When you want to change your life or simply give yourself goals, you sometimes don’t know where to start. You don’t know if you need to be precise when you write them down. You don’t know in which domain you need help.
I myself spent a long time in front of my journal, every January first, asking myself what would be my goals and resolutions for the year. Most of the time, it would be to change my life for the better and to lose weight!
Even if it’s always something that I want, I’ve totally changed how I set my goals and intentions.
First of all, I don’t wait for the new year’s resolutions to have new goals. When I feel the motivation, I take my journal and made a review of my actual goals and I adjust some of them. I also write down everything I want to accomplish before a certain date.
But what’s really important to me is to think by life categories. What are the categories of my life that need to change the most to change everything around (if I want to)? And how to identify them?
We don’t realize that sometimes, we need to work on one category to evolve the others.
Imagine the impact of your decision to change your job on your entire life. It will change your finances, your love relationships, your personal development, everything!
Before going into the subject, I want to warn you that all of the categories of your life are important and none of them should be left behind. You’ll tell me that career and finance are really important, it’s what helps us to live but all the other areas are equally important and I will tell you why.
So here are the 8 categories of your life in which you can set goals and intentions.
Health and fitness
Ok so the first one is pretty obvious, it’s all about health and fitness. So in this one, we will talk about your general physical and mental state. It’s not only about what you eat or how many times you go to the gym. It’s also how is your sleep, how is your mental health.
It’s a vast category on which you can work a lot.
Now, I try to learn as many things as possible about the health of my belly. I watch a lot of videos and I read an interesting book about the microbiome. You can also take care of your health by learning new things about it.
So in this category, you can tell yourself that it could be great if you eat better or that you want to improve your cardio. Or you could want to improve your sleep because it’s not the restful one that you have. You could also want to see a therapist because you don’t feel great right now and you think your mental health could be the cause of it.
Don’t neglect this category. It’s your body. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing and you can do nothing. So be careful guys. It’s thanks to your body and your health that you can improve the other areas of your life. If you don’t have a restful sleep, if you’re not eating well and if you don’t exercise regularly, you won’t have the energy to do the rest.
This life’s category is all about your love life, whether you are in a relationship or not. It’s also about your sex life, the place your couple takes in your life, and how you feel in this relationship.
For this one, what could be your goals? If you’re not in a couple right now, it could be to go out more to meet new people.
It’s up to you if you don’t want a serious relationship at all. But just ask you questions about this and don’t take for grounded that you will only have a life with non-serious relationships.
For example, if you’re in a relationship and it’s not going great, you can suggest to your spouse to go to therapy together. Or maybe you just need to spend some time together. Tell him/her that once a week you go out or you watch a movie together (without your phones).
As for all categories, it’s something you have to do in the long term. Perhaps you’re really happy in your couple but if you don’t maintain the relationship, it will end. You always need to put some effort to keep your relationship in a good direction, if it’s what you want of course.
When you think about goals or resolutions in your life, there are most of the time, 3 areas that stand out: career, fitness and finances.
The career category is all about how you feel in your job. Do you feel useful in what you do every day? Do you feel fulfilled? Is this job aligned with your values? Do you need to change? What do want to do if it’s not your dream job?
I’m not gonna lie, career is a big part of our lives. If you have a 9-5 job, you spend most of the time at work than outside when you’re awake. It’s crazy, right?
So obviously, this part is really important for us.
But I need to tell you that this part should be greatly reduced. Ok, we spend a lot of time out there. But we have a life beside. And we must not forget it.
When I was thinking about my goals a few years ago, and specifically for my career, I wanted to work less. I’ve had enough of spending my time behind a desk to do useless things.
Now you know the story. I quit this job to have another one with fewer hours but better paid. It’s not my dream job but I have so much more time for me and my activities.
So think about this. If you work a lot in a job you don’t love at all and you want to have more time for yourself, what would you do?
Or, perhaps you love your job and you want to have a promotion. In this case, what will you do to have one?
Even if this category is a very tough one, I think it’s the one for which you will see the result faster. It’s a very concrete one. It’s all about your savings, your debts, your budget.
You can ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have an emergency fund?
- Did you start investing?
- What is your net worth?
- At what age do you want to retire?
There are 2 things in this category that you can focus on:
- Increase your income. You can ask your boss for a promotion or you can start a side hustle. You can, for example, sell all the clothes you don’t wear anymore. I earned a lot doing this.
- Decrease your consumption and create a budget. Save what you already earn. I don’t tell you to be frugal, I’m not frugal at all but I set up automatic transfers and I create a budget and I save a lot on the same salary!
If you want to see more about this, check my blog post about financial independence!
Your spirituality area is all about your relationship with God. But if you’re not a believer, it’s also about your gratitude, how you enjoy the present moment and you make mindful decisions in your life.
For me, it’s all about your mindset, what your actions are to enjoy the present moment. It’s to be grateful for what you already own.
It’s, for me a complicated category because I’m not a believer and even if I’m grateful for what I have, it’s complicated to really enjoy the present moment and not think about my future or my past decisions, compare myself, and so on.
So if you want to evolve in this category and it’s what I want to, here’s what you can do.
- Remind you every day 3 things you’re grateful for.
- Go to church every week if you’re a believer.
- You can meditate every day to enjoy the present moment.
It’s up to you!
Social is really important because we need others to thrive, even for an introverted person!
In this category, you will find your relationship with your friends, with your family but also how you are with strangers. Are you someone who helps a lot or it’s not something you use to do?
So how do you feel about your relationships right now? Do you feel surrounded and supported?
What are your relationships with your family? Are you taking news of your family? Are there things that need to be said?
Your goals could be to contact at least every 2 weeks your parents or your siblings. You can also contact a person you didn’t see for a long time.
Perhaps this year you need to tell someone what you have in your heart related to your relationship.
This area is all about learning, creativity, productivity, and all the things you do to improve yourself. What do you do to improve your everyday life? How do you express your creativity?
Do you learn something new every day?
When you are in your routine, your personal development is something you neglect. You don’t learn at all, you don’t have the time or the energy to improve your life and you prefer watching Netflix than doing something with your hands.
So what is the subject you want to learn today? Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to learn more about your body? Perhaps you want to take a cooking class?
Don’t wait another year because I know you’ll never do it! I’m the same! Sometimes you just need to take a non-fiction book about something to open the door of a subject you will be passionate about.
Quality of Life & Fun
This category is all about your fun time and how you live in your environment. It’s all about your home and how you occupy your time when you’re not at work.
Do you feel great in the place you live? Do you want more space? Do you want to live abroad or in the countryside? Or you’re just fine where you are?
Do you have fun outside of your work? What are the activities you love to do when you’re not working?
The word “fun” means different things for different people. Perhaps for you, it’s to take a good book and drink your tea. Perhaps it’s to go out with your friends all night long.
About your environment, you don’t have to move out to feel better. You can declutter and reorganize your space. You can also explore your neighborhood. You will maybe find a new coffee shop, a new restaurant or whatever.
Ok so now that you know all of your categories, ask yourself all the questions I gave you above. They will help you to see more clearly what you want.
If you ask yourself in which category you need to work on first, look at the one that will have the biggest impact on your life.
Before, it was my career and my finances that I needed to work on the most. Now I prefer to work on my health, on the fun category, and on the spirituality. I try as much as possible to incorporate more creativity and personal development in my life too.
What about you? In which category do you need to uplevel to have the most impact in your life?