When we start a New Year one of the things that can be helpful to look at and understand is our Wheel of Life. Now whilst they can’t always be in ‘balance’ it’s a great tool for us to create goals, form new habits and so much more. Create your own and get to know yourself that little bit better.
Welcome to the Samantha Leith Show with me, Samantha Leith, Episode 14, where we are going to look at your Wheel of Life. Yes.
Now, have you ever tried to wheel a flat tire? You’ve got the flat tire and you’re trying to roll it, roll it, roll it, and it goes kaboom, kaboom. It’s a bit kind of skew-iffy… And yeah, I really believe skew-iffy is actually a word. It just doesn’t work.
So whilst I’m not a great believer that we can be 100% in balance all the time, getting that balance on your wheel is pretty bloody important. Okay?
So at the beginning of the year, we tend to look at all this stuff. If you’ve got a growth mindset, and you’re into goal setting, and visioning, and things. The beginning of the year is one of those times where, even though it’s this fake thing that was made up by people a very, very, very, very, very long time ago, that the 1st of January was the beginning of the year. It is when we tend to look at our goals, our word for the year, our vision, our mission.
If you’re like me, you have a theme song. Or you make a ringtone that really annoys people. But, more of that later. We might create a habit list. And so on and so forth. We have all these things that we want to do in the year, and that’s when the power of your Wheel of Life really comes in.
THE WHEEL OF LIFE
So who came up with this whole idea of the Wheel of Life? Well, it was a guy called Paul J. Meyer, and he created the Success Motivation Institute in the ’60s. And it was used as a tool to help people really look at where their life was, and then be able to come up with ways to change how that looked, in order to improve it for themselves.
And there’s a gazillion different areas that you can look at in a Wheel of Life. And if you go to the all-knowing, all-powerful Google, you can see even on the first page, there’s so many of them. But there’s pages, and pages, and pages of different Wheel of Life exercises, and images, and things that you can look at.
So categories range from partner, health, parents, children, career, business friends, finance, romance, self-care, intellectual achievements, family, personal growth, spirituality, fun and recreation… I like that one. Energy, contribution, physical environment, social, cultural, educational, the wider community, creativity, your hobbies, occupational, celebration. There’s so many things, okay?
So, that’s overwhelming. I’ve just named all those things and you’re thinking, “Ah. I don’t have time for making sure my kids school shoes are polished, let alone thinking about all that stuff.” Don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t need to have 1,000 different categories, okay?
The more succinct you can have a Wheel of Life, the better. But it is one of those times when… I’m going to speak you through a little bit of the exercise and the importance of it, et cetera. It’s good to do a little of navel-gazing.
Now, I’m not going to tell you to navel-gaze all the time. I think if we spent as much time as we possibly heard about on great things, like these podcasts… And thank you for listening. Don’t forget to rate and review. That means the world to any of us in this podcast world.
It’s a really good time to navel-gaze, but don’t get bogged down on it. Every time you listen to a podcast or read a book and think, “I’ve got to do some introspection and some thinking.” Don’t spend your life thinking away, okay? Please. I did fall into that trap myself, probably off and on actually, if I’m really, really honest. But this time you want to do it, okay?
LOOKING AT YOUR WHEEL OF LIFE
So you want to look at a Wheel of Life and think about, “What’s working well in your wheel? What’s working, not?” And I tend to say to my clients, there may be one area of your life and you’re just thinking, “Oh my God, there’s a bloody great nail stuck in that part of my life. The air is just seeping out of it, and no matter what I do… I’ve got my finger over the hole and I’m trying to stop that air going out, but it’s still going.” Or, you may even want to think about of it a bit like a leaky bucket, okay?
There’s no right or wrong about your Wheel of Life. None, ever. Whatever you’re doing… And I really do believe this. Whatever you’re doing in your life at that time, obviously was what you felt needed to be done at that time, or was right at that time. Or through external circumstances, had to be done. You had to pivot and change, and that’s the stuff that you really needed to work on.
It might be… We call it a season. These different seasons of our lives. Whether you’re a parent, or you’re caring for someone ill, or you get sick. Your physical health, for example, might really feel like a leaky bucket. What is with all this imagery I’m coming up with today? If you’ve broken your leg… But at that time, you might choose that time to really concentrate on some educational pieces in your life, okay?
