How to use the Wheel of Life Template to create MEANINGFUL Goals!

Compass representing wheel of life templateHow often have you seen the prospect of a high powered job, brand new Porsche or designer pair of shoes gets your client more excited than the thought of quality time with a child or friends? Because their heart beats faster - they mistake this desire for their heart's deep inner needs. But as we coaches know, desires and our heart's true needs are very different - and when our clients get this personal 'Aha moment' it can be literally life-changing for them. Well, here's one more way the Wheel of Life Template can help!

The Wheel of Life Template is not just a powerful check-in and/or action planner. When used as I outline below, it can also help create "Aha!" moments where people may be unknowingly sabotaging their happiness by focusing on the 'wrong' kind of goals. And it can also help clients PRIORITISE their goals in life.

The exercise below helps people to differentiate between fear-driven desires ('unhealthy' ego) and the heart (our deep inner needs). Yes, it is a scoring exercise - but it's so much more than a straight left-brained 'pros and cons' evaluation. This scoring process helps people see what will TRULY make a difference in their lives as opposed to what they THINK will improve their lives.

Using the Wheel of Life Template to Identify and/or Prioritise Truly MEANINGFUL Goals:

  1. First, get your client to list or brainstorm their goals in life. One great way to do this is to ask them to, "List everything they want to Be, Do and Have in Life". Tip: You can do this on the fly, but it's great to give them this step as homework beforehand.
  2. Then ask them to take each item or goal and using the standard Wheel of Life template categories ask, "Will achieving this goal improve my satisfaction in this area?"
  3. For each Be/Do/Have or goal on their list, give a point for EACH area on the wheel that is improved. Tip: ½ points can be allocated if appropriate.
  4. Keep going until each Be/Do/Have or goal has been scored.
  5. Now review which Be/Do/Haves or goals get the highest and lowest scores. What do they notice? What have they learned about themselves? How do they feel after doing this exercise? How does this exercise affect the priority they place on their goals?

QUICK EXAMPLE: If two of the goals on a client's list are 1) Buy a Porsche and 2) Be a great father/husband. (OK, so I know YOU know the answer here and your client may 'intellectually' know the answer, but let's see how this goes.)

1) Porsche: Will it improve their Finances? No. Will it improve their relationships with family and friends? Probably not. Will it improve their Career? Unlikely. Will it improve their Fun? Yes (score 1). And so on until, let's say they get a score of 1½ out of a possible 8.
2) Being a great father/husband: Well, it may not improve their finances much or their career (although you never know) but it will help their relationships, fun, perhaps health, definitely personal growth etc. So let's say they get a score of 6½ out of 8.

And there it is in Black and White. A happy and balanced life. Porsche 1 ½, Being a great father/husband 6½. NOW your client can make an informed choice on what they choose to prioritise and work on.

Goal Brainstorming Exercise Page 2I have used this exercise countless times with clients and my clients have always learned something about themselves and what really matters. There have been 'Aha' Moments ranging from literally realising how important it is to be a great father to finally getting help with clutter in the home (it was huge!) to why saving up to go to the casino really is a bad idea. This exercise helps our clients SEE FOR THEMSELVES. It helps them understand and get closer to their real selves (heart) as opposed to being driven by desires, trying to please or impress (head). It's all about making MEANINGFUL change in their lives.

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