The wheel of life is a tool that shouldn’t be missing in the toolbox for coaching and personal development. It that has been around for over a thousand years.
This article shows you the benefits of the wheel of life assessment in coaching and gives you exact instructions on how to get the most out of it when using it with your clients.
When your clients’ life is too busy and they are highly focused on a specific project that is consuming all of their energies it can really easy to get off balance. In these situations, it can become tough for them to pay enough attention to all the other areas in their life. The wheel of life can easily become unbalanced.
In order to use our full potential and to have a „wheel of balanced life,“ we need to make sure not to neglect certain parts of our life.
The wheel of life assessment can help your clients to clarify their status quo, to identify neglected parts of their life, and to set goals, that’s why it’s also known as goal wheel. It’s an amazing discovery tool for every client and should be in the toolbox of every experienced coach.
What is the Wheel of Life? (also known as: Goal Wheel)
The balance of life wheel is a perfect way to identify which areas in the life of your clients are off balance. It usually consists of 6-8 categories that are important for a satisfying and successful life. It helps to identify how much time the client spends on a certain category of their lives and how satisfied he/she is with that area. The wheel of life creates some sort of self-reflection that allows your clients to find out what to change in a certain part of their life in order to become happier and more successful. They also learn to set priorities.
The wheel of life assessment comprises a pie chart where each slice represents a category that is important for our client. We created a wheel of life balance template as part of the life coaching toolkit here.
The most common subdivisions are:
1.) Health: How do you feel about yourself? Are you satisfied with your current health status? How much do you invest in your health? Do you regularly exercise? How is your energy level? How about your sleep routine? And how healthy is your current diet?
To understand and estimate all of these things can help your clients to identify their current level of health
2.) Environment: How do you feel about your environment? Does it give or take energy? Does it cause stress? Think about relatives, colleagues, neighbors.
3.) Career & Business: How much satisfied are you with your current career? How are performing at your daily duties and projects? Some other things you might consider in this category: Career strategy, Work-Life Balance, Time investment, and Social status
4.) Relationships: when it comes to identifying the balance in the relationships you have to identify how fulfilled and satisfied you are with the people around you. How is the quality of your relationship(s)? And how you are managing them in your life? Do you spend enough time with your family, partner, kids, friends?
5.) Personal growth: How important is the process of self-development for you. How satisfied are you with the level of your personal growth? Do you invest enough time in it? Some other aspects you can include in this investigation are education, training, coaching, reading.
6.) Money: How important is money for you? Are you satisfied with your current financial status?
7.) Creativity: What you are doing to enhance the level of your creativity? Are you utilizing it in a proper way? How could you become more creative?
8.) Fun & Recreation: How satisfied are you with your current work-life balance? Do you have enough time for your hobbies? Is there anything you would like to do what you haven’t yet?
Some other Wheel of Life categories:
- Mental State
- Life Vision
- Emotional Well-being
- Contribution to society
Ask your client to choose the 8 areas which are most important to her/him. Keep in mind though that health is the single most important factor to concentrate on. If we are unable to maintain the health section of our wheel of life, maintaining all of the other fields will become really hard if not impossible.
Why is the wheel of life assessment such a powerful coaching tool?
In Coaching the tool is mainly utilized to find out what our clients have to do when their life is out of balance, for instance, when the wheel shows them that all their focus is on their work and that they are ignoring their health or that they don’t carve out enough time for their family and hobbies.
The tool is an addition to goal-setting exercises and enables our clients to find the right balance when defining their goals.
However, what is the goal and purpose of life? To set and accomplish goals? The more the better? Or is it something else? Maybe it is to be happy, fulfilled, and satisfied with yourself as well as our life? Isn’t that the achievement we look for?
The goal of the wheel of life is to make sure that the wheel (our life) is balanced. When one part of our life gets too much attention it can easily happen that other parts are neglected. If the wheel of life is out-of-balance it’s probably going to crash. That’s why it should be evenly balanced around the inside.
How to use the wheel of life tool? – Steps to create the assessment
1. Select the 8 areas in your life you want to focus on
Start brainstorming and choose 8 different areas that matter in your life. These areas can be based on:
a) The roles they are playing in your regular routine
b) Areas of life which you feel important
c) Your (new) priorities in life
2. Write them on your life wheel
Once you have selected your specific areas it is time to write them down in the outer area of your life wheel.
