It is traditional to reflect on habits, behaviours and achievements at this time of the year and to construct some resolutions to bring new happiness and meaning to life.
To this end I have been writing my fourth and final book in a series about the four aspects of life tentatively called “Sort Your Life Out” (I am also flirting with “Four Life”) that ties in all the books through the Life Cycle assessment.
I thought I would have been finished by now but I find myself about 2/3rds done (content inserted into part 3, edited, concept artwork turned into professional artwork, any changes made from the editor/s and formatted for Kindle and Amazon), and after completing the Life Cycle recently, I have a few more aspects that I need to sort out and address.
What I would like to share with you all is a tool to help you reflect on 14 components of life and the part 2 (of 3) of the book. You will need 20 mins to read and complete this activity.
Please feel free to pass onto anyone you think can benefit from doing this activity.
Next year I hope to partner with a leading hotel group to run workshops and retreats here in Hong Kong, Asia and globally. If you would like to attend these workshops or have private coaching sessions, you can contact me and I will advise you on how best to progress.
For now have a Happy New Year!
Best wishes, Ross Eathorne
Life Cycle Awareness Scoring Instructions
Each spoke and symbol represents one of 14 aspects of L.I.F.E and can be scored on a 0-10 scale.
0 represents no energy or time invested In this area in a typical week and is marked closest to the fingerprint. 10 represents optimal energy and time invested in this area and is marked closest to it’s symbol.
You can click to enlarge the image below, and download or print it off.
Life Cycle Assessment
“The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammad Ali 1942 -2016, Professional Boxer
The L.I.F.E cycle wheel is a simple assessment tool that identifies your L.I.F.E imbalances by dividing the four solutions into 14 components.
This assessment is a stocktake of where you are at this current point of time and provides a starting point from which to get better. The results of the assessment will identify your critical point – the component that has had the least amount of attention will result in the greatest change in your health, fitness and performance.
L.I.F.E Cycle overview
In the centre of the circle is a fingerprint that represents the interplay, connections and circumstances between each component that makes your life unique. The concentric circles represent a scale of 0-10 (0 being low and 10 being high) that you can use to rate how well you address that component in your current life.
The 14 components are represented by their own icon and title. Each icon has a line and border colour that relates to one of the four solutions. Several have many colours inside the circle to represent a significant interrelationship.
The circles from 0-5 are red and a score in this area means huge gains in health can be made by addressing this area. The circles from 5-7 are amber and mean good to moderate gains in fitness can be made in this area. The circles from 7-10 are in the very good to excellent range and there are only small to marginal gains to be had in this area.
As you read the appropriate chapters and books pertaining to each component your knowledge and ability to accurately assess the L.I.F.E cycle will improve. The first assessment with only basic idea of each component will be called your baseline.
There are four parts to this self-assessment. (Please do in order to keep your answers pure and free from bias that comes from skipping ahead.
Mark your score on each spoke of the wheel.
Score all 14 components on the Life cycle wheel out of 10. Approach this as how you spend a typical week. (Part 1 gives an outline on how to subjectively score each component.)
Each of the 14 life cycle components are outlined below. Read them to get an idea of what they represent and how much of a priority they are in your life and then score them on the wheel. (Read them all before scoring.)
Restoration builds health: Low intensity restorative exercise reduces stress on the body by stretching and mobilising tight muscles and joints, and activating dormant or weak muscles. Scoring:
5 = 15 minutes every day per week
7 = 30 minutes every day per week
10 = 60 minutes every per week
Hydration: Water is involved in every chemical process in the body and helps with the flow and circulation of energy. “Alive” mineral water from a spring is higher quality and prefered to “dead” distilled water.
7 = when you drink half your bodyweight in pounds and ounces in spring mineral water per day.
10 = when you exercise and drink 800mls of water per hour of high intensity exercise.
5 = if you drink your body weight calculation using distilled, mineralised or tapwater.
10 = when you eat 21 organic meals energy per week.
10 = when your portion sizes match your physical size and balance your blood sugars for 21 meals per week. (Two index and thumbs touching = meat or protein, palm = fruit and vegetables and a fist = starchy carbohydrates.)
Sleep is the most important component of health, fitness and performance. Sleep is when we recover physically and mentally from the stimulus of our lives. Sunlight creates vitamin D and various chemical reactions that enable sleep.
9 = when you have 56 hours of undisturbed sleep per week between the hours of 10pm and 6am. Include 15 minutes of sunlight per day in this equation.
10 = if you add extra hours of sleep during the day as a recovery tool.
Introspection: Time spent reflecting on your thoughts, words and deeds calms the brain for sleep, communication and creativity.
