12 questions to help you decide what you really want out of life
Do you ever feel that something’s wrong? What do you really want out of life?
The following questions are designed to help you find a better answer than, “I don’t know – but not this.”
1. Do you wish your life was more exciting?
Do you think you’re a boring person? Are there ways you could build more excitement into your regular daily life? Which activities have you always wanted to try? Would taking more adventurous holidays satisfy your need for adventure, or is there a permanent change you could make which would fulfil your needs better? Start working on your Bucket List and make it happen.
2. Do you feel you could have achieved so much more?
Have you been putting your talents on hold ‘until a more convenient time’ which never came? Do you have skills you’d like to develop? Is it too late to start now, and if so is there something else you could achieve instead? What could you do to help your community or family that you aren’t doing now? What would give you a feeling of achievement? Set yourself some goals for the next five years and keep trying.
3. Are you concerned about your health, fitness or appearance?
Do you feel confident about the way you look and dress? Do you have an addiction you’d like to kick? Has your health deteriorated and what can you do to improve it? Do you feel fit and well for your age? Are you following the medical advice you’ve been given? Are there some healthy lifestyle changes you need to make? Make a plan and start working on your health.
4. Do you have a partner who is the person you want to grow old with?
Are you in a steady relationship? Do you want one? Are you someone worth loving and if not, how do you need to change? Does your partner treat you with kindness, love and respect? Do you actually like and admire your partner and feel lucky to share their life? Does your sex-life need reviving? Do you wish your partner would commit more to the relationship? Do you laugh and have fun together? Can you and your partner discuss problems in your relationship? Do you tell each other the truth? Do you share each other’s views on important issues? Was everything fine and then one day everything just wasn’t? Assess your relationship to see what’s right and what needs to change.
5. Do you have a true friend who will listen and support you, whatever you decide to do?
Do you have someone you can confide in? Is there someone who can advise you and help you sort things out? Are you a friend to them, too, or is everything you discuss about you and your problems? Do you want more friends? What kind of friends? Do you deserve them?
6. Do you enjoy spending time with your family?
Do you show enough interest in your family and their lives and dreams? Do you see your family enough or too much? Are your family relationships happy and relaxed, or are there tensions and problems? What can you do to improve relationships in your family? If you can’t make things better, what can you do to improve the way you feel about those issues?
7. Are you worried about money?
Do you have enough income? Do you overspend, and how can you cut back? Are you wasting money on things you don’t want? Could you find a different source of income, or an extra way to earn money? Do you have enough say in how your income is spent? Are you worried about debts? Make a list of your real outgoings and plan what you can really afford. Contact people you owe money to and arrange repayments.
8. Have you made enough progress in your career?
Do you feel passed-over at work? Is that the reality or are the people who got ‘your’ jobs or promotions actually better? Is your partner holding you back or putting pressure on you to try for promotion? Would you do better at a different company? Do you have faults which are stopping you getting promoted? Are you aiming too high, too soon? Have you been promoted to a level where you’re struggling to cope? Do you only care because of the money, or is the job itself important to you? Make a realistic assessment of your skills and personality and try to work out what aspects you need to change.
9. Do you feel proud of the way you make a living?
Is the job you do worth doing? Does your job benefit the world or take away from it? Do you think less of yourself because of the way you get money? Are you living on state benefits and desperate to find work? Do people admire your occupation and does social status matter to you? If you couldn’t do this job, what would you prefer to do instead? Consider all your options, including self-employment or a career change.
10. Do you feel trapped by your duties and responsibilities?
Do you wish people wouldn’t expect so much of you? Do you want more freedom? Is there something you wish you’d never agreed to do? Do you feel you don’t have enough say in how you live? Could you arrange for other people to take on some of your responsibilities?
11. Has something spoiled your life?
Do you have long-term health problems, a major disability or mental health issues? Have you suffered sexual abuse, bullying or traumatic experiences? Is it still going on and what could you do to improve the situation? Are you getting professional treatment or therapy? Does your partner know/understand? If you could make one change to improve things, what would that be? Is there a way you could help others in your situation? Work out a step-by-step plan from where you are now to the best place you could hope to be.
12. Do you believe your future will be better than the way things are now?
If you take no action now, apart from what you’re already doing, will things probably get better or worse? Can you see a natural end to your problems in sight – eventually it’ll all be paid off, eventually I’ll find another job, eventually she’ll leave home? Is there anything else you can do to improve your life? Is a dramatic change the only solution to your problems or could you make the future better gradually?
Assessing your life options
Now that you’ve looked at each aspect of your life, ensure that you don’t waste time on regret or blame. What matters now is what you do in the future, not what what you did or didn’t do in the past. If it’s gone, it’s gone – work with what you have left.
Focus on making a practical plan with achievable goals. Deal with one or two key problems first, and you may find the rest of your life will sort itself out.