a balancing act

Balance. Balance. Balance. We hear this word all the time. I do agree in that we need balance to live a truly happy and fulfilling life. If we spend too much time on one aspect of our lives, the other areas tend to suffer. Sometimes I find it can be hard to distinguish what areas are zapping my energy. We might have a fantastic career, but something just doesn't feel right. Or we are super fit and healthy, but our relationships can be lacking. To help me with this I love using The Wheel of Life. It is a great and simple tool to use to get a good look at what is really going on in your life.

The Wheel of Life is a really neat exercise I came across in a workshop on boosting energy. It gets you to break up the various areas of your life and then rate them, so you can see your overall satisfaction for each section. The portions that you rate highly bring you joy and the lower rated ones bring stress and drain your energy.

Here is a Wheel of Life from Startup Princess you can use. Fill out each section as you desire, then draw a line across the portion of pie. You will notice the variation of levels and how they don't always line up entirely. I found the best labels for each section were:

• Career

• Physical environment (e.g. your home)

• Money / finances

• Health (this includes mental, physical, diet, exercise etc.)

• Friends and family

• Romance / significant other

• Personal growth / development (learning, study, training etc)

• Fun (recreation, things you love doing!)

At the time I was first doing this exercise, I lived in a small shoebox of an apartment with three other girls and I rated my "environment" as fairly low, like a 3. That was pretty easy to see, but what I didn’t really take note of, was that the apartment was where I spent a lot of my time. The lack of personal space brought stress into my life. As soon as this clicked, I did something about it. Now live in a gorgeous open apartment with an amazing view of Whistler Mountain. Gosh, does this give me a good place to come home to now!

I realized that it's great to have those few areas on your wheel at their peak, but you really need to stop ignoring those areas of your life that you aren’t so thrilled about. They aren't going anywhere. And they are just going to keep draining you till you look them in the eye and straighten them out.

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Hey Jenna,
I loved the idea of this so much, but when it came to understanding the excercise, I was a little confused. You talked about a circle, but I think I need a visual of what you are describing. Is it possible to have you give an example.

Comment by Tori Allen — June 15, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

Hi Tori! The Wheel of Life diagram is actually a link in the post above, but it’s easy to miss if you don’t mouse over the text. Here’s the link: http://startupprincess.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/wheel-of-life.jpg

Comment by Facebook User — June 16, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

The easiest way i find to fill it in is to think of each section like a “happiness/satisfaction” tank.

1 or low satisfaction is near the middle of the circle or the small point of the pie. Start there and colour your way up to your level of satisfaction, just like filling up the tank.

Check out what areas are low then have a good think about what goals you can get cracking on in that area to bring those areas into balance

Comment by Jenna — June 19, 2009 @ 9:40 am

This is a cool idea. There’s actually a website that’s all about it, noomii.com, where you basically set goals for different aspects of your life and track your progress. The great thing about it is that you get to partner with a friend/relative/significant other and help each other accomplish those goals. I found it really helpful!!

Comment by Laura — June 23, 2009 @ 11:29 pm

I like what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work and exposure!
Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.

Comment by google — January 20, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

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