Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Goals for a Balanced Life



When I first started doing this balanced life goals activity, several years ago, I was instructed to list all the various important areas in my life and rate my level of satisfaction in those areas on a scale of 1-10.  Ideally, each area would rate high on the scale and life would feel well-balanced.

But in reality, some areas rated higher than others and some areas showed a high degree of dissatisfaction.  It was this discrepancy that led to the feeling of being imbalanced.

I was instructed to consider what would be needed to raise the level of satisfaction in those areas that rated low and list what could be done.  Those activities became the goals for the month.

At the end of the month, or the beginning of the following month, I was to rate my satisfaction in each area, again.   Over the years, however, I stopped giving a numeric value to my level of satisfaction and focused more on if I was meeting my goals or not.

Since the first quarter of the year is over and we are starting on the second quarter, I thought it was a good time to review how all this is working out for me.  As a result of my review and some contemplation, I decided to make some small changes to the basic areas.

The goal, as always, is to attend to each area, so that my life feels more balanced and I am not neglecting any aspects of my life that are important to me.  However, as I  am still striving to regain my health, I have decided that I will focus more on self-care in all aspects of my life.

These are my goals for a more balanced life in April:

Spiritual:  The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life.

- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude
- Continue to focus on blessings, joy, and abundance
- Take time for meditation
 
Environment:  The goal is a clean, tidy, uncluttered house and a well-maintained garden.
- Do some regular house cleaning, decluttering, and organizing
- Plant the new succulents I've been given
- Plant the vegetables in the bed that has been prepared
- Weed and mulch

Daughter:  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her. 
- Daily texts, phone calls, email exchanges, and video chatting! 

Family & Friends:  The goal is to keep in touch with various family members and friends.
- Communicate regularly - phone calls, texts, and emails
- Go out to lunch with sister?
- Wish friend on her birthday
- Visit neighbor
  
Career:  The goal is to continue to do work which I enjoy (for the most part) and which enables me to support myself.
- Continue to ease into going to the office full time

Finances:  The goal is financial security.
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully
 
Health & Well Being:  The goal is good health.  This will continue to be the focus, this month.
- Attend the appointments with my various doctors - 3 scheduled, so far, in April, plus a required blood test before one of them
- Continue to monitor blood pressure and sugar levels
- Continue to focus on a healthier diet (more vegetables!), drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and getting sufficient sleep

Time Management:  The goal is having enough time to do all what I want to do!
- Organize myself and put routines into place so I have a more regular schedule.

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time:  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Put together a succulents planter to take to the office
- Do a few things from the Spring Joy list
- Cuddle a kitty!

So those are my April Goals.  Is anyone else making goals?

20 comments:

  1. Not so much goals Bless but I'm very good at making lists. Trouble is my lists are mostly of things that need doing. I should really make lists of nice things as well to add balance.

    I'm struck that you say you've been carrying out this task for several years which must mean you find it beneficial. Do you enjoy doing it or does it sometimes feel like a task that needs to be completed? I hope that doesn't come across as offensive, it's just that I'm not sure I'd be that disciplined in keeping something like this up. xx

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    1. I'm good at making those mile long To Do lists, myself, Suzanne! But, yes, one needs to add one or two rewards in there, as well - fun/relaxing things to do, even if it is sitting down for 10 minutes with a cup of tea and a magazine or spending half an hour knitting.

      Yes, I've been doing this for several years. I started doing it at a time when I felt I was stretched to almost breaking point. I was a single parent to a pre-teen daughter who was very active in extracurricular activities, I worked full time, I was care-giver to my semi-invalid mother, I was fairly active in my daughter's school and at the temple, plus I did all the housework and cooking, etc. I felt my life was very unbalanced and I had no time for myself, etc. It was very helpful to sit down and figure out the different areas of my life and rate each.

      I am not as stretched as I was back then, but I still find it beneficial and enjoy doing it. It has now become a habit, almost, and sometimes I feel I could stop doing it and it will still be fine, but then, I do something like this recent quarterly review and realize that I'd feel better if I tweaked things around a bit.

      One can start out with fewer areas and they maybe different than mine. I used to have "community" as one area, but that changed as I stopped being quite so active in my daughter's school and temple. I am thinking now that I might want to add it back as blogging is "community involvement" in a way, isn't it, and it is an important aspect of my life, now.

      Why not give it a try and see how it works out for you? I found it helpful, at the beginning, to do a weekly mini-review to see if all areas were being touched on during the month (it's not very helpful if you rush around on the 30th of the month, cleaning the house, calling family and friends, just so you could check off the boxes!)

