Finding Balance Step Zero: The Heart Inventory

An essential tool to learning the art of having a balanced life is to know what are the things that need to be balanced.

Film poster for The Bucket List - Copyright 20...
Film poster for The Bucket List – Copyright 2007, Warner Bros. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are the things that you really want out of life? Personally, I’ve been able to categorize them into the following areas:

1. Personal Growth – This includes my Spiritual Experience as well as personal maturity, such as overcoming fears, etc.

2. Ministry or Social Responsibility – Everyone wants to be able to help others in some way. Helping individuals, your family, colleagues, church or your community in general.

3. Financial / Material – Things that I want to have.

4. Relational / Social / Marital / Family – What I want out of my relationships. i.e. Getting married.

5. Professional / Career – What you would like to do as a vocation. If money was not an issue, what kind of work would be fulfilling to you?

6. Practical – Things I just want to learn. i.e. play an instrument, fix a car, etc.

7. Physical – Weight / Body Fat Percentage targets, running a marathon, lifting 500lbs.

8. Inspirational (Bucket List) – Things I want to try at least once in my life. Hang gliding, scuba diving, surfing.

Sit down, take out a sheet of paper (or your phone, tablet, or computer) and make a list, fitting things into the above categories. You may have your own areas to add to this list. Take your time, what’s important is that you are able to put on paper everything that you find in your heart. I call this exercise the Heart Inventory. It’s not a to-do list. You don’t need to set a deadline to complete each one. The purpose of this exercise is to see what’s really in your heart.

It was exhilarating the first time I did this. I now periodically do this with my wife.

Question: I may have missed something. Do you have anything to add to the list?


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