How well are you living your life with intention? This post is a follow up to a previous post about designing your life–regardless of age or life stage. This post explains a quick assessment (dashboard) to give you an idea of where you are right now so that you can decide where you want to go and how to get there.
In past blog posts, I have talked about viewing our life as a “portfolio life.” David Corbett in his book Portfolio Life advocates looking at our life the way we would a financial portfolio with our main assets being time and energy. He advises that we need to assess how we are allocating our assets. Based on our life stage, they may need to be redistributed or we want to make changes.
Burnett and Evans in their book Designing Your Life, suggest an assessment where life is divided into four main areas:
- Health: Paying attention to mind, body, and spirit.
- Work: This is the “stuff” that we do. (paid, unpaid, volunteer, or combination)
- Play: Activity that brings us joy.
- Love: Relationships, connections, family, friends.
In order to design where we want to go in our life, we have to know where we are and how work fits into the big picture. Burnett and Evans use a dashboard (similar to a dashboard in a car) to assess the four areas (HWPL) above. They say to start with health because it is the foundation upon which the other three are built. If we aren’t healthy, it is hard to work, play, or have great relationships. On the left side of the dashboard, is a zero indicating our “tank” is empty and on the right end is full.
This can be a quick exercise to mark where you are (0 to Full) on each dimension. Then ask yourself if there is a design problem in any of the four areas (HWPL). Only when we know what we want to change, can we actually make changes that will improve how we are living our life.
This is a baseline assessment to get us started. It helps us answer the question: How is it going?