Let us say, for argument’s sake, that you have already written down a few concrete goals. That is Excellent!
Now here’s a question. Once you achieve those goals, will you enjoy happiness in all areas of your life?
My guess would be probably not in all areas of your life.
Living a balanced life is important because then we can be more content, more alive, and enjoy each day better. Living a balanced life means keeping balance in physical and spiritual aspects. Let’s look at your current state of affairs to determine which other goals you may wish to consider to bring that balance and happiness. Let’s gain clarity in your life right now.
Here is an excellent way to help you measure your success (happiness) in several fields:
Read the paragraphs below. Rate your current state of affairs on a scale of 1 to 100 (1 is low, 100 is high), asking yourself how satisfied you are with:
- your finances and career,
- family and home,
- community and charity (your social side),
- spirituality and ethics,
- physical well-being and health,
- mental and educational levels.
Consider your answers carefully.
Finances and Career.
Feeling happy with your career or business is vital to obtaining happiness in other aspects of your life. Possessing a secure financial situation offers a reserve essential to feeling happy about yourself.
Are you financially secure? Are you happy with your career, job, or business, or are you suffering in this area? Have you achieved a satisfactory standard of living? How much is your income/monthly cash flow? How much do you save from there? Do you have any passive income streams? How much are your current assets? Have you created a stable financial situation where your personal assets grow monthly? Have you planned for your children’s education? What about your own retirement? Are you achieving your best?
My score ______
Family and Home.
Friends and family give us a sense of belonging and help us cope with the world’s challenges.
One’s spouse’s love is a precious gift that continually needs to be worked on to grow. Raising a family can be a rich and rewarding experience and challenge. Establishing and preserving robust and productive family relations nurtures our self-esteem.
Do you have close, loving family relationships? Have you realized your dream when it comes to your household and loved ones? Do you have a romantic partner? Do you spend quality time with your friends?
Be sure to use your standards rather than society’s standards. Have you forgiven anyone who has hurt you, and have they forgiven you? Do you talk with your family freely and openly? Do you thank each other for the things you do well, or do you sabotage each other?
My score ______
Community and Charity.
We are a part of a community. Having healthy, flourishing relationships and skills to get along well with others is crucial to experience strong self-esteem. We crave to belong. We need to belong.
Do you make contacts easily, and do they help build your self-esteem, or are they people who drain your self-esteem? Is there at least one other person with whom you have deep connections? Do you have many rewarding, close, and loving relationships? Do you have interests outside your career and family (for example, sports, theater, outdoor events)? Are you happy with your contributions to charities and to the community you belong to? Do you have a good social circle? Friends to hang out with, talk to, confide in, have fun with? Are you meeting new people? Have you found your life partner/soul mate? Is this a fulfilling relationship? Are you giving back to society and the world?
My score ______
The spiritual dimension is your center, your commitment to your value system. Good spiritual health inspires and uplifts you.
Do you take time regularly to read uplifting books or listen to personal development audios? Do you have your own clearly defined, written vision for what your life will be like, or do you merely go along with someone else’s vision for your life? Are you in touch with your values, with your abilities, and with your life purpose? Are you living up to those personal values? Is religion important to you? If so, are you happy with the way you are practicing your faith?
My score ______
Positive, vibrant confidence comes from taking the best possible care of our health. Physical health involves caring for your body— choosing the best foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. If we don’t have a regular exercise program, eventually we will develop health problems. A good program builds your body’s flexibility, strength, and endurance. A new program should be started gradually, in harmony with the latest research findings.
How satisfied are you with your current physical health? Do you exercise regularly? Is your lifestyle healthy? Do you have enough sleep/rest? Are you exercising regularly? Are you fit enough to do everything you want to do? Is your diet leading to ideal health, or do you regularly eat junk food?
My score ______
You must keep your mind sharp by studying, writing, organizing as well as planning. Read frequently and open yourself to great hearts and minds.
Did you carry out the educational goals you set for yourself following high school graduation? Are you still growing and learning? Do you regularly invest in your continuing education? Do you take the time to do the hobbies and activities that you love to do? Are you achieving your highest potential? Are you the best you can be?
