How To Take The Whole-person Approach To Life And Business

How To Take The Whole-Person Approach To Life And Business

How can you do an even better job at taking a WHOLE-PERSON approach to both life and business? Meet Purpose Mapping as a fast and effective method.


Greetings, Dr. Stephie here. In this nugget, I want to talk to you about taking a whole-person approach to both life and business. A whole-person approach makes sense, doesn’t it? We don’t live a “life life,” and a “business life.” We live one life which has a lot of aspects. Setting goals separately for business and personal areas is a fine approach, but these goals still have to work together. 

What I’d like to show you in this little nugget is a method to do that. The first thing is the goals, of course. 

  • You have personal goals 
  • You have business goals – it also could be a nonprofit or any other organization

These goals have to work together. When we work on a day-to-day basis, we often have a to-do list that seems endless. That can be quite anxiety-inducing and does not produce joy. It doesn’t create the most success either.

Let’s get rid of the old-fashioned to-do list and think of a better way to keep track of our tasks. Some years ago I came up with a method called “purpose mapping.”

It’s as simple as this: you take a piece of paper, or you can do this electronically. I’m showing it to you here on my drawing tablet. You divide the page into four quadrants and then label them with important areas. I call them “purpose areas.”

Setting Up Your Purpose Areas In Quadrants

Quadrant One: You

The first one is you yourself. That’s really not negotiable because you are the foundation. You are the foundation for everything that you do. All your missions, all the other purposes, and all the people you love are all sitting on that foundation. That is you. You got to take care of that. That is self-care, which, of course, includes not just eating right, exercising, and keeping yourself healthy. It also includes having fun and keeping your own zest for life alive. Sprinkle in adventures and whatever else makes you happy because being happy is really your job. No one else can do it for you. We all know that, but it’s good to be reminded of that frequently.

Quadrant Two: Your Family

Then if you have a family, chances are your family is in another quadrant. What’s important here is that it’s not just one chore after another but also what I call “QT” which stands for “quality time.” 

Quadrant Three: Your Professional Work

Then we’ve got your professional work. That’s another quadrant. 

Quadrant Four: What Else Is Important To You?

The fourth quadrant varies from person to person. It may be spiritual. It may be your friends (or you can combine family and friends into one quadrant). It is up to you. The point is: These are YOUR purpose areas.

Of course, nothing is stopping you from coming up with more than four quadrants. You could make it six pieces. I guess you wouldn’t call them quadrants anymore, but sextants.

Anyway, so let’s just say this quadrant is about your friends, social activities, and servant leadership. As for me, I put everything there that has to do with people I like outside of my family. Whether that’s anything to do with our Rotary Club or Toastmasters or Church or whatever else, you could put all of that into this quadrant. But you are the boss of your purpose areas and how you name and distinguish them.

How To Use Your Purpose Map

Now, instead of having a long to-do list, you break out the tasks into these different areas. Usually, you find that your normal to-do list has very little, if anything, in it for you. The Purpose mapping method makes that obvious. A lot of times, there are a lot of tasks under family and work, but usually, there’s no quality time on your list. It’s all things you have to do.

This method works quite well, and it helps you get all the different things you have on your mind out of your mind and onto paper. It doesn’t matter whether that’s actual paper or electronic paper.

Get It From Your Mind Onto Your Purpose Map – And Prioritize

You may not be able to do all of what you have written down on your daily Purpose Map. It is important to prioritize. Decide

  • I definitely have to get this task done.
  • I definitely want to do that.
  • I do need to make sure I at least do one thing for myself, get a few minutes of quality time in with my family.

Mark the prioritized items – for example, with an asterisk.

Put It Into Your Calendar

The next step is to port the prioritized items into your calendar. Yes, even your time for yourself. If it is not on your calendar, it is not nearly as likely to happen!

Key Takeaway

Purpose Mapping and putting prioritized tasks from all purpose areas into your calendar is a fast and effective way to take a whole-person approach to life and your business. I invite you to use it instead of long and overwhelming to-do lists. Breathe a little bit easier, and live a lot more on purpose, both in your overall life and in your business or nonprofit.

By the way, do this daily – just like you were doing with your to-do list. You can port tasks from day to day. That way you do not need to recreate your Purpose Map from scratch each day.

I’m Curious

When will you create your first Purpose Map?

Do you have questions? Please let me know.