This assessment consists of eighty questions addressing the eight areas of wellness that make up a life, all are interconnected and contribute to your overall wellbeing. The results are merely a snapshot of your life at this moment. The results might have been different if you had taken it a month ago or may be different if you were to return to take it a month from now, as life is always changing. Just as an annual physical reveals different things each year, the same is true here.
Taking an assessment like this a few times a year is a good practice to get into as it helps you make sure you heading in the direction you want to be going.
After taking the assessment you can save your results so that you can return to the website anytime to either review your results or look for resources.
What will a compass look like after completing the assessment?
Here is an example of what a compass might look like after completing the assessment. It shows what areas the person has been paying attention to, as well as areas that might benefit from more attention.
WHAT ASSESSMENTS ARE AVAILABLE?
Prior to assessing the dimensions of your whole-person wellness we recommend reading the descriptions below of the eight areas that you will be assessing.
“For everything there is a season … a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” – Ecclesiastes 3
Much has been written in recent years about emotional intelligence. It is now clear that the higher our E.Q, or emotional intelligence, the greater the satisfaction we will experience in aspects of our lives. A high degree of emotional intelligence is characterized by the ability to stay calm and centered even in the midst of a strong emotional force field around us. The following questions might be helpful as you think about the emotional dimension of your life:
- Are you handling your emotions or are they handling you?
- Are you comfortable feeling and expressions the full range of emotions: sadness, fear, anger, joy, etc?
- Do your emotions get the best of you causing you to say or do things you regret later?
- Are you ever concerned that you might be suffering from depression or anxiety? Would you be comfortable seeking help if you were troubled by emotions?
- Are you comfortable listening and being present to someone else who is hurting, upset, or very emotional?
- In the words of the Serenity Prayer, how well are you able to “accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference”?
“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person, you may be the world.” – Brandi Snyder
Our family and friends know us best. Think of the wizard in the The Wizard of Oz. Our family and friends see the insecure man behind the curtain even though we may be able to hide behind a public persona with the rest of the world.
As you think about your relationships with your spouse, significant other, children, parents, extended family, and close friends, think about the following questions:
- How transparent and authentic are you in your relationships?
- Are you comfortable being vulnerable with those to whom you are closest?
- Do you turn to others for help and support when you need it, or are you more of a lone ranger?
- Is there at least one person in your life that you can be fully yourself with?
- Do you have any old, unresolved wounds from your family of origin that affect the quality of your relationships today?
“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.” – Maureen Killoran
Stress resilience has to do with how well you deal with two separate aspects of your life: how you emotionally and spiritually negotiate significant changes and transitions in your life, and how well you manage stress in general.
Being highly resilient to stress means you are able to “bounce back” from changes in your life. It means you take the time to do the difficult task of fully progressing through the stages of grief when you experience a significant change in your live. Too often we try to avoid these feelings, which seems like a good idea in the short term, but will always limit our emotional and spiritual wellness in the long run.
Some people are stress “junkies” – they are a person who thrives on having high levels of stress in their life at all times. This kind of person seems to thrive on stress and intensity, getting a “high” from living in the fight/flight mode most of the time. It is indeed possible to thrive in this way for a short time, but eventually the presence of chronic stress chemicals in your body will cause a decrease or breakdown in functioning across all dimensions of your life.
- Has your life included major life changes, planned or unplanned, over the last two years?
- Do you seek support from others, rather than isolating yourself, in times of stress or transition?
- Do you have the tools necessary to handle a major life challenge?
- Are you satisfied with the way you handle stress?
- Do you use alcohol, drugs, or food to numb or self-medicate yourself when stressed?
Care for the Body
“Don’t dig your grave with your knife and fork.” – English proverb
Our culture puts a great deal of emphasis on physical wellness and body image. Care for the body goes beyond your body being physically fit, it is about the choices you make concerning your health and how you treat your body on a regular basis. As you think about caring for your body, you might reflect on the following questions:
- Are you mindful about your nutrition and eating patterns?
