Tool Examiner: Personal Insights about Life Balance

As a Financial Life Planner, an understanding of the nature and influence of values is essential.  Your goal is to learn what is most important to each client and to allow that understanding to guide your interactions, advice, and service.  In addition, you strive to help your clients become more aware of what is most important to them, and to make financial decisions that will bring them closer to achieving their life goals.

Personal Insights about Life Balance is a tool that is especially effective in helping your clients to clarify their values.  It is designed to take just a few minutes to complete, but will provide valuable insight regarding their priorities, interests, needs, concerns, and frustrations.  This self-knowledge will be very important as your clients assess their current life balance and plan for the future.

For example, feelings of dissatisfaction and inner conflict are often symptoms of imbalance in one’s life.  Focusing on only one or two areas of life can work for a while (and is sometimes necessary), but eventually life will begin to feel off kilter and then start spinning out of control.  Individuals may have this experience when their careers have taken precedence at the expense of other areas of life such as relationships, leisure, or health and fitness.  Over time, these losses can multiply and greatly affect overall satisfaction and fulfillment.

In contrast, your clients will experience higher levels of happiness and well-being when they align their resources and activities with their unique sets of values and priorities in all areas of life.  Quality of life means different things to different people, but the Personal Insights about Life Balance tool can assist each client in clarifying and articulating his or her own version of the “rich life.”

Encourage your clients to complete the statements on the worksheet quickly with the first response that comes to mind.  When finished, ask him or her questions that will deepen the values clarification process.  Here are a few examples:

  • What did you identify as contributing to your life satisfaction?
  • What did you identify as decreasing your life satisfaction?
  • Did this exercise help you to clarify what is most important to you?
  • Did this exercise help to clarify some goals that you would like to work towards?
  • Did you identify any changes that you would like to make?

In addition, the dialogue you facilitate regarding your client’s responses to the Personal Insights about Life Balance tool will help you to gain an understanding of his or her unique frame of reference.

Editor’s Note: Personal Insights about Life Balance is included in Licensing Levels 3 & 4.  For information about becoming an M.Q. Licensee, please email

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