Stressed and busy people often do not take the time to check in with themselves periodically about where they are in their lives. They tend not to stop and ask what is giving meaning and value to their lives. Sometimes the idea of doing so is frightening because of what they think they might find. In my coaching practice, I meet many who want to make some adjustments about the way they are living. Most of the time the fear is unwarranted because even the smallest adjustment is all that is needed to make a world of difference. It’s not a matter of giving up the life you know. Unless it is a health issue, even when large adjustments are indicated, it is not necessary to make major life changes overnight. Everything can be done gradually, step by step. Life is a journey and there is something to glean at every stage. In fact, most people live much longer than previous generations and therefore have opportunities to develop and express many aspects of their personalities, talents and interests.
Take 5 minutes to do the following exercise. The return on that investment (ROI) will be manifold. Pick 8 words from this list or add your own words that represent the most important areas of your life. Let the words mean what you want them to mean. family, health, fun, work, financial, friends, partner, vacations, community,recreation, personal, development, spiritual, career development, work environment, home environment, support, system, etc
Place your 8 words at each spoke and place a mark on the spoke to indicate your degree of satisfaction at this time in your life of that particular item. eg, if your spiritual life is making you happy, you may want to indicate it as near a 10 (a high level of satisfaction). If you are not happy at work you may mark it a 2, near the 0 at the center (a low level of satisfaction). When you are through, connect your dots and notice how balanced or unbalanced your wheel is. Now that the picture of the balance in your life at this moment in time is in front of you, ask yourself which of those areas are priorities to improve and which are fine as they are. Make a plan and a commitment to take only one or two small steps a week toward getting the balance you want. It could mean making a weekly date with your spouse and/or your children? Or focusing on something of interest other than work? Perhaps a time management structure would make a big difference or maybe doing something spiritual like taking a class or attending religious services?