- Are your eating choices primarily conscious or unconscious?
- Are you concerned that you eat for emotional reasons too often, as a way to comfort yourself?
- What role does alcohol or other drugs play in your life? Are you content with that role?
- Are you consistent about going to the doctor and dentist for regular checkups and regular care when needed?
- Are you comfortable with your sexuality and your sexual needs?
“People for the sake of getting a living, forget to live.” – Margaret Fuller
Many people spend a great deal of their waking hours each week at work or at school. How we experience our work/school life can have a major impact on our wholeness and wellness. The questions below might help you assess your satisfaction with this aspect of your life. If you are retired, not working or in school, you might reflect on volunteer/service work that you do. You might also reflect back on the work or schooling that you have done in your life.
- Is the work/schooling/service you do congruent with your values and beliefs?
- Do you have a sense of purpose in your work/schooling/service?
- Do you see how your work/schooling/service fits into the bigger purpose of your life?
- How do you relate to those with whom you work, serve, or go to school?
- Are you comfortable expressing your needs and wants where you work/serve or are in school?
- Are you growing in your work/service/schooling?
- Do you intentionally seek opportunities for growth and learning?
- Do you see a connection between your faith and your work/service/schooling?
“Failing to plan, means planning to fail.”
Being disorganized can be both a symptom and a cause of stress in our lives, whether it be disorganization of time, environment, finances, or planning. Everything becomes harder and requires more time when we are not organized. A vicious cycle is easily established as we become more stressed due to not being organized, which in turn causes us to be even less organized, which in turn causes more stress.
So much for the bad news. The good news is that anyone can make immediate progress in becoming better organized once they set their intentions to do so, and once they ask for the support and coaching of others. Whatever patterns we have around organizing our time, money, material possessions, etc. are simply learned habits; like all habits they can be changed. Research has shown that on average it takes 30 days to form a new habit.
In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey writes about what he calls the “tyranny of the urgent.” By this he means that people often are so overwhelmed with all that they are trying to do that soon everything seems like it is urgent and they lose their ability to plan and prioritize. One of the symptoms of getting caught up in the “tyranny of the urgent” is that it feels like we are wasting time if we take time out to plan and prioritize. In the end, planning and prioritizing will save us time, and make our lives much calmer, but it is so hard to realize this when we are caught up in our constant busyness.
Take an honest look at your life and assess how well you organize all the important things in your life: time, calendar, finances, closets, drawers, meals/grocery shopping, work, errands, important papers and documents (wills, titles, etc.).
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Teilhard de Chardin
There are a few components to be considered when thinking about your spirituality:
Personal, Daily Spiritual Practices:
These could include daily prayer, devotions, meditation, journaling, walking in nature, Bible study, reading, etc. How often do you do these things?
Participation in a Faith or Spiritual Community:
Are you active in a church or spiritual community? Do you attend regularly? Do you attend classes to enrich your spiritual life?
The Practice of Forgiveness:
Do you need to forgive or seek forgiveness from any of the following people: someone from your family of origin, a current family member (spouse, child), a friend, or a colleague? Do you struggle with forgiving yourself in any way?
Do you feel that your life has a clear purpose? Do you live in alignment with that purpose? When do you feel most alive?
Rest & Play:
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato
The biggest deficit in many people’s lives right now is not money, but time. Telling people how busy you are has become a badge of honor in our culture. We are moving so fast at times that we forget how important rest and play are to our wholeness.
Here are some questions to help you assess your satisfaction with this aspect of your life:
- How often do you play?
- What were the attitudes of your family of origin about play?
- How do you play?
- Do you play alone or with others? Whom?
- Do you take time to recreate every week or weekend?
- Do you take all of your vacation?
- Do you truly re-create on your vacation?
- Do you have hobbies that you enjoy?
- Is your play re-creative – specify how?
- Do you get enough sleep on a regular basis?