Define Your Pillars

Let’s start with defining the pillars of your life. Some ways you can define your own pillars include:

  • By Identity
    Aspects of your life where you use different skills or play a different role, such as Spouse, Parent, Mentor, Employee or Friend.
  • By Social Group
    Groups of people who you have a shared purpose with such as Family, Friends, Church or Colleagues.
  • By Life
    Lives that you live, often with different identities and social groups, such as Personal, Spiritual, Community, Professional or Work.

It can be useful to define pillars as the different aspects of your life that you want to balance with each other—those aspects of life that you need to feel fulfilled and that you need to make sure to set aside time for.

For example, my pillars have traditionally been:

  • Personal
    What I do for myself and my immediate friends & family.
  • Community
    What I do for others, as a citizen in the broader community.
  • Professional
    What I do to grow in my profession, separate from any specific job.
  • Work
    What I do for my current job or business.

Your pillars will likely be different. If you have young kids, you might split Personal into Family, Spouse and Personal to ensure you’re spending time tending to your kids, your spouse and yourself.

Take the time now to write down your pillars. We’ll use them in the remaining steps of this tool.

When defining your pillars, aim for 3-5 pillars—enough to capture the core aspects of your life, but not so many that it’s difficult to figure out your priorities.