Identifying Gaps In Your Life Balance by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC
There is a lot of buzz around creating a “work/life balance.” While work and the rest of your life are two important aspects of your personal satisfaction and wellbeing, they are two very big categories.
Experienced coaches use a tool that further segments your life into different areas. This tool is called the Wheel of Life, and it is a self-assessment tool that looks like a pie cut into six, eight, or more pieces. Each of these pieces is equal in size, representing the fact that all aspects of life are equally crucial to the whole.
This is a great way to look at balance. Think of a wheel on your car divided into eight pieces. If one was flat or low, the tire would not roll and provide a smooth ride. If more than one section of the tire was low, the ride would be very rough, and you may not be able to travel very far or very fast.
Determining Your Balance
For most people, the areas of life that create balance include:
- Business or Career
- Health and exercise/fitness
- Family and Friends/Community
- Personal/spiritual development and growth
- Fun and recreation/enjoyment/social
- Physical Environment
Within each of these categories, arriving at your current level starts with asking yourself a few simple questions such as, “how am I doing, where am I at, and do I need to make a change or improvement?” These questions allow you to reflect on how satisfied or dissatisfied you are in each area. It is very common for people to feel extremely satisfied or fulfilled in one section of the wheel but to feel dissatisfied or unhappy with their level in another part of the wheel.
When this happens, the wheel is no longer in balance, which is a representation of an imbalance in your life that may be limiting the overall joy, success, or fulfillment you experience. It is a tool for identifying those gaps or imbalances so you can direct your focus to areas where you want to see a positive change.
Adjusting Your Balance
Once you have determined any balance gaps, the next questions should focus on how you can create a balance. This is not about taking away from the areas where you excel but building up those areas where you have lower levels of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Ask yourself what resources you need, what changes you need to make, or who you need to reach out to for assistance. Each area of the wheel has the potential for growth and change, but it is up to you to make those changes happen to develop a true balance.