• icon-cloud
  • icon-facebook
  • icon-feed
  • icon-feed
  • icon-feed

Reviewing & planning our lives

And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done   Rainer Maria Rilke

When I get to heaven, God will not ask “Why were you not Moses?”.  He will ask “Why were you not Susya?  Why did you not become what only you could become?"   Susya, a Hasidic rabbi 

It makes lots of sense to occasionally review how our lives are going and make any alterations that feel right to us ... see, for example, the quite detailed sequence of four blog posts on this site beginning with Purpose in life: reduces dementia risk, increases life expectancy, treats depression and builds wellbeing.  These posts were written a while ago now, but subsequent research has tended simply to reinforce the points that they make.  I was intrigued, for example, that in Michael Mosley's recent Just One Thing interview ... Stay Young Special ... with Professor Andrew Steptoe, the first of five tips Professor Steptoe lists is "to find purpose in life".  His second tip, by the way, for staying healthy and young is to "keep close to your family and friends."    These suggestions are strongly influenced by Andrew's work heading up the rather wonderful English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) with their downloadable 20 year report just recently published.

One time we traditionally do this reviw is at New Year ... looking back at how our lives have been going in the last year ... and looking forward at how we want them to go in the coming year ... both building on what's going right and altering what could be improved.

There are so many good ways of doing this and here's an approach that works for me.  I split my life into 'Roles'.  At a high level, these are Relationships, Work and Health, but these high level categories can be usefully split into smaller Role areas.  So under Relationships, I personally have Partner, Family and Friends.  Obviously, depending on one's circumstances, one might have different Relationship Roles.  I split the general Work category into a further three Roles ... Physician (I rather enjoy this somewhat 'old-fashioned' word), Elder and Administrator.  While under Health, I have the Roles Body/Mind and Emotions/Spirit.  These Roles change a bit year on year, but they stay fairly steady overall.  Have too few, over-general. Roles and it's easy for important life areas to get ignored.  Have too many Roles and we can get lost in detail.  I try to keep to eight and try to have pretty much all my day to day activities falling under one or more of these Roles.   


More to follow ...



Share this