How to Look Beyond Your Life in Weeks to Imagine a Better Future
I’m 33 years old. That means I’ve lived roughly 1716 weeks, 12,012 days, and 288,288 hours.
I recently completed a calculation of my life in weeks. Each colored cell in the spreadsheet represents a week in my life that I’ve lived, and each white cell represents a week I’ve yet to complete.
After completing the life in weeks exercise, a nagging question took hold; have I made the most of my life?
I don’t have any regrets. I don’t think… I’ve pushed hard to achieve my goals, but the fact that I’ve already lived 1716 weeks and counting guts me… It’s such a long time.
Yet, If I’m extremely lucky and live until the ripe old age of 90, I still have 3000 weeks left to go. I better make the most of it…
This is what my life in weeks looks like so far:
As you can see, schooling took up about 1000 weeks of my life. I’m privileged to have been able to study, but damn, that’s a lot of time…
The most exciting times have been post college, where you’ll notice the most changes in color and key life events.
I wonder what yours might look like?
Look at Your Life in Weeks
I first heard of this process back a few years ago from this life in weeks blog post. I saved it as an exercise to refer back to later.
With the pandemic ending and the world moving on, I wanted to start fresh with a bird’s eye view of all that came before.
This eye-opening (and slightly painful) process helped me to appreciate the precious nature of every day. It might do the same for you.
You can use the resources from the aforementioned blog post and print out fillable PDFs. Or you can go the easier route and do it right now on your computer.
I couldn’t find a good spreadsheet for doing this exercise anywhere on the Google sphere. So, I made one. I’m happy to share it with you:
- Download a copy of the spreadsheet here.
- Click file > make a copy for an editable file.
- Personalize your life in weeks spreadsheet. Color code your life by what you were doing at the time. Note key life milestones within their specific weeks. You could even add the day the pandemic began and the day the endemic started if you’d like.
- To calculate the amount of weeks from specific life events, use this date and time calculator here. Simply enter your birthdate on the left-hand side and then input the date of the event on the right and click calculate to display the number of weeks!
- Print it out and/or save it somewhere you’ll refer back to.
Take your time with it. I thought about making the spreadsheet more complicated with formulas and auto-fill boxes, but it’s much better when you do it yourself.
Get down and dirty with your past self so you can prepare for a better future.
You’re Done! But What to Do with This…
The only thing a person can ever really do is keep moving forward. Take that big leap forward without hesitation, without once looking back. Simply forget the past and forge toward the future. —Alyson Noel
I’m not a big history buff. My number one CliftonStrength is Futuristic. I rarely take the time to look back and think about where I’ve been. But that’s not always good.
As this blog title suggests, looking at your life in weeks can be a depressing experience. If it feels like a kick in the pants with no hope, it’s not worth doing.
It’s important to look back and consider where you’ve been, but it’s so much more important to look to the future.
For me, I’m focusing on the time between now and when I turn 40. I’ve got 359 weeks until this occurs. I’m ready to conquer some big goals. Watch out world!
The best way to change your life around is to create your very own 90 day plan for what you want to focus on next. It might sound painful, but it’s worth it.
Get clear on your top priorities and what you need to do to accomplish your biggest goals. Align those goals with your purpose in life. Everyone has an Ikigai, a purpose, something they and only they are meant to do. At least, that’s what I believe.
Everything you’ve already done is in the past. You can’t change it. But what you can do is look to the future and live the life you want to live.
Move forward knowing that every week matters in this incredible life.
Three Quick Follow-up Questions
The deeper you’re willing to dive, the better the result. Get real with your life so far and take a few mins to answer these three questions:
- What is one word to describe your emotion when thinking of your life in weeks?
- Is your purpose obvious when looking at your key life milestones?
- What do you wish you could add to your life in weeks timeline? (And what are you waiting for?)
I get stuck all the time with a lack of motivation. Many people do. Seeing my life in weeks helps push me toward my purpose to make the most of my life.
I sincerely hope you’ll join me.