The Wheel of Life is a great exercise and tool for helping you create more balance and success in your life. It is often used in coaching and is a great foundation exercise when goal-setting.
Download a template of the wheel to practically do the following exercise.
As a starting point for creating balance, happiness and success in your life, the Wheel of Life is the perfect tool to begin your journey. Using this tool, you will be able to reflect and gain some insight into the balance of your life and how satisfied you are in life’s different areas. Following on from this self-reflection, you can utilise this exercise to further delve into why your wheel of life looks the way it does, what you would like your wheel of life to look like, and how to make this happen.
The Building Blocks of the Wheel of Life
Essentially, the Wheel of Life is divided into different areas or categories that are important to you. What you see above is a common example of the Wheel of Life, split into major categories of life including Business/Career, Finances, Health, Family & Friends, Romance, Personal Growth, Fun & Recreation, and Physical Environment. There is a scoring system behind using the Wheel, where you simply reflect and rate your satisfaction levels out of 10, where 1 is closest to the centre of the circle and 10 is at the edge of the circle.
Note that the categories on the Wheel are a guideline. You will find that with the above you will be able to score yourself in the majority of key areas in your life. However, before you rush into it and complete the Wheel, you may like to think whether there are any other categories or specific areas you would like get an understanding of, such as Spirituality or Contribution to Society. Perhaps you may want to have Family & Friends as two separate categories to understand each more specifically.
Remember, this is about you finding happiness and balance in your life so it will need to be clear and simple for you to understand.
One of the biggest benefits of the Wheel of Life is the pictorial representation it gives of your satisfaction with life. When your Wheel is completed, it will give you a spider-like diagram or ‘inner-circle’ of your satisfaction levels and allows you to quickly and easily identify any gaps between where you are now and where you want to be.
Now that you understand the building blocks of the Wheel, go ahead and actually complete it!
Print off one of the above Wheels to use as a template, or simply draw your own on a piece of paper.
Score your satisfaction levels against each of the different categories you have on your Wheel. Put yourself in a place with no distractions and reflect on your life as a whole. To help you with this exercise are some thought prompter’s, below.
Business, Career & Studies: Is your career where you want it to be by now? Are you heading in the right direction?
Finance & Wealth: Are you earning enough income to satisfy your current needs? Are you financially setup for the future?
Health & Fitness: How physically healthy are you? Are you satisfied with your level of fitness? Are you satisfied with your diet?
Social & Friends: Are your friends supportive of you? Are you engaging friends and socializing to your satisfaction levels?
Family: Is your family supportive of you? Are you supportive of your family?
Love: Do you feel loved? How often are you expressing love to others?
Recreation & Fun: Are you enjoying your life and making it fun? Are you satisfied with the level of fun activity that you do?
Contribution: How would others rate your contribution to society or individuals?
Personal Growth: How focused are you on personal growth? Are you satisfied with your direction? Are you trying new experiences and seeking to learn?
Spiritual: How connected are you to the inner and outer world? Are you satisfied with your relationship with your spiritual being?
Self-Image: Do you think of your abilities highly? Do you respect and love yourself? Do you appreciate yourself?
You should now have a completed Wheel of Life.
Take a moment to appreciate your Wheel of Life. What does it look like? Are there any surprises to you?
If you have scores of 8 to 10 for any of the categories, congratulations! You are very satisfied in this particular area. It’s important you maintain what you are doing to ensure you remain satisfied in this area, however don’t overlook that there may be areas for improvement. This is important to ensure you are not limiting your potential for even further growth and satisfaction in this area.
If you have scores of 5 to 7 for any of the categories, you are reasonably satisfied in this particular area but there is definitely opportunity to explore ideas to move this up the scale.
If you have scores of 0 to 4 for any of the categories, you are not very satisfied in this particular area and you will need to explore ways of enhancing your satisfaction here. When someone has a lower score as often is the case the individual has not fully explored opportunities that are available to them. It’s also the area where the individual can grow the most and get the most value!
I encourage you to answer the below questions:
Why did you score yourself in each category the way you did?
What is my ideal score for each category to achieve in the next month, 3 months, 6 months, one year?
Where are my biggest gaps in satisfaction levels? Which area of my life do I primarily want to focus on to enhance my satisfaction levels?
An important thing to remember is that this is your wheel of life. Is your current wheel crooked or is it balanced? Imagine this wheel is the front wheel of a bicycle. If it has highs and lows you will be in for a bumpy ride. One high area does not balance out another low area!
What happens when you try to move forward and you have a crooked wheel? How efficient and effective are you going to be in life if you cannot move forward in a balanced way?
It is very easy to become extremely satisfied in one area, but at what cost?
For example, you can spend all your time and energy working on your career and make some fantastic progress. Perhaps you will even become extremely satisfied with your finances and wealth. However, what may happen to your relationships? Your health and well-being? Are you having fun along the way?
The key is to find balance and that is the beauty of the Wheel. To do this, you want to grow your Wheel, not balance your Wheel by trading off in some areas of your life. It’s about moving forward, challenging yourself and pushing your boundaries to expand your Wheel and make it bigger while maintaining a balance.
The Wheel of Life exercise is the perfect starting point for goal-setting and this is why so many life coaches, career coaches and executive coaches use it as a tool. WE look at setting goals later in this course.
You now have a visual snapshot of how satisfied you are in different areas of your life. Through reflection, you have now identified your biggest gaps between where you are now and where you would like to be.
In the next session we will develop an action plan to address this wheel.