Wheel of Life
The “Wheel of Life” is an exercise conducted in many life-coaching programs because it’s a powerful diagnostic tool. The Wheel is based on the notion that there are specific categories or what I call Areas of Focus that form the cornerstone to your overall life experience. Although the name you give these Areas may differ, the Areas themselves are generally the same for each of us. They include:
Health: Your physical health and well being (can also include your emotional health).
Relationships: Includes your primary intimate relationship, family, and friends.
Social: Includes religious/spiritual communities and other group activities.
Financial: Your ability to manage your money effectively, save, budget, and grow your capital.
Professional/Business: This is your work category.
Personal Growth: Although not everyone might have an Area of Focus for personal growth and development, anyone interested in Self-Actualization does.
Spirituality: This can be its own category or simply the driving force behind all of your Areas of Focus.
These are the basic categories common to most. Additional categories might include Mental State, Creativity, Contribution, Lifestyle, Recreation, or anything else that might play a dominant role in your life.
After you’ve identified the major Areas of your life, the coach instructs you to visualize the Areas as pieces of a pie. The entire circle represents your overall life and each piece represents a different Area of Focus.
Here’s where it gets interesting: we all tend to have certain areas that we’re more proficient in and we all have a tendency to spend time in these Areas, neglecting our Areas of weakness. You may, for example, do an excellent job eating right, exercising, and staying active (your Health category), but you are horrible at living within your means, paying off your credit cards, saving for the future, and finding more ways to add value (your Financial category).
The Wheel of Life exercise brings these discrepancies to your conscious mind. If you’d like to try it on your own:
- Identify the primary Areas of Focus in your life. You may use the list above to start.
- Then, rank how you’re doing in each Area from 1 to 10, where 10 is excellent and achieving mastery, and 1 is you couldn’t be doing any worse.
- Finally, determine two or three actions you can take to make improvements in the Areas that you’re weakest in (and ideally, do the same for all your Areas).
A fulfilling life is marked by a sense of balance and growth. The more effective you are in each of your Areas of Focus, the more life fulfillment you’ll experience. Even without the promise of greater fulfillment, the Wheel of Life can be very revealing: it can force you to examine your blind spots and own up to where you need to make major improvements to support yourself and your loved ones.
Next time, we’ll apply the Wheel of Life to your business.