Creating a more satisfying life is what many people want, but not everyone knows where to begin or what he or she needs to change. If you are longing for a more satisfying life, I suggest starting by doing a self-assessment. The more you know about yourself the better able you will be to create a meaningful shift. Keep in mind that you are not necessarily the same person today that you were 10 or more years ago, so it is best to look with fresh eyes and a perspective of curiosity.
Start by asking yourself the following questions and write down your answers.
- WHO AM I? (Meaning, how do you define your personality, qualities, skills, and your various roles?)
- WHAT is important to me now (values)?
- WHAT do I find enjoyable and satisfying?
- WHAT do I want my life to look like in 1, 3, or 5 years?
- Do my personality, interests, values, and goals match with the way I am currently living my life?
I hope you discovered some surprising information about yourself and took the time to jot it down.
Review your lists several times and revise it as needed. This “living” document will change over time and will reflect your personal growth and change.
Next, let’s take the list you’ve just made and sort it out a bit to determine how your personality, skills, values, lifestyle and goals match-up. Simply start by making columns that looks something like this:
Once you complete your grid, draw a symbol in each box that represents that this item increases or decreases your energy. In this example, we can see that Lifestyle is not very satisfying because it is not in harmony with the persons personality, values, goals or things they enjoy.
Also, bring your attention to things that are missing. In this grid, we can see that travel is something the person enjoys but it is missing in other categories. What is on the grid can be just as significant as what is missing.
From here, determine your priorities, what is really important to you now? Is your lifestyle matching up with your values or interests? Are you making strides toward reaching your goals? When was the last time you had some fun? Do you desire to be an entrepreneur but putting all of your energy into being an employee?
Once you have determined your priorities, compared to how you are currently living your life, you will go on to the planning and action stage. In this 3rd step, working from your priority list, take information from your grid and create an action plan for 1-to-3 priorities on your list. The fewer the better, this way, you can avoid getting overwhelmed and increase your chances of being successful.
Let us choose outgoing, curious, knowledge, friendships, and travel, as things of value and enjoyment. Notice that these are missing from the goal category, but creating joy and happiness in life is what it’s all about!
How about setting a goal to go on an adventure trip with a few close friends within the next 3 months? Once you have the goal you can create the action steps to achieve that goal.
Lori Zeh, LCSW
FHR Director of Outpatient Services
5509 Creedmoor Rd
Raleigh, NC 27612
To learn more about the programs and community initiatives of FHR in North Carolina, click here.