Welcome to Day 1 of The Cultivate Success eCourse. In our first lesson we will learn about Taking Stock of Your Life. I encourage you to comment with your feelings or experiences. There are two different comment areas; Facebook commenting or commenting through your registered account on this website. Follow the guidelines in the checklist and work on the activities in the workbook over the following week. You can find your downloadable files at the bottom or to the right of the lesson. depending on the device you are using. Automatic Download is disabled. Instead, you will be taken to the download folder in my Google Drive account. There you will be given the option of adding the files to your google drive, viewing them or direct download.
Taking Stock of Your Life
Research shows that those who take time to reflect on their behavior, emotions, and choices perform better throughout life. It prevents burnout, allows people to make better choices, and provides a sense of purpose. It is a way of life or a mantra to live by if you want to live a life purely your own.
When you better understand where you are, you can plan where you want to be. Taking stock of your life is about giving yourself the time and opportunity to reflect on your current and future self to fulfill your dreams and live a more satisfying life. It allows you to unlock your most authentic self and achieve all your goals and live the life you have always wanted.
Benefits of Taking Stock of Your Life
Taking stock of your life simply means evaluating or gauging where you are. It is a personal process, and the road map you create and the path you take is all up to you. However, the benefits are usually the same, and understanding just how powerful it can be not only will provide motivation but determination, grit, and confidence to take on every day at your best.
- Understand Yourself Better
When you take stock, it allows you to gain a better perspective of your likes and dislikes. The point is to evaluate your current situation to improve it to where you want to be. This includes evaluating your current strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, current frustrations, and more. When they are written down, and you take the time to pay attention, it becomes clearer what makes you unhappy, and you can make better decisions to improve your situation.
- Clarify Your Goals and Aspirations
Goals and aspirations change as you gain new experiences. Taking the time to reflect and evaluate your life allows you to clarify them and see if you still want to achieve them. Some goals you achieve may not be as satisfying as you thought, too — Providing you more time to adjust and rethink what you want from life.
- Improve Your Skills and Knowledge
When you identify your strengths and weakness, you can build a stronger foundation to gain more knowledge and practice to improve. It is easy to keep doing activities that come easy to you without realizing how much of a negative impact that can create.
Ignoring your weakness only leads to more when five minutes of daily practice is all you need. Also, it is essential to note that just because your skills need improvement doesn’t mean it is negative, nor will you ever gain the strength to do better. Therefore, it is crucial to become aware to improve.
- Lead A More Successful and Satisfied Life
When you highlight your dislikes, frustrations, goals, and desires, you can accurately create the life you want. Taking stock of your life includes everything that is getting in your way of pure happiness and developing a strategy that will get you there. If you don’t like something, find a way to eliminate it from your life. Everyone has one life to live. This is your only opportunity to change and be your best self. Take advantage of it.
- The Importance of Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is the essence of taking stock of your life. Without self-reflection, you won’t unlock the right journey that’ll lead to pure satisfaction. It uses introspection to understand The Self fully — values, beliefs, and why you behave or act in specific ways. Without introspection or self-reflection, you will always live a different life.
- Improve Your Self-Awareness
Being mindful and aware of your actions, decisions, and how you interact with the world is crucial. If you can’t be honest and take notice, you won’t know where to start. Being self-aware includes understanding your emotions, values, goals, and strengths inside and out.
- Increase Your Self-Acceptance
Self-reflection and taking stock of your life should never be a harmful process. Yes, you are highlighting your weaknesses, but that doesn’t mean you need to be cruel and heartless. You are only indicating your weaknesses to identify where you can improve to accomplish your dreams.
Even if there are things that you want to improve in your life, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also love and accept yourself as you are right now. The more you love yourself now, the easier it becomes to improve your skills.
- Live with Intention
While “going with the flow” sounds like a pleasant and stress-free mantra to live by, it can breed inaction. It doesn’t provide motivation or focus to work towards. Self-reflection helps you take notice of actions and how they affect others and the world—providing you a reminder that if you don’t put the work towards your goals, the world won’t give it to you.
- Identify Change and Track Improvement
As you go through life, each day can easily blend into another. Making it easy to lose sight and track of what we want the most. Taking the time to evaluate your life slows down and clarifies how different each day is. Tracing makes it easier for you to change the things you want to while keeping track of your progress.
- Challenge Your Way of Thinking
It is easy to remanence on negative thoughts, behaviors, or actions and events that left you embarrassed or uncomfortable. However, these feelings don’t always mean you did something wrong, nor do your actions mean you believe it. Reflection allows you to break down these moments to see what you believe. It provides you a moment to forgive yourself and think, “Do I Really Believe This?”
