Your body continuously strives for balance. Notice, when you are walking down the street or even when you’re standing, your body is using lots of tiny muscles and big muscles to make sure that you are in balance and don’t fall over, and hurt yourself.
The body and mind are one. As the body is continuously looking for balance, so is the mind. When we are in balance our life flows, i.e. we achieve what we want and we are happy. When our life is balanced we are free from the constant niggling thoughts that keep us awake at night that say something like: “I should really spend more time on xxx” or “I never get around to doing xxx”. Most of us have these thoughts which are indications that our life is not balanced.
Although most of us are aware that our lives may not be as balanced as we would like it, we often don’t know where to start making changes. Our to-do list is often so large that it seems difficult to identify what to do first or next.
Here is an easy way to help you prioritise which areas of your life to work on next.
Take your “life balance temperature” check
We have areas of our lives that we happy with and where we achieve what we want. And there are other areas of our lives that we don’t pay as much attention to or where we just don’t seem to get the success we want.
Take a clean sheet of paper, draw a circle on it and divide the circle into as many categories or slices as you need. Use your own words to name the areas of your life – you can of course use the areas in the example below if that works for you.
Then take each area in turn, and ask yourself the question:
How satisfied are you on a scale of 0 to 10 (where 0 is not at all satisfied and 10 is very satisfied) with this area of your life, now?
Then draw a line (as shown in the example) between the two area-boundaries that reflects your level of satisfaction. If you like, you can also shade in the
area between 0 (the middle point of your circle) and the line you’ve drawn.
Once you’ve done this for all areas of your life, take a look at your wheel and notice:
- how does your wheel look? Imagine you are using that you are using this wheel to on your car or bicycle. Would you be able to drive or cycle with that wheel?
- which area (or maybe there are two) stands out? Which one is very different, either very low or very high, compared to the other areas?
Hardly anyone has a fully balanced wheel. Life constantly changes, and like our body that needs to rebalance every second of the day, we need to adjust our life balance continually. If our wheel is very much out of balance we need a lot more energy to keep it going and often tend to experience stress.
Therefore, it is good idea to do this wheel of life ‘temperature check’ on a regular basis. Most of my clients find that every three months works best for them.
Where do you want to be in each area?
Go back to your wheel of life and decide what level of satisfaction you would like to have in each area, right now. Use the same scale 0 to 10 (where 0 is not at all satisfied and 10 is totally satisfied). Use a different coloured pen to show your desired level. Of course, we all want to be 100% in every area, however, be realistic and decide what level of satisfaction would be happy or OK with in each area.
Have a look at your wheel now and notice: Where are you biggest gaps?
Once you have done that, look at your wheel again and write down those areas where you have identified the biggest gaps (in order – biggest gap first, followed by the second biggest gap) between your current level of satisfaction and desired level of satisfaction. Now you have a prioritised list, and most people find it useful to focus on the area where they have the biggest gap. However, some people find that 2 or 3 areas have the same gap. If that’s you, ask yourself: if you were able to do one thing to raise your level of satisfaction in one area only, which area would benefit the most? And where would you feel the biggest impact?
Most people feel daunted by the gap they have identified in
the last step. An easy way to around that is to ‘eat the elephant in small
chunks’. Consider the following:
- If you wished to raise your satisfaction in your focus area by 1 or even 0.5 (or even lower), what can you do?
- What would you advise your best friend to do if they were in your position?
- Which actions of your to-do list fall into your focus area?
If you run out of ideas, take an area of your life where your satisfaction is much higher than in your focus area:
- What are you doing or have done there that keeps you at a high level of satisfaction?
- What are the types of things/activities you do there that you could maybe adapt and transfer to your focus area to give it a boost?
Once you have a list of key actions, identify the one action that would make the biggest difference in your life right now and schedule time for it (if you are unable to do it straight away). Take action as soon as possible and once you have done the action, notice how much more satisfied you feel in that area of your life.
The wheel of life is a tool you can use on an ongoing basis, to re-balance your life and for goal setting. In invite you to go back to you over and over again and use it to identify your key activities to bring your life into balance and maintain this balance.
- Celebrating your successes improves confidence and self-esteem! (beingasuccessfulwoman.wordpress.com)