Coaching Tools 101: 12 Awesome New Ways to use The Wheel of Life in Your Coaching Practice

Coach pondering how to use the Wheel of Life Tool!

The Wheel of Life is a powerful coaching tool—and can be used in many different ways! In fact it may just be the best and most flexible coaching tool in our coaching toolbox. This article is chock-full of new ideas of how you can use The Wheel of Life in your coaching practice!

For a comprehensive guide to the Wheel of Life check out our Wheel of Life Complete Guide!

Many coaches are so used to the Wheel of Life that we switch off: oh that old thing again!

But while The Wheel of Life is 'old hat' to us, it's still new for most of our clients. And there is so much more you can do with a life wheel than just explore life balance...

How else can we use the coaching wheel to help our clients? Well, read on for 12 awesome suggestions!

Plus, we offer 2 x Free Wheels of Life:

  1. Our completely customisable Blank Coaching Wheel and
  2. A Wheel of Life Template with 8 pre-labelled segments for a balanced life.

Here are 12 Awesome Ways to use The Wheel of Life in Your Coaching Practice

1) The Wheel of Stress

Use a Free Blank Coaching Wheel to help clients identify what's causing their stress—and make a plan to do something about it.

  • Help clients identify their sources of stress by labelling the wheel with the top 8 sources of stress in their life.
  • Next ask your client to score each area out of 10 as to how much it adds to the stress in their life.
  • Review and discuss the resulting scores. Ask questions like:
    • Which area frustrates or stresses you out the most? Are there any surprises? How could you lower your scores? What actions could you take?
  • Finally, wrap-up by brainstorming an action plan, or identifying 1-3 actions they can commit to, that will reduce their stress.

2) The Wheel of Progress

When used on a regular basis the (regular) Wheel of Life Template is excellent to help your clients see how far they've come. It's a bit like looking back over an old journal and seeing your progress!

Use it monthly or quarterly with your clients, as both a check-in to see how they're doing AND as a way for them to see progress—how they've improved and grown.

Improved scores demonstrate concrete value from coaching and provide a discussion point to help clients see their learnings and progression. 

  • Tip: Use different coloured pens each time you re-do the wheel with them—and make a note of the dates too!

Click here for a step-by-step guide on How to Use the Wheel to Measure Your Clients' Progress

Happy Coach on Beach Having Fun for Wheel of Life!

3) The Wheel of Happiness, Fun or even Excitement!

Does your client need help to create more happiness, fun or excitement in their life?

Well, ask them to identify 8 areas or things that are fun or make them excited or happy.

Now ask them to label each of the 8 segments or pieces of pie on a Blank Coaching Wheel!

Next is scoring. There are many different ways to score this for example, you could ask them to score out of 10:

  1. How satisfied they are with each area.
  2. How much each area excites them.
  3. Or even how much they want to 'do' or feel drawn to each area.

Then ask questions like:

  • How could you bring more of each 'segment name' into your life?
  • As you look at your wheel, what ideas pop into your mind to make your life more exciting?
  • Which segment would you like to explore first? What ideas do you have?

Lastly, ask your client for at least ONE action. Feeling enthusiastic? Try identifying an action or commitment for each segment!

  • Tip: Help them find multiple wins—where one action raises their score across a number of areas.

Love this idea? You may also like the What Makes My Heart Sing? Coaching Exercise

4) Get a Deeper Understanding - in any area

Use a standard Wheel of Life Template (with the regular 8 categories for a balanced life)

Then use the wheel segment names to drill down into each area and help your clients understand their lives and issues more deeply. One great way to do this is:

Ask your client to choose one of the segments and ask them to write out a further 8 areas that make up that segment area for them (then can either draw a new blank wheel or you can use the blank wheel form).

Then ask your client which area of their new wheel they would like to drill down into next!

Now ask your client to identify for 8 key things that make up that new segment, or for 8 action steps.

For example, a 'Finance' wheel could include saving for a house, budgeting, focusing on buying needs and not wants, save for a rainy day, pay off debts, get a pay-rise etc. Then they might choose "pay off debts", and write out 8 action steps they need to take to pay off their debts.

  • Tip: This also makes great homework to identify areas to bring to the session and work on.
Business Woman making heart shape with hands for loving kindness meditation

5) The Wheel of Self-Compassion

There are few of us who couldn't do with more self-compassion or kindness.

Start with our Free Blank Coaching Wheel and ask your client to identify 8 areas—and label the 8 segments—with where they could be more kind or compassionate with themselves.

Then get them to score how compassionate they are currently in each area, out of 10 (with the usual 1 is low, 10 is high).

Last, ask them to identify an action for the top 3 areas where they need kindness or compassion most.

  • Tip: Try this one on yourself. Where do YOU need to be kinder with yourself?

