You’ve probably heard someone say “I have a lot on my plate and I’m overwhelmed.” In fact, I had someone I was coaching say this to me. I responded by telling my client “You have a lot on your plate, and you’re hungry. You’re hungry for growth, hungry for success, and hungry for opportunity.” When I left that conversation, I had the phrase “I have a lot on my plate and I’m hungry” going through my head.

It’s not just a matter of having a full plate, but what makes up this plate. What different dishes or sections is the plate divided into? You can compare this to the wheel of life, or different components of your life.

But what does that actually look like?

Your Personal Plate

Say you’ve got your plate, on it, there are different parts of your wheel of life that you’re eating. You want to make sure you’re continuing to feed and nourish yourself with the various parts of your life, and growing personally, professionally, and financially. You can equate your balanced diet to a balanced life.

What’s on my balanced plate of personal growth? 

  • Mental health
  • Time
  • Physical body
  • Legacy
  • Relationships
  • Money
  • Career and passion

You’re not going to feel great if you just eat one food group, the same is true for life. This plate is designed for you to see that you’re not just trying to achieve in one area of your life. They all feed into one another to create a balanced life. 

I don’t know about you, but I like to have my meat, vegetables, and rice, separated, and eat one part of the plate at a time – but they all support each other. The same is true for life. When we want to accomplish or reach a certain point in one part of life, we can use certain parts of the plate to support the other ones. 

Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask

Here’s an example: Say you start with your mental health and physical body. You do the things to take care of your mental and psychological being like meditating or seeing a therapist. Then you have your physical body, which is supported by getting regular exercise and eating well. When my mind is in good shape, it can help my body accomplish the things that I want it to and vice versa.

This in turn helps all of our relationships. When I satisfy my mental health and physical body I can establish a strong relationship with myself. That allows me to show up and create stronger relationships with the people around me. I have to put on my oxygen mask before I can help you put yours on. 

We often try to help others before us, but you can’t fill from an empty cup. When we practice gratitude for our lives, we are then able to foster our best relationships. We have to take care of ourselves before we can be our best selves in relationships – whether it’s partnership, friends, or family.

Systemize Your Life

It’s not just a matter of knowing the parts of your plate, you also have to have a system that allows you to make progress in each area. Say you want to systemize your mental and physical health. Do you have a process that will work for you, and a policy agreement that will cement that process? 

For example, your process for mental health is wanting to start each day feeling more grounded. Your policy is to meditate for at least five minutes a day and do a quick journal practice after. Having these techniques is essential for helping you reach your goals.

Another example is your time, money, and career/passion. You know those people who are always saying that they’re so busy but never seem to get anything done? Well, they probably don’t have a great relationship with time. Everyone has the same amount of time. It’s the great equalizer. How we use that time is what’s most important.

Feed Your Legacy

How you track and claim your time and money are quantifiable ways that you can systemize how you use those numbers. When you get clear with time and money, you can tailor your personal passion projects and mission in life into a career, vehicles that create more money, or make some positive change in the world. Leveraging your time, money, and mission all help to feed the final piece of the plate – your legacy.

They say you die two times. First when you physically die and again the last time someone says your name after you’ve passed. Your legacy is your life beyond you. Every area on your plate of life helps to make up and feed your legacy. It helps remind you that every part of your life is equally important and worthy of putting intentional action into. Every tiny action you take to systemize your life helps you create the positive change you wish to see in the world.