An Exercise To Help Determine If Your Life Is Out Of Balance June 26, 2015 01:00
A long time ago, I was an overweight stressed out workaholic. I was living a very "out of balance" life which was reflected in my body and health. From being weight, to high blood pressure, borderline diabetes and sleep apnea, my climbing the corporate ladder and my Type A personality were having an ill effect on the quality of my life.
A counselor and friend of mine, told me to do a pie chart analysis on myself to see where I was out of balance. Basically you create two pie charts. One will reflect 5-8 key areas important in life to you and the percent of the pie you think you should be spending time in those areas. These are unique and very individualistic. What’s important for me may not even be on your pie chart. The second pie chart is a depiction of where you’re spending your time now truthfully. No one has to see these.
When I took a good hard look at my out of balance pie, I realized I had become a workaholic with no balance in fitness or fun. I had let 12-16 hour extremely stressful work days take over my life until I was one heavy set unhappy girl. When I saw these two contrasting pie chart results in front of me, I knew I had to make changes. I saw areas I said where important that I was giving no time to. Areas I said weren't that important to me, I made a 50% slice of the pie. The numbers talk! I used this information to make huge changes in my life. I found another position in the company and committed to working only 40 hrs a week. In fact, I had a boss who insisted I cut back when he saw I was starting to overdo my commitment to the office. In addition, I committed to a life of exercise and fitness and lost weight. I committed to enjoying time with friends and time alone. And I made more time for God and prayer in my journey. I made time for romance. As you can see, knowing where to change can be the first baby step in setting yourself up for change.
Won’t you give this exercise a try today and help yourself?
Pie Chart Balancing Exercise
- Draw 2 large circles on a sheet of paper side by side
- On a separate sheet of paper, list 5-8 broad categories of important things in life to you. For instance, Spirituality, Family/Friends, Work/Career, Fun/Entertainment, Physical Fitness, Intellectual, Alone time
- Draw a dot in the very center of the circle. Now, draw “slices of pie” in the 1st circle that represent the ideal percent of time you should spend in each category. The dot in the center is used to draw your slice.
- Now draw “slices of pie” in the 2nd circle that represent the way you are spending your time now – realistically in each category. If you are not spending time in a category that you should be, this is a very narrow tiny slice of pie on the chart. Or you can leave it off altogether
- Now compare your charts. Where are YOU out of balance? Ask yourself why you’re allowing this. What’s driving the out of balance behavior? Revisit your ideal chart and ask yourself if these things ARE important? If so, what can you change to readjust your current pie slices to align to your ideal ones?
We'd love to hear feedback on how this exercise helped you gain a new perspective. Consider emailing your story to us at firstname.lastname@example.org Subject line: Pie Chart Testimony.