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Quality of Life Coach

Stop spinning out of control!


CJ Liu, Life Coach

A common problem that everyone faces is feeling like their life is spinning out of control.  This is usually a result of not living in congruency to what matters most to us.  I visualize a car heading in a direction and then finding that one of its wheels is losing air.  Quality of life coaching is all about airing up all the tires.

The quick fix on getting back on track is to do some internal investigation into where the source of the leak lies.  There are many tools out there, but the one of the favorites in coaching and most Westerners is the wheel of life.  Ironically, the wheel is based on a mandala which is prevalent in many cultures (Tibet, etc) as depicting cycles of life. In coaching, the wheel of life is used to divide our life into major areas that when looked at holistically constitute what could make us feel like a whole balanced person. quality of life coach

Generally, when someone feels out of control, what they are saying is that they feel unbalanced and something important is missing in their life, some section(s) of their wheel is flat and making them spin funny. Let’s take a look at how we could use the wheel of life to diagnose where you are out of balance. Here are 5 simple steps to help you diagnose where you are leaking air out of your time:

1. Draw your wheel: Identify all the key areas in your life that are important to you. See the sample below for Anne. In Anne’s case below it is divided among family, work, community, and fun.

2. Pick one area: Pick the one area of your life that if you would make a change it would have the most impact in your life. For example, let’s say that we pick “family”.

3. Personal inquiry: Ask yourself what things you could do to substantially improve the one area you picked. In Anne’s case, we’d ask what one thing could you do that would improve the “family” area? Let’s say Anne said she wanted to spend more quality time with her kids.

4. Developing a plan: The last step is to ask yourself what 1-3 actions could you do that would help you achieve your goal? In Anne’s case we’d ask what things she could do to create more quality time with her kids. Let’s say that Anne says that there are 3 things that she could do. We’d then ask her to prioritize one out of the list and then commit to a date to complete the action item. When she’s done, she’ll either move on to the next in her list or see how things feel overall. She will keep on moving off her list until the hole is patched.

5. Moving to the next area: The nice thing about the wheel is about 90% of the time addressing one issue will end up resolving other areas in our life. It’s why the visual depiction is a wheel since all the pieces are connected. For example, Anne may find that she has less stress at work once she addressed quality time with her child. If you are part of the 10%, then the next step is finding the next area to address and to do steps 1-4 all over again.

The wheel is such a great tool since it’s unlikely to change dramatically over time. So, it’s conceivable that you could have the same wheel for a whole year or two. It’s a nice tool to have. I like to think of it like the tire patch kit in your car. Keep it around so the next time your wheel loses some air, you can pull it out and make some diagnoses and fixes. Keep any worksheets you’ve written over time together since the “how to fix” directions in an area are likely to apply in the future.
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