3 Ways to Achieve Life Balance, Happiness and Fun
Most of us go about our lives with an almost robotic, monotonous routine, not really thinking too much about what we’re doing, and expending as little energy as we can to get things done. When there is so much we need to do, this is an understandable way to cope. The downside is that while we’re in this ‘autopilot’ mode, we are never really fully aware of what we’re experiencing, and for the most part we’re not enjoying what we’re doing either.
As such, we spend the vast majority of our time doing things that do not bring us any enjoyment. Surprisingly, research has shown that the amount of enjoyment and fulfillment we experience from something has far more to do with our own consciousness than what it is we’re actually doing.
With the wrong mindset, it is possible to have a dull and boring holiday; and with the right mindset, it is possible to find immense enjoyment from our work. This points to an important but poorly-understood fact about our minds, that the enjoyment we derive from activities is not contingent on the activity itself, but rather the way we perceive the things we’re doing.
The question remains, how can we increase the level of enjoyment in our lives, even when we have busy lives involving work, family, a volatile economy, and other stresses?
Well, first we need to remove any impediments that may be draining both our focus and our energy. I’m sure many would attest to the fact that you can feel exhausted at the end of a stressful day, no matter how much you may have achieved. Your mind has a limited amount of energy, and if it is being allocated to stress and worry, there will be very little leftover (and very little desire) for personal enjoyment.
We have focused here on a Three Step Process to Create Satisfaction-Enjoyment All the Days of Your Life. Complete Each Step and You should have the life you only dream about.
STEP 1: WHEEL OF LIFE ASSESSMENT
STEP 2: COMPLETE YOUR PERSONAL VALUES ASESSMENT
STEP 3: COMPLETE YOUR 5 YEAR ODDSSEY PLANS
STEP 1: WHEEL OF LIFE ASSESSMENT
The Wheel of Life is a self-assessment tool used to gauge your satisfaction in various areas of your life. It is a helpful tool to use with goal setting as it can help clarify what areas of your life you want to grow. Wheel of Life Categories-https://wheeloflife.io/
When I first discovered the Wheel of Life, I immediately fell in love. I started using it a few years ago and it has been a huge help when it comes to setting my life goals.
By making the Wheel of Life part of your goal setting process, it will help you grow in ways that bring more happiness, balance, and joy into your life. We hope this exercise is helpful to you, and most importantly, we hope you have fun doing it!
What is the Wheel of Life?
The Wheel of Life is a self-assessment tool used to gauge your satisfaction in various areas of your life. It is a helpful tool to use with goal setting as it can help clarify what areas of your life you want to grow.
Wheel of Life Categories
The Wheel of Life is typically broken down into 8-10 categories. For our purposes, let’s assume the following categories:
- Health/Fitness: Includes physical, mental, and emotional health.
- Physical Environment: Your surroundings.
- Personal Growth: Learning and self-development.
- Community: Includes friendships, neighbors, social groups, etc.
- Career/Business: Job and career path.
- Spirituality: Spiritual practices based on your belief system.
- Fun/Recreation: Time spent on things that bring you happiness and joy for life.
- Wealth/Finances: All things money related.
- Family: Includes children and all extended family members.
- Significant Other: Spouse, life partner, romantic relationship, etc.
With that said, you can pick whatever categories mean the most to you. Remove categories from the list that don’t speak to you. If adding new categories, you can pick something on your own, or take existing categories and break them out further. For example, you could break the health/fitness category out into separate categories for physical and mental/emotional health.
Whatever categories you want on your wheel is up to you. Some questions to ask yourself when determining your categories are:
- What categories represent my whole life?
- What categories will make me feel complete?
Wheel of Life Assessment Questions
How do you feel about your career right now?
How would you like to feel about your career in the future?
How do you feel about your money right now?
How would you like to feel about your money in the future?
How do you feel about your health right now?
How would you like to feel about your health in the future?
How do you feel about your relationships right now?
How would you like to feel about your relationships in the future?