So there’s no right or wrong with what’s going on, but it’s really important that you are 100% honest about how you feel about all the different areas of your life, when you are looking at your Wheel of Life. Because it’s that snapshot of where your life is currently at. And then, that gives you the knowledge on what you need to change, and how you can set some goals for things, or create better habits.
Or you might look at something and go, “Huh, that’s pretty good. I don’t need to do a thing in that area.” And 10 points for you, if that’s the case.
But most of it… There’s been an odd occasion where people have given me an absolute 10 out of 10 for an area in their Wheel of Life. We can generally, usually all feel like there’s room for improvement somewhere.
And maybe that’s just our negativity bias. That we kind of go, “Oh, well, it’s really good, but if I just put in that little bit more effort, I could make it better.”
Or, we tend to think if something’s a little bit missing on our life, that we want to give it an absolute 0. And that might not necessarily be the case either. It might be that that’s just not important to you at the moment. So although it’s not in your life per se…
I’ll give you an example. I’m not interested, at the moment, in dating. Couldn’t give a flying who flung dung. Okay? I’ve got Elodie, who’s going into year 12. There’s so much going on in my business and my life. I really don’t have the capacity in my life for that, but I don’t feel bad about not having that.
So I wouldn’t give romantic love a 0. Because for me, it’s just, “This is actually not the chapter for that at the moment.” So I’d probably put it between a 5 and the 10, because it’s not causing me any angst, or making me feel about that as an area in my life. Okay?
TOOLS FOR MANY LIFE COACHES
So, Wheel of Life… The. Plural. Is one of those tools that many life coaches use. We get trained in them. We can use them for life. We can use them for business. You can use them for roles you have in life.
I’ll go through some different examples with you, okay? So if you thought, “Oh actually, I really don’t want to get deep and personal at the moment. I don’t want to do a Wheel of Life about myself, but I’d really like to look at it in my business.” And you might have different categories like innovation, turnover, staff retention, marketing, impact. Things like that, and score it on that.
And you could do it with your team, as well. You could get everyone in your team to actually do this exercise and go, “Ah, these are the areas we need to improve at.”
Some other things you can do. You can break things into categories. You can… There’s no, “Oh, look…” The limit is our imagination, people. We all know that. In life, our limit is are our imagination. And one of these days, we’re all going to have a TARDIS… Sidetracked.
But they’re all based on things that are important to you. There’s no point you putting categories in there, on something that doesn’t work for you. There’s no point in you really… Oh, you can copy someone else’s if it’s true to you, okay? I really want to emphasize that. These parts of your life that you want to look at have to be really, really, really true to you.
There’s other ways of doing it. You could categorize it in terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Now, if you haven’t heard about that, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is where we look at everything from our physiological needs, like our nutrition, water, sleep, that kind of thing. All the way up to our safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and our self-actualization needs. That’s a hard word to say, sometimes.
So parts of that might be achievement, friendship, stability, where you live, all those kind of things. You could do it looking at it like that, if that’s what floats your boat.
Tony Robbins has many Wheel of Life exercises, and he talks about seven important areas of your life. It’s the hierarchy of peak performance. So that goes from your physical body, emotions, meaning relationships, time, work, career, finances. And then right up to spirituality, contribution and celebration. So you might look at it in those categories.
You may… This is an interesting one. I’ve never actually done this, but I have had people tell me that they have done it with their clients. And I’ve had a client tell me that they had previously done it with another coach. And that’s separating your Wheel of Life into your life roles, which I think is really fascinating.
So you might be a child, a parent, a spouse. You might be a business owner. You might be a volunteer. And looking at those different categories, of the roles in your life. And looking at them and going, “Okay, well for my life as a parent, man, I am rocking that at the moment. I am going to give it a 10 out of 10.”
But then you might look at your contribution as a volunteer and think, “Oh, oops. I only did one day in the last three months. Yeah, no, that’s really lacking. I’m going to give it a two. I need to do some work on it.” Okay?
And then you can get more granular. So this is where I have that caveat about, “Don’t spend your life thinking it away.” Like naval-gazing is okay to a point, but we’ve got stuff to do in life. We have to get up, have showers, work, run businesses. All the things that we need to do in life. So don’t get too carried away, but you can do this.
