When we set goals for what we want to achieve in our lives, we first have to determine where we are at this particular time, what is our current situation. It’s like when you use a SatNav in your car: before it can calculate the best route to your destination, it has to establish your current position, where you are starting from.
The “Wheel of Life” is a classic tool available to determine where we are in our life this moment, and you might have come across it at some point. If you haven’t completed one before, or if you have but a long time ago, I suggest that you do. It only takes a couple of minutes and it will give you some interesting insights of where your life is at this particular time.
So a wheel of life looks something like this:
As you notice, it is divided into 8 segments, and there is a scoreline from 1-10 that applies to each segment. The way the wheel of life works is by choosing 8 areas in our lives and putting a score of 1-10 in each one of them, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. There are many different ways of choosing these 8 areas, and the one that I prefer myself is this:
This classification covers the most important aspects in our life:
- Physical body, health : A foundation of our wellbeing.
- Emotions and attitude : How do I feel and why?
- Relationships, romance, family : The people closest to us.
- Social life and friends: Humans are, by nature, social animals.
- Work/career and mission/purpose : How do I add value to people’s lives? How happy am I with my work/career?
- Finances and wealth : Money is often considered a reflection of how “successful” we are. But apart than that, wealth allows us to live in the way we desire, to truly experience life.
- Personal growth and development: Growth is one of our core human needs – to become better, to expand our capacities. Everything in the universe is either growing or dying – there is no third alternative.
- Contribution and spiritual sense/spirituality : Just as people can’t survive without others contributing in some way to their welfare, they can’t be spiritually fulfilled unless they are contributing to others as well.
So when we give a score from 1-10 in each of these aspects of our life, we may end up for example with a wheel looking something like this:
Many people when they do this exercise find that the wheel is very unbalanced – imagine if this was a wheel in your car how bumpy the ride would be!
The first thing to do after we’ve completed the wheel of life, is to define what our goals are in each of the segments. How do I want my health to be? How do I want my social life to be? Finances? Contribution? Take a few minutes and think about your goals in each of them. What would you need to do to achieve them? What kind of person would you need to be?
Ideally we want to improve on all aspects of the wheel; however the one that has to take immediate priority is the one with the lowest score. See if you can identify what is the area in your life that you’ve scored the lowest, and then reflect on what it is you can do to improve on it. Even a small action taken toward this direction will be great! Action, even small, builds momentum!
I hope you found this simple tool useful for assessing where you are in your life right now, and it has given you some inspiration on where you would like to be.
“The aim of life is self-development. To realise one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.”
– Oscar Wilde, The picture of Dorian Gray