Is Your Life in Balance?
Good question, and one we would all do well to ask ourselves from time to time. Most new clients have something that is most definitely out of balance, they just don’t know how to address it, thus picking up the phone to me. But how can we tell if there is an area of our life that is “out of whack” with the rest? Many of the questionnaires that you find in many magazines these days are an attempt to find out the answer to this very question, usually looking at some area of our lives, relationships or financial concerns for example. Very few look at the big picture. They go too far into the weeds. So this is where I am going to give you a handy tool for looking at that “bigger picture”. Borrowed from the world of NLP this graphical metaphor is brilliant at showing you just which areas of your life may need a little work. It’s known as “The Wheel of Life”.
Ok, so what you need to do is get a pencil and paper and draw a circle. Then sub-divide the circle. What you should end up with is a diagram that looks like an old fashioned wagon wheel. Now label each spoke of the wheel with a particular area of your life. Here is an example:
The labels I have used are pretty generic, but are a good starting point, especially if you’re struggling to come up with these areas at first.
Now, sub-divide each spoke into ten. What you are going to do is “honestly” score each area of your life out of ten and make a mark at the appropriate point on the spoke (0 is in the middle and 10 at the outside). But, here’s the thing, in the example above you only have 40 points available to give to each area. So if you score a maximum of 10 to Work and Personal Development, that’s 20 points gone already. Giving you only 20 points to share between the rest! Now draw a line between each mark that you’ve made on the spokes. An example of a perfectly balanced life (and let’s face it, who’s is anyway) would look like this:
Taking the example from above, a person who has such a wonderful career that he’s scored it a 10 and they are spending a lot of time studying for their next qualification do they’ve scored that 10 as well. Something has to give. They have to take those extra points away from another area of their life. So their wheel could end up looking like this:
Clearly not very pretty. So you can see how this tool can be used to graphically illustrate how balanced your life is. So what if you do want to get “into the weeds”? What if you’ve identified an area (a spoke) that clearly needs a little work? Just give it it’s own wheel and start the process again but just on that area of your life. An example for someone who is looking at the family aspect of their wheel:
I hope you find this tool useful. I’ve used it with many clients and it always seems to bring “clarity” to how they’re feeling. It’s a little difficult to get it across in a blog post, hence all the pictures, but give it a go. See how your map turns out and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.