My score ______
Emotional well-being involves how we think, feel and behave. Nobody feels full of joy, thinks positive thoughts, and displays prudence all the time, but if you’re in a good mood, it’s much easier to enjoy life.
Are you content with the way you treat, respond to, and interact with others? When you’re alone, are you content with the way you think of others and yourself?
My score ______
Individuals change their world to reach a desired state. Individuality is about being able to enjoy your interests and point of view freely.
Are you happy with your personal space? Do you feel there is room beyond your personal space for your individuality? Do you feel liberated? Do you feel free to choose the outlook or lifestyle you want? Do you think you are free to stand by your convictions? Do you respect and appreciate yourself? Do you love yourself? Do you value what you do?
My score ______
Next, record your answers on the following circular chart by putting a dot on each respective category’s spoke.
Assign the innermost notch on the Wheel a value of 0 and the outer ring a value of 100. After you have marked all the spokes, connect your dots, creating your own Wheel.
Figure: Blank current state of affairs
For example, it may look something like the example figure below:
Figure: Example current state of affairs
This figure shows you a visual representation of a current state of affairs.
You can color the inside of the area marked by the thick line with a solid color if you prefer.
(These figures are inspired by the Wheel of life (Bhavacakra), an instructional figure in Buddhism.)
Now it’s your turn. Are you living a balanced life?
Figure: Your current state of affairs
The outcome of your current state of affairs shows your level of satisfaction with various aspects of your life. The more solid color there is, the more balance you have, and the happier you are. If your circle is lopsided, the low scores reveal areas on which you might want to focus your goal-setting efforts. If your Wheel is round but small, you may want to set goals in all areas to expand your Wheel and, therefore, your overall happiness.
Where might you benefit from making changes? Consider your low spots, the areas you are least satisfied with.
To the goals you already drafted for yourself, add the areas you want to improve on (I want to improve on:)
Congratulations! You now have the beginnings of a few or several goals you would like to achieve.
The Wheel can serve as a focal point from which you measure your change. I recommend you take a look at your state of affairs regularly. You can use the information your Wheel provides to see in which areas you are showing improvement and where you may want to put in some extra work.
The “wheel” we used in our example is just one of the many ways to illustrate our point. You do not necessarily have to work with the eight corners used in this example.
For instance, you could use others like:
Is your work-life fulfilling and nourishing? Do you enjoy your work? Are you currently on an excellent career path? Have you got just as much energy at the end of the day as you would at the start?
Are you free from financial stress? Are you satisfied with your current income? Do you feel you are on the right track?
How do you feel – physically? Do you think you’re fit? Are you receiving helpful care for whatever health challenges you experience?
Are you exercising regularly and eating for sustenance/pleasure and not emotional comfort?
Friends & Family
How do you rate your relationship with your friends and family? Do you have a group of friends that stimulate you? Do you like being with your loved ones, and do they support you?).
Relationships are defined as your partner or loved one. Of course, if you are happy being single, then your relationship is measured in that regard. Are you pleased and excited with your relationships? Are you loved by those who mean the most to you?
Are you living your life, not the life someone else designed for you or expected of you? Do you feel fully alive and full of energy? Are you evolving, not just improving, because you continually experiment? Have you done or are you doing any courses/coaching to improve yourself?
Fun & Recreation
Do you spend your leisure time enjoying your interests? Is your time off a joy to you? Are you having fun? You do take time off – don’t you? Are you engaged in leisure outside work? Do you have a plan to go to a place you have always wanted to go to?
Are you 100% satisfied with your physical surroundings? Do you live where you want? If in your control, is your work environment what you want?
This representation, using the form of a wheel (divided into eight parts), gives you a snapshot of how you’re doing. Are you living a balanced life. Are you happy with your current state of affairs? It is essentially a circle divided into segments that represent your different areas of life. You can use any number of segments you like. For instance, not all slices have to play an essential role in your life right now. Choose the various aspects of your life that are important to you now. You could even focus on fewer than eight areas. For instance, only 3 or 4 you think are most important to you at any given time.
Figure: Your current state of affairs, Focusing On 3 Topics