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Published on February 4, 2020

How to Use the Wheel of Life to Live the Life You Want

How to Use the Wheel of Life to Live the Life You Want

It’s crazy to think about how busy our lives have become in recent years. In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to lose the balance that we crave in life. As a result, it’s easy to neglect important areas in our lives that bring us meaning and fulfillment…

This is where the Wheel of Life can help us out.

What Is the Wheel of Life?

The truth is that without learning how to mindfully monitor our daily lives, we can end up focusing all our time and energy on a single area and forget about and neglect other important parts. This is when we need to take a long hard look at our lives in order to bring things back into balance.

This is where the Wheel of Life can serve as a highly useful and informative resource. It helps us to look at each of these different domains in our life and then identify which areas are doing and well and which areas we need to allocate more attention to.

It does this by graphically representing the different areas of our life as they are now, compared to how we would ideally like them to be. Then we can identify gaps between where these different domains of our lives currently are and where we would like them to be. This allows us to visualize which areas of our lives require our attention.

Through understanding this, we can then identify what steps we need to take in order to live a life of happiness and success.

How Does the Wheel of Life Work?

Every “slice” of the Wheel of Life represents a category for a different area of your life. Each of these categories is rated by you on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing a poor score and 10 representing an excellent score.

Once you’re done rating where you feel each of the different categories are right now, you’ll be left with a diagram with a mosaic-like wheel appearance. This will allow you to visualize which areas of your life you’re currently lacking in right now.

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Here’s an example of the Wheel of Life:[1]

    Then you can go around the Wheel of Life again and indicate where you would ideally like each of these categories to be. This will then allow you to visualize which areas of your life require the most effort and attention from you at this moment.

    Remember, that every aspect of the Wheel of Life has an important influence in some respect over your life. Your goal here should not be to have a perfect wheel. Your goal should be to answer the questions as honestly as possible as you go about establishing your personal Wheel of Life diagram. This will provide you with the most accurate representation and useful information for your current life.

    Wheel of Life Categories

    Here there is some variation. No life is exactly identical to someone else’s. As such, it’s possible that different categories of living will be included in the Wheel of Life diagram for different individuals.

    What’s important is that the categories you choose to include provide an accurate representation of the important areas of your life.

    That being said, there are some common ones:

    Health

    In this category, you aim to rate how physically and mentally healthy you are. So you can ask yourself questions like how do you feel? How regularly are you exercising? What is your diet like? Are there any changes that you’d like to make to live a healthier lifestyle?

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    Career

    In this Wheel of Life category, you are beginning to think about the job you’re currently working and rating how satisfied you are with it. Are you happy where you are or would you rather be working a different job potentially in a different field? Does the career path you’re currently on bring you happiness? Can it support the lifestyle you desire?

    Personal Development

    This category looks at how you are investing in your personal growth. Are you pursuing opportunities that open you up to new experiences and opportunities? Are you eager to learn new things? What are you doing to evolve and develop into the person you hope to be one day?

    Finance

    The financial category on the Wheel of Life encourages you to reflect on whether or not your current income supports not only your basic needs but, does it support the lifestyle that you are hoping to live? Are you going to be happy with the progression of your income over the next 5 years or are you going to have to make changes?

    Yes, money is not the only thing that influences our happiness, but it’s certainly one of the key players.

    Life Enjoyment

    Here, think about what kind of activities you engage in to bring yourself life satisfaction and a sense of life enjoyment. Whether that’s sports, reading, writing, or any other hobby doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are engaging in some things that bring you happiness on a regular basis.

    All work and no play makes for a dull day, and eventually a dull and unsatisfactory life.

    Societal Contribution

    This Wheel of Life category asks you to reflect on what is it that you are giving back to others. How are you giving back to the people around you or the communities that you are a part of? Do you volunteer? Do you help out with local sports or clubs? Are you engaged in political issues to make your community a healthier and safer place for everyone?

