The Wheel of Life

The Wheel of Life

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).

In 2002, I met a woman who changed me. I’ll call her Kay. I was teaching an exercise class one morning and Kay breezed in wearing bright red lipstick, big black coat and a fur hat. She asked if I offered personal training and if I would consider training her in her home. I jumped at the chance to have a private client; it was the best way for me to earn money.

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.

I have lots more to share with you about my experiences
with Kay and life coaching.
Please tell me if you’re interested in future posts on the subject.



  1. January 4, 2012 / 5:18 pm

    I would absolutely love to read more about your life coaching experience. I’m a social worker by training and self-improvement is one of my favorite things to read about and get better at! Thanks for the Wheel of Life link — I will definitely print a few copies to work on my own balance.

  2. January 4, 2012 / 5:45 pm

    How interesting. I’m glad you have stayed in touch with Kay and you were able to help each other at that time. I have found that some people are only in our lives for a certain time.

    It’s like what my sister says – reason, season, lifetime.

  3. Anonymous
    January 4, 2012 / 6:35 pm

    Yes! I’m going to email you. How did you read my mind?


  4. January 4, 2012 / 6:57 pm

    Wow this is fabulous !!! please share more…wishing you a wonderful day..xo HHL

  5. January 4, 2012 / 7:21 pm

    What an interesting wheel to think about!

  6. Anonymous
    January 4, 2012 / 8:32 pm

    I’d love to learn more from your lifecoaching experience! Something that has long intrigued me but like you, it seemed too executive or something. Thank you for sharing the wheel. Such a great tool for putting everything in perspective.

  7. January 4, 2012 / 8:44 pm

    Without going into details on here I can say that this year is a major one for me, and I see a lot of unpleasant changes in relationships on the horizon (not with G!). Because of this I’ve been very introspective lately, and am essentially overhauling my life, looking at why I haven’t dropped the excess weight before (emotional fears mainly) and really being thoughtful about every aspect of my life. This wheel will come in super handy! And of course I’m interested in further posts.

  8. January 4, 2012 / 8:47 pm

    Happy New Year Adrienne

    I’d definitely love to read more about it. There’s always room to learn more 🙂 I think i’ll be using this wheel as a support for my resolutions this year

    xo Stephanie

  9. January 4, 2012 / 8:49 pm

    I loved reading this post!! I had never heard of the Wheel of Life before you mentioned it here and I think it is a simple but amazing tool for people to actually realize which areas they need to work on to make their lives more wholesome. I’d love to read more about this in your blog.

  10. January 4, 2012 / 10:59 pm

    There’s is more to life than fashion although we adore it. So enjoyed reading this post. A good friend of my family is a life coach. I’m very familiar with the “Wheel of Life” – living life mindfully. Glad to hear your Kay is in better health and that you met up. xx

  11. January 5, 2012 / 1:18 am

    Yes Adrienne! I’d like to see more. It looks very interesting.x

  12. January 5, 2012 / 3:16 am

    Do share, Adrienne. It’s fun to look at the chic things we wear and purchase and use to brush our teeth, but unless our mind/soul/life is engaged in purposeful things it’s all just noise. None of us wants to be a Kardashian.

  13. January 5, 2012 / 6:00 am

    All about balance. I’m going to print one and try it.
    I already know, which areas will need more filling in.

  14. January 5, 2012 / 6:43 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I would love to read more about this subject! 🙂

  15. chouette22
    January 5, 2012 / 7:13 am

    Same for me – I would love to hear more. Very interesting post!

  16. January 5, 2012 / 9:01 am

    I am a Holistic Life Coach and one of my most important tools is the Wheel of Life! I encourage anyone reading this to download the “Wheel” and try it! It’s amazing how much you can accomplish with this simple tool!
    Love your blog, my daughter recently turned me on to it! PJ Stanwood

  17. January 5, 2012 / 9:56 am

    Hi Adrienne,

    I would definitely like to see more on this subject. I think this year is going to be a challenging one for us with family issues and trying to keep everything else in balance is going to be difficult to say the least.

    How nice that you were able to reconnect with Kay.


  18. January 5, 2012 / 11:03 am

    I trained as a Life Coach simply as a hobby (and only ever coached friends), but this was the first tool I was taught to use. If you are a visual person (as I am ) it works wonders xx

  19. January 5, 2012 / 11:40 am

    I am so glad you shared this. I am definitely going to use The Wheel of Life and see how balanced my life is.

  20. January 5, 2012 / 12:26 pm

    Hello Adrienne, first of all, Happy New Year! I’m sorry to be late visiting, have been swamped since the day after Christmas doing Q4 wrap-up for ourselves and clients to estimate taxes, but also in general I’m struggling to keep up with blogs. I enjoyed catching up on your last several posts, especially your day making up outfits with Tori, the post featuring everyone’s necklaces, and your 2011 wrap up. I was sorry to learn of your MIL’s death.

    I find increasingly I’m more interested in the blogger as a person than in the outfits, though I do get inspirations from the outfits too. I would love to hear more about your life coaching experience. I keep meaning to visiting your nutrition blog as I’ve started a low carb diet. Will stop by soon.

  21. January 5, 2012 / 3:51 pm

    Adrienne, this was very interesting. I have never thought of this before. But I do know that life has to be balanced, I just never thought of all the sections. Do you have a nutrition blog? I need that, also having started a low carb (not NO carb)”diet” I lost 30 Kgs, 8 years ago this way, but need to make some changes in the exercise department to keep it off, when I lose it this time.

  22. January 5, 2012 / 4:04 pm

    Dah! I just read down the side and found your other food blog, yay!

  23. January 5, 2012 / 5:39 pm

    I too would love to see more on this – awesome awesome post!!

  24. January 5, 2012 / 6:52 pm

    Hello Andrienne
    I’ve noticed we both comment on several blogs so thought I would call by.
    This topic is food for thought. Yes there are slices of the wheel I need to concentrate on!

  25. Anonymous
    January 7, 2012 / 10:42 am

    Thanks for sharing. This is what life I all about. CT

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