Avoid Regret with a Weekly Work/Life Check-In

A palliative nurse recorded the most common regrets of the dying and put her findings into a book called The Top Five Regrets of The Dying. Here’s what she found:

  1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
  2. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
  3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
  4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
  5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

If you’re not careful, work can consume all of your waking hours. And before you know it, life will pass you by. Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith turned down a $500 million acquisition, because he felt that it would negatively impact his family, himself, and ultimately his happiness (the company is now worth more than $1 billion). This moment compelled him to re-evaluate how he approaches work-life balance, and led him to create a weekly ritual:

Each week, I examine the categories of my life — father, husband, CEO, self — and identify the specific actions that help me feel successful and fulfilled in these capacities. This weekly ritual helps me feel like I’m doing everything in my power to address my needs and the needs of those around me. This is important because I can’t lose sight of the business agenda, and we’ve all seen or read about what it looks like when you lose sight of your family’s needs.

A hidden cost in the pursuit of success is your life’s goals. By breaking life goals into weekly tasks, you’ll avoid waking up one day only to realize that you’ve let major priorities slip.

This post was originally published on 99U.