If you are looking at one particular area in your life, and it’s, say, your family, because of your role as a parent. You could really get granular and create another wheel for your role as a parent. So that might include things like the time that you give them, the discipline that you give them, the affection, the trust and respect, the fun that you have with them.
So you want might put those in a wheel… And don’t panic, you don’t need to be writing all this down. In the show notes, they’ll be some links. But if you go to samanthaleith.com/freebies, there will be a Wheel of Life exercise there for you, which will have a blank one that you can have a fiddle around with. Or go to Canva. What did we do in life before Canva? Seriously, what did we do before Canva?
MY WHEEL OF LIFE
So I’ve got the 12 spokes of my wheel. And I’m sitting here recording this, and my hands are going around in circles going, “12 spokes for a wheel.” All showgirl for you. And because I like alliteration… Who doesn’t like alliteration? I’ve got them in four categories. So I’ve got personal, people, physical and professional. Okay?
12 spokes of my wheel
So, what’s in those categories? Well, personal’s obviously the most important one, because if you don’t look after yourself, nothing else is going to work, ever. Okay? There’s a reason on planes they say, “You get the oxygen mask dude, first.”
So my personal categories, I’ve got my mindset. So it’s about my motivation and my discipline. How I manage my mind, my mindfulness, my self-care routines. For me, when I’m thinking about my mindset, I think about all those parts of the How To Be Extraordinary model, and how I’m encompassing that in my life at that particular moment. So that clarity, courage, confidence, charisma.
Then the next category I look at is my lifestyle. So that’s about my social life, my passions and my hobbies, my relaxation time. Okay? That’s really, really, really important, my relaxation time. Sometimes I don’t do enough of it, but let’s move on.
And then the third category within my personal category, is my education. And it’s just a no-brainer. I really, hand on my heart, believe that the minute we stop learning or growing… It’s not that we just stop, we kind of go backwards. So that education part is really, really important to me.
And then I want people. People. I’m a people, people. People, people, who knew people. So in that, I’ve got my romance section. And as I said to you before, it’s like, “Yeah, not right now, thanks.” But it is there, because in six months time I might go, “Hm, I wouldn’t mind putting that app back on my phone and going on a date.”
Then I’ve got my friends and family section. So I want to think about, when I’m asking myself the question, “How’s that working for me?” I’ve got how often I’m connecting with them. The boundaries that I have with them. And looking at… You’ve all heard the saying… I shouldn’t assume, should I?
The saying, we are the sum… And this is not a direct quote. Of the five people we spend the most time around. Some finances, by the way.
So I want to think about, “What’s my power of five looking like? Who am I spending the most time with? Are they bringing me up in the world, or bringing me down in the world?”
And then my last section within my people section, is about my community and my contribution. So it’s giving online, it’s giving back in the… I was going to say the real world, but I think they’re all the real world. But giving back in a more physical sense, at home.
Whether I’m giving something to charity, I’m helping my next door neighbor, I’m taking food down to Plates for Mates on a Sunday. It’s about that general caring for the world and others. “What am I doing for that?” Not my clients. That’s a separate section in business. But just that general caring for others in the world.
And then we get to the physical category. Now, in the physical category, I’ve got my health. That’s one spoke of the wheel. And in there I think about my energy, my fitness, my diet, my sleep. Because I’m a sleeper. I need sleep. If I don’t get between seven and eight hours sleep, I do not function. Not just, I don’t function at peak capacity. It’s like, I’m functioning at a pitiful capacity when I don’t get enough sleep.
And then I want to look at my environments. My physical environment, that’s about my home, my office. Even where we go on holidays, or what we do for holidays. Those environments that we put ourselves in. And by ourselves, meaning myself and Elodie.
And also, my car. When I was younger, sometimes I had a car that looked a bit like a garbage bag. And I think that was a reflection of how I was treating myself in those moments. There’d be food rubbish in there. There’d be… I don’t know, broken CDs. Yes, back in the olden days when we played CDs, people. “Oh, before that…” Did anyone else get a tape stuck in a tape deck in a car?
But I didn’t treat my car well. I treated it like I treated myself at that time. So these days, I treat my car well, even though I don’t actually really care about cars, as such. Is an important part of how my environment needs to be.
And then the last category in my physical one… And this is one of the ones I’ve changed. Is style. Now, we don’t talk about it in Wheel of Life, in this kind of exercise. Well, I haven’t seen it talked about much in this exercise.
