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Last Updated on January 10, 2022

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

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

There’s always something pulling at our attention: work, kids, social media, ageing parents, the list of life categories goes on.

In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to lose the balance that we crave. 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 neglecting other important parts.

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

It does this by graphically representing the different life categories as they are now, compared to how we would ideally like them to be. Then, you can identify gaps and where you need to spend your time.

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

Visualize It

Looking at the wheel of life, you can easily find a visual representation of it. It’s commonly a circle that’s sectioned off into various quadrants. These quadrants vary from person to person depending on the career coaches or life coaches that you’re talking to.

At the end of the day, the concept is the same:

You’ll import areas of your life into an assessment and that assessment will tell you the size of that quadrant. Usually, each quadrant isn’t filled up to the top and the visual representation of it will show you clearly where you can work.

Online you can find many different ideas and creatives for the wheel of life. Find the one that best suits your needs and design preferences.

The Wheel of Life Categories

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 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 will help you achieve an overall life balance.

That being said, there are some common ones:

1. Health

In this category, you aim to rate how physically and mentally healthy you are. You can ask yourself questions like:

  • How do I feel?
  • How regularly do I exercise?
  • What is my diet like?
  • Are there any changes I’d like to make to live a healthier lifestyle?

2. Career

In this Wheel of Life category, you are beginning to think about the job you’re currently working at and rating how satisfied you are with it.

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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?

3. Personal Development

This category on the Wheel of Life looks at how you are investing in your personal growth.

Are you pursuing opportunities that open you up to new experiences?

Are you eager to learn new things?

What are you doing to evolve and develop into the person you hope to be one day?

4. Finances

The financial category encourages you to reflect on whether or not your current income supports your basic needs, as well as the lifestyle you are hoping to live [1].

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?

No, money is not the only thing that influences our happiness, but it’s certainly one of the key players.

5. 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. You can analyze your level of life enjoyment a bit more using this article.

6. 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?

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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?

7. Relationships

Now you’re going to evaluate your relationships with other people, including family and friends.

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 on the relationship that is currently established in a positive way?

Are these relationships having a positive influence on your daily life?

8. 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 if 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.

How To Use The Wheel Of Life

Every “slice” of the Wheel of Life represents one of many life categories. Each of these categories is rated by you on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent.

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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, something like a spider web.

This will allow you to visualize which areas of your life you’re currently lacking in right now.

Then, you can go around the Wheel of Life again and indicate where you would ideally like each of these categories to be.

The visual representations above will show you which areas of your life require the most effort and attention at this moment.

Every aspect of the Wheel of Life has an important role in your life. Your goal should be to answer the questions as honestly as possible.

This will provide you with the most accurate representation of your current life.

Don’t forget, we are always capable of change and improvement. If you aren’t satisfied with certain categories on your Wheel of Life, or the entire wheel in general, then get motivated to make changes!

4 Steps to Live a Better Life Using Wheel of Life

Here is how to be using the Wheel of Life to enhance your personal development.

1. Reflecting on Your Results

If 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 assessment tool. [2]

This is a free version of the wheel 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.

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 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 its 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/less attention to?

These are all important questions that 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 also begin 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?

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These are all things that the Wheel of Life allows you to consider and visualize.

2. Pick An Area And Set Goals

After reflecting, start to think about what plans, strategies, and steps you can begin taking in order to get where you want to be first of all. It seems simple, but don’t mistake the simplicity for easiness.

The planning stage is crucial as it sets the tonne for how you’ll improve.

