Last week during my monthly coaching call with my “Inner Circle People” I talked to them about the Circle of Life. Now aside from being a very cool song from the Lion King (you can thank me for that ear worm later) the Circle of Life, also known as the “Wheel of Life”, is also a, very effective evaluation tool.  I’m not sure where it originated, there are many sources, I first heard about it at a personal development workshop when the topic of “goal setting” came around.

To be our happiest self, the person we are meant to be, we need to be aware of exactly what we want and exactly where we are currently starting.  It is completely unique to each of us and something we need to discover for ourselves.  The Wheel of Life is a fantastic tool to help you pinpoint where you are starting from and what you really want.

Take Your Self- Inventory

Are you aware of exactly how you spend your time in a day? Or in a week? A great place to start is to make a list of the things you do in a day and ideally, how long each of these “things” take for you to do. Keep track of how you spend your time for at least 5 – 7 days in a row if you really want accurate results. If you are looking for “more time in a day” this is an exercise worth doing several times a year.  Below is an example of ways you may be spending your time (not including; sleeping, eating, showering, dressing etc…things we all have to do each day).

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Now you may think you are aware of how you spend your time but when you actually start to track it you may be surprised! If you spend a lot of time on a computer you can use programs such as to really help you to understand, which was “good” time vs “less productive” time. It could be revealing!

What Is Important to You?

Next step is to make a list of things that are important to you.

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What are your priorities in life…the things you want to focus your time on? The truth is, that which we focus on will grow, things we ignore will tend to fade away. This is true of everything from relationships to skills. So what exactly do you want to continue to develop? You need to prioritize and select your eight most important things. Here is a list of suggestions (my eight focuses that I have decided are important to me are in this list below…but you may have others unique to you:)).

Priorities For Your Life

  1. Spirituality: How close is your relationship with God or your guiding higher power?
  2. Heath & Fitness: Without good health the rest of the list is meaningless.
  3. Partner or Spouse: Either your quest to be in new a relationship in the next year or to grow your current one.
  4. Dogs & Their Training: Notice how I didn’t put this one above my husband :).
  5. Relationships: Now this could be split out as individual priorities (such as individuals in your family or close friends) or combined (not suggested) with your partner.
  6. Your Community & Service: How important is sharing or investing in others?
  7. Education: Are you still in school, do you have a desire to continue growing your knowledge base?
  8. Relaxation & Hobbies: I admit for me this is a “priority” of mine that often gets over looked. That is going to change for me for 2015!
  9. Business & Career: Are there changes needed to improve your current situation? Remember nothing stays the same…it is either growing or stagnating and eroding. Do what you love and love what you do!
  10. Money: Are you financially happy? Do you need a plan to eliminate your debt load this year?
  11. Personal Growth: Do you want to be in a different place personally this time next year? What do you want to learn, who do you want to become?
  12. Living Environment: Does where you live or how you live need to become more of a priority?
  13. Networking/Peer Group: Do you want to surround yourself with a new peer group? Network with abundance minded individuals? Sometimes just focusing on a change in your peer group will change all of the above elements without you realizing it. We become the people we spend our time with!
  14. Other: Things important just to you!

From this list you need to pick only eight…eight areas that you think are the absolutely most important to who you are and who you want to be as a human being. It is hard for us over-achievers …we don’t want to narrow it down to eight …but only eight can come along for this next part of the journey.

Mapping Your Priorities

Once you have decided what really is important to you and who you really want to be as a person, partner, sibling, friend, co-worker, dog trainer, musician…etc,  drop those eight focuses onto your Wheel of Life. Add them as labels on your eight sections of the circle.

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Each “slice of the pie” can take only one focus. Below is a “Wheel of Life” you can download (right click to save) or copy to fill in with your own eight priorities.

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Building Your Desired Wheel…Setting Targets For Your Life

Once you have filled in your eight priorities, you need to “score” how you would like to be living your life with these eight priorities as your guide. It is a graph of how you would like to be living your life. How important is each priority to you? You will rank each priority on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being.. you will give this area very little focus or time and 10 being… you want complete focus on this area. If you find one much lower than the others perhaps you should change it out for something else. I didn’t rank any of my priorities as a “10” because a 10 gives you nothing to work towards. Without challenge in our lives we die..10 is not realistic…it is perfection and there is no need for any of us to think that is attainable.
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How Balanced is The Life You Desire?

Now join those dots to see how round is your desired wheel? If it is a circle it will be balanced and roll through life more smoothly.

