The Simple But Powerful Exercise For Finding Balance
Balance (n): a condition in which elements are equal or in the correct proportions. Balance is that elusive thing we're always aiming for to help us stay afloat and steady in the craziness of life. But the thing about finding balance is that it's a journey not a destination. Even if you stand still, new waves will challenge you. And just like walking on a tight rope, with each new step we take through life we need to work to find a new balance. That's why balance in our lives is something we need to regularly check-in on. The Circle of Life exercise I'm sharing today is a simple but powerful tool to identify the areas in your life that are being a little neglected so that you know where to direct your energy for greater balance and happiness.
I first learned about the Circle of Life exercise through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), where I received my certification in health coaching. My experience through IIN was incredible. It not only gave me tools to be a more effective health coach, but it also helped me to grow personally. I have since modified and adapted their original exercise a little to suit my clients best, but the general concept is the same. It may seem silly or simple, but it truly is an effective exercise. The first step to achieving greater balance is to identify the aspect of your life that's throwing things off kilter.
The Circle of Life
Since life and circumstances are ever changing, I recommend doing this exercise at least every 3 months as a way to check in with yourself.
The circle of life has 12 spaces. I have included a long list of different aspects of life that you can choose from at the end of this post. Choose the top 12 that you most want to focus on in your life and write one in each space.
For each category, place a dot to represent your level of satisfaction in that category. For example, if you are completely dissatisfied with the role fitness has in your life right now the dot would be placed near the center of the circle. If you are completely satisfied with your friendships, place the dot at the outside of the circle.
Now draw a line to connect all of the dots. In an ideal world, all of your dots would be on the perimeter and you would have a full circle. Likely, you'll see some areas that are preventing your circle from being full. Those are the areas I encourage you to think about this month (and beyond). What can you do to start making that circle feel more full?
Let me know what's throwing things out of balance for you right now. Often I forget to do this exercise for several months. Each time I revisit it, I find it helps to refocus me and serves as a reminder of the things that are truly important in life. Don't feel discouraged if your circle isn't full! The goal isn't to maintain a full circle throughout life, it's to be in tune with where you're at so you always know where to direct more of your energy to work towards that elusive balance.
Circle of Life Category Suggestions:
- Physical Activity
- Home Cooking
- Home environment
- Social Life
- Nourishing food
- Personal Development
- Self care