Saturday, September 29, 2018

September Balanced Life Goals - Update

It's not quite the end of September, but as good as the end, with just one day to go.  I thought it was a good time to review my goals and see how I've done.

As I've explained before, my monthly balanced life goals are similar to the spokes on a wheel, with the length of each spoke representing my satisfaction in that area of my life, from 1 to 10, with 1 being most dissatisfied and 10 being most satisfied.

September's goals for a balanced life were more or less the same as August's; but I added a sub-category, "Retirement Planning", under Time Management, to make sure that all paperwork, etc., would be handled in a timely manner.

Spiritual (8)(9):  The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life.
- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude; focus on being positive - On-going; prayers are being said, daily; I've been listing 5 things I am grateful for, daily; I borrowed a book on gratitude from the library and have been reading it; and I focused on the positive aspects of my life.

- Take time for meditation - Resume going to Friday night meditation sessions at the temple, at least twice - I went three times, this month; the only Friday I didn't go was the Friday I had my eye examination.    

- Cultivate non-attachment - focus on letting go of attachment to material possessions - I was able to donate 8 bags of clothing, 2 bags of shoes, and 2 bags of books, for a total of 12 bags of items. 

- Attend the monthly rosary prayer gathering (scheduled for 9/15) - Attended the prayer gathering on 9/15;  I gave a ride to my aunt T, cousin P and V, and friend F, as well.  

I am increasing the rating to 9, because I was able to meet or exceed my goals for this aspect in my life.

House (8)(9):  The goal is a clean, tidy, uncluttered house:
- Focus on decluttering and maintaining cleaned areas -  I have been keeping up with the cleaning - dusting, vacuuming, mopping, removing cobwebs, etc.  I also got 12 bags of donations out of the house, and some other decluttering done, as well (stuff that got put into the recycling and/or trash as they were beyond being donated).

- Get 20 bags of donations out of the house by the end of the month - I got 12 bags of donations out of the house.  I am happy with what I was able to achieve.
  - Call for pick up - Done

- Organize my closet - My closet has one long hanging pole and an overhead shelf.  The shelf contains my daughter's stuff, because I have appropriated the shelf in her closet for the altar (long story short - it used to be my mother's room before and she set up the altar on that shelf and I am unwilling to take it down).  I want to go through the clothes and sort out the stuff I store on the closet floor! - Done.  I was able to organize my closet.  I went through my clothes and donated some of them, but I will be going through them again, another time.

I have raised the rating to a 9 because I was able to do some deep cleaning (removed cobwebs, cleaned the family room fan, washed my bedroom window, washed dust off a hanging ornament) in addition to the regular cleaning and maintenance, plus some decluttering, etc.

Garden (7)(8):
- Maintain (water 2x per week; weed; prune pine tree) - Watering on schedule, weeding as and when; the pine tree has not been pruned yet.  However, a few new plants were added to the garden, so that is good.

- Flea spray at least one more time, preferably twice - Didn't do; the situation seems under control, although I will try to spray at least once, in October. 

I increased the rating to 8 because, there are new plants, the roses blooming by my front door, pomegranates ripening, oranges forming, and the garden has survived the hot summer months!

Daughter (10)(10):  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her (without being over-protective!)
- Daily texts, phone calls, emails, and video chatting - On-going, and, as always, the highlights of my day! 

There were no in person visits, this month, but we more than made up for that with phone calls, texts, video chatting, etc.

Family & Friends (10)(10):  The goal is to keep in touch with various family members and friends.
- Visit aunt T - Gave her a ride to the prayer gathering; spoke with her on the phone; still owe her a visit, however.

- Regular phone calls and emails - There have been plenty of those!

- Will be seeing several members of the family and friends at this month's prayer gathering - Saw several friends and family members, some of whom I see only at the prayer gatherings.

- Weekly calls with neighbor T/visit her one day - Weekly calls and sometimes, additional calls, as well.  I did some grocery shopping for her, one day; offered to be there with her when she told the roofing people she had changed her mind; and we visited back and forth a couple of times. 

In addition, cousin N made herself available to go with me to the eye appointment, so she could drive me back, after my eyes were dilated for the examination.

Community (9)(9):  The goal is to become more involved in my community.
- Continue to participate in the blogging community - On-going; I'm missing one or two blogs that are no longer available, but I'm discovering other, new to me, blogs, too.  I am reminded, once again, that change is the only constant thing in life!    

- Participate in the temple community/attend weekly meditation sessions at least twice - On-going; I was able to attend the meditation sessions three times this month.

- Participate in the library weekly knitting group - attend at least twice - I attended it twice; so, at least, I met the goal!  But I left the second session after only 45 minutes.  I don't know if I will continue to attend this group, because, although the ladies are all very nice, it is not meeting my goals for socializing.

I am going to keep the rating the same; I am slightly disappointed about the knitting group, but, I met my goal of attending it twice and that is good.  I also exceeded the goal of attending the meditation sessions, so that is good, too.    

