Try not to think about it too hard, but you're currently flying through the universe at a million miles an hour. Your balance—a skill finely tuned since you were a toddler—is keeping you upright, allowing you to maintain control when everything around you is moving faster than you could imagine. Balance is no less important outside of the body. When you're able to maintain a harmony, perfectly distributing your efforts into every area of your life—from your work to your relationships to your health—you're able to maintain control through any unexpected anything the universe wants to throw at you.
Attaining perfect life balance is much harder than it seems, though. Most of us are constantly playing a juggling game, shifting priorities without much focus on the bigger picture, and often neglecting some areas of our life, not realizing how much we've let our lives get off-balance until it's much too late.
The Apartment Therapy Life Balance Wheel
In order to bring your life into balance, it can help to see a top-down, bird's-eye view. That's what the life balance wheel represents—it's a tool designed to help you analyze the parts of your life and figure out what areas could use improvement, by your own standards. It's not meant to coach you to the "right" answers or tell you how to live your life, it's merely a tool that can help you understand and reflect on feelings that you already have.
What is it?
It's a worksheet, essentially, that allows you to score your satisfaction in different areas of your life (you might have seen a version of this concept before called "the wheel of life"). When you've completed the wheel, you'll have a clear picture of the parts of your life where you're feeling unsatisfied, and from there, you can work to develop a plan and set goals to get your whole life back into balance.
Our wheel is separated into eight segments, each one representing an area of a whole, balanced life. (If any one of these areas doesn't resonate with you, you're free to modify the wheel as you see fit.)
- Me Time
Within each section of the wheel, you should give yourself a score from 1 to 10, with 10 representing optimal satisfaction in that area. Satisfaction is, of course, a highly relative term—but that's by design. Only you know what a satisfying career or outlook or financial picture looks like to you. But of course, we know that it's difficult to do that kind of self-assesment, so on page 2 of our wheel worksheet, we've included a few statements to help you guide your scoring in each section. Considering assertions like "I am satisfied with my spending habits" and "I feel good about my look and the way I dress" will help you to reflect honestly on your given contentment in your life.
So you've done the exercise and now have a pretty solid picture of your whole life's balance. How would your wheel spin? Is there a clear dip in one section that you've been neglecting for a while? Or is there a general lack of satisfaction across a few spots, making for quite a bumpy ride overall? Now that you can literally see the areas of your life where you need to put more focus, you can start to develop a plan to improve them, or at least take on some small tasks to make you more satisfied with your situation.
Whether you're in for a penny or in for a pound, you should definitely jump in. To get you started on the journey to a more balanced life, we've collected some of our best advice for each wedge of the wheel. If you've let your wellness fall by the wayside, read up on some ways to eat better and move more. If you're feeling like you need to cultivate your relationships more, you can discover some ways to make new friends, or strengthen the bonds you have with old ones. No matter what you need to work on, know this: You're not alone.