But for me, this is a really, really, really important part of that physical category. So that’s about how I show up. “Am I showing up all the time, as the best me I want to be?” It’s my self care.
And it’s not always about being in sequins and high heels, but making the effort. When I don’t make that effort, the impact on my world as a whole, can be quite dramatic. My mental health, my physical health. If I’m not taking care of myself and showing up as I want to show up, I might go, “Ah, well, the dishes don’t matter tonight.” So there’s a ripple effect on these things.
So for me, that’s important. You might hear that and go, “Yeah, no, not my jam, Sam.” But that’s where you do you, boo. You get to create a Wheel of Life that’s what you want, what’s important to you. That’s the gift you get to give yourself, okay?
And then the last category is professional. For some of you, this might be a job. It might be some boards that you sit on. You might be a self-funded retiree and you don’t need this category at all. You might have something completely different. But for me, I’m going through what I’ve got.
So one of the categories in professional is my business. And in there, I look at my sales and marketing operations. My team and how that’s all going. My clients, their satisfaction, the client growth, impact. That kind of thing I look at in there. Sorry, I told a porky pie. Actually, impacts in my next section, which is vision and mission within my professional section.
And that’s about my impact, and staying on the path towards my vision and my mission. And I have a personal one and a business one. So every day are the actions that I’m taking, are the things that I’m doing, are the people that I’m surrounding myself with, are the content that I’m putting out into the world. “Are they keeping me on that yellow brick road of my vision and mission?” Okay?
I can measure that. I can think about it and go, “Oh no, I didn’t do what I said I’d do this week, in terms of putting out X, Y, or Z. So no, I’m not on the path.” Okay? Good one for me.
And the last section within my professional section, is finances. Because let’s face it, money is a lot. Money is important, okay? I’ll challenge anyone who says it’s not. Is it the be-all and end-all in life? No. But money gives you choice, so it’s really important to me, at this point in my life, to have a focus point on it.
And when I’m thinking about my finances and how I want to score that, I’m looking at how I’m managing my money. Whether I’m doing any investing, what my income is, and the profitability. Okay?
Because there’s no point in declaring from the mountaintops, “Oh, I’ve got a $30 million business.” Which I don’t, by the way. But you spend $29.5 million dollars on expenses, and you’re left with $500,000. You want a profitable business. Well, that might be profit, but you get what I’m saying. Profit. Profit, profit, profit, not just sales people.
WHEEL OF LIFE EXERCISE
As I said, this is my Wheel of Life. This is the new one that I’ve created for myself this year, and I really wanted to share it with you. So I want you to do the exercise as well. I really do. I want you to go to the show notes, go to the freebies link, and spend the time to do it.
Yes, it’s a Wheel of Life exercise. Yes, you might have done it before. Ah, you can skip it if you want, but I’d encourage you to do it. And it’s not a 30-second job, this really is taking some time to do it, 20, 30 minutes. You might need longer. Remove distractions. Get away from other people, to actually do this exercise.
And as I said, when you look at it, you might think, “Oh my God, I’m hopeless, because it’s so out of balance.” You’re not hopeless, okay? Most of the time they’re not in balance. Really, they’re not. But keeping an eye on it, and knowing where you are and where you’re going, helps you to course-correct as you’re going. Okay? I want you to do this. Please, please, please, pretty please, do it.
Quiet, print it out, redo one on Canva how you want to do it, or fill it in online. It doesn’t matter. But when you’re getting that Wheel of Life in front of you and you’ve got your categories, you’re going to put a dot somewhere between 0 and 10, of where you think you are right now in this very minute of your life, in that particular area.
So don’t think about, “Oh, well, man, I was rocking it last week.” That’s not what this is about. It’s about right now. So 0 is like, “Ugh, that feels pretty crap.” And 10 is, “Pass the champagne, because this girl is on fire.”
And then when you’ve done every section, I want you to connect the dots. And that’s where you get to look at it and go, “Wow, that area is just not working for me at the moment. Really not working for me at the moment.”
And you might want to just go with simple ones. So in the download, I’ve got a pretty stock standard one that I have run through with people. With fun and recreation, and personal growth, physical environment, finances, romance, family, friends, that kind of thing.
So, how much effort you’re currently putting into those things, where they’re sitting right now. Remember the right now. I’ll emphasize that about 10 more times, probably, okay?
