Kristina often starts with this useful exercise when working with a new client.  And she will often suggest existing clients redo the exercise on a biannual or yearly basis.  

The purpose of this exercise is to make a holistic assessment of your life in this current moment.  It is useful for goal setting, and can also be useful as a benchmark to check your progress later.  At the bottom of this set of instructions, there is a worksheet you can use.

 

STEP ONE: Customize the titles of the life categories listed below, so they fit your life.  For example, “religion” may not be a word you resonate with, so you might want to substitute “spirituality” or “community involvement” or “giving back to the world” or anything that seems right to you.

  • Career
  • Finances
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Significant Other/Partner/Spouse/Romance/Dating
  • Religion/spirituality
  • Recreation/Hobbies/Fun/Vacation
  • Health
  • Surrounding Environment (your house, office, car, local outdoor spaces, etc.)
  • Anything that’s important to you that doesn’t seem to be in any of the above categories

 

STEP TWO: Score your personal satisfaction level in each category on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being not satisfied, and 10 being completely satisfied.  Remember this is your own satisfaction level.  For example, you might not make a lot of money compared to some people, but if you have all you want, and are happy with your situation in this area, go ahead and score it high.  

Also, score all the categories, even if there isn’t anything in your life in that area right now.  For example, if you are single and not dating, and you’re entirely happy being single and not dating, then score that category high.  If you are single and not dating, but you wish you were dating or in a relationship, then score it lower.

Similarly, if there’s not really anything in your life that you would categorize as religion or spirituality, and you’re content with that, then just score your satisfaction level in that category as high, and go on to the next topic.

Also, define the categories however works best for you. For example, you get to decide how you want to define, “Family.”

 

STEP THREE: For each category, write out a sentence or short paragraph describing what that category would look like if it was scored a 10 on satisfaction level. So for example, if you scored “career” as a “4” because you don’t like your job, write out what a 10 would be.  Maybe for you a 10 would be, “A job that relates to my college degree, within easy commuting distance.”

This is not the same as setting a goal.  Setting a goal is deciding to achieve a specific result.  In this exercise you are only thinking what your own idea of complete satisfaction would be.  You may decide to take some of these ideas and use them to create goals, and some of them you may never take on as goals.  For example, under “Surrounding Environment” you may write, “spend 2 months each year in in my own beach house.”  But you may not actually want to take that on as a goal right now (or ever) because it may not be that important to you. You may not want to dedicate the kind of time and money to meet that particular ideal.  You may decide that a 1-week vacation in a beach rental fits much better with the rest of your goals in life.

 

STEP FOUR:  Score how personally important each category is to you right now.  For example, imagine you only scored “Hobbies” a 4 in personal satisfaction because you don’t have a lot of time right now for your hobbies. Imagine you also scored “Career” a 4 because you don’t like your job.  Maybe you don’t care very much about your hobbies right now, but you really care about your job. In that case, you would score “Hobbies” as low in importance, and score “Career” high in importance.  

If you’re having trouble understanding the difference between satisfaction level and importance, it’s ok to skip doing the importance scoring.  Some people automatically include importance when they decide on their satisfaction levels.

 

TIPS FOR THIS EXERCISE:  You may want to complete all 4 steps for one category, prior to going on to the next category.  This will help you focus on each category.  On the other hand, you may find it easier to score them all first, then go back and write out your “What a 10 would look like” statement after you’ve scored them all.  Either way is fine.

 

WORKING WITH A HELPER:  It might make it easier if you can find a friend or family member to help you with this exercise.  Your helper should go through the worksheet and prompt you to answer the questions.  Your helper should then write down what you say.  

It’s important that your helper not try to influence your answers in any way.  Your helper should never say things like, “Are you sure you want to score it that low?” or, “That’s not realistic.  Maybe instead you should say…”  

Your helper should encourage you to answer the worksheet questions however you want to answer them.

 

CURRENT LIFE INVENTORY WORKSHEET:

  • Career
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)
  • Finances
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)
  • Friends
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)
  • Family
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)
  • Significant Other/Partner/Spouse/Romance/Dating
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)
  • Religion
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)
  • Recreation/Hobbies/Fun
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)
  • Health
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)
  • Surrounding Environment (your house, office, car, local outdoor spaces, etc.)
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)
  • Anything Else That’s Important
    • Level of Personal Satisfaction is ________(Score 1-10)
    • What a “10” would look like ______________________________________ ________________________________________________________(describe)
    • Level of Importance to me _______ (Score 1-10)

 

Credits: This current life inventory exercise was adapted and expanded from information from Kristina’s Life Coaching certification training, 2000-2001, by The Coaches Training Institute, www.thecoaches.com, and the “Wheel of Life” exercise found in Co-Active Coaching, by Laura whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House, and Phil Sandahl, 1998.
Copyright: Kristina Sullivan, 2001-2017