Today we’re going to talk about another way that you can evaluate how you feel about the satisfaction you feel in your life. If you missed the first two parts of the series, please visit here and here.
It’s a simple tool that can be used in many different coaching situations from comparing decisions to evaluating values. In this instance we are going to use it to establish your current levels of satisfaction in your life.
Draw a copy on a piece of paper of the image you see below:
On the outside of each section of pie you’re going to place the name for a part of your life that you’d like to evaluate. If you prefer you can come up with a long list of things you’d like to evaluate and then choose your top 8 for the wheel. In all fairness, you are not required to do 8 nor are you limited to only 8. But here’s the thing – how many areas are you going to be able to consider in one sitting at a time? If you’d like to do multiple wheels for various parts of your life, that is also an option. But for the purposes of this exercise, we are going to look at life as a whole. After all, the whole point of getting away from the work/life balance conversation and into the whole life satisfaction conversation is to stop seeing ourselves as segmented parts of a whole, but as one being working with many different frameworks.
Think of yourself like a diamond. If you were to just stare at one of those little flat sides up close, it’s not really going to sparkle. But if you take a step back, and view it as a whole, it begins to sparkle.
To give you an idea of the many options that you could choose to put on your wheel, below is a list of some popular categories. Don’t just copy this list, though. We’re looking to customize this to YOUR life. You’re not a cookie cutter, so this project shouldn’t be one either.
- Relationship with (spouse, partner, significant person)
- Hobbies (specifically or as a group)
- Health (physical and/or mental)
Any variation or combination of the above or ANYTHING you can think of that is important in your life.
Once you have filled out your wheel, now I’m going to ask you to go around and rate each of these items on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how you feel like you’re doing in that particular area. Go ahead and put a mark in that pie at about the correct distance from the center and color in the pie up to that point. It’s also helpful to write the number in that section as well.
THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE – I made this whole thing up. Also, this is a SUPER fancy version of what yours could look like. I use this tool that I got from Amazon to make these because it helps me. Yours does not need to have all these lines OR multiple colors unless you WANT to do that,
Now, step back from your wheel and take in the whole thing at once. What do you notice? Is there anything there that surprises you or evokes another strong emotion?
NO JUDGEMENT! We’re not looking to get down on ourselves because some or all of the areas are not where we want them. We are just evaluating the current situationIf you’re like most people some areas are high, some low, some hanging around the middle. The actual numbers don’t matter. You might put down that say your friendships are at a 3. That might seem on the low side to an unwitting observer, but to you that might be a good thing. Maybe a few months ago friendships were at a 1. We’re not here to judge you as a person based on your wheel. This is just data. You’re going to come back to this later and reflect on it.
I MADE A WHEEL, SO NOW WHAT?
The first thing I want you to do now is to look at all the areas of your life that you just rated. Consider which one, if improved, could effect other areas as well – even all the areas. For example, maybe if you improved your relationship with your wife it would also positively effect your social life and your relationship with your children. Or perhaps if you improved your work situation that would effect the areas of home life, social life, money and hobbies.
We’re looking for a keystone here. The one thing that it feels like could really pull up the satisfaction of your overall life experience. And that is the thing you’re going to work on. Choose the area and then write down 1-2 goals that you have for these areas. Then write down some action steps to get you to these goals. And now, you have a plan.
Keep this wheel and in 3-6 months come back to it and reevaluate. Draw a new wheel and fill it in with the same values you had before. If something becomes completely irrelevant to you, feel free to replace that one – but overall it will look generally the same. When you’re done, compare the two and repeat the above goal/action process.
If you’d like to go through this process with me in a coaching session, or would like coaching on the area that you identified, please click here and fill out the form.