We all have stressful times in our lives that we take in stride, but then there are those times when the stress is so intense that it brings us to our knees, or flat on our faces. We feel like we can’t breathe. Our life has gone completely off course and we don’t know how to fix it.
I found myself in one those places recently. While I was in the middle of the storm, I started praying that God would put me back together piece-by-piece the way He wanted me.
The visual that He gave me then was of rebuilding my Wheel of Life. I felt like it had been demolished, and I pictured myself rebuilding it one spoke at a time.
What is a Wheel of Life? It’s a tool created by Zig Ziglar to help people achieve Balanced Success, which means success in all areas of life: Physical, Family, Mental, Financial, Spiritual, Career, and Personal. Each spoke of the wheel represents one of those areas.
To have a smooth ride in life, you need to be strong in all of these areas, not just one or two. These spokes are not independent; they’re intertwined and impact one another.
I’ve found that among the spokes there are
These areas generally demand less of our attention and so they often get neglected. However, developing any of these areas radiates power to the other spokes of the wheel.
To rebuild my Wheel of Life, I didn’t try to fix all of the spokes at one time. I focused on the POWER PLAYERS and started slowly rebuilding one spoke at a time.
In the depths of our brokenness, we feel alone. However, we’re not alone. God is with us in those dark places. He knows our pain and wants to help us rebuild our lives.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain” – Psalm 127
To start the spiritual recovery process, go to God, take shelter in Him, and let Him start the healing process. He is very well qualified to take away your pain. From scripture, we know that God is our:
• Healer – “He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” – Psalms 147:3
• Protector – “The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” – Psalms 121: 7-8
• Provider – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
• Strength – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” – Psalms 46:1
• Always Loving God – “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues people under me.” Psalm 144: 2
Strengthening this area involves developing a close, personal relationship with God. We get this through studying His Word, prayer, and in worship.
No matter where you are in your spiritual life, take a step toward God. In whatever way that looks for you.
In my place of brokenness, all I could say was “Help!” God understands this simple word. When we can’t even say what we need, God knows and will help.
After I started the healing process, I took a next step in my spiritual development. I bought the Living Application Study Bible to give me deeper understanding of God’s word. This has been a game changer for me! I have a much better understanding of scriptures that I’ve read for 30+ years, and can more effectively apply them to my life.
What is your next step in your spiritual journey?
To rebuild a broken life, change the negative words playing in your mind. For me, those words were, “I’m not enough.” I heard it over and over again.
When life beats us down, we’re often telling ourselves lies, both about ourselves and others. These lies not only bring us down, they keep us down. Fear, shame and guilt are some of the enemy’s favorite tools.
To rebuild your life, you have to change the negative messaging. Here are some tactics that worked for me:
- Create a List of Affirmations that tell the truth of who you are or who you want to be. Read them out loud each morning and night. Pretty soon you will start seeing yourself as the person you describe! Here are some examples of simple affirmations:
• I am strong
• I am confident
• I am loved
• I am beautiful
- Listen and read positive, life-giving messages. Fill yourself with truth and light so that there is no room for the lies.
- Control your thoughts through meditation. I personally use the Headspace app because it teaches mental skills in an easy to understand format.
After I got the negative messaging under control, I starting reading, listening to podcasts and audiobooks that strengthen me in other areas of life.
Health was one of the areas that I focused on in my mental development, and that brings us to the final power player, your physical well-being.
Improving our physical health builds self-confidence, mental focus, energy, and happiness. These are all things we need to rebuild our lives.
To strengthen your physical health, focus on implementing good habits. Take baby steps. Just focus on building one healthy habit at a time until it is an essential part of your life.
Find creative ways to implement and KEEP healthy habits. I call these creative tactics Anchor Points.
Here are the healthy habits that I created for myself, and the Anchor Points that keep those habits in place:
- Drink half my body weight in water. I started measuring how much water I was actually drinking and was surprised that I was falling short.
To hit my goal, I ordered water bottles with motivational or funny sayings on them. I love my new water bottles and now I exceed the amount of water I need to drink.
- 10,000 steps. I’m an office dweller, so getting the recommended 10,000 steps a day seemed like a pipe dream. So, I created several Anchor Points to help me achieve my goal.
First, I bought a new Fitbit. Mine had flown off somewhere during the storm that whipped through my life. The Fitbit reminds me to move each hour, and I set mini-goals for myself before I sit down again.
I built time into my morning routine for walking my dog. I love this time spent outside with my dog every day and it helps me get my steps in.
If I need more steps, I go the gym and get on the elliptical for 30 minutes. This is a fast way to crush my goal for the day.
- Attend 3 challenging workout classes a week. We have a membership to a great gym, but I seldom darkened the doors. I needed motivation.
As luck would have it, my daughter, Madeline, moved back to Birmingham. She had just graduated from college and was starting her first job. Madeline was an athlete in college, and needed to fit exercise into her new life as she stepped into the real world.
I convinced Madeline to work out with her dear old mom. Her fitness level is much higher than mine, but we’ve found classes at the gym that work for both of us. Well, mostly they work for her and I just do the best that I can, while she tries to not be too embarrassed of me.
In addition to hitting my workout goal, I get to spend time with my daughter. Madeline and I also compete to get the most steps. Somehow, she always beats me!
I’m also implementing healthy eating habits, but always just one at a time.
As my life is moving forward, I’m finding that I have to be very protective of my new habits. Anytime I consider adding something to my schedule, I weigh it against what I would have to give up. I’m learning to say “no” to things that aren’t aligned with my goals.
To rebuild your life after the storms have destroyed it, focus on building the Spiritual, Mental and Physical areas of your life. Take baby steps. Don’t try to rebuild everything all at once.
By strengthening these three power areas, you’ll see improvements in all areas of your life! And you’ll be much stronger; more difficult to tear down.
Ultimately, I discovered that my Wheel of Life hadn’t been destroyed at all. It was still there! Thanks to the time that I had spent over the past several years strengthening my Wheel of Life I was able to recover quickly, and build a life that was better than it was before the storm.