Taking a Personal Inventory

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

I invited you to join me this month in being thoughtful about the direction you want to take your life this year. It is a big topic, I know. It might create stress in some ways just considering it. It takes time to think in a meaningful way, and we all know that time is such a precious commodity. But, it is prudent to take a few moments to really think on these things.

I am more interested in taking a personal inventory, a status report about where I am now, and then planning for more personal awareness this year. Not so much “#girlboss” type goals, but more the subtle changes that move the needle in terms of living out the character traits I want to develop.

Spend a couple minutes to jot a few answers to these questions, even if you are starting this with no real vision or plan for your year or you life. Or whatever. And primarily, I am taking inventory of MYSELF, not the list of accomplishments and projects I aspire to complete. Those things DO come together, but personally, I need to start by looking at my own self as the starting point. Pour a cup of tea, and grab some paper to make some notes. Do it in the carpool line, if you must. Just start. You will want to revisit your responses in the coming months. Think in terms of the last few days and months, and take your time. This is just a start, so as other stuff comes to mind, write that down too.

Are you satisfied with the way your life is going (for example, over the past year)?

What has your emotional state been over the past couple of months/weeks/days? What circumstances have changed which may have affected your emotions, either positive or negative?

Do you take care of yourself physically? What are you reasons?

How do you spend your downtime/free time, when you have any? Does it build you up or exhaust you?

What do you do to recharge personally? Is it really working for you?

Does your daily work stimulate you? On a sliding scale, where are you between “love it” and “loathe it?”

Do you feel deep connections in your life? Are you satisfied with your close relationships?

If you are married, how is your relationship with your spouse? Are you growing closer over time, or moving further apart?

What are you core values? Identify 3 or 4

Do your daily habits/decisions bring you closer to living out your values?

What direction do you want your life to take in the next month/year? Are you on that path already or do you need to change course to get there?

As you review your responses, ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do to make ______ better, even if it is simply changing my attitude about it?” Let's face it, sometimes, that is really the only available solution for a problem. Once you see some of what you have written, identify if you have overlap in any responses. That will make it is easier to narrow down to a focus.

If this all feels very nebulous or weird, it’s ok. Try it anyway. This is really more about identifying what needs work in our lives. Not about adding to your to-do list, or your list of resolutions. I need to look at whether I am moving towards what I say I want. I know that if we keep doing what we have been doing, nothing changes. If you have a hard time with this, you can be brave and ask a trusted friend or your spouse for some additional insight. It might be eye-opening in the best way.

Wherever you are—This is where you begin. I would love to hear what you discover! Hop over to the Gracefully Collected Facebook page and let me know what you think! Hey—Just FYI—I know we are already in the second week of January, which, for the record, is not too late—JUST IN CASE you already feel pressure because everyone else seems to be moving successfully along with their resolutions and posting annoying pics of it on Snapchat. You are still good, I promise.

xo, Ann Marie

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