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Nicole Hensley

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May 2, 2020

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The Twelve Aspects of Life

Life has the ability to serve us with more fulfillment than we may be aware. But it requires us to reciprocate by opening our minds, letting down our guards and creating space to welcome it in. 

Have you ever taken a moment to notice all of the unique and life giving aspects you have to enjoy? It’s much more than “work” and “play”. These aspects hold the purposes behind many of the decisions we make and when we find alignment with them, we can truly make the most out of life. 

Knowing the definition of each aspect is simply not enough to make big and impactful changes to our lives. After you gain an understanding of each, it’s important to schedule times to check-in with ourselves in order to determine if the visions and expectations of what we desire for each, is in alignment with the reality. And if we are feeling out of alignment, we need to follow up by making adjustments to our busy schedule to prioritize the aspect that needs it and ensure that we are being present in those moments we’ve designated space for it. 

In this cornerstone post, I am sharing my interpretation to the aspects of life.

Let’s start by overviewing the twelve life aspects.

THE TWELVE LIFE ASPECTS

NOTE: These are in alphabetical order. Its for each of us independently to determine how we prioritize the list.

  • Creative Expression
  • Family
  • Friendships
  • Fitness
  • Home 
  • Love and Romance
  • Mindfulness | Spirituality
  • Nutrition
  • Personal Finance
  • Self Development
  • Spontaneity 
  • Work and Career

THE PURPOSE OF GAINING AWARENESS OF THE 12 ASPECTS OF LIFE

I’m bringing your awareness to these aspects to share the path that I take towards a more consistently fulfilling life. My hope is that it will help you create a more stable foundation so that when “emergencies” or “tough life moments” do occur, you can quickly prioritize the aspects that need more of your attention at that time, and not throw the others ‘too’ off balance. 

However if life continues to spiral despite your efforts to slow it down, I would love for you read THIS POST > > > The Reset Button. The Reset Button is a method I’ve used many times when life had felt severely out of my control. In this post, I walk through the steps I take for a thorough and restorative “reset” that allows me to start over. 

Aside from being able to use the twelve aspects to make life more fulfilling, I also want to mention that it’s imperative to focus on finding alignment and NOT balance amongst each of these proportionately. For example, I am not asking for you to take your time and divide it by 12 in each of these parts of life. But rather to understand what you’re wanting and needing from each and making sure that you are aligned with those wants and needs. 

Now before I dive into each of life aspect in detail, I want to give you a quick example of how I’ve assessed my life at two different moments in time. 

CURRENTLY: 

(Background)

  • We are experiencing the global pandemic.
  • I have been began my personal quarantine on March 15th 2020 – Illinois stay at home order was implemented shortly after.
  • It is now May 20th 2020.
  • My wedding planning business came to a screeching halt with new business, but increased in crisis planning. 
  • My income has taken a substantial hit and my once “semi-secure” salary has now been tossed up in the air. 

With that being shared, the life aspects needing the majority of my attention at this time are:

(1-4 are in no particular order) 

  1. Family
  2. Mindfulness | Spirituality
  3. Personal Finance
  4. Home
  5. (the remaining 8 aspects collectively) 

But before the pandemic struck, my essential aspects requiring my focus looked more like the following:

(1-5 are in no particular order) 

  1. Family
  2. Work and Career
  3. Friends
  4. Personal Finance 
  5. Spontaneity
  6. (The remaining 7 aspects collectively)

The point for sharing this is because I want you to see that it’s okay to have priorities shift. They will continue to shift throughout time as your life goes through its motions. The goal is for us to re-access quickly and take action to hopefully stop the feeling of spiraling out of control. 

When the pandemic hit I knew immediately what needed focus that was sitting fine just prior. And that was my mental health, or as I categorize it “Mindfulness | Spirituality”. As I prioritized that, life began to slow its spiral and feeling aligned again. Once things begin to return to normal, we may see the work aspect back on the list. And thus, see the others shift around. This is great! The more we focus on what’s happening presently and make adjustments and shifts in the moment, the sooner we can catch ourselves becoming unaligned. 

THE DEFINITIONS OF THE TWELVE LIFE ASPECTS

Creative Expression

Focus on what inspires you. Make space for the things that make you – you. The goal for finding alignment with this aspect is to feel fulfilled with expressing your creative side. This can be anything from writing poems, getting lost with a paint brush, roaming your surroundings and exploring new things. 

This aspect of life encourages you to have fun with your thoughts and act on the things that excite you!

Family

Focus on who you’re doing this all for. Family may consist of your kids and spouse or your parents and siblings. Make space for play. Make time for meaningful conversations. Cook meals together or simply sit and be present with the ones your care most deeply about. 

Take the time to develop and strengthen relationships with those that’ve been a part of your life the longest. 

