Self-Improvement Self-Assessment
April 28, 2016 6:13 AM   Subscribe

I am interested in writing up some kind of self-assessment, to be completed annually or every six months or so (ish) to get a rough idea of whether my eternal quest for self-improvement has been going well over time. I'm not exactly looking to gather literal, usable data, but that would be interesting too. What should I ask, and how should I format it?

I'd be interested to look at examples of this sort of thing, but any attempt at Googling "self assessment" inevitably returns information about work self-assessments or psych evaluations. While there are elements of each that I might include, this isn't quite what I'm after.

I am thinking of focusing questions across a few categories: Family/Relationships, Work/Education, Health/Fitness, Emotional/Psychological Health, and Hobbies/Travel. Is there anything I'm missing?

I am planning on hosting this online (I probably will not keep a hard copy), and I would like it to be relatively comprehensive; I'm picturing this taking a good couple hours to complete, if not more given time allowed for self-reflection.

Thanks for any and all input!
posted by Urban Winter to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
What scares / angers you now - does it still push your buttons years later?

You could either do free form or just ask yourself explicitly "does public speaking still scare me?" for eg.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:37 AM on April 28, 2016


Well... this isn't super organized, but I keep a diary and at the front I write 100 things I want to do. They can be anything from "visit the Royal Botanical Gardens" to "learn to crochet a granny square" to "visit Nana and make her feel LOVED"

And I flip through it every so often - especially when I think, "Huh! Free weekend! What's on the list!"?

Then I highlight what I did. And seeing the highlighted "self improvement" "tasks" completed makes my heart swell.

When I finish a diary, I carry over all the "tasks" I didn't complete and add more to make 100. And so on.

It ain't fancy but it works for me. An I love going back a few diaries to look at the things I challenged myself to do!
posted by Dressed to Kill at 6:47 AM on April 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


66 Personal Development Habits For Smart People from Farnam Street.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:48 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


With regards to habits, you want to measure the frequency, intensity, and duration of episodes.

So, taking anger management as an example, that would be how often you have an attack of anger (once a week? Once a year?), how intense it is (did you speak in a nastier tone of voice than you'd prefer? or did you smash things?), and how long it lasted (did you manage to get yourself under control in a minute, or were you still fuming a week later?)

(this actually applies to good habits as well - with exercise, for example, or acts of kindness. How often, how long, how much?)

(my personal opinion is this will yield much more impressive results if you do this accounting more than twice a year- daily, weekly, or even monthly. The yearly review should just be to check if there is an overall upwards trend in the results of the more frequent reviews)
posted by Cozybee at 7:06 AM on April 28, 2016


For an annual check-in, something like Year Compass may be of interest.
posted by anthom at 7:06 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Came in to say Year Compass. Covers all the bases and free!
posted by crocomancer at 7:14 AM on April 28, 2016


I use this "Wheel of Life" satisfaction tool. It's not in-depth at all, but it is a very easy, gut-feel thing I've done for a number of years. I keep a series of them, in chronological order above my desk.
posted by cocoagirl at 7:38 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Clean Sweep checklist is very comprehensive and the questions are quite thoughtfully chosen. It gives you a score so you could compare year-over-year.
posted by HoteDoge at 7:43 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


I was going to suggest the "Wheel of Life" as well! It's also known as "Level 10 Life" -- this blog post goes into a little more detail if you want to set specific goals to measure yourself against.
posted by saturngirl at 8:13 AM on April 28, 2016


I've had a lot of luck with Chris Guillebeau's annual review method. I find it a lot more action oriented and less feelings-y than Year Compass. The idea is to keep it in a spreadsheet (I use Google sheets) and revisit your progress on a monthly/quarterly basis.
posted by antimony at 9:15 AM on April 28, 2016


My zen teacher recommends the program laid out in Your Best Year Yet.
posted by Lexica at 11:05 AM on April 28, 2016


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