Sunday, December 30, 2018

December Monthly Balanced Life Goals and Resolutions Review

It's time to update my December monthly balanced life goals, even though there is one more day left in the month.

It is also that time of the year to review New Year's Resolutions and make new ones for the coming year.  They tie in together, because my New Year's resolutions were incorporated into my monthly goals to be worked on all year.  I reviewed my resolutions with my daughter, the other night, and we agreed that I've accomplished at least some of them, while others are still "works in progress".  The resolutions I made for 2018 are copied and posted below, along with how they tie into my monthly balanced life goals:

Resolution 1:  Continue to pursue good health - keep all medical appointments, eat a healthy diet, drink enough water and stay hydrated, increase my activity levels to build up stamina and strength,  get more sleep and rest, continue to climb the mountain (Health & Well Being Segment).

Resolution 2:  Procrastinate less - attend to things right away and get them done (Time Management Section).

Resolution 3:  Be more organized - declutter, have a place for everything and  make a habit of having everything in its place (House Section, and a bit of the Spiritual Section, as well, with the decluttering).

Resolution 4:  Be more positive - focus on accomplishments (Part of the Spiritual Section).

Resolution 5:  Maintain a balanced life (All the sections of each month's Balanced Life Goals).

So, here is my review of my December monthly goals and how it pertains to the resolutions I made for 2018:

Spiritual (8)(10):  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; and I've focused on the positive aspects of my life.  My 2018 New Year's resolution #4 was to be more positive and I think I have managed to do so.

- Take time for meditation - add 5 minutes to the nightly prayers to meditate - This has been a successful exercise.  I've been able to sit still for 5 minutes to meditate as part of my nightly prayer routine.  It was also augmented with the weekly Pauses in Advent, which were meditations of sorts.  

- Almsgiving - scheduled for December 22 - It was held and, although not attended by many, it was quite successful, as everything was accomplished and the whole event proceeded smoothly.

- Cultivate non-attachment - focus on letting go of attachment to material possessions - declutter 31 items - I decluttered, but didn't keep a strict account of my declutterings this month, although I believe it amounted to at least 31 items.  However, not all of it involved letting go of items I had an attachment to!  Those items were few and not as many as I would have liked.  However, on the positive side, even one is a small step in the right direction!  All the decluttering ties into 2018 Resolution #3 of being more organized as it included decluttering.

- Attend the monthly rosary prayer gathering, if possible - Scheduled for December 8; I will attend only if I can get a ride; don't like night time driving, anymore - I attended the prayer gathering with my cousin and her daughter who gave me a ride.

All in all, this segment of my life was well plumped up with the almsgiving, the monthly prayer gathering, and the other spiritual aspects of this time of the year.

House (9)(9):  The goal is a clean, tidy, uncluttered house:
- Focus on deep cleaning and maintaining cleaned areas in preparation for the almsgiving -  I feel that I didn't deep clean quite as much as I wanted to, but I maintained the cleaned areas and, I did clean the house for the almsgiving.

- Declutter 31 items - , I didn't keep a detailed tally of what I decluttered this month, but several items were decluttered, including several pieces of fabric from the stash that were converted to holiday gifts in the form of pillowcases and table runners, several glass canning jars that were filled with jam and given as gifts, at least one set of Santa boxes, a bottle of wine that I had in the cabinet (paired with a new set of wine glasses), all the Christmas gift bags and some gift boxes I had in the stash, a few Christmas decorations (some broke after getting knocked off the tree; others were tied to packages as part of the gift wrapping/decorations), and the old washer and dryer (although they were immediately replaced with new ones).   That doesn't even take into account the huge trash bag full of clothes my daughter decluttered from her closet!

- Continue to sort out the 3rd bedroom, a.k.a. The Dump! (It is looking a little less of a dump, now, though!) - Well, more things got dumped in there, during the last 10 days of the month, as holiday gifts and extra large pots and pans used during the almsgiving and jam making were stored there (for easy access, rather than out in the garage, where I normally store them)!  It is still a bit of a dump, but it is getting better!

The house, as a whole, has been cleaned (dusted, vacuumed, toilets scrubbed, floors mopped, etc.) and maintained; there was even some organizing done, on a small scale.  Some areas are still cluttered and the bins with the Christmas decorations are still in the family room, but, for the most part, it is in a "company ready" state!  My 2018 Resolution #3 of being more organized ties into the House segment.  I feel I partially attained my resolution, or, at least made some progress towards it.  I've still a ways to go before I have a place for everything and everything is in its place!

