Wheel of Life Categories for a Balanced or Whole Life

Woman working in office at desk on Wheel of Life Categories

In this article you'll find a list of the typical Wheel of Life Categories—along with common alternative labels.

The Wheel of Life Tool is an awesome tool that helps clients get a quick visual on how balanced their life currently is. And the 8 Wheel of Life Categories are what represent the elements of a balanced life for each person.

Jump straight to the Wheel of Life Categories >>

Of all the coaching activities out there, the Wheel of Life could be the ultimate coaching tool. Because with a few tweaks to the categories (or use a blank wheel), it's endlessly flexible—for many different applications beyond life balance.

For more ideas on how to use the Wheel of Life try:

You can also learn everything you need to know about this coaching tool from The Complete Guide to the Wheel of Life for Coaches.

Wheel of Life Categories Coaching Tip

When using the Wheel of Life with your clients, ask them first to review the eight categories. Then, if there are any categories where the label doesn't feel right—ask them to change it. For example a client may not like the term "Finances" and prefer "Money" or even "Wonga" (you never know!).

The aim is to help your clients feel comfortable with the wheel of life category names. And if necessary they can split category segments to add in something that is missing. Or you can re-label an area to make it more meaningful for them.

Here are the 8 Most Common Wheel of Life Categories

Below are the 8 typical wheel of life categories, along with their most common alternatives.

  1. Family and Friends. Alternative categories include Community, Social. Family and Friends can also split into separate categories of "Family" and "Friends".
  2. Significant Other: Alternatives include Dating, Relationship, Significant Other, Life Partner. Note: We removed "Romance" from our Wheel of life - and here’s why.
  3. Career: Alternative labels include Vocation, Work, Business, Motherhood, Fatherhood, Parenting or Volunteering.
  4. Finances: Other label ideas include Money, Financial Security or Financial Wellbeing.
  5. Health: Alternatives include Wellbeing and Fitness. This category could also split into Emotional Health and Physical Health, and/or include Spiritual Health.
  6. Home Environment: Other labels could be simply "home", "house" or "apartment". This category could split into two for work and home environments. Finally, this wheel of life category can also simply switch to "Work Environment" for career or business clients.
  7. Fun & Leisure: Some other ideas for this category label include Leisure Time, Sports, Recreation, Play, Creativity or Enjoyment.
  8. Personal Growth: Alternatives include Learning, Self-Development or Spiritual.

NOTE: Remember that if your client would like, they can also adapt any wheel of life category by dividing an existing category into two.

Even More Ideas for Wheel of Life Labels:

So, hopefully we've give you lots of ideas! Some other ideas for life balance wheel labels include Security, Spiritual Growth, Religion, Sense of Self, Community, Leadership, Service or Achievement.

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 Kindness.com. 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 Client pondering wheel of life categories at desk with pen and wheel of life coaching tool by Branislav Nenin via Shutterstock


  1. Mr. Numi Who (online pen name)

    The wheel is a practical tool to depict the cyclical nature of issues that we need to tend to in life. Within my Philosophy of Broader Survival (meaning on a higher plane than your suggestions), I independently devised my Pinwheel of Life to depict the four major areas of life that an enlightened being (humans are not among them yet) would cyclically address: Animal Needs (which is where your wheel is), Broader Survival (which your wheel has no notion of), Procreation (including child-rearing, which you touch upon), and Rest and Relaxation (which you also touched upon). I also have an associated Bell Curve, where the ideal state is to minimize the time and energy needed to secure animal needs, procreation, and R&R (for oneself and everyone else) in order to maximize the time and energy available to address Broader Survival (where the more minds available, the higher the odds of the survival of life in a harsh and deadly universe, which you ignore, not being enlightened yet).

  2. Ken Smith

    Hi to a fellow Islander

    Over the years your material and links have served many practical uses. Many - timely. The coaching and mentoring concepts are for street level and workplace and are very interchangeable. Many thanks for all your effort and sometimes even a hint of a new direction.

    Cheers, Ken

    • Michela Phillips

      We are so glad you find our material useful! Thank-you for your support 🙂
      - Kindly, Michela


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