In the last blog post, we did an exercise where you walked through what your ideal day would look like.
If you didn’t have a chance to do that exercise, stop reading and go do it. It’s important enough for me to encourage you to stop reading this post and go read that one.
My ideal life sounded, well…ideal. It would be amazing to live that way.
My first instinct was to dismiss it. It’s not possible.
Our life right now is too busy, too hectic. We don’t have enough time, money or help to live that ideal. Well, you know what. That’s true. BUT, don’t stop there and give up.
Like me, you probably can’t live every element of your ideal life right now. However, there are probably several aspects of that life that you COULD start living with some focused attention and not-so-drastic changes.
Here’s an example:
- My Ideal Day: I wake up and have 20 minutes to myself before small children start taking over. (rating of 9—this will make sense in a moment)
- My Real Day: I am woken up by either a 3.5 year old who has been holding his pee all night or a 1.5 year old crying to get out of her crib. (rating of a 4)
- What Can I Change?: These wakeups happen between 5:45am-6:15 am. So, if I were to set my alarm for 5:20 am, I could have at least 20 minutes and maybe close to an hour. If I am in bed by 10:20 pm that would get me at least 7 hours of sleep. And, I don’t have to do this every day to start. I could start with 3 times/week.
This week, we are going to do a rating exercise to help you identify the “gap” between you ideal day from last week and your reality today. I did the exercise for myself. I found it quite eye opening to see how I rated different areas of my life.
This exercise is adapted from the Wheel of Life exercise where you rate your life on 8 different areas. Now, I’ve made some adjustments to the wheel. I broke the “significant other / romance” section into 1) significant other and 2) kids. Then, I broke the “family and friends” section into 3) family and 4) friends.
So, there are now 10 areas instead of 8. Those relationships are all different and deserve their own rating.
Once you have rated each of the 10 areas, you draw a line connecting them to see what your “wheel” looks like. The idea is that the wheel won’t turn if you are way out of balance between the different life areas. I like this metaphor better than the idea of “balance” which is just a moment in time. Balance is not really achievable unless you stay still.
A wheel, on the other hand, has to move over time and take you someplace. It has a destination it’s heading towards and the can get you there slowly or quickly, on a smooth path or a bumpy one.
If your wheel is lopsided, you can still roll it. But, you won’t be able to go as fast or as far (think about driving on a tire that is flat or a donut tire) as when you have a wheel that is better rounded. If the wheel is lacking in too many areas, it likely won’t move at all.
So, here are the WifeMotherLeader Wheel of Life Areas:
1. Marriage / Significant Other
5. Personal Growth
6. Fun and Leiser
7. Home environment
Here are the steps to follow to rate yourself
- For each area of life, rate your satisfaction with that area of life using a scale from 1 to 10. 1 is not at all satisfied and 10 is totally satisfied.
- Once you have rated all 10 areas, draw a line on the circle that connects each area until you’ve gone around the entire circle.
- Take a look at your wheel and notice how well (or not) it would roll.
- Any area that is rated less than a 5 needs your immediate attention.
- Ratings of 5-7 can be areas that you focus on next, after any immediate attention areas.
- Ratings of 8-10 are strong. Keep doing what you’re doing there:)!
- Finally, you need to prioritize the areas that need your attention. You CANNOT work on all of them at the same time and keep up the areas that are strong. So, here are a few ideas on how to prioritize them:
- If you have more than one area that is rated 1-4, pick the area that you think you can get a “quick win” and move up to a 5 or 6 with some focused effort over a few weeks. Any area that will take more than a month to improve is important, but you want to start building momentum. So, figure out your quick win area first
- If there is an area that, if improved, could impact the other areas, that is another option of where you might start. For example, if exercising more could improve your patience with your husband and kids, then focus on that. Or, if organizing at home more could improve the time you have for leisure activities, do that.
- Finally, if there is an area that is your top priority for life and it can’t be put off any longer then start with that. Relationships with your spouse or kids, your health, and possibly money are often top priorities regardless of their rating.
WifeMotherLeader is here to help you think through how to work on the different areas of your life.
While we can’t help you with everything, there are a few areas that we are focused on (bold in the list above): marriage/significant other, kids, home environment, career, and health. Over the next few months, we will be sharing practical ways to improve your life in each of these areas!
And, in case you are curious, here are my personal ratings:
- Marriage / Significant Other: 8
- Kids: 7
- Family: 6
- Friends: 5
- Personal Growth: 6
- Fun and Leisure: 3
- Home environment: 6
- Career: 6
- Money: 5
Now, make sure do your own ratings. And, if you’d like the wheel visual guide, click here: