Have you ever felt that your life is askew?
Off-centre, with some areas receiving all your attention and others getting none. Perhaps your career is on track, but you are noticing your stress levels are high and your health is suffering. Or maybe all your time is focused on your family, and you feel you have lost your identity and friendships. You are not alone. Life feeling out of balance is often the first thing clients share with me.
Harmony with your health, relationships, career, finances, spirituality, body and mind, is essential for well-being.
When we have meaning in our lives and feel balanced in most areas, we will experience greater satisfaction and improved well-being. Becoming aware of the areas of your life where you are flourishing or struggling is the first step in finding your life balance.
So, how do you find your life balance?
Firstly you need to become conscious of where you are feeling balanced and unbalanced.
And for that, my go-to resource is 'The Wheel of Life'.
Why? Because it offers insights into the areas of your life where you believe you are flourishing and the areas where you would like to improve your satisfaction. It acts as a guide for the changes that are needed to find your life balance. The 'Wheel of Life' can be referred to often to help you stay focused on your intentions and goals. I also use it as a diagnostic tool with clients to unveil sources of stress, frustration or dissatisfaction and sometimes even joy!
I find the wheel is a great way to check in with myself, and I use it monthly. It keeps me on track with intentions and goals, supports my intentional living philosophy, and ensures that I focus on what matters most to me at the time. It is my health check for my well-being.
Here are the steps that I take when using the 'Wheel of Life'
- Have a copy of the wheel and a pen. Find a quiet space where you can reflect, not be distracted or feel rushed. Take a few deep breaths, and come to your present moment's purpose: to complete your wheel.
- Rank your level of satisfaction with each area of your life by marking a dot between 1 to 10, with 1 being very dissatisfied and 10 fully satisfied. Do this for each life category.
- Join the dots. The aim is to create a circle, but it may look more like a roller coaster! And that is ok.
- Ask yourself some questions
- How do you feel about your life as you look at your wheel?
- Are there any surprises for you?
- How do you currently spend time in the areas that scored low?
- How would you like to spend time in those areas?
- Which of these categories would you most like to improve?
- What is the smallest step you could take to get started?
- Decide one area that you scored low in that you would like to change. Write down what you are dissatisfied with in this life category. Also include the reasons (your whys) for your dissatisfaction. List everything. This is for your eyes only.
- For the same life category write down what you are satisfied with and list why.
- Reflect on your responses. Write this all down. Having this written in front of you will make it easier to decide on your actions/goals for the life category. Remain curious and explore a little further into your whys.
- Now set actions or goals that will overcome your dissatisfaction. For example, if you scored low in physical activity, say a three. You discovered you are dissatisfied because you feel lethargic, don't like your posture and are uninspired. You may look at setting a goal of adding in movement/exercise twice a week for 30 days. At the end of this time, revisit your 'Wheel of Life' and rescore yourself. Do you feel more energised and inspired and notice you are standing taller? Has this increased your satisfaction with the life area of physical activity? Is the change enough for you? Do you continue with the goal, or is it time to set a new goal in that area or look at another life category?
I encourage you to only work on one or two life categories at the most. Choosing the one with which you are most unhappy, the one that creates the highest feelings of stress and frustration for you. However, if that life category feels too overwhelming, begin with one you know can achieve the goal the quickest. This will allow you to build confidence within yourself. I often find that when satisfaction is increased in one life category, it often supports the increase in satisfaction in another, supporting your life balance.
Repeat these steps each time you revisit the 'Wheel of Life'.
Remember, be kind to yourself as life balance shifts when circumstances and priorities change.
By revisiting the wheel regularly, you will begin to discover patterns of behaviour, negative thoughts and emotions that are blocking you from taking action to create the changes you want in life. You will also have a resource that allows you to visualise the gaps in your life that need your focus, love and attention. Like me, make it your health check for your well-being.
Let me know the life category you are flourishing in, the one you are struggling with and the actions you will take in the comments below.
As always, remember your reasons, your health, your mission, and the people you love.
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