Welcome back for day 13 of my Happy.Healthy.Whole Project (HHWP). Lucky number 13! I have now passed the halfway point of one of my October goals – to blog for 25 days straight!
Another one of my October goals for my HHWP is to complete the “Wheel Of Life Assessment”. This is a short-term goal for one of my longer-term goals which is to “Achieve Life Balance”.
Life balance is sometimes also known as “work-life balance”.
According to Stephen Covey, who was an American businessman and author of the best selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:
“The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man.”– Stephen Covey
In today’s post, I will be exploring this struggle of work-life balance by looking at the consequences of not having work-life balance on both happiness and health. Then, I will introduce the Wheel of Life Assessment and how to do it, and finally, I will share my results of the Wheel of Life Assessment with you!
So let’s get to it!
What is Work-Life Balance?
According to Business News Daily, “Work-life balance is the state of equilibrium where a person equally prioritizes the demands of one’s career and the demands of one’s personal life.”
To lead a full and happy life, we need balance between our career, and all other aspects of our life. Without balance our quality of life will suffer.
How Does Work-Life Balance Affect Happiness & Health?
Entrepreneur.com made a fantastic infographic about work-life balance that I would highly recommend checking out!
According to this infographic, 66% of Americans strongly believe that they do NOT have work-life balance.
As a consequence of poor work-life balance, people report the following problems in their home-life:
- 33% of Americans say they regularly work weekends and holidays.
- 38% of Americans report a lack of focus or engagement when they are at home due to distractions or worries about work.
- 40% said that work calls, emails or texts regularly ruined time spent with friends and family.
- 51% of Americans reported that they missed important life events because of work.
That’s not great. According to these statistics, 2 out of every 3 Americans are taking work home with them, and it is disrupting their home and family life in a big way.
Since this is part of my Happy.Healthy.Whole Project, let’s also look at how the lack of work-life balance affects happiness and health.
According to the research, people that work more than 55 hours a week are:
- 66% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
- 66% more likely to suffer from depression.
- 74% more likely to suffer from anxiety.
So it seems pretty clear that the lack of work-life balance has serious, long-term, negative consequences on both happiness and health.
Introducing The Wheel of Life
In one of my favorite quotes, John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach said:
Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.– John Wooden
To put this simply, there should be more to life than work.But what else is there you might ask? That’s where the wheel of life comes in.
There are a number of different wheels out there with slight variations, but the one I’ve included here is pretty standard.
The image below shows the 8 sections of the Wheel of Life.
How To Measure Your Level of Work-Life Balance Using The Wheel Of Life Assessment
I will be completing this assessment myself, but I will also give you guys directions so that you can do it too if you’d like!
In order to achieve work-life balance, you must be able to understand what portions of your life you are satisfied with, and which you are not.
For this assessment, consider the 8 areas of life and how satisfied you are with each. After consideration, you will be asked to give each wedge on the wheel of life a score from 0 to 10, where 0 means you are completely unsatisfied, and 10 means that you are completely satisfied, and couldn’t possibly be any more satisfied.
For each wedge on the wheel of life, take the following questions into consideration before giving each wedge or area of life a score.
Note: you don’t have to answer each of the questions below (unless you want to). They are more to help give you an understanding of what each of the 8 wedges of the wheel of life is about.
- Do you find fulfillment and satisfaction in your job?
- Do you work reasonable hours?
- Is there room for advancement?
- Do you feel that you are making a difference through your work?
- Do you feel appreciated at work?
- Do you have financial security, or are you living paycheck to paycheck?
- Are you able to afford a home which provides a safe physical environment for yourself and/or your family?
- Do you have the food and basic supplies you need to live?
Morality & Values
- Do you feel that you are living up to your own core values and standards?
- Do you feel that overall you are a “good person”?
- Are you living your life with integrity?
- Are you doing right and helping others to the best of your ability?
- Are you free of disease, or do you suffer from health problems?
- To what degree does your health affect your quality of life?
- Are you reasonably physically fit?
- Do you eat a fairly healthy diet most of the time?
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Do you suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues?
- Do you like who you are as a person?
- Are you typically a positive and grateful person?
- How is your self-esteem?
- Do you have good relationships with your family?
- Are you often lonely?
- Do you have friends that you can talk to and count on when you need them?
- Are you able to spend enough time with your loved ones?
- If you have a significant other, are you happy with the quality of your relationship?
- Do you have the time to pursue your passions?
- Do you feel that your life has stagnated, or are you moving forward?
- Do you take the time to learn or read new things?
- Are you working towards anything like a personal project or goal?
Fun and Recreation
- Do you have time to do the things that you enjoy such as travel, adventure, or hobbies?
- Are you able to find time to relax and unwind?
- Do you laugh often?
Now that you have considered each of the 8 areas of life, use the following table to give each area a score as to how satisfied you are in that area of life.
Use a 0 to 10 scale where, where 0 means you are completely unsatisfied, and 10 means that you couldn’t possibly be any more satisfied.
See my example of the wheel of life activity below. Note that I gave a brief explanation for each of my lower scores.
When you are done filling out your table like the one above, add up all your scores from each of the 8 areas of life.
0 is the lowest possible overall score, and 80 is the highest possible overall score (note: I made mine out of 70 because the career area of life is not applicable for me right now due to my current circumstances).
This should give you a general satisfaction rating for your life, and allow you to see which areas of your life which you are least satisfied in.
Low satisfaction scores indicate that there may be a lack of balance in these areas of your life.
For example, my wheel of life activity indicates that my physical health, fun and recreation, and family relationships might be a little out of balance, mostly due to restrictions from my injury and Covid-19 it seems.
This Wheel of Life activity is the first small goal on the path to achieving one of my longer-term goals of achieving life balance.
[If you’re interested, here are the other goals I’m pursuing in October for my HHWP]
As I continue to progress through my Happy.Healthy.Whole Project in the coming months, I plan on creating more short-term goals to help me reach this long-term goal of life balance and lasting happiness.
So stay tuned, more to come on the topic of work-life balance. In the meantime, I hope that you have found value in the wheel of life activity for assessing where your life balance is currently at.
I’d love to hear your experiences with life balance!
- Have you suffered from some of the consequences listed above from overworking?
- Do you think the wheel of life activity would be useful for you?
- What areas of your life seem out of balance right now?
Let me know in the comments!