The everyday grind through life is overwhelming, and when things aren’t going right, it’s hard to pinpoint one exact area which isn’t following its course. It can feel like life as a whole is going crazy, but if you break it down into 8 areas of life, you can begin to plan, watch and reassess in finer detail.

The different areas of life isn’t a new concept and have been proposed by many, in many forms. The likes of Tony Robbins proposes 7 areas within his pyramid of life and mastery, whereas Travis Robertson has 9 areas of life for goal setting.

Although most follow a similar premise, all vary somewhat. Whether that be the number of areas of life, through to their wording or implementation within a certain framework. There’s no need to get lost within thinking if any particular theory is “the right one”. The subtle differences between them highlight the fact that you as an individual are unique, and you have to find an approach that works for you. If you find one that you align with, then that’s the one for you.

As with all self-development, tailor it to you. It isn’t a ‘one-shoe fits all’ approach. Think of these theories or frameworks as tools, and it’s up to you whether you want to use them in your way or not.


Use the areas of life to plan and to reassess

By highlighting areas of life, it allows you a birds-eye view in mapping out your life. Whether for goal-setting or reviewing how you’re doing, these areas dissect life apart, with overlap between each inevitable. If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there? By setting SMART goals for each of these areas of life, it allows you to seize some control of the direction you’re going in. You can reverse engineer further, smaller goals in each, to ensure you’re on the right path.

These, initial, major lofty ambitions in life are the real top-level stuff. It’s called the areas of life for a reason. But once you know the ideal direction for each, you can begin walking it. You’re not going to get there within months, or even years. These goals can be a culmination of a life’s work to get to.

But what is more achievable, is the then 100, 1000 other goals you can begin to set to allow you to see a firm path ahead of yourself. The below 8 areas of life don’t have to be set in stone if you wish to add more or merge a few, but they’re a good starting point.



A well dressed guy smiling whilst standing in an alley.
Photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash

Self-explanatory one, this.

For the third of your life that you spend in work, what would you like to do with it? Do you have an ideal profession, or even lucky enough to have a calling, that you wish to pursue?

Having a dream role or sector to aim for gives you some direction in your career. It allows you to begin training and levelling up, even in your spare time, and to then begin to work yourself along that professional ladder. The movements that you make in your career can then start becoming more intentional, instead of chasing anything and then feeling unfulfilled. Pick the money you’d like to earn, what you’d like to do and how you’d like to do it.

Then you’re beginning to sort out your career and business.


Physical Environment

A decorated living room in a house.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Your physical environment talks about what is immediately around you.

Are you happy in your living situation? Is it the home you want? Are you even in the country you want to live in? Working on your physical environment is an important part for anyone, and we often do it subliminally. Each time we move flat or house, we try to level up. We try to improve the living conditions to make it more comfortable. We move to new countries to feel at home elsewhere.

Your physical environment is one of the areas of life you are no doubt already working on, so set it in stone with a goal.


Personal/Spiritual development

A person sat on the floor meditating as one of their morning habits.
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You can break these up if you so wish.

Personal development is vital for any human. As you go through experiences, you learn. As you make mistakes, you learn. Each time you learn something, you’re levelling up from where you were, so personal development is a building block of being a forward-thinking human.

Try to be intentional with it, don’t just allow life to happen to you and learn from it, go further and choose to grow. Whether that be expanding your knowledge of your favourite topic, or practising at a sport you love, go for it.

Spiritual development, although still growth-based in learning, can vary. Each person’s version of spirituality can vary, from the devout faithful in religion, through to those who believe in a connected consciousness throughout the universe.

But learning to grow into a spiritual approach and develop your understanding is also part of a happy and successful life.


Love Life

A couple providing each other with support to get through a grieving process.
Photo by Käännöstoimisto Transly on Unsplash

For most, based on our evolution as a species, our innate drive to find a partner and have a happy life with them will kick in (eventually).

Having someone to share the good times with is important, and shared energy will help you grow. It’s important to look at all aspects of this, as if you write “I want to secure a 10/10” and that’s it, then be careful what you wish for.

Honesty, communication, affection and love are all important aspects of a healthy love life, so ensure you write down your goals so you’re able to manifest it all.


Health & Fitness

Two shopping bags with food.
Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash

We have a finite amount of time on this planet, but we can do things to ensure we’ve got as long as possible.

Many initially look at health and fitness goals through the lense of vanity. That isn’t a bad thing, as feeling better in yourself is important for self-confidence and self-esteem. But staying healthy and well will prolong your life, as you’re taking care of the machine that will carry you through to the end; your body.

If you always run it through the mud, don’t expect it to work the way it should until its use-by date. Treat it well and set yourself some tangible goals that you’d love to achieve.

Whether that be a half-marathon, full one, or even learning to swim before you’re 30, do what works for you.


Fun & Entertainment

A snowboard instructor on top of a mountain checking out new runs in his adventurous job.
Photo by Yann Allegre on Unsplash

What do you love doing?

Does dancing bring a smile to your face? Does football allow you to forget your worries for a bit? Whatever it may be, we need to be able to enjoy life. But find what works for you.

Don’t go to the boozer through peer pressure, but then hate yourself for days afterwards being hungover, if that’s not what you want. If you prefer being fresh on a Sunday, travelling and hiking incredible mountains, then do that.

Working on what you love doing can ensure you’ve got some purpose in life.


Friends & Family

A group of university flatmates standing at a balcony looking at the sunset.
Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

The connections we form are an important social structure for us.

Through our entire evolution, our species has always required some form of social structure around us (as does nearly every animal on the planet). We need our groups for safety and for health, and this is deeply embedded in our being.

Although you may enjoy being a lone wolf (or hate it), having some form of network around is important for your mental health and growth as a person.

Working on these connections, and what you would like from them, allows you to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with those around you.


Finances & Wealth

A selection of credit cards.
Photo by Avery Evans on Unsplash

In the society we live (whether you like it or not), managing finances is vital to survive, and then thrive.

Having wealth is a lot different to managing your finances. We’re not just talking 000’s in the bank, but a diversified portfolio of investments that will always be around, even if the main income dries up.

In the shorter term, your finances and your savings may be an ideal goal for you to live without money worries and in a responsible way. In the short term, it may be paying off your overdraft and credit card debts, so you can begin saving.


You can see how each of the areas of life can be multi-tiered, but why it’s best to start at the very top and work backwards from there.

The areas of life not only allow you to plan ahead, but it allows you to reassess both the present and the past.

Look at how far you’ve come. From wandering aimlessly in each area, unsure of what you want, through to beginning to walk a path of your own design.

This stuff sounds very ‘head in the clouds’, but it’s meant to be. You have to be aiming towards something. The phrase “he who has a why can bear any how springs to mind. Having lofty goals, and the accompanying smaller ones to get you there, begin to provide you with your way. Once you start having that sense of achievement, where you can see yourself making progress, that ‘why’ becomes reaffirmed, as does your belief in yourself.

When you’re on that path, you’ll begin to make the most out of all the areas of life.


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