Garden (8)(7):
- Maintain (water 2x per week; weed) - It's been a bit of a "hit or miss" with the watering!  But, we've had some rain, so that has been helpful.
- Buy and plant bare root fruit trees - at least 1 peach and 1 orange or tangerine - Did not happen
- Paint the front security door - buy paint - Didn't happen, either!

This was not a good month for the garden as I just didn't have the time or energy and my gardener friend took some holiday time off, as well.  However, it has rewarded me with fresh flowers (roses and paperwhites) and lemons and oranges, as well as curry leaves and lemon grass!  

Daughter (10)(10):  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her
- Daily texts, phone calls, emails, and video chatting - Accomplished
- Enjoy her planned visit home for the holidays (Christmas and New Year) - I am enjoying every minute of it.  She helped with the almsgiving and Christmas gifts shopping.  Being able to spend Christmas with her was a blessing and we'll be spending New Year's Eve and Day together, too.  She'll be home for another week before she goes back.  We haven't planned when her next visit will be (perhaps in March, for her birthday?)  She's been able to meet up with most of her friends over the Christmas holidays, which is nice, too.  

Family & Friends (10)(10):  The goal is to keep in touch with various family members and friends.
- Regular phone calls and emails - On-going
- Invite family and friends to participate in the almsgiving - Invited them all, but all couldn't attend.
- Send out holiday greetings cards (Christmas and New Year) - Sent some
- Will be seeing several members of the family and friends at this month's prayer gathering - Accomplished
- Weekly calls with neighbor T - Accomplished; also, visited her for the holidays
- Visit neighbors for Christmas - Visited neighbor T
- Go out to lunch with friend R - Scheduled for December 2 - We needed to reschedule but had lunch together on 12/29, instead.
- Call and wish friend T for her birthday - DONE
- Call and wish niece for her birthday - DONE
- Celebrate Christmas with friends and family - Had Christmas dinner with friend A and her family; afterwards, went to aunt T's home to exchange gifts with the rest of the family.

Community (7)(7):  The goal is to become more involved in my community.
- Continue to participate in the blogging community - On-going
- Continue to make hats for the American Heart Association - Will be getting ready to mail them out, next week
- Visit my neighbors - Visited one neighbor; plan to visit another, next week

I have scaled back my expectations in this area, for this month.   Scaling back on outside community activities was the right thing to do, this month.  

Finances (9)(9):  The goal is financial security.
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose - On-going 

- Keep track of spending - I kept track as I spent, and spent, and spent!  Eek! This month, I had a lot of expenses - the homeowners' and earthquake insurance was due, the payment for the new washer and dryer was due, I had the almsgiving and holiday-related expenses, and my co-payments for doctors' visits and prescriptions went up as a result of my new medical insurance.  All of it was budgeted and funded, and nothing incurred debt (the washer and dryer were put on my store credit card in order to get the free delivery and installation, free removal of the old appliances, and waiver of sales taxes, but it was paid in full when the bill came due).  But, for someone who doesn't like to spend money, it was a very expensive month!  

 - Review budget and adjust as needed - On-going.  I received my first regular pension check in December (the November check included the pay for the last two weeks in October and I wasn't sure how it impacted the tax withholdings, etc.).  I now know what my net pension is and I've sat down with a calculator and reworked my budget for the new year.  I will continue to keep an expense log and there might be some fine tuning, but, according to my calculations, I should be fine.    

Overall, I think I am doing well in this category, even if this was a rather "spendy" month!

Health & Well Being (6.5)(6):  The goal is good health.
- Attend the appointments with my various medical doctors
  12/14- Do lab tests - DONE 
  12/17 - Oncologist follow-up appointment - DONE 
  12/20 - Podiatrist appointment - DONE
  12/28 - Primary care doctor - Rescheduled for 1/11
- Continue to work on the following life style changes:
   - better diet - eat more vegetables, less carbs - HA!  Work in progress!
   - better hydration - drink 8 x 8oz glasses of water, daily - Yet another work in progress!
   - better sleep habits - get at least 7 hours of sleep/try to go to sleep before 4:00 a.m.! - Definitely a work in progress!
   - more exercise - walk 30 minutes 5 days/week - Another work in progress!
 - Lose some weight - I'll set myself a goal of 5 lbs. for this month - HA! HA!  I gained instead of losing!  