    Relationships

    Now you’re going to evaluate your relationships with other people. As you do this ask yourself whether you feel these relationships are built on a good foundation or not? Do you trust the other person in the relationship? Do you each support one another? Can you build forward from the relationship that is currently established in a positive way? Are these relationships having a positive influence on your daily life?

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    Romance

    Now you’re going to ask yourself a few questions about a specific relationship, the one you have with your partner. In the Wheel of Life, this is one of our most important relationships.

    The most important question that you can ask yourself here is do you have a partner who is committed to you and who you can build an amazing relationship with? Are you supporting each other’s growth? Do your values align? Are you able to make each other laugh?

    It’s very rare to find all these things in another person, so if you find someone who checks a lot of these boxes you’ve probably found a special someone worth keeping around.

    Reflecting on Your Results

    Once you’ve completed your Wheel of Life and accurately and honestly identified the current and ideal scores for each category, you can move forward with these understandings and insights in order to improve your life.

    You might ask yourself questions like:

    • Why do you currently have a low/high score in a given category?
    • Which categories have the largest gaps between their current position and your ideal score?
    • What can you do in order to move the category score from it’s current position to where you would ideally like it to be?
    • Which categories on your Wheel of Life are the most important to you?
    • Which categories are currently having the biggest impact on your life?
    • Are there categories that you would like to dedicate more attention to?
    • Are there categories that you would like to dedicate less attention to?

    These are all important questions which you can answer to provide yourself with useful information moving forward as you improve your life.

    By taking a look at your entire life like this, you can begin also making connections between different areas. For example, how is your career impacting your personal development, or how are your relationships impacting your finances and life enjoyment? These are all things that the Wheel of Life makes easier to visualize.

    Applying the Wheel of Life to Your Life

    Remember, we are always capable of change and improvement. So if you aren’t satisfied with certain categories on your Wheel of Life or the entire wheel in general, then get motivated to makes changes! These things won’t work unless you do!

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    So start to think about what plans, strategies, and steps you can begin taking in order to get where you what your wheel to be, and where you want your life to be.

    Something that I know has helped many people is keeping track of their progress. Through these actions, they can begin to understand what works for them and what doesn’t. Then over time, they can tweak how they are pursuing their goals and increase the frequency of their successes.

    Create Your Wheel of Life

    If this article has been interesting to you and you feel like you would now go and create your own Wheel of Life that you can use in order to improve your own life, then check out this Wheel of Life resource.

    This is a free tool that asks you to provide your current and ideal category scores and then creates your Wheel of Life for you. It’s free and only takes a few minutes to complete. It’s as simple as that!

    Final Thoughts

    The main take away from this article is that you should do your best to think of your life in terms of the big picture so that you can come to understand how the different aspects of your life reciprocally influence each other, and impact the overall quality of your life.

    By understanding the big picture, you can then take action towards bringing the life you’ve always wanted into reality!

    More on Living Life to the Fullest

    Featured photo credit: Jean Gerber via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Toolshero: Wheel of Life

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    Mark Lynch

    Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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    Last Updated on May 28, 2020

    13 Critical Things to Consider Before Switching Careers

    13 Critical Things to Consider Before Switching Careers

    Do you have a path not taken? Maybe you had big career dreams when you were younger, but somehow they didn’t materialize.

    Maybe you took your first job, thinking it would be a stepping stone to a better job. It seemed like a good idea at the time, you recall, except the better job never came along. Or perhaps, saddled with student loans, you took a job that helped you pay them off. You paid them all right, but now you feel stuck in a career you don’t really like.

    The average person spends 90,000 hours in their lifetime at work[1]. That’s too much time to be doing anything you don’t love!

    Is it time to think about switching careers? Here are 13 things to do when making the big leap.

    Diagnose Your Current Work Situation

    Before switching careers, it’s important to figure out why you’re currently unhappy so you don’t step into another situation that isn’t right for you. Start with these considerations before making any big decisions.

