The Wheel of Life

Wheel of Life Workshop

Aim & Context

What is the aim of the exercise?
This exercise aims at exploring how satisfied the participants are with the various areas of their life. By giving each area a score in the categories of time spent, satisfaction, and importance this exercise follows a systematical approach instead of just generally reflecting if one is satisfied with life.
In what context is this exercise useful?
This exercise is useful as it uncovers areas of the participants lives which might have an imbalance between the time spent on them and the importance of that area. By gaining awareness of such imbalances, participants can later actively make changes in their lives to increase satisfaction in those areas.

Quick facts

Preparation time: 10 min
Workshop time: 45 minutes
Ideal group size: 16-20 people (groups of 2)
Contact of Workshop Developer:
This workshop was developed by Leonie and adjusted by Mathieu.
Equipment and tools needed:
  • Papers
  • Pens
  • Thinking / focus music
  • Something to play music (e.g., speakers, laptop)
  • flipchart with example

Detailed Description of Activity & Method

Please list step by step how the activity should be facilitated

Activity & Format
Time
Instructions
Facilitation Notes
Check-In
5 min
  • Introduction of facilitators
  • Present agenda
  • If a small group, check-in on participants mood, expectations, or other.
  • Get people to ‘arrive’ in the space. This will be a highly introspective session and participants will need full presence. Ask them to get comfortable, turn off any distractions. Take 3 deep breaths.
Start with answering the check-in question by yourself and let everyone share and then hand the word over to someone else.
Introduction & Explanation
5 min
What is the wheel of life?
The wheel of life is a tool that lets you explore the different areas, regions, or fields of your life. The goal of this exercise is to gain awareness of those different areas and the time you spent with them, how important they are to you, and how satisfied you are with them.
We provide some areas (like family, university, relationships, etc.) and you can finish the wheel with areas that we do not mention, but that play an important role in your life (e.g., exercise).
How to construct the wheel of life?
You will draw a circle and divide it into 8 sections. Each section is labeled with one of the areas of life. The areas proposed are:
  • Health
  • Family
  • Relationships (could be split into romantic or friendly)
  • Career / University
  • Personal growth
  • Social life / Fun
For the other areas you can freely choose your own categories like for example:
  • Hobbies
  • Nature
  • Extracurriculars
  • Self-care
  • Variety / exploration
  • Sustainability
These are only recommendations, please make the wheel of life completely your own. It is there to serve you and help you reflect on the areas that play a large role in your life. This is different for all of us, so please add and remove categories as you wish.
Between each category you can label the line with a scale from 0-10.
Next you will take three different colors and for each category mark on a scale from 0-10:
  1. 1.
    how much time you spent on that area
  2. 2.
    how important that area is for you
  3. 3.
    how satisfied you are with that area.
So, one color for each aspect: time spent, importance, and satisfaction
After doing so you can either connect the marks, color the areas underneath or leave them as is as you prefer the to visualize your thoughts.
It may be helpful to illustrate an example of the task with the template provided for flipchart.
After explaining the task, ask if there are any clarification questions.
Construction
20 min
Participants individually draw and fill in their wheel of life
As participants are thinking and writing, I recommend listening to some focus music
Reflection
10 min
You will now have 5 mins in pairs to reflect on the exercise in general and specifically these questions:
  • Where is the biggest imbalance between time spent and importance?
  • Which area are you the least satisfied with and why?
  • Did you have any new realizations through doing this exercise? If so, what?
Check-out
5 min
  • Debrief activity, ask them if they enjoyed it, gather quick feedback.
  • Provide logistical info about next planned workshop (if any)
  • Check-out suggestion if small group: Get each person to say how they feel in one word after this workshop
  • Thank people for joining.

Feedforward: Tips for future facilitators

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Resources (Helpful websites or books for further reading)