Oct. 4, 2022 - Not Satisfied with Our Life?

Life Coaching: Not Satisfied with Our Life? Think “Wheel of Life”…

So, now that:

But before writing more about this “Wheel of Life” exercise, I’d like to remind all of us that:

  • We’re all a “work in progress”, learning and understanding ourselves better with time;
  • We all evolve with time, life experiences and the circumstances that surround us, and so do our values, strengths, perspective on past experiences… as well as what we what we want to achieve in life;
  • We all have different perspectives and priorities in life; and
  • Life coaching is about us as the client (the coachee): who we really are, where we would like to be, how we’re going to achieve our goals – and not about someone else’s opinions, views and perspectives!

Now, let’s look at this “Wheel of Life” exercise:

Identify the Most Important Facets of our Life

The Wheel of Life is generally represented as a circle divided into 8 parts, each part representing an important facet of our life. But, because life coaching is all about us, we should feel free to divide that circle into the number of important facets we feel we have in our life – while remembering that:

  • If we have too few, it’s unlikely to represent our whole life and there is a risk of missing on connections between the different parts of our life; and
  • If we have too many, it will be difficult to manage, with the risk of getting lost in the details…

Now, what do I mean by “important facets” of our life?

  • When I say “important”, let’s also think of: key, meaningful, crucial, essential, significant…
  • When I say “facets”, let’s also think of: parts, areas, categories, aspects, elements…

So, what are the most important facets of our life? As I said above, we all have different perspectives that evolve with time, so this exercise is all about the “us” and the “now”.

Facets often used include: friends & family, social life, love, work, finances, health, physical environment (home/workplace), entertainment, personal development, spirituality, personal time, etc. But, again, we should feel free to create our own facets, as long as there are meaningful and of importance to us, right now.

Once we’ve identified these important facets in our life, we can assigned one to each of the parts in the circle – see example below:

As available at: Templateroller Document Editor

How Satisfied Are We with Each of these Facets?

The key word here is “satisfaction” – this is not about the progress made toward where we would like to be, but about how satisfied (content, fulfilled, happy, etc.) we are with where we are now compared to where we would like to be! I think it’s important to highlight this distinction because, after all, we could be satisfied with just a little progress to-date (for example, if we’ve just started working on a goal) or we could be dissatisfied with a lot or progress (for example, if we’ve been working on something for a long time and have hit a roadblock)…

For the purpose of this exercise, satisfaction is graded between 1 and 10, with 1 meaning we’re very unsatisfied and 10 meaning we’re fully satisfied. And we have to grade each and every one of the facets we identified!

First, a few advice:

  • As far as possible, let’s avoid the “5” - the equivalent to “fine”, the neutral / autopilot position (feel free to check out some of Mel Robbins’ “stop saying you’re fine” videos (Mel Robbins - YouTube));
  • Let’s also avoid the “7” – the equivalent to “good enough” without the fulfillment of being in the top quarter of the scale!
  • Let’s stick to whole numbers – there is no point making the exercise more complicated by having “.5” in!
  • Let’s undertake this exercise when we’re in the right frame of mind to carry out a “review” (not under stress or negative feelings, but also not overly excited by some great news just received…), and in surroundings that allow for reflection!

But how do we know our level of satisfaction? Well, this is not an exact science (!), and this is an exercise to help us identify potential goals to work on – not an exam! There is no right or wrong answer!

  • Why not try simply asking ourselves “How do I feel, right now, about this?”, without any tangible criteria?
  • If we need something more tangible, why not ask ourselves “How do I want this facet to look like?” (but no need to go into too many details!) and then assess how satisfied we are with what it looks like now?

The Completed Wheel of Life Exercise

Once completed, the Wheel of Life exercise shows a graphic representation of how satisfied we’re with our overall life, right now. And it’s a great way to identify which facets of our life we want to work on first, especially if we know “something needs to change in our life”, but we don’t know where to start!

Now it’s decision time – what are our priorities in terms of goal setting?

Looking at the completed Wheel of Life, which facets would we like to work on first, which ones come to mind first? These facets may not be the ones we’re the least satisfied with – they should be the ones we most want to improve on (a mixt between the importance of that facet in our life and our level of dissatisfaction with the present status)! Pick 3 maximum, to avoid being overwhelmed!

Next, let’s look at each of these chosen facets in a little bit more details – we’re still looking at goals at a high level, in terms of “feelings” rather than detailed goals with defined steps to reach them:

  • What would success look like, for me?
  • How could I measure this success?
  • How would I know that I have succeeded?
  • What’s stopping me from moving forward with this goal, right now?
  • What would be the impact on me if I wasn’t moving forward with this goal? How would it look or feel like?
  • Having looked at what it would be like to succeed as well as not moving forward, how committed am I to do what it takes to make progress with that goal? – in terms of time, finances, energy, reduced leisure, saying “no” to other opportunities, etc.
  • If I had to give a number to my commitment level, between “1” (no commitment) and “10” (100% committed), what would it be?
  • And finally, how will I ensure that I actually do what I say I would do? Having an accountability partner (such as a close friend or a life coach) is a great way to do this…


Now that we know more about our priority goals, even if only at a high level, we need to identify the most suited support for us to move forward:

  • Is life coaching what we need?
  • Are we ready to invest in ourselves? Yes / No – We must be honest with ourselves here!
  • If yes to both – let’s start our empowerment journey into creating the life / career we want!

Final note: This article describes the Wheel of Life exercise for our whole life, but we should feel free to adapt it to a specific area of our life, such as professional development, subdividing that specific area into more detailed facets. However, we must remember to “link” it to the other facets of our life, because no facet “works” on its own!