LIFE WHEEL EXERCISE
Preparation Exercise for Your Work on Goals
The QUICK GOALS system is a tool for work on practitioner’s life goals. Before they choose the goal for the workshop I ask practitioners to complete the following exercise. (Even if you don’t plan to practice the system, following exercise will provide interesting insight in your current life situation.)
Exercise could be very helpful in giving you better perspective of your whole life. It’s a popular coaching technique, found in many coaching systems.
Why the LIFE WHEEL EXERCISE?
It’s so easy to pay special attention to some of the things that demand attention in some moment, and forget about others. Because of that, you could find yourself “off balance,” (not paying enough attention to other important areas of your life). That naturally creates conflicts.
Of course, you need to have drive and focus if you’re going to get things done, but if you take this too far, you can get frustrated and under intense stress.
In this exercise we will take a “bird’s eye view” of your life, so that you can give you more balanced understanding of what changes you need in your life.
It will help you consider each area of your life in turn and assess what’s off balance.
By doing this you will have a better perspective of your whole life, and increase the understanding necessary for using self-improvement techniques.
Figure 1. below shows an example wheel of life with example of “dimensions” (I’ll explain how to choose the right areas of life in the following text).
The Life Wheel is nice because it gives you a visual representation of the way your life is currently, so you could compare it with the way you’d ideally like it to be. We call it the “Life Wheel” because each area of your life is mapped on a circle, like the spoke of a wheel.
Now, let’s create Life Wheel for your current situation.
Draw a big circle on the A4 size paper.
On another peace of paper write down the list of 6 to 8 most important areas of your life.
Write down these areas of life on the Wheel of Life diagram, one on each spoke of the life wheel.
Consider each area in turn, and on a scale of 0 (low) to 10 (high), rate your current state in each of these areas. Mark each score on the appropriate spoke of your Life Wheel.
Now, join up the marks around the circle. Does you life wheel look and feel balanced?
Next it’s time to consider which of chosen areas demand your immediate attention. In which area would improvement create the greatest positive impact on your life as a whole?
Then, ask yourself: “Achievement of which goal in this area would give me desired improvement in this area, and in my whole life?”
Answer to that question will give you a good insight in what would be an optimal next goal you should work on, during practicing QUICK GOALS, or in your life in general.
You don’t have to make that decision right away. Sometimes taking another look at your “wheel” few times in the following days could give you better understanding, and clearer answer.
FIND A BETTER BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE
As well as tool for deciding about the goal, you can use this exercise for acquiring a better understanding about your life as a whole. You can do this by doing the whole exercise again, but this time with a little twist.
This time, instead rating the current state in the life areas, rate how much attention you are paying to them (how much attention and energy are you investing in each of these areas). This will give you “Current Picture of Energy” wheel.
After that, create the new wheel on which you would state how much energy and attention you would invest in each of areas in your perfect life (the life you would truly like to have). This will give you “Ideal Picture of Energy” wheel.
In this way you will get two different wheels. Current one, and the perfect one.
Comparing these two will give you better understanding about the balance you have (or don’t have :) in your life, and maybe some ideas about what can you do about it.
In this way you will get better understanding about the relationships between different life areas. This will naturally show you the way in which you self-development work should be directed.
The Wheel of Life is a great tool to help you improve your life balance. It helps you quickly and graphically identify the areas in your life to which you want to devote more energy, and helps you understand where you might want to cut back.