One of the things that I think is really important for everyone to identify is their life categories. These are just different aspects of your life that you care about. From past experiences, I learned that it’s very important to do this so that when you come to a failure or a difficult situation in life, you can compartmentalize. That is, you can put your situation in a category and objectively look at things. You can assess that you are doing bad in that category, but in other aspects of your life, you’re doing okay. It helps to absorb some of the shock and motivates you to work on that weakness category as opposed to just throwing in the towel and saying life is horrible all around. There was actually a study done that found that people who compartmentalized had higher self esteem because they didn’t let negative affects spill over.
For example, here are my life categories:
1. Career – this is anything to do with preparing for my future career and when I do start working in the “real world,” this will be anything that pertains to that. This includes any interviews that I get for internships or anything like that. It also includes part time jobs that I have right now.
2. Academics – I’m in pharmacy school so this is things like studying, exams, grades, research projects, and just making it through graduation. After I graduate, things that are related to continuing education or maybe another degree is going to fall into this category.
3. Relationships – This is actually divided into subcategories for me: family, friends, and professional relationships. If I were dating or actively searching to be a in a relationship, that would be the fourth subcategory, but I’m not right now so that’s not considered an active category for me. But this is pretty self explanatory. This has anything to do with maintaining and keeping relationships.
4. Finances – I hate this category, but I know that it’s important. Also a self explanatory category.
5. The Self – So this is broken down into a couple subcategories as well. The first is Mental Health and has to do with keeping my mind and spirit sane. This might be things like incorporating mindful meditating or journaling into my daily routine. Things that keep my mind healthy. The next subcategory is physical health so, things like workout schedules and doctor checkups. The last category is Self Improvement. That is things like am I working on learning a new skill that I’ve always wanted to learn? What’s my progress on my reading list and what are some more titles I want to put on that? Am I actively working on a personal weakness? Things like that.
As said earlier, identifying the different categories in your life really help prepare you to compartmentalize when you need to. It can also be a great way to start identifying some of your personal strengths and weaknesses in an organized matter since you already have defined categories of aspects in your life that are important to you. What are some of your life categories? It’s not too late to start breaking them down!