5 = 5 minutes per day of dedicated introspection time
7 = 15 minutes per day
10 = 60 minutes day
Fitness training is having an exercise programme that focuses on a goal and a date. Typically there is a restoration or foundation phase, followed by a specific strength and function phase, both build towards a performance peak (achieving a goal or completing a fitness adventure). Fitness training builds strength and capacity where your heart rate is at 70% or puffing and your muscles are overloaded and fatigue during each training session.
5 = if your restoration score is 7 or above.
5 = if you do 30 minutes or more of cardio 3 days per week and some form of resistance training for 30-45 min 3 days per week.
5 = if you train cardio 3-5 times per week 20-60 mins or more and weight train 4-6 times per week of 30-45 mins.
Subtract 1 if you do not have any rest days.
Purpose: A purpose is a goal, dream or attitude that energises you like the beat of a heart. An optimal purpose motivated by “we” and “all” values attracts universal energy because it helps other people, gives life meaning and stimulates great things. As we journey through life our, ambitions, condition, abilities and circumstances change and we need to alter priorities accordingly.
According to the degree that your lifestyle energises you.
Creativity: Creating a meal, an exercise programme, a piece of art, listening to beautiful music or solving a unique problem stimulates your right-sided, emotional brain and opens the flow of new ideas and thought patterns. You may be most creative after a meal, meditation, restoration or other forms of exercise, especially if outdoors in nature.
To the degree you have original thought and express it in art, music, words or deeds per day score yourself up to 10.
Communication: The Dalai Lama recommends all wars and conflict be solved with dialogue. Do you express your thoughts, words and deeds to yourself and others clearly and without conflict? Are you honest with yourself?
According to the degree that your body language, written and spoken word, and actions are conflict free score yourself up to 10.
Spirituality: The French expression “joie de vivre”, or joy of life is a good definition of spirituality. A free spirit has a desire for an adventurous life and altruism. Adventure is cultivating an open mind free to think for oneself, experiencing other thought processes and cultures, regularly getting out of your comfort zone, visiting extremes to seek wisdom, joy, humility and reverence. Altruism is when you perform deeds without motive for personal gain. A spiritual person is one who takes responsibility for their own thoughts, words, deeds and joy.
To the degree that you explore new ideas, places and help others with no expectation of a reward, score yourself up to 10.
Performance is play: Performance and play are interchangeable and represent the highest expression of your ambition, ability, circumstance and condition in a sport or activity that requires spontaneity, creativity, problem solving, skill acquisition and application, with or without a competition element. This play is preferably performed outdoors. As the intensity can vary from low to high and there may be an emotional component to recover from.
10 = 3 days per week
6 = 2 days a week
3 = 1 day (or session) a week
Values are paralleled in Maslow’s’ Hierarchy of Needs, the seven main chakras (safety, procreation, digestion, love, communication, creativity and spirituality) Paul McCleans Triune mind, the three dantians (body, spirit, mind) of Traditional Chinese medicine.
Is the priority you place on your needs and wants in life clearly set out (ambition) and scheduled into your week, month or year (circumstance) and have you factored in your condition and ability to achieve them?
We have three levels of needs and wants:
- Our basic or “I” needs are safety, food and sex and are what we need to survive and procreate the species. On the Life cycle wheel they are the first six clockwise components illustrated by the bottom red rock in the rock stack values icon.
- Our secondary or “We” needs recognise our need for social affiliations or belonging to the herd. Giving and accepting love to yourself and others and purpose are key values, as are the green centre hub and centre rock in the rock stack.
- Our “All” values are the human need to contribute something greater to society – creativity, communication and altruism. The top indigo colour rock represents the “All” values.
When we feel out of balance it may be due to a change in our priorities or circumstance as we enter different phases in our life – finish school, move away from home, get a job, enter or leave a long term relationship, children, children moving away from home, retirement etc. A recalibration using the Life Cycle will help reduce the transition time. Once established it is important to live in congruence with them otherwise the stress will manifest itself as an illness or chronic disease.
5 = when your restoration, water, food quality and quantity and sleep average a 7 or more.
5 = when your stress reduction, introspection, fitness and purpose average a 7 or more ( and you score 5 points when your creativity, communication, spirituality and performance scores average a 7 or more (yes it is possible to score higher than 10).
Stress reduction: Stress is accumulative and without adequate recovery leads to downward spiral of health that fatigues the adrenal glands and leads to weight gain, chronic fatigue, infertility, heart attacks, strokes and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, cancer, shingles and thyroid disorders.
5 = if restoration, water, food quality and quantity, sleep and values average a 7.
5 = if introspection, fitness training and purpose average a 7
5 = if creativity, communication, spirituality and performance average a 7.
Discover what stress reduction techniques work for you and schedule time in your day, week, month and year to allow them to help you recover. (Maintaining a balanced Life Cycle wheel is a stress reduction technique.)
