For most people, a perfect life is a balanced life. It’s when you satisfy your wants and needs in all areas of life. In this article, I will cover the 8 key areas of life. This will provide a foundation to help you design your perfect life.
You will learn why it’s important to set goals in each area of life and what could happen if you don’t! I’ll then cover each of these 8 life areas in detail. I’ll also give you some ideas and suggestions to help you improve each of these areas of life.
I also score myself for each of these 8 life areas. You might find my scores interesting and revealing! I encourage you to score yourself too. This is an important first step to creating a balanced life. A life where you feel happy and fulfilled.
I’m a big believer that you’re either improving or going backwards in all the major areas of life. You never really stand still.
Also, you will be happier when you’re intentionally focussing and working on all the key areas of your life. It helps you put yourself first rather than other people. It ensures that one area of your life such as your career does not take over.
These 8 areas of life work best for me. However, you can change these slightly, to fit in with your culture or values.
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Career or Business
So the first area of life is career or business. You will probably work in a career or business for 40 or more hours a week. So you want to make sure it’s something that is fulfilling, enjoyable, and that challenges or stretches you. You want a career or business that meets your values, interests you and helps you become a better person.
Ideally you want to have a great company culture, wonderful people to work with that may become your friends too. This includes a supportive and understanding manager that stretches and challenges you.
I’ve had jobs in the past that have not been enjoyable. Jobs where I struggled to relate to my work colleagues. For me, this negatively influenced my friendships, intimate relationship and my mindset when I wasn’t at work. So when your job or career does not meet your needs, it can affect other areas of your life too.
If you’re running a business, you want to ensure that the business is growing and improving and that you’re getting better at being the business owner and entrepreneur.
Regularly check key metrics to ensure that you are on the right track and that your business is growing in the way you want it to. You want to have a great reputation and feel proud of what you do.
My Score: 8
I put a lot of time, energy and focus into my career and business. However, I value other aspects of my life and make time for them as you’re about to find out.
Health & Fitness
I believe that health and fitness are significantly different, so I’ve split this area of life into 2 sub-areas. You can look very fit on the outside but have poor health. Or you can be healthy on the inside, without being strong, flexible and in great shape.
Do you have any destructive habits in this area? Perhaps it’s comfort eating, or drinking too much alcohol.
When destructive health habits go unchecked, they gradually affect your health in subtle but very predictable ways. The effect of a poor diet on your health over a 10 or 20-year period is very certain and predictable. Chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are very likely to happen when you have poor health habits that continue for years. Anything you do (or don’t do) consistently will have predictable results on your health.
Long-term continuous and prolonged stress can dramatically affect your health. Your body is very well equipped to deal with short-term stress, through the fight-or-flight response. However, when this stress continues unchecked, this can put your health at risk. For some great ways to reduce stress, I encourage you to read this article.
This falls into three categories. First, cardiovascular fitness, which increases your energy. It’s good for your heart, circulation and it forces you to breathe fully. Second, strength or weight training to help you become a stronger person. Finally, stretching, yoga or pilates to increase your range of movement and become more flexible.
My Score: 6
My diet is pretty good. I eat mainly whole foods. I drink some alcohol, but not much. I normally get 8 hours of good quality sleep most nights. Fitness is more challenging for me. My cardiovascular fitness is good as I walk a lot. However, I struggle with strength training and flexibility.
Partner or Intimate Relationships
If you’re single, this is about getting a partner. If you’re in a relationship, this is about keeping your partner. So let’s start with finding a partner.
Finding a Partner
This isn’t completely within your control. However, there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances of finding the right person. Start by knowing what you want in a partner. What would your ideal partner look like? What would their values be? What mental, emotional and spiritual qualities would this person have? Write this all down and visualize it regularly. I did this in my twenties, and it really worked for me!
Then take action. Go on dates, join clubs, go to places where your ideal person might hang out. Use internet dating. Practice talking to new people daily. The more people you meet, the sooner you’ll find the right person for you.
Keeping Your Partner
If you’re in a relationship and you want to keep your partner, then prioritize quality time together. This could be a weekly date night, or a weekend away once a month.
Remember the romantic things you did when you first met and start doing these again. Buy flowers, surprise presents or treats.
Communication is super important in a relationship and you can always improve the way you communicate. Ensure that you’re always communicating as effectively as you can.
Dream together. Think about your future life together and how you would like that to be. Be grateful and never take your relationship for granted. Appreciate the little things your partner says and does. Say “I love you” regularly and enjoy being with your partner right now.
If you feel that your relationship is going backwards, then this great quote will help you get back on track. It is, “if you were to treat this person as if it was the beginning of the relationship, then there would be no end”.
My Score: 7
Hopefully, my wife agrees!
Money and Wealth
One of the fundamental reasons relationships end is a lack of money and the stress that comes from financial difficulties. So you can see how one area of life can influence another. Being in debt is hugely stressful, and that can negatively impact your relationship and your health.
To improve your financial situation, you want to earn more, spend less or do both! Personally, I find it easier to spend less money than make more money. I think that’s the case for most people.
To get ahead financially, you want your living costs to be around 60% of your total income after tax. This leaves you with 10% for guilt free spending (for example nights out, restaurants and other treats) and 10% towards longer term purchases (for example vacations, a new TV or new furniture).
You save the final 20% for unexpected financial costs and for investing. Unexpected financial costs include losing your job, serious illness, going through a divorce, a recession or a coronavirus health pandemic. Did you see that one coming? These are all things that are unexpected and difficult to predict.
I cover these budgeting concepts in greater detail in my article on how to spend less than you earn.
