How Do You Measure the Quality of Your Life?
Have you been at a movie or a play and when music starts to come in for the emotional crescendo?
You get that feeling deep inside, that welling up inside of you. And oh my gosh you get tingles. You might get tears in your eyes.
You can’t help it. It’s either a response of sadness or pure happiness to what you are seeing. Your emotions can’t express in any other way than to physically move you to tears.
Isn’t it interesting that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a feel good or feel bad moment?
Some time ago I witnessed 20 other people share their life goals in a private Facebook group via individual video. Two of the videos made me pause. I had tears in my eyes, not because the members shared an amazing, impactful, or world-changing goal. No, this was humanity at its best.
They shared their most basic of human desires. What they said felt so true, connected, and realistic to what would make their lives better.
Here’s what struck me the most.
Their goals weren’t goals, but they thought they were. Instead, they expressed their values, like being happy, content, or at peace. It was about wanting clarity around what they needed to live an exceptional life.
Values aren’t goals.
Goals are things that you can measure. You can quantify a goal to know if you’ve achieved it:
- a number (more money, a percentage increase, followers on Medium, etc.)
- or by a date (I will have X by DATE).
What the group members expressed were intentions, which should not be ignored!
They were expressing deeply emotional senses of well-being and a desired quality of life. These are core values.
I believe we need to have defined core values before we craft our goals. Only then will we create meaningful, intentional goals that we will commit to accomplishing.
The greater the emotional connection (the value) to the goal, the easier the follow-through.
To create a values-based quality of life we need to create what I like to call well-being goals. This is how you can measure if you are living and enhancing your values.
What kind of life do you want?
- What kind of quality do I want for my life?
- What kind of a life do I want to live?
- What qualities do I want to experience in my life, and for the people I care about?
How do you measure well-being goals?
I said earlier that a goal is an outcome and you need something quantitative by which to measure it.
A quality of life goal for me is spending a lot of time outside in nature. I could measure that, if I wanted to be anal about it, by putting a checkmark in a spreadsheet for every day that I went outside, took a walk, or did exercise in the park.
Now, if you want something similar in your life, and you haven’t been doing it, make a list!
Try it for 14 to 30 days.
Make the action as easy as possible.
Write your goal/action/value on the top of the page. Run the dates down the side on the left side and check off every day that you do your new habit.
Your quality of life goal could be something like this:
“I will walk every day for 20 minutes to support my health.”
That’s pretty basic and easy, right?
The core value here is your health. The goal that supports you health is walking every day. The measure is the confirmation that you do it every day.
The bigger picture
Answer these questions,
- What’s your ideal quality of life?
- What do you want to experience and enjoy?
- What are your goals, your measurable outcomes, that will help you create your quality of life?
Think short term
Start with what you want to focus on over the next 90 days.
This is a reasonable time frame that you can “see out to.” Three months is a manageble about of time to plan goals that feel achieveable, and thus more attainable. Our short-term goals are what allow us to build towards the longer-term.
Think longer term
Think also about where you want to be and want you want to experience in the next 6–12 months, two, five, and ten years from now.
Another ✓ in the box of life.
When you check off the boxes, yet another goal accomplished, you bear witness to the value of your actions.
Each successive action towards your goals supports and improves your quality of life.
When you commit to your values and goals you will experience greater happiness and an improved sense of well-being.
Most importantly you will experience contentment. This comes from knowing you’ve done what you set out to do, living your life by design and experience.
Ready to break out?
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