“Alice” did not have the best strategy for getting to her destination effectively.
By Christina Bachini
Her conversation with the Cheshire cat confirmed her lack of setting goals...
“Would you tell me, please which way I ought to go from here?”
“Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll”
Today more people realise that setting goals and planning their life, by taking time out to self assess where they are and focus on where they want to go to make sure they are on track. It is common knowledge that those people who write down their goals and aspirations regularly, with timelines for completion live more effectively and happily than those who do not and therefore are inclined to drift from one thing to another.
People, who live proactively rather than reactively, have identified that they feel more in control and therefore feel more content as a result. Do you want to live a life in which you are focused on creating balance and harmony and taking charge of your destiny? - Or do you want to live like a feather in the wind being blown about wherever the winds of change decide to take you? It is time to start now to live the life you are capable of and turn to face the way you are heading!
How to create balance in your life, so you can live with passion and purpose!
Firstly you need self assess exactly where you are in your life and what is working and what is not working so well. This will give you a clear direction for moving forward. Self assessment is a great way of working out for yourself exactly what you need to know, you will do so with no interference from anyone else at this stage, although at some later stage you may want to talk to partners, friends and family about what you have discovered and what you want to do about your findings.
Most people who are involved in self-development will talk about the Wheel of Balance, or the Wheel of Life, quite simply this is a wheel, which asks you to identify just how satisfied you are in 8 major areas of your life. You will take each section and mark yourself out of a total of 100%, each ring represents 10% do colour in the percentage you think represents you in each area.
The balance wheel looks at, eight areas that can clearly be identified for making change, once you have coloured in each section to your satisfaction you will have the opportunity to see those areas which make your wheel of balance, unbalanced, if you are like the majority of people your wheel will be lacking in symmetry.
Having reviewed each area draw up objectives which will support you in creating a wheel that will roll effectively and with ease, remember a wheel that is not round may well get you to your destination but the journey will be both bumpy and difficult.
When setting objectives take the following into account:
Objectives need to fall into the following areas:
Areas for development:
As your wheel will be unique to you then you will start your
self-assessment in the area you would like to create more satisfaction
first. The area you may choose may be the one that you realise you need
to work on the most or it maybe the one that needs just a little
tweaking to create balance. The idea being that to create balance it is
best to work towards getting each area level, so for example you may
choose to tackle your finances first and then find out more about your
life purpose, or you may decide that by finding out more about your
life’s purpose you will be in a better place to tackle your finances.
Do you have the support you need from Family and Friends?
Family life for the purpose of the wheel of balance means a single unit or an extended family group, even if you are living on your own and visiting your family at irregular intervals this would count as family life, it is whatever it means to you.
Most of us would agree that giving and receiving support from our families and friends creates rewards, which are not really measurable, however for most people it is their families and friends that create the most challenges they encounter on a day-to-day basis.
Family life can be the source of both great joy and great stress, and if you are feeling pressure in this area then you can bet your bottom dollar that the stress will be leaking into other areas of your life. When you are feeling great joy, everyone can tell this just by the way you look and the way you walk around greeting people. Your joy shines through, and in the same way if you are feeling stressed or unhappy, even though you may try to hide it, those around you who know and care for you will recognise that there is something bothering you.
By looking on your wheel you can identify how close you are to reaching 100% satisfaction within your circle of family and friends. It is surely worth striving for near perfection in this area.
Firstly it is worthwhile spending a little time to assess the situation
you are currently in, what is the area of most challenge, is it that you
are not taken seriously, that you are not listened too sufficiently,
that you cannot express your needs and wants, do you put everyone else
in the family first and then there is nothing left for you. Perhaps you
do not say what you need or want because you are fearful of the conflict
that might follow.
Think of one thing that you could focus on and think about changing, when you take action on this issue what will be the result/outcome that you want, what are the benefits to you and your family and friends that will move you towards creating perfect balance in this area of your life.
Change needed with family and friends
Are you where you want to be in your Career?
With so much choice around to-day and also more opportunity to develop a successful career, it is hard to believe that in the not to distant past, a career would often start in one company and an employee would remain with the same organisation for the rest of their working life. Happiness and fulfilment were not high priorities, having a job and bring in an income was the focus.
Since that time things have changed and people are looking for well being as well as income, however the statistics seem to show that of all the people gainfully employed 7 out of 10 would rather be doing something else with their time and expertise.
So how is your career going, if you look back to the time when you
started work with all the hopes and fears that new employment brings,
have you stayed on track? Are you doing more or less what you would
choose? Have you kept an eye on your career path and are pleased with
where you have got? These are questions that will begin to help you to
identify what needs to happen for you to move towards more satisfaction
and therefore more balance.
What was your dream? Is it still the same? Firstly spend a little while to review your career and working life, what were the times that you enjoyed most, what were you doing on a day to day basis that made this time enjoyable, perhaps you are no longer doing things that you really enjoy or are you playing to your strengths, skills, abilities, values and beliefs.