How do you feel about your personal growth right now?
How would you like to feel about your personal growth in the future?
How do you feel about your fun and recreation right now?
How would you like to feel about your fun and recreation in the future?
How do you feel about your physical environment right now?
How would you like to feel about your physical environment in the future?
How do you feel about your spirituality right now?
How would you like to feel about your spirituality in the future?
How to Complete the Wheel of Life
To complete the wheel of life, you will rate your current level of satisfaction for each category. This should be a quick snapshot rating. Don’t spend a lot of time overanalyzing it. It’s based on how you feel.
The center of the circle is zero. That’s the lowest score. The outer edge of the circle is 10 which is the highest score. A rating of 10 would mean you are completely content and satisfied with your life in that category. What makes you completely satisfied in each category is completely up to you. You might not even need to be a 10 in every category to feel good about it.
When completing the wheel, be honest with yourself. You don’t have to share your results with anyone else. Don’t rate your categories based on other people’s expectations. Don’t compare yourself to others. We’re talking about your life after all. Everyone’s life is unique to them so base the number off of your satisfaction with your life.
Once you know what number (i.e 0-10) you want to rate a particular category, color the category up to that number. So if you rate Fun/Recreation a 5, you would color that section from 0-5. Continue this process for every section until they are all colored in.
Your Results Save as PDF
|Fun and Recreation||8||8||0|
Evaluating Your Results
The wheel represents your life, and your self-assessment scores represent the balance of your life. Take a moment to look at your wheel as a whole. Is it a perfect circle? Probably not and that’s okay.
Most people tend to neglect certain areas of their life while giving a lot of attention to others. If you’re a career driven person, your career and wealth categories may rate high whereas other categories, like fun, may rate low. But it’s not about being strong or weak in certain categories, it’s about realizing where you are currently placing your attention, and where you want to place it going forward.
Now that you know where you are currently at, you can start setting some goals. Here are some questions to consider when evaluating your results:
- What areas did I score low/high on?
- Were there any surprises?
- How important is each category to me?
- What categories do I value the most?
- What are my priorities in life?
- What would be my ideal score in each category to feel happy?
- What steps can I take to reach my ideal score?
No one is perfect, but a score of 10 in each category is the goal. And remember, you decide what a 10 looks like.
The Importance of Life Balance
What do the following scenarios have in common?
- A person who is very driven, has accomplished all of the career goals they set out to, but still feels unhappy.
- A parent who’s living their dream of raising a family, and yet they feel constantly stressed, drained, and overwhelmed.
- A celebrity who has all of the fame and fortune they could ask for but whose personal life is a wreck.
The answer is they are all missing balance in their lives.
Many of us will have a tendency to put our attention in specific categories, and when we still don’t feel happy, we will put more and more attention in those same categories. This never works and will lead to chronic unhappiness. If you rated yourself high in some categories but are still unhappy, it means you are missing balance.
The whole point of doing the wheel of life exercise is to find balance, satisfaction, and enjoyment in life. Now take your self-assessment results, set some goals, and start living the life of your dreams.
STEP 2: COMPLETE PERSONAL VALUE ASESSMENT
Find out what is important to you by taking a Personal Values Assessment. Who you are, what you hold dear, what upsets you, and what underlies your decisions, are all connected to your personal values.
What are personal values?
Your values are what you identify as guiding principles in your life. People often witness their values as they experience success and struggle. Success and struggle are good indicators of when your motivations are being fulfilled or not.
The benefits of living your values
: Make smarter decisions
Align your actions with your values so you meet your goals in life
: Communicate better
Tailor how you communicate based on how your values help or hinder the interaction
; Reduce stress
Affirm your values regularly to improve stress response and build resilience
Your Personal Values Assessment (PVA) is a way of showing the things that really matter to you in your life at this time.
As we move through our childhoods into adulthood we adopt a set of values (that can be either positive or fear-based and limiting) connected to our early experiences and our need to survive and grow.
