I started drawing regular wheel of life diagrams in 2007, although it has been several months since my last one. I’ve been thinking about introducing them as a regular exercise again so I thought I should review the method for its usefulness before adding something else to my to do list.
Background to wheel of life
The idea behind the wheel of life exercise is to ensure there is balance in your life. By plotting how you perceive you are doing in each area of your life you easily see how balanced or unbalanced your life is, and how this changes over time. Even if you don’t want all parts of your life to have the same value you can use it by plotting the values for how you would like your life as well as your current position.
The exercise is used by a lot of life coaches because it ensures you analyse each aspect of your life in turn and provides a good visual record of where you are. I’ve read about it in two books, How to be brilliant and The Pocket Life Coach, there is also a good post at MindTools.
I like the visual representation of where I am and how easy it is to compare different months. However I have found the vagueness of the scale difficult, particularly as it is based on my perception and this can change on how positive or negative I am feeling, so the plots are probably not comparable each month. I have also not felt motivated by completing a wheel each month, instead it has become more of a record of where I feel I am each month, similar to my end of month review.
Taking it forward
As I like the visual aspect I am keen to continue using the Wheel of Life exercise. I am currently thinking of changing the axis so they reflect my goals and combining it with my end of month review to show progress in the previous month (instead of current position). If there are areas with a low score I can review that area and ensure there are relevant tasks on my to do list. However, I need to find a more meaningful way of plotting my current position, I’ve had three ideas, although I recognise they all have their limitations:
- create a description for each point on the scale e.g. 1 have made a small step towards achieving this, 10 have achieved this
- number of tasks completed in each area
- amount of time spent on each area
Do you have any experience using Wheel of Life? How do you track your goal progress? Do you have any advice?