When it comes to assessing our balance in life, we quite often measure this in terms of work-life balance. Whilst helpful, this does limit our thinking as we try to group many different areas outside of work together which makes a meaningful assessment difficult. Separating out these various dimensions can help to assess your overall balance, understand areas that are being neglected and help focus on self-development.
The Wheel of Life is a great tool you can use to help create this helicopter-view of your life. Before I explain how you can use this, here’s an example which uses a set of common dimensions:
Choosing the dimensions for your wheel should be personal to you, so think about what’s important in your life and don’t be afraid to challenge some norms! You may choose to use roles you play in life (e.g. a team leader, father) or areas of your life (e.g. career, family). Once you have identified these, assess each one on a scale of 1 (I’m really not happy here) to 10 (I’m loving being here!) based on where you are today. Naturally you need to decide what a 10 is for you, so your scores are very much individual. Join up the dots and you’ll have your very own wheel.
Now the really interesting part, take some time to reflect and explore by asking yourself some questions.
- How balanced is my wheel? Do these results surprise me?
- Am I concentrating too much time / energy into some areas at the expense of others?
- Where areas am I least satisfied in? How are these affecting my overall satisfaction in life?
- How do these areas compliment or contradict each other? Can improvement in one area actually help in another?
- What scores would I like to have in 3, 6, 12 months from now?
The crucial next step is to take action. Having completed your self-assessment, set goals for improvement in your chosen areas. Remember to keep the goals S.M.A.R.T. and track against these regularly. Re-assessing your wheel periodically will also help you to track your overall development and see how your satisfaction levels change.
Have fun exploring!
Picture Credit: PersonalExcellence