Satisfaction Inventory

By Amy Martin, APRN, RhD

What would it take for you to feel satisfied?” This was a question I asked a young person today. She didn’t know what direction to go in her life and I commended her for not taking a back seat in this huge decision. It’s true that there are many people who make decisions by not making decisions. These are the folks who say they want something, but because of insecurity, fear or circumstance, do nothing about it and continue on in the habitual groove to which they have become accustom.

Is there a familiar groove that you’re in that you would like to change; habits, routines or relationships that have become unhealthy? Taking time to evaluate all aspects of life is an insightful exercise. Think about the different facets of your life and then make an honest evaluation. Here are some pieces you might consider:

  • Physical health
  • Relationships with family/friends
  • Work
  • Creative endeavors
  • Free time activities
  • Finances
  • Volunteer work
  • Home environment
  • Purposeful/Spiritual living
  • Mental/Emotional health

If you’re keen, take each of these 10 subjects and give your self a score from 1-10 (1 is NEEDS HELP, 10 is THE BEST.) If your score is less than 70% then you have work to do. These things don’t fix themselves, they take concentrated focus and effort, and above all, you need to know where you’re headed. It’s not enough to say I want to have a better job or a healthier body if you’re not willing to pay the price. And that investment of money, time and/or effort is the toll you pay to cross the bridge into a new way of living, happier, healthier and more balanced. 

Here are some questions to ask your self about each aspect: 

  1. Physical: Am I as strong and healthy as possible? Do I eat right/exercise regularly? 

  2. Relationships: Do I surround myself with positive, supportive people with whom I share mutual respect?

  3. Work: Is my work satisfying?

  4. Creativity: Do I engage in fun creative endeavors?

  5. Free time: Am I satisfied with how I spend my free time?

  6. Finances: Do I have a handle on my income, expenses and obligations/do I have a plan to get out of debt?

  7. Volunteering: Could I volunteer in some way to help those outside my small circle?

  8. Home: Is my environment organized, clean and does it feel like a refuge?

  9. Purpose: Am I aware of my greater purpose in being in the world right now?

  10. Mental/Emotional: Do I stay in balance emotionally and control myself so I don’t hurt those around me?

Anything worth your effort and energy may be difficult but not impossible. I watch people change habits every day; it takes decision and commitment. If every hard thing were tossed aside because of the required amount of exertion, nothing would ever get done and nothing would ever change. 

So back to that original question: What would it take for you to feel satisfied? Why not choose one facet of your life to improve and use all your energy, creativity and inspiration to move your number up to a 10. Then move on to the next aspect. By the way, that young woman from earlier today made a decision, and is moving forward with a plan, and I know she’ll see it through. Will you take the challenge and improve your life?

Amy Martin