Tax season has just wrapped up and everyone, including the government, has been closely examining their financial assets and deficits which brings to mind an interesting question – when was the last time you took inventory of your emotional health?
We are well into 2015 so it’s a great time to perform a quarterly audit to see how things are going. You may find this especially helpful if you have been going through a tough time. Rather than see struggles as failures, consider it an opportunity to reflect and grow. If you like this activity, consider bookmarking or printing this article so that you can reflect upon it several times throughout the year.
What Am I Thinking?
There are several ways that you can consider this question. In the most literal sense, you might ask yourself what your thought processes are as you make certain decisions. Are you thinking things through before responding? Another approach might be to reflect on the direction your thoughts go. Do you tend to sabotage your efforts with negative thinking? Are you speaking to yourself in a way that is kind and supportive? How we narrate our lives throughout the day in our minds can make a big difference.
How Am I Feeling?
It’s almost mind blowing that we have become so busy in our daily lives that we’ve lost the ability to understand what we are feeling at any given moment. Much like a fussy baby may not realize that they are tired and need rest, we may be missing the opportunity to meet our own needs because we haven’t stopped to figure out what it is that we are feeling.
What Do I Want Now?
When it comes to evaluating what you want out of your life, think about how you feel at the moment. Maybe you loved the professional field you started five years ago but it no longer serves its purpose. The same could be true for friendships, neighborhoods and romantic relationships. Get honest with yourself about those items you no longer want to include in your life and start making the necessary changes. It might be a painful experience but this emotional decluttering is vital to your well-being.
How Am I Getting in My Way?
We’ve all heard the saying “I’m my own worst enemy” and, sometimes, it’s the truth. There are so many ways in which we can prevent ourselves from reaching our highest potential. Are you making excuses for your own negative behavior or the negative behavior of others? Are you holding on to unhelpful patterns or people? Do you allow fear to prevent you from taking important risks? Make a list of times when you may have sabotaged your own efforts.
What Do I Need to Do Differently?
Once you’ve gone through and audited how think and feel, determine what you want and how you may be impeding your own success and then come up with an action plan for implementing the necessary changes. If you struggle, ask a trusted confidant or even a counselor to help identify ways in which you might do things differently. Avoid trying to do too much at once and, instead, be patient with yourself as you make small adjustments over time.
As you work your way through the emotional audit, don’t worry if you feel discouraged, at times. Self-reflection and change is difficult for most people. Instead, continue to focus on your goals and how your life will be improved as a result. Imagine how good you will feel when you take control over your life.