The life wheel is a conceptual wheel often referred to by life coaches that divides our lives into seven different areas, including family, money, career and spirituality. Life coach Geoff Edwards shares some tips on balancing your life wheel as well as setting goals for each area.
Are you caught up in the hectic activities of daily life and feel that you have lost sight of your lifetime dreams? It is important to be aware of signposts on the way that may show imbalance creeping into your life, such as:
- Feeling that you are merely trying to get through the day
- Barely making it to the end of the week and feeling completely exhausted
- Feeling that you are on the merry-go-round of life and just wanting to get off
- Feeling like you are falling behind and never catching up
While you may feel this way, you can make positive changes that have you on the road to a happier, healthier, more productive and well-balanced life. To assist with this, life coaches use the life wheel as a tool. It represents your ‘whole life’, dividing it up into several different categories, taking note of satisfaction levels within each area. Through this exercise you have the opportunity to transform your life today, live your life with purpose and focus on being your true self.
Where is your life heading?
One of the most important steps to take when your life feels unbalanced is to check where your life is headed today. Find a quiet place and close your eyes for a few minutes to reflect on your life. When you’re ready, imagine climbing into the basket of a hot air balloon and taking a virtual ride. As you float into the air over your life, what do you see? What do your days and nights look like? Where’s the activity? Where’s the stress? Where’s
the joy? Who are you? Does what you see align with what you’d like your life to look like? When you’re ready, gently float back down for a safe landing. Make a note of your ride, as it will assist with developing your own life wheel.
Create your own life wheel
There are a number of ways to create your own life wheel. You can create your own by drawing a large circle in the centre of a piece of paper. Divide the circle into the parts representing the ‘slices’ of your life. Or, you can use an online version, such as mindtools.com.
Based on the earlier exercise ‘Where is your life heading?’, reflect on your own life wheel. How much fulfillment is in each slice? Or, rank each area using a scale of zero at the centre and 10 on the outside representing maximum fulfillment. So, what are the changes
that need to be made to bring your life into balance? For each aspect that is important to you, list descriptions of your present situation. List what you are doing in excess or what you are neglecting. Identifying just one thing that can correct your course and see you achieving more or reaching a better balance can be life transforming.
Goals and actions
Now that you have your own life wheel and an idea where your life can improve, you can develop some goals that excite you. For each life segment, list the results you want to see in that area. For instance, personal finances – if you have a $20,000 debt, you might want a result such as zero debt in five years. You might list down ‘closer family relations’ in your family aspect. Be specific and don’t strive to be too grandiose.
Sometimes simple things that don’t cost you anything can put more balance in your life. Make sure these goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, time-sensitive and inspiring. If you are not crystal clear on your goals, you will get mixed results.
Typical goal examples could be:
- Personal: Attend a motivational seminar
- Career: Finalise a new career plan
- Relationships: Have a partner in my life
- Financial: Increase income by 20 per cent
- Physical: Go to the gym three times a week
- Spiritual: Meditate daily
Typical actions identified from your life wheel and goals could be to take an art class, make a phone call to your grandma, go to the gym, or eat at home rather than go out for dinner. Maybe you could make 10 extra cold calls, or do something else at work that would lead to an improvement, spend the afternoon with your kids or volunteer in the community.
“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us.” - Euripides
Focus for success
Now that you have a good idea of the areas on which you need to put more emphasis, the next step is to take action and maintain focus. Many of us start with an excellent plan to change our lives and things get in the way. For example, you feel you should do things, or you say ‘yes’ too many times when you mean ‘no’. Focus is the key to success and achieving the outcomes you truly deserve.
Overall, everyone has their own definition of balance – what is right for others may not be right for you. By evaluating each area of your life, you will begin on the path to life balance. Achieving balance is incremental and the tips shown here, if implemented, have a cumulative effect on your overall success.
10 tips for achieving balance
- Visualise your ideal life and your values represented through your life wheel – your goals and actions
- Explore new options for success and share this with someone you trust, i.e. a life coach
- Pursue what you love passionately – own it and be disciplined in achieving what you truly desire
- Simplify, slow down, observe your life and be in the present moment
- Keep a journal – it will help you to stay focused on what is important to you on a regular basis
- When confronted with a choice, ask yourself: Will this add to my life or create more stress?
- Let go of people, things and stressful situations that are not serving you well
- Be grateful for everything in your life each day
- Set your intention and actions each day in relation to your goals and watch it materialise
- Create healthy boundaries – the more you say yes to yourself and no to the people and activities that drain you, the more balanced your life will become.
Geoff Edwards is an internationally accredited life coach with over 25 years’ coaching experience who can support you on your journey to success with results that last. He is author of The Success Coach.