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Assess the domains of your life

A very effective way to look at and evaluate the big picture of your life is to think of the various areas of life as 'domains'.

Here is a list of 10 domains of life. Use the list below to rank how you feel about a particular domain by giving it a score from 1 – 10. 10 is absolute perfection while a score of 1 would be an absolute disaster.

The best way to do this is not to overthink it. Simply go through the list below and write a score for how you feel about this area of your life. This is completely subjective. No one needs to know this score except yourself. (you might want to copy and paste it in a word document OR write it out)

The domains of life:
1) Physical health – sleep, eating, exercise, disease etc

2) Mental wellbeing – stress, negative thoughts, mental illness

3) Interests, hobbies, creativity – have you been yearning to take up knitting but have not?

4) Romance, love life, marriage relationship – are you happy with the way things are at...

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Getting ready to set goals

family self development Jan 11, 2017

Most of us make resolutions or set goals in one or two areas of our lives. The majority of New Year Resolutions or goals tend to focus around the areas of health (weight loss) and career.

A better way to live our best selves is to see the big picture of our lives and begin to assess and make goals in many areas.

There are many ways to do this. We will look at one way today and another tomorrow.

The first way is to set goals according to our roles in life.

Think of the roles you have in life.

We have family roles (mother/father, son/daughter, spouse) work/career roles (employer/employee, manager, team member) community roles (community member, leader, pastor).

Now consider where you may set goals for improvement.

For example, in my role as a mother, I may need to work at being patient and to listen more.

In my role as a supervisor at work, an area for improvement might be to give effective and timely feedback.

What are some of the roles in your life currently? Can you identify...

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Process and outcome goals

There are some changes that we desire to make in our lives are habit related, for example, to exercise "more", eat "healthy", go "less" on social media. These are mostly the kind of resolutions that we make.

We will refer to them as 'process goals' because these are permanent changes that we wish to implement in our lives. Things that we want to give up or new habits that we wish to adopt fall under this category.

Regular exercise is a great example of a process goal. This is something that ideally we would like to become part of our lifestyle.

There are other goals which are outcome related, such as "lose 20 lbs", "read 10 books", "make 1,000 sales" etc. Goals like these are accomplished when the target is reached.

Of course process and outcome goals can work really well together in many areas of our lives. In health for example, a process goal would be to exercise 6 times per week and an outcome goal might be to achieve a blood pressure reading of 120/80 or better. The outcome...

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You need goals to be happy

Ancient philosophers believed that human beings are naturally oriented towards achieving goals. Today modern science confirms this. There is an innate drive within humans to reach for a target, to better ourselves and to progress in various areas of our lives.

Setting goals and achieving them is one of the secret habits of happy people.
People who are less satisfied with their lives on the other hand, tend to wander aimlessly.

I believe it was Alice in Wonderland who said, "if you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there". In other words, if you do not have a goal or an aim in life, you really don't need a plan or a path. This is generally not a recipe for a meaningful life.

So, do consider setting some concrete goals this year. Even if you do not achieve all of them you will be further along than you are now.

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How are your New Year Resolutions going?

Did you make New Year Resolutions this year? How are they going?

If you are like most people, you made some resolutions (that you have made before) and are already beginning to fall behind. Statistics show that less than 10% of people who make New Year Resolutions end of keeping them for the duration of the year with most people failing to keep their resolutions within the first quarter of the year.

Does this mean that we should just give up and not work at becoming better or achieving progress in various areas of our lives?

Not at all.

We just need to rethink how we are going about it. In other words we need to set ourselves up for success so that we have the best chance of achieving what we are working towards.

As a first step we need to move from making resolutions to setting goals. What's the difference, you ask?

A goal has is a clearly defined target while a resolution is just a hopeful change that requires no plan. We can resolve in our minds to make improvements, but until...

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Recharge

As we struggle to get end of year tasks completed and deadlines met, it is a good idea to remind ourselves that taking time off at the end of the year is not a luxury – it is a necessity.

In Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore writes, "We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture. Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don't."

The busyness that Moore talks about does not end with the workday. There are always tasks that need completing, people that need our attention, emails that need answering. The list goes on. The continuous demand for our energy and attention is not going away anytime soon. In fact, as one wise person said, "on the day that we die, our inbox will still be full".

What this means that we have to be intentional about taking time to recharge. It will not happen automatically.

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Unsubscribe

Part of my new end of year ritual is to make room in my life by letting go of what is no longer serving me.

How many things are you continuing to do because they once made sense but no longer do?

Today I unsubscribed from a bunch of services, email newsletters and notifications that I realized are causing me more anxiety than joy. Things that were meant to be tools towards productivity, creativity or joy but were now mere tasks to get through. It is so easy to get stuck doing the same thing without pausing for a moment to check whether it still makes sense.

So, go ahead. (not from the Daily Wisdom, I hope!)

You will be glad you did.

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Stop and fill up your car

I have a confession to make. I hate filling gas in my car. I would rather just hurry up and get to my destination. I consider stopping to fill up the tank a nuisance and a waste of time.

Now you might be thinking: “that is ridiculous! Obviously if you don’t stop to fill up, you will run out and stop in the middle of the road”.

Well, before you are so quick to judge me consider this: is there an area in your life (a “domain”) where you are too busy driving to ‘fill up the tank’? Do you wait until the ‘warning light’ comes on, and sometimes even fail to pay attention when it does, resulting in a mini crisis (who me?).

Are you ignoring your health, your relationships or your spirituality? Or just ‘cruising’ in these areas without taking the time to renew, rejuvenate or refresh?

Is this so very different from being too busy driving to stop and fill up the car?

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What are your roles in life?

When we are doing the end of year reflections and setting goals for the new year, it is easy to focus on one or two areas of life which we may be preoccupied with at the moment while ignoring others.

Living our best self requires us to pay attention to all aspects of our lives, even areas which may not immediately come to mind.

The first step in thinking this way is to define the 'domains' of our life. Another way look at it is to consider our various roles in life at present, at home, at work, in our communities and in the world at large.

For example, here are some 'domains' which may be applicable to you:

The health domain
The spiritual domain
The work domain
The business domain
The marriage domain
The parenting domain
The volunteering domain
The community service domain
The domain of family relationships/family of origin, extended family
The domain of friendships
The home organization domain
The domain of self growth and actualization

Do you get the picture?

So start making a list of the...

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What were the biggest lessons learnt this year?

Did you get a chance to 'clean up' unmet goals and commitments over the weekend?

As we continue with our end of year review, let us reflect on the life lessons that this year has taught us.

It is important to reflect on lessons learnt, because it has been said that those who don't learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.

So what are some of the lessons you have learnt this year?

While you are writing them down, it is a good idea to write them in short positively worded statements such as:

1) I learnt that if I keep taking small consistent steps towards a goal, they really add up
2) I learnt that it REALLY pays off to bite my tongue when I want to be right
3) I learnt that God always sends a sign when I need it the most. I need to be clear in asking for it, though!

Do you feel like sharing some of your life lessons from this year? I would love to hear them!

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