    1. What Are You Passionate About?

    It’s somewhat shocking, but research shows 87 percent of workers have no passion for their jobs[2]. Passion can be measured many ways, and one person’s passion is another’s poison. Still, if you believe in your company’s core mission, it really helps.

    How can you find your passion? You may have to switch careers. Try to arrange informational interviews with as many people as you can who work in the field of your dreams to be certain that making the switch will make you feel more engaged with your work.

    Your aim: To be as happy walking into the office on Monday morning as you are leaving the premises on Friday afternoon. When you love your job, no day feels too daunting. When you love your job, it doesn’t feel like work.

    Need a little help finding your passion? This article can help: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

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    2. Can You Keep up With Technology?

    Are you keeping up with it? And is your current company supporting your efforts? The speed of technology is so fast that many companies today can’t keep up. This may result in anxiety among the company’s leadership. The sense of anxiety can filter down and impact the workers. Morale is low, and everyone fears for their job.

    When switching careers, try to find a company that will allow you to learn as you grow. It also helps to consider yourself a lifelong learner. These days, we all have to be.

    Invest the Time to Dream Big

    If you’re now sure of why you want to make a move, it’s time to dig into your dreams to find exactly which direction to go.

    3. What Does Your Vision Look Like?

    Athletes visualize their signature moves. Politicians fantasize about winning. Your task is to visualize your dream. Where do want to be working five years from now? Ten years from now? Fifteen years from now? Figure out what your titles will be at each point along your new trajectory. Will you be living in your current geographical area or will you have moved?

    Ask yourself the hard questions as well. Can you afford to switch careers right now? Will you be making more money or less than you currently do? How will you support those who depend on you?

    Once you have your vision clearly committed to paper, run your vision by a few of the people who know you best. Do your friends encourage you to pursue your vision? (If they don’t, consider finding more supportive friends.)

    4. Do You Know What to Expect?

    It’s harder to switch careers than to find a new job in your current field. You may have to accomplish the move in several discreet steps. Will making a lateral move at your current company take you one step closer to your ultimate goal?

    In addition to researching your dream field online, try to surround yourself with some friends who have recently switched careers. After you have formed a rough idea of the steps you will need to take to get from where you are now to your new career, consider committing it to an action plan. The more concrete you can make your Plan, the better.

    Should you be attending more networking events? Do you need to burnish your online profile? Commit to action steps, and then put those steps into your daily calendar. You’re going to do this!

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    If, for instance, you’ve decided to move from marriage counseling to financial planning — you’ve seen enough divorces resulting from money matters to know there’s a better way to help people — your listening skills and discretion will be an asset. Your research will reveal whether you need specialized training or licensing to qualify. If so, go online and add your name to every list you can find to learn more information. Start calculating how to pay for your courses. A bonus you’ll get with continuing ed courses: you’ll gain access to a strong peer network.

    Take Action

    Time to make the move. Start considering how you will approach these steps to get where you want to go.

    5. Who Will Support You?

    What if, early in your career, you made a job switch that you regret? Now is the time to call your ex-boss and try to get together for lunch or a cup of coffee. Let them know you are thinking of making a U-turn back to your former field.

    What if your sister disapproves of every idea you have? Either resolve to avoid her for the next 12 months or call her right now — and tell her you’re switching careers and you don’t care whether she approves! Keep all naysayers at a distance during this transition time.

    6. What Can You Do Each Day to Accomplish Your Dream?

    Switching careers can be quite time-consuming, but if you break down the task into small chunks, tracking your progress as you go, you’ll have a better chance of success. Whether you spend a few hours today googling your dream career, or refurbish your LinkedIn profile to emphasize the skills you have that will help you land this new job — just keep at it.

    Career-switcher’s hint: Working on your new dream for one hour each day is more productive than spending 12 hours working at it on a Sunday. The more committed you are to achieving your goal, the faster it will happen.

