How to Reboot Your Life With the SWOT Matrix

baby in pink towel

By Mary Jaksch

When the computer locks up and nothing functions, there is a convenient option: you can reboot it. There are times when our life gets locked up as well. At those times we feel paralyzed and if we stay in the feeling of paralysis, we can end up with depression or other health problems.

When we’re stuck, we need to reboot our life. Unfortunately there isn’t a convenient button to push. But it’s possible all the same. The first thing we need to look at is why and where our life has got stuck. A great tool to get this overview is the SWOT matrix. SWOT is an acronym for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The first two, Strengths and Weaknesses, are our personal attributes that we bring to our life. The second two, Opportunities and Threats are what the outside world brings to us.

Swot matrix

The way to reboot our life with the help of the SWOT matrix is to look at each of the seven areas of life and check out where we may be stuck and how to move forward. The important point here is that stuckness can result from internal forces, that is from our own personal attributes and how we bring them to bear on the various areas of our life. Stuckness can also result from external factors, that is from forces that impinge on our life from outside.

Here are seven areas of life that we need to consider:

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Social
  • Professional
  • Recreational
  • Creational

If we take each one and investigate it in terms of the SWOT Matrix, we can see how to reboot our life.

1. Mental


This area includes our emotional, as well as our intellectual well-being. Right now, what are your strengths and weaknesses in this particular area? Are you involved in learning something new? Learning is important for our intellectual well-being. We need to use our brain, in order to develop it. After all, the good news is that we can develop intelligence at any age. What threats or opportunities to you see in regard to your mental wellbeing?

How is your emotional health right now? What is strong about it and where are there weaknesses? What threats or opportunities to you see in regard to your emotional wellbeing?

2. Physical

How is your physical health? Which basket are you in: fit or flab? What are your strength or weaknesses in regard to your body? What threats or opportunities do you perceive? Threats could be health problems. Maybe you’re out of shape, overweight, or you have other health threats to deal with. Opportunities are actions that we can take to optimize our physical condition.

3. Spiritual

Is there a spiritual component to your life? Do you have a spiritual practice, like meditation or prayer? Or are there moments in nature where you feel connected? I’m talking about natural spirituality here. What are your strength and weaknesses in respect to spirituality? What threats or opportunities do you perceive?

4. Social

The social aspect of our life covers all the areas of connection. How are your connections? Are you in a relationship with a special person? Do you have family? Do you have strong friendships? What about colleagues – do you have strong connections? And how is your social life? Take a look at the SWOT Matrix and consider what your strengths and weaknesses are in respect of your social connections. What threats and opportunities can you discover?

5. Professional

The professional area of life covers what we do for a living, and what we do in order to develop new areas of expertise. How is your motivation? What are your strengths and weaknesses in this area? Are there threats and opportunities on the horizon?

6. Recreational

What do you do for fun? We all need time out where problems recede and we do something that is pure enjoyment. How easy is it for you to include fun in your life? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How to you see opportunities and threats in this area of your life?

7. Creational

We need to be creative in one way or another if we are to feel in balance and happy. How is your creativity? What are your strengths and your weaknesses? Many people find it difficult to be creative. Creativity is something we can misplace along the way. Any creative activity can kickstart it again.

Now that you’ve looked at the various areas of your life with the help of the SWOT Matrix, you’ll have a better understanding about how to reboot your life. Even if you just choose one area of your life and look for opportunities, your life will start to open in a new way. If you focus on all areas of your life and focus on opportunities, your life will reboot completely.

What did you notice about your life when you looked at the various areas with the help of the SWOT Matrix?

Read related posts:
Optimize Your Life with the SWOT Matrix

SWOT Analysis #2: 10 Questions That Can Change Your Life

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{ 10 Comments }

  1. Awesome post! Loved it!
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog ..words to live by: i will be grateful for this day =-.

  2. Justin Dixon says:

    I love this exercise Mary! I’m going to go through these with my girlfriend to see what new opportunities we can identify.
    .-= Justin Dixon´s last blog ..5 Rules for Keeping the Holidays Special =-.

  3. Sheryl Sisk says:

    Great post, Mary, if I can add my kudos to the above! I frequently do SWOT analyses with TIS clients and while some resist initially, almost invariably they report back that it was very valuable insight. Matter of fact, I think it’s time for me to do a SWOT myself!
    .-= Sheryl Sisk´s last blog ..Weekly Brief – The Gratitude Edition (Wk. Ending 11/22/2009) =-.

  4. Mary Jaksch says:

    @Positively Present
    Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. Mary Jaksch says:

    @Justin Dixon
    What a good idea to the SWOT analysis as a couple!

  6. Mary Jaksch says:

    @Sheryl Sisk
    I must admit that I found it helpful writing the post. I could immediately identify some opportunities, as well as some threats. The interesting thing is that some of the ‘threats’ I could see a few years ago, actually turned into opportunities.
    Anyone else had that experience?

  7. Scrumptiously good post! I like this SWOT matrix idea a lot. Nice choices of photos too. I tweeted this!

    Thanks again :)
    .-= Steven Handel´s last blog ..Feel Better Through Ten Acts Of Loving-Kindness =-.

  8. janice says:

    Love the clean new Thesis look – and the paragraphs!

    This is a great reminder to use the SWOT matrix, Mary. Easy to remember. Simplifying is even more important to me at the moment, so this will really help me find ways to turn my health T’s into O’s. Good to have you back.
    .-= janice´s last blog ..Up, Down and Grateful =-.

  9. Mary Jaksch says:

    @Janice
    Thanks for your kind words!
    The strange thing about Threats versus Opportunities is that many things in life that we initially perceive as a T, turn out to be an O! It’s not a passive process, though. It’s often how we approach a T that turns it into an O.
    What’s your experience with this, Janice?

  10. […] a comprehensive look at the human mind and I thought it would generate a lot of post ideas for Goodlife Zen. But in actual fact it didn’t. Because it was too close to the ideas my brain usually plays […]

  11. This seems like a wonderful tool to make some positive changes. Thanks for sharing!
    Cathy | Treatment Talk´s last blog post ..How Running Promotes Long Term Recovery (Part 1)

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