Life Cycle Awareness Scoring Instructions
Each spoke and symbol represent one of 14 aspects of L.I.F.E and can be scored on a 0-10 scale.
0 represents no energy or time invested In this area in a typical week and is marked closest to the fingerprint. 10 represents optimal energy and time invested in this area and is marked closest to its’ symbol.
L.I.F.E Cycle Results = Your life force Condition
Add up all your 14 scores and divide them by 14 to give you your average score. Write your average score in the fingerprint. This average score is your life force and represents how resilient you are to stress and your ability to bounce back from any unexpected curve balls that may be thrown at you. The higher your average score the better.
Health 0-4: Health can be defined as the absence of disease. If your Life force score is between 0 and 4, chances are you have some sort of chronic disease and your priority now is to restore your health. Below are some of the circumstances that can lead to a poor health score:
- You are so busy that exercise is a low priority.
- You have a schedule that is so hectic your meal times are irregular and when you do eat you overload on junk food!
- You have a mindset paralysed by fear or self-doubt because of events of the past or in the future.
- You find food, starving, excessive exercise or other addictions are a coping strategy for something that you are missing in your life, or, want to escape from.
- You probably don’t sleep well or have a regular sleep cycle.
Red is nearly dead and you need to address almost all areas of your life. Exercise intensity needs to be at a very low intensity breathing level such as stretching, yoga, Qi Gong, meditation or sitting in or near nature. Proceed slowly, with caution and under supervision of a professional. Follow this book step by step and know that each step you take to regaining health will result in a degree of fat loss.Are injured and unable to exercise.
Fitness 4-7: Fitness is the capacity to adapt to any given workload or stimulus without injury, disease or death. A life force score of 5-7 is or- ange meaning you have a reasonable degree of health but there are still a few issues to train before you can really perform at a high level. Exercise intensity at this level is 50-70% of heart rate and is enough to boost metabolism for fat loss.
Performance 7-10: Performance is operating at the highest level. A Life force score of 8-10 is green and means you are operating at a high level of mastery . Health is not an issue, your fitness capacity is high and you are free to create and demonstrate world class levels of ability. Exercise intensity can be as high as 80-100% of maximum heart rate.
A good aim is to develop a living philosophy that averages a Life force score of seven.
L.I.F.E balance = ability
How balanced is your L.I.F.E?
Join the dots. Draw a single continuous line that links all the spokes. If the wheel would roll down a hill easily then your balance is good. If the wheel is out of shape and needs to be pushed to get it to roll, then you have a few areas to address and integrate into your life.
Reflect on your current scores (especially the low scores) and compare them to what you may have scored at another time. If the past scores were higher, we can call that high score your ability and bridging the gap will be easier.
Critical point defaults to your ambition
Your lowest scoring component __________________ = your critical point.
A critical point is like the fulcrum of a see-saw. The smallest action will be the tipping point that creates a chain reaction that improves all other aspects of life.
How do I use my critical point?
The easiest answer to this is to go back to the component definition and work towards integrating the “10” guideline into your life.
The more holistic answer is to take the colour of the your critical point component and go to part 3 and find the plexus of the same colour. Each plexus is divided into the four life solutions and illustrates how the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts are related. Go through each solution with an aim to finding “marginal gains” from the activities and epiphanies you get from the direction clues associated with each plexus. There are overlaps on many plexus (you will notice that some components have multiple colours) that you will need to work through step by step but I suggest you address each critical point plexus in the following order:
- Exercise restores your ability to move where movement is change. The aim of exercise is to increase your range of active movement and ability to change. Perform the assigned restoration exercises for a minimum of 5 breaths (when performed statically) or up to five minutes (when performed dynamically and a breathing pace – exhale get smaller, inhale get bigger) you will ground and centre yourself and ready your mind for the other solution suggestions.
- Food gives you energy and the building blocks to change your condition. Eating real food in the right proportion for your size and energy output fuels sustainable change.
- Intention is the mindset that we are trying to attract or repel. A calm mind allows you to reflect on your choices and prioritise your ambition.
- Lifestyle is how you organise and prioritise the components and related subjects and themes into your life. There is significant crossover with intention lifestyle is about action; taking stock of your circumstances and figuring out how to let go of what does not serve you and replace it with an action step that brings your closer to happiness, meaning and a living philosophy that you love.
What if I have multiple low scores?
There are two answers to this dilemma.
- Prioritise the one component that you think is the easiest for you to action so you gain traction and momentum towards tackling the other components that you may otherwise avoid.
- Starting at the top of the cycle travel clockwise until you reach your first lowest component. (The lifecycle is organised by the easiest to action first.)
- Alternatively you can address each plexus in order.
Life Cycle, the four solutions and 14 component summaries
You can click to enlarge the image and download or print for reference.