The Life Wheel
If you’re feeling out of sorts, unfulfilled, exhausted or empty, keep reading. Today, I am going to share with you a useful coaching tool I use with my clients as a Life Coach. It’s called the Life Wheel. It helps us assess how well we’re doing in life, in general, and how satisfied we feel in specific areas of our lives.
The fundamental premise of the Life Wheel is that in order for us to feel satisfied and fulfilled, we need to nurture multiple important areas of our lives. It is not enough to put all our energies into work, or into our marriage, or only on exercising and looking beautiful. Over-focusing on a few life areas, at the expense of others, creates a state of life deficit, as I like to call it.
The reality is that when we’re busy tackling multiple projects and responsibilities, it is easy to neglect some life areas. The Life Wheel can help us explore and evaluate which areas need more attention.
Why A Full and Balanced Life Matters
When we focus on just a few areas of our lives (e.g., career and family), we set ourselves for gradual and accumulating frustration and feelings of emptiness. Think about those few people you know who are extremely successful because they literally work 20 hours a day, and that’s all they do. Do they seem happy? Are they relaxed? Do they relate well to others? Do they come across as uni-dimensional? Do they look like they need to take better care of themselves?
The same goes to many of us mothers. How many of us devote ourselves completely to motherhood, and eventually feel frustrated by the lack of fullness in our lives? Becoming aware of how essential it is to honor and nurture all of our essential human needs is key.
Spread the Love
So, the point is, we need to spread the love. To feel wonderful, alive and fulfilled, we need to spend more time nurturing all those areas in our lives that matter. And, no, don’t tell me that you’re happy just taking care of the kids, or spending all your time at work. I call that denial. The truth is in how you feel in general. If you feel exhausted, frustrated, angry, resentful, depressed or unfulfilled with the way you’re living your life, it is time to find out what’s missing. So let’s find out.
How Are You Doing Now
There are several models of the Life Wheel out there. My favorite model is the one below, modified by the talented personal development expert, Celestine Chua. I like her model because it is comprehensive and is more relevant to our lives as Latinos.
Feel free to print this article (click on print icon at the bottom), so you can lay out the wheel on your desk or in front of you. Now, look at each area of life. Ask yourself how satisfied and happy you are in each of these areas. Rate each area, with zero (0) being the least satisfied, and ten (10) being the most satisfied possible. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer here. It’s all about how you feel, how fulfilled or satisfied you feel within each of those areas.
Place a dot or an X at each number, for each area. Now, connect each dot or X by drawing a line across each area.
How Balanced Is Your Life? How Satisfied Are You?
Take a look at the shape of your life wheel. If your shape is small and constricted, overall (with mostly lower scores), this indicates lack of satisfaction across several life areas, and overall discontent in life. What to do? You’ll need to dig deep and ask yourself what do you want out of life? What would you like to achieve, what are your dreams? How can you get inspired to do more and feel re-energized?
A small shape with a one or a couple of peaks suggests that you’re over-focusing on specific areas of your life, at the expense of very important ones. Use this exercise to ask yourself how much more would you like to invest in those neglected areas. And, what’s getting in the way of you nurturing those other areas. Consider what new behaviors and decisions can lead to a more balanced life, i.e., a more circular shape, with higher scores.
There are other shapes that suggest lack of balance. Use this tool to re-evaluate where you’re at now, and how to move forward towards living a life that resonates with who you are and what you truly want out of life.
What type of shape did your life wheel exercise produce?