6) Set More Meaningful Goals

The regular Wheel of Life is a great way to help a client who is struggling to identify goals.

So, using a standard Wheel of Life Template (with the regular 8 categories for a balanced life), ask your client to score how satisfied they are with each area (with the usual 1 is low, 10 is high).

Now ask your client what their scores are telling them about their lives? What goal ideas do they have as they look at their completed wheel?

Share with your clients that:

  1. Low scores in a segment suggest areas where your client could come up with a goal to raise that score.
  2. High scores suggest areas where a goal could really boost your client and skyrocket them in their lives. Share that when we work on areas where we're already doing well—this spins off into other areas in our lives and lifts them too.

Wrap-up by asking your clients to look at their wheel and consider what goals they could set with this new information.

  • Tip: this is a great way of using the life wheel with business and career/executive clients. It eases clients into thinking about their personal lives—which we know will, of course, benefit their careers and businesses in the long run.

Click here for more on How to Set Meaningful Goals with the Wheel of Life

Happy Coach at Desk Making Plans

7) The Wheel of Priorities

Ask your client to label a Blank Wheel of Life with their current Top 8 priorities covering work, home and their personal life—basically their priorities in life overall.

Next ask them to identify their Top 3 priorities, and circle those on the wheel.

Then ask them to score their satisfaction out of 10 for all the areas.

Then ask questions like:

  • What do they notice?
  • How does the score for their Top 3 priorities compare to the lower priorities?
  • Do they have their priorities 'straight' or do they need to shift their focus?
  • What actions could they take?

Wrap up by asking your client to identify at least one action to move forward with.

  • Tip: This approach can also be used to explore priorities a specific area of life eg. career, finances or even to prioritise their goals!

8) The Wheel of Sales (or Wheel of Marketing)

A wheel is also great to identify actions and begin an action plan! And I recommend having a Sales Wheel AND a Marketing Wheel because although they're related they are different disciplines.

So, take a Blank Coaching Wheel and ask your clients to identify sales or marketing actions to complete in the next month (or key actions to complete in the coming year).

Next ask them to identify their Top 3 priorities, and circle those on the wheel.

Now ask your client to identify at least one action to move forward with for each area on the wheel, and write it down on there with a date by when they will complete it!

  • Tip: You could also pre-fill some of the wheel for them so a Marketing Wheel might include social media, networking, advertising, workshops, a newsletter and a Sales Wheel might include clarifying a sales process or funnel, writing a script for complimentary sessions, calling enquiries back, creating an entry level product, reading about Sales.

Final thought: You might like to try this one for your own coaching practice...

Happy Client or Coach Managing their Task List at Desk

9) The "Skills and Knowledge Gap" Wheel

Take a Blank Coaching Wheel and ask: What are the Top 8 skills and knowledge GAPS your client has that gets in the way of that job, promotion or new career?

Next ask them to score out of 10 where they are on the road to filling this gap (where 1 is low and needs a lot of work and 10 is high so it's only a small gap!).

This will help identify the areas where the gaps are biggest, and therefore need the most focus or work.

Finally identify next steps or actions for each 'gap', starting with the biggest gaps first.

  • Tip: Clarify whether each 'gap' is a skill or knowledge gap. This will help when it comes to choosing actions!

Lastly, it's also important to do a 'sanity' check that the gap is fillable (within their control) and that it's a skill or gap they want to fill!

10) Action Planning

Using a wheel is a great way to BREAK DOWN bigger actions and goals into smaller more manageable chunks. The visual wheel format is also great to make action planning more fun.

So, using an empty or Blank Life Wheel, write the goal or required outcome at the top of the page.

Next ask your client to simply write out 8 actions or chunks of work that make up their goal.

That's it. Done!

  • Tip: If you get them to put a date against each action, they can then use the 'pieces of pie' to record the % complete for each area!
Happy Relationships for How to Use the Wheel of Life

11) The Relationships Wheel

This is a wheel about relationships and energy...

Ask your client to think about the 8 people they spend most of their time with. And to label each segment on a Blank Coaching Wheel.

Ask, how energised or drained do you feel after spending time with each person on their wheel.

Then ask them to score out of 10, how energising each person is (where 1 is low or draining, and 10 is high or exciting to be around!).

Then review the scores and ask what they notice.

Other questions to ask include:

  • What % of your time do you currently spend with each person?
  • For the energising people you could ask how they could spend MORE time with them?
  • For the 'drainers' you could ask how they could spend less time—or change the way they spend time with them.

Love this? You may also like our "Detox Your Relationships" Coaching Tool.

12) The "Finding Love" Wheel

Our final suggestion is to help your clients identify what they are looking for in a relationship. This could be a friend or romantic partner!

Ask your client to take a Blank Life Wheel and label the pieces of pie with the 8 essential qualities their ideal partner would have.

