Taking a step back and looking at your life across all categories such as relationships, experiences, friendships, parenting, career, wealth, giving back, spirituality, and emotional wellness can benefit your goals to move things forward.
Taking a life inventory test can be thought-provoking, so taking the assessment with minimal distractions when you don’t feel rushed is essential.
Below are some examples of the sort of questions to consider
Your life inventory:
- What are the three things you are most proud of in your life to date and why?
- What are the three things you have failed at in your life, and what have you learned?
- Write down your top three most painful memories in your life. We will come back to these answers later in an exercise.
- If you were on your death bed today, what would you say to yourself? Do you have regrets? What are they?
- What will people say about you? How will they talk about you? What would you like people to say about your impact on people around you?
I came across a book on the top 5 regrets of dying, written by a nurse. In this book, she explains that many of us regret these five things in life on our deathbed:
- Working so hard – Missing children grow up and true companionship from a loved one.
- Not having the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life expected of me, was the most common
regret. They realized they had not fulfilled their dreams, knowing it was down to their choices. Health brings a freedom that’s usually taken for granted.
- Having the courage to express my true feelings – People settle with being ordinary instead of extraordinary to keep the peace. Suppressed feelings of bitterness and resentment lead to all sorts of illnesses.
- Staying in touch with friends – being so caught up in the race of life that they did not invest the time to nurture good friendships. Everyone misses friends when they are dying.
- Wishing they let themselves be happier- Most people don’t realize that happiness is a choice. In all things, you decide whether you experience joy or not. Playing around and being silly can be part of your everyday life. You do not need to be stuck in misery.
Typically performing a life inventory requires some introspection—usually done at difficult periods in your life.
It is always good to reflect on past mistakes, as it can be a reference point to understand how to evolve in the future. We can slow down our learning process by getting stuck in the cycle of regret. Be at peace with the past, and remember what you do moving forwards is what matters. Don’t take your life for granted, especially if you have health.
- What matters to you? From the list below, circle all the core values that best express what matters the most to you. As you read the list, try not to overthink it. You can create new words if you feel they better resonate with you.
Abundance, Acceptance, Achievement, Advancement, Adventure, Accountability, ambitious, appreciation, Attractiveness, awareness, autonomy, balance, being the best, beauty, benevolence, boldness, brilliance, calmness, caring, cleanliness, charity, challenge, commitment, cooperation, collaboration, compassion, confidence, connection, conscientious, consistency, contentment, contribution, courage, creativity, curiosity, daring, decisiveness, dedicated, determination, dependability, dignity, disciplined, diversity, efficiency, empathy, encouragement, enthusiasm, ethics, excellence, expressiveness, fairness, family, flexibility, freedom, friendships, fun, generosity, happiness, health, helping others, honesty, humility, humorous, inclusiveness, independence, inner harmony, integrity, intellectual, intuition, leadership, learning, love, loyalty, meaningful work, making a difference, money maker, motivation, nature lover, openness, optimism, originality, passion, peace, personal development, performance, perfection, popularity, recognition, reliability, reputation, resourcefulness, responsibility, religion, security, self-respect, self control, selflessness, serenity, simplicity, sophistication, spirituality, stability, status, success, teamwork, thankfulness, thoughtfulness, traditional, trustworthiness, truth, understanding, uniqueness, usefulness, versatility, visualizing, volunteering, wealth, warmth, wellbeing, wisdom, zeal.
- Once you have selected your values, Pick your top eight ones with the most importance. Then put them in order of importance from one to eight. Why did you choose those words? What is it about those words that resonate with you? Why are they so important? Write down the explanation of those values.
- From the topmost painful memories that you recorded earlier, review them and list the five negative thoughts, limiting beliefs that come up when you remember those topics. These are the thoughts that go through your mind daily that you say to yourself. An example of my past thoughts was -I’m not clever enough, I’m never going to find anyone else, I am not attractive anymore, I am under accomplished. I do not have enough motivation to change my life. By doing this exercise, you acknowledge that you have a negative thought pattern. Most people have negative thoughts about themselves that go unresolved for years. The first step is being aware of the thought patterns in your mind so that you can replace them with positive affirmations instead.
- Against the top five negative thoughts, what is the opposite statement? I am not attractive could be replaced with I am beautiful inside and out. Write out the five positive messages that can counteract them whenever you think of the negative thought.
- Mirror test – How comfortable are you with I am statements? I am statements can be compelling and healing. Write down five I am statements that are true of your values and beliefs in life today. For example, I wrote: I am loyal, I am blessed to have great friends and family, I am a good mother, I am generous, I am beautiful, I am driven, I am resilient, I am a dreamer. Read these statements in front of a mirror and observe yourself through the experience. Is it uncomfortable to say? The more painful it is to say, the more negative self-talk may unconsciously exist in your life. Try to do the mirror routine as a daily practice.
Give the life inventory a go! A life inventory is about learning how to deal with baggage you haven’t dealt with, such as parents, other relationships, work, children, etc. Doing a life inventory may highlight other unresolved issues of forgiveness that are still affecting your relationship choices.