If you could design the perfect job for yourself, with all the elements that would really motivate you, what would that job be, and what would you be doing on a day to day, moment to moment basis that makes the idea so compelling and potentially so fulfilling.
To move from a place of having the level of success that you currently enjoy to a place that has complete satisfaction what needs to happen? Design the perfect job, and then identify all the skills and abilities you have, that would support you in achieving your outcome.
What if any are the areas that you would need to develop which would support you on your journey to success?
Change needed with your career
How fulfilling are your Relationships?
How we relate to people as adults is heavily influenced by the nature of relationships we had as we were growing up, who we learned to love and value and the experience of inter relating, which were either positive or negative will mirror how we relate to people we meet and form relationships with.
If you grew up in a very insular family in which little or no interactions with friends outside of the immediate family circle took place and there was little if any demonstrative shows of affection, how you build relationships will be different from someone who grew up in a large extended noisy family in which there was a lot of hustle and bustle, with gregarious and overt shows of affection, it is easy to see how the family history affects how you live to-day.
Expectation about what relationships will provide have changed dramatically, we now want out friends and partners to be open, supportive and interested in what we are doing and how we do it, this way of relating is quite different to a generation ago when men knew their role in life, they went out and worked and brought in an income and had little expectation that they would need to be engaged in the day to day relationships with their family. Women on the other hand were trained to take care of their husband and family and were seen as the support so that ‘their man’ could provide for them.
The quality of the relationships you develop will be based on your history, but there is an increased possibility that expectations have changed based on information in the media and how you have seen family and friends relating to each other. You may be good at building some relationships i.e. those you develop with friends of the same sex, you may trust and have fun with them in ways that you find hard to with possible partners or friends of the opposite sex. All this depends very much on your experiences and what beliefs you have about relationships and their role in your life.
Spend a minute thinking of some of the relationships you are currently involved in, are they rewarding and full of interest and excitement, or do you have a sense that you are not getting as much from them as you would like. Do you give more than you receive? Are you a taker and find it hard to give in return? Do you mix with any energy vampires? (Those people who take and drain you of energy?)
How honest are you within your relationship when things are not as you would like them to be? Do you stay quiet and hope things get better? Do you have the ability to negotiate through difficult things even when there is potential for conflict? Take a long hard look at the relationships you have attracted to you and decide what is the one thing within all your relationships that if it changed, would make them more satisfying and deeper.
Change needed in relationships.
Focus of attention
Outcome for change
How do you relate to money? Do you see it as something to worry yourself about? Do you see it as a comfort and are at ease with the amount you have to spend and save?
When was the last time you took a long hard look at what you have coming into your home and what you spend? Do you keep a regular check and balance or are you often stressed and overwhelmed with a juggling act based on lack of information?
If right at this moment you were asked to give a run down of your financial status, would you be able to do that with certainty and conviction or would you waffle and kind of know but be unsure?
Many people worry about money even when they have no evidence that they need to, they may have a comfortable income, and in real terms have enough put by for a rainy day, yet their relationship to money is unhelpful and possibly unhealthy.
Money is energy and like any other energy if it is not taken care of then it can leak away and be wasted unnecessarily. How often do you go and buy something new to make you feel happy or spend money because for the moment of that exchange there is a feeling of contentment and satisfaction, only to be replaced with fear when the credit card bill comes through the letterbox?
What sort of beliefs do you have about money which support you and what are the beliefs that you have about money that create a negative internal picture? If you are spending more money than is available for spending sooner or later there are some serious consequences to be faced, on the other hand if you are unable to spend money and take care of your well being when you have enough to go around that is also something that can cause stress.
Are you able to treat yourself when you have achieved something, if there is money available can you really enjoy it and celebrate? The more you face up to and understand your financial situation the more power and control you give yourself, which leads to a feeling of being able to make choices about how and what you spend.
Spend some time looking at your financial status; so that you can find a way of bring more balance into how you live your life. Once you have done that, perhaps recorded things and faced up to what is happening, then you will be more in control and find a way forward that will benefit you.
What do you need to do to make your finances work for you?
Focus of attention
Outcome for change
When you are having fun and enjoying life, many things come easily, building a social circle which is related to hobbies or interests becomes a natural part of life and is ring fenced as an important regular activity, so that a social circle may be built up around a hobby or community activity.
Do you have a number of interests and hobbies that you actively engage in? Do you know what you like to do and any free time you have take the opportunity to become involved in an activity that you enjoy?
Often people say things like, “if only I had time I would learn to dance” or “paint” or “join a debating society”, but I am so busy I will have to wait until I retire. Thereby pushing aside things that could bring meaning now, those things that could bring pleasure and joy are shunted into some unknown time in the future that may or may not come.
It is often said that people do meaningless things in order to make meaning out of their life, if this applies to you then it is worthwhile spending some time thinking of all the things you would like to do or would like to try and begin to incorporate some of them into your life on a regular basis.
