I want to thank everyone who comes to read and participate in this 52 weeks to simplify your life challenge (however you are doing that). I know some of you have expressed how hard the first few weeks have been. I want to acknowledge how awesome you are for feeling the difficulty and pushing through because you trusted it would be good for you in the long run. Many of your posts have mentioned that after the exercises you feel clarity and have insights into yourself that you did not have at the start.
Now that we have figured out what went right in 2011 (including revealing things that made us happy and at peace), identified our core values, and created mission statements we have the first big blocks to build upon. They will act as your main guide for the next phase of the challenge.
Now that you know who you are and what your vision is for your home and life we are going to take an audit of what your current reality is. Before you set goals and rush to make changes it is best to be honest about what works and what doesn’t. What areas of your life easily get a lot of your attention and what gets ignored (and why). Think of this as an archeological dig into your life and where your resources go.
As an example, if you have stated that health is of high value in your life, but you have not managed to make it a priority now is the time to examine why. Is it because much of your time and energy is going into an area that is not in sync with your value list? Is it because you are afraid of something like getting healthy and slim while your partner or others in your life stay the same? Is it because your financial resources are being spent on things of little value while you deny yourself that gym membership or piece of equipment that would help you?
The wheel of life (click to download after reading) is a fabulous exercise that I recommend for figuring out where your time and energy currently is invested and checking whether you are living (in real day to day life) what you want for your life (in your head and heart). Like other exercises it can be found in various forms all over the internet, in books and coaching sessions. I want to simplify this for the sake of the challenge and have you make it work for you, your way. Therefore I have brought Mr Home Life Simplified on board for this challenge and we worked together to create a totally customisable printable and worksheet for you. You can designate your own categories tailored to your life. If religion is a central part of your life (or you want it to be) then you need to select it as one of your 8 areas of focus. If your lifestyle is very “green” you might want the environment to make the cut. In my opinion for this tool to work it must reflect you and allow you to track your life as your vision stands. This is why we took time to get to the core of our beings and our home life.
The way it works is this:
1. Define your eight categories.
Since I have included an editable worksheet (link above) you can insert what works for you.
You could ensure you cover mind, body, spirit and passion areas.
You could examine it from an inner areas vs. outer areas.
You can use your 5 core values as a starting point and then add other areas that did not make the top five but are important to you.
Refer to your mission statement to see what you identified as areas of focus for your family (ie. If you identified being out in nature together and hiking and exploring as core to your family consider an Environment and Nature heading)
Some category ideas (with variations) include:
Home and Possessions / Physical Environment / Home Environment
Relationships / Relationships and Friendships / Community / People / Love / Marriage / Family / Communication and Connections
Personal Development /Learning / Growth / Education
Work / Life Purpose / Career / Work and Money / Personal Fulfilment / Finances
Health / Health and Wellness / Body and Movement/ Physical Health / Energy and Strength / Inner and Outer Beauty / Physical Activity
Social Life / Leisure / Relaxation and Enjoyment / Recreation / Hobbies and Creativity / Play, Fun and Joy / Celebration / Inspiration / Travel and Adventure
Religion and Spirituality (or separate) / Inner Wellness / Reflection and Peace / Mental Well- being / Being of Service
Nature / Environment / Community
2. Looking at each category determine your current level of satisfaction on a scale of 0-5, with 5 being totally satisfied.
Most of us will have a range of numbers and that is what to expect so be completely honest. The point of the exercise is not to beat yourself up for letting your health fall to a 2, but to identify what areas are below the level you need to feel good and content about it. This will be our jumping off point next week when we start to set priorities and goals for the year. We are not rushing through this so you have a whole week to simply reflect on where your life is right now.
3. In advance of our work on Goals and Priorities start thinking about which categories need the most urgent attention.
Your Creativity / Hobbies category might be sitting at a 2.
For person A who has creativity as her 2nd ranked value that could be upsetting as she realises she has been unhappy partly due to her neglect of this area, thus making it urgent for her to focus on.
For person B that 2 might not be far off her goal of a consistent 3 so might be something less urgent as she weighs up where she wants her focus to go in the coming months.
As an optional idea for those keen to start thinking more about their goals you could printout the completed wheel of life and then add markers indicating where you hope to have each category in the future. A balanced life is not a wheel of all 5′s – that is almost impossible to attain for many. Some areas of your life are critical and tied to your core values and aiming for a 5 might be more important. Other areas are more like supporting categories and your aim might be to move from a 2 to a 3 and then to a 4.
4. Know that we will be reviewing this periodically through the rest of the year to check in, reassess and re-prioritise.
A mistake many people make when they set their goals for the year is diving in on January first with a life overhaul. They go guns blazing at 5-10 areas of their life at once, burn out before Valentine’s day and then repeat the cycle every so often when they feel bad enough. Like everything else we have done so far, trust in the slow and steady approach. We will tackle things a few at a time and tweak through the year and you will see progress well before December rolls around.
Link up for Challenge 3 – mission statements
If you blogged about your mission statement please add your link below into the linky and not in the comments. If you did not blog and want to share your mission statement this is the time to add it into the comments of this post. I know it can be confusing so ask if you are not sure or read about the how to’s here. If you do not see the linky REFRESH your browser and it will usually appear. You can add any blog posts related to the challenge at any time (if you started after week 1 just add your posts to link ups as you write them and note in your “name” field your blog and what week it is for)
So how did the mission statement challenge go? Did you enjoy the process? your outcome? any feedback at all?
Find your simple,
Images: Balanced rocks