Happiness. Can you find it?
In coaching school we learn about something called the "wheel of life". It’s a “pie” that's divided into equal slices that include areas like personal development, spiritual awareness, health, family, finances, etc. The idea is for you to go through it with your client and have them rank their satisfaction in each slice so that we can identify what is out of balance and work on those areas. It kind of made me go out of my mind.
The first time I did it, I appeared to be unsatisfied in every area on my wheel. So in my typical Scorpio-nature fashion, I started to set big goals for each slice.
- Spiritual Awareness: Meditate for 15 minutes every day.
- Health: Get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.
- Career: Launch a business while still working full time and commuting almost 4 hours a day; maybe get promoted too.
- Personal Finance: Let’s not even go there.
- Family/Friends: Call my parents 3 times a week and see them once a week, have a date night with my husband every Saturday, touch base with my close circle of friends once a week, have an Aunt Mimi day with my nieces and nephews once a season (I have 14 nieces and nephews—how’s that supposed to happen?).
- Fun + Enjoyment: Go to a movie 1x a week, read 25 fiction books and go to a museum once a season.
- And so on….
When I found myself driving into the city on a Sunday morning to get to The Metropolitan Museum of Art by the "end of the season" I thought wait a second — this is NOT making me feel more satisfied! BTW — I didn’t realize it was the day of the Israeli-American parade and 5th Avenue was closed off — I spent more time looking for a parking garage than in the museum so you can believe I was not leisurely walking through the galleries once I got there!
Now, in the wheel of life’s defense, I probably took my goals too far (I usually do), but I learned something too. You are just not going to be hitting it out of the park happy in all areas of your life all the time. Because when you are trying to do everything well, you do nothing well.
So let’s redefine satisfaction. (The Satisfaction Planner will get you started, download it here)
If you could choose only three areas to focus on what would they be and why? What does it look like to excel in these three areas? How do you make it happen? Is it realistic? Use The Satisfaction Planner to get you started.
Sometimes circumstances in your life will predetermine the areas that you need to focus on. You have young kids, older parents, you are in school full time, you had a health crisis so you must make your health a top priority. Of course those things will need to take precedence (for now) so give yourself permission to make this your priority.
Another interesting thing is that sometimes when you focus on a primary area, your satisfaction in another area automatically rises. For example, you decide to take a 30-minute walk every day (health is your primary area) and as a result, you are finding such peace in observing the trees, flowers and birds along your route, so your spiritual satisfaction starts to increase as a result.
Here are the areas I chose.
Career: I decided this would be my number one area of focus. Starting a business that helps people find time to enjoy their lives is the reason I am here.
Family: I decided that spending time with my parents was more important than having playdates with my nieces and nephews. I’m still a good aunt. Sometimes we all spend time together, then it’s a win for everyone.
Health: If I’m not healthy then no one wins. I go to kickboxing, yoga and walk a ton. For me, yoga is more of a spiritual experience, so I’m automatically increasing my spiritual slice of the pie. I simplified fun and enjoyment so that it’s now a part of my overall health and wellbeing. Right now I choose to skip the latest art shows in NYC but I do download a movie to my iPad almost every Friday night.
So tell me, what areas do you chose? Download The Satisfaction Planner and pick your areas and then let me know in the comments!