The Twelve Areas of Life: What will you do with the next 8,760 hours of your life?
With 2018 being around the corner, and many usually in search of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve decided to borrow heavily from Alex Vermeer’s 8,760 hoursto implement some changes for the new year. The idea is to hone in on these twelve — less, if you choose — aspects of your life and without judgement, brainstorm areas for improvement… or acknowledge those that you’re proud of and would like to remain the same.
It may help to start off with a theme in mind for the upcoming year. This next year can be your “Year of _______________.” This could be a specific accomplishment (finish school, run a marathon) or a general goal.
What will you do with the next 8,760 hours of your life? Here’s to being grateful for 2017, successes + lessons learned and making 2018 the best year yet.
Values & Purpose
Your deeper, underlying, fundamental values and wants. Your philosophy of life. Your sense of purpose, vision, and meaning.
- Do I have a sense of purpose and direction in life?
- What do I want out of life?
- How do I want the world to be different?
- What is my philosophy of life?
- What do I truly value?
Contribution & Impact
How you give value to the world, make a difference, and have a positive impact.
- How am I giving value to the world?
- Am I taking responsibility for, and reducing, my environmental impact on the world?
- Am I making a difference?
- Am I contributing to important and worthy causes that I care about?
Location & Tangibles
Your physical presence in the world. Where you are in the world. Your living situation. Your stuff. What you own and why. Your material sufficiency. Your mobility.
- What is my living situation like?
- Am I tied to one location? Am I readily mobile (if desired)?
- How much stuff do I own? Do I have too many things?
- Is my life cluttered?
Money & Finances
Your savings, investments, assets, and debt. How your money is organization and managed. Your inflows, budgets, and outflows.
- Do I have savings? How much? Where are they?
- Do I have an emergency fund? How much? Where is it?
- What is the status of my assets and investments?
- Do I know where my money goes?
- Do I budget? What is my budget?
- Am I aware of how I spend my money?
- How do I want to be spending my money?
- Are my finances organized?
- Do I have any (unwanted) debt?
Career & Work
Your work, job, career, and business. Your source of income.
- Does my career give me mastery, control, and purpose?
- Am I well-positioned and networked within my industry?
- Am I so good they can’t ignore me?
- How stressful is my career/work?
- How do I make my money?
Health & Fitness
Your eating habits, diet, exercise habits, and activity levels. How resilient you are to sickness. Your overall energy level. Your sleeping patterns and quality. Your major health issues and susceptibilities.
- What do I typically eat? What is my current diet?
- Do I regularly eat fast food or make healthy home-cooked meals?
- Do you exercise? What form? How often?
- How much do I sleep on average? Am I getting good quality sleep?
- How much do I weigh?
- Are there any health risks that run in my family? Am I taking adequate steps to address these?
Education & Skill Development
Your learning, education, and mental development. Your talents and skills. Your skill development, practicing, and training.
- What is my current education status? What do I know?
- Am I spending time learning new things and developing my mind?
- What are my talents and skills? How much have I read in the past year?
- What talents and skills have I recently developed, or plan to develop?
Social Life & Relationships
The intimate relationship(s) you have or want to have. The quality of your relationships. Your home life and relationships with family members. Your friend circles and social experiences. Your club, organization, and community memberships.
- How is my home life?
- How is my relationship with the members of my immediate and extended family?
- Am I a good friend?
- How many core friends do I have?
- How large are my social circles?
- Am I cared for, loved, and valued by others?
- Are my partner and I aware of each other’s needs and desires?
- What clubs, organizations, and communities am I a member of?
Emotions & Well-Being
Your general feeling about life. Your emotional intelligence. Your subjective well-being, self-esteem, self-respect, and self-compassion.
- How do I feel about my life? Am I enjoying it?
- Am I generally optimistic or pessimistic?
- Am I easily aware of my current emotional state?
- Am I quick to notice how my emotions are influencing my thoughts, actions, and decisions?
- Do I have a regular mindfulness practice?
- Do I practice self-compassion?
Character & Identity
Your identity and model of yourself. Your strengths and weaknesses, virtues and vices. Your intelligence, integrity, honesty, courage, compassion, honor, self-discipline, and so on.
- What identity do I have?
- What are my key strengths and weaknesses?
- What are my greatest virtues and vices?
- How do I rate my compassion, integrity, empathy, honor, self-discipline, self-awareness, responsibility, courage, focus, authenticity, confidence, persistence, effectiveness, etc.?
Productivity & Organization
Your memorized solutions, daily routine, schedule, effectiveness, organization, and productivity. Your setup, systems, processes, tools, and techniques.
- What productivity systems and tools do I use?
- Am I organized? What are my systems?
- What are my routines and rituals?
- Is there too much complexity in my life? Do I need to simplify?
- Am I busy due to a lack of priorities?
- Do I have a good workspace environment and setup?
Adventure & Creativity
Your hobbies, pastimes, and things you do for fun and adventure. Your creativity and its expression.
- Am I experiencing what I want to experience in life?
- What fun things have I done lately? In general?
- What creative things have I done lately? In general?
- What are my hobbies?