When life feels unbalanced, that feeling could be a nudge to step back, self-reflect, and evaluate what’s going on. Here’s one way to look at the big picture that uses the wheel of life.

What Is the Wheel of Life?

The good ol’ wheel is understated, yet quite powerful. It’s a quick, basic tool to help you find imbalance in your life, look at where you are today, and evaluate this moment.

It’s a tool to review overall balance or imbalance at any particular time. You can use it once a year for a year-end review or pick it up any time you start to feel something is missing or off-kilter.

The idiom, spin your wheels, means to put in the effort, but get nowhere. For me, it’s triggered by the feeling of being stuck or slowed down.

An Intuitive Nudge

My intuition usually gives me hints when I’m too heavily focused on one project which leaves little time for anything else. This exercise always reveals which areas I’m neglecting and points me to the areas that need some extra love.gazing out the window for big picture life view

The Big Picture View

The wheel gives you a big picture visual to nudge you to next steps, to focus on goals. Once you’ve completed the wheel with where you are now, you’ve got the basic foundation to identify specific areas to prepare for future goals.

Let’s start with this eight-area, old-school method and then you can work on souping it up later.

The areas of life you’d like to reflect on are up to you. Over the years, the wheel of life has been redefined by many coaches. If you know me, you know that I like to start with the basics and then expand.

Make a list of life areas that you’re struggling with, knowing there’s only one simple question to ask yourself for each area, where am I today?

The wheel of life is an excellent compass for where you are, right here today and get prepared to evaluate where you want to be in the future. That piece comes later, stay tuned.

Wheel of Life Guidelines

The eight areas of the wheel represent your life. You can start by downloading a simple worksheet tool. This is a basic starter list:

  • personal growth
  • career/business
  • finances
  • health
  • family/friends
  • relationship
  • fun/leisure
  • home environment
  1. Name the eight areas using the space provided on the worksheet.
  2. Ask yourself, “Where am I today?” and then draw a line to show a value between 1 (lowest, needs improvement) and 10 (highest).

woman thinking about her life situation

NOTE: Use the first number that pops into your head. Don’t think too much about it.

Ok done, now you have a big picture view of your life situation that you can use as a foundation to move forward. Reach out if you need help.

My Wheel of Life Experience

I was introduced to the wheel in 2007 using the eight basic areas. A fabulous coach named Isa had a workshop featuring the wheel – it drew me in like a moth to a porchlight. I’ve adapted the wheel to suit my personal and business life. My souped-up version, which I use multiple times per year, has these twelve areas:

  • personal growth
  • business
  • finances, personal
  • finances, business
  • health, mental & emotional
  • health, physical (including nutrition)
  • health, spiritual (including meditation)
  • family
  • friends
  • romance
  • relaxation
  • environment

And hey, sometimes I squeeze in one more to make it thirteen since it’s my favourite number.

Use the Wheel in Other Areas

man with hand on head thinking about career and life changesUsing the wheel to gain insight into your life is only one way to use this fab tool.

Career evaluation also works. Choose the top eight core skills needed to take your career to a new level. What are the eight core skills in your current job or those needed for a career move?

Or identify which relationships need more attention. Take a look at the top eight people in your life, personal or business, you decide. Are there relationships where you’re giving too much? Which ones need a little more attention?

I strongly encourage you to make the wheel of life your own. Start with eight areas and then remove or add as many areas as you need to effectively evaluate your life situation. Craft your own better-than-before version tailored to your preferences and lifestyle. It’s the perfect foundation to set yourself up for question number two, where would I like to be in the near future? That comes later in goal setting!

There is great value in taking the time to step back and evaluate what’s important right now. Why not try the wheel of life to stop spinning your wheels in life?