Do you need a life audit: What is it and what will it do for you?

It’s a brand-new year and so what will be different for you this year… do you know? Or is everything exactly how you want it to be for you? If everything is great, that’s fantastic! If not, what then?


Have you thought much about it and considered what you would want to be different? We often have New Year’s resolutions and find ourselves bursting with good intentions only to see them fizzle out within days or weeks. To be honest I’m not a big fan of New Year Resolutions.

  • A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something i.e. you are making a conscious choice.
  • An intention is an idea that you plan (or intend) to carry out. It’s something you mean to do, whether you actually achieve it or not.  

Both sound good, yet aren’t guaranteed.

Do we ask ever ourselves, what is the focus of our intention? Do we know the outcome we really want or just focus on something at the time? Do we have a plan of action or just something we think, ”Yes, I’m going to start that in January” or “I am really going to stop doing that from January”?  Yet, without a plan and a bit of direction and focus, it is far less likely to be achieved.

Don’t get me wrong, intention is important! But does your intention ‘fit’ with the rest of your life plan and goals and your core values and what is truly important to your future? 

Undertaking a life audit

A life audit may sound a bit scary, but honestly, it's just a grand term for self-reflection and future-scaping your life, to understand what you want for your future. This process helps transform good intentions into a practical plan of action. Rather than making fleeting New Year's resolutions you can’t stick to. A life audit involves creating a purposeful vision and a plan to follow.  

As social animals, we need purpose in our lives. It is a key element to our greater happiness and well-being. Living purposefully and intentionally you align with your core values, and this gives life meaning i.e. doing those things that are truly important to you. 

A life audit is a great first step in the process of using your intentions to create intentional living.

But what exactly is a life audit? 

A life audit is an encompassing self-reflection process involving personal, professional, and social aspects. It captures and reviews your current situation, identifying what the demands are on your time, space, and energy, and assessing if they align with your current and future needs.

Why invest time in a life audit? 

Firstly, because you're worth it. 

Secondly, it provides clarity on your goals now and for the future, guiding your actions and maintaining your focus. It's a personal evaluation, similar to a financial audit, where you scrutinise all significant aspects of your life. It is an insightful and enlightening process to offer yourself. 

Why is a life audit so powerful?

It helps you become more self-aware of strengths, weaknesses, values, and priorities. This self-awareness is crucial for making informed decisions so you can create a life that fits your needs, feeds your desires and aligns with your true self.

Many people rarely realise how they spend their time and expend their energies, let alone consciously direct and manage them. How often have you heard:  

  • “I don’t know where the time has gone, it’s just disappeared.”
  • “I haven’t done anything I planned to do this year and another year has gone by”.
  • “I don’t feel I’ve achieved anything I wanted to”.

A life audit helps you evaluate how you spend your time and energy. By identifying time-wasting activities or energy-draining relationships, you can make conscious choices to better prioritise what truly matters to you.

Prioritising and aligning with personal values can also help reduce stress. We can give ourselves permission to let go of aspects of our life that aren’t supporting us and redirect our attention more productively to things that nurture, nourish and engage us.

What’s the ‘catch’ of doing a life audit? 

Although generally positive, it can be a bit daunting. We have to face some of our fears in life and that feels uncomfortable. Because we tend to push these away. We create shame and guilt and blame ourselves for things. But I encourage you to step beyond these emotions and offer yourself some self-love and self-care. Being overly critical of ourselves and holding ourselves to high standards, we are often our own worst enemy. 

Our brains are hardwired to focus on the negatives. This is a core drive that stems from our earliest human beginnings to keep us safe and secure. But focusing on the negative feeds our negative self-talk and can hinder us in our quest for a happy, meaningful life. Thinking positively makes us feel better. We feel more self-confident when we focus on things we actually like about ourselves, rather than all our self-criticisms. It also boosts the natural positive chemicals in our bodies ie dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin.

 How to do a life audit

1. Start with an open, non-judgmental, positive mindset.

2. Use your body not just your brain! When we reflect on ourselves it is a personal, emotional and physical experience and using a writing journal is a great way to both physically and mentally connect with your thoughts and feelings. Use a pen and feel your thoughts as they flow from you and as you write them down.

3. Start high level, to begin with. Split your life into different areas to capture all aspects of your life, and so you don’t miss anything. This will help to understand the categories that are important to you, such as career, hobbies, physical health and well-being, mental health, relationships etc. Do this first before you go diving into the details.

4. Then start to reflect and use some self-inquiry. Asking key questions is a great way to get to know yourself and understand your current situation. In the same way you’d ask other people questions to find out about them, ask yourself those questions. The more questions we can ask ourselves and answer with truth, self-care, honesty and without self-judgement, the deeper we understand ourselves. Use these questions to write in your journal. And sit for a while and reflect on each question because there are often deeper answers you’ve not consciously thought about before now.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • How satisfied am I in each of the areas of my life?
  • What gives me the most joy?
  • How do I prioritise my time and energy?
  • How much time do I spend on activities that truly matter to you?
  • What are my personal and professional goals?
  • How is my physical and mental well-being?
  • How are my relationships guiding and impacting my life?
  • What’s going well? What’s not going well?
  • What is causing me the most stress?
  • What is driving my decision-making?
  • What am I proud of?
  • What distracts me?

5. Imagine what your life would look like if it were a perfect version of your best life. Use this to measure against as you evaluate each category and identify what areas of your life you want to change.

6. Set some goals. Make some challenging and stretching but also some ‘wins’ you can achieve along the way. Each little goal achieved is a step towards the bigger goal.

7. The final step is to review and evaluate your insights and answers. Look for patterns, triggers, and inhibitors for a clearer picture of what is working and what isn’t. 

8. Summarise your life audit by creating a document. Then set a plan that you can work towards over the next year or two. 

I hope this life audit summary will help you craft, plan and make decisions about what is adding value to your life, what you can let go of, and what actions you need to take next for clarity and direction in your life.

And, if this is something you need a little support to achieve, I’d love to hear from you. 

I am a personal development and midlife coach dedicated to supporting individuals in their journey towards a happier, more fulfilling life. If you're seeking guidance or a no-cost discussion, get in touch. Here's to unlocking the potential for positive change in your life!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Hereford, Herefordshire, HR1
Written by Caroline Knight, Personal Development & Midlife Coach BSc (Hons.), MAC MANLP
Hereford, Herefordshire, HR1

Caroline is a Personal Development & Midlife Coach, and NLP Master practitioner. Caroline blends coaching approaches to support clients in their personal and professional lives to reduce anxieties, build confidence, resolve issues and remove blockages that hinder their wellbeing, for a happier, healthier more successful life.

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