To start, focus on one area of your life on the wheel and think about what actions you can take towards improving that area and do some goal setting for that. For example:

  • For your health, you can improve it by losing weight, doing daily stretches, or going for a walk.
  • In your career, you’ll be looking at how to get a promotion, work for another company, or venture into another industry even.
  • Personal development will be setting goals that help you to evolve and develop as a person. Setting goals around self-discovery like planning to take walks in nature, meditating, or writing in a journal.
  • Finances would focus on saving money or improving your income through new revenue streams or increasing existing ones.
  • Life enjoyment will be looking into hobbies and committing to them.
  • Societal contributions are about community involvement goals. Volunteering, contributing to local sports or clubs.
  • Relationships will be working to enhance current friendships or gain more of them. This extends to other people in your life along with family and friends.
  • Romance will be working on the love you have with your partner. Goals that can work on making romance better would be on contributing to making the relationship work, offering support, and understanding values and working to appease them.

3. Stretch The Goals To Other Areas

Once you have mapped out one area, it’s important that you begin working on another area of your life in the process here and there. The idea about all of this is that you want to have a balance wheel rather than a lopsided wheel.

The thing about life is that by focusing on one thing in your life, you are neglecting the other areas of your life in the process. And by continuing to ignore the other areas can cause a lot of harm later down the road.

For example, working on your career goals is nice as it can also cover financial goals too. However, by putting too much time into work, you’ll put more strain on your relationships, and health.

Any life coaches that are coaching wheel of life practices should tell you that spending a bit of time in all areas in your life is important and do not neglect them. Keep it in mind when planning that not all of your time needs to be devoted to one thing.

Once one aspect is started, work on another and determine what’s a reasonable amount of time to work on that area.

4. Reflect On New Results And Build Further

The Wheel of life is a powerful tool as it points out areas where you can improve in your life and can funnel you into setting goals and striving to complete them.

These areas of your life are deeply personal to you so it’s easy to find reasons to commit and make an effort to work on those areas.

But while you’re going through that process, it’s important to reflect on your new results and see if things need to be changed or if things could be improved upon.

When facing new challenges, we learn and develop ourselves. We come up with new solutions that can remain buried in our subconscious.

Spending time once a month or even once a week reflecting on how things can get easier or better you can make adjustments and build further in that area while balancing everything else.

Final Thoughts

Do your best to think of your life in terms of the big picture so that you can understand how the different aspects of your life influence each other and impact the overall quality of your life. This will help you in finding balance and working on goal setting for success.

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

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More on Living Life to the Fullest

Featured photo credit: Jean Gerber via unsplash.com

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Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Last Updated on January 14, 2022

17 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life

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17 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life

Achieving work-life balance can be really tough. More and more people are reporting that managing their personal and professional lives has become more difficult.

Longer working hours, more pressure to get things done quickly, more pressure to succeed and less personal time. Added together this combination of things creates more stress and plenty of daily struggles.

But working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most.

“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles” — Zig Ziglar

The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

What is Work Life Balance?

When we talk about work life balance tips, we are not merely talking about the time aspect of your schedule. Work life balance is an inclusive approach towards all the facets of life that gives the utmost satisfaction and gives the feeling of fulfillment.

Work life balance may have a different meaning in everyone’s life. To understand it better, consider all the things that are important to you. For example, work, friends, family, time you spend on hobbies, interests, etc.

If you feel that you are compromising on any important facet of life, you do not have work life balance.

There is a fine line of demarcation between personal and professional life. When you are able to bring an equilibrium between both sides, you get a perfect work life balance. It is a simple attitude towards your life where none of these sides supersedes the other when it comes to prioritization.

Why Work Life Balance is Important?

Many of us get into the thought trap where we feel as if we need to sacrifice a particular facet of life in order to achieve something. Unless we give up or compromise on something we love, we will not be rewarded with an achievement. Well, that’s actually never true!

There is no need to compromise on anything or work longer to achieve something. It is just the mindset. Work life balance allows you to achieve everything in life and keeps you happy at the same time!

We need to consider what would happen if we did not have a work-life balance to understand the importance!

People focusing on limited facades of life end up feeling dissatisfied and unhappy. Our minds tend to focus on what we had to compromise rather than what we gained. It is a sad state of mind that leads to stress and sometimes mental issues brought about by anxiety.