    7. Does Your Resume Highlight the Correct Skills?

    First, research the qualifications of the position you hope to land. Then, look for ways to mesh them with your own skills. While some careers require specific degrees and credentials, there are many positions you can transition into that require no additional education. Sometimes, what you bring from your own background is perfect.

    Take inventory of all the hard and soft job skills you possess. For the skills you don’t have, put a plan in place to acquire them!

    Highlight your qualifications in a way that makes a well-argued case for your compatibility with the organization and the position you’re after. Keep in mind that all employers look for candidates with skills that show leadership and the ability to solve problems, persevere through challenges, and get results.

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    Refine the skills on your resume to incorporate these resume “musts.” Make sure, though, to only claim skills you truly possess. Unless you’re proficient in a software program or are fluent in a second language, leave any mention of them off.

    Switching Careers Shortcuts

    When switching careers, there are ways to make it easier. Look into these questions to see what can work for you in your search.

    8. Do You Have Any Contacts in Your Desired Career?

    People are remarkably forthcoming on their LinkedIn profiles. This helps when you search out employees in your dream field or a targeted company. But before you take full advantage of online networking, first make sure that your profile content is fresh.

    Curate all social media accounts to reflect your new direction. Social media can increase your networking opportunities exponentially. Comment on the posts of your targeted contacts and pose pertinent questions to get on their radar.

    9. Are You Networking Enough?

    While it may be considered old-school to tap your organically grown (offline) network, it still comes with the best odds of success. Reach out to your friends and acquaintances with industry connections who can help you make a connection.

    Make a point of meeting face-to-face with anyone who can offer you a lead or provide a reference. You never know what kind of opportunity will unfold from these offline connections.

    Learn more about networking here: How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

    10. How Can You Become an Expert in Your New Field?

    Start building the skills you’ll need to make your career switch. LinkedIn and many other providers offer online courses in everything from accounting software to mastering Excel. For extra credit, see if you can find classes that award online badges for completing each course. Don’t be shy about adding these certificates to your online profile.

    Read trade magazines and study up on industry trends. Write and post articles on timely topics. Develop an online presence in the field of your dreams.

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    11. Are You Willing to Put Yourself out There?

    Nonprofit organizations often look for volunteers to help them with their outreach, social media, fundraising, and more. Once you’ve mastered the needed skills, be sure to have the head of the organization or a board member write a glowing recommendation for you.

    Depending on your desired career, it may be possible to take on a contract assignment at a company where you learn on the job. A freelance gig allows you to polish your skills, make connections, and prove you’re serious about this career change.

    For example, if your dream is to transform your knack for attracting followers through pithy postings into a career as a social media manager, don’t be afraid to pitch your services. Most companies need someone to manage their online presence and may welcome your fresh new strategy.

    Switching Careers Results

    Now that you’ve taken the steps to switch careers, bask in the success you’ve found in doing so.

    12. How Can You Reward Yourself?

    Set whatever benchmarks you need to achieve as you embark on switching careers, and think of them as cause for mini-celebrations. Find frugal ways to reward yourself.

    However, hold out for the big, pop-the-champagne celebration until you land your dream job.

    13. Has the Risk Paid Off?

    People who prefer to play it safe throughout their careers often fall short of their potential. Research shows the primary reason executives derail is an inability to change[3]. It takes a large measure of courage to pursue a new path. And when you succeed, it fuels your confidence.

    You have an air of self-assurance about you and a can-do spirit that stands out. And best of all, you’ll have moved from a dead-end or lackluster job to one into which you can pour your passion and realize the feeling of self-fulfillment.

    The Bottom Line

    Don’t be afraid to switch your career path once you’ve outgrown the one you’re in. Set out to intentionally pursue career satisfaction and you’ll reap great rewards by realizing the joys of job satisfaction.

    More Tips on Switching Careers

    Featured photo credit: Kevin Bhagat via unsplash.com

    Reference

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