My 2018 Resolution #1 was to continue to pursue good health!  This is definitely a work in progress area for me.  On the positive side, I went to the majority of my doctors' appointments (one was rescheduled), the lab test results and cancer screening checks all came back good, and I received a medication to help with the osteoporosis.  I reduced the satisfaction level down a bit to reflect the fact that I didn't achieve all what I wanted to do on the life style changes and there is much room for improvement.

Time Management (8)(8):  The goal is to find a good balance between what I have to do and what I want to do.
- Be mindful of my time and how I spend it - On-going.  I have been mindful of how I spend my time and much of it seems to be spent "fretting" about things I should be doing, instead of actually just doing it! Some of it is due to my energy levels, but, some of it might be just sheer procrastination! 

- Plan my days/balance the "leisure" with "productivity" - A work in progress.  I am still trying to achieve a nice balance.  I'm afraid that there is too much "leisure" and not enough "productivity"!  However, I am doing everything I need to do, for the most part.  The almsgiving was held and everything proceeded in a timely manner; there were Christmas gifts for gifting on the correct day, even if some were readied and wrapped on the day of giving; appointments were kept and bills were paid on time. 

- Implement the schedule my daughter and I came up with (with slight modifications, as needed) - I struggled to implement the schedule.  The first couple of days went fine, but, after that, I couldn't maintain it.  I couldn't wake up at the scheduled time as I needed more sleep.  I found it difficult to get in my walk in the morning, so it got moved to the afternoon.  That sort of threw my schedule off!  I finally decided to wait until after the end of the year to try it, again, without the pressures of preparing for an almsgiving or the holidays.   I shall call this another work in progress.   

- Procrastinate less!  - Ah, yes!  When I get around to it, I am productive!  I'll spend all morning thinking I should do X, Y, and Z, and fretting about not actually doing it, then, sometime in the afternoon or evening, I'll get around to doing it and get it done in less time than I spent thinking about it!

2018 Resolution #2 was to procrastinate less, but I don't think I was very successful!  Yet another work in progress!

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time (8)(8):  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Focus on holiday gifts and crafts - Did some!  I still have a couple of items left to do!
- Work on charity crafts - red hats for heart association (need to be mailed by end of December) - I've knitted as many as I am going to knit, this year.  They need to be mailed next week (or delivered in person, by January 11)
- Participate in a winter photo scavenger hunt!  I am looking forward to this!  I am not a photographer as such and I only have my cell phone camera.  But, I like the idea of going a bit beyond my comfort zone so, I am going to try!- I took a few photos before I got caught up in the almsgiving/holiday preparations.  I still need to do the monthly link up post for December!
Those were my goals for a more balanced life in December!  The entire monthly balanced life goals were part of my 2018 Resolution #5, which was for a more balanced life.  

Did you make any goals for more balance in your life?  If so, how did you do on them?  How about New Year resolutions?  Did you make any for 2018?  If so, were you able to keep your resolutions?


  1. Happy New Year! I think you already do fine in those goals! Andrea

    1. Thank you, Andrea. Happy New Year to you, too. :)

  2. Wow that's quite a list of accomplishments! You've had a really good year, Bless.

    1. Thank you, Sharon. Yes, it has been a good year. Even if I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to do, I did some of it, including retiring!

  3. I think you're doing very well in achieving all your goals. I've added time management to mine this month as I've got really bad at letting the day almost disappear before I get my act together. This is partly due to having all the workmen here for so long, but there is also a big chunk of procrastination and lazyitis in there! I too have to implement some sort of daily schedule/routine otherwise nothing is going to get done at all!

    1. Thank you, Eileen. I think, after years of being on a schedule during our working lives, we need that structure to feel productive!

  4. I'm so impressed with your ordered and disciplined approach! May your new year be full of joy, peace and love xx

    1. Thank you, Angela. Wish you and yours the same!

  5. I look at your goals for 2018 and I see an overall improvement in time management and organization. I don't remember your ratings at the beginning of the year in those two specific areas, but over the year you have made great strides. I think you had a very successful year. You have achieved a lot of balance in your new retired life.

    1. Thank you, Susan. Yes, time management and organization used to hover around 5 for the most part, throughout most of the year! There has been a lot of improvement, over all. Some months have been better than others, but, the year ended on a positive note. :)


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