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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tian

How Satisfied Are You With Your Life? Evaluate Your Life Portfolio

Updated: Mar 4

Do you want to improve your overall life satisfaction but don't know where to start?


This article serves as a practical guide, offering a structured approach to evaluating your life portfolio to inspire meaningful change.


According to a recent article published by the Harvard Business Review, we tend to spend our time, energy and money on Six Strategic Life Areas and 16 Strategic Life Units (see Table 2 below).

This framework prompts a critical examination of the importance and satisfaction we derive from each facet of our lives. By assessing these components, you will embark on a journey of self-discovery to gain invaluable insight into how you currently live your life and inspire you to find ways to improve your overall life satisfaction!



First, set up a table below and rate from 1 to 10:


  1. How important are each of the below to you?

  2. How satisfied are you with each aspect of your life right now?


Table 1: Strategic life areas and units

Strategic Life Areas

Strategic Life Units

Descriptions

Importance (1-10)

Satisfaction (1-10)

Relationships

Significant other

Time with partner, dates

...

...


Family

Engaging with kids, parents, siblings

...

...


Friendship

Time with friends

8

3

Body, mind and spirituality

Physical health/sports

Exercise, physical therapy

8

4


Mental health/mindfulness

Psychotherapy, meditation

...

...


Spirituality/faith

Religious practice

...

...

Community and society

Community/citizenship

Membership in local clubs, jury duty

...

...


Social engagement

Volunteering, activism

...

...

Job, learning, and finances

Job/career

Work

9

8


Education/learning

Classes, training

...

...


Finances

Planning, investing

9

2

Interests and entertainment

Hobbies/interest

Reading, collectibles

...

...


Online entertainment

Social media, TV, gaming

5

5


Offline entertainment

Vacations, theater, sporting events

...

...

Personal care

Physiological needs

Eating, sleeping

9

9


Activities of daily living

Commuting, housework

...

...

Table adapted from table in Assess Your Life Portfolio



High Importance & Low Satisfaction


3. For activities you rated as highly important (scores>5), but low on satisfaction (<5), think about specific ways you can invest more time and energy to improve your overall life satisfaction.



For example, Table 2 shows Friendship, Physical health/sports and Finances may be highly important for you, but you are the least satisfied with how these are going.


Improving your satisfaction with these aspects of your life may include connecting with a friend either online or in-person at least once every two weeks (Friendship), getting a membership at a gym to force yourself to exercise more (Physical health/sports), and devoting yourself to investing 20% of your monthly income starting next month(Finances).


 

What activities should you spend more/less time on?


Now that you know what aspects of life are the most and least important to you, it's time to examine what activities you spend your time on. This will help you decide which types of activities you should do more of and which you should be cutting down.


4. List the top 10 activities you spend your time on nowadays, rate how important is it to you, and count how many of the strategic life units (in the above table) does each of the activities fulfill.



For example, going to a group fitness class with a friend may be very important to you (score of 9), and it satisfies 4 SLUs, including:


  • Friendship

  • Physical health/sports

  • Hobbies/interests

  • Offline entertainment


Whereas watching Netflix is less important to you, and it only satisfies 1 SLU of Online entertainment.


Table 2: Activities

Top 10 Activities

Importance (1-10)

Number of Strategic Life Units (SLUs) Satisfied

Group Fitness with a friend

9

4

Watching Netflix

5

1

...

...

...

...

...

...

Clearly, the above results indicates you may want to lower the time you spend watching Netflix, and consider spending more time exercising with your friend since it can "hit 4 birds with one stone"!


5. Next, I'd like you to fill out Table 3 below to summarize what you've learnt.


Table 3: Summary

Top 3 Strategic Life Units That I Need to Improve On (Note: These are the units you rated as MOST important but LEAST satisfied in Table 1) & Specific Activities Under Each

Top 3 Activities I Want to Spend MORE Time On (Note: These are the activities you rated as MOST important and hits the MOST number of strategic life units in Table 2)

Top 3 Activities I Want to Spend LESS Time On (Note: These are the activities you rated as LEAST important and hits the LEAST number of strategic life units in Table 2)

Physical health/sports: take a 20 minute walk each day after work, sign up for a gym membership

Group Fitness with a friend

Watching Netflix

Friendship: invite a friend for a lunch/dinner date, video-chat with a friend you haven't connected in a while

...

...

Finances: set a goal of saving 20% of my monthly income, read a book about financial investment

...

...

6. Lastly, put the activities you want to spend more time on in your calendar starting this week! Which activity could you do tomorrow?




 

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