December 15, 2017
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Internal Integrity Check Print E-mail

What if you were satisfied with how you live every part of your life? You would be perfectly content with your circumstances. You would be able to serve others from a position of strength. You would enjoy life and have no regrets about the past. You would not be anxious or desperate about anything. People would wonder about you.

You can live this way, and an internal integrity check is just the ticket.

An objective review

Personal Balance WheelThe first step is an objective review of your current condition. It begins with an act of will; choosing to compare your current condition with your preferred condition. This is not difficult. In fact, this article will introduce methods and tools that will help you do a complete internal integrity check in about an hour.

Some people are so dissatisfied with their life that they do not know where to start. Others may be afraid to look inside for fear that the mess is too great and can not be straightened out. Still others have had bad experiences with being held to an unattainable standard, resulting in feelings of failure.

Instead, what is needed is just an honest assessment of your heart’s desire. Internal integrity means that you are in integrity within yourself. You get to choose the standard and you get to rate your own performance. The benefit comes from honestly taking an accounting and then using that information to direct your attention.

The Personal Balance Wheel

Download and print a copy of the Personal Balance Wheel. This is the tool by which you can measure your current performance and compare it to what you want. Most people can complete it with about 20 minutes of quiet reflection. Once completed, an action plan can be established based on that information.

Personal Balance WheelThe first step is to mark your current performance. The scale is 1 – 10 with “1” being completely dissatisfied with this area of your life, and “10” being completely satisfied. Complete the evaluation for each area before moving on to the next step.

The second step is to indicate the level of satisfaction you really would like to have in each area. Do not assume that “10” is the right answer for everything. Be realistic in what you are willing to prioritize. You may be satisfied with a 7 or 8 because of the effort or sacrifice it would require to achieve a 10.

Category Hints

  • Personal Spiritual Life – your personal walk with God.
  • Outward Religious Life – Christian walk, especially as others might see it.
  • Lifestyle (Busyness) – time management, flexibility or structure.
  • Personal Life Fulfillment – ability to pursue your God-given purpose in life.
  • Physical Comfort – lifestyle considerations, especially things.
  • Financial Stability – confidence that your needs will be met.
  • Job Satisfaction – alignment between your role, title and God-given purpose.
  • Work Relationships – interaction with coworkers and customers.
  • Friends / Social Life – relationships outside work and family.
  • Extended Family Relationships – interaction with parents, siblings, etc.
  • Home-Life – immediate family relationships and lifestyle of your home.
  • Marriage / Romantic – relationship with your spouse or other very close friend.
  • Social Skills – how well you interact with people in the community around you.
  • Physical Health – how well you deal with the physical demands of the day.
  • Mental / Emotional Health – how well you are equipped to deal with non-physical demands.
  • Spiritual Health – your identity in Christ and your relationship with God.

Using The Information

Personal Balance WheelOne way to use the results of the graph is with a Gap Analysis. The concept here is that you should make your adjustments where there is the greatest conflict between your desire and reality. When you start closing the gaps then you improve your overall satisfaction level most effectively.

Take a look at the chart and see which live areas have the largest gap between your current satisfaction and your preferred satisfaction. Prioritize accordingly. For instance, if your Personal Life Fulfillment is currently a “3” and you wish it were a “9”, then that would be the primary target for you. Then, if your Physical Health ranks a “3” and you wish it were an “8”, this would be a secondary target.

Another way to use the results is with a Shortest-Stave Analysis. The concept here is based on the observation that a barrel will hold only as much as the shortest-stave allows. In other words, your overall satisfaction level is influenced by your weakest area. Focusing your efforts there can have a significant impact, creating an environment of increased wellness. This increased wellness improves your ability to address other areas as well.

Making an Action Plan

Shortest Stave BarrelIdentifying the dissonance is only part of the process. In order to increase your satisfaction you must choose to make a change. Choose the first target area, either by gap analysis or shortest stave, and consider what you can do to increase your satisfaction in that area. Make a list of specific actions you can take that will make a difference, then put them on your calendar or to do list until they are accomplished. Tell someone that you are making some changes in your life so they can encourage you.

Imagine Internal Integrity

Being dissatisfied uses energy. What will you do with the energy that is saved from dissatisfaction? How will that change your life? How will it change the lives of others around you?

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