Is Your Life Balanced? Use This Life Coach Exercise To Find Out

A commonly used tool in life coaching is the Wheel of Life. No, this is not a game show; it is a simple life coach exercise to understand the current status of different areas of your life. The nice thing about this exercise is that it is quick and visual, which makes it a good starting point.

First, draw a circle; it does not have to be pretty (you should see some of the lopsided circles I have drawn!) Now, draw a horizontal line cutting it in half, then a vertical line also cutting it in half, so that you have 4 parts. Now draw the two diagonal lines, cutting the 4 parts into 8. So you have a circle cut into 8 parts like a pizza.

At each endpoint of a line, put one of the following categories: Mental, Spirit, Financial, Professional, Environment, Relationship, Health and Relaxation. The Mental line is a measure of your current intellectual life, like the reading and learning you are doing. The Spirit line indicates your spiritual life, including both prayer and meditation. The Financial line is looking at your finances, including savings. The Professional line is based on your career. The Environment line is your possessions, like your house and car. The Relationship line looks at both your family and your friends. The Health line measures your physical health, including exercise and nutrition. Finally, the Relaxation line is how much fun are you having.

For each of the 8 lines coming out the center, you rate that area of your life; the farther out on the line, the better that area is. For example, if your health is not strong, then your point on the "Health" line is fairly close to the center. If your career is taking off, with promotions and awards, then the point on the "Professional" line is close to the end. When you're done, connect the eight points into a star and shade in the star. The shape of the star is the shape of your life. If you are like most people, the star is fairly lopsided, with points all over the place. Unless you have been deliberately working at balancing your life, some areas will be dominant and some will be almost non-existent. The point of the exercise is not to feel good or bad but to recognize the current balance in your life.

Recognize that perfect balance is not the goal. In fact, it is very unusual to have a perfect balance on the Wheel. Different aspects of your life will dominate at different times, and then other areas will come to the fore. The real benefit of this exercise is it helps you to not forget some parts of your life until it is too late. A short point is a wake-up call, not a cause for dismay. Doing this exercise periodically helps you keep your perspective about your life, and it helps you recall your achievements when times are tough. That can really make a difference.

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