It is important to have a work life balance since it allows you to enjoy every moment of your being. You are left with enough time and energy for work, family, friends, me-time, or anything else that’s important to you! You get to enjoy everything and be happy with a proper work life balance!

17 Work Life Balance Tips

Here are 13 work-life balance tips you can implement right now to start living a more stress free life:

1. Take More Rejuvenation Days

When was the last time you took some time out from work to completely rejuvenate?

One of the best ways to create an environment for future high productivity and creativity is to take yourself outside of the day to day and remove yourself completely from work-related activities.

By taking time out for yourself, you will gain clarity on what’s most important, both now and in the future, and you will come back refreshed, energized and motivated. By taking more rejuvenation days, you are investing in yourself which naturally means you are creating more balance.

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If you can take this day to yourself every month or two you will start seeing immediate results on all levels of your business and life.

Now get your calendar out and mark down your rejuvenation days!

2. Let Go of Fear

Many people, be they entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders or managers worry that if they’re not working, or seen to be working every day, they may miss out on something important. The business may fail or they may not get that promotion or something. There’s always something. There is a sense that something bad could happen if not enough time was invested or “I could always be working on something else”.

But, what if you believed you were good enough, you were achieving and doing something meaningful, and that you mattered?

Once you have that belief and confidence, you can let go of the fear that there is ‘always more’. You will feel more joyful, productive, abundant and know that what you accomplished was good enough.

This guide will help you get over your most irrational fears: How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

3. Prioritize Your Day

If you took a step back and looked at what’s on your to-do list, how many things are critical? How many things MUST be done that day?

It all starts with a clear understanding of what your bigger and better future looks like. Are you planning a year ahead? Three years? Ten years? What are you working to achieve?

Once you understand that, you can work back and create plans and goals that help you achieve your bigger objectives.

You may build 90 day outcome goals, the things you really want to achieve in the next quarter and then lay out the process for getting there. From this plan you will understand your priorities and where your focused time should be.

Don’t have 10 things on your list to complete that day. Focus on achieving just 3 or 5 important things every day. Achieve them and your motivation will go through the roof. Have too many and don’t complete them and your energy levels will drop.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has his unique way on how to prioritize: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Express Gratitude for What You Have

Sometimes we are so busy working through and dealing with the day to day and having our mind in the future that we forget about the here and now, this present moment. I believe it’s essential to include proactive gratitude as part of everyday life, to actually look at everything in our lives and appreciate what we have.

Many of us think of gratitude as reacting. Something happens or someone does something and you feel grateful. You say thank you, maybe send an email.

But a far more proactive strategy for creating and living an abundant life is to actively find things you appreciate. This affects your own personal state of mind but also impacts others. You could send a handwritten card to the people you love or someone that means a lot to you.

Try giving thanks for three things at the end of every day and see how this shifts your mood and mind-set.

5. Learn to Say No

It’s important to decide what you want to do, who you want to build relationships with and where you want to spend your time. We have so many requests made of us and so many opportunities to do different things that we end up saying yes to things that we really don’t want to do but feel we should do.

Have the self-respect, confidence and courage to live life on your own terms and say yes only to the things that really matter. For everything else, start saying no.

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When you are clear on who matters most and what matters most, you gain clarity on what and who is essential and who isn’t.

Your time is scarce. When you start saying no to most things, you will become more focused and be completely present in everything you’ve said yes to.

Leo Babauta has this guide on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

6. Have More Fun

If you looked back at the last week, how much time did you spend just having fun? If it wasn’t much, then it’s time to change things up.

Think about what gets you excited, think about the people you love spending time with. Jump into new things and new relationships. Take some risks, try something new, learn a new skill and start laying the groundwork for a big project you’ve always been putting off.

If you need to get out of your comfort zone to have more fun, just do it. However, you want to change your life, having more fun keeps you energized and motivated.

