Use this simple tool to create balance in your life
In just a few minutes The Wheel of Life reveals which areas of your life are thriving and which areas you may have been neglecting without realizing it. It is a visual representation (like a snapshot) of where you are in your life right now. It’s simple and fast, but very revealing.
By taking a moment to think about each area of your life – how satisfied you are, how much time and energy you currently invest in that area – you begin the process of awareness necessary to achieve life balance.
Naturally, there are different ‘seasons’ to our lives when our focus is drawn to specific areas – it’s just not possible to invest all our time & energy in all areas at all times. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for most of us to focus on only one or two areas and leave the rest to happen ‘organically’.
The problem is, over time, some areas may be sapping all our energy and leaving us too drained to focus on others. When an imbalance goes on for too long, you can begin to feel unfulfilled, disconnected, or stuck. That is because the lack of attention starts to take its toll – leading to a general feeling of dis-ease, or worse, a crisis.
The Wheel of Life helps you gain awareness to be able to pivot your focus and direction, when necessary. Because important choices and compromises are made throughout our lives, it is essential to remember to check in from time to time and consciously take stock of the different areas of our lives.
The Wheel of Life is perfect for noticing any imbalances (neglected areas), so that you can be proactive and invest your energy where you see fit.
My experience with the Wheel
I used this exercise for the first time a few years ago. I went through the different areas, asking myself the relevant questions, and it became glaringly apparent that my social life was in a rut (my only social activities seemed to be eating and drinking with friends – and the occasional exhibit or movie thrown in.)
I immediately recognized that I wanted a richer and more varied social life – new faces and fun activities. I made the decision then and there to make a concerted effort to bring more people (community) and social activities (fun) into my life.
Within the space of a year, I started playing pickleball (I hadn’t played a ball sport since grade school) and I also got a group of acquaintances together to learn to play mah jong. No one in either group, including me, had ever participated in the game or sport before, but that didn’t stop us!
Both of these activities have become integral parts of my life today. They bring me social interaction, exercise, intellectual stimulation, and fun. I cannot believe that I had nothing like either activity in my life until I was in my fifties.
As you work through the Wheel of Life, you will probably notice areas that you have not paid attention to for a while either. But with renewed awareness, you, too, can consciously make changes for a more expansive and balanced life.
No area of life is monolithic. Certain activities may span across a couple of areas, and every topic might not be relevant to every person. Feel free to adapt the wheel as you see fit.
Fulfillment and happiness come when you have the right balance for you.
It truly is possible to create a life you love!
The 8 areas in my Wheel of Life:
love/affection – Do you love and feel loved? (This could be romance or children or even pets.) What do you do to keep the energy flowing in this area? What changes could you make/actions could you take to improve this area? How do you demonstrate self-love? What loving things do you do for yourself?
family/friends/community –Do you have a support system? Are you there for others? Do you have people you can be completely yourself with? What special rituals or routines do you share together? Would you like to expand your circle? Do you have a toxic relationship that you need to deal with?
home environment – What does home represent for you? Do you need to organize, declutter, paint, soundproof, look for a new location? What would make home more inviting for you? Do you have a comfortable private space where you can recharge?
financial & career – Are you satisfied with your current job? What would you change if you could? Would you like to pivot into something new? Is money causing stress? Are you saving? Do you have retirement plans? Feeling more in control in this area can make a huge difference in your outlook.
nutrition & exercise – Do you eat consciously? Are you aware of your nutrition and comfortable with your overall diet as is? Is there anything you would like to change? How physically active are you? (Some may need strenuous physical exercise, others, a daily walk or stretching.) Are there simple changes you could make tomorrow?
creativity & play – What do you do for fun? Is there an activity you practice without self-judgement? How often do you laugh or sing or dance? Do you cook, write, paint, or create in any way that brings you joy? When do you let your imagination soar? When have you experienced ‘flow’?
intellectual stimulation – What do you keep up to date on? Do you stretch yourself to read a variety of books & articles? When did you last try to learn something new? How do you challenge yourself? What exhibits, roundtables, or podcasts do you find compelling? When was the last time you had a deep conversation about something you cared about?
spirituality/sense of purpose – What makes you feel really good about yourself and your place in the world? Where do you look to replenish and nourish your spirit? Where or when do you feel completely at peace? What connects you to a deeper sense of meaning? What legacy would you like to leave? What special rituals are important to you?
Download the Wheel of Life on my homepage and see if you could bring more balance into your life.