It’s the first day of 2016 and time to put some thinking into what I want to make happen in the next twelve months.
The first step in my New Year goalsetting is always having a good hard look at where things are at in my life right now.
I learned the Wheel of Life tool via some Tony Robbins training a few years ago, and it’s hands down the best approach I’ve found to checking in on how the key areas in life are going.
We actually did this as a team in a Street Smart Session (our fortnightly training and development sessions) earlier this year and it prompted one of the most honest, supportive and enlightening conversations we’ve ever had as a collective.
Here’s how it works…
There are eight key areas in our lives, which all stack up to us feeling like we lead happy and successful lives. Note: I’ve tweaked these slightly from the ones Tony uses to be in line with the wheel below.
Image credit: time-management-techniques.com
- Family & friends
- Fun, play and hobbies
- Physical environment (home and surroundings)
- Romantic relationships
- Spirituality & contribution (giving back)
When each of these areas is plotted on a diagram like the one above, we essentially have a scorecard with which to evaluate our lives right now. Think about each area one by one, allocate a score out of 10 to it (10 = it’s excellent, 1 = it is really, well, crap) and then draw a line across the corresponding increment on the graph. 1 being the mark closest to the circle’s centre and 9 being the one next to its diameter. Once you have completed all eight areas, you should have the rough outline of a wheel.
As we all know, a wheel needs to have reasonably smooth edges to roll along. If one particular area is falling especially short, our imaginary wheel won’t be able to roll – meaning that that area is affecting the overall quality of our life.
Inevitably one area of my goals goes much better than another – for whatever reason. At the start of last year (wow, 2015!), I completed a Wheel of Life on where I felt I was at.
The Business, Health and Romantic Relationships areas were the highest, but Friends & Family was the lowest as I felt I had neglected those relationships in order to get the business going over the previous 2.5 years. As a result, I knew I needed to place special focus on that area in 2015. I set specific goals on how I could do that – e.g: starting to send birthday cards to loved ones.
However I also tried to be actively conscious of those relationships, which saw me co-host a friend’s baby shower, stay in contact more regularly with my family in Ireland (and have three visits to Dublin – not all planned) and take some trips to visit friends.
Due to the energy I was channelling into that area of my life, I felt so much closer and better connected to family and friends. It was almost like me holding the intention of being a better friend/daughter/sister/cousin/niece/grand-daughter opened my eyes to opportunities for me to nourish those relationships.
That is the beauty of doing this exercise, as it shines a bright (and sometimes confronting) light onto what areas of my life needs some TLC.
I’ve just completed my Wheel of Life here in Western Australia on the first day of 2016 and I’m thrilled that my Family/Friends area has moved up from a 6 at the start of the year to a 9 now. Hooray!
This year, it seems that my first priority needs to be Contribution/Spirituality – coming in at a 6. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what steps I need to take to improve that. I’m thinking more formalised mentoring (maybe starting a menteeship circle, whatever that might look like – let me know if you have any ideas!), building on the money and energy I give to charities, taking my meditation practice to the next level with some teaching and increasing the amount of time I spend in Nature (the official word for which is biophilia, as the fabulous Lola Berry told me).
The second two areas – at equal 7s – are Health and Playtime/Hobbies/Fun. Health as I’ve got some niggling jaw issues that a LOT of money and pain didn’t fix in 2015 and I’ve realised I basically have zero hobbies!
This evaluation will inform what my goals will look like for the year ahead, and I’ll consider these three areas specifically as I pull my goals together over the next few days.
I’m hoping this nifty tool might help you chart your course as you think about what YOU would like to achieve over the next 52 weeks – good luck!
Up next… New Year goalsetting part 2: Setting the goals