Self Care Tool: The Wheel of Life
In the Buddhist tradition, the image of the bhavacakra (pictured above) is a symbolic representation of saṃsāra (cyclic existence). It is found on the outside walls of Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries and is believed to have been created by the Buddha himself, in order to help ordinary people understand Buddhist teachings.
Just as the bhavacakra is an awareness tool for Buddhist principles, the Wheel of Life is an awareness tool for you to get an eagle eye view of your life, so that you can bring it into alignment with your goals and intentions. I've used this tool for more than 10 years in my own life and my coaching practice. It's a handy tool to give you a snapshot of your life right now.
It is called the “Wheel of Life” because each area of your life is mapped on a circle, like the spoke of a wheel. The concept was originally created by Paul J. Meyer, founder of Success Motivation Institute, Inc. It is designed for you to evaluate your level of satisfaction in six areas of your life by rating yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1 not satisfied; 10 very satisfied). Here are the original areas: Family & Home, Financial & Career, Mental & Educational, Physical & Health, Social & Cultural, Spiritual & Ethical.
Are you ready to take this tool for a whirl?
How to Use the Wheel of Life Tool
If you do a Google search on ‘Wheel of Life' you'll find many, many different versions. The image to your below illustrates just one of the hundreds available.
You'll notice it has 10 spokes. I have included a Wheel of Life worksheet that I used at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. The ten sections (Spirituality, Home Environment, Relationships, Social Life, Joy, Health, Career, Creativity, Finances, Education) in the Wheel of Life are one way of representing a whole life.
Let's get a snapshot of your Wheel of Life:
- Download the Wheel of Life worksheet.
- Take a look at the different life areas on the worksheet. If the categories aren't a good fit, modify them to your liking.
- Mark your current level of satisfaction within each segment by placing a dot on the line of each life area, the closer to the center being less satisfied, and the closer to the outer circle more satisfied.
- Connect the dots and ‘draw your wheel.' Notice the shape. Can that wheel roll in its current condition?
If yes, “Yay for you!” If not, pick 1-2 life areas that you want to focus on most during our time together. You might also select one action step in the direction of improving that area and write it down within the wheel spoke of that life area.
The Wheel of Life is a wonderful assessment to capture where you are at the beginning of your self-care adventure. It is a powerful tool that helps you identify imbalances and re-align your life to what truly matters. Let's dive in!
PS Ready to relax, release, and renew?