In order to flourish as adults we need to be able to let go of the limiting beliefs and fears that we developed as children and to replace these with ones that allow us to become who we really are. Healthy, loving relationships are core to our wellbeing as both children and adults.
How It Works
Step 1: Take the assessment to identify your top 5 values that drive most of your decisions.
Step 2: Complete three self-reflection activities to unpack what your values mean and how they work.
Step 3: Start using your values lens to improve decision-making in all areas of your life.
We know that you want to feel good about where your life is headed and confident in the decisions that will help you get there. In order to do that, you need to first discover what truly motivates you–your personal values.
The problem for most people is that life just happens so fast. You graduate from school, you get a job, and before you know it, you’ve invested years into a work-life routine that operates almost entirely on autopilot.
Many of us started our journey through life with good intentions, only to have it upended by unforeseen circumstances, or worse, a situation where you’re living someone else’s life. Buried underneath all this is–you–somewhere. You might be asking, how did I get here?
As a result, this makes you feel like you don’t know who you really are or what you want from life, leaving you confused and unsure about every big decision that could be a step in the right or wrong direction. You either become paralyzed by the choices you need to make, or you make the wrong choices altogether.
We believe that life is too short to not fulfill your potential and purpose–life should be lived on your terms. We understand what it’s like to feel stuck and overwhelmed. It’s a miserable feeling.
Here’s how we do it:
- Take the personal values assessment and learn your top 5 values. Let’s explore your personal values.
- Complete three self-reflection activities to help you unpack what these values mean to you and learn how to use them as a lens for better decision-making
- Start aligning your actions with your motivations to get what you want out of life
- Your values are at the heart of every decision you will make. Take the personal values assessment today and figure out what makes you tick, so you can stop living with uncertainty and instead start making confident decisions that will advance your life in the direction of your goals.
TAKE YOUR PERSONAL VALUES ASSESSEMENT
Your values reflect what is important to you. They are a shorthand way of describing your motivations. Together with your beliefs, they are the causal factors that drive your decision-making. The Personal Values Assessment is a simple survey that takes just a few minutes of your time and provides a wealth of information about why you do what you do.
ASSESSMENT OF PERSONAL CORE VALUES Let’s explore your personal values.
STEP 3: COMPLETE THE 5 YEAR ODDSSEY PLANS
The Odyssey plan’s idea looks really simple/ Odyssey Plans: What is an Odyssey Plan? Design 3 different possibilities of how your following 5 years will be, and that is achieved by doing the following:
In order to give you a full understanding and appreciation of The Odyssey Plan we’ll break it down, if you want to skip this part and get to the actual thing, scroll down to The Odyssey Plan. Create an Odyssey Plan
The Odyssey Years
The word odyssey comes from ancient Greek poetry written by Homer. He tells a story about a man named Odysseus on some journey. Odyssey Plans: What are the Odyssey Years? Today, the word odyssey means something along the lines of this:
A long series of wanderings or adventures, especially when filled with notable experiences and hardships. David Brooks wrote this article in The New York Times in 2007, which outlines what he calls the ‘Odyssey phase’ in today’s society.
There used to be four common life phases: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Now, there are at least six: childhood, adolescence, odyssey, adulthood, active retirement and old age. Of the new ones, the least understood is odyssey, the decade of wandering that frequently occurs between adolescence and adulthood.
Read the article for a more in depth explanation of the Odyssey phase of life. In short, your odyssey years are somewhere between years 20-35 of your life, the years of wandering that frequently occurs between adolescence and adulthood.
During this decade (or 15 years), 20-somethings go to school and take breaks from school. They live with friends and they live at home. They fall in and out of love. They try one career and then try another.
Essentially, you spend your Odyssey years deciding who you want to be, your direction in life, the career and lifestyle you want to pursue. In our current society, people graduate from university and are out of education for the first time in their odyssey years. It’s where real adulthood begins. We start our lives, rent apartments, buy homes, build primary relationships, get married, have kids and so on. A lot of change going on, these years are a really formative time in anyone’s life.
