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How To Use a Life Wheel In Coaching

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 19/09/2015

The Life Wheel (or the Balance Wheel) is a powerful coaching system used by many life coaches to help their clients find a better balance in key areas of their life.

This wheel is a great way of visualizing your life’s journey, as Marilyn Atkinson, demonstrates during The Art & Science Of Coaching course to new coaches:  

Coaches often use the Life Wheel in the first session with a prospective coaching client to get a handle on where the priorities of the client truly lie. Because it’s an abstract representation, clients may feel more comfortable giving a more meaningful signal using this visual tool, rather than just verbally talking about it.  

How does the Life Wheel work?

No, it’s not like the circle of life you’ve heard about in the "Lion King" animation movie. If you’re interested in changing your life, then put ‘Hakuna Matada’ (“no worries”) out of your head. A circle is round, but a wheel moves. If you want to change your life, you’re going to have to take a journey.

Here’s how you can do it:  
Divide up the Life Wheel like a pie chart into 8 equal pieces. What you put into those slices is up to you, most people will add some variation of these categories:  

  • Health: How do you feel? How would you scale your current state of health?
  • Career: How do you feel about your current job or business?
  • Learning: What kind of education do you feel you need more of?
  • Money:  Are you earning what you deserve? How is your current sense of prosperity?
  • Family: When it comes to your spouse, children, or extended family, do you have the connections that you value?
  • Intimacy: What do you want to see more of in your close friendships?
  • Hobbies: Do you have time to explore your interests? Is your bucket list mostly empty?
  • Meaning or Spirituality: Do you feel like your core values are in sync with how you act?

Once you’ve filled up the Life Wheel sections with the categories you want to explore, decide how satisfied you are with each one. This is where the real fun begins (and it is fun, even if you’ve got real problems. People love to quantify). Ascribe a number to your satisfaction level from 1 to 10, or just shade in the pie section as much as you feel appropriate.  

Once you’ve set down those numbers and have taken a closer look, your mind will naturally turn to how you can move those levels of satisfaction up. You might start with the category where you want the most room for improvement, but not always – if there are quick wins you can implement right away in other categories, maybe that’s what you should focus on just to get the life wheel more balanced.  

Be open and honest with yourself about how satisfied you are in each area of life, and let the Life Wheel empower you to move your life to where you want it to be.  

Learn more about Solution-Focused coaching, and how it helps others elevate their life satisfaction and self-empowerment. If you have been thinking of becoming a coach, but want to experience what it is all about first and ask questions, then our FREE Live Experience Coaching webinar is for you!