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In a single moment, I decided that my nagging feeling about my career not being right for me was solidified with absolute certainty. My cheeks transformed into crimson as the mom yelled at me for her daughter crying about another kid being mean to her. Seriously–yelling. They were preschoolers. And I’d had enough.
Since I’d started teaching I’d endured a mom ‘shadow’ me because her kid was cheating constantly after a move across the country, I’d had a mom tell me I shouldn’t raise my voice when her child would go into rages because the parents were getting divorced and had developed anger issues consequently (that she conveniently left out of our parent-teacher conference), and now I had a mom yelling at me in front of my class because her child said another 4-year old was being mean to her.
Friends, I’d love to give every teacher in the world a giant hug –you know, the ones that deserve it. I’ve had my fair share of teachers being too lazy to control their class and instead tell me I needed to make sure and give my kid her ADD meds so she could concentrate with 6 other kids yakking and playing around her desk. Because the standardized test was so, so important. [Insert the biggest eyeroll the world’s ever witnessed.]
I don’t want to hug those teachers. I want to hug the ones that truly care. Because I was one of those teachers, and it was the parents who can’t take responsibility for their kid having emotional issues due to problems at home that finally pushed me over the edge.
The problem was, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought I knew, but the rest of my life was in such disarray I didn’t know where to start. So my husband and I floundered, and did the best we could ‘winging it’.
The problem was, ‘winging it’ just wasn’t getting us anywhere. Thankfully I stumbled across something affectionately called a ‘life wheel’.
The enlightening purpose of the Life Wheel
A life wheel is a tool that helps us to compartmentalize our life into sections so that we can try to manage each one separately when creating our life goals.
The reason we use the Life Wheel as the tool for this exercise is because of the shape. Each compartment in your life will have a section, like a pie wedge. A lemony pie with dreamy meringue on top. Because when life hands us lemons, we make a delicious lemon meringue pie with it. Ha!
Actually it needs to truly resemble a wheel.
And if each wedge has a number from 0 to 10 (with 0 starting in the middle), and you colored in each wedge to the level you feel your life is in terms of time and energy spent there, you’re most likely going to see a wacky-leveled wheel. That’s where most of us start in this exercise.
And yet another approach is to color them in based on how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ you feel each area of your life is right now.
What you want is for the wheel to be as level as possible. If that wheel was on a wagon, how smoothly could you transport your boxes of lemon meringue pies to the market? It’d be a crazy bumpy road and your delicate baked yummies would be destroyed.
(Many people refer to having a ‘level 10 life’. This is where that comes from: striving to have a level 10 in all areas.)
So think of this as the ‘balancing act’. You want the wedges to be as balanced as possible to make a smooth wheel.
Get your free Life Wheel below when you join the Newsletter–then print it out and color it in based on how you feel each category is in your life currently.
What Do I Do With the Life Wheel?
Once you have your Life Wheel all colored in and dated, your next step will be using that information to set life goals for yourself in each area. Using the SMART Goal setting method is always a good option. It helps you structure your goals so that you have a plan of action.
Many people use each wedge of their life wheel to create individual goals corresponding to that wedge. So if your wheel has 8 sections, they’ll have a minimum of 8 goals they’re working towards.
And it’s perfectly fine to have more than 1 goal for each compartment! Sometimes it takes many goals to level up closer to the 10-mark!
Once your Life Wheel is colored in, choose a type of goal setting and get started! Visit the SMART Goals blog post to learn about how to set SMART goals for yourself, and grab a free SMART goals workbook while you’re there!
Click the image below to download your Life Wheel worksheet–it’s FREE when you sign up for the Newsletter!
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