Life Design Journaling Framework: Life Roles

What are Life Roles?

Life is a journey, and on that journey, there are many tasks and activities you do.  Roles are a way of grouping those tasks allowing you to focus on the groupings rather than the individual tasks.  The groupings or roles give us a different perspective of how we are living our lives and how we are pursuing our vision.

Roles are the hats that you wear as you live your life. You have work hats, hats that you wear with your friends, hats that you wear as a parent, etcetera.

What roles are you playing on that journey? Parent, spouse, employee are different roles you are fulfilling. Work could be further refined into photographer, accountant, manager, business owner, or entrepreneur for example.

Roles are a way of breaking down what you do on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis into different groups or roles.

Your roles don’t define you; they are simply a way of breaking your life into chunks to make life easier to understand. Understanding your life at the level of roles will give you a greater understanding of who you are, what you want out of life, and how to have a balanced life.

What are Examples of Life Roles?

  • Accountant
  • Activist
  • Adventurer
  • Athlete
  • Blogger
  • Boss
  • Brother
  • Business Owner
  • Christian
  • Citizen
  • Coach
  • Colleague 
  • Daughter
  • Doctor
  • Employee,
  • Entrepreneur
  • Friend
  • Homemaker
  • Lawyer
  • Learner
  • Leisure user
  • Marketer
  • Mentor
  • Parent 
  • Partner
  • Pensioner
  • Singer
  • Sister
  • Son
  • Spouse
  • Student
  • Teacher
  • Teammate
  • Volunteer
  • Worker / Job
  • Writer

 Questions to uncover your roles

The following questions will help you uncover your roles.  Everything you do in life should fall into one or more roles.

  • What responsibilities do you have in life?
  • What did you do yesterday? What roles do these activities fit in?
  • What did you do in the last month? What roles do these activities fit in?
  • What did you do in the last year? What roles do these activities fit in?

Importance of Understanding Your Life Roles

Awareness and understanding of your roles provide many benefits. Part of living a balanced life means living a life where the appropriate amount of effort is given to the different roles.

Without roles, there are many tasks that you need to do. When these tasks are grouped into roles, the tasks, especially the minor tasks, take on the meaning of the role.

Understanding the role you are in when you are doing a particular task helps to give meaning to that task. Doing laundry is a chore, but if you understand you are doing laundry to fulfill your role as a parent the task now has meaning.

The roles we play are a reflection of our responsibilities, goals, beliefs, and values. When the roles we play are not in alignment, we may feel unhappy, dissatisfied, or uninspired about our lives.

When we are not happy with the roles we have in life, it is a sign we should be looking at our life design.

Life Roles and Your Life Design

Life design is the process of purposefully and intentionally creating the life you want to live.

Life design is creating and executing a plan for your life to maximize your happiness and fulfillment.

You only get one life to live. You can live life randomly, taking whatever comes your way and hope for the best. Conversely, you can purposefully and intelligently choose the path you take through life.

Regardless of how much of a plan you have for your life, the plan is reflected in your roles. Since your roles are a high-level perspective of the life you are living, your roles are influenced by your life goals, your beliefs, and your values.

How well you fulfill your roles are based on your skills and capabilities.

One way to determine the balance in your life is to see how your roles align with the different life areas. If there are life areas without roles to help you fulfill that life area, it is an indication that your life is not in balance.

Importance of Reflecting and Journaling Your Life Roles

Journaling will make you aware of the different life roles you have and will give you a deeper understanding of those roles.

Your awareness and your understanding of your roles is a valuable resource for you to design and create a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Your life roles give you a perspective on who you are that will facilitate well-thought-out life decisions. When making a decision you can ask yourself what that decision means in relation to each of the life roles. A decision that is good for one life role may not be a good decision for other roles.

Life roles come and go over the course of your life. Understanding the patterns of the different roles will help you prepare for life’s changes. Becoming a parent, retiring, kids leaving home are big life changes where your roles change. If a particular life role is going to become less important in your life, what life role is going to become more important, or what new role will replace it?

Capturing a history of the life roles and how you have lived those roles becomes a history of you. What patterns and themes do you see in that history? What value is there that you can pass on to future generations? This is the power of capturing your life roles into a journal.

My Experience: The Life Roles I play

As a business analyst, you have many roles on a project. There are times when these roles conflict. When I am wearing the business analyst hat, my focus is on creating value for the client. When I am wearing a project management hat my focus is on time management and money management. The best solution in terms of value may not be the best solution in terms of time or in terms of money savings. Without the awareness of the roles, decisions may be made on an incomplete understanding of the value or an incomplete understanding of time or money.

How Does the Life Design Course Help?

The Life Design Journaling Course is a combination of journaling with OneNote and the Life Design Framework.

Journaling with OneNote gives you a single source for your journaled life design.  The digital nature of OneNote allows you to search and review past journal entries easily.

The JounaledLife Life Design framework breaks down the different segments of your life design so you can examine each aspect separately.  The allows you to look at different aspects of your life design and see how they are related to each other.

I encourage you to check out the JournaledLife Life Design Course.