The following is a guest article contributed by Kavya Sebastian, the copywriter and content strategist behind Kavya Creative Co. As a 9-5 Entrepreneur, Kavya balances a full-time role with running her own copywriting studio, making thoughtful and intentional living a priority for her. Read this blog to learn more about how she achieves a balanced life by conducting life audits.
In ayurveda – the world's oldest holistic medical system, originating in India – it is said that true health can only be achieved through a balance of the mind, body, and spirit. Those who practice this science believe that what ails your mind and spirit manifests in your body, and vice versa.
Think back to the last time you felt stress in your body. Maybe you’re having a particularly busy week at school or at work; it weighs down on your body, doesn’t it?
Whether you believe in the mind-body-spirit connection or not, it is true that we all need to maintain balance to feel content in our lives. Without balance, you may burnout.
Enter the Life Audit.
What is a life audit?
A life audit is a valuable exercise that can help you take stock of your life and identify where your life may be off-balance. By regularly evaluating your time, values, goals, and actions, you can ensure that you are living the life of your dreams and in total alignment with what truly matters to you.
Life audits also help you to decide where to focus your efforts and may provide you with clarity to see why there is a gap between what your current reality is and what you’d like it to be.
Here are the basic steps of conducting a life audit:
- Reflect on your values and goals
- Assess your current reality
- Compare the two
- Set your priorities and create a plan
- Consistently check in with your progress
Reflect on your values and goals
It is important to assess what your values are in order to evaluate how close to your dream life you really are. As someone who balances a full-time role with running my own copywriting studio, I need a singular place to reflect on everything and keep track of it over time.
I use Notion to create a Life Audit Template and rate how much of my dream life I’m actually living. There are approximately ten categories across which you want to feel 10/10 about. Of course, you may choose to rename or adapt some of these, but here is a list to work from:
- Physical Health
- Mental + Emotional Health
- Habits + Routines
- Personal Development
- Friends + Family
- Love Life (+Self Love)
- Career + Business
- Home + Organization
Start by writing down what each of these categories look like if you were living your dream life. What does a 10 out of 10 feel like? Write these down as if you feel them right now, in the form of affirmations or manifestation statements.
Think about your long-term goals and what you want to achieve in life.
Assess your current reality
Now that you have a clear picture of what a 100% stellar life looks and feels like, it’s time to audit your current reality. For each of the categories, write down how you're currently spending your time, money, and energy.
Consider your daily routines, habits, and activities, as well as your emotional state. You will find that many of these realities are intertwined and influenced by one or more categories. This part of the exercise will give you a good idea of how your life currently looks, and where you may need to make changes.
Give yourself a rating 1-10 for each category based on how your reality feels to you. Add them all up for a “score” out of 100.
Compare the two
Now you have two realities – a dream reality and your current reality – and you can start to form a path to close the gap between the two.
It should be said that while you can be perfectly in love with your life now, there’s always room to reach for the stars. Therefore, don’t let this step make you feel insecure or unhappy with your life.
Your dreams are changing. You are changing. It’s okay to acknowledge a gap between the two realities without either version losing its value.
During this step, you’ll likely notice how many of your categories are deeply related to one another. For instance, perhaps you feel that both your emotional health and your habits and routines are low because you haven’t been journaling regularly.
You can then plan to incorporate journaling as part of your morning or evening routine to help improve both. In other words, chances are that one or two actions can help balance multiple categories – both positive and negative.
Set your priorities and create a plan
It’s time to construct a path between your current reality and your dream life. Take a look at the scores that are the lowest out of ten and/or feel the most important to you. Conducting a life audit is all about listening to your intuition.
Select three categories of focus across an upcoming timeline of your choice. If you have trouble with this step, some questions you could ask yourself include:
- What are some of your happiest memories?
- What took away the most joy?
- What was your biggest lesson?
- What do you want to do more of?
- What do you want to do less of?
- What is something you want to learn? Think about the growth journey in it.
- What is the most effective way to refuel and reset for you?
The great thing about a life audit is that you can do it as many times as you want over any timeframe. Whether it’s for the week, quarter, year, or decade, these questions may help you tune into categories that feel more important to you than others in the moment.
No matter the timespan, decide what changes you want to make and set actionable steps to reach your goals in the future. Consider what small steps you can take each day, week, or month to make positive changes in your life.
Try setting abstract, overarching goals or “landmarks” towards that 10/10 life. These goals should still be achievable and realistic, but don’t feel pressured to assign a number or “measurable” goal. It can be as simple as “Feel confident in my body” (which by the way, is a totally valid goal – “SMART” or not).
Remember, you can always adjust your plan as you go.
Consistently check in with your progress
By keeping track of the entire exercise, you can compare your “score” and how it changes over time. If you do it regularly, you’ll likely start to see some patterns and gain a deep understanding of what categories in your life have the most affect on your joy.
No matter how you keep track of your life audits, don’t forget to celebrate your successes and avoid being too hard on yourself if you encounter setbacks along the way.
The audit is not meant to shame your current reality or make your feel like you’re constantly chasing something bigger. It’s okay to be at a 10/10 in your categories. It’s also okay to be at a 0/10. Many of this will change over time, so remember to be kind to yourself.
Live a thoughtful and meaningful life with The Wildflower Co.
Being intentional about designing the life you love is crucial to stepping closer to that dream version of yourself. Sign up for our newsletter to gain FREE access to the replay of our Life Audit workshop and get the full step-by-step tutorial on how to conduct a life audit along with a complimentary Notion template to set up your life audits.
You'll walk away with practical and fun tools to measure your progress and try new things, while creating balance across all the areas of your life. You can also explore our past and upcoming workshops for similar content.