Thursday, 29 September 2011

Life Circle - The Wheel of Life

Life CircleAre you ready? Off we go. It's going to be one hell of a ride! I hope this week's task was thought-provoking and useful to you. What you have probably found is that one area you're particularly unhappy with can have knock-on effects on other areas of your life, and also, that this exercise provides a focus for your thinking about what you want to change. You already know these things about yourself but they are there in the background. Most of the time, this exercise brings those issues into the foreground and they give a clearer indication of what it is that needs to change first that will have a huge effect on other areas of your life - what they call a quick win, although some solutions are not so quick, I'll admit.

Anyway, here's my Wheel of Life and some comments about the scores I want to talk about. One of my self-imposed rules on this blog is not to talk about my relationship, so I will skip talking about that on here. As I have said before, only share with your blog readers and other Life Circlers what you feel comfortable sharing. Excuse the hamfisted drawing but I wanted to use the same image! The exact scores I've given are below.

Fun and Recreation - 6. I'm generally happy with this area of my life; blogging events seem to provide plenty of opportunities to do things for me. What limits us as a family is money, so I'm sure I'd be happier if we had more disposable income and felt we could treat ourselves every now and then. When your "treat" is a coffee out, you know that you're limited in cash.

Career - 6. I started a business doing VA and business support work about 6 months ago and I've been building up working with one particular client. These last few months have taught me two things: 1) that I love doing it and want to do more but 2) I need to earn more money for the sake of our finances. I need to do more work for my existing client and find some new ones as well. I'd like to use some of the skills I learned in my 22 years in the IT sector, partly because I know that will pay more than the VA work but also to keep my knowledge current. For most of my working life, I loved working in IT - it just became quite family unfriendly when I had the children and with my husband working shifts, childcare would be quite complicated to arrange unless it was fully flexible.

Health - 7. Good but room for improvement. I'm much fitter than I was this time last year, thanks to regular exercise classes. But my goal is to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes (which are size 12) and I'm still a size 14.  I don't know how to attack this - I seem stuck but I excuse it by saying I'm having a life and not doing faddy crash diets.

Personal Development - 9. I'm actually happy with this area of my life, mainly because I feel like I learn something new every day, whether it be about my work, blogging, or parenting. I don't feel the need to go and get any more qualifications (and anyway, I couldn't afford to take on a course) and I just feel that I have a learning mentality so I will always be looking to learn new things.

Friends and Family - 7.5 I have a good set of friends. I sometimes wish I had a few more friends locally that I could meet up with more regularly for coffee and I feel I am in transition from one set of friends to another with the move to school. I have the odd issue with family that I wouldn't dream of discussing here but they are mostly outside of my control so there is no point working on it.

Environment - 6. I love our home, I've lived here for 12 years and have good neighbours. It needs a few things doing to it, but once again we are back to putting it off for lack of money. Over the next few years, we'll need to decide what we want to do about secondary schools which may involve moving. I'm not saying we will - but most of the children's schoolmates live within the catchment of a different secondary school to us. But I'm well aware things can change in the 4 years before we have to decide what to do. And I would just like the house to be less cluttered and tidier, we're overrun with toys.

Money - 4. For me, this is the key area. I've managed to spin my redundancy money out from 2009 but it's fast running out. I'm good with money so I try to budget but I know our outgoings are bigger than our income. I have everything compared to down to the cheapest going - it's not that we are excessively spending, it's just that it all adds up. I know that we cannot live on my husband's salary alone and the money has given us a breathing space until now. We still have a bit but I have one eye on it and watching my balance drop alarmingly is terrifying, for me anyway. Apart from the mortgage, I have no major debts but that could easily change if I don't start earning more money. I don't ask for much - I don't want to be a millionaire, but I feel much more comfortable when I don't have to think about every single purchase I make, which is what I'm having to do now. I'd like us to be able to go on holiday yearly, but I can't see that happening next year at the moment. And as you can see from the other scores, it's impacting on  Environment, Career (which are interchangeable really - to resolve the money issue, I need to do more work), and Fun & Recreation.

It's obvious that there's lots of things I'd like to improve but they are all in balance and I'm reasonably happy with them, but the money situation is impacting some of them and that area is what I need to focus on first and foremost to see the biggest improvements in in the short to medium term, in conjunction with developing my career and business.

So, now it's your turn. If you haven't done already, then complete your Wheel of Life, write what you've learned from the exercise, include the badge so others can find the rest of the posts in the Life Circle, publish your post then link it up below so others can have a read and offer their support. I'm hoping the Linky will stay open as long as possible so please feel free to come back to join in at any time. Don't feel obliged to leave a comment after linking up but obviously, I would welcome feedback from the rest of the Life Circle. (By the way, where it says your name, feel free to use your blog title rather than your actual name!)

If you are joining in with Life Circle, please do read some of the other posts if you can. It doesn't have to be all of them - 2 or 3 will do - but you might want to visit more for this week, in order to introduce yourself to other people joining in with the Life Circle and to get to know them. Life Circle isn't about getting traffic, it's about mutual support, so please try not to just visit the bloggers linking up first. I will endeavour to read as many posts and comment on them as possible but I may be restricted for time. The badge code, by the way, is here, but I'm hoping to place it on a page on this blog soon.

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