The Self-Audit That Changed my Life

I love my life. I love my business. But it hasn’t always been that way. 

I had a great start. 

I was raised in an amazing family with parents who loved me. I was the typical teacher’s pet in elementary, overachiever in high school, valedictorian of my graduating class, and worked hard to keep everything in my life perfect. 

Then my 20’s arrived. And with them, the consequences of trying to keep everything together for so long. 

  • At 20 I experienced burn out for the first time. I had spread myself too thin at college, and had nothing left to give. 
  • At 22 I was living in constant pain; years of injuries and stress had caught up to me. 
  • At 24 I battled depression, had no energy, and could never get enough sleep. A short 6 weeks after my wedding I found myself in an emergency room. 
  • At 26 I looked at my workaholic tendencies, lack of quality relationships, and decided that enough was enough. 

That was 5 years ago… 

Gradually, I began to take control of my life. I started evaluating my priorities, taking care of myself again, and learning how to be more intentional. It’s been 5 years since I started down this road of intentionality, and now I am the healthiest I have ever been. 

It hasn’t been easy. Honesty is painful. Saying no hurts. Disappointing others is tough. 
Personal development and therapy cost money. 

But it has been worth it. 

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in this season of my life, is that if I don’t make a decision on purpose, someone or something else will make a decision for me. That has led me to to purposefully evaluate every aspect of my life. 

Here are my top 3 reasons why being purposeful will change your business and life: 

1.    Being purposeful improves your productivity and helps you focus.
2.    Being purposeful establishes healthy expectations of your future.
3.    Being purposeful eliminates overwhelm and helps you manage stress.

One of the best ways I’ve become more purposeful in this season is by doing what I call the “Activity Audit”. It’s an opportunity to get a big picture view of everything I am involved in, and evaluate it, based on current priorities. It literally changed my life. And now it’s part of my quarterly review.

Here’s how it works. 

Write down absolutely everything you are involved in on sticky notes. Activities might range from community involvement, clients, volunteer roles, career, charitable giving, education, mentorship, relationships, hobbies, business, and exercise. 

On a large bulletin board or white board, create three columns, equally spaced across the top.

Yes     |     No     |     Adjust

Carefully consider each and every activity and place it in the column where it needs to go. 

Here are some questions to get you started:

1.    Is this activity helping me become who I want to be?
2.    In this season of life, should this be a priority?
3.    Who are the people I want to have stronger relationships with in 10 years?
4.    Just because I have done it for years, does that mean I still need to do it?
5.    What have I always wanted to do, but keep putting off?

Why don’t you join me? Grab some sticky notes, some blank wall space, and get started with me right now by watching this video!

Incorporating the “Activity Audit” into your quarterly review is a great way to make sure that you aren’t becoming over-committed, and are continually evaluating everything you are part of. 

Want to take this one step further?

Let me show you how I do my quarterly activity audit in Trello.

What did you learn about yourself through this activity audit?  

By Kathryn Hofer

Kathryn Hofer is passionate about helping others live a quality life. With over a decade of experience executing live events, organizing teams and projects, and running a non-profit, she has focused her attention on educating others about the value of planning.
When she’s not planning or singing, you can find her curled up with a good book, a cup of tea and dark chocolate. Kathryn lives in Kitchener, Canada with her husband. They love traveling and eating delicious food.

Find out more about Kathryn at The Modern Planner