Overcoming Inertia

The Wheel of Life helps people articulate areas where they would like to see something shift. The wheel can provide a starting point for coaching, and a way to assess progress. Sometimes one area on the wheel serves as a leverage point: directing energy to that area leads to shifts in other areas of your life too. I felt this wheel effect a few weeks ago while working with my own coach.

Inertia was threading through many areas in my life, I told her. I couldn’t get started on one of my work projects, I intended – but never got around to – practicing the piano, and I hadn’t been to a yoga class in a month. I needed to break the inertia.

My coach pointed out that starting movement in one area would lead to ripple effects. She asked me which area I wanted to get moving first, and I chose physical inertia. A half hour later, I had committed to asking a friend to join me twice a week for a morning walk to kickstart my day and get me feeling that my life was in motion.

It was such a small step. It was even an easy step. And it has broken inertia in multiple areas for me. Once I started moving, I basked in the feeling of motion. I got the outside air and sunshine that I had been craving. My feeling of connection and friendship shifted, as I shared conversation twice a week with a good friend. I started arriving home from my morning walks ready to get to work and with the momentum to tackle projects. I started walking every day, and going back to yoga classes and getting back to running started to seem like possibilities again. I even resumed my piano practice, much to my teacher’s relief.

The funny thing is, I had been avoiding exercise and social time because I was worried they would take time away from what I thought I needed to focus on: “getting stuff done”. But once I started moving in one area of my life, I started getting more and more done across all areas. A few weeks after feeling completely stuck, I now have flashes of unstoppability.

Have you checked out your wheel of life lately? Which area would you like to see shift? Where will the leverage point be for you?

Laura McGrath, CPCC, is a Toronto-based co-active life coach who helps smart people to live from their hearts. Let's talk! You can subscribe to Ready for Change news to receive thoughtful notes on personal growth, and you can contact Laura to find out if coaching is right for you.