Sometimes we use the excuse, that we don’t know anyone and therefore would feel uncomfortable joining something new, it is worthwhile remembering that everyone had to cross that bridge at sometime and if you have difficulty taking that step, and then you need to find support to take action to overcome this hurdle.
Perhaps you already have a full social life and your leisure time flies by, you enjoy life to the full, in which case you are very fortunate to have had the ability to create this, however if you have a full life but you are not engaged in things that you really enjoy and want to do then it is time for a review and change. Sticking with the tried and tested is not always a good way forward.
Make an assessment of this very precious part of your life and decide how fulfilled you are, decide if you are fully enjoying your leisure time or does it need an overhaul and a new direction.
Once you have made an assessment allow yourself to make some new choices about what you want and how you will achieve that.
What leisure activities would you find really interesting and fulfilling
Focus of attention
Outcome for change
Many people have decided that they can create a life that would satisfy and fulfill them and have turned to personal development books, courses and coaching to bring about the desired changes. We are learning machines who continually want to make life the best it can be, we are absorbed with opening our minds and hearts to new and interesting experiences which will help us to know ourselves better.
It is now recognised that we are who we are because of our history in the most part and what is fortunate is that we can learn to accept and move forward having healed and dealt with any of the traumas or difficulties we faces when growing up.
It is our thoughts and perceptions that hold us back, not reality, we are the controller of our destiny but we may have some steps to climb or some hills to ascend before we know who we really are and what we really want out of life.
Our beliefs are the unconscious drivers that either support or hinder us, for example, if I believed that short blond women do less well in the job market then I would have to make that belief true and may well do things unconsciously which support that belief and therefore it would eventually become true.
The more we understand and open up our minds to our belief system then the more able we become to challenge our perceptions about ourselves and the world we live in. The stronger your internal belief system is in supporting you, the more successful you will become. By identifying those beliefs that are no longer useful and work towards identifying and adopting beliefs that will support your self worth and self acceptance the happier life will be for you.
For a start think of beliefs that you have about yourself and the world you live in on a day to day basis, do you believe the glass is half empty or is it half full. Do you believe the world is a safe or an unsafe place, what are you basing those beliefs on? I once believed in fairies and Father Christmas and it was with great dismay and denial that I dealt with my brother telling me that they were not true, I had to update and re-evaluate myself and the world I lived in. Some of your beliefs may be out dated and it is time to let them go.
Think of two beliefs that no longer support you, and then think of how life would be if you re-evaluated them based on evidence which is tangible, then think of beliefs that would better support you.
What area of your development do you need to focus on?
Focus of attention
Outcome for change
It its probably useful to think of spirituality as a philosophical perspective rather than a religious doctrine. Some spiritual people have a figurehead that they worship and many do not. For the purposed to this section it would be useful for you to think of spirituality in its widest form, so that you do not limit yourself by thinking that if you do not worshiping a god like figure or have a formal spiritual practice, you are not spiritual.
Spirituality is all around, every time someone has a peak experience watching the sunrise, or looks at a rose and sees the beauty and smells the fragrance, when there is an internal shift in a persons experience and a connection to something beautiful, that for some is a connection to spirituality. It maybe that caring for other members of your society in a way that makes a difference is your connection to spirituality.
Some skiers and people who follow extreme sports may well talk about being in some altered state of consciousness, which is similar to meditation or other forms of spiritual practice.
If you know what your core values are and realise that they fit
perfectly with love and care for others or the world then that could be
termed as being spiritual.
Often we are too busy just to spend a moment of our time paying attention to the beauty of nature and the things around us that could take us into a different space of awareness. We may choose to disconnect from our life force or we may choose to connect to something, which seems to be bigger than us. It really is something very personal, however the more aware you become of either choosing purposefully to find things in your life that connect you to something deeply, whatever that is then it is likely you will make a deeper connection with more meaning to those things that inspire and motivate you.
Think of your daily life and allow yourself to assess those things that
you do which are fulfilling and meaningful, what makes them meaningful
to you and how do you know that they are meaningful, when you think of
those things does your internal world feel different, does your external
world look different.
Perhaps by taking this time you will begin to connect into your spirit and begin to understand the things that really are important to you and what makes them important, once you understand that then you can do more of them.
What are the things that you do that give you that experience of
connecting your mind, body and spirit and recognition that you are
connected to the world around you that supports you doing these things.
How can you do more of them so that you begin to live your life’s
Focus of attention
Outcome for change
When you assess your wheel and realise that you have the ability and opportunity to change those things that do not support you on your journey you will know what to do.
You may realise that life is a bit of a challenge and seek the support of a life coach or someone who has the expertise to help you get on track and really live the life you were born to live.
You may have the ability on your own to take the steps that will bring
about the change that will take you to the next stage of your journey.
Remember you are on a journey, nothing remains the same and you can either drift with the journey and take life as it comes or take the opportunity to make choices and take actions that keep you in charge.
What ever you decide to do will be right for you and I wish you luck in creating the life you want to live and not live the life that serves itself up to you on a plate without even seeing the menu.
Embrace and enjoy your journey
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