Self-reflection can be done daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly depending on your needs, dreams, and desires. When you know and understand yourself, you can make better choices to manifest the life you want.
Essential Tips to Keep In Mind Before You Get Started
Before you take stock of your life or practice any self-reflection techniques and exercises, you need to prepare yourself. Your mind, body, atmosphere, and surroundings need to support your intentions to be beneficial. Consider these tips as you begin your self-reflection journey:
- Be Honest
You must be honest with yourself for this process to work fully. Dishonesty will only lead you down a path you don’t want to go. No one else is here to judge you nor to create your life plan, so make the one you want.
- Be Kind and Accepting
Lower your expectations and be nice to yourself. This is not the time to be hypercritical and expect perfection. The goal is never perfection, but to find the things that allow you to realize your dreams and eliminate the obstacles that are getting in your way.
- Be Confident
Expect success and don’t dwell on mistakes. The point of evaluating your life is to ensure life is going your way. Instead, use this as motivation to create a clear path to do better and realize your dreams and aspirations.
- Start Small
Don’t overwhelm yourself with goals that are too big and unrealistic. Break down your goals into smaller and easier activities that work toward a larger goal. If it sounds way too easy, good, that is the point. You want to make them so easy you can’t avoid it, allowing you to accomplish goals more comfortably, faster, and more consistently.
Instead of saying that you want to lose 50 pounds, make the goal to lose one to two pounds a week – the smaller, more healthy goal is more realistic. A healthy goal that doesn’t feel as overwhelming and only requires a few daily changes. If you keep losing one to two pounds a week, you can safely reach your goal in a year or less.
- Forget About Other People
Don’t let other people’s opinions, judgments, or ideas get in your way. When you evaluate each category in your life, only write down what you believe to be true. No one else will read it, and no one else needs to provide input on your life unless you want them to. However, it’s important to be sure these are positive people in your life that have your best interest at heart.
- Eliminate Distractions
Schedule time away from people to do the exercises required for self-reflection. Free yourself of distractions, unhealthy emotions, and negative people. Don’t think about anyone else or their opinions. Turn off your cell phone, look away from social media for a few hours, or go on a hike or walk away from everyone and everything. This way, you can let go and free yourself and unlock your most authentic self.
- Ask for Support
Let your friends, family, and other loved ones know about your dreams and your self-evaluation process. Accountability partners keep you on track and is a great way to solidify your commitment to take stock of your life and create a plan to change to gain success. Again, be sure these are people that want you to succeed. They are not here to be judgmental or stressed; they are only there for mental support and to guide you along.
- Be Grateful
No matter how far you’ve come or how far you must go in life, learn to practice gratitude first. Be thankful for the people you have and don’t have and the positive and negative experiences you have gained throughout your life. Each person you collide with can provide some value or message to learn from to be the person you want to be.
Gratitude can teach patience, lower stress, and prevent other obstacles that can get in your way. Instead of being upset, you are not where you want to be, highlight how great you are now, and then use that to fuel your motivation to improve.
If you don’t keep these tips in mind, you will likely create a path of destruction, which would be counterintuitive. You must be free from distractions, honest, and patient with yourself to lead to the life you want.
How to Take Stock of Your Life in 3 Steps
The main goal of life is to seek and maintain happiness. Happiness has a clear definition yet can have variable meanings depending on who you ask. Some people think happiness is a magical thing, but real happiness is simply the state of being content with who you are, where you are in life, and what you are doing. It’s satisfaction.
It is a journey that many people attempt but most never complete. This is because it requires self-reflection, self-awareness, and action to discover what will lead you to your happiness and satisfaction. Use the following steps to take stock of your life.
Step 1: Identify Your Truest Self
The first step is to identify your truest self as you are now. Don’t think about what you wish you could change yet, as that is for a later step. The purpose is to understand yourself fully as you are now in this very moment to create a plan that directs you to where you want to be and gain from life.
- Who am I?
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
- What do I value the most?
- Where am I?
- What am I doing and why?
- How did I get here?
- Am I happy?
- Am I satisfied?
- How do I really feel about my life right now?
- What are my goals and intentions in life?
Step 2: Evaluate and Reflect on Your Life in Categories
Next, identify the common categories that are the most important in your life.
- Self-Worth and Fulfillment
- Personal Development
- Physical Environment
- Love & Relationships
- Personal Expression
- Fun and Recreation
- Social Life
In each category, list your accomplishments and rate your satisfaction and happiness levels. Take time to reflect on why you gave the rating you did for each category and write it down. Also, take time to reflect on your why as well. Be sure that you’re being honest and true to yourself and not just focusing on your high expectations.