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Your Life As You Are Living It

Now take a new “wheel” and honestly evaluate where you believe your focus has been on each of these eight “priorities” over the past year. How round is that wheel? Are you leading as balanced a life as you really want?  I will share mine with you below (but I have removed the labels to save myself from a public flogging once you see how truly unbalanced my wheel has become! :))

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Below, is the wheel with the dots joined and the lopsided “current circle” shaded in with a yellow colour.

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Now that wheel is going to struggle moving fluidly isn’t it? Very enlightening.

Matching Your Desire With Your Reality

Now lets overlay my “desired” wheel of life with the wheel representing where my focus has been…weather I intended it or not!

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You can see the area in bright pink are the areas where I need to add more focus in order to reach my “desired” wheel. It is obvious that I am currently not leading a very “balanced” life and the areas I most want to have my focus on are not getting it! So what to do? You either re-consider your “priorities” or your change your focus.

Tweaking Your Priorities For 2015

Now the life you really want is in your focus, the life you are current living should also be very clear. The way to go from one wheel to the nextjohn and susan is by setting very clear, definitive goals. I have always been a very goal oriented person. Actually I have written several articles on the subject. Setting and achieving goals is not only rewarding as you reach those goals…the process is amazing fun. I know I can set goals. I have a fantastic process for doing it for my dog training and for competing with my dogs…I think by looking at my “current wheel” you can pretty much guess which area is the focus for my dog training! Goal setting there is a slam dunk! However,my wheel needs re-shaping and that is why I enrolled in Michael Hyatts “Five Days to Your Best Year Ever” goal setting program. So far I have been VERY impressed and I am not even out of the “bonus section” of the course!

Several of my students and friends have decided they are going to join me and have also purchased Michael’s course. We have set up a Facebook page where we are discussing the program and how it relates to setting dog training goals.

You know the only courses I have ever promoted are ones that I have taught personally. I am sure there are other very worthwhile courses, but I won’t recommend a product unless I have thoroughly investigated the product myself and it is a company and instructor that I just adore!  I can honestly say this is the case with this course. I feel so strongly about each of you joining us that I have put together a couple of extra resources to help everyone who wants to join us to focused with their dog training goals while they are working through the content of “Five Days to Your Best Year Ever’”

Focus on Dog Training and Dog Trialling

Since we have such a big gathering of “like minded dog lovers” gathering on our “Say Yes to Your Best Year Ever” Facebook page, I decided I was going to set up two very cool tools to help everyone reach their dog training goals for 2015.

  1. A template of how I set my dog training goals each year. I will walk you through the process I have used in the past and continue to use today to assess where my focus should be and when I should move on. I have always been a goal-oriented person and have been happy with the outcome of my dog oriented goal setting each year.
  2. A reference guide that shows you how and when I set up my Competition goals. This is related, but it is a very different process for me. Every competition I enter I go in with at least one goal specific for that event along with my “routine” goals for competition.

Our little Facebook community has already been an inspiration to me. This group isn’t intended on tying up anyones time, just meant to be there to bounce ideas off as we all get started working on the content (and bonuses) on Michael’s program. I have signed up to “Best Year Ever” at the higher price point because I want the support for my goals all year round…but you are welcome to join our Facebook group even if you signed up on the lower level. Now Michael has set up his own Facebook group for this program but I decided to set up ours because I wanted a place for all of us DOG OWNERS to gather.sisters

You may be able to tell from some of the pictures on this blog, my goal setting focus for this year is all about rounding out my circle of life. Spending time with loved ones while working towards living a full and happy life. I encourage each of you to set goals, regardless if you do it with us or you go alone. Without a map to follow you are just drifting and are unlikely to end up at any place of purpose.

I feel so strongly about “Five Days to Your Best Life Ever” I wish I could buy a membership for each of you (I am sure John would have something to say about THAT). Think about all you would like to accomplish in 2015 and ask yourself if achieving just your top three priorities would be worth the price of this course?

If the answer is yes than be sure to join our “Dog Friendly” Facebook group once you have signed up for  Michael Hyatt’s program using this link…we can’t share the contents of his program within our FB community unless everyone in there has made the investment in his product first (understandable right?) …then you can fill in this survey and we will send you an invite to our Facebook group!

Today I am grateful for my friend Stu encouraging me to enroll in Michael’s program. Having spent the day with Michael during his recent “live webinar” it is clear he will be a great mentor to help get my wheel more round!