Today’s post is a departure from my usual material. I hope you’ll stay and read. I promise to return with my usual Rich Life topics very soon (especially since I found some great thrift store finds today that I want to show you).
I trained Kay a few times per week. We spent much of our sessions together talking about our lives and getting to know one another. I quickly discovered Kay was a seasoned life coach and an artist.
I had always wanted to work with a life coach. But it sounded like something a high-level executive or celebrity would do, not small town exercise instructor and stay-at-home stepmom.
Soon, Kay and I decided to barter our services: she would coach me and I would train her. No money would be exchanged.
Kay and I worked together for well over a year. During that time, I changed as a person. I became less judgmental, much more positive, and I knew myself better. I learned to recognize and ignore that negative little critic we all have in our heads and I defined some major life goals for myself.
After a time, our sessions lessened. I began to feel that I didn’t want to “work” on myself as much; it can be exhausting. And then Kay became seriously ill. Several years later, I am relieved to tell you she is in great health. We are still close friends but rarely see one another as she travels extensively.
Kay happens to be in town and on Tuesday, we met for a long walk and chat. We caught up on the goings on in each other’s lives, the good and the bad, and I confided a few things to her. I can trust Kay to listen without judgment and offer sound advice. She is a very important person to me and has had an enormous impact on my life.
Why, you may wonder, am I telling you all of this? Well, since it’s a new year and many of us are overflowing with motivation to make serious, or not so serious, changes in our lives, I’m introducing you to the Wheel of Life.
The Wheel of Life is the first tool Kay used with me when we began coaching. You simply rate each area of your life from zero to ten in terms of satisfaction – zero being not satisfied at all – then look at how balanced and full your wheel is or is not. Identify the areas you need to make more satisfying and strategize how you’re going to make that happen. It’s an incredibly useful way to help you set goals.
From time to time Kay would ask me to “do” a wheel to check in with my progress. Is it off balance? Where are my deficits? Which areas of my life am I doing okay in and which areas need my attemtion? How have I grown since the last wheel?
It’s a tool I use occasionally when things feel out of balance, chaotic, or when I am unhappy or worried. Or at a time like now when I want to reevaluate the areas of my life and begin setting new goals for 2012.
I keep a folder of documents and exercises from my life coach days. In it, I came across a few filled in wheels. Here is one from 2002:
The fitness and health slices were very satisfying ten years ago. I was a personal trainer, after all. But “giving back” to the community, money and career were lacking satisfaction.
Here is my wheel today, January 2012:
I changed Career and Work to Blogging since my job is volunteering and therefore falls into the “giving back” slice. And blogging plays an important and creative part of my life, deserved of its own slice.
Now my shortfalls are in exercise and health and well being. Isn’t it interesting how things have flip-flopped during the last decade?
I am already working on how to make my slices bigger in the exercise and health areas of my life. You can read about that here if you’re interested.
The Wheel of Life is a popular coaching and self-help tool. If you google it, you will find loads of sites that have lots of information on its uses and its history. This useful link will allow you to customize and fill in your own wheel and print it for reference.
with Kay and life coaching.