Sometimes there’s nothing more freeing than realizing one super simple change could improve your whole life. That’s what I realized this weekend after doing a life review.
Typically, I take time each December to review what’s going well, areas of potential improvement and create a plan for the next year. The past few months have been beyond hectic, and I’m just getting around to this now. This is a little different from what I normally share, but I wanted to guide you through the process of my own life review in hopes that it inspires you.
It’s important this process comes from a place of love, not from a sense of not being good enough. I love myself and want the best for myself. The only constant in life is change and we’re either living our lives or our lives are living us.
Often it’s hard to drop bad habits because they come from deeper fears. Bad habits serve us in some way, helping us feel safe. Once you understand why the habit has formed, it’s easier to create a new one.
Below, I take you through the process using an example from my own life. If you’d like pretty PDF worksheets to guide you through, along with some easy tips to maximize your sucess, sign up below and you’ll receive them in your mailbox.
Another quick point — Surrender is essential. Evolving so our lives can expand isn’t about bulldozing through life. It’s about doing the inner work to reduce suffering and make the most of the opportunities — or challenges — life brings our way.
How to do a life review
1. List what’s going well.
It’s important to celebrate and not just critique. No matter how many things are out of whack with our lives, plenty is going well. My list included things I’m grateful for — mainly my health, my husband and dog, my pretty garden I just planted, and my commitment to a spiritual practice that truly provides a strong foundation for a fulfilling life.
2. List what you could work on.
The thing I’ve really been struggling with is my routine. I’ve always been a night owl and resist going to bed early, which would be fine, but I wake up without much energy. I start the day late, which means I work late, which leaves me going to bed late. It’s a vicious cycle because then I don’t sleep well.
I really believe the foundation to a good day starts the night before, with a solid night’s rest. So going to bed earlier is one of my top priorities. I also want to eat better, strengthen my physical yoga practice and spend less time on social media.
3. Identify themes.
All the things I want to work on revolve around self-care. Linchpins causing the whole domino effect include social media and a brain that won’t turn off. I’m on my phone late and wound up from working late and this prevents me from going to bed early.
4. What is the underlying reason?
For me, a big underlying reason I spend so much time on social media is to reach more people with my message and have a greater impact on the world.
One of my biggest goals is to build my readership so I can live my passion and dream of making a great living while helping others, which would give me the freedom to experience life-changing travel and study with wonderful teachers.
When my brain won’t shut off, it’s because ideas keep running through my head and it’s hard to quiet down.
5. What solutions will create the desired result in a more life-affirming way?
I can find higher-impact ways of building my blog audience through methods like guest posting and seeking out publicity opportunities — anything that’s less time intensive. This will actually help me achieve my goal even faster. It’s just about changing the habit and telling my subconscious it’s okay to let go.
With a better way of fulfilling my desire, I can release the need to be on social media all the time and create a better nighttime routine. I decided that I don’t want to be on my phone past 9 p.m. By keeping an eye on the clock, I create time to relax, read, drink tea, journal or practice light yoga before bed.
Going to bed earlier will help me wake up earlier, which means more time for exercising, walking my dog at sunset, and just generally feeling more empowered.
If I stop working earlier and take time to relax, journal or walk my dog, this would also give me time to think. Although thinking is often demonized, taking time to think creatively about big picture things is really essential.
Sometimes allowing a 10 or 15 minute worry period is really helpful, too. Simply writing down everything you’re concerned about and getting it onto paper helps potentially solve or prevent problems. It also creates calm and improves sleep.
Simply changing this one activity and resolving the underlying issue will improve my entire life. By seeking to understand instead of judge or criticize, I can help myself meet my needs and fulfill my desires in a way that feeds me instead of depletes me.
I wish I had another example to share unrelated to business, but this is a huge focus of mine right now. Hopefully you’ll be able to relate anyway.
6. What do I need more of in my life?
I’d like more music, nature, adventure, chill time, random explorations and time spent at the ocean. Simply setting the intention to welcome these things into my life has already created change. Now, instead of preparing my breakfast in quiet, I put on music.
I’ve also realized that although I’d love more adventure in my life, I keep waiting for other people to plan things and then grow upset when they don’t. I need to woman up, plan things and then drag my husband along for the ride or just go myself. No excuses!
In the Life Review packet, I offer some tips for making your new plan a reality, so definitely sign up to receive if you haven’t already.
Do you do life reviews? What habits are you working to change? Share your story in the comments below!
Create more purpose and peace with a life review
This powerful guide will inspire and empower you on a magical journey of self-discovery and soulful goal setting.