A common problem that
everyone faces is feeling like their life is spinning
out of control. This is usually a result of not
living in congruency to what matters most to us. I
visualize a car heading in a direction and then finding
that one of its wheels is losing air. Quality of
life coaching is all about airing up all the tires.
The quick fix on getting back on track is to do some
internal investigation into where the source of the leak
lies. There are many tools out there, but the one
of the favorites in coaching and most Westerners is the
wheel of life. Ironically, the wheel is based on a
mandala which is prevalent in many cultures (Tibet, etc)
as depicting cycles of life. In coaching, the wheel of
life is used to divide our life into major areas that
when looked at holistically constitute what could make
us feel like a whole balanced person.
Generally, when someone
feels out of control, what they are saying is that they
feel unbalanced and something important is missing in
their life, some section(s) of their wheel is flat and
making them spin funny. Let’s take a look at how we
could use the wheel of life to diagnose where you are
out of balance. Here are 5 simple steps to help you
diagnose where you are leaking air out of your time:
1. Draw your wheel:
Identify all the key areas in your life that are
important to you. See the sample below for Anne. In
Anne’s case below it is divided among family, work,
community, and fun.
2. Pick one area: Pick the
one area of your life that if you would make a change it
would have the most impact in your life. For example,
let’s say that we pick “family”.
3. Personal inquiry: Ask
yourself what things you could do to substantially
improve the one area you picked. In Anne’s case, we’d
ask what one thing could you do that would improve the
“family” area? Let’s say Anne said she wanted to spend
more quality time with her kids.
4. Developing a plan: The
last step is to ask yourself what 1-3 actions could you
do that would help you achieve your goal? In Anne’s case
we’d ask what things she could do to create more quality
time with her kids. Let’s say that Anne says that there
are 3 things that she could do. We’d then ask her to
prioritize one out of the list and then commit to a date
to complete the action item. When she’s done, she’ll
either move on to the next in her list or see how things
feel overall. She will keep on moving off her list until
the hole is patched.
5. Moving to the next area:
The nice thing about the wheel is about 90% of the time
addressing one issue will end up resolving other areas
in our life. It’s why the visual depiction is a wheel
since all the pieces are connected. For example, Anne
may find that she has less stress at work once she
addressed quality time with her child. If you are part
of the 10%, then the next step is finding the next area
to address and to do steps 1-4 all over again.
The wheel is such a great
tool since it’s unlikely to change dramatically over
time. So, it’s conceivable that you could have the same
wheel for a whole year or two. It’s a nice tool to have.
I like to think of it like the tire patch kit in your
car. Keep it around so the next time your wheel loses
some air, you can pull it out and make some diagnoses
and fixes. Keep any worksheets you’ve written over time
together since the “how to fix” directions in an area
are likely to apply in the future.
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Articles and Specialties of CJ Liu
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