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The "Wheel of Life"

Some people just know what's right and what's not right; but sometimes life can be overwhelming - hard to be specific about what's not right. The wheel of life is a tool for thinking about how much you value various parts of your life; I use a ten part wheel as shown below. The parts of the wheel are Community, Friends, Spouse/Partner/Significant other, Health, Career, Finances, Family, Fun/Recreation, Spirituality and Physical.


If there are particular areas in your life that are important to you then consider which part of the wheel they would be associated with; if you are involved in art and craft then you might consider how this fits with fun/recreation, or perhaps the community aspect of an art club? If you are good at sport, this might be relevant in physical and health parts but may also be a community aspect that matters to you.


You can click on the image above and print it if you would like to have a go at looking at your own wheel of life.



How to use the Wheel:


Assess each part:

Look at each part of the wheel and consider how fulfilled you are in each area; for example you might start by looking at your physical environment and consider whether - right now - you are fulfilling your physical potential. If you decide 'hmmm, I could be a bit fitter' you might score yourself a '6'. Then you might look at how fulfilled you feel you are in terms of your community - interacting with other people locally, online communities, church community, football club community, etc. You might decide that you are reasonably satisfied with your community fulfilment at present and score a 7. Once you have gone through this process for each part of the wheel and marked it up as you think is appropriate you will have your own version of something like this:


Completed Wheel of Life

This example is made-up just to illustrate how you might complete it. In this example the person has indicated that they consider themselves to be very fulfilled in terms of their family and spouse, whereas they don't feel so fulfilled in the areas of career, physical or fun/recreation.


Consider the Actual situation Vs Ideal situation:

Using this process to consider where you are at, at the moment, it can be helpful then to start thinking about which of the areas you might want to focus on - in the above example, the person might consider that they have no career aspirations but would really like to be physically fitter, enjoy life a bit more and live a healthier lifestyle (If only it was that easy!). So the ideal level doesn't have to be a 10 - if you don't have a need to be fulfilled in terms of 'career' then your ideal score might be a 6. So you can think about the scores you have and compare them with what would be ideal for you at this time. The difference between the actual and the ideal will highlight what areas you might want to work on.


Wheel of Life filled out with actual and ideal scores

Time:

How long do you spend in each of the parts of the wheel? Are you putting a huge effort into fulfilling your 'Friends' part? Perhaps at the cost of your 'Family' part? If you now consider how much time in an average week you spend on each of the parts, you can write a number in the section for each part. How does it look - how much time are you putting in to each part and does this align with the degree of fulfilment?


Plan:

Using the wheel of life to identify these areas leads to considering what goals might be good to put in place, maybe thinking about how realistic they are, what needs to happen in order for you to achieve those goals and what could be stopping you.

Have you noticed that voice - the one the says "you will never be able to..." or "you can't do it" that negative voice that stops you in your tracks; where does that come from?

Or maybe you have always done things in a certain way - its part of who you are - 'Schemas' are patterns of thinking or doing things that you have learned to repeat over time, for example - what would it be like to run a mile: "I don't run" or "I can't run". It might be that you really can't do something, or it might be that you have lived life believing that you cant do that thing. Challenging a schema might involve asking "Why do I think I can't do that?".


Make changes:

Making changes in life can be hard, the Wheel of Life is a good tool to help thinking about setting goals, looking at what might stop you achieving them, challenging those thoughts, and having the opportunity to make balanced changes. It is a tool to help you understand your life balance and to quickly and visually identify parts of your life to focus on. The challenge comes in making changes.


You can use the wheel of life yourself, or perhaps as a starting point for some coaching. If you struggle to get beyond identifying the scores on parts of the Wheel or with making a plan or making changes, then do get in touch with me - getting some coaching can help facilitate the process of planning and making changes in your life. I use a variety of approaches to facilitate this process, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Dialectic Behavioural Therapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming. I also use creative methods where appropriate and if you are comfortable to do so.


Coaching is not something only for people who struggle - if you are good but want to be even better then coaching can help. Focus on what is good and what could be better.


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