We all go about our daily lives often not stopping to think about what’s really important to us. Our daily routines are often the same, and it seems there is not enough time to really sit down and think about what would be in our best interests, what would feed our spirits, and how to make time for it. Why is this important? The main purpose of finding time for what’s important to you is to find balance in your life which will lead to a much happier you as a whole. In this post, we’ll look at what you may be missing in your life/work balance, and how you can start creating more balance in those areas that need attention.
There’s an exercise sometimes used in coaching called the “Wheel of Life.” The Wheel of Life is used to give you an overview of your life as a whole, which can then be used to assess areas of balance and fulfillment, and those that may require more attention.
Creating the Wheel of Life
The Wheel can be created easily. First, get a pen and paper. Draw a big circle and divide the circle into 8 pieces (like a pizza). Next, write the following in each block of the circle:
- Relationship (with significant other, partner)
- Achievement and Fulfillment
- Fun and Recreation
- Physical Environment
- Family and Friends
First, let me explain what these eight areas are all about. Each represents an important area in your life. Looking at the wheel as a whole, the eight sections represent the whole picture of your life. Consider each section carefully and assign a number from 1-10 to each that indicates how satisfied you are with that area at this time in your life. The purpose of the Wheel is to give you a sort of snapshot of your life. Once complete, you will quickly notice where things may be out of balance for you. If you assign a 9 to the category of Work, and a 3 to the category of Health, for example, it’s obvious that there is an imbalance there.
Different philosophies over thousands of years have addressed the idea of balance in life. The Chinese symbol for the Yin Yang, for example, represents balance and harmony in the universe. The popularity of yoga has increased tremendously in Western culture over the last twenty years. This ancient practice gradually trains your body and mind to be in a state of equilibrium. When our balance is disturbed in any way, there are bound to be difficulties in your life. Using the Wheel is a way to see where these imbalances might be, so that you can take action to improve your overall well-being.
Now that you know what areas may need more attention, the next thing you can do is pick an area with a lower score and consider what you might need to do to raise your level of fulfillment in that area. You don’t necessarily have to bring an area that scored a 3 up to a 10. Ask yourself what it might take to raise that area to even a 4 or a 5. If you rated Fun and Recreation as a 3, maybe start out with an enjoyable night out with friends once a month to raise it to a 4. From there, you may want to consider how you could raise it to a 5. And so on. It is easier to consider taking actions that are easily incorporated into your life as it is today, then to contemplate making huge changes all at once. Once you have made one small shift and integrated it into your life over time, making another one will seem more manageable.
You may want to write down a strategy for the actions you want to take. Create a plan and stick to it. And don’t think that any of these 8 categories aren’t important, because they all are. Lots of us spend much of our time at work and forget about making time for other important aspects in our lives. Concentrating on bringing more balance to all eight categories in the Wheel of Life can bring more well-being and ultimately happiness to your daily life, and the lives of those around you.
I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or comments!