Not enough time to enjoy your passions? Too busy to follow your bliss? Try this exercise called the Wheel of Life. It is designed to help you restore balance in your life and it looks something like the example below:
Get out a blank sheet of paper and draw a large circle upon it. Divide that circle into at least eight areas (more if required or desired), so that it winds up looking like a pie. Assign a title to each wedge of pie. These titles are going to relate, first of all, to your top three passions in life (so one triangle of pie for each of your top three passions) and to all the other things in your life that demand your precious time or drain your energy (or give you energy). Use more than eight wedges of pie, if needed. The central point of the pie is marked zero (‘0’) and the outer edge of the pie is marked ten (‘10’).
Now that all the wedges are labeled according to your own life, choose one wedge and think about this area of your life. What would success in this area feel like? Rate your level of satisfaction in this area of your life by writing a number in the pie wedge, one through ten – one being not at all satisfied (energy drain, time drain, poor results, etc) and ten being ‘Over the moon! Couldn’t ask for better!’ (something that totally energizes you and works well in your life). Draw a line across the wedge of the pie to indicate where the new border of the pie wedge should be (say, at a 7 for example).
Continue doing this with each triangle until all areas of your life have been evaluated according to your level of satisfaction. Your finished pie may look something like this:
Now, looking at your wheel and each of the elements in it, ask yourself these questions:
- Are there any surprises for you?
- How do you feel about your life as you look at your wheel?
- How do you currently spend time in these areas?
- How would you LIKE to spend time in these areas?
- Which of these elements would you most like to improve?
- How could you make space for these changes?
- Can you effect the necessary changes on your own?
- What help and cooperation from others might you need?
- What would make that area of your life a score of 10?
- What would a score of 10 feel like?
By the time you have worked your way through this exercise you should have a very good sense of the various elements of your life and how balanced they are in relation to each other, according to your own values. You should have a good feel for which areas of your life are draining your energy and where changes can be made. You should also have a good feel for those areas of your life that fill you with energy and you might be starting to sense how you can bring more of those into your life.
Remember what Stephen R. Covey said? “We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind.”
Hopefully this exercise has helped you to visualize how your life is now in relation to how you would like your life to be and where you can begin to think about making positive changes to bring the two into closer alignment with each other. Begin today moving toward the life you truly would like to have.
© 2010, Shelley Dudley, Author, Speaker, Coach
Shelley Dudley has 25 years’ experience in sales & marketing, customer service, and training. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, she has written articles for a diversity of publications from Ladies Home Journal to Precious Metal Magazine. She has written a best-selling book, “You Can Do It! A Step by Step Guide to Achieving your Dreams” and is available for speaking engagements. More information can be found at her website: http://shelleydudley.biz
Summary: Not enough time to enjoy your passions? Too busy to follow your bliss? Try this exercise to help restore some balance to your life.