Setting goals and thinking about what you want in future can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Where do you begin?
A simple but powerful tool to help with this is the Wheel of Life (also known as the Coaching Wheel or Life Balance Wheel).
Created by Paul J. Meyer in 1960, the Wheel of Life is an extremely popular exercise used by coaches worldwide.
Many coaches use this tool as a starting point with clients, as well as for reviewing and assessing coaching progress.
The Wheel of Life exercise could help you if:
- You’re committed to personal growth and want a quick and easy-to-use tool.
- You’re prone to overworking and struggle with work-life balance.
- You feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and want to set priorities.
- You feel lost, stuck, or unsure of your life direction.
- You’ve gone through a period of change and want to re-evaluate your priorities.
The Wheel of Life Coaching Exercise
So, what is it?
In the Wheel of Life exercise, you take a “helicopter view” of your life and think about:
- What’s most important to you.
- Where you are right now.
- Where you want to be.
When completed, you'll have a clear visual representation of your current vs. ideal reality.
A good idea to increase the impact of the exercise is to write down your thoughts and feelings as you complete it, perhaps using our free Daily Mental Health Journal.
The Wheel of Life Exercise: 4 Key Steps
Step 1: Determine Your Key Life Areas
First, reflect on your personal values and write down eight life areas that are the most important to you (i.e., relationships, health, mental wellbeing, work, finances, fun, spirituality).
Some questions to help you:
- What do you care about the most?
- What do you spend the most time thinking about?
- What brings you joy?
- What gives life meaning for you?
- What would you do if money were no object?
Note these on the outside of the circle.
Step 2: Evaluate Your Satisfaction Levels
Consider how satisfied you are in each area on a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 10 (fully satisfied).
To note your scores, put a dot in the middle of the corresponding line on the wheel (1 being the first inner circle and 10 being the outside circle).
Step 3: Connect the Dots
Once you’ve noted your scores for all areas, get a ruler and join the dots to reveal the visual representation of your current vs. desired reality.
Step 4: Celebrate Your Progress
In a journal, take some time to reflect on and appreciate how far you’ve come from where you used to be.
Celebrating progress supports mental wellbeing, and it helps put you in a better mindset for setting goals and making positive changes.
Taking Action from The Wheel of Life Exercise
Now you have a visual overview of your current vs. ideal reality, examine your results.
Where are the biggest gaps?
It’s worth noting that some life areas are more important to us than others.
Which imbalances do you feel the most concerned about? These are the areas that require most of your attention when planning changes.
Here are some questions to help you decide on your action steps (and for coaches to ask clients!):
- Are there any areas of your life that are getting more attention than they deserve?
- What are you currently doing that you’d like to do more of?
- What are you currently doing that you’d like to do less of?
- What would you like to start doing?
- What would you like to stop doing?
Regularly completing the Wheel of Life exercise shows us how everything in life is interconnected.
Improving your satisfaction in one area, such as mental wellbeing, often improves your satisfaction in other areas, such as work, relationships and fun.
It's an upward spiral! Want to try it out? Invest in this tool and much, much more in our premium tool, The Mental Wellbeing Toolkit.