Many of us want a healthy work life balance in our lives. An easy way of figuring out what needs to change is to imagine the different aspects of life as spokes on a wheel – your own Wheel of Wellbeing. When some spokes are broken or short then the wheel is wonky, you can’t drive or roll very far. The journey is also very bumpy and uncomfortable. When the wheel is more balanced you can roll along nicely.It’s the same with work life balance but everyone’s ideal wheel is slightly different.
Here is a simple step by step way to create your own wheel so you can see where you need to make changes to create your own better work life balance.
Step one: Take a clean sheet of paper and draw a small circle in the centre, this is the hub of your wheel. Next draw 10 spokes going off that wheel and label each one as follows:
- good health
- appropriate body weight/size
- healthy diet & hydration
- exercise/physical activity
- good quality sleep
- self care (healthy habits, not smoking or binge drinking, saying no sometimes)
- resilience (ability to cope with stress)
- having fun, laughing and taking time out
- enjoying my work day
- having work that is fullfilling or meaningful to me
Step two : Divide each spoke into 10 segments with 0 in the centre of the hub and 10 being the outer edge of the spoke. Working with one spoke at a time, consider how you feel about this aspect of your wellbeing. Where are you right now? Rate your current level of satisfaction between 1 and 10 (with one as not satisfied and 10 completely satisfied). For example, how do you feel about the amount of exercise you are getting? Make a mark on the spoke to indicate where on a scale of 1 to 10 you feel you are. This is not a case of whether you run a marathon each week, just whether you feel are happy with the level of exercise you currently, or whether ideally you would like to do more. Do this for each of your spokes.
Step Three: Draw a line joining all the marks on the spokes to see your finished wheel. This is where you are currently.
Step Four: Take a different coloured pen and draw an mark on each spoke for where the ideal balance for that topic would be for you. Everyone is different and not everyone will feel the need for total satisfaction in every area – Some people will feel balanced when everything is a totally satisfied 10 and others will be fine with certain topics at 10 whilst others are a little lower down the scale.
You now have a wheel that shows where you are now and where you would like to be in order to feel a greater sense of wellbeing.
Next steps: Every journey has a start and a destination. You have just identified both. You know where you are starting from right now and where you want to go to. The next step is to figure out potential routes and choose the best one for you. This is where some people find it helpful to work with a coach, someone who helps you identify the options available and select the best way for you to achieve the results you want.
If you are working on your own I suggest you consider one spoke at a time as trying to tackle too many areas at once could leave you overwhelmed and frustrated. Choose one spoke – perhaps one with a big difference between where you are and where you want to be. Work out what you could do to improve your score. Consider the options and choose the best for you right now. Then COMMIT to take action and do the thing or things you have decided on.
Assess your progress as you go – Is this plan working for you? Do you need to change anything? Are you keeping to your commitment? If not, what is stopping you? Remember that this is your wheel, your wellbeing and your solutions we are talking about. Nothing is fixed in stone, you can tweak it as you go. The aim is to make it work for you so that you get closer to your ideal.
Making a change in just one or two areas can often lead to unexpected benefits as feeling healthy and having a great sense of wellbeing impacts all areas of our lives – including our work and our relationships.
I appreciate that many people find it difficult to identify the actions they need to take, or to motivate themselves to take that action and keep on going. If you are one of those people, please let me know and I will do my very best to help you. I know only too well that being out of balance for long periods can lead to health problems, as it did for me. Please make time to look after yourself and your wellbeing.
If you would like to talk to me about improving your wellbeing, or want support to help you stay motivated, please give me a call on 07962 896422.