Monday, April 30, 2018

April Balanced Life Goals Update

Here is the update of my April Goals for a more Balanced Life:

Spiritual:  The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life.
- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude; focus on being positive - daily prayers and gratitude have been on-going; continuing to focus on being positive as I learn to "dance in the rain".  
- Take time for meditation -  I didn't achieve this goal, this month.  I meditate a little when I put water to the garden, but I rarely take time to just sit and focus on the meditating.  I am usually doing something else and multi-tasking, which is not what I want from this activity.  Why is it so hard for me to take 15 minutes to sit in silence and truly focus on just being?
- Cultivate non-attachment  - continue with the attempt to declutter; the goal is 100 items in April -  Once again, I didn't declutter as much as I wanted to; we'll call it a work in progress.
- Attend the monthly rosary prayer gathering - Attended the monthly prayer gathering with my cousin, her daughter, and a friend.  

In addition, I attended a special blessing ceremony at the Temple, to celebrate our cultural New Year.

Environment:  The goal is a clean, tidy, uncluttered house and a well-maintained garden.
- Focus on decluttering and maintaining cleaned areas - Did some; I end the month with a clean living room, dining area, bathrooms, and kitchen.  

- Maintain (water 2x per week; weed) -  I have been watering the garden twice a week (occasionally, trice); weeding is on-going.  
- Buy/make and fix a trellis for the grape vine -  I decided to reuse the trellis cage I made for the tomato plant, last year.  It will do for this year, as I don't expect the grape vine to grow too much, this first year.
Plant some flowers and vegetables - I planted some flower seeds; I have more seeds to plant, including vegetable seeds.  

Daughter:  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her (without being over-protective!) - Learning how to do this; trying hard to be more hands-off!  
- Daily texts, phone calls, emails, and video chatting - Did so, daily.  

Family & Friends:  The goal is to keep in touch with various family members and friends.
- Call, email, wish people on their birthdays, etc.  -  I have been keeping in touch with family and friends; several phone calls, emails, etc.  I also wished a friend on her birthday (didn't forget it this year!) 
- Meet sister and her family for lunch (scheduled for 4/2; better get the boys' gifts ready!) -  Enjoyed getting together with sister and her family.  I couldn't finish the T-shirts I was embroidering for her grandsons, but I gave them gift cards to a bookstore, instead.
- Will be seeing several members of the family and friends at the monthly prayer gathering - Only one cousin and her daughter were able to attend and the only friends were the friends who were hosting the gathering and one other friend who went with us.  But, the smaller gathering was nice, too, as it gave us more of an opportunity to sit and talk as a group.    
- Weekly calls with neighbor T/have coffee with her on my next day off - Spoke with her on the Sundays during the month and several times last week, when her daughter was out of state; visited her, one Sunday, and had lemonade, instead of coffee.
- Get together with friend R for lunch - Spoke with her several times, during the month; we had made plans to go out to lunch, but we weren't able to do so, for one reason or another.  We decided to try again, in May.  However, she went with cousin and me to the monthly prayer gathering and we had tea together, at home, afterwards.

In addition, I visited one of my aunts and spent a pleasant afternoon with her and her daughter.

Community:  The goal is to become more involved in my community.
- Continue to participate in the blogging community - Did so; I've been posting daily, reading and commenting on other blogs on a regular basis, and, hopefully, doing so in a kind, encouraging, and positive manner.

In addition, I attended a ceremony at the temple and participated in the temple community, and I attended the monthly prayer gathering and participated in the prayer circle/community.

Career:  The goal is to continue to work while planning for retirement.
- Find the best commuting option to the new location - Did so.  I located several small parking areas near the new office, although they are usually full by the time I get to the office (I'd have to get there before 7:00 a.m. to get parking and that isn't happening any time soon!); I applied for a transit pass and received it on the last Friday of April, so I have the option of taking the subway to work, if I need to.  For now, I have been continuing to park at the old office and I take the shuttle bus from that office to the new one and back.  I've found out that I am not the only one who hasn't given up her parking permit at the old office!  Yes, I am breaking the rules and living dangerously in my old age! 
- Continue to do my assignments in a timely manner - Did so.  I updated my current projects list, as well, so my supervisors can see when I receive my assignments, when I actually start working on them, and how long it takes for me to work on each section.
- Attend the retirement seminar (scheduled for 4/14) - Apparently, the online reservation I submitted was never received and I didn't receive the confirmation I was supposed to receive.  When I called to inquire, I was told the seminar was fully booked, and, although I could still attend, they won't have any personalized papers for me.  So, I decided to wait for the next seminar which is being offered in May.