Then ask them to score how IMPORTANT out of 10 each quality is. This will help them identify which qualities are MOST valuable.

Lastly, review the wheel with them.

Tip: It's a good idea to set this one as homework and encourage them to think broadly about qualities that are really important in a life partner. And, depending on your client, you may want to give them a few examples to start with like "good listener", "kind", "spiritual" to get them thinking beyond "tall" or "good looking".


Whatever we've used the wheel for I like to ask this question when complete: So, if this wheel represented your life/relationship/career/marketing strategy, is it a bumpy ride?

I hope this has given you some new ideas for using The Wheel of Life in your coaching practice. Why not give one a try—it's wheely good!

If you liked this article with new ways to use The Wheel of Life, you may also like:

We'd love to hear how YOU use The Wheel of Life. Tell us in the comments below!

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Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

Image of Coach pondering how to use the Wheel of Life in new ways by CarlosDavid via Shutterstock


  1. Kimberley Lovell

    As a Business Mentor, I often use the wheel of life to help clients look at their business. We look at Niche, Brand, Sales, Marketing, Speaking, Products, Services, Programmes, as well as use it for goal setting. It's a fantastic visual tool for gaining clarity and instant overview.

    • Emma-Louise

      Thanks Kimberley! I think the Wheel of Life is hugely undervalued - so it's great to hear of coaches using it in niche areas!!! Warmly, EL

  2. Sara Gould

    I believed that this is a very functional tool no matter how old it is or not for some coaches. It is always something new for anyone that have not had the opportunity to apply it. If you are creative in its use you can help a lot of people with it. For example, I used once in a lesson study in my church to make people look deep inside pertaining our behaviour as believers in God. This was just a review of the spiritual part of ourselves.

    • Emma-Louise

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Sara.

      I am so glad you are a fan of this cool tool. And it's always good to hear it being used in different ways 🙂

      Warmly, Emma-Louise

  3. Alex Jungermann

    I use the wheel as a "time spent" assessment tool.

    * Ask the client to list 8 recurring activities
    * How much time do you spend on each of them?
    * What are the areas you would like to increase or decrease the time you dedicate?

    And right to action steps to make the increase / decrease happen

  4. Rachel Schaming

    Thank you so much Emma-Louise. When I see an email from you in my inbox, I do so look forward to opening it - it's like receiving a communication from a wonderful friend.

    Your work is so helpful and inspiring. I find myself thinking bigger, bolder and boundless.

    All the best for a fantastic 2017.

    • Emma-Louise

      Dear Rachel, thank-you so much for your LOVELY comment 🙂 It made my day! Wishing you a wonderful 2017 too. Warmly, Emma-Louise

  5. Kathy Damas

    Hi Emma-Louise,

    I'm beyond thrilled to have recently discovered your site and tools! As a health coach, I'm adapting many of them with ease to use in my new 1:1 work. I was especially thrilled to find the Wheel of Life template as I'm preparing to give a short talk at a health clinic about Balancing Your Wellness Wheel in a couple of weeks. This is making my work so much easier!

    Thank you for all you do.

  6. Verlene Cromwell

    Your program is really simple, affordable, and not stressful, You are amazing!!! I would definitely use all your tools, for my coaching. This is exactly what I've looking for. I'm just getting started.
    Thanks a bunch.

  7. Aisshvarya Shah

    Hi Emma-Louise,
    Love your resources! Thanks a ton for contributing to the coaching community, you inspire me.
    I recently used the wheel as a frame to help a team take stock of where they are on multiple aspirations that they prioritised that they want to focus on. And when they noticed that the spokes for the different aspirations were differing in length, they realized that this is going to be a ‘bumpy ride’ for all, if they continue this way and what emerged as a solution was to distribute action accountability among themselves to ensure that they are seeing progress on all the aspirations.
    Your inspiration has worked and sparked ‘contribution’ within me.

  8. Sanjay Sinha

    Hi Emma, You are right we most often tend to forget the "Wheel of Life" as one of the important tools for coaching thinking that this is the Old way of doing coaching but, this is the one of the important tool . Thanks. Regards,

  9. Jill Atkinson

    I love your website. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your tools. I am a coach and a leadership development facilitator and they enrich my practice hugely.

    • mturcott

      You're most welcome, Christos! We're so glad you're enjoying our coaching resources 🙂
      Warmly, Mary

    • Michela Phillips

      You are most welcome, Lalitha! We're very glad you're enjoying the resources!
      - Kindly, Michela

  10. Cher Anderson

    Great article & ideas to further leverage this fabulous tool! thank you!!

    • Michela Phillips

      You are most welcome, Cher! Glad you enjoyed the article 🙂
      - Kindly, Michela

  11. Sharon Tillery

    Awesome! These are great life wheel ideas. I use different wheels in my Coaching practice, and I am very excited to try a few of yours out.


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