Think back to a time when you were totally engrossed in a project – something you loved and felt excited about; you may have worked straight through lunch without even realizing it. Now, think about a time when you were bored or uninterested in a project. You may have snacked frequently; felt very aware of your hunger or even daydreamed about food. In the first scenario, physical hunger was suppressed by the fulfilling activity. In the second scenario, food was the substitute for fulfillment.
There ‘s a simple exercise I do with clients in my coaching practice to help them determine where they feel fulfilled and what is lacking.
For each of the eight areas below, rate your satisfaction on a scale of one to 10.
Social Relationships: Do you have relationships with family, friends and romantic partners that feel supportive or do any of these relationships drain you? Identify where you may need to create more connection and where you may need to let go of relationships that no longer serve you.
Exercise: Do you engage daily in physical activity that you enjoy and that stimulates and energizes you? Exercise doesn’t have to be confined to a spin class or running on a treadmill for the sake of exercise. Choose something you love or seek out new forms of exercise that you want to try. If you love to dance, for example, take a dance class. Working out won’t seem like a chore.
Career: Do you do work you love and feel passionate about? Many of my clients come to me with sugar addictions or emotional eating habits that when we delve a little deeper turn out to be the result of an unsatisfying job. Make sure you enjoy the kind of work you do, where you work and the people you work with.
Spirituality: Do you have a regular spiritual practice or some way you get in touch with your Highest Self? This can be prayer, meditation, membership in a religious group or anything else that’s meaningful to you. Introspection from a spiritual practice offers opportunities for self-growth, creativity and increased overall happiness.
Financial Health: How are your finances? Good financial health means your debts are paid and if you do owe money, you have a solid plan for paying off debt. Moreover, are you getting paid what you feel you are worth and do you have savings that meet your personal needs?
Physical Health and Well-being: Do you have annoying aches and pains? Do you get enough sleep at night? Do you take time for self care? If you aren’t keeping your overall well being in check, chances are your life will feel out of balance.
Creativity: Are you nurturing your creative outlets? Pursuing your hobbies outside of work and relationships is an important way to spark your creativity, keep you inspired and enhance your relationship with yourself.
Education: Are there classes you want to take, certifications you wished you had or degrees you want to earn? It’s never too late to pursue your dreams to their fullest.
Now look back over your assessment and determine where you need to improve most, then choose one area to focus for the next 30 days. After the month is up, move onto the next and keep going!