Are you in Balance?
Today when you ask someone ‘how are you?’, people typically respond with ‘busy’. I bet as you read this you’re thinking ‘I’m so busy, maybe I can just scroll to the end and get the gist of this article’. Being busy has become somewhat of a badge of honour in today’s society, we are all busier than each other.
Have you ever asked yourself what cost this constant state of ‘busy’ is having on your happiness, health, and overall satisfaction with life? Overall as a country, according to the latest data, Australian’s score pretty well when it comes to their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10. In fact Aussies sit at 7.3, higher than the average of 6.5. Now before you go and pat yourself on the back, how would you rate your general satisfaction with life? How do you even begin to answer such a tough question?
I can almost guarantee that when you tried to answer the last question, you thought about work. Did you know that in Australia 13% of employees are working very long hours (50+). How many times have you checked your work email once you got home, or taken a call from a client on a weekend?
Whilst you are busy being busy, you may be focusing a lot of time and energy in one particular area in your life, and neglecting others. Are you working long hours with little time left to spend on your health, time with your family, doing a hobby you really enjoy. When life becomes unbalanced, our happiness and wellbeing, mental and physical, tend to suffer.
If you ask some people, they will tell you that life balance is a myth, and that it no longer exists in the world we live in today. As a leading mindset coach, I would argue otherwise. I work with people from all walks of life to help optimise their lives – that’s what I do.
For the last three years I have been using the Wheel of Life with my clients to help them assess their life to find out what’s ‘off balance’, and help them to regain balance. I optimize their lives. I want to tell you about one of my clients, let’s call him ‘Brad’. I sat down with Brad and guided him through the Wheel of Life. Brad indicated that he was getting a low level of satisfaction when it came to money and finance, with romance gaining a high rating. When clients are in a relationship, I also get their partners to complete the Wheel of Life also, given that it takes ‘two to tango’. Brads wife, let’s call her Sarah, rated high levels of satisfaction when it came to money and finance, with romance gaining a low rating of satisfaction. Guess what…? My client booked a weekend away with his wife that weekend.
So what is the Wheel of Life?
The Wheel of Life is a visual snapshot of how you’re fairing overall in life and in individual areas. It is essentially a circle divided into segments, typically eight, which represent different life areas. The fact that it is visual is important, I find it tends to hit home a lot more for my clients compared to just reading numbers on a sheet.
Figure 1: Wheel of Life
So now that you’re all excited and ready to regain some balance in your life, why not give it a go? Whilst I find that people gain a lot more insight and are able to better reflect on their lives when they work with a mindset coach, I have outlined the following basic steps for you to try:
- Make sure you put a date at the top of the page.
- Use the scale (1 to 10) to rate your level of satisfaction in each of the eight categories on the wheel. As you do so, colour in each category to the chosen number. Often using a variety of colours is helpful.
- Once the wheel has been completed ask yourself, ‘Looking at the wheel, is there anything that stands out?’ then consider, ‘As my wheel is now, which area(s) would be the most important to start working on?’
- When you have chosen an area to work on, ask yourself, ‘If this area is currently a 4, what number would I like it to be?’ then ask yourself, ‘Ok, what would need to happen to bring that score up to a 7?’
- You now need to start developing some goals, making sure that the actions nominated are within your control or influence, and that they are SMART goals.
Figure 2: Example of a completed Wheel of Life
Life satisfaction data source: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/