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Is Your Life Heading In The Right Direction? How To Do Life Happiness Check And Why
Do you book MOT for your car once a year? How about health or dental check - are they in your calendar?
Be it a boiler or car service, we do them regularly without thinking. We know it needs to be done for our safety.
How about your life check, have you ever done one? Do you check regularly a level of happiness in your life in the same way you check the oil level in your car?
Where is your life heading?
Many of us are just too busy living. Among other pressing things, such a check seems to have a low priority. Still without it, how do we know if the life we are living is really in a good shape and if it's going in the right direction? And if we know it isn't, what is that part that needs to be changed?
Choose the right moment
It doesn't need to take much time. It can be really brief although it's always better to give it a proper attention. So don't wait any longer and put a date in your calendar for the next annual life happiness check. Give it at least one hour slot but a few hours would be better, especially if you are a methodical person or you like to have everything written down on paper.
The time and location are really important. You need a space for yourself, no distractions. Find a place and time when you can be on your own, no other company than your own thoughts.
If your house is always full of people, just go for a walk or drive to the seaside or the countryside. If you believe you need an excuse to take this time out of your busy schedule, or you want a structure to such a session - book an appointment with well-established life coach. He or she will help you to get the most out of the process, will be a sounding board for your ideas and will definitely have a positive effect on your self-esteem.
Reality check and happiness level
So, you've taken the time off for your life check and you are wondering how you should approach it. Start with establishing your reality as it is now.
Answer a question about what is currently happening in most important areas of your life. Most common areas are a family life, work, finances, your health but there might be others you believe are crucial for you. Decide how happy you are in each area on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means feeling miserable and 10 is an absolute bliss.
If you like a lot of details you may use a wheel of life tool to help you in the process. It will not only help you in measuring your happiness level but also in finding out how the particular area would look like if everything was perfect. If you prefer a big picture over details, simply go through all those important areas and give each a happiness score.
Last year's trend
You should do this check once a year. The key thing here is to establish where your life is heading based on the previous year's trend. Take each of your areas and think how the situation looked a year ago. Was it worse? Better? Different? Think about it for a moment or describe it in more details if this is your preference.
Compare it with your current situation. What do you think? Is it on the same level? Has it got better or worse? We are looking for a trend here, a direction your life is taking, as this will help you assess what you need to do next.
Now look at both figures - last year's trend and the happiness level - for each area. What does it tell you now and what will you do about it? It's a decision point about your future and what would you like it to be.
How is your life at the moment?
Interpreting your results
You may decide that nothing needs to be changed. For example if your trend in family life area was stable and you are happy with what you have, there is no need to change the good thing. You simply want more of the same.
Sometimes you may feel quite unhappy about certain area like your finances, but if you look back in time, it may show that you were in even worse situation a year ago. Your situation is improving which means that if you keep doing what you do now, the chances are that you will be in much better place and mood next year.
There is also last category - you feel reasonably happy about something, like your relationship for example, but you have noticed that it's not as good as it used to be. It's up to you to decide if you want to keep this trend and potentially feel a bit worse next year or change something now.
Your future is in your hands
So you've got to the point when you've done your check and you've got your results. How do you feel now? Do you feel empowered and in control of your life? Or do you feel that maybe not everything is perfect but at least you know where you are heading?
Maybe you are just sitting there, finishing the second bottle of wine, crying over your miserable life with no way to go? If this is the case you have only one question to answer - do you want to stay miserable or not. It might be that you actually like that sort of state as it fits your lifestyle.
However, if you would rather see the sunshine again, then I can tell you something - tomorrow is another 24 hours that you can use for the things you want. Your past is not your future, it doesn't determine what you can or cannot do. It's all up to you. Take responsibility for your life and do something different tomorrow.
According to Albert Einstein "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is a definition of insanity" . Be sane, start changing things. It may look like these small changes have no impact on your overall life but just be reassured that every journey starts from the first step. The key is to keep walking.