Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 2, 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.

Advertising

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.

    The 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?

    Advertising

    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?

    Advertising

    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

    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 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!

    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.

    Advertising

    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!

    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.

    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

    More by this author

    Mark Lynch

    Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

    8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life Why Constant Self-Improvement May Be Bad Sometimes How to Stop Running Away from Difficult Problems in Life How to Get Yourself to Take Action Towards Your Goal How to Use the Wheel of Life to Live the Life You Want

    Trending in Mental Strength

    1 What Is Life About? 9 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life 2 10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever 3 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside 4 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 5 10 Powerful Ways to Be More Confident

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on August 12, 2020

    When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

    When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

    Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

    In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

    How to Listen to Your Gut

    The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

    Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

    1. Tune Into Your Body

    Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

    However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

    Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

    Advertising

    Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

    In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

    2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

    Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

    There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

    3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

    Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

    As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

    This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

    Advertising

    4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

    As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

    Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

    5. Challenge Your Assumptions

    When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

    In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

    A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

    6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

    Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

    There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

    Advertising

    Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

    Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

    Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

    We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

    The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

    We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

    7. Trust Yourself

    It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

    Advertising

    Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

    If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

    The Bottom Line

    The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

    Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

    More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

    Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
    [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
    [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

    Read Next