If you are a teacher, Summer is one of the best times to do a self-audit. Yes, you are probably still working on school curriculum, programming, student teaching, or even taking classes for your own education. But hopefully your stress levels are much lower than they normally are during the school year and you have some free mental space to really think about yourself and your own life.

To me, a self-audit is important because:

  • It recharges our self awareness.
  • It helps us recognize what is working: continue
  • It helps us recognize what we need to start doing: start
  • It helps us recognize what isn’t working: stop
  • It keeps us on track to living the life we want to live.

There are many ways to do a self-audit and if you do a quick Google search, you will find a ton. I like to take a few life areas at a time and think about one thing I should continue doing in that area, one thing I should start doing, and one thing I should stop doing. This makes it simple, easy to implement, and if you do this every six months or one year, then the small changes you make over time will start to show long term.

How to do a self-audit

Ideally it would be great to take every single life area and make all the necessary changes we want to see in ourselves, but realistically, I think you will agree that would be incredibly difficult and probably not possible. Here is a much better process:

Start by listing categories or life areas that you think you may want to audit

Some examples:

Relationships (friends, family, significant other)
Time management
Energy management

Once you have your list, pick 3-5 areas that are most important to you and you are willing to work on right now. That second part is crucial. You have to be willing to make changes in that area. If you are not there yet, pick a different area. When you have it narrowed down, now comes the fun part.


What is one thing in this life area that you should continue to do? What is really working for you?


Health – I’m good at sticking to my fitness routine and I need to keep exercising 3-5 days a week.

Career – I’m good at talking with my colleagues and I need to keep fostering those relationships.


What is one thing in this life area that you need to start doing to become better?


Energy management – Some days I don’t eat until lunch time. I’m going to start eating breakfast, even if it means I have to wake up 15 minutes earlier.

Finances – I’m going to start a monthly budget I am comfortable with and re-evaluate it in three months.


What is one thing in this life area that you need to stop doing? What is prohibiting you from fully thriving in this area?

Health – I am going to stop eating out so much and limit myself to two days per week.

Time management – I say yes to everything. I’m going to stop over committing myself.


Once you have your 3-5 categories and continue, start, stop answers for each one, start to set goals that will help you make the changes necessary. Make it a point to consciously think how you can stay on track. Some will be easier than others both in sticking to it and falling off. A strong set of goals will help.

This article was written by Mike Marsteller, motivational speaker. 

How do you take self-inventory? We want to hear your story! Tell us in the comments.


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