Where are you at in your life? How was 2011 for you? What went well, what didn’t go so well? Where do you want to be this time next year? What are the top 5 things you want to achieve in 2012?
I absolutely love this time of year, closing out the year and heading in to the new. It’s time for reflection, to have a look at the year just passed, things that went well, ticking off all that you’d set out to achieve and looking at things that had not gone so well and what I’ve learned from it, the personal growth experienced. I get excited about a New Year; it’s a new beginning, a fresh start. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the previous year has been, it’s over and a new chapter begins. It’s an incredible feeling to know we have a new year ahead of us, it’s a blank canvass and we can choose what we want to do with it. Now it’s time for reflection and to see where we want to go next.
The way I keep track of my progress in my life is through, the Wheel of Life. Once upon a time, not too long ago, I was a workaholic working 80 – 90 hours a week with little regard for much else in my life. Thanks to the Wheel of Life tool, I realized it, it was very apparent to everyone else, but me. I now have balance and feel very happy, experience much less stress, rarely if ever get sick, produce a better quality of work, I’m more productive, have more energy and enjoy better quality relationships. I actually didn’t realize it at the time, it’s only when I stepped back and took a helicopter view of my life I realized my life was out of kilter. And since then, I have adopted this tool and use it throughout the year to review where I’m at and where I want to go, and how I’m going to get there.
See Wheel of Life example below.
It’s simple to complete by marking each of the 8 spokes from the centre to the circumference of the wheel, on a scale of 1 – 10. 1 being the lowest (centre) – 10 being the highest outside rim. It’s important to be honest with yourself, to give an accurate assessment as you see it, to understand where you’re at.
This tool helps to evaluate all areas of your life, where you’re at now and where you want to go.
We have included below a Wheel of Life template for you to use. Go through each of the below steps and try it out for yourself.
1. Brainstorm 6 – 8 dimensions of your life that are important for you. Different approaches to this are:
” The roles you play in life for example: husband/wife, father/mother, manager, colleague, team member, sports player, community leader, volunteer or friend.
” Areas of life that are important to you for example: artistic expression, positive attitude, career, education, family, friends, financial freedom, physical challenge, pleasure, or public service.
” Your own combination reflecting the things that are priorities in your life.
2. Write down these dimensions on the Wheel of Life diagram, one on each spoke of the life wheel.
3. This approach assumes that you will be happy and fulfilled if you can find the right balance of attention for each of these dimensions. And different areas of your life will need different levels of attention at different times. So the next step is to assess the amount of attention you’re currently devoting to each area.
4. Consider each dimension in turn, and on a scale of 0 (low) to 5 (high), write down the amount of attention you’re devoting to that area of your life. Mark each score on the appropriate spoke of your Life Wheel.
5. Now join up the marks around the circle. Does your life wheel looked and feel balanced?
6. Next it’s time to consider your ideal level in each area of your life. A balanced life does not mean getting 5 in each life area: some areas need more attention and focus than others at any time. And inevitably you will need to make choices and compromises, as your time and energy are not in unlimited supply!
7. So the question is, what would the ideal level of attention be for you each life area?
8. Plot the “ideal” scores around your life wheel too.
9. Now you have a visual representation of your current life balance and your ideal life balance. What are the gaps? These are the areas of your life that need attention.
10. And remember that gaps can go both ways. There are almost certainly areas that are not getting as much attention as you’d like. However there may also be areas where you’re putting in more effort than you’d ideally like. These areas are sapping energy and enthusiasm that may better be directed elsewhere.
11. Once you have identified the areas that need attention, it’s time to plan the actions needed to work on regaining balance. Starting with the neglected areas, what things do you need to start doing to regain balance? In the areas that currently sap your energy and time, what can you STOP doing or reprioritize or delegate to someone else? Make a commitment to these actions by writing them down.
Instructions on how to complete the Circle of Life by marking each of the 8 spokes from the centre to the circumference of the wheel, on a scale of 1 – 5. 1 being the lowest (centre) – 5 being the highest outside rim. So go ahead, get to it, and see what it looks like for you.
The Wheel of Life is a great tool to help you improve your life balance. It helps you quickly and graphically identify the areas in your life to which you want to devote more energy, and helps you understand where you might want to cut back.
The challenge now is to transform this knowledge and desire for a more balanced life into a positive program of action.
Moving on to 2012
Spend the next few minutes and just imagine ….. you have achieved ALL that you set out to achieve in 2012.
What would it look like for you?
A new job /career that you’re truly passionate about, or you’re making more money, or living a healthier lifestyle and you look and feel fantastic, or you’re having better relationships or perhaps you’ve found that special one, you have a new car on your driveway or perhaps it’s all of the above. Your life is balanced, you’re experiencing less stress, having better relationships all around and having more fun, you have time for you and your loved ones; you’re thriving not just surviving in life. You are living life on your terms and in control of your own destiny.
How Can You Set Yourself Up For Success In 2012?
The definition of madness is: Doing the same thing over and over for ever and ever and expecting a different result.
What can you do to ensure your success and achieve better results?
Commit to taking small steps, action is better than in action.
Set yourself SMART goals (see previous blog for more details)
Life and career coaching can be an incredibly powerful way of doing this. With the support of your own, personal coach, you’ll find it much easier to think through and maintain a positive program of change
The Wheel of Life is powerful because it gives you a vivid visual representation of the way your life is currently, compared with the way you’d ideally like it to be. It is called the “Wheel of Life” because each area of your life is mapped on a circle, like the spoke of a wheel.
Coaching is all about taking you from where you are today, to where you want to go.
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