How taking stock of your life every 3 moths can make you happier, healthier and wealthier
Hasn’t each one of us Earth-dwellers wondered at least once in our lifetime what we could do to become healthier, happier and wealthier?
What I am going to propose today is hardly a strategic life management breakthrough considering there are around twenty life coaches to be found per every square kilometer these days — telling you more or less the same thing.
Hats off to all of them though — caring enough to spend your own life endeavoring to improve someone else’s is a noble goal in itself.
I didn’t, however, hear any of them present this life management strategy in the way I have simply designed it for myself, by myself.
Although most situations we encounter in life are beyond our control, there are still plenty of tools available to help us make sense of things that surround us and optimize the situations and circumstances we happen to find ourselves in.
The system I came up with and which has worked rather well for me in my recent journey is the one of quarterly life reviews.
It is really a very simple approach:
Treat your life as you would treat a business and subject it to regular quarterly reviews.
Side note: don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t turn a profit in 3 months, though. :)
“Why would I want to do that?”, you might wonder. “As if I don’t have enough of that at work with my micromanaging boss and ever-growing sales targets to meet? Review the life that was and is in 2020 and 2021?!”
Yes, precisely. And, there’s no better time to start than exactly now.
If you can dedicate your time and energy to rigorous revisions of the health and stability of the business you work for, then why not do the same for your own precious life?
Many of us are most likely not doing that because we humans have an overwhelming tendency to get stuck in a rut, go with the flow, choose the path of least resistance, can’t find the time…you get the picture. And while you’re slouching over the report which you have meticulously been preparing for the next quarterly business review in front of the senior management — all the while hoping they will approve of it — your own life is slowly but surely ticking away.
There is a better way.
Once you have successfully churned out all the business reports for your company, put away some quiet time when at home and apply exactly the same process to the areas of your own life that are of the highest importance to you.
Write down a list, or draw a graph, a pie chart, a mind map (or whatever representation works best for you) of all the areas of your life that you want to work on. To most of us they fall somewhere within the following key categories: health, wealth, relationships, spirituality, personal growth etc.
Once you have identified these areas, take a deeper look at each one and honestly evaluate where you currently are versus where you would ideally like to be down the line. Take your time with this. Take stock (without self-blame!) of what is and what no longer should be, what you believe needs to change and what you may need to do to start becoming a better version of yourself.
Most importantly, figure out what it is you believe you would need to do and which steps you would need to take in order to start moving the needle in the direction of your dreams — even if only by an inch at a time.
Let’s work on a simple example:
Where I am currently:
— Overweight by 5 kg
— Could be making more mindful food choices
— Should move more every day
Where I want to be in 3 months (and what I need to do to get there):
— Lose 5 kg by making more mindful food choices. That shouldn’t be very difficult to do if I take a little time to organise my daily meals better and I make a conscious effort to drink 3 more glasses of water every day. Also, I will make an effort to build body movement into my days, albeit a 30 minute walk in the mornings or in the evenings.
While at first it may appear these goals are too vague, the truth is that they are realistic and are easily achievable with just a little bit of applied effort. It is perfectly viable for a person to end up losing 5 kg in 3 months by eating better and moving their body more. It’s all about just establishing the small daily habits. The rest, as they say, is up to you.
Why do I suggest that the audits should be done as frequently — every 3 months? Just like a performance of a business entity needs to be closely monitored and kept on course, your own life would also have the tendency to slip by you — if you let it. Before you know it, those 3 month would turn into half a year, and soon enough into one whole year. Furthermore, it is not unusual for people to wake up and realise they had been living in the same Groundhog Day reality for decades!
Even if you check in with yourself after the first quarter and realise you didn’t manage to achieve the goals you have set for yourself — that’s ok. Just pick yourself up again and strive to do better next time. But even then, you’ve only ‘wasted’ another 3 months of your life, not a whole lot more, until you realised that needle wasn’t moving much.
Time is by far the most valuable asset you can possess. And, the older we get, the more acutely aware we become of its value and importance in our lives.
Another reason why I found that quarterly audits work really well is because our priorities tend to change and yes, sometimes they happen to change overnight. A certain event or a circumstance can easily cause a change of heart and one day you just may wake up with a completely different set of priorities.
Life is not a straight line, nor is it static. It is a living, breathing, meandering wonder. By being in tune with it, those 3-monthly self-reviews will do you a ton of good and always keep you on course, and in touch with your own deeper inner workings.
Whatever it is you would like to have, be, or do — you can achieve it. Just make sure you are checking in with yourself regularly — as regularly as you, the very responsible employee that you are, would be reviewing the balance sheet in your job.
Your life deserves an even greater amount of effort.