3. Identify your level of satisfaction for each area and mark that on your life wheel.
The center of the wheel is 0 (very dissatisfied) and the outer edge 10 (fully satisfied)
4. Color them
Color the field corresponding to the number you’ve chosen for a certain area or draw a line. Check whether it is looking balanced or not?
Your wheel of life is completed once you’ve assigned satisfaction scores to all the categories that matter to you. The resulting spider web might should you surprisingly high (or low) values in some categories.
Scores ranging from 8 to 10:
you are extremely satisfied in that category. Ensure this is maintained, however, there’s always room for improvement.
Scores ranging from 5 to 7:
you are more or less satisfied with this category; however, there is definitely room for improvement and an opportunity for further development.
Scores ranging from 1 to 4:
You’re not happy at all about this specific area. You definitely need to find approaches to improve the fulfillment here.
The scores offer you the chance to think about areas in your life that have been overlooked so far. The following questions should help you to dig deeper.
- Why did you give yourself such a low score on this category?
- What score would you like to accomplish following a month, following 3 months, following a half year and following a year?
- What is the perfect score for that exact category?
- Which category should you focus on first?
It’s easy to be amazingly satisfied with one category, however what about the other categories?
Assuming your client’s focus is completely on his/her career. This will have a positive effect on finances and satisfaction in this category. But how satisfied is he/she in terms of family, friends, their health?
By looking at all the aspects and honing that they’re connected to each other, it’s possible to find the perfect balance in life. That is the purpose of the wheel of life. It enables our clients to reflect on their current life, forcing them to think ahead as well as find the limits, which influences the wheel to extend and develop.
6. What’s your goal?
After getting the result you have to think about the level you want to achieve in every category and consider that as an ideal level. After this, it is time to plot this ideal score around your wheel of life to check in the next round.
7. Take action
Setting a goal for every category means that your client plans concrete actions on how to improve a certain category. He/she thinks about how to increase the satisfaction score for each area. Taking concrete action gets the wheel of life rolling.
Get your wheel of life template with instructions here
Tip for your Coaching:
Ask your client to create a project for each (sub-)goal and its corresponding actions in CleverMemo. Let’s assume your client wants to improve the category „family“ from 6 to 8 points it could look like this:
Spending more time with the family
- Make a small family trip every Sunday (e.g. visit the zoo)
- Having breakfast together at least three times per week
- Help kids with homework or school projects two times per week
- Have a date night once a week with my partner
If a to-do is marked as completed you and your client can immediately see the progress that was made towards the goal. This super motivating, keeps them on track and shows what has already been achieved and what hasn’t. (Click here to start your free trial and try it yourself)
Wheel of Life Assessment – Example
Examples of concrete actions based on the balance of life wheel
Your client should choose a concrete action to improve every area/category of their wheel of life. For the health category these actions could be:
- 30-minute workout each day
- Cook one healthy meal per day
- Drink at least 10 glass of water per day
- 15 minutes of daily meditation
The Wheel of Business – Another balanced wheel of life model for entrepreneurs
You are a business coach? It’s easy to adjust the life wheel and make it the wheel of business.
What is the wheel of business?
The business wheel helps your coaching clients to find out how well they are doing in each field of their business. It’s a tool to identify areas that need more focus and improvements. It’s just another balanced wheel of life model that focuses on important business categories.
Possible categories to focus on in the wheel of business
Following are some important areas of a business which you can consider to focus on your wheel of business:
1. Administration, Legal, Accounting,
2. Marketing, Sales, Branding
3. Customer Support and Service
4. Team Development, Leadership, Management
5. Innovations, Product & Service Development
6. Website, Social Media Activities
The number of categories that you create for the business depends on the requirements. Usually, it should between 6 and 8.
Wrap up – The balance of life wheel assessment in coaching
The Wheel of Life assessment can help your coaching clients to identify their blind spots and shows which areas of life (or business) could and should be improved. It’s also helpful for the goal-setting stage (known as goal wheel).
Assigned on a monthly or quarterly basis, it supports the coaching process and comparing the different wheels over time shows clients their progress in each area. Get your professional wheel of life coaching template here.