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How the wheel of life can help you live in balance

Article • 5 min
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Sometimes, life is so dynamic that we forget to manage our energy effectively to keep the work-life balance in check. We can get too busy with our jobs and not spend much time with our families, or stay at home and not have any hobbies or leisure activities. 

Such an imbalance is not uncommon, but you can fix it with the wheel of life tool. It’s a self-care exercise designed to help you understand which life areas need more of your attention and improvement. So read up to know how you can use this tool for getting your life back into balance.   

What is the wheel of life?

The wheel of life is an effective tool for visually dividing your life into personal and work areas and evaluating the level of balance between them. This life assessment method is designed to help you identify spots where your life is out of alignment and keep them in harmony to achieve greater work-life balance. 

The wheel consists of categories that represent the most important areas of your life, such as spirituality, recreation, business, romance and personal growth. However, there can be up to 10 categories depending on how accurately you want to assess your life. Some other categories might include education, volunteering, hobbies, money, etc.

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How to create your wheel of life

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to create a wheel of life, because each person has their own vision of how many categories should be included there. You can even get creative and design your wheel in the form of a spider web or a pie rather than a regular circle, which also works great for visual representation of your life areas. But here are some basic guidelines that will help you get started easily:

1. Identify life categories 

First off, you need to think about life areas you devote most of your attention and time to and write them down. You can also break this stage down to a few smaller steps:

  • Define the key areas of your life. Choose the areas that make up an integral part of your identity, such as exercise, hobbies, friends and family, romantic relationships, job, etc.  
  • Determine your roles in these areas. Create a list of roles you take in each of the areas you identified. This step will help you understand where you stand in life and how important your roles are for keeping critical areas in balance. For example, you could write such roles as spouse, friend, colleague, entrepreneur, traveler, etc. 
  • Identify matching areas. This step will help you figure out the areas that go first in your life. For example, your current position at work matches with your passion for learning foreign languages. That’s when your career overlaps with your hobby. 

After you have decided which categories to include in your wheel, the next step is to draw it. The easiest way to do this is create a circle and divide it into life categories you reflected on previously. The image you’ll get will resemble a diagram with up to 10 parts labeled with your chosen areas of life. 

2. Draw a wheel using the life facets you selected   

The idea behind the wheel of life is to level up the categories that get little or none of your attention, and decrease the areas that get too much of it so you can strike the right balance between them. For this, you need to rate your level of satisfaction with the indicated facets of your life. Take a look at each category and evaluate it on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the lowest satisfaction rate and 10 - the highest. 

3. Assess your life areas

Then, take a felt tip pen or a colored pencil and fill each category of your wheel with the corresponding rate. If you are very dissatisfied with social life, don’t fill this area. If you give your health a score of 8, fill it and leave a small piece of this category blank. Continue filling up your wheel with scores for each category until you get the final result.   

4. Evaluate your results

The wheel you’ll see after completing this exercise will most likely have a disproportion of filled spaces to blank ones. That’s because we can’t devote an absolutely equal amount of attention to all facets of our lives. But you shouldn’t go to extremes and force yourself to create a perfectly filled circle. Life is not perfect, and it shouldn’t be. 

What you can do though is think about your desired level of satisfaction with all life areas and try to focus on them regularly. For instance, you can work full time and then cook dinner together with your spouse and kids to improve your family area. Or, you can start a new hobby and meet new people to strengthen your social life and have fun. By finding the right time for activities that matter to you most, you can make your life complete and reduce stress.      

5. Ask yourself a few questions

Once you see the entire picture of your life, think about the abandoned areas and those that eat most of your time. Ask yourself which steps you’re going to take for your weakest aspects to improve. Then, ask the same question about areas that need less of your attention. 

Finally, think about how exactly you’d like to spend your time in these areas. Note that you might need to change your habits and routine to get there, but done is better than perfect if you want to strike the desired level of balance in life.      

Living in harmony with yourself is a matter of priority. Even if you feel like you can neglect one area of your life for the sake of another, sooner or later you’ll get stressed and exhausted. And that is not what you need to feel accomplished and happy. Create your wheel of life, and you’ll see that all you need is to find the right time for the right things. 

If you want to keep making positive changes in your life, RiseSpace is ready to help. You’ll get matched with a certified life coach and receive the support you need to live a happy, harmonious and successful life – now and ever.