Once you’ve done that… It’s not actually over, people. Sorry. There’s a little bit more work to do. I want you to grab yourself a cuppa, or a glass of champagne, or rose, and you’re going to ask yourself some questions. So I’ll say them quickly here, but again, it is in the freebies for you.
When you’re looking at it and you look at the lower area, does that match what you know deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, down, that you’re just not paying attention to? That’s a really important question, okay?
And then I want you to think of two or three things that you can start, or you could stop, right now. Like, right now. Make that decision right now to do it, that would help balance that wheel. And usually, they’re pretty obvious, okay?
Then you’re going to ask yourself, “Ah, if I improved, what area of my life would have the most significance?” Totally, totally, ballsed that one up. “Improving which area, would have the most significant impact on your life, and why?” Okay? This might be a season when you really need to concentrate on your health. It might be a season where it’s all about your finances.
There’s a bit of visioning stuff. “What does life look like when that area feels like a 10?” Some stuff about your beliefs, what beliefs you have about the era. “What would be a better belief? What habits would support improvement? What additional tools or resources do you need to improve in that area?”
So again, you don’t need to be madly writing these questions down, they are in the download for you. And when you do this… What am I going to say again? I say it all the time. You’ve got to be honest. Honestly.
THE GREATEST GIFT
I think the greatest gift we can give ourselves in any of these exercises, is complete honesty. And if I was to be honest, which I am… And my aim is to always be honest on this podcast, and in anything I do. Is that for those first few years of my personal development journey, I wasn’t honest. I wasn’t honest with myself. I wasn’t honest with my friends and family. I wasn’t honest with anyone I was coaching with, or any of my teachers.
I showed up and said the things that I thought I needed to say in order to be the successful person I, deep down, knew I could be. But I wasn’t honest about how I was actually feeling, or what I was actually doing, or why. And when you can be that honest with yourself, everything changes. Everything.
And it’s hard. It can be excruciating to look at this Wheel of Life and think, “Oh, wow, okay. I have to give my finances a one, because I’m… Oh God, I’m late with every bill. I keep saying I’m going to set up those direct debits, but I haven’t.” And if you’re honest, you can think of, why have you got your head in the sand? Why are you ignoring these things?
If you’re not honest, you might come up with some bullshit excuse like, “Oh, it’s the economy. Oh, I just don’t have enough clients at the moment.” Or, “They ran out of whatever it was I was selling to that shop.” They’re external reasons. Look at the reasons inside you, because that’s what it nuts down to.
My health… I’ve been really honest. After getting COVID last year, I took my eye off the ball with my health. And partly because I felt like crap. And then it was months later, and it was really hard for me to get back into the swing of things.
I could have been lying to myself and saying, “Oh, it’s just all been too hard because of COVID, and how I was feeling and…” No. That was partly it, but I took my eye off the ball. I’m responsible for that. I, when my alarm went off, went, “Oh, no, I might stay in bed a bit longer.” Or, “It’s too cold.” Or, “It’s rainy.” Whatever the excuse of the day was, that’s on me. And that honesty, as hard as it can be sometimes, is the best thing you can give yourself.
So that’s my rant over now. It’s a podcast, not a rantcast. Once you’ve done this, there’s so much more you can do to help set yourself up for the year.
But again, don’t just do it at the beginning of the year. You can pull out a Wheel of Life exercise and do it at any time. Do it every 90 days, if you go on little 90 day sprints, or 30 day sprints with things in your life. And it will help you to create areas that you want to focus on, to set goals, to create the action steps that you need to take.
The chances are, you’ll do this exercise and go, “Okay, I’m going to stand up from this desk right now and I know the very, very first thing I need to do.”As I said, it’ll help you create habits. And maybe you might look at one area and go, “Oh, you know what? I actually need to get some coaching or some help in the area.” Okay?
So, good luck my friends. Thank you for bearing with me. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please rate and review. As I said, it’s so important. And don’t forget to go to samanthaleith.com/freebies, to get the download to help you with this.
Until next week, stay extraordinary, my friends. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and wanna dive deeper into the world of personal development and what’s possible for you, then I’d love to invite you to join the club. It’s my monthly membership designed to guide and support you with the tools and the coaching you need to be extraordinary. Head on over to samanthaleith.com/theclub for more information. I’d love to see you on the inside.