There are a wide array of tools for assessing where you are in life, for taking stock. There are tools for assessing everything from your personality, to your strengths and emotional health. And they can be incredibly useful and offer great insight and guidance. But, as with all tools, it's important to have a clear idea of what you want to get out of them before you start. Otherwise, armed with a hammer, you run the risk of treating all problems as if they were nails.
My favourite starting point for taking stock is to take a measure of where you are right now, in a holistic sense, to answer the question “how are you doing in all areas of your life?”. The Wheel of Life is a great tool for that. In its most basic form, it is a circle divided into 8 sections. Each section is devoted to an area of your life. The wheel can be used at a very high level so that the 8 areas cover the whole of your life or it can be adapted to a specific area, like work, so that you look at work specific areas. Essentially, you rate each area of your life on a scale of 1-10. By getting it out of your head and on to paper, you are able to see how you are doing and how important that is to you. It helps you decide what needs your attention and offers a glimpse of what might happen if you chose not to pay attention.
My other favourite tool is a values assessment. Values define who we are and what matters to us. When we find ourselves in situations where our values are compromised, we can become stressed and anxious. When we hold goals that are in conflict with our values or don’t address enough of our values, we tend to procrastinate because the tension stops us being able to make progress. Values do change over time depending on circumstances. By being aware of our values, we are in a better position to:
Use this list to identify the 10 values that are most important to you. Then order them in terms of their importance to you.