7. Start to Journal

One of the biggest things that has helped me in my own personal growth and goal achievement is using my journal every day.

This is the place to house my dreams. It is home to my creative thoughts and my thinking tools. It’s a place to escape to. It’s also a place to write down thoughts and notes on where I am right now — my thinking, my mind-set and my belief system.

The habit of writing in my journal felt like a small step but has been transformative. It has become a routine that has affected other parts of my life.

So, start keeping a journal. Commit to writing every day, even if it’s just for five minutes and see where your imagination takes you.

Here’re some tips to kickstart journaling: Writing Journal for a Better and More Productive Self (The How-To Guide)

8. Create One Hour a Day to Think and Relax

It’s amazing what we actually have time for, especially when we decide to really make time. I hear the phrase “I don’t have time” constantly. How about you change that mind-set and start dedicating one hour a day to yourself?

One hour to work on yourself. One hour for reading. One hour to learn a new skill.

The truth is we can all find time if it’s important to us. This one hour a day could help us become more creative and increase your energy and focus. Plus, you’ll increase your capabilities.

9. Do One Thing You Love to Do Every Day

As we get sucked into the whirlwind of the everyday, it’s all we can do just to get by. We often forget to do or enjoy the things that actually bring us the biggest amount of joy.

One of the best ways to bring more balance back into your life is to recommit to do the things that give you the most pleasure. If you don’t have anything, I suggest you find something you’re passionate about. This could be reading, walking, meditating, learning an instrument or a language, or becoming a better cook or gardener.

It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you get joy from the experience. Try carving out time every day to do this one thing. Do it for 30 days and it will become a habit. Plus, it will help you reconnect with what you really care about.

10. Create More Family Time

This is an area that means a lot to me and was one of the reasons I set up my coaching business in the first place.

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I have two young children and I wanted to see more of them and to spend more time with my family. I get to take them to school sometimes and am often home for ‘family dinner’ and bedtime stories. Having the freedom to do this is essential in how I run my business and how I help other entrepreneurs run their business.

If you can create a bit of space to spend more time with the people that matter you will see a massive difference. Here’s a guide on How to Maximize Family Time with plenty of ways you can try immediately.

11. Set Clear Goals

Successful people are always guided by a vision of their future. To keep them on course and motivated setting clear goals, both long-term and short-term, allows them to achieve their biggest dreams.

Setting specific and measurable goals gives you the best chance to transform how you work and live. They help you move forward and build momentum every single day. As Dan Sullivan says,

“Your future is your property. If you don’t take ownership of it, others will be happy to do it for you.”

Learn how to set clear goals with this step-by-step guide: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

12. Focus on Results, Not Time Spent

Rather than thinking about working harder, focus your time and energy on achieving bigger results. By simplifying your areas of focus, you free up more time to live a more joyful and balanced life.

It’s really easy to fall into the trap of doing countless activities that drain your energy and take you away from building momentum in moving your business forward. You are being pulled in multiple directions and don’t have enough time and often take on too many projects. This can often leave you drained, worried and uncommunicative at the end of the day.

Remember, getting more things done means nothing when nothing great is done.

By focusing on a smaller number of projects and delivering maximum impact, you have a bigger sense of achievement, confidence and motivation. Plus, you may have more time to stop work early and spend time with the people that matter.

13. Commit to a Bigger Future

You have the power and control to decide what bigger and better future you want for yourself right now, in this present moment. How far into the future you want to ‘vision’ is up to you. It could be 3 years, 5 years, 10 years or 25 years. This future is yours to create but, it only comes from investing time now to think about where you are and where you want to go.

Try this: Look into your ‘future you’ and be clear where you want to go, who you want to be and how you want to live your life. Then, bring yourself back to the present day and create an action plan on how you’re going to create and ‘walk to’ this bigger future.

You will feel a higher sense of energy, engagement, motivation, creativity and productivity because you have a clear vision and clarity on exactly where you want to go and the steps you need to take to get there.