      If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them. If you don't want them published, just say so in your comment as I read all the comments before I publish them. Or, send me an email (blessmymess55@gmail.com). Hope this helps.

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    2. Thank you for that honest reply Bless, I can imagine how your life felt unbalanced back then juggling all those plates in the air at once. There are a couple of areas in my life that I think could do with a bit of tweaking so I could start with those - don't want to overwhelm myself but family and finance would be good starting points. Laughing at your comment about rushing around on the last day of the month - exactly the sort of thing I'd do just to get those ticks down! Thank you again for your reply. xx

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    3. You are quite welcome, Suzanne. Yes, family and finance sounds good. Throw in housework, pets, and crafting for community service and you'll see why things can get a bit crazy. :)

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  2. That has given me a good idea for what to consider. Thank you Bless. X

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    1. You are welcome, Jules. Hope you'll give it a try and see how it works for you.

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  3. I think that's a very smart way to go about reaching your goals.
    HUgs
    Jane

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  4. Hope your April is just wonderful! For me it seems I just get started before the month is up!
    I find it amazing that you have daily contact with your daughter. Son3 is a Sr. at school and we only talk with him once a week. You are very lucky!

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    1. Thank you, Anne. The months do tend to whiz past, don't they? Yes, I cherish the closeness my daughter and I continue to have. She was always a child who wanted to tell me everything about her day and it continues. And I have to tell her everything about my day, too, otherwise she's not happy. :) We've already spoken twice on the phone, this morning and we'll video chat in the evening.

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  5. I've been failing at life for a week or two, but I come back to your blog today and I am struck by your inspirational and aspirational post. Thank you so much for posting. I'm going back to read more of what I have missed, but right here I want to say that you have been a very positive force for this stranger on the internet. Thank you. x

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    1. Lyssa, what a lovely comment! Thank you! No, you haven't been failing at life; you have been coping. Sometimes, that's all we can do. (((HUGS)))

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  6. I keep meaning to make goals. I just find them difficult to keep. I know that I want to continue getting out and walking, taking photographs, using up food in freezer and continue using up craft goodies I have in home. Lots more too. Perhaps I just overwhelm myself with things.

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    1. It is easy to get overwhelmed when we make goals, isn't it? I think it is because there are so many things we want to do and achieve.

      Why not write down your goals and pick a few that are most important to you? Or start out with the ones you listed above, since you are already doing some of them.

      See if you can break things down to mini goals. If the goal is to use up food in the freezer, then, mini goals might be a freezer inventory, making meal plans based on what's there, finding recipes if needed, and serving at least a couple of meals using freezer items each week, until the freezer stock is used up. Oh, and try not to buy additional items for the freezer! :D That's something I struggle with, especially when I see good deals!

      As for getting out and walking and taking photographs, how often would you like to do that? Every day? Once a week? 2-3 times a week? Continue to schedule a weekly walk (weather permitting, of course) and work up to 2-3 per week?

      Sometimes, the most difficult aspect is making time to do what one wants to do. I tend to struggle with that, myself.

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  7. I've been trying to balance my life more the last few years, but I have not as purposeful at it as you have. You set a very good example.

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    1. Thank you, Live and Learn. I think we all want more balance; achieving it is another matter altogether! But having some tangible goals is helpful, I think.

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  8. This is so inspirational Bless, I have been feeling overwhelmed lately, mainly due to health issues, I think your answers to some the replies will help me immensely.

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    1. Sharon, I am sorry to hear you are having health issues. I hope they are things that can be resolved with time and care and that you'll feel better, soon. Glad to hear that this post and the comments/answers were helpful or will be helpful to you. Take care of yourself.

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  9. Now that I see the rationale behind your goals, I am beginning to understand why my goals in the past have just looked like long "to-Do" lists. You talked about balance, but I didn't get it. Thank you.

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    1. Yes, it is very easy to get confused between goals and to do lists, isn't it? To me, the to do lists are how I get to the goals. The goals are loftier, in a way. Good health, for example, is a goal. The eat more vegetables, drink more water, get more rest, etc. are the "how to"s. Another way to go about it is, when making the to do lists, ask yourself why. If "clear the dining table" is one of the tasks on the to do list, ask why? Your answer might be, Because cleared, uncluttered spaces bring a sense of serenity and that's important to you. Then, the goal becomes, "A serene environment, without clutter, etc." Maybe I'll do another post about goals and how to's. Once I get myself sorted out, a bit more. :)

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