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Have you ever come across the Wheel of Life exercise? The idea is simple, you draw a circle and divide it into 8 sections. Every section is a resource that gives you energy. It can be money, relationships, career, health, recreation, friends, self-development or hobbies.  Or spirituality, creativity, etc.

You put marks on the scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is the centre of the circle and 10 is its edges. You then shade the areas depending on how many points you got in each section.

Finally you connect the dots and get something crooked like this.

balance

We created the Welltory Wheel of Life for one of our users using their data. The closer your circle is to the perfect shape, the more balanced your life is. Did you put 9-10 in each section? Congratulations!

Teach us how to get to that point.

Business trainers, life coaches, psychologists and personal development gurus like this technique. It is visually intuitive and brings you to the present moment, you are aware of where you are and what you have. However, 83% of people get a crooked circle.

At Welltory, we also have our own Wheel of Life. We use facts and numerical data of our users’ lifestyle to create it. When a person succeeds in all spheres of life their lifestyle is as balanced as possible.

But why is it so hard to keep that balance?

When we are busy improving something, the other resources shrink.

Let’s take Peter, for example. Peter is a tire business owner. He doesn’t sleep enough, go to the gym and have time to spend with his wife. Crisis, rivals, sales decrease, staff turnover — these things are more important for him. But one quiet Wednesday evening Irene, Peter’s wife, suddenly says something like this, “We have nothing in common. You don’t care about me.”

At this point Peter is puzzled, “What do you mean, honey?” “I work so much. I gave you a present that cost 10K!”

welltory, Peter

Ok, this is a boring story, but it’s about differences in perception. Let’s get back to our subject, a balanced life.

Is that even possible?

When you look up your friends’ Facebook profiles, you see that they all travel, go to the gym, find time to read and start a dozen new businesses a year.

This is where you might get discouraged, but we understand, don’t we, that they go through the same hardships as we do. It’s just that some people manage to keep going and grow personally  while others create an impression, only a beautiful cover. Everyone has problems, yea yea, Capitan Obvious.

There are also successful characters. They inspire. Richard Branson, who manages to do everything: launch new projects, put on a flight attendant’s suit just to have a fun flight and have a vacation with his family on his own island.

His motto is inspiring, “Screw It, Let’s Do It”.

welltory, Richard Branson

And that’s where the mind trap lies.

Why can’t you reach the balance?

A frequent mistake is to do everything at once. I’m writing down my goals on Sunday.

I am going to be super productive next week. I’ll go to the gym three times. I’ll complete all the unfinished projects at work. I’ll go to a doctor, my heart doesn’t feel great. I’ll stop drinking coffee (by the way, you can drink it, harmful effects of caffeine are exaggerated).  And I’ll stop drinking alcohol with my friends on Saturday too. From now on — healthy life!

You know what’s next, right? Next Saturday you can find me in a pub washing my guilt away. Because I went to the gym only once and got more stuff to do at work and my self-confidence dwindled.

I’m sure to many readers this in a way seems familiar.

We are all human and go through the same things. Motivation, willpower, relapse — all these fancy words. I think many of you have come across a situation like this one: you’ve been trying to keep a diet year after year and then you find yourself eating pizza at three in the morning. Losing weight without effort is a myth!

welltory, losing weight

So what do you do?

Focus on one thing at a time. You should pay greatest attention to priorities.

Yes, you want everything at once but in that case a relapse is inevitable. The brain will resist any drastic change. If you try both doing sports in the afternoon and painting in the evening, you’ll soon get back to your habitual behavioral pattern.

With a clear focus on certain things you can achieve results as soon as 6-12 months. Set a concrete quantifiable goal which you want to reach. It’s ok if it’s super ambitious.

It’s important to have a goal no matter what that goal is. Something out there that you are pushing for, stretching for.

— John Girard CEO, Clickability

What to do with the desire to do other things

Admit that you won’t manage everything at once. Develop one sphere, something that’s important right now. Gradually, when you start succeeding in it, do other things.

No one can juggle 4 or 5 balls at the same time without training. Train and add “balls” one at a time.

welltory, juggling Juggling and keeping a balance — you need to learn step by step.

Yes, there are people who manage to do more. But that means that they already have skills in other areas. They keep the balance, it comes as you progress. If you want to do something from scratch, you’ll need to achieve first results.

What heppened to me was an example of the American Dream. An example of getting your butt off the couch and working hard.

— Bruce Willis, actor

Universal Cycle of Change

It looks like this:

Intention → goal → action → regress → conclusion → action → success

I wasn’t 100% correct here. There can be more tries and regress periods, but you’ll reach your goals if you learn not to take defeat as failure. Analyse and move forward.

Genuine motivation

Someone wants to look better. You can eat some cake — momentary pleasure – right now, but you won’t get rid off 30 kg in a month. The person trains really hard, burns a lot of calories and wants to reward themselves. That’s how false benefits replace motivation. Cake becomes a reward, which moves you away from your goal.

If you eat sweets once a week, it will help you not fall into relapse and won’t affect your shape. But if you eat sugar each time you go to the gym, then you’ll have to buy clothes of a bigger size.

That’s why it is important to ask yourself, “Does this push me forward or back in achieving my goal?”

No instant results

Set your mind for a marathon, not a 100-meter run. You need time for any qualitative change. The key word here is qualitative.

You can starve and lose weight. But that will be harmful for your stomach, skin and hair. You can sleep 4 hours a day, stop meeting with your friends and work non-stop. You’ll succeed, but recovering will be very difficult.

“Where do you keep your money?”
“In the bags.”
“Which bags?”
“The ones under my eyes.”

— National joke

Distribute your resources laying emphasis on priorities. If you use up all your energy at the start, you’ll be the last one to cross the finish line.

welltory, marathon In order to complete a marathon it's important to run at a steady pace.

Start slowly, pick up the pace and keep it steady. It’s better to spend 10 minutes doing exercise every morning than exhaust yourself at the gym at one go and then resist going there each time.

It’s better to do less, but regularly

If you do something for 30 minutes everyday, it will be 182.5 hours a year. If you don’t do anything, then you usually get a lot of illusions like new year resolutions.

“But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano / act / paint / write a decent play?”

“Yes . . .  the same age you will be if you don’t.”

— Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

I’ve been meaning to learn Spanish for 20 years, to be able to read and watch movies and talk to people when I travel. And there’s plenty of information in Spanish on the Internet. I was able to more or less understand it after 3 months of short daily classes. 20 years and only three months, wow!

Turns out the easiest way to improve your life balance in each sphere is this:

  • Upgrade your character (yourself) gradually concentrating on one thing
  • Add new goals one at a time
  • Don’t worry, regress and relapse is something everyone experiences, it’s inevitable
  • Ask yourself everyday, “Does this push me forward or back in achieving my goals?”

Don’t expect results in a month, get ready for a long way and do small things but do them regularly. You will realise that the road you’ve taken is shorter than you initially thought.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

– Chinese saying attributed to Lao Tzu

Maybe you have already tried improving your lifestyle many times but gave up each time. That’s understandable, I am like that myself. During these moments you need emotional support, and you don’t always get it from your relatives. Another problem is that when you quit smoking or decide to lose weight or start doing sports, it’s hard to see just how good it is for your health during the first months.

The easiest way to meaningful change is the individual approach.

There is no universal pill or diet. We are all very different. Support on your way to changing your lifestyle, analysis of your habits, confirmation of your achievements in numbers — that’s the foundation that will help you feel better and become happier.

Take the first step, become a better version of yourself..{:}

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