It’s crazy to think about how busy our lives have become in recent years. In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to lose the balance that we crave in life. As a result, it’s easy to neglect important areas in our lives that bring us meaning and fulfillment…
This is where the Wheel of Life can help us out.
What Is the Wheel of Life?
The truth is that without learning how to mindfully monitor our daily lives, we can end up focusing all our time and energy on a single area and forget about and neglect other important parts. This is when we need to take a long hard look at our lives in order to bring things back into balance.
This is where the Wheel of Life can serve as a highly useful and informative resource. It helps us to look at each of these different domains in our life and then identify which areas are doing and well and which areas we need to allocate more attention to.
It does this by graphically representing the different areas of our life as they are now, compared to how we would ideally like them to be. Then we can identify gaps between where these different domains of our lives currently are and where we would like them to be. This allows us to visualize which areas of our lives require our attention.
Through understanding this, we can then identify what steps we need to take in order to live a life of happiness and success.
How Does the Wheel of Life Work?
Every “slice” of the Wheel of Life represents a category for a different area of your life. Each of these categories is rated by you on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing a poor score and 10 representing an excellent score.
Once you’re done rating where you feel each of the different categories are right now, you’ll be left with a diagram with a mosaic-like wheel appearance. This will allow you to visualize which areas of your life you’re currently lacking in right now.
Here’s an example of the Wheel of Life:
Then you can go around the Wheel of Life again and indicate where you would ideally like each of these categories to be. This will then allow you to visualize which areas of your life require the most effort and attention from you at this moment.
Remember, that every aspect of the Wheel of Life has an important influence in some respect over your life. Your goal here should not be to have a perfect wheel. Your goal should be to answer the questions as honestly as possible as you go about establishing your personal Wheel of Life diagram. This will provide you with the most accurate representation and useful information for your current life.
Wheel of Life Categories
Here there is some variation. No life is exactly identical to someone else’s. As such, it’s possible that different categories of living will be included in the Wheel of Life diagram for different individuals.
What’s important is that the categories you choose to include provide an accurate representation of the important areas of your life.
That being said, there are some common ones:
In this category, you aim to rate how physically and mentally healthy you are. So you can ask yourself questions like how do you feel? How regularly are you exercising? What is your diet like? Are there any changes that you’d like to make to live a healthier lifestyle?
In this Wheel of Life category, you are beginning to think about the job you’re currently working and rating how satisfied you are with it. Are you happy where you are or would you rather be working a different job potentially in a different field? Does the career path you’re currently on bring you happiness? Can it support the lifestyle you desire?
This category looks at how you are investing in your personal growth. Are you pursuing opportunities that open you up to new experiences and opportunities? Are you eager to learn new things? What are you doing to evolve and develop into the person you hope to be one day?
The financial category on the Wheel of Life encourages you to reflect on whether or not your current income supports not only your basic needs but, does it support the lifestyle that you are hoping to live? Are you going to be happy with the progression of your income over the next 5 years or are you going to have to make changes?
Yes, money is not the only thing that influences our happiness, but it’s certainly one of the key players.
Here, think about what kind of activities you engage in to bring yourself life satisfaction and a sense of life enjoyment. Whether that’s sports, reading, writing, or any other hobby doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are engaging in some things that bring you happiness on a regular basis.
All work and no play makes for a dull day, and eventually a dull and unsatisfactory life.
This Wheel of Life category asks you to reflect on what is it that you are giving back to others. How are you giving back to the people around you or the communities that you are a part of? Do you volunteer? Do you help out with local sports or clubs? Are you engaged in political issues to make your community a healthier and safer place for everyone?
Now you’re going to evaluate your relationships with other people. As you do this ask yourself whether you feel these relationships are built on a good foundation or not? Do you trust the other person in the relationship? Do you each support one another? Can you build forward from the relationship that is currently established in a positive way? Are these relationships having a positive influence on your daily life?
Now you’re going to ask yourself a few questions about a specific relationship, the one you have with your partner. In the Wheel of Life, this is one of our most important relationships.
The most important question that you can ask yourself here is do you have a partner who is committed to you and who you can build an amazing relationship with? Are you supporting each other’s growth? Do your values align? Are you able to make each other laugh?
It’s very rare to find all these things in another person, so if you find someone who checks a lot of these boxes you’ve probably found a special someone worth keeping around.
Reflecting on Your Results
Once you’ve completed your Wheel of Life and accurately and honestly identified the current and ideal scores for each category, you can move forward with these understandings and insights in order to improve your life.
You might ask yourself questions like:
- Why do you currently have a low/high score in a given category?
- Which categories have the largest gaps between their current position and your ideal score?
- What can you do in order to move the category score from it’s current position to where you would ideally like it to be?
- Which categories on your Wheel of Life are the most important to you?
- Which categories are currently having the biggest impact on your life?
- Are there categories that you would like to dedicate more attention to?
- Are there categories that you would like to dedicate less attention to?
These are all important questions which you can answer to provide yourself with useful information moving forward as you improve your life.
By taking a look at your entire life like this, you can begin also making connections between different areas. For example, how is your career impacting your personal development, or how are your relationships impacting your finances and life enjoyment? These are all things that the Wheel of Life makes easier to visualize.
Applying the Wheel of Life to Your Life
Remember, we are always capable of change and improvement. So if you aren’t satisfied with certain categories on your Wheel of Life or the entire wheel in general, then get motivated to makes changes! These things won’t work unless you do!
So start to think about what plans, strategies, and steps you can begin taking in order to get where you what your wheel to be, and where you want your life to be.
Something that I know has helped many people is keeping track of their progress. Through these actions, they can begin to understand what works for them and what doesn’t. Then over time, they can tweak how they are pursuing their goals and increase the frequency of their successes.
Create Your Wheel of Life
If this article has been interesting to you and you feel like you would now go and create your own Wheel of Life that you can use in order to improve your own life, then check out this Wheel of Life resource.
This is a free tool that asks you to provide your current and ideal category scores and then creates your Wheel of Life for you. It’s free and only takes a few minutes to complete. It’s as simple as that!
The main take away from this article is that you should do your best to think of your life in terms of the big picture so that you can come to understand how the different aspects of your life reciprocally influence each other, and impact the overall quality of your life.
By understanding the big picture, you can then take action towards bringing the life you’ve always wanted into reality!
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Featured photo credit: Jean Gerber via unsplash.com