Back in January, I wrote about a fun New Years Resolution exercise. But then I realized that I sent you out with your 16-square dream sheet exercise with no road map. I mean, I love to dream, fantasize, and daydream as much as the next person. In fact, I get lost in my fantasy of robbing a bank – who I might invite into my inner circle, the excitement of planning my heist, wondering if anyone would suspect it was me. And let’s not forget about how I might spend the money.
But, if we don’t know where we’re starting from, how do we know where and how to get there? Do we ask ourselves questions, like where are the pit stops, what road should we take, do we need a co-pilot, and do we need to detour or adjust our plan? If not, we might be heading out, wandering all over the place, and never getting to our destination, which is fine for a Sunday afternoon drive but not for our life.
So where and how do we start?
There are many tools and exercises in the life coaching world that can help you. By all means, do a search, and you can easily get overwhelmed with the amount of information available. But to simplify, I will offer up the one tool I use every year, prior to my 16- square exercise. It’s called the Wheel of Life.
The Wheel of Life is intended to identify how you spend your time and how satisfied you are with the areas of your life. This creates a type of self-reflection that allows you to get focused on what you want to take action on (or not). Every slice of the Wheel of Life pie represents a category, i.e. Business/Career, Family, Friends, Finance, Health, Community, Personal Development, Fun & Recreation, Romance. Each of the slices can be assigned a value of 1 (not at all satisfied) to 10 (very satisfied). After filling it in and connecting the categories, it will look kind of like a spiderweb.
It gives you a birds-eye view of where you are and where you might want to make some changes or slight shifts bringing your life back into balance.
Here’s an example of mine filled out, which by the way, changes every year and that’s OK – that’s life!
How do you fill out your Wheel of Life?
- Brainstorm the areas of life which are important to you
- Write the categories on the wheel
- Assess each area and assign a number from 1-10
- Join up the marks
- Think about what you want in each area – how you want to feel
- Select 1 or 2 areas you want to work on (not all of the wheel – that’s exhausting!)
- Come up with a plan (small steps please!)
- Build your support team – partner, kids, a community of like-minded women
- Take action
- Put it away and live your life. Too much self-reflection can be like analysis/paralysis!
- Pull it out from time-to-time, review and adjust your course when needed
So grab your favorite drink, and grab some much-needed time for yourself and enjoy filling this out and see what your spiderweb will look like. Most importantly, don’t take this too seriously; it’s meant to be a fun exercise.