HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST IN 2012!!
What are you proud of from the past year? What are you looking forward to in the year to come?
Many times we face a new year with resolutions in mind: lose ten pounds, eat a more healthy diet, exercise more… You know the drill! In my blog post a year ago, I discussed a number of ways to support follow-through with resolutions: see here.
This year, I want to propose a new way to transition into the new year. I propose taking a good look at balance and direction in your life. How? A common coaching exercise, called the “wheel of life,” can be used to help you step back to look at the larger picture of you life to determine if you are putting energy into what is most important to you and whether you may be giving less attention than desired to any key areas. The exercise is fairly quick and simple but can be quite thought provoking at the same time. Try it out – just six steps to take!
STEP 1: Grab a piece of paper and draw a large circle on it. This will be the “wheel.”
STEP 2: Draw two perpendicular lines, like a cross, through the center and outer edges (perimeter) of the circle. Like four “spokes” on a wheel, this will divide the circle into four quarters.
STEP 3: Rotate the paper slightly so that you can draw two more perpendicular lines, dividing each of the four quarters in half. You will end up with a diagram looking like a wheel with eight “spokes” or like a “pie” with eight slices.
STEP 4: This step requires some consideration of what is important to you in life. Each point at which a line, or “spoke,” intersects the circle, or “wheel,” will get labeled with a role or aspect of life that is important to you. So, you will be labeling eight points on the wheel with dimensions of life representing your priorities. The following are some common categories that individuals choose among:
- significant relationship
- home environment
- public service
- or … any dimension of importance to you personally!
STEP 5: This step takes some thought too. Once your eight points are labeled, mark the center point of the circle with a “zero.” Then, take a look at each spoke and label the point where each spoke meets the perimeter of the circle with a “ten.” Then, one at a time, consider the following question for the dimension of life each spoke is labeled with:
“If zero stands for no satisfaction, and ten stands for full satisfaction, how satisfied am I on a scale of zero to ten with this aspect of my life?”
Write this number along the relevant spoke.
When you have done this for each “spoke” of your wheel, your personal “wheel of life” is completed!
STEP 6: You can now use your “wheel of life” to consider balance and direction in your life. You can do this by looking at the rating numbers you gave each life dimension individually as well as by comparing the numbers for each dimension to see how similar or different they are. Here are some questions to consider when reviewing your completed wheel:
1. What stands out as most surprising to me when I look at my “wheel of life”?
What do I learn about myself, my energy, my values, my direction, from this surprise?
2. Which dimension of my life am I most satisfied with?
What factors contribute to the satisfaction I feel?
What strengths of mine does this dimension draw on or reveal?
How can I use these factors or strengths to support increased satisfaction in other life dimensions?
3. Which dimension of my life am I least satisfied with?
What does this tell me about my energy, my values, my choices?
What factors may be interfering with greater satisfaction in this aspect of life?
How important is it to me to seek greater satisfaction in this dimension of life?
What strengths, supports, time and/or energy can I bring to change in this part of my life?
4. As I look at each dimension on my “wheel of life,” what strikes me about my current level of satisfaction?
How important is it to me to make any changes in this aspect of my life?
What strengths, supports, time and/or energy could I bring to change in this part of my life?