The Odyssey years are a really critical time in a young person’s life. The Odyssey plan is a way to ensure you make the most of your Odyssey years, with the goal of attaining a well-lived, joyful life.
: Plan Your Life
Failing to plan is planning to fail – Benjamin Franklin
This is true for most important things in life. Life itself, is pretty important so it makes sense to have somewhat of a plan at least.
Plan for nothing and you will get nothing.
Aim at nothing and you will hit nothing.
You have probably heard of ‘The 5 year plan.’ Where you sit down and make a plan for the next 5 years of life. The Odyssey plan is far more than just a plan. It is an ideation. The design of this plan asks you questions and makes you think in ways that you wouldn’t have had you just done the standard 5 year life plan. How to Design Your Life (My Process For Achieving Goals)
The Odyssey plan actually originates from Stanford. Stanford students have a class called Design your life where they are taught to use the odyssey plan. Stanford Webinar: Designing Your Life – How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life The Odyssey plan is a detailed and well thought out brainstorm of how might my life work out going forward 5 or 10 years, given 3 different circumstances.
When you complete the first step, you end up with 3 completely different time lines for your life over the next 5-10 years. The importance of the 3 timelines is that they prompt you to come up with all the elements that would make your life rich and fulfilling.
The Odyssey plan isn’t a set in stone plan. There is no A=B=C step by step result. It is simply a tool that helps you decide, what might be next?
Planning is everything, but the plan is nothing – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Keep this quote in mind whenever you make a plan. Planning is great and super important, but it is never the plan itself that gets you anywhere. The fruit lies in the subsequent action you take.
: Use The Odyssey Plan
In the odyssey plan you write 3 timelines for your life over the next 5-10 years. The statements below are the titles of those timelines. Designing Your Life: Creating Odyssey Plans
#1 What I think I’m going to do.
This is how your life would look like if you followed down your current path. Whatever you’re working as or studying, if you followed down that same path with the same current lifestyle, where would you be in 5, 10, 15 years? What would your day-to-day look like?
#2 If plan #1 fails for whatever reason, your alternative.
Hypothetically, imagine whatever you had in plan #1 just isn’t possible. For example, if I couldn’t do medicine, I would probably go into teaching, maybe lecturing and aim to work abroad. What would you do if your current line of work was physically impossible and you had to do something else? How would that timeline look in 5, 10, 15 years?
#3 What if money or image were no object?
Imagine money and image weren’t limiting factors. You had unlimited amounts. You had no need to worry about your image. What would that life look like over the next decade or so?
Write your answers in as much detail as you can. Think about what each timeline would look like in terms of you, your friends, family and your career. Save the plan somewhere safe too, you might want to try this again in a year’s time and see how your views have changed.
It’s important that important that the 3 timelines are very different. Having 3 timelines where you work the same job in 3 different companies is not how you want to do this. You need that variation.
When you have that much range, each plan informs the other. Going through the different timelines will make you think outside the box, something you wouldn’t have done had you only written plan #1.
Plan 3 will be wild and might seem unrealistic, we aren’t going to do that, but it will remind us of ideas that might seem useful when paired with the other 2 plans. In fact we won’t be executing any of the 3 plans at all. The next step is to make a prototype for your actual life plan.
: Create Prototype
Once you have all 3 timelines side by side, you will have a wide range of ideas. Places you want to visit and live. Careers you want to pursue. Lifestyles you want to live. The point of the previous step was to give you a better understanding of what you want your life to look like versus what it actually might look like.
The next step is to build your prototype for life. This is a combination of the best bits from the previous 3 timelines. Once you have this prototype plan, take action and execute.
Just kidding. It’s not that simple. Writing a plan like this, sat by yourself is not going to be of much use. What you need to do next is quite simple:
: Get curious, talk to people and try stuff.
- Get curious: Whatever career path you have written, you’re not doing it right now. How do you know it’s right for you? Be curious and do your research. This brings us onto the next step.
