What will you do in 2013?
According to a study by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, 78% of us fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s kicking a bad habit, sorting out our finances or hitting the gym, this figure is alarmingly high but does it ring true to us all?.
Are you like me and make a list of Dos and Don’ts for the coming year? Or are you the type of person that enjoys a reactive journey and finds the process of long-term goal setting rather challenging?
The Wheel of Life
The attached Wheel of Life is an inspirational tool that really does help when coaching others, or provides an insight into your own personal goals. This fantastic tool provides clarity on where we are in our lives and gives a new perspective on goal setting.
So I thought I would share this with everyone – especially those who are about to decide their all-important New Year’s resolutions.
Originally developed by the late Zig Ziglar, the Wheel of Life is a simple yet powerful tool that helps you gain an insight into the balance of your life and how satisfied you are in certain areas. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the tool, the Wheel of Life has eight areas:
2. Partner/Significant Other/Love
5. Physical Environment (or Home)
6. Fun (or Hobbies or Leisure)
7. Personal Growth (or Learning or Personal/Self-development)
Firstly you need to write each of these within the inner core of the wheel so that it looks something like this:
(If you want to replace any of above, you are free to do so – this is your wheel that represents your life.)
Use this template to get you started
- Start by brainstorming the 6 to 8 dimensions of your life that are important for you. Different approaches to this are:
- The roles you play in life for example: husband/wife, father/mother, manager, colleague, team member, sports player, community leader, or friend.
- Areas of life that are important to you for example: artistic expression, positive attitude, career, education, family, friends, financial freedom, physical challenge, pleasure, or public service.
- Your own combination of these (or different) things, reflecting the things that are your priorities in life.
- Write down these dimensions on the Wheel of Life diagram, one on each spoke of the life wheel.
- This approach assumes that you will be happy and fulfilled if you can find the right balance of attention for each of these dimensions. And different areas of your life will need different levels of attention at different times. So the next step is to assess the amount of attention you’re currently devoting to each area.
- Consider each dimension in turn, and on a scale of 0 (low) to 5 (high), write down the amount of attention you’re devoting to that area of your life. Mark each score on the appropriate spoke of you Life Wheel.
- Now join up the marks around the circle. Does you life wheel look and feel balanced?
- Next it’s time to consider your ideal level in each area of your life. A balanced life does not mean getting 5 in each life area: some areas need more attention and focus than others at any time. And inevitably you will need to make choices and compromises, as your time and energy are not in unlimited supply!
- So the question is, what would the ideal level of attention be for you in each life area?
- Plot the “ideal” scores around your life wheel too.
- Now you have a visual representation of your current life balance and your ideal life balance. What are the gaps? These are the areas of your life that need attention.
- And remember that gaps can go both ways. There are almost certainly areas that are not getting as much attention as you’d like. However there may also be areas where you’re putting in more effort than you’d ideally like. These areas are sapping energy and enthusiasm that may better be directed elsewhere.
- Once you have identified the areas that need attention, it’s time to plan the actions needed to work on regaining balance. Starting with the neglected areas, what things do you need to start doing to regain balance? In the areas that currently sap your energy and time, what can you STOP doing or reprioritise or delegate to someone else? Make a commitment to these actions by writing them down! Perhaps not resolutions… more like a life plan!
- You need to then rate how satisfied you are on a scale of 1 (unsatisfied) to 9 (highly satisfied) in each of the eight areas. When you are done rating how you feel about each area of your life, plot the numbers on the spokes of the wheel and connect them together.
Does your wheel look and feel balanced? If you are like most people, it will be lop-sided. If you have completed this part honestly then you’ll notice that some areas need attention while there will be other areas that are going well for you.
A completed wheel provides you with a visual representation of your satisfaction levels and allows you to quickly and easily identify the main focus areas in your life. You can use the next layer of the wheel to write down personal goals you want to achieve in the these ‘unsatisfied’ areas and finally use the outer layer to list bite sized actions that will help you on your journey to success.
“Life is like a steering wheel, it only takes one small move to change your entire direction.”
- Kellie Elmore
It is as easy as that, so have a go at completing the Wheel of Life before commencing those New Year’s resolutions and you will be rewarded with an extra bit of ‘steer’ on where your focus should be in 2013.
I hope it helps. Good luck!