The Wheel of Life

A Work / Life Balance Self-Assessment Tool

The Wheel of Life is a simple self-assessment tool that can give you a visual look at the areas in your life that you are neglecting and where you are doing well. It’s a common tool used by life coaches to help define the priorities for their clients. I use it as a personal self-assessment tool to gauge how I am doing within my key areas of focus.

How It Works

Here are your 7 steps to work / life balance:

  1. Take a blank piece of paper and fill the page with a large circle and divide it into equal slices. Usually between 5 to 9 equal sections (pie slices) depending on the number of areas that you want to measure.
  2. The next step is to label each section with an area of your life. Common labels include finances, business/career, health, personal growth, romance, family/friends, physical environment, and fun/recreation. I personally use the 6 Key Areas of Focus as labels for each section.
  3. Work your way around the circle evaluating each area on a scale of zero to ten. Where zero is “I’ve really neglected this area”, and a ten means that “Everything is extraordinary!”.
  4. Once you determine the rating, you draw a line within that slice representing your level of satisfaction in that area. If you rated heath as a five out of ten, you would draw a line within the health slice approximately half way between the centre of the circle and the outer edge.
  5. the-wheel-of-life

  6. When you have worked your way around the entire circle, repeating for each section, you join all the lines together to complete your Wheel of Life. Usually you end up with an irregular shape with some high and some lows. The metaphor here is that if this wheel was on the car of your life, no wonder life is so bumpy.
  7. The results are a snapshot of your life at this point in time. This information can help you determine which areas of you life that are going well and which ones you have been neglecting,
  8. With any assessment tool, it’s important to apply the knowledge that you have gained. Ask yourself, “What would make this area a 10?” It usually only takes a few minor adjustments to improve a particular area and overall work / life balance.

Why It Works

There are 5 reasons why the Wheel of Life exercise is so effective.

  1. It helps you define the important areas of your life. Each section of the Wheel of Life represents a key area of focus. The Wheel of Life exercise forces you to think across all areas of your life and choose the most important.
  2. It helps you assess how you are doing. By rating each section, the Wheel of Life helps you determine your current level of satisfaction in each area. This gives you a concrete measurement that will help you improve.
  3. It gives you the bigger picture. Once you have rated each area, the Wheel of Life gives your a great visual representation of your entire life. It highlights where you are doing well and where you are out of balance.
  4. It helps you improve. By asking the question “What would make this particular area a 10?” the Wheel of Life exercise can give you clues to what you can do to make things better and move you closer to work / life balance.
  5. It’s a great place to start. If you are new personal development or if you are stuck, the Wheel of Life exercise is a great place to start. Within 30 minutes you can measure your satisfaction in the key areas of your life and develop an action plan for the areas that need improvement.

In Closing

Don’t let the simplicity the Wheel of Life fool you. When used correctly it can be an excellent compass for your personal and professional growth.

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