- Talk to people: Speak to someone with experience in what you want to do. Nothing beats experience. Don’t just speak to one person either. You need to get varied opinions and curate them together to decide whether this path is right for you. Independent thinking is great but this is a time for interdependence. Asking other people for their opinions and experiences is good but first hand experience is always better, which is why you should try stuff yourself.
- Try stuff: Whatever it is you want to do, you need to find a way to try it for yourself. Maybe through an internship or work experience or from spending time in that environment. This is the best way to see if something is fit for you. Before you buy a car you test drive it. Before you buy a house you view it. Before buying clothes or shoes you try them on. You have to try things out first or you won’t know if it is fit for you.
: Google Research:
What the Average Person in Your Age Group is Doing to Create Their 5 Year Plan?
Example : For Example the Average 25 Year Old-DEBT, How much debt does the average 25 year old have?
Likewise, millennial consumers (ages 25 to 40) have an average of $27,251 in non-mortgage debt, presumably across credit cards, auto loans, personal loans and student loans.
What is the average debt of a 26 year old?
25—34 year olds = $78,396
Credit cards often have high interest rates that can cause debt to snowball. Younger millennials carry an average debt of $78,396, primarily due to credit card balances, according to Experian.
How much debt does a normal person have?
While the average American has $90,460 in debt, this includes all types of consumer debt products, from credit cards to personal loans, mortgages and student debt.
Example : For Example the Average 25 Year Old Retirement Needs $1.8 Million to Retire
Here’s just how much money an average 25-year-old today will actually need by retirement. To reach retirement goals, young adults need to get cracking. A recent study from Wells Fargo found the typical millennial wants to retire by 59 — a tall order. That’s almost a decade earlier than the full retirement age of 67, and today’s retirees likely won’t even live as long as millennials are predicted to.
Figuring out how much money you’ll actually need to retire is no simple feat, and that’s why there’s a whole industry of financial planners and advisors to help you figure it out. Every generation also has their own advantages and disadvantages: For example, fewer than half of millennials said they planned to have children, in one 2012 study. Given how expensive kids are, skipping starting a family will presumably make saving for old age easier.
On the flip side, financial planners agree young workers can expect to receive less support from pensions or entitlements like Social Security. Then there’s the pesky reality that people live longer as time goes on. As we advance toward the finish line, the finish line will keep moving.
Luckily, if you’re only 25 and you start saving now, you’ll have a head start over your peers. That same Wells Fargo study found that only 41% of millennials up to age 35 have begun saving for retirement in earnest.
An early start makes a huge difference: The bank projects that a 25-year-old with a starting salary of just $32,000 a year can get to $1 million by age 65 with a simple savings rate of 5% to start, and small savings rate bumps each year.
But is that $1 million actually enough?
: Final words
No plan for life survives the first contact with reality. The Odyssey plan is a fantastic way to rethink your direction in life, but no plan ever really goes to plan. No one could have predicted how 2020 has turned out, so if you had an Odyssey plan right now, you’d inevitably have to make changes. That’s important to keep in mind when making this plan. It is always subject to change depending on circumstances, environment and your own feelings.
: Professional vs Personal
When doing a life plan like this, don’t forget this is a life plan. Your life is far more than just your career. You have relationships, hobbies, friends, leisure time. So be careful not to focus entirely on the career aspect of things, but to zoom out and look at the whole picture.
Need Help to Design Your Life or Shape Your Destiny?
It’s possible to make life changes and learn how to start over. Don’t become a person who lets life pass them by only to regret it when you’re retired or far into old age. Don’t let your life plateau and waste away in the daily grind for the next twenty years while wasting the potential you still have.
Tired of being held back by your limitations? It’s time to break free from them, and start living out your best days. Contact us now to Shape a New Destiny.
Wishing you prosperity and success, Remember You Were Born To Win !!! : Zig Ziglar
Michael Kissinger and Sydney Reitenbach
Reitenbach-Kissinger Success Institute
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-kissinger-a66b214/
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