A Balanced Life
Are you living a balanced life? Or are some areas OK and others not?
When you watch an experienced tightrope walker, they make it seem easy. They may have the occasional wobble, especially outdoors in conditions they cannot anticipate, but they quickly rebalance and move on. We cannot see all the little readjustments their muscles and actions are making – we just see the overall effect of balance.
With Covid19, most of us are currently living in highly unusual circumstances. So, just like a tightrope walker, we are experiencing wobbles, some worse than others. We think we are readjusting but then everything changes overnight, including our goals and priorities.
Today I am going to share an immensely powerful coaching tool called the Balanced Wheel. I use this with my clients when they have too many conflicting priorities – professionally and/or personally. There are several ways of using this tool, but today I am going to focus on achieving a balanced life.
With practice, this tool will help you to make those little adjustments to ensure overall balance in whatever area of your life you choose, professional, personal, or even both.
How To Use The Balanced Wheel
If you think of the whole of your life as a wheel divided into eight segments, with each segment representing an area important to you.
Everyone’s wheel will be different, but for the example below I have used: Friends and Family: Significant Other; Personal Growth; Fun and Leisure; Home Environment; Career; Money; Health.
1. Choose your first segment and ask yourself ‘What would be happening in this specific area now if everything was going well?’ (Remember, we are talking about NOW – not sometime in the future)
So, for example you might have chosen ‘Health’ as your first section and your answer might have been ‘I would be eating a healthy diet and exercising 4 times a week’. Then you would be a little more specific and define what you mean by a healthy diet and what sort of exercise you would be doing.
2. Now rank your current situation compared with your ideal situation, scoring 10 for extremely close and 0 for nowhere near.
3. Then mark the segment accordingly (0 is at the centre of the wheel and 10 is at the opposite end)
4. For example, if you had given yourself 5 out of 10 the segment would look like this.
5. Complete this exercise for each segment until you have finished the whole wheel.
6. The example above shows what an unbalanced life might look like, compared with a balanced life. As you can see, life in the first wheel would be pretty bumpy!
7. Focusing on the lowest scoring segments, decide on what small steps you could take in order to move closer to your ideal situation and achieve a balanced life. Then decide how and when you will take these actions.
8. Revisit this wheel often to monitor how balanced your life is, and make adjustments as necessary.