Ask the experts: Do I need a life audit?

It can be easy to move from day to day as if we’re running on autopilot. The days soon turn into weeks, and the weeks into months, and you might start to feel like a bystander in your own life.

Shot of a young woman standing alone on the beach at sunset.

If this feels familiar, it may be time to press pause and do a life audit – allowing you to take stock of your values and what really matters most to you, as well as getting rid of those that no longer serve your needs. But what exactly is a life audit and how do you do one? Here, personal development coach Caroline Knight answers your questions.

What exactly is a life audit?

Think of a life audit as a nurturing journey for yourself – an introspective and comprehensive way to assess many aspects of your life that, day-to-day, you might rarely focus on consciously. It involves analysing and reviewing your personal and professional life to direct your attention onto your goals, values, habits, happiness and satisfaction and assess them. 

This process helps raise your awareness and gain a much clearer understanding of where you are right now and where you want to get to in your life. It allows for a clearer vision of your future and the steps needed to improve your life. A life audit is about understanding your personal desires, acknowledging your strengths, reevaluating and setting a path that aligns with your most important values. It’s not just about where you are, but where you dream to be. Midlife is the perfect time to review and reevaluate your life.

What are the signs that I need to do a self-reflection?

  • You might feel stuck, not progressing, unfulfilled or lacking purpose. This is a sure sign it’s time to stop and reflect more. 
  • You might feel overwhelmed, stressed or emotionally drained by juggling a busy life. This is when your wellbeing is challenged. It’s a sign to pause and take stock of what’s happening.
  • Perhaps you feel dissatisfied, unhappy with life or adrift, unable to focus specifically on why.

Have you heard the phrase, “If you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same outcome”? Well, to create a different outcome, you need to make a change. What needs to shift or change focus to better direct your attention and actions? And to alter life situations or negative patterns you are experiencing?

When goals are unachieved, if you’re uncertain about what you want or what’s important to you, you will find it difficult to get where you want to be.

How do I get started with a life audit?

It’s important to step back and review your life in broad sections. Do this first, before diving into each one in more detail.

Split your life into different areas to help you categorise and understand priorities and what’s most important to you. Some might include:

  • Physical wellbeing. How are you caring for yourself? Look at physical health, diet, and exercise.
  • Mental and emotional well-being is precious. Explore it, review stress levels, and coping mechanisms and develop strategies and experiences for personal relaxation, resetting and revival.
  • Consider your relationships. Are friends, family and partners as you would wish them to be? 
  • Personal growth and development. Reflect on what hobbies, skills activities or pastimes energise and create joy for you and offer personal growth. 
  • Career and education: Are you satisfied with your job or career path? Is your work fulfilling and nourishing?
  • Financial security. Assess your financial health. Reflect on your financial journey and goals.

Find some more questions prompts in Caroline’s article, ‘Do you need a life audit: What is it and what will it do for you?

Caroline’s top tips for doing a life audit

  1. Gift yourself time for undistracted reflection.
  2. Be honest and self-compassionate. What you learn will serve you well in your quest for your happiest future self.
  3. Stay positive and celebrate your unique abilities focusing on your strengths and opportunities.
  4. Embrace helpful tools to support you such as journaling, and creative apps.
  5. Regularly revisit your life audit. Life is fluid. Review and adapt your needs and desires and revise your goals regularly to update your life goals as you evolve and grow

The key to a life audit is to approach it with a curious and accepting mind, an open heart and a willingness to embrace change and growth.

Remember this is a lifelong journey about self-awareness. It is a process to continuously revise what you want for yourself now and going forward. And to allow you to self-direct your life positively and with more choices.

This article was originally published in Happiful Magazine (Issue 74, 2024). You can order print copies online, or read the e-magazine for free on the Happiful app

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Written by Emily Whitton
Emily is a Content Creator & Marketing Coordinator at Happiful and a writer for Life Coach Directory.
Written by Emily Whitton
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