The 12 Areas of Life (and How to Optimize Yours)

The 12 Areas of Life (and How to Optimize Yours)

Summary:

Life can get disorganized, but it doesn’t mean yours has to be. Learn to design the 12 areas of life so you can live it as you’ve always dreamt life to be.

If you can dream it, you can do it,” Walt Disney once told us. Although that’s great advice to hear, the thing is, many of us aren’t taught how to dream big in any area of our life, let alone do it.

Because of that, many — 99% of us, actually — follow the motto “coulda, woulda, shoulda.” Simply, we have a hard time achieving our goals and dreams.

Chances are, you know (or knew) someone felt stuck in life. As they grew older, they didn’t achieve fulfillment in an area of their life that fundamentally mattered the most to them.

According to recent studies, one of the biggest regrets of those who find themselves at the end of their lives is that they didn’t follow their dreams.

If you feel you’re on the slippery slope to regret, here are two things you may want to look into:

  1. Why 99% of people won’t achieve their goals (and that includes you)
  2. The 12 life categories that deserve your utmost attention

It’s true that your priorities may shift from time to time. However, the focus and energy you put to improve the different areas of your life are what determine your success. And here’s how you can take the wheel and start steering towards your best life.

crossing the bridge

Why 99% of People Won’t Achieve Their Goals

Ninety-nine percent of people that say stuff like [‘I want to be an actor’] are not willing to do what it takes to make their dreams come true.

— Will Smith

There are so many talented, creative, smart, and capable people that never quite reach their potential. Why? Well, simply for the reason that they take the time to figure out what their dreams actually are.

Many of us are so unwilling to take personal responsibility to create our ideal life because of the inherent fear of failing. So we stay in our comfort zones and allow life to live us. We stay the same and avoid transformation.

Our lives become like pieces of driftwood in the ocean, constantly knocked around by the tide, hoping for the best.

But what if you could transform the piece of driftwood into a glorious ship? What if you could rise up and commandeer it with guts and gumption to all the ends of the world?

With Lifebook, you can do just that. There are no longer “what ifs” but only “what is.”

This program, created by Jon and Missy Butcher, allows you to look at your ideal life from all angles — all 12 of them. And from those angles, you’ll be able to make a foolproof plan of how to achieve your goals for each category.

The Butchers believe wholeheartedly that nobody should have to compromise on any of their dreams. Because optimizing all 12 life categories isn’t just a luxury. It’s your destiny.

The 12 Life Categories (in Order of Priority)

Without further ado, here are the 12 official life categories you can start concentrating on today.

They’re in order of priority, but that doesn’t mean you should just concentrate on the first few. In order to create the authentically ideal life you desire, Jon and Missy advise all 12 areas be optimized.

1. Health and fitness

The key to your health and fitness is your purpose,” explains Jon. “It’s not the how, it’s the why.

For many, one main reason is so we can improve our quality of life and longevity. And, as we all know, health is wealth.

So make sure you’re:

  • Breathing deep
  • Eating well
  • Staying hydrated
  • Exercising
  • Going for regular health check-ups

Find your “why” and make small, mindful daily doses of improvements. It will make a great impact on your health and fitness in the long run.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Butchers on the beach

2. Intellectual life

Everything we are and where we find ourselves today is thanks to our thoughts and beliefs. Our mind creates our reality, which is why Mindvalley is such a huge advocate of personal growth.

Much of growing wiser and moving toward the extraordinary is really about becoming aware of the models of reality that you carry with you without realizing it,” explains Vishen, founder and CEO of Mindvalley.

With an extraordinary mind, one that learns and adapts and works for you (not against you), you’re unstoppable. Not only will a brilliant mind serve you as an individual, but it will also serve the world.

So, you may want to set your goals in this category to include: 

  • Daily meditations
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Learning new skills
  • Taking care of your brain health

Taking a cue from Jimmy Johnson, former NFL coach, who once said, “the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

3. Emotional life

Contrary to popular belief, living a good life isn’t so much about what you do with it. Rather, it’s more about how you feel as you’re living it.

When we think, those thoughts forge our emotions. As we feel those emotions, they drive our decisions — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

No matter where you end up in life, having emotional agility and a positive mindset is the premise to success. And here are a few suggestions on how you can do so:

  • Forge a blissipline practice
  • Laugh more
  • Spend time with those who pull the magic out of you, not the madness
  • Write what your grateful for on small notes and stick them in a gratitude jar
  • Love from your overflow
  • Do things that make you happy 

And keep in mind the wise words of Abraham Lincoln: “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Jon and Missy Butcher at Mindvalley U 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia
Jon and Missy Butcher at Mindvalley U 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia

4. Character

We are all born as originals. Why is it that so many of us die as copies?

– Edward Young, English poet

Do you know your true character? Are there any parts of you that you’re suppressing or are afraid to step into? Are you afraid to shine your light too brightly, or that you may be rejected if you were to step into your authentic self?

According to Vishen, “sometimes in life, you have to destroy what is merely good, to allow what is truly great to come in.

