You are your best investment. Self-investment is about taking the time to invest in you so that you can reach your full potential. And it looks like taking the time to get to know yourself, to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and to form meaningful goals that you can work towards.
Self-investment can be as simple as setting aside a few minutes a day to identify areas of improvement and reflect on your progress. And self-investment can apply to several areas of your life, including your mental, physical health, connection, career and hobbies.
A great way to start is by taking inventory, particularly a Likes and Dislikes inventory.
Likes and Dislikes Inventory
A Likes and Dislikes Inventory is a simple, yet effective tool that will help you identify where you can invest to make the biggest return on self-investment.
It works by slowing you down and forcing you to ground yourself. Because with modern day distractions you can easily get ungrounded. And with strong external and societal influences, it’s difficult to differentiate between what makes you happy and what you think you should be doing.
How to Take a Likes and Dislikes Inventory
The Likes and Dislikes inventory will help you figure out where to focus and invest your time for the most impactful self-investment. It consists of filling in three columns regarding what you like, don’t like and are indifferent to, and then reflecting on what you come up with.
You can make a Likes and Dislikes Inventory by:
- Grabbing something to write with (pen & paper, phone, laptop, pen & napkin)
- Making three equal columns labeled as: “Like/Love,” “Indifferent,” and “Don’t Like/Hate”
- Fill-in the columns accordingly (at least 5 items for each)
- Take a step back and then reviewing the list to notice patterns and next steps
Tips for Creating a Like and Dislike Inventory
- The more items you list, the more insights you will get. Not all columns need to have the same amount of items, but have at least 5 items per column.
- No one will see this (unless you want them to) so list away without wondering what other people will think and if they will judge you…. don’t worry, you hating babies can be our little secret.
- Think of things that are societally expected of you and how you feel about it. Put it in the appropriate column.
- Reflect on things that make you happy or stressed during a typical day.
- Think of the apps you use, people you talk to and your interactions with the world. What ones do you like or not like? What ones are you indifferent to?
- Look around your house and see what you like. Maybe you dislike the messy pile of clothes in the corner, but you like the candle on the table – list them in the appropriate columns.
- Recall memories of things that made you really happy and things that made you sad. Write them down.
- Imagine your ideal life and put what you imagine in the like column, things you do not want there in the dislike column, and things you are indifferent to in the “Indifferent” column.
- If you are having trouble getting started, take a couple deep breaths and then let the thoughts come uncontrolled. You’ll be surprised what you come up with.
How to Use the Like and Dislike Inventory for Effective Self-Investment
Take a step back after writing your list. Maybe go for a walk, make a cup of tea/coffee or do some breathing. Then, look at what you wrote and see if there are any patterns.
From those patterns you can determine what you want to focus on. In the example above, “potholes,” “traffic,” and “flat tires” are all listed in the “Dislike” column. All three involve driving. So the person writing the list would be smart to invest in ways to not have to drive or to make driving easier for them.
In the items they like column there is mention of consistent improvement and sleep. So they will probably benefit from having a consistent sleep schedule and goals for their self-investment.
And in the “Indifferent” column there is mention of material things like cars and new gadgets. So the person who wrote this list will fair well by rejecting advertisements that try to portray that those items equate to happiness.
While simple, a Likes and Dislikes Inventory is a power self-investment tool. In financial investing, it would be like knowing what stocks are a sure thing. Because when you focus on how to incorporate more of what you like and less of what you don’t like into your life, you will have great returns.
So invest in yourself and take a Likes and Dislikes Inventory. Download a free Likes and Dislikes template here.
Ask questions in the comments below. If you would like to schedule a 1:1 to help generate your list and next steps, fill out this contact form here.
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