The first step to enjoying a more successful life is to understand your current behavioral patterns, and determine if you’re living up to your maximum potential in the areas of life that are important to you. In other words: what do you really want in life?
“Your Life Focus” is a tool that will help you identify both the strong points in your life and behavior, as well as areas where you may not feel as fulfilled as you’d like. In this exercise you’ll be able to clearly see the areas that could use improvement.
The center of the wheel represents the number 0 on a scale of 10. The outer edge that runs along the circumference of the circle represents 10. The further you get from the center to that outer edge, the higher the number will be.
Take a moment to copy this wheel on a sheet of paper, complete with lines to separate each section, and label it according to what you see here: Health, Education, and so forth. In each section, draw an arc from left to right at the point that represents the number you feel most accurately reflects your life at the moment. Repeat this process until there’s a line in every section at the number you feel is accurate. Here’s a brief description of a few sections and their practical applications to get you started:
Health: physical fitness and general health.
Education: ongoing learning and and expansion of the intellect. Your brain is a muscle, and like all muscles, it will atrophy if not stretched. Do you exercise it regularly and challenge it with new ideas or experiences?
Self: personal development, such as motivation and self-awareness.
Play: usually known as “me time”, used for recreation, hobbies and leisure activities.
Career: your professional success as well as professional satisfaction. Do you love your job, or do you dread waking up each day to go to work?
Wealth: finances and material possessions. Do you have money but deny yourself certain conveniences you would enjoy? Do you have enough money to maintain a comfortable lifestyle?
Contribution: a sense of purpose and satisfaction at what you contribute to society. How does your life and career contribute to the improvement of the world around you?
Now, take a look at the results of the exercise. Do the lines meet up for a well-rounded, balanced life? Or is it staggered and uneven? Think of it like a bicycle tire: would it roll smoothly down the street, or would you be in for a bumpy ride? Being aware of your life’s current focus offers you the power to improve areas that need more attention, while maintaining the areas you’re satisfied with.
On a separate sheet of paper, write down the section names again and what you really want to accomplish with each one. Be honest with yourself, as that will ultimately help you achieve these goals. What’s blocking you from realizing your potential in each section? Write these down as well.
Rather than trying to tackle several sections at once, concentrate on one or two areas at a time and give yourself 90 days to focus your attention on them. This way the change will occur more naturally, allowing you to sustain it. Remember, fire burns brightly and is a spectacular sight, but will die just as quickly; water flows more subtly, but can stay the same course year after year. When you’re satisfied with your progress in a particular area and know you can sustain that change, move onto the next section.