I have now embarked on the process of auditing my life, and detoxing it step by step, so before I start babbling on about the hundreds of different things I will be doing, or have done, I thought I would take the time to explain some of the processes.
I got the idea of Life Auditing from Caroline Righton’s book ‘ The Life Audit’, and although I found the book a little too formalised and rigid, I saw the sense in the main focus of what she was trying to achieve. I took her ideas and have adapted them to suit my creative and somewhat more chaotic lifestyle. Of course, my life should become less chaotic as I advance through the process.
Auditing your life consists of looking at every single aspect of your life and personality, and completing a ‘stocktake’ of your current situation. Then you can really pick it to pieces, discover where you are wasting time, effort and money, and find a way forward to make your life less complicated, fluent and productive.
I chose to use this method, as I am autistic and suffer terribly from mental clutter. My brain feels ready to explode whenever I move out of my comfort zone, or have to remember numerous tasks or ideas. I find that the only way to alleviate this is to externalize my thoughts which keeps me focussed, and lowers my anxiety levels considerably.
So, these are the areas of my life that I will be auditing:
1 – Time Management
How do I spend my time? Do I spend too much time on things that are fruitless and unenjoyable? Can I spend my time in a more productive and fulfilling way?
2 – Health Stocktake
How is my physical wellbeing? Do I have the level of fitness that I desire and am I achieving my weight loss goals in an effective and pleasurable way? Am I eating a good diet, and spending the appropriate amount of money to feed my family a diet that they deserve? Is my health and diet environmentally sustainable?
3 – Relationships Stocktake
Am I spending my time with the right people? Do I waste time and emotional space on people who are undeserving or toxic? Do I surround myself with positive, inspiring friends and nurture good friendships, or do I coast along with people who just simply do not add value to my life? Am I a good parent to my daughter or can I improve my parenting and time that I spend with her? Am I a good partner to my other half? Do we spend our time together in a productive and meaningful way?
4 – Home Stocktake
Well, lets just say I am a slowly recovering hoarder… I will be analysing the clutter and most importantly tackling it and assessing along the way to ensure that it stays away and I overcome the psychological issues attached to hoarding. I will be using Flylady routines in addition to the auditing in this section. I will also be auditing the waste and finances for everything to do with the home, such as weekly shops, home improvements and the list of DIY jobs that never seem to get done.
5 – Image Stocktake
This is probably the most fun for us ladies! This is a stocktake of grooming, clothes and style, finding out where I am wasteful and what no longer serves me. I will be able to save money and no longer be screaming “I have no clothes” at an overflowing closet. At the end of the stocktake and assessment I will also be able to have a clearer idea of what my style actually is, rather than copying the styles of others. I want to be me.
6 – Financial Stocktake
This is going to be a toughy – spreadsheets and calculators, and I know it will be difficult to confront a few issues that I have pushed to the back of the draw in unopened envelopes! I will be creating a balance sheet and forecasting for the future, and consolidating my accounts into a manageable system. I will also be looking into how to create more abundance in a fulfilling way, and of course how to spend the accumulation!
7 – Career and Work Stocktake
Does my career REALLY satisfy me? Am I even on the right path? Its time to break this down and find out whats what in my head. Are my career goals actually my goals, or have they been stolen from others. Could it be that my career path is forged by parental expectations and friends choices?
8 – Leisure Stocktake
Am I spending my leisure time wisely and enjoyably? Do I even allocate time to leisure? Hmmm, I’ll have to wait and see on that one!
9 – Soul Stocktake
Do I spend enough time enriching my soul? How seriously do I take my religious beliefs, or do they even function for me any more? Do I have a clear purpose with my life or am I coasting along and not really living?
So, once I have worked out what my current situation is in each of these areas, I will be able to work out whether I am ‘breaking even’, as Caroline describes. I can think of a few areas where I think I am seriously failing already. Once I have formally identified these though, I will be able to put into place my action plan and get to where I want to be (despite not actually knowing where I want to be – hopefully this will become apparent in the process!).
If anyone would like to join in with my life audit and see if it can help you too, please feel more than free. Ideas are for sharing. I will post up some of my stocktake sheets for you to use if you would like them.