Step 3: Take Action to Improve
The final step is making the commitment to change to gain the life you want and developing an action plan to get there. Use the information you provided from steps one and two to ensure you are following the life you want.
In each category that you rated your satisfaction level make a list of two to three actions or goals you can do to make it better. For example, what would change your career rating from a 5 to a level 10? Would a promotion, raise, or entering a different industry improve your satisfaction?
Ask yourself these questions to see if you’re on the right path:
- What do you really want right now?
- What things do you want to keep?
- What things or qualities do you want to get rid of?
- What are the roadblocks preventing you from achieving all your desires?
- Is there anything frustrating me or causing me pain, confusion, or sadness?
- Why do you want it and why? And why your why?
- How do I get what I want?
- Identify your break-even points. What minimum requirements to make you somewhat happy and satisfied in each category of your life?
As you answer these questions, pin-point steps or baby steps you can take to achieve your goal or fix the situation. What is one task or action you can do or take right this very moment to get where you want to be? What about tomorrow morning?
Don’t rely on yourself to remember the information you provided. Write all your thoughts, answers, and concerns down. This way, you can come back and know where to start. Writing it down also solidifies your actions, makes them more visible, and can be used as motivation to keep working on yourself each day.
Self-Reflection Exercises That Inspire Success
Whether you like it or not, you probably don’t know yourself as well as you think. It is easy to get distracted as life takes hold, and each day goes by, what seems to be, faster and faster. Therefore, taking careful stock and reflection is so vital to success. To identify and lead a life as you and only you.
- Bullet Journal or Dairy
Develop daily questions you can answer yourself that encourage you to think about improving yourself. Remember, these exercises cannot work if you are not honest with yourself. Don’t make the questions easy and change them as the year progresses, and new problems or goals arise.
Ask yourself these questions to get you started:
- Who am I, really?
- What do I believe in?
- What are my values or morals do I truly live by?
- What makes me feel in control?
- What has been on my mind a lot recently? Why?
- What is a new choice I can make today to better improve my happiness?
- How can I celebrate myself today?
- Am I living each day true to myself?
- Am I taking care of my physical health?
- Am I taking care of my mental health?
- What worries me about my future?
- Why do I matter? To me, the world, my family, and my friends?
- If my life were to end today, what would I be my final thoughts?
Another idea is to journal your feelings each morning or at the end of your night. Write down your thoughts without judgment, concern, or worry. Walk away for a few minutes or an hour first, then come back and reflect on what you wrote down. Breaking between allows you to free your mind of stress, worries, and negativity that will only cloud your judgment and stall improvement.
- Rating Scales and Colored Graphs
Rate your happiness or satisfaction level on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten being most satisfied and one being least. Use categories that are most important to you and your life—for example, health and fitness, relationships, and career.
You can go a step further by drawing a circle or line graph and color in each category a different color to the rating you provided and visually showing your happiness or satisfaction in each category.
This way, you can instantly see what part of your life you need to work on. After you rate or color in your categories, provide a brief reason as to why you gave that rating and create short bullet points on how to make each category rate higher.
List everything you are proud of, thankful for, and contributions you have provided to the world. What is most important to you? Create a list with brief statements, then imagine yourself in that world. How did you there? Write a list of action steps.
Meditation teaches you mindfulness, relaxation, and control of your body. It is opening you up, to be honest, and free to your desires without harsh judgment and criticism. With a clear and level head, you can assess your situation and make better decisions.
- Personality Assessments
Meyers-Briggs and the Big Five are by far the most popular options sought out by professionals. These assessments are back by science, research, and peer reviews with loads of information you may have never known or learned about yourself.
The Big Five was designed to show that not everyone is one extreme or another but on a sliding scale. It highlights five different areas of life and how you gravitate towards or away from them.
The Meyers-Brigg personality quiz is different because they believe most people gravitate towards 16 personality types related to introversion versus extroversion, sensing versus intuition, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving.
- Talk It Out
For some, the best way is just simply to talk it out. If you don’t like the idea of writing it down, then find someone you will support and guide you. A therapist or life coach can be a great way to learn and unlock new skills to understand why you live life the way you do.
Whatever exercise you chose to do, be sure you are comfortable with; if you don’t feel comfortable, walk-away and try a different one until you are. Each exercise needs to feel comfortable to relax and answer or respond honestly. Integrity is vital to develop a process that leads you in the right direction.
Overall, taking stock of your life requires identifying your most authentic self, reflecting on how much of your true self you are being, and then developing and following a foundation that allows you to achieve the life you want. Without fully understand your values, morals, and goals in life, you won’t have the necessary materials to create a foolproof plan.