Designing the Life You Want to Live

It’s 2022 and life is busier than ever. As society normalizes after the COVID pandemic, people all over the world are resettling back into a life of commutes, time in the office (and away from home), and the hustle and bustle of re-entry into society. Many people are realizing that things might feel a little bit out of balance. 

With all the demands on our time and attention, it is easy to neglect the important areas of our lives that bring meaning and fulfillment. Perhaps it’s time to evaluate the effort and results you’re experiencing in all aspects of your life, so that you can reenter “normal” life with a solid plan and a more secure future. No matter how accomplished or happy you are in your life, there are always areas that could use some improvement. Steven R. Covey wisely said, “The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man” [and woman]. 


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The Wheel of Life

There are books, personality assessments, retreats, and YouTube videos that all promise to help you look inside yourself, evaluate how things are going, and rebalance your life.  However, nothing will lead to more personal insight for you than an introspective, contemplative evaluation with a tool like the Wheel of Life. 

The Wheel of Life is derived from a concept in Tibetan Buddhism but has been adapted to suit the modern professional.  It is a powerful exercise designed to reveal areas where one needs improvement or focus.  It helps us set goals and encourages us to design ways to accomplish them. The Wheel is designed like a pie: each “slice” of the pie represents a different category of our lives. You can find a blank Wheel of Life here.

The Wheel of Life is highly useful because it is personalized to you, your needs, and your goals. Here at Blankinship & Foster, we have found great success with our clients when we use a Wheel of Life exercise at the beginning of our relationship and when clients are going through major life events. The tool can help you envision the type of life you want to live. We can get to know “where you are” relatively quickly and based on your own honest assessment. The Wheel offers a 360° view of your current life situation. It can help shine a light on what is actually going on in all areas of your life and then compels you to compare your current status to what you really want to see or achieve for yourself. 


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How to complete the exercise

For those of you interested in going through the exercise on your own, here’s how it works! You’ll give each category a rating of 1 to 10, with 1 indicating no satisfaction and 10 indicating the highest degree of satisfaction. The categories, or pie slices, are as follows:

  • Health
  • Family
  • Community
  • Recreation
  • Inner Growth
  • Home
  • Work
  • Finances 

Here are some questions to help you evaluate your Wheel of Life after you’ve assigned each category a rating.

  1. Why did you give yourself this score in this category?
  2. What is the ideal score for this category?
  3. What score do you want to achieve after one month, after three months, after six months, and after one year?
  4. Which categories are of most importance for you to achieve balance?
  5. Are there any surprises when you look at your Wheel of Life? Which category surprises you the most? Why?
  6. What changes can you make to get to a score of 10 in a particular category? 


Invest $100K the Right Way

At some point, you may find yourself with $100,000 in the bank and questions on how to invest it.

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Once the Wheel of Life is filled out, it is easy to quickly see where imbalances lie. We can help you visualize your ideal future, recognize areas for development, and take the steps needed to bring you closer to your goals. We can help you design the life you want to live. 

As Tony Robbins says, “Too many people are caught up with making a living and not designing their life.” Though financial stability is important, and it’s what we focus on the most here at our firm, we also know that money is a tool and not an end in itself. As a fiduciary financial advisor, we always have your best interest in mind, and we want to help you use your resources to create the life you want to live.

About Teresa Kakadelas

Teresa Kakadelas, CFP®, CDFA™ is a lead advisor and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Teresa heads up the firm’s Financial Planning Team, continually identifying and helping solve financial planning issues for clients. Teresa started the firm’s “Wise Women” luncheons, designed to help clients with financial education. Teresa and her family live in Carlsbad. She enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her family.

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