Finances (9)(9):  The goal is financial security.
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose - On-going.  I am keeping a watchful eye on my spending and I managed to stay under budget for groceries, this month, so I am pleased.

Health & Well Being (7)(8):  The goal is good health.
- Attend the appointments with my various medical doctors - Done!  Attended all of them!

- 9/12 for endoscopy & colonoscopy results - Done, and the results were good, so I am happy, thankful, and feel blessed.

- Call and make appointment for new referral to eye doctor - Done and even had the eye examination done.  Again the results were good and I was blessed to have my cousin N accompany me and drive me home, afterwards.

- Call and make dental appointments! - Done!  Had a deep cleaning done, too!

- Work harder at those life style changes! - Well, let's just say it's a work in progress!  

I could/should have worked harder at the life style changes (better diet, more sleep, more exercise, etc.), but I did well on all the medical appointments and so, I am going to raise the rating to 8.  There's is much room for improvement, and we all know that, but, I need all the positive reinforcement I can get!  LOL! 

Time Management (6)(7):  The goal is having enough time to do all what I want to do!
- Retirement Planning - attend to the paperwork in a timely manner! - DONE!  Papers were filed on time at the end of August and I haven't received anything else, yet.  

- Implement routines and schedules (why do I find this so hard to do?) -Um...trying!

I am raising the satisfaction rating a little bit, if only because I have not procrastinated on the paperwork, as much, and because bills are getting paid on time and things are getting done, even if not on a set schedule.

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time (10)(10):  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
Set aside 1 hour a day to do something relaxing (read/knit/play the piano/take naps/craft, etc.) - I have been relaxing - a little too much, I am thinking!  LOL!  I definitely spend more than 1 hour a day reading blogs, playing on the computer, watching TV, etc.  I have done some sewing (although not quite as much as I would like to), a little bit of piano playing, some knitting, and so forth.

So, that is my review of my goals for a more balanced life, in September and how I did.  I think, on the whole,  All categories either stayed the same or went up a bit.  Still room for improvement in several areas, but, not too bad, overall.

Did you make any balanced life goals for September?  If so, how did you do on them?  Are you satisfied, overall?


  1. Not sure I agree with you that you are relaxing too much. You seem to get a lot done, and after all, retirement is meant to be lived at a less frenetic pace than the working years. One of the delights of retirement is being free from the constraints of the daily grind and being able to choose when to work and when to take a break. Routine can be healthy in retirement but it can be broken at will for the sheer joy of photographing the garden, which you do, or just taking a nap or playing the piano. The poet, William Henry Davies wrote his poem, Leisure: "What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare......" Do read the whole poem on-line. Perhaps you are already familiar with it.

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. I feel I have a few things I really need to get done - a few deadlines I still have to meet - before I can sit back and relax to my heart's content. :)

      Yes, that is one of my favorite poems! We studied it in school, too. I recall that, when the hospital ship "Hope" came to Colombo harbor (late 1960s), there was a sign on the gangway to keep moving because many visitors had a tendency to just stand there and look around the harbor, and I was very amused to see that someone had scrawled that quote right underneath the sign! :D

  2. I agree with BushLady that you aren't relaxing too much. I think you are still in the transition period from work to retirement and you will find your rhythm soon enough.

    Nice job with your goals. That must feel great to be meeting them.

    1. Thank you, Live and Learn. I am accomplishing things, but at a slower pace than I envisioned. But, you are right, I am in transition and I must allow some time to adjust. :)

  3. I still want to rebuild the deck (albeit, much smaller than the first one) so that I can go out and sit and admire the day's work in my gardens. I used to come home after work and sit in the swing and recuperate and regroup before having to start making dinner. I often times would have my breakfast or at least a cup of coffee there in the mornings. If I am truthful, I could probably do the same thing sitting on my "area" of gravel, but I haven't. When I go outside now, it is with a purpose. There is always work to be done.

    You have had a spectacular month of accomplishments. Well done.

    1. Thank you, Susan. I hope you are able to get your deck built soon, so you can enjoy sitting out in the garden. I will be posting my October goals, soon. :)

  4. I love reading your goals! The attachment one is definitely one I have to work on. I want to get rid of some things - I know I need to get rid of books but that is difficult for me (they are like good friends!). I think perhaps I'll work with something small (like clothes) that I'm not attached to and work up from there. Also time management is a big one for me. I am not good at managing my time especially on weeks like this when I don't feel great. I need to get back to making lists as it certainly helped.

    1. Thank you, Sharon. Yes, start with things you are not too attached to - clothes are a good example - and work from there. Books are very hard to let go of. And decorative objects with sentimental value (souvenirs, gifts from loved ones, etc.). Someone told me to take photos of the decorative items and keep those in an album or scrapbook and toss the object - that's a possibility, I suppose.


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