Knowing your Why will also play a big role in developing the action steps under each piece. Why do I read the Daily Word daily? Because it grounds me. Because it gives me calm before I head off into a chaotic world. Why do I meditate? Because it gives me clarity. Because it is in those moments of stillness when I can feel and hear God. Why do I attend church weekly? Because it allows me to connect with other people who share similar beliefs. Because it helps me feel like I am not alone.
The Why is important. If you don't know the reason, what is the point? It is not just about doing but understanding the underlying reason for doing and that circles back to your values. Because, if I value a more meaningful relationship with God, if I value the feeling of community that comes from being with others on the same spiritual path, if I value the knowledge I gain from reading scripture then I will take action because those are my core values. They make up me. They complete me. And, when I am complete that is when I am most happy and satisfied with life.
My bullet points serve as gentle reminders. I do not need to write down what time I will go to bed or what time I will wake up. I know what I want that routine to look like. What these points do for me is remind me on a daily basis of what is important. So, when I want to stay up an extra hour to clean, I remind myself that I am going against what I said was important.
There may be some additional work you have to do on the side. Vitamins is a perfect example. I went to the doctor. I know what my levels are. I also know some of the health challenges I face and had to do research and try out different vitamins to see what works for me. But now I know and will adjust accordingly when necessary. Seeing it written down reminds me everyday that, yes, this is certainly important to me.
I currently manage a high-rise condominium. The safety of the residents that live there are of the highest priority to me. So, when an after-hours call comes in or an emergency comes up I will respond with understanding, control and empathy. There are no action points under this piece specifically, but I did feel it was important for me to recognize that this is a part of my life and an area where I want to continually succeed.
Your action steps may look a little differently. Maybe you want to get more education or certified in a specific study or get a promotion. Those are certainly action items you may consider writing down.
I listed non-romantic and romantic in two different pieces because to me they deserve a different amount of energy and attention and action. Some might not see a difference and put them together - whatever works for you is right.
My action steps under non-romantic were more in the form of communications. My intent is to regularly reach out to my immediate family, extended family and friends that are pretty much like family. I will do this by calling or sending greeting cards or vacationing together and especially by remembering special occasions.
My action steps under the romantic piece of my pie are as it relates to the five love languages, as originated by Gary Chapman. The idea is that you show your partner love in the way s/he wants to be loved. While the principles are easy to understand, putting it into practice and showing your unconditional love, especially during the times in life when you don't feel like it take dedicated work, so much work that to me it needed to be its very own slice of the pie.
This year I want to adopt a dog. I consider this service. When the dog is trained I will take her/him to a nursing home where others can get the benefits that come from looking and touching a dog. I also consider this service. Those are my two actions steps.
I wanted service to be a piece of the pie because I wanted to make sure that I saw it everyday to remind me that service is not just about volunteering to serve food to the homeless on Thanksgiving day, but that service is something I do everyday. Maybe I hold the door open for someone, or let someone in before me when driving or smile while passing someone in the grocery store. Everyday there is an opportunity to show service. For me, I realize that while my definition of service may not be as formal or rigid as others that it does play a significant role in my daily life.
There are so many things I do for fun, I really wanted to define my favorites so that a) I do not get distracted and b) so I know where to put my money.
I really felt like I needed to identify what brings me the most joy, so that I do not feel guilt when I am doing one of these activities. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing something productive at all times. When I have my list of favorite recreational hobbies it gives me permission to do them without the guilt because I know that this is one of the areas that completes me.
Also, some of these activities, like skiing and music concerts, can be expensive. Now, when I spend money on them I do not feel remorse, because again they compete me. They bring out the best in me and when I am at my best I can shower others with love and support them to become their best.
My first passion is writing. I fulfill that passion through this blog. But it does not stop there. I would like to write a few books, do more public speaking, build a brand. I want to invest in real estate, maybe storage unit rentals. I want a small home on the beach down south with a boat. I want to walk the shoreline each morning with my dog and drink really good coffee.
My passion list goes go on, but you get the idea. I wanted passions to be its own piece of the pie because I want to make sure that it remains forefront in my mind. The other areas allow me to be happy in the present, but having these future passions as something I am actively pursing is very exciting.
I currently have a spreadsheet where I track my monthly expenses and bills. I am also actively in a program with a clear timeline for when I will be debt free. I wanted this to be on my wheel because I know that no debt = freedom which is an underlying value that is important to me even if I do not specifically reference it in the wheel.
the importance of the pie
While the pie represents who you are and what you want, you have to accept the reality that the chances of all the pieces being great at the same time is probably impossible.
Focusing all your efforts on just a few pieces is short-sighted. If you put all your focus into love and that love fades, then what you have left is nothing. If you put all your focus into service for others and you becoming physically and mentally drained, then what you have is an unhealthy, unbalanced you. If that one piece falls apart it can feel like the world is crashing down, but if your other pieces are going strong it will be easier to bounce back from a broken piece or two, here and there.
water your garden
Think of each piece of your pie as a flower. The rose bush might represent love. The tulips might represent passion and so on. You have to spend time watering each group of flowers. If you do not water them they will die. If you overwater any particular flower it will drown. Each group of flowers needs your attention, not too much and not too little.
What are your pieces on your Wheel of Life. Please share them with me in the comments section.