This is having an income stream that comes in regardless of whether or not you are working. This includes interest from savings, dividends from shares or rental income from an investment property. It could also be income from an online business where you’re selling physical or digital products on the internet.
My Score: 4
I am debt-free. However, my income is relatively low, and that’s a lifestyle decision. I’m reducing my expenses. I also believe that I have a good roadmap in place to improve my financial situation in the future.
Personal and Spiritual Development
Like health and fitness, I’ve broken this area of life into multiple sub-areas.
As you know, personal development helps you become a better person and be more effective and successful. You can do this by meditating, journaling, using creative visualization, repeating affirmations, reminding yourself of your goals, reading, learning and many other methods or techniques.
This also includes investing in courses and seminars that give you fresh information, insights and inspiration to better your life.
It’s essential that you apply what you learn consistently. One of the best ways to do this is to have an empowering daily morning routine. Before you do anything else, dedicate 15 mins, 30 mins or even 1 hour to your personal development. You’ll feel so much better for it and your day will be much more productive and fulfilling.
This could include prayer, meditation, keeping a gratitude journal and expressing gratitude. It’s about connecting to a higher power in whatever way that works for you. This will depend on your religious or spiritual beliefs, so do what is right for you.
Community Activities and Volunteering
You may wish to include any community or volunteering activities in this area of life. These activities often help you become a better person and increase your sense of connection with humanity.
My Score: 6
I learn and research personal development topics to share with you or to help my hypnotherapy clients. When I come across fresh approaches, I try them out on myself first.
However, I don’t have a consistent personal development or spiritual practice at the moment. This is primarily due to my focus on helping others, growing my business and being in a good place mentally and emotionally right now.
Family, Friends and Social
I’ve also broken down this area of life into multiple sub-areas.
Most important is your immediate family such as your parents, siblings and any sons or daughters. This is about spending time with them, resolving any conflicts and improving your relationship and connection with them.
However, you can also include uncles, aunts, grandparents, nephews, nieces and other extended family members here too.
For me, this is about connecting and reconnecting with good friends and spending quality time with them. I do this by having a weekly friend ritual. Once a week I spend an evening with a good friend that I haven’t seen for a while and we share experiences about life and catch up.
If some of your friends are a long way away, then why not meet up via Skype or Zoom? You can still share experiences and have a drink together. You’re just doing it virtually!
This might also be about making new friends by joining clubs and going on activities where you can meet like-minded people. Personal development seminars can be great for this!
This is connecting with groups of people, such as your work colleagues, school or college friends. It could also be social or activity groups. I highly recommend going to meetup.com and finding groups in your local area. It’s free.
When I first moved to Sydney, Australia 10 years ago, meetup.com was the way I met most of my friends. There are hundreds of meetup groups covering a wide variety of common interests.
My score: 5
Whilst I’ve been busy developing Self Help for Life and my hypnotherapy business, meeting up with friends has been on the back-burner for a while. However, I’m redressing this now through my one-on-one friend ritual.
Recreation and Hobbies
These are the fun things that make you happy and help you relax.
For me, this is day trips, weekends away and longer holidays or vacations. It’s experiencing other countries, cultures, seeing unique wildlife or tasting different foods.
When I was a child, my parents always took us into the country for a few hours each weekend. It was lovely to go hiking and get some fresh air.
None of my other friends at school did this. They were stuck at home whilst their parents were doing chores. I’m lucky that my parents valued the importance of recreation.
Hobbies could include playing or watching different sports, going kayaking, sailing or playing golf. You could play a musical instrument or listen to music. Perhaps for you it’s art or crafts, or playing computer games.
Whatever it is for you, take some time to cultivate a hobby.
My Score: 7
My major hobby is walking. I love walking in nature and make time to do that. Also weekends away, holidays and vacations. I also love music and use my Sony noise-canceling headphones to listen to music whilst walking and on public transport.
Home, Environment and Things
Home is about the place you live in. Is it large enough, well designed, comfortable and peaceful? Do you like the color scheme and the overall feel of your home? This area of life would include doing any home renovations.
This is the area you live in. Is it a safe area where you feel comfortable walking the streets? This would also include access to shops, cafes and public transport if this is important to you.
It also includes the weather. Is it a hot or cold area? Do you get lots of sunshine or many gray, cloudy or wet days?
People that live in the far north (for example, in Scandinavia) often suffer from S.A.D. This stands for seasonal affective disorder and is common in the winter months when daylight hours are typically 6 hours or fewer. This can have a major effect on the mental health of people in these areas.
So do winters affect you? Do you feel down and depressed in the winter? If so, consider the influence of S.A.D.
What is the air quality like where you live? Is the air clean and fresh or polluted?
Environmental influences often take time to change. However, consider these when you next move house or decide on a new town, city or country to live in.
This is buying things that are not related to a hobby. For example, a new car, TV, computer, smart phone, or other gadget. This would also include clothes.
My Score: 8
We live in a very safe and beautiful part of Sydney in Australia. We have views of Sydney Harbour from my apartment and it’s very safe to walk alone at night.
However, this wasn’t always the case. Just over 10 years ago, we lived in London. The crowds, packed public transport, icy winters with short daylight hours bothered us, so we hatched up a plan to move to Australia. It was a massive undertaking, but we will never look back. It took a lot of time and commitment to make it happen, but we did it!
Now you know the 8 major areas of life. Awareness is the first step to change, so I encourage you to score yourself for each of the 8 areas. Discover the areas that are strong for you and the ones that require more attention.
Some areas will be more important to you than others. That’s okay. The most important thing is that you strive to live a life that makes you happy and fulfilled right now, but also in the longer term too. Regularly checking in and scoring each area of your life will help you do that.
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