The following "Wheel of Life" exercise helps us look at the various life functions which we address on a daily basis. It is not unusual, as a woman, to find ourselves pulled in one direction or another and end up focusing most of our attention in a few selected areas of our lives. When this happens other areas of our lives get neglected. There are times when life balance changes because our life circumstances change. But it is more productive to try to take control of those aspects in our life that are most important whenever we can. Try this exercise and learn how stress free living is within your reach.
This exercise is designed to help you determine whether you are focusing too much on one part of your life and, consequently, neglecting others. The graphic depiction of a wheel is divided into the 6 sections described below. These categories may vary depending on the individual, but with these categories as a template, consider how much of your time you spend in each of these areas over a week's time:
First. Assign a number from 1 to 10 for each category. The number "1" on the first line closest to the center, represents the least amount of time and the number "10" represents the greatest amount of time.
Second. Plot a dot for this assigned number on the corresponding concentric line in each area. When you connect the dots for each category, you will see how balanced your life is.
Last. Looking at the 6 categories, list them in order of satisfaction in your life. Next to each category, indicate how much time per day you spend in that area.
Satisfaction level: ---------------Time spent per day:
The purpose of this activity is to identify how you currently spend your time on the major demands of your life. If your wheel of life is very uneven, it may match the current demands placed upon you. A large, well-balanced wheel can reflect a happy successful and satisfied life. But a balanced, satisfied life does not mean that you spend the same amount of time in each area. Some areas will need more attention than others depending on various situations that come up. And one source of stress is ignoring your core values. So let's delve into the meaning behind your responses further.
Look at your satisfaction scores. What are the 2 lowest scores?
How much time per day do you spend on each of these categories? What can you change to improve these satisfaction scores? What would be the ideal level of time to spend in each of these areas so that you could be more satisfied.
Review your satisfaction scores. What 2 are the highest scores?
How much time per day do you spend on each of these categories? Is there anything you need to change in these categories?
After you have reviewed your findings, return to your Wheel of Life graph and plot what you would consider to be ideal amounts of time in each of the 6 areas. You will notice a gap of time in certain areas. These are the areas of your life that need attention. Some areas you may be spending too much time in and some areas you may be spending too little time.
This exercise visually depicts how you currently spend your time. This exercise shows if your use of time matches your life priorities. Perhaps it indicates that you may be placing others’ needs ahead of your own. As you review the 6 areas of the Wheel of Life chart, consider your neglected areas and identify what things you could start doing to attend to these areas. Consider what activities are taking you away from your focus and priorities. How can you change this?
Also this exercise is a great starting point for establishing goals. Well defined goals help you create a target destination and help you create a clear action plan to regain this newly aligned sense of balance in your life. The positive result of completing this exercise is that you can reduce stress and live a more rewarding life. This course of action may help you simplify your life.
Clearly matching your use of time with your current life priorities allows you to avoid the sense of overwhelm that can have negative effects on your health. Learn about yourself by completing this exercise. Who knows, you may discover new strengths and abilities you didn't realize you had and this could lead to a great way of sharing your talents with others. Life's journey includes finding your life balance and fulfilment.