6 Steps for Getting back on track – Compartmentalising…

Have you wanted to make some changes to your life (big or small) but found it hard to know where to start?

I have. It wasn’t easy progressing from an independent youth at the age of 16 with a chip on my shoulder my friends for family. It was hard to know which directions to go in so, I had to learn how to change my situation, decide what I wanted and stay motivated to grow my life and grow my happiness.

It wasn’t always easy. I fact sometimes it felt like it was heading the other way, but I did my best to change my mindsets and keep my eyes on the prize – happiness. Now, on the other side of the planet, I’ve never been happier. I’ve found family and more friends, I have an amazing wife, our home and my life continues to grow towards the things I have yet to achieve.

You got no choice but to keep on keeping on – So you might as well enjoy it!

But where do you start?

The mental preparation

Making changes can be a challenging, but once you get into the swing of it, there will be no stopping you as long as you have:

  • A full 360 – An honest (DRGNFLY)360˚ look at yourself and situation to know what needs to develop.
  • Passion – The desire, the want, the motivation that will drive you to make the changes
  • Purpose – Your reason, your self-belief and your accountability to do what’s required.
  • Curiosity – to find ways and seek the knowledge you need to get where you want to be.

Your curiosity has kept you reading so far and I’m sure it’s for a purpose, one that you’re passionate about -you.

I hope that what I’m about to share will help you. It is something I had realised for myself years ago and a practice I still use today (in this more evolved form). It’s on the vein of compartmentalising or, if you prefer, contextualising and, after my coaching training, I realised that it does hold merit as a practice for personal develop, focus and motivation that could also be enjoyable, it can be enjoyable

Right, let’s break it down.


1. Creating contexts and sub-contexts

Firstly, I summarised my balance – balance being the sum elements in my life that impact happiness – into the following 4 main contexts:


  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Work
  • Hobbies/Fun

From here, each context gets broken down into a further 4 sub-contexts.  Let’s look at health:


  • Health:
    • Physical Health- Love thyself
      • Goals/Targets
    • Mental Health – Grow thyself
      • Goals/Targets
    • Financial Health – Protect thyself
      • Goals/Targets
    • Belief/Philosophical Health – Know thyself
    • Goals/Targets

The other contexts are also broken down into 4 sub-contexts which I then fill with my list of goals.

Why is everything in 4’s?  Well, it just seemed to be a nice even number to work with, like the 4/4 beat in music and not too much to many points to have to remember. It took a while to filter down to these, but they seem to work.

Re: Goals setting, this article leans towards having an honest 360˚ approach to looking at one’s life.  Goal setting is next in the process but that’s a whole other session and when that drops, I can’t wait to share with you, among other methods, my FORWARD methodology.

2. Quantifying where you’re at with each area.

Now, back to this. Other methods  will get you to pick a context that you feel holds the most importance but, the approach I’m suggesting leads you towards the context and sub-context that worry you the most. The one that’s tipping the scale towards the negative. I feel it’s pointless being so happy with one context if another brings you down  – that’s not balance. Reducing the gap and elevating from there is key and quantify gives you that vision.

Let’s get started by grading each sub-context from 1 to 10 based on how satisfied you area with its current state. Be honest.

Now, add the sub-contexts up for each context and you have your satisfaction total for each context.

Sounds confusing? I apologise if it does, but let me show you what this might look like for Health:


  • Health – 25
    • Physical Health- Love thyself – 7
      • Goals/Targets
    • Mental Health – Grow thyself – 7
      • Goals/Targets
    • Financial Health – Protect thyself – 5
      • Goals/Targets
    • Belief/Philosophical Health – Know thyself – 6
      • Goals/Targets

#Your satisfaction grade for Health would be 25 (7+7+5+6).

3. Where to start – We want to work on one goal at a time.

Now, you have a total for each context and a snapshot that shows you which context has the greatest opportunity for development (in green).

Balance – 112 out of 160

  • Health – 25
  • Relationships – 30
  • Work – 22
  • Hobbies/Fun – 35

4. Keep going

As you can see, in a way, I have gamified balance by trying to increase the overall total – aka, aiming to become more and more true and aligned with what one feels makes them balanced by achieving the changes they want in their life…

Getting the high score actual helps you out.

5. Happiness isn’t the destination, it’s the journey

Have fun, enjoy continuously challenging yourself and, if you ever think you’re about to hit 160, add new goals as you complete others (not forgetting to grade them) – The aim is to strive to hit 160 without actually hit it.  Also, Life for living so when you do hit those high profile goals or achievements, don’t forget to bask in your awesomeness and reward yourself. Identify little milestones along the way to treat yourself and keep you in high spirits.


  • If you hit a health goal, you just lifted a new personal best or reached a target weight – you might take a day off or do what most call ‘A Cheat Day’.
  • If it’s financial, say you saved £10k – you might like a holiday or dinner at a nice restaurant.

Personally, for work or study, every time I level up (promotion, new job or certification) I like to get myself a new watch – one that fits within my budget, of course!!

After your commitment and hard work, you deserve it.

6. Review regularly

I like to update goals as I go, but I do a solid review and grading to get an updated 360˚ view at least once a month.

And there you have it…

If you’d like how this works, I will send you the complete method for free. Just send me your email

– I’d love to hear your feedback, questions and if you have processes that work for you I want to hear those too. Please write them in the comments below.

I hope this gets cogs turning for you and helps you as much as it’s helped me.

Have a great week

– Darren

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