Friendships

Focus on those who are always there for you. Your friends make space for you, so be sure you’re making it for them. Find joy in the carefree conversations and the memories that you’ll look back on as you get older. Whether you are able to schedule girls nights every once in a while, or have the flexibility to grab a drink after work, it’s important to find the time to lend an ear, share your stories and bounce around ideas.

And every once in a while, celebrate your years of friendship! Take a weekend together and celebrate how much you mean to one another and reminisce on all that you’ve been through. Your friendships are important and should be celebrated.

Fitness

Focus on protecting what protects you. Make space to take care of the body that works tirelessly to keep you on this beautiful world. Be mindful of what needs attention and give it the strength it seeks. Taking care of your physical body in the fitness aspect is different than what we feed our body. Fitness accounts for physical activity. Running, taking spin classes, dancing, playing sports. Keeping your body in motion and in good function is the goal here. 

Other ways you can take care of your body is to ensure you are getting your regular check ups at the doctor. Ensure that you are physically well and take action when things seem to be getting out of order. 

Home

Focus on creating your sacred space. Make space for the place you spend most of your time in. Making your house a home truly is a statement I encourage you to live by. Through organization, cleanliness and incorporating personality, love the space you live in. Go buy the scented candle if it helps you feel relaxed at home. Paint your walls a soothing or inspiring color. Spend time on the place that you return to and create your spaces to support what you are needing out of each. 

Love and Romance

Focus on who sparks your fire. Make space for love. Support the one that supports you. This is all about deep conversations, physical connections, laughs and joy. Work on the relationship that helps you feel whole and get back to the basics. 

Whether you are searching for love, have a steady and strong relationship or are navigating marriage with children, each moment in life will require different types of your attention. Get creative and have fun, find adventure, be honest and be there for one another. 

Mindfulness | Spirituality 

Focus on finding peace. Make space for clarity. Slow down your mind and get back to basics. Lean into peace, let yourself wander and erase the fog. This aspect can contain religion and other forms of spirituality. This life aspect could also not at all contain religion and solely focus on meditation, speaking with a therapist or finding your version of mental peace. Or it could contain a combination. 

The purpose is to practice mindfulness and activities that make your body and wellbeing at a state of calm and serenity. 

Nutrition

Focus on the right fuel for health. Make space for finding the right foods to nourish your body and mind. The purpose here is to encourage you to fuel your body with nutritious foods or make a more conscious effort to the meal process. Take the time to slow down and make an experience out of the choosing of your foods, the making of your meals and the enjoyment of your mealtimes. 

Personal Finance

Focus on finding freedom from your finances. Make space to erase the stress of the cycle..the bill and paycheck cycle. Prioritize eliminating debt and create a process to minimize worry around what bogs many of us down most. A major stressor in many of our lives revolves around money. Whether that be specifically about the organization of our finances, learning how to get out of our deep debts, evolve from living paycheck to paycheck. By creating time and space to focus on organizing ourselves, developing plans for a better financial future and creating ways to make money management easier, we can relieve the overwhelm that many of us feel when its time to pay the bills or make financial decisions. 

Self Development

Focus on what keeps you curious. Make space for exploration. Develop your talents, seek out excitement and expand your potential. The purpose of this life aspect is to continue your learning. Whether that were to be from the more casual route of books and podcasts, taking an online course or choosing to go back to school. Keep yourself a priority by focusing on what intrigues you and answering the questions you’re looking to solve.  

Spontaneity

Focus on letting go Make space for life. Let go of your structure, close your calendar and live a little. Act on that risk-less impulse, eat the ice cream, and drizzle it in chocolate. This life aspect encourages you to let go of your planner and make decisions on the whim and for the heck of it. No purpose needed here. Enjoy you life. Leave work early, take the quick weekend getaway and remember that life doesn’t have to be so serious. 

Work and Career

Focus on your force and drive. Make space for the dedication to your craft. Find and expand your path to enjoyable and fulfilling work. The purpose of work and career life aspect is to encourage you to go after your passions, master achievements and form a professional life that you are proud of, and one that can evolve and provide you with an outlet from the other less structured aspects of life. 

HOW TO LIVE MORE FULLY BY FOCUSING ON THE ASPECTS OF LIFE

Now that you have a complete understanding of the 12 unique aspects of life, it’s time to take action. 

My recommended next step for you would be to take my life check in assessment. In this free workbook, I will walk you through the steps that I personally take on a quarterly basis to analyze how I am feeling with each aspect, where I’d prefer to be in the case I am not feeling aligned and then the next steps I take to make changes. 

You can download that workbook here and get started. 

I look forward to sharing my stories as I work through creating a fulfilling life for myself and I hope that you will share how understanding and making a commitment to aligning with your 12 life aspects has brought you a more full life with others. 

If you come across any questions, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below or reach out to me on social media. 

Until next time. 

Nicole

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