In Tri Delta’s new series, “3 For You,” we’re covering the best tips from experts as we navigate our current situation during COVID-19. Tri Delta alumna and Vanderbilt University’s Director of Student Leadership Development Krystal Clark, Maryland, shares the three steps to performing a Life Audit as we reimagine our lives post-pandemic. Read her three steps below, or listen to the podcast.
This pandemic has led to many emotions and feelings about how our world has changed and what’s to come. We are beginning to experience some glimpses of what the future will look like and perhaps even some light at the end of this very long COVID-19 tunnel. Now, more than ever, we find ourselves thinking “What’s next?” and “How do we move on?” Vanderbilt University’s Director of Student Leadership Development Krystal Clark shares her three steps for performing a Life Audit to help us move forward post-pandemic.
Step #1 Filter
The first step to performing a Life Audit is to create your Filter. This is what you will hold every opportunity, relationship and experience up against. Your Filter can be a personal mission statement, a set of core values or the legacy you want to leave in the world. Perhaps you’re a fan of Simon Sinek and you’ve defined your “why.” Maybe you have some great SMART goals you’re living off of. If you’re not clear about the larger picture and your finish line in life, it’s going to be hard for you to perform a Life Audit. You have to find your Filter first. The big question to think about is how do you want your life to make you feel, not what do you want it to look like.
Step #2 Flare
After you Filter, the next step is Flare. Flare is everything that’s on your plate—the master list of everything you’re spending time on in your life. Think about your job, passion project, relationships, campus and community involvement, even the time you spend scrolling on social media. Be honest and transparent in how you’re spending your energy. Put it on one sheet of paper.
Then, take your Filter to analyze your Flare. Take every element from your Flare and think, “Is this helping me achieve my Filter?” “Is this in alignment with my Filter?” Analyze the congruence and the incongruence. This highlight things that you can eliminate or decrease in your life. Ask yourself:
- How is this helping me achieve my mission?
- Is this making me feel the way that I desire to feel about my life?
- What am I gaining by having this on my plate? Could I achieve the same benefits another way?
- What would I lose by taking this off my plate? Does that matter?
- Is this using up other resources?that could be useful in helping me accomplish my why?
- If I weren’t already involved with this, would I sign up for it now?
You can use the stoplight method if this is helpful for you:
- Red = Uncommit, say no, and stop it!?
- Yellow = Slow down and?redesign it!?
- Green = Say yes and go with it!?
Step #3 Focus
Finally, we have to Focus. Focus is the work. You have your Filter, you have your Flare, and you know where the congruence and incongruence is—you know what you need to say “no” to and what you can say “yes” to. Now it’s time to make that different and better life for yourself! Commit yourself to those things that really do matter, and uncommit from those things that no longer resonate with you.
This is about fighting the urge to return to the familiar because it feels easier and more convenient. Really dig in and fight the false narrative that the past was incredible. Embrace the power of the pause—take a breath before you say “yes” to one more thing. Take time to first bring that Filter to mind and determine whether saying “yes” is in alignment with that. Make sure that you have a life that serves you, makes you feel good, and not just one that looks good. Focus on taking a step forward, not going back.