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colorful autumn leaves

How to Know If It’s Time for a Fresh Start

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: Retinafunk
Is your Wheel of Life giving you a bumpy ride?

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

— Albert Camus

The lazy, crazy days of summer have evaporated – poof, they’re gone!  Bye-bye summer.  And now we’re counting down to the end of a decade with these last few months of the year.  Oh my.

September = Time for a Fresh Start?

Author and speaker Julie Winkle Giulioni of recently acknowledged the change of seasons and then posed a challenge:

The final weeks of summer are frequently an opportunity to regroup and plan for that September fresh start that seems still to be imprinted in us from our school days.  What will you do differently to drive results as you enter the final months of this year?

Great ideas! Autumn is definitely the time for year-end sprints to wrap up this year’s goals.  AND it’s also a great time to plan for a fresh start.

Balancing the Wheel

Just as you get the tires on your car balanced every so often, September is a good time to assess the satisfactions and dissatisfaction you are experiencing in your life.

Start by getting yourself a copy of the “Wheel of Life” chart from DesignArounds.  And while you’re out there, take a look at their example of one person’s reflections regarding their satisfaction (or lack thereof) in each of the eight parts of their “whole life”.  Then, using a blank Whole Life Wheel, follow their directions below (which we have excerpted here for your convenience):

  • Taking the center of the wheel as 0 and the outer edge as an ideal 10, rank your level of satisfaction with each life area by drawing a straight or curved line to create a new outer edge.  The new perimeter represents your Wheel of Life.
  • [Ask yourself:] How bumpy would the ride be if this were a real wheel?
  • Start to look at areas where you want to improve your level of satisfaction and think about what you might do to accomplish that.

But Wait!

Bumpy ride or not, don’t be too quick to decide to realign your Wheel of Life:

  • Sometimes things need to be a little out of balance while we experience new growth. Often our most exciting and exhilarating rides are bumpy and uncertain.
  • Sometimes we choose the rougher path because our lives are just too darn smooth and mellow and we want a bit of shaking up.
  • Sometimes we choose a more calm and peaceful journey because we need respite for now.
  • And sometimes we don’t get a choice, all we can do is hold on for dear life!

So before you rush to re-balance and realign that Wheel of Life, wait.  Take time to assess what benefits those lopsided revolutions may be pulsing into your life… Then give yourself enough time to figure out what’s within your control and what’s not.  Finally, for those alignments that are within your control and need re-balancing, figure out just which adjustments would be “right” for you and your future.

Simmer & Stir…

Now is NOT the time to rush into a fresh start; instead give yourself time to simmer your new knowledge – stir it up once in a while.  Put it on a back burner for a while. Eventually you’ll know in your gut whether the bumps need to be smoothed or the dents need to be filled in…  And always remember, sometimes (more often than not) we simply need to let go and let God.

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

— Helen Keller

Time for a fresh start?  Simmer and stir…

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