In the quest for feeling settled, we can end up creating a mediocre life. When you ask yourself what you are “putting up with,” you run the risk of sending your life into the chaos of change. But never asking this question will leave you with a draining sense of being stuck.
As we begin to think about this year ending and being blessed with a fresh one, it is the perfect time to challenge yourself to admit what needs to change and embark on a path to make it happen. The exercise below is an easy way to begin this process.
Leadership Tool: The Life Wheel
Draw a big circle and divide it into eight sections.
Label each of the pieces: Career, Money, Health, Friends and Family, Significant Other/Romance, Personal Growth, Fun and Recreation, and Physical Environment.
Read each description below, and capture how satisfied you are by choosing a number between 0 and 10, and putting it in its section on the Life Wheel.
- Career: How satisfied are you with how your career is going? You may be a CEO and very dissatisfied, or a stay-at-home mom and very satisfied, or retired and satisfied or dissatisfied.
- Money: How satisfied are you with your financial situation? Resist the urge to assume that more money is always better. Consider your immediate and future needs, your debts, and your dreams.
- Health: How satisfied are you with your sleep, diet, exercise, and healthcare?
- Friends and Family: How satisfied are you with your relationship with your friends and family? You are not rating your friends or family. You are considering how satisfied you are, in general, with the connections in your life. You may want to divide this section into two, giving your friends a number. Then, giving your immediate or extended family another number. And remember, you are not rating them, but considering how satisfied you are with your relationship with them.
- Significant Other/Romance: How satisfied are you with your love life or lack thereof? Resist the urge to judge yourself either way, and look instead at whether it is a connection that you want to have, and if so, what you want it to be like.
- Personal growth: How satisfied are you with how you are growing? Humans were designed to grow. Are you growing at a rate that meets that need?
- Fun and recreation: How satisfied are you with what you are doing for fun and recreation? Are you doing enough?
- Physical environment: How satisfied are you with the stuff around you? Where you live, what you wear, what you drive?
- Spiritual life: How satisfied are you with your spiritual life? It does not have its own Life Wheel section, because many consider it to have impact on every aspect of their lives. Note your satisfaction number.
Start with one area on the wheel where want to change and methodically ask and answer each of the following questions in this order:
- What would it look like if that area of my life were a 10? Imagine it.
- What would it feel like? Feel it.
- What are the steps to get from where I am to a 10? Create a strategy to follow.
- What step am I willing to take this week? Commit to it.
- When am I going to do it? Put it on the calendar.
- Who am I going to tell? Sharing your goals is crucial to your success.
Taking the Challenge
Only you know what truly matters to you, and only you know what you are tolerating. My challenge to you is patiently, but completely, explore each of the areas of your Life Wheel. Map the changes that you need to create a life that you love living, and make it happen.