This article can help you do that: The Best Way to Create a Vision For the Life You Want

14. Schedule Your Time Smartly

Time is one of the prime factors to consider when you plan to improve your work life balance. If you control your time, you can control everything!

You might have to deal with millions of tasks in a day, and sometimes it leads to forgetting other important things in life. But if you intentionally schedule your working day and stick to your calendar, these minor hiccups will not be able to over-power your resolve to maintain work life balance.

You can use a simple pen-paper or your tech-gadget to schedule your time. Plan out your personal and professional life every day and keep your schedule handy to help you stay focused. You will get the opportunity to over-perform, but it should never be at the cost of other aspects of your life.

Remember, your work life is important, but so is your personal life that includes vacation time and spending quality time with your friends and family.

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15. Find Portals for Flexibility

There are times of the day when you actually can afford to be a little relaxed. But as our human nature dictates, not all of us let it be and simply enjoy the break!

We would rather schedule something else for that amount of time just to finish the errand. Don’t do that! Find your portal for flexibility and give yourself the luxury of extended breaks and breathe every once in a while!

16. Find a Buffer

When we say buffer, we mean that you need to find time between professional and home life, where you learn to let go. Don’t take your office to home and home to the office. Both are important; however, none should be powerful enough to spoil your mood and impact the other!

For example, while going home from the office, try to unwind yourself by listening to music or podcast that loosens you up. It would recharge you and bring back a smile on your face. Make a dedicated effort to do this every day, even when going to work.

17. Unplug from Technology

Technology is one of the major culprits behind people not learning to relax. Our lives are so much tangled and surrounded by technology that we hardly leave the sight of our mobile phones or laptops throughout the day, even when it’s not required! [1]

It is us who give the power to technology to subjugate us to the extent that it becomes a compulsion.

Unplugging yourself from technology every once in a while would give you enough opportunity to make time for everything else that matters. It is one of the gospels to achieving work life balance in the 21st century.

Benefits That a Healthy Work Life Balance Can Bring to Your Life

There are numerous benefits of having work life balance. Many don’t realize until it’s too late that your personal and professional life is equally important and that you should not have to compromise on either of them. Whether you are a business owner or an employee, when you have a perfect work life balance, you can:

Be Free from Stress and Other Mental Ailments

Overcompensating on a particular part of life results in dissatisfaction. For example, how would you feel when you have to put long hours at the office to finish the incomplete projects while your family eats dinner alone at home?

Frustrated? Annoyed? Stressed? Angry? Dissatisfied?

The list could go on, and all these feelings would devour your peace of mind. Eventually, it results in burnout, and people get trapped into the vicious habit of getting stressed. Many even develop other mental issues on account of extended work hours. [2]

Having a good work life balance reduces stress and saves you from developing any such mental ailments.

Be Happy and Satisfied with Life

Let us try to answer another question! How would you feel when your work performance is excellent, you manage to give family time, and get to blow off steam playing poker with your friends? Super-Awesome! Isn’t it?

That is what happens when you balance your work and life. It would not happen overnight, but eventually, when you habituate yourself performing balancing techniques, you will observe that you are happy and satisfied with your life.

Be More Productive in Every Facet of Life

Your productivity is directly linked to your mindset. If you are stressed, unhappy, dissatisfied, or angry at life, you would never be able to give your hundred percent.

However, if you manage to maintain a balanced approach in your professional and personal time, your serotonin levels would shoot through the roof since you would be happy. It would eventually allow you to give out your best performance everywhere.

The Bottom Line

Some of these strategies and tips will allow you to think differently and work differently immediately, whilst others will take a little longer to implement but will be key to your long-term success.

Creating a balance between how you think, how you work and how you spend your time is essential to your long-term health and mental wellbeing. The desire to create that change only comes from within. Hopefully these strategies and tips will set you on the right path!

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