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The balance wheel more popularly known as the wheel of life is a simple and powerful assessment tool that is used in counseling and coaching. It is one of the best tools for self-reflection as it allows you to see how balanced your life is visually. Most people love visuals. Unlike words, visual pictures are easy to understand.
This tool keeps everything in one place and allows you to see how you are functioning in the key areas of your life, all in one simple worksheet.
You’ll get the opportunity to reflect on how fulfilled and satisfied you are in different areas of your life.
With this information, you can readjust and set new goals in areas where you aren’t fulfilled to improve life balance. This tool will help you become your own growth coach.
Categories of the balance wheel
Your wheel of life can contain as many as ten categories depending on the key areas of your life. Apart from the number of categories that you can choose to analyze, the names that you assign to each area will vary depending on the resources. Some of the categories found in the wheel of life include:
- Self-development: Most people label it as learning or personal growth. It represents the amount of time that you spend working on your personal goals.
- Career: This category is usually referred to as the wheel of business. It generally focuses on career progression or business growth for entrepreneurs.
- Finances: Some people refer to this section as to money or financial independence. It revolves around managing, saving, budgeting, and investing money.
- Leisure: Other people label it social or recreational. It revolves around your leisure activities or hobbies. If you want to try something during your leisure time, you should include it here.
- Dating life: How do you want to improve your romantic relationship? What are you looking for in your significant other? You can describe everything about your love life in this section.
- Health: Health is divided into three categories namely, physical, mental, and emotional health for clarity. How would you like to improve on each area?
Here’s an example of a pie wheel of life for those who are more visually oriented.
Design styles of the balance wheel
There are several great designs that you can use while creating the balance wheel. All of them work similarly. But they present information differently.
You should always go for a design that you can easily read and understand. Although people interpret them in different ways, the two main styles for the balance wheel are:
1. The pie
Popularly known as the original style, this balance wheel resembles slices of pie or pizza. It is used by rating all the areas that you choose to include and then drawing a line between them.
2. The spider web
This style looks like a graph because each segment is made up of lines that gauge your satisfaction in the area. And this makes it look like a web. This style is commonly used in the digital world since computers can map it out easily.
Using the balance wheel
If the balance wheel is a new concept to you, don’t worry. We are going to guide you throughout the entire process. By using this tool effectively, you’ll greatly increase your chances of success in the future.
Set up your wheel
You need to start by drawing a balance wheel in your diary or downloading a template on the internet. You should always do what you are comfortable with. Draw a circle and divide it to into five to eight equal parts. Label all the sections that you’d like to include in the circle. Some of the areas that you should include are:
- Career and finances
- Personal development
- Life vision
You can use these or create your own. Everyone has something unique that they would like to add to the wheel. You don’t need to use every section in your circle. Start with the most meaningful categories that will transform your life when you improve them. Other areas include:
- Family and environment
Fill out your wheel
After drawing a circle and dividing it and labeling all the sections or categories, you need to determine how fulfilled you are in these areas.
The center of the circle is zero percent while its edge is 100 percent. You need to think and reflect deeply as you do this to create an accurate representation of how balanced your life is.
After placing the dots in all the categories, connect all of them to form your wheel. It’s okay if you come up with a weird shape after doing this. The shape of the wheel will be unique. And that’s why you need to set personalized meaningful goals.
Some of the questions that you should ask yourself when drawing the dots include:
- Physical health: How would you rate your overall diet? What changes would you like to make? Do you feel energized during the day? How often do you work out?
- Spirituality: Are you in tune with your beliefs? Which beliefs do you need to replace?
- Relationships: Do you have people that you can communicate with honestly? How much time do you spend with your family? Are you satisfied with the quality of relationships that you have in your life?
- Career and finances: How satisfied are you in your career? Do you need to change paths to achieve your career goals? How comfortable are you with your finances today?
- Personal development: What skills do you need to develop or improve? How many books have you read in the last six months? Are you happy with yourself?
Emotional well-being: Are you emotionally balanced? Are you aware of how you feel every day? How do you cope with negative emotions?
Set clear meaningful goals
Now it’s time to look at the shape of your wheel. What can you do to create an evenly shaped wheel? Which areas in your life require more concentration?
You need to start with the areas that you perform well and work your way to the lowest points of the circle. By doing this, you’ll have an opportunity to reflect on your strengths and growth.
To create an evenly shaped wheel, you need to set meaningful goals. You can set goals in areas that you performed well because there’ll always be room for growth. Here are some points that will help you get started:
- Exercise three times a week for at least thirty minutes
- Try other forms of exercise such as yoga and Zumba
- Drink eight glasses of water
- Include more vegetables and fruits in your diet
- Spend time with friends every Saturday
- Meet with family members at least once per month
- Reach out for support when you need it
- Start journaling every day
- Listen to a podcast twice each week
- Read one book every month
- Practice self-care for a few minutes every day
- Attend therapy sessions
- Surround yourself with positive people
You should track your progress with the balance wheel at least once every month. By setting goals and tracking your performance regularly, you’ll achieve your goals quickly and easily.