How balanced does your life feel to you? Are you feeling overwhelmed, or unable to prioritize?
In this blog, I’d like to introduce you to a tool commonly used in coaching called The Wheel of Life.
Using this tool allows you to see what areas of your life you want to focus on; helps you find your motivation, and prioritize what you want to happen next. The Wheel of Life can help you to be accountable and take charge of your actions to be more productive and balanced.
If you google Life Wheel in images you will find many graphics that are easy to print out. You can also download one I like to use here.
Or, even easier, just draw a circle on a piece of paper or the back of an envelope, and divide the circle into eight equal pieces, like a pie.
Most Wheels have some variation of the following 8 themes:
Physical Environment Career Money Health Friends/Family Significant Relationship/Romance Personal Growth Fun & Recreation
Sometimes the themes are defined differently. Students, for instance, would substitute School for Career, and separate family and friends. Some people add in other categories like creativity or spirituality.
The next step is to consider how you think you are doing in this area of your life. Ten is the best, it can’t be any better! And one is the lowest, so you know it needs some work.
I might, for instance, have just taken a vacation and learned to kayak so I might draw a line at what looks to be about a 7 or 8.
Or, if I felt that my relationship with my partner wasn’t going so well, or I didn’t have a partner and wanted to be in a relationship, I might put a three or a four for Significant Other/Romance.
Take your time to consider where you are in each category; you might even fill this out in pencil, take a break, and then come back to it and look again the next day.
The goal is awareness, acceptance, and action. It’s okay if you notice that your wheel looks a bit bumpy. You get to decide upon what actions to take to make for a smoother ride in life. You can write one step for each them to focus on, or focus on one area at a time.
Often when action is taken in one area, it has a knock on effect in other areas.
If I decide to start walking daily for 20 minutes when I’ve previously been sitting at my desk all day, I may notice that I have more energy to devote to Personal Growth, or to improving my Physical Environment by cleaning out the garage.
Ideally, you want to get support in this process, by working with a life coach or do this exercise with your partner or a good friend. Then outline specific actions, and commit to talking in a week or two to see how you’ve both done.
I recommend doing the Wheel of Life on a quarterly basis and putting a date on each one so you can see how you are doing and what progress you are making. If you keep coming back to one area of your life, you know that a shift may need to occur in that one area before moving on to other areas.
It’s crucial that you remain accepting and forgiving of yourself while contemplating what you want to change; this allows you to consider possibilities and stay positive.
I recommend putting your Wheel in a prominent place where you can see it, maybe the fridge or where you brush your teeth. If you see your bigger YES in life and keep your goals front and center, it is easier to stay motivated and achieve what’s important to you.
I work with people who want to improve their relationships and create balance and resilience in their lives. I like to work with partners and families of executive leaders because I understand the stresses and strains partners and families feel during startups or other intense projects.
If you are interested in talking with me about how coaching might right for you or for someone you know, feel free to contact me and let's talk. Have fun with the Wheel of Life. I hope this tool helps you to have the life you want.