Finances:  The goal is financial security.
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose -  On going. 
- Speak with my financial planner (there are some documents to sign) - Did so.  Actually, spoke twice with her, because there were a couple of other things I wanted done.
- File my taxes!  (appointment with tax preparer scheduled for 4/7) - Did so.

Health & Well Being:  The goal is good health.
- Attend the appointments with my various medical doctors - 1 scheduled in April (with radiation oncologist for a routine check up) - Did so.
- Continue to monitor blood pressure, sugar levels, and weight - Did so.
- Continue to focus on a healthier diet, drinking enough water (8x 8oz), exercising regularly (walk for 30 minutes during the work week), and getting sufficient sleep (keep trying for that elusive 11:30 p.m. bed time during the work week!) - Work in progress!  There is much room for improvement in this area, I am afraid!
- Focus on accomplishments and staying positive - Work in progress!

Time Management:  The goal is having enough time to do all what I want to do!
- Procrastinate less - Work in progress!
- Implement routines and schedules/get myself on a better time table! Work in progress!

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time:  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Set aside 30 minutes a day to do something relaxing, such as reading books, or doing a craft - Did so.  I finished one sweater and started on another. 

So, that is my goals update for April!  Once again, it is a mixed bag when it comes to achieving what I set out to accomplish.  I did quite well in some areas, but there's a lot of room for improvement in other areas.  But I think I did well enough for the most part.  Did you make any goals for April?  If so, how did you do on them?


  1. I'm smiling at the parking permit confession. Maybe you could adopt Mark's mantra of it's better to apologise than ask permission lol.

    I think you've done really well with your goals again. Is it the 15 minutes you struggle to find for your meditation or just the fact you can't focus. Our vicar went on a retreat and she said it took her 2 or 3 days to actually be able to just sit and contemplate and she's a professional :)

    No goals as such for May apart from getting from one day to another in as happy and calm an atmosphere as possible. Oh there's keeping a track of money which is definitely getting better but still an on-going challenge. xx

    1. Suzanne, I have almost always lived by the rules but I have come to a point where I am ready to bend a few rules. :)

      It's taking the 15 minutes to set aside for meditation. It's not that I can't find 15 minutes to do so - I can easily find 15 minutes to read a blog post, to watch the news, to do a puzzle, etc. But I am not making setting 15 minutes aside to meditate, a priority and I rush through my nightly devotions, instead of being mindful and focused.

      Those are good goals for May! Hope you accomplish them.

  2. Maybe you could end your day with the meditation, which you might find conducive to being ready to go to bed right afterwards?

    I also laughed at your confession of not giving up your old parking pass, lol. You rebel you! And yes, you have been giving kind and compassionate feedback in your blog comments (well, the ones I've seen at least). May I encourage you to not feel guilty about not commenting on mine or even reading my posts if that gives you more time to sleep? You need to practice self-care before showing care for other people, IMO, only then will we get the best of you (wink).

    Good luck with the retirement seminar this month. You did get a confirmation that they did register you this time, I hope!

    1. Nathalie, yes, I am going to try meditating before going to bed, at night. Right after my nightly devotions. It is supposed to be a good relaxation technique and maybe it will help me fall asleep!

      Yes, I'm a rebel at heart! LOL! Oh, but I enjoy reading everyone's posts, but I have been keeping my comments short, if you've noticed.

      I called to confirm and they said I was already in the system, but I didn't get any written confirmation. It's OK, I am just going to show up, anyway!

  3. I think that we should celebrate the goals we achieve rather than concentrate on those that we didn't, so well done, Bless!
    Healthy eating, drinking more water, more exercise and a sufficiency of sleep probably appear on most of our list of goals...and I'll bet that most of us would also say that they were a work in progress! Haha.

    1. Thank you, Eloise, that's what my daughter has been telling me, too - focus on what I accomplished! That's what I have been trying to do, but I don't want to be glossing over what I didn't do, either, you know? I want a realistic evaluation.

  4. It looks like you did really well on your long list of goals. The good news is: Even if you did not get absolutely every single thing done, you got a ton done! And, you were purposeful in what you did:)

    1. Thank you, Becky. I do try to be purposeful - sometimes, trying is as far as it goes, but that counts for something, doesn't it?

  5. You are truly a rebel. I recall when thru the years you’d get to work early and not be a minute late. Now it’s good to see you be in a relaxed frame of mind and get to work late and still take your breaks and just be more relaxed. And you're taking more days off also. It’s nice to see you gearing up for retirement!!

    1. LOL, Carolyn, I think I've entered that retired frame of mind, already! I am planning to take a few days off - I have already requested vacation time off on Thursday (to attend the retirement seminar) and on Friday (just because!) Once I've attended the seminar and know what I am doing, I will take a few more days off, I think.


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