Achieving life balance has become a sore cliché that’s simply lost meaning.
It can be very frustrating when you want to change something and achieve that “balance” but don’t seem to know where to and how to start. This lack of control in your life and environment increasingly pushes you into a vulnerable spot, letting restlessness and uncertainty steadily seep into your space.
Assessing your Existing Situation
The vital first step on the path to achieving life balance is to understand more about the existing balance in your life. Once you figure out how smooth or wobbly your ride is, you can work towards specific actions to gain the balance that you seek.
Life Balance Wheel
This classic tool helps you look at the different dimensions of your life and assess how fulfilled you feel in each area.
When you take the time to see which areas of your life give you strength and which areas might be depleting you, it can become easier to identify a few simple steps that you can take in the next couple of days to improve one area.
What tends to happen is that when things start to improve in one dimension it usually has a ripple effect and your satisfaction in other areas begins to improve as well.
How to Use the Wheel
The Balance Wheel is a powerful tool as it gives you a visual representation of how your life currently is compared to how you would like it to be.
The 8 sections of the wheel represent balance between the crucial areas in an individual’s life
You could change these sections to those that hold greater meaning in your life.
To assess your life balance, review each section/heading on a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest).
Score yourself on from 1 to 10 on how satisfied you are with that particular aspect of your life.
1.Health and Wellbeing
3.Finances – attracting wealth
4.Relationships and family
5.Lifestyle and Fun
6.Personal Growth and development
8.Environment – Save the planet
Brainstorm Life Areas
Ask yourself these thought provoking questions to help you assess your situation.
◾How healthy are you?
Consider weight, level of fitness, energy levels, diet, health awareness etc.
◾Do you look after yourself?
Do you get regular exercise or stay generally active? Are you eating well? Does your diet support your wellbeing?
◾Do you spend time with uplifting and positive people?
◾Do you enjoy your work?
Are you in a job that you find fulfilling? Do you feel excited to wake up and get to work or do get that uneasy feeling that one usually gets when you don’t enjoy your job?
◾Are you achieving your career goals that you are setting for yourself?
Do you have clarity about what where you are heading to and what you want to achieve?
◾If you are not employed, are you aware about what you want to do and are taking steps to get there?
◾How is your relationship with money?
Consider income, savings, retirement, debts, and spending habits. It is not about how much you have but rather how you relate to money.
◾Do you earn enough money to enjoy the life that you seek?
Specifically evaluate your savings and investments in relation to your goals.
4.Relationships and Family
◾Are you in harmony with your relationships?
◾Are you satisfied with the relationship that you have or do not have?
◾Taking a certain important relationship of yours for reference, ask yourself where is it right now and where would you like it to be? Do you know how to close the gap and get your relationship to where you feel it ought to be?
◾Do your friends and family reach out to you for support and do you support them when they need you? And do they reach out to you when you need them?
◾Do you make time for your loved ones even when you are under work pressure?
5.Lifestyle and Fun
◾Is your lifestyle in tandem with the way you had aspired for it to be?
◾Are you able to provide the lifestyle that your family is hoping to have?
◾Does your lifestyle have room for fun and relaxation?
◾In case you are not happy with your existing lifestyle, what are the steps that you are taking or have planned to take to improve your situation?
◾How does taking those steps impact your current lifestyle – does it stress you out further or has it given you some room for relaxation?
6.Personal Growth and Development
◾Are you aware about your goals in the area of personal growth?
◾In case you have lost touch with the issue of your personal development, what could be the reason for that?
◾How do you think staying in touch with and working on your personal; growth will benefit you?
◾What exactly comes to your mind when the topic of personal growth and development arises?
◾What are your future plans in this direction? Are you satisfied with them or do they need to be re-worked?
◾What does spirituality mean to you?
◾How are you staying in touch with your spiritual side?
◾Are you able to factor spirituality into your lifestyle?
◾Do you have any spirituality goals? If yes, how are you working towards them?
◾Do you find yourself wanting to do your bit for the environment?
◾Do you feel the need to participate in community or corporate campaigns for saving the environment?
◾What are the positives of contributing towards nurturing the environment? How does it affect your life and does it benefit your loved ones in any way?
Think about your ideal level
Once you have completed scoring yourself, 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. Once you have completed scoring yourself, you will have a clearer picture of where you stand.
I recommend you to first start with celebrating your successes and the efforts that you have put along the way into achieving your personal milestones.
Next, pick up one life area at a time and think about what you could do to improve your situation in the days to come.
To begin with, consider simple actions that you could incorporate into your lifestyle
◾Calling a friend
◾Doing some online research for classes/coaching/gym/spa
◾Making some desired changes within your immediate living space such as organizing your room (or just one drawer) etc.
Remember – There is no shortcut to the world of balance but these tips and strategies can help you along. After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.