Today I want to introduce you to an exercise that I use often in the beginning of a new coaching relationship. I call it the Big Wheel. As you can see it is divided into eight sections, representing eight major areas of your life. This is a self-guided exercise, so it’s important to be really honest with yourself. This is ultimately about helping you discover what kind of steps you need to take to attain a deeper level of satisfaction in your life.

Rate your satisfaction in each area from 1 to 10. If you can, print the wheel out and draw a line in each section to represent your satisfaction. Ideally, when you’re finished the wheel would be fairly well balanced and functional. Often, though, the areas that need attention stick out pretty quickly. Be honest here. This is for your eyes only and is meant to help you design a path to living a more fulfilled life. Let’s get started.

DD happiness wheel


Do you have an understanding, or a curiosity, about a Power greater than yourself? What meaning does that Power have for you? How does that relationship affect your daily life?


I’ve read that we spend 100,000 hours of our lives at work—and that doesn’t include overtime. How satisfied are you at work today? Are you there because it’s the perfect fit for you or just because that’s where you ended up?


How satisfied are you with your financial situation? Are you comfortably taking care of all of your obligations? Or is money a constant weight on your shoulders?


Have you been to the doctor lately? Do you have all the energy you need on a daily basis or do you consistently feel beat down before the day is over? How is your mental health?


Do you feel that you have enough loving, caring relationships? Are there tensions between you and the ones you care for most? Do you have people in your inner circle who you feel comfortable saying anything, free from judgment?


Are you with that special person? With someone but not totally committed? If you’re in a long-term relationship, how does that union feel? Exciting? Comfortable? Topsy-turvy?


Do you feel like you’re expanding or contracting? Are you refueling yourself, ready to take new opportunities as they come, day by day? Or are you feeling stuck, unsure which way to move next?


When is the last time you took a vacation? Was it relaxing or somehow stressful? As you are today, are you able to relax and have fun, or does everything feel highly pressurized, linked to some expectation or result?

Now, look at each of your eight sections. If your wheel was expected to actually roll, could it do it? Which sections scored lowest for you? Why? And most importantly, what would it take to bump those scores up a couple points? Focus on the areas you’d like to improve in most and ask yourself, what do I need to do differently to be more satisfied? How do I need to change my thinking to be more satisfied in this area? Keep your wheel near you at all times. This an exercise to get you moving towards better things for yourself so don’t just “set it and forget it.”

Want some input on where you go once you’ve identified your areas of opportunity? Connect with me on LinkedIn or on Twitter @DoubledareCoach.

photo credit: Fun Wheel via photopin (license)