▫️It's a great foundation exercise for goal setting. It will help you highlight and explore the key life areas that you can take small steps towards making a change. Create a starting point for setting yourself some new attainable goals for the future.
▫️It clears mental clutter from our minds and helps us to feel calmer.
Having to think about your life in detail can be a difficult process for many people. It's not easy to address the areas of yourself, and your life that you're not proud of and make the decision to change these. It takes time and honesty - but it is worth it.
You can repeat the exercise every year, or more often if you feel you need to see how you are doing. Keep your dated life balance circle and notes in your planner or journal. They will give you a snapshot of your life at this point in time to look back on and to see how your life has changed - or not.
Life Balance Circle
The life balance circle diagram is a warm-up exercise designed to help you to start to gain clarity and a visual overview of how you feel about your life and each area of it. You can draw your own in your notebook or planner, or print out the workbook linked in the images below.
On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the happiest), mark how happy you are with each area of your life. Don't overthink it, just draw a line or colour up to where you think intuitively.
Be completely honest with yourself when you score each area. This may be difficult at first if you have been denying how you really feel about specific areas of your life or have never looked at your life in this much detail before. As you begin to start thinking about your life with more clarity and awareness, you'll find it much easier.
Some people are surprised at how quickly they can answer the questions in this part of the exercise and feel a renewed sense of confidence when they know that they have the answers within them to change their lives for the better.
Each person will have their own interpretation of what each area means to them, but here are a few keywords to use as a guide;
HOME - Physical environment and space.
SELF-CARE - Health, wellbeing, exercise and fitness, diet and nutrition, sleep and rest.
FINANCE - Money, savings, debt, financial freedom.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS - Time, support to and from, social circles.
LOVE AND ROMANCE - Relationships, marriage, anniversaries, communication, appreciation, time and intimacy.
WORK, CAREER AND BUSINESS - Change, promotion.
PERSONAL GROWTH AND LEARNING - Personal development, confidence, spiritual beliefs, mindset.
LIFESTYLE AND RECREATION - Travel, adventures, sport, experiences, fun.
CONTRIBUTION AND COMMUNITY - Giving back, charity, volunteering.
There are also some questions to help you to start thinking in a bit more detail. These are a little harder, but give it a go and write down your thoughts if you can. Get everything out of your head and onto a piece of paper. This can become a very long list, especially if you write down every little thing, but it's important to get as much clutter out of your head as possible so that you can move forward.
Just write - don't overthink it, don't edit your thoughts or feelings, and don't worry about your grammar.
Sit down with a cup of tea or coffee, take at least half an hour to pause your life and gain some clarity.
Which areas of your life need to be taken care of and improved?