The Wheel of Life exercise is a great way to focus your attention on the areas of life that could benefit from some development.
If you are about to set some goals, doing a general life review or want to know some different aspects of life to explore, the Wheel of Life can help you gain more of an insight into how a more rounded life can look.
What is the Wheel of Life?
There are a number of different version of the wheel of life exercise, and I’ve included my version to this article (feel free to print it off or share it). This particular wheel of life has 14 sections to it, comprising a number of the main areas of life that I believe are important. There are a number of other different wheels with different areas, so if you want to create your own, this is also another option.
How does the Wheel of Life work?
The process works by giving yourself a score from 0-10 on each area of the wheel of life. Don’t think too much about your score. Often the instinctive response tells you something about how you feel about that particular area of life.
For each area on the wheel of life, ask the question – “how happy am I right now with my …?”
Once you have done this for all the different areas and have a score for each section of the wheel, you will be able to easily identify the areas of life you are doing well in, and those that potentially deserve some more attention.
Take a look at the completed wheel of life example above. As you will see, there are a number of stronger areas of life, but also a number of areas where development and improvement is possible.
What does the Wheel of Life represent?
The wheel of life represents the difference between where you are right now and where you see yourself ideally.
The situation you find yourself in today is the result of the choices you made everyday before this one. However, your expectation, what you see as a ten out of ten score, is the vision you have of yourself based on today’s mindset.
If you have a low score, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure, it could potentially mean that you haven’t paid that area of your life much attention. However, it could also mean you are doing really well, but still see yourself being a long way from your ideal result.
Ultimately, if you have a significant gap on any area of the wheel of life, you have two options.
– get upset and frustrated that area of your life isn’t where it should be.
– get fired up and motivated that you have that realisation and have the power to do something about it.
Most people have spent time feeling both ways. However, the most successful people in life use that disparity as fuel each day to guide their actions and behaviours to increase the level they are playing at in each area of life.
Should the Wheel of Life be round?
For those of you who enjoy completing tasks and ticking boxes, look away now.
The goal of the wheel of life exercise is not to have a perfectly round wheel.
In the real world, it can be difficult to spread all of our energy and attention evenly across all areas of the wheel of life. Plus if we do that, perhaps we will not be paying enough attention to specifc areas of the wheel to create strong results.
For example, the work that goes into training for an ironman, or growing a business or completing a degree course all requires a significant amounts of time. If you do not put in the required time and effort, your performance in each of those areas will be a direct reflection.
At times, it is ok for some areas to be higher than others on the wheel of life exercise. As our priorities shift, or we have new challenges arise, it is up to us to allocate resources to the appropriate areas to maximise the results we are getting.
When you then complete the wheel of life and see a lower score, you can weigh up the consequences of not focusing on that area for the moment. If you haven’t been outdoors much but only have 6 more weeks until you finish and publish your book, don’t let the low score stop you from completing that important task. However, if you are focusing all your efforts on work and haven’t spent time with your significant other, is that something you can put off?
A great question to ask is “if it were possible, how could I increase my results in areas X and Y at the same time?”. Get creative. The answer to this question may help you achieve a better balance of performance and roundness in the wheel of life.
Looking at the example above, someone who feels they have to work but really just wants to be running outdoors could find a way to move ther workspace to a more empowering and fulfiling location. I’m sure you can think of some even better answers for your own wheel of life.
What to do After the Wheel of Life?
After you have completed this exercise, the next step would be to set some goals to improve the lower scoring areas of your life.
For example, if your health score is low, perhaps this means you haven’t been focusing on this area for a while, so perhaps you need to dust off those trainers or get some healthier food in the cupboards. If your work area of life is lower, perhaps there are a few key conversations or decisions to be made related to your career or business.
(If you want to know how to set your goals, be sure to download my free goal setting guide here.)
Remember, the wheel of life exercise helps give you the awareness of the areas of life you want to improve, but the source of that change is always going to be you. By setting some goals, creating an action plan and following through on that plan, you will start to see each of the areas on the wheel of life become more developed.
I hope this article gives you a good understanding of what the wheel of life is and how to use the wheel of life to direct your goals, actions and focus into creating a more balanced life. Please download the wheel of life here and use it regularly to check in on the progress you are making in your life. Also, comment below on how the wheel of life was useful for you and some of the goals you set to score higher in certain areas.