How to Create Your Own Wheel of Life

The Wheel of Life is a tool often used by life coaches. For the first year or so that I used it, I loved it. After that, I got a little restless and decided to mix it up. I created my own Wheel of Life, which is more individual and more fun.

Wheels of Life: What’s Already Out There

If you’ve never seen or used a wheel of life before, a quick google search can show you a number of different versions. I’m partial to the ones provided by The Coaches Training Institute (personal wheel and professional wheel). There’s even a cute little Wheel of Life app.

Creating Your Own Wheel of Life

If the categories provided on the standard wheels of life don’t speak to you, then I encourage you to create your own wheel.

  • What are the important areas in your life? What matters to you?
  • What areas do you want to track and check in on?
  • Pick ten adjectives to describe the life you dream of: perhaps each of those adjectives can become an area on your wheel of life.
  • Pick ten images that capture how you want your life to be. Each image becomes a section of your wheel of life.
  • Pick ten songs that express the different energies you want in your life. Each song can hint at a wheel of life area.

Using inspiration from what’s really important to you, music, images, etc., you have the tools to create your own wheel of life.

My Wheel of Life

My wheel changes over time. I check in on it once a month and journal a bit about each of the areas, where they’re at, and what I’d like to see change.

Right now, my wheel of life categories are:

  • Joy and Doing Good in the World – to what extent is my life’s work bringing me joy and filling me with a sense of purpose, contribution, and service?
  • Debt vs. Savings – what’s the financial picture my partner and I are seeing this month? In which direction is it moving?
  • Sense of Possibility – do I feel like things are bubbling? Am I sensing opportunity? Is there enough space in my life for new ideas to arise?
  • What’s My Part in this Partnership? – how well am I engaging with this ongoing inquiry of what it means to me to be a wife and a partner?
  • Future Self – the future me, the woman I am becoming — where in my life am I sensing her presence? Am I continuing to move towards her essence?
  • Here and Present, Being – am I showing up to my life? Or am I caught up in my thoughts, or caught up in the internet, or otherwise distracted in a way that keeps me from being alive and present to myself and those around me?
  • Energy and Initiating – how are my energy levels? Do I have it in me to be the one who suggests and initiates activities? Am I active, or just reactive?
  • Open, Honest, Loving, Caring Relationship – are my partner and I continuing to create and maintain this gorgeous love of ours?
  • Mystery – am I willing to be surprised? Am I open to the synchronicities, beauty, and mystery around me? Am I engaging with the sacred and the unknown?

For me, the beauty of creating my own wheel of life is that this wheel inspires me and lights me up. It connects me again and again to what truly matters to me right now, and reminds me of what I am creating in the world.

What do you use to remind yourself of what matters to you? How do you engage, and re-engage, with the questions of how you want to live?


Laura McGrath is an Ottawa-based life coach and therapist who works with clients all over the world. If you’d like to have a chat about how working with a coach can help you reconnect to what’s most important to you, Laura is more than happy to pick up the phone and have a conversation. Get in touch.


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?