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The Swiss army knife of reflection tools

August 11, 2021

How are you with birthdays? I ask because, at the time of writing, I’ve got one coming up next week. For me, birthdays are a naturally reflective time, a good prompt to stop and check you’re happy with the path you’re on. They’re like the life equivalent of the annual work appraisal. Look back, take stock, look forwards was the structure I used to teach staff about appraisals when I was in my training role.

Holidays serve a similar purpose. Stepping away from the day to day brings new perspectives and with them, the idea of other possibilities. We’re reminded of a slower pace of life, one where relaxing with people and activities we love takes priority. At times like these, who hasn’t pondered the feasibility of abandoning your desk and moving to the coast!?

This sort of a nudge coupled with the ‘new term, new start’ feeling of September just around the corner, means people often feel restless as the summer holiday season draws to a close. But it’s not always easy to put your finger on what you want to change.

Turn restless thinking into purposeful action

This is when I recommend a popular coaching exercise based on Paul Meyer’s Wheel of Life. I call it the Wheel of Anything because it’s so versatile; it’s like the Swiss army knife of reflection tools! It turns a vague sense of dissatisfaction into clear, visual pointers about what to work on.

What I love about this exercise is its adaptability. My husband and I use it at the start of each year to decide our shared priorities for the coming months. I use it to think about my health, family relationships or parenting. I’ve a version for clients who run their own business and want to reflect on the strengths they have, and the areas they might need to develop, to help them succeed. You could even use it with your kids to help them talk about their different school subjects and how they feel about them, to get beyond the blanket ‘meh’ response! 😆

Download the Wheel of Anything (you’ll also find it among my resources) and see how useful this little tool is for appraising all sorts of things. The download contains a template and instructions but email me if anything’s unclear or you’d like suggestions on how to get the most from it. I’ve included possible headings for reviewing satisfaction with your job, your health as well as life in its entirety.

I’d love to hear how you find this, especially if you customise it for a particular aspect of life. Feel free to share it with anyone who’s pondering their life at the moment.

About me

I’m Celia Clark. I’m a career development coach based in the dreaming spires of Oxford. I help you think clearly about your job, in all its ups and downs, so you can be happy and successful in your work.

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