And for you to grow into who you are and feel good about yourself, it’s time to find out who you truly are:

  • Sit and journal about all the character traits that make up who you are
  • Then, list all the traits of who you’d love to be

Despite what the “brules” are, it’s never too late.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

5. Spirituality

Your own sense of spirituality is what gives meaning and depth to all aspects of life. When you reflect on your relationship to the essence of life, it sets the foundation for a fulfilling existence. Without it, fear may take over.

If you’re new to spirituality and don’t have any prior beliefs, don’t fret. Put the feelers out and explore which ideologies work for you. Here are a few suggestions to get you started: 

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Light reading about spirituality

As Lao Tzu said, “there is one power in the Universe. It doesn’t matter what you call it. You can’t get wet by the word ‘water.’ You must get in.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

meditation

6. Love relationship

Although relationships can have their rocky moments, there’s so much to be enjoyed and learned from by connecting intimately with others.

Love is a daily, even hourly, conscious commitment to behave in a loving and caring fashion toward ourselves and others,” says Anodea Judith, leading chakra expert and energy healer.

So design your love life by:

  • Making a conscious decision to have an incredible love life
  • Finding and being an extraordinary partner
  • Making your relationship your life’s foundation
  • Keeping the spark alive

According to Jon, don’t forget about the “single most important relationship in your entire life”: self-love. It’s the complete acceptance of who and what you are. Like icing on a cake, without that love for yourself, there can be no true happiness.

Like the song goes, “love is what makes the world go round.” Sing it with us.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

7. Parenting

While we try to teach our children about life, our children end up teaching us what life is all about.

– John Updike

Nobody can deny it. Children are magical, miraculous little humans who bring fun and meaning to the mundane. And doing our bit to raise children to be mindful members of society is some of the most valuable work we can ever do.

So whether you’re a mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, teacher, or friend to a little human, make it your utmost priority to connect with them. Here are a few ways:

  • Play games with them
  • Talk to them
  • Listen to them
  • Be kind to them in the toughest times
  • Teach them self-regulation

The little ones in your life may well hold the key to the deepest levels of happiness possible.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

The Butcher's living their Lifebook

8. Social life

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

– Elizabeth Jane Howard

There’s no denying, we human beings are social animals. So it goes without saying that it’s near-to-impossible to live a truly fulfilling life without a healthy social circle.

Who you spend time with is who you become,” says Jim Kwik, brain performance expert. “Finding a positive peer group of people who challenge you and who are smarter than you will help you become a real-life superhero.

So find ways to improve your social life, like:

  • Spend quality time with those you love
  • Pick up the phone and connect with your tribe
  • If you don’t have one, get yourself out there and make one

Remember, the only way to have good friends is to be one yourself. And when you create quality experiences for yourself and invite others to share it with you, it’s one of the best things in life.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

9. Financial life

Money can’t buy love or a sense of lasting fulfillment. That said, it sure can help, especially if you know how to set sustainable financial goals.

The common goal of being financially abundant is one thing. But when you design your financial life, also consider the beliefs you hold about money.

If you heal the pain you have about money, your financial situations will absolutely change and dramatically so,” explains Ken Honda, Japan’s zen millionaire.

So here are a few key points to keep in mind when you look at this category:

Believe it or not, money can also be your friend. And when you learn to flip your money script, you’ll find the journey to abundance much easier.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

counting money

10. Career

A famous Hindu proverb states that you should “help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore.” So when your career goals include serving others, it may well be your missing piece to an authentically successful life.

We all want to feel like we’re valuable members of a community. So here are two things you can do:

  • Make yourself irreplaceable by solidifying your expertise in the field of your choice
  • If you’re yet to find your career path, sit down and ask yourself what you really wish to contribute to humanity

The life you get is going to be the result of the choices you make and the actions you take,” explains Jon. So, whatever you feel will positively help those around you, just go for it.

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

11. Quality of life

When your time comes to leave this world behind, make like Frank Sinatra and do it your way.

Live a life so great that when you look back, you feel good about its quality. And we’re talking about the way you…

  • Eat
  • Take care of yourself
  • Explore the world
  • Love
  • Spend time with your tribe
  • Contribute to humanity

All of it — it’s the fruit of your labor. It’s the outcome of how much effort you put into the previous 10 life categories.

There is a powerful correlation between the warmth of your friendships, health, happiness, financial success, and the length of your life,” says Jon.

So what can you do today to symbolize your high quality of life?

Reflect on a scale of 1-10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

The Butcher's in Cairo, Egypt living their Lifebook life

12. Life vision

The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

You’ve come a long way and this final category sums up all that you’re aiming for in the previous 11 areas of your life. It brings it all together in one tangible vision that will always return you to the paths that are true to you no matter how lost you get.

Now it’s time to go forth, bravely into the new life you’ve designed. Welcome in.


Recommended Free Masterclass For You

Design a Life So Amazing, You’ll Want to Live It Over and Over and Over Again

Discover the 12 categories of the Lifebook system and the four critical questions to ask yourself. Join Jon and Missy Butcher in this free Masterclass so you can begin moving towards your dream life.Reserve My Free Spot Now

Written by
Amy White
Tatiana Azman