New Year goals? Turn to the wheel of life

The end of year is a popular trigger for people to review their goals and set new ones. To do this , you can adopt various methods and tools. The wheel of life is one such tool.  The wheel, a circle,  is a metaphor for the completeness of life,  and splitting the wheel into quadrants acknowledges that life is made up of various domains. The outcomes of the wheel of life exercise help people discern priorities and goals.

Image of the wheel of life
The wheel of life

It is useful to remember that, for the same distance, a bigger wheel is more efficient than a smaller one. This is because the smaller one would require many more rotations . More rotations means more energy,  or effort, to cover the same distance. This points to the need for focusing on what one can do efficiently. It  is also a reminder that  easy goals  take up your energy without challenging you. And what does not challenge you does not help you to grow!   However, a wheel that is too big is not stable as it is more likely to topple over. This alludes to the idea that  goals  should not  be so stretch as to discourage you. 

Versatile tool

The wheel is a flexible tool . You set your life  vision and determine where you are on the path to achieving that vision. Often , when you realise that you are at different levels in different domains you have a good starting point for introspection and discussion. 

Another versatile aspect of the wheel of life is that you could use it both generally and more specifically. Generally, you can identify the life domains that you need to pay more attention to. More specifically,  you could drill down into a particular life domain. So, once you have identified those areas,  you construct a new wheel that focuses on that area.

Variations of the wheel

For example you could get inspiration to construct a ‘wheel of finances’ . You may use these domains that a client once constructed: savings, emergency fund, diverse investment portfolio, diverse revenue streams, working with a budget, professional support, credit worthiness, financial confidence.

If business is the area that you would like to focus on,  you can construct a special “wheel of business” that looks at how clear you are about the problem you are solving; your target customer;  your brand; the competition; your revenue streams;  the main activities of your business;  key partnerships and assets or resource availability.

Perhaps it is connecting with significant others that troubles you. You could identify which goals to pursue by constructing a ‘wheel of relationships’. Use it  to assess  intimacy, quality time, trust, future plans, forgivingness, shared interest, common friends, and communication. 

New year resolutions? This is a good way to implicate your goals. And if you are looking for some structure around creating those goals,  the wheel of life is a simple, flexible place to start.