Let’s spend a few minutes in the present. Not reviewing the past. Not dreaming of the future. Simply looking at ‘here and now’. What do you see, hear, and feel as you look across different areas of your life? The wheel of life is a tool that many coaches use because it’s brilliantly simple yet effective at starting this conversation (I’m not sure who to credit for creating it but it certainly wasn’t me!).
In this initial conversation with your coach you are free to “WHOOP!” about the things you love because contrary to popular opinion, self-congratulation isn't arrogance or bragging. It's a healthy part of the recognition we all need.
This conversation is also an opportunity to be brutally honest about the things that are getting you down. The bits of your life that are comfortable but frankly dull. The areas where you are frustrated because you thought you’d have achieved more. Perhaps you have nagging thoughts at the back of your head, which you push away by saying, "There are people far worse off than me!". This may be true however it doesn't mean you don't have the right to explore how you could get better results in those areas of your life that are less fulfilling.
Draw your wheel of life
You can start the wheel of life exercise at home:
- Download a blank wheel of life
- Choose 8 different areas of your life that are important to you. There’s no right or wrong here. You might opt to group all your relationships with your family under one label like 'Family'. You might want to focus in on particular relationships and give each one their own section on the wheel. For example, separating 'relationship with partner' and 'relationships with my children'. Just make sure you're clear what each category means and includes/excludes.
- Work round your wheel and decide what score out of 10 you’d give each area of your life RIGHT NOW. Put a cross on the score that you’d currently give that area of your life. Don’t get too scientific. If you’re prone to over-analysing, just go with your gut. Use a pencil if it helps you commit something to paper. Remember you can always tweak the score if you don’t think it’s accurate once you've gone all the way round the wheel. And no score is set in stone - this is just a snapshot in time.
- Finally, join up the crosses!
What does your wheel of life look like?
I see a lot of very different wheels as a coach. The two most common are:
- The small fairly balanced wheel: it provides you with a fairly comfortable ride. It’s not necessary as quick and fulfilling as you’d like. However you’ve got a good foundation to build on.
- The lumpy wheel (like the example): it isn’t an easy ride. Some patches of your life are hugely fulfilling and energising. Those areas fit with your core values and you have recent examples of achieving your goals. Other areas just aren’t fulfilling and energising. In fact they can quickly drain you of the positive energy you get from those high scoring areas. However you’ve got clarity about a few areas you can work on.
Inject energy into your wheel of life
Choose one area to work on. It might be the one that will have the most positive impact on your life. Or it could be the one where you feel positive change is most achievable right now.
What would have to change to get a score over 8? Stick your wheel of life onto A3 paper and draw a mind map or collage of pictures around the wheel to visualise your goal.
What's the first step you are going to take to work towards achieving a score of 9 or 10? When are you going to do it by? Would it help you to tell someone who'll be your accountability buddy?
Small steps for a balanced wheel of life
Last month I opted to work on improving my home environment. I love my home. It's the first home place I've lived as an adult that genuinely feels warm (even in winter), safe and... well like home (we'll save the rant about housing for another day!).
Like everyone, however, I've got my little gripes. There never seems to be enough storage or work surface space, which creates clutter. I know I can't achieve show-home levels of tidiness. However, as a thirty-something woman without kids, surely it's achievable to keep a few key rooms calm and uncluttered 75% of the time?!
Home improvements are expensive so I've started off taking smaller steps to boost my score - like my annual wardrobe declutter. With a little help from Elle.com, I've said bye, bye to badly fitting, washed and worn(out) t-shirts. I've thanked a few old dresses for the good times but space is now more important to me than sentimentality. Overall, 4 bin liners of clothes went to charity shops or charity recycling bins. It turns out the folks at The Blurt Foundation are right, it feels great.
- Wardrobe doors closed creating more space and less clutter? Tick
- Drawers that only contain tops that fit and flatter? Tick
- Less stressful mornings finding suitable clothes to wear? Tick
Two-three hours effort = 1 point increase in my home environment score.
Want help with your Wheel of Life?
Book your free discovery call with me to find out more about Jailbreak Coaching.