Your Life Binder is a road-map of your life. It is a tool to achieving your life goals. It can take whatever form works best for you, although I do have some templates here to help if you like.
You can approach this activity any way you would like, but I start with an area where I feel the least satisfaction, then if I get discourage I switch over to something really uplifting. That motivates me to keep going. I started with my career; that and my health are the two areas of my life that I’m not happy with. I figure if I straighten out career, health will be easier.
I take each category as an opportunity to figure out everything I love and hate in that area of my life. Let’s look at a sample category to clarify; because it is the simplest one, I will use Health & Fitness as the sample. I used career to fill in my sample forms, so you can check that out here as well.
What’s Already Good?
I brainstormed all the things that are going well in that area. I think it is important to recognize the things going well. When you focus on things that you want to improve, it is easy to lose sight of what you already have. I can walk, and my health is improving, not deteriorating for the first time in ages. That is a great thing!
What Else/More Do You Want?
I added all the things I want to have in the future: keep exercising 3 times a week, better cholesterol scores, touch my toes and pants a size smaller. I use a combination of targets, pictures and sentences. It can be as vague or as specific as I know at the time.
Did You Miss Anything?
I looked at my brainstorm and to make sure I had all areas of that section covered. For example, health & fitness needs to encompass things I want to be able to do, as well as things I want to see when I have gone to the doctor. For me, it needs to include everything required to make me feel good now and in the future. I add just the headings to my list if I don’t know what I want yet.
I realized that I had missed a whole aspect of me and split Physical into 2 categories: Health & Fitness and Beauty & Style. As important as my health is to me, I care about how I look too. I didn’t want to lose track of either one so I defined each as its own category.
Then I used everything I had so far to create a list of headings and key terms for that section. For fitness, I listed flexibility, strength, stamina and balance. Then I defined targets for each area, sometimes many targets. For example here is my list of fitness targets:
- Strength & Flexibility
- New Habit: Muscle and bone strengthening 2X per week
- Get up off floor easily/gracefully (subjective – further define)
- Pick up dime from floor in one movement
- Touch floor with flat palm and straight legs
- Eliminate limp in 5 years
- Cardio & Stamina
- Walk 5 km in fundraiser next year
- New Habit: Get 150 minutes per week cardiovascular exercise
- New Habit: Minimum 10 minutes exercise every day
- Bring cholesterol down to recommended levels
- Meet recommended body weight (define time frame)
- No more skin rashes (define time frame)
- Stand on one foot for 30 secs. (both sides, no holding on)
- Participate in a boxing class (2 years)
- Take a yoga or Pilates class (3 years)
- Sign up for a dance class (4 years)
As you can see, fitness is an easy one for me. Most people would never have a list this long. I want to do all the “normal” things for someone my age (as long as they were a little out of shape). And I would like to be healthy in my doctors eyes.
This is the hardest part. Try it. Getting from blank page to a list of reasonable targets is quite challenging. Start with Physical or Career, those are probably the easiest. Skip the categories you are not passionate about. If you don’t really care, why waste your time? Spend your time on the things that matter. Fool around, use the brainstorming tools, surf the net, figure out who you want to be.