Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April Balanced Life Monthly Goals - Update

April is over and it's time to post my goals for living a more balanced life in April.  For the first time in a long time, I am almost reluctant to do this review, as, I am afraid I didn't do very well in some of the areas!

As I've explained before, my monthly balanced life goals are similar to the spokes of 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.  Ideally, all the spokes are of equal length and the wheel will roll along smoothly.  If the spokes are of unequal lengths, then, the resulting wheel will be lop-sided and wobbly.  My ratings for each segment are shown within the parentheses, with the end of the month ratings in blue.

Spiritual: (10)(10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:

- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude; focus on being positive - On-going; daily prayers are a well-integrated part of my life, I look for at least 5 things for which I am grateful, each day, and, I try to be positive.

- Take time for meditation - On-going.

- Cultivate non-attachment - focus on letting go of attachment to material possessions - declutter 30 items - I didn't meet this goal.  I decluttered some items, but not 30.  However, on the positive side, I "decluttered" some yarn from the stash by using it up in a baby blanket that I gave away!    

- Attend the special relic depositing ceremony at the Temple (April 7) - DONE; I attended another service for New Year blessings, as well.  I wanted to attend one other service - a memorial for the people who were killed during the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, but, my car battery died and I couldn't attend it.

- Attend the monthly rosary prayer gathering - DONE

I am going to keep the satisfaction rating at 10 because I accomplished most of my mini-goals in this category.

House (8)(9):  The goal is a clean, tidy, uncluttered house:

- Keep up with the maintenance; implement a cleaning schedule - I came up with a cleaning schedule and even implemented it for the most part!  I did falter a bit after the first two weeks, but, the whole house has been gone over at least a couple of times and I am pleased with what I was able to accomplish.

- Declutter 30 items - I did not accomplish this; I decluttered a lot fewer than 30 items.  I don't know why this is so hard for me, but I struggle to let go of things!

- Continue to sort out the 3rd bedroom, a.k.a. The Dump! - I made some progress in the spare room!  I sorted through the closet where I store craft supplies and various other items!

- Do one deep cleaning task (kitchen cabinets) - I sorted through the big kitchen cabinet (floor to ceiling).

I am going to give myself credit for what I did manage to accomplish and raise my satisfaction level back up to a 9.  

Garden (8)(8):

- Maintain (water 2x per week; weed) - I have watered the garden at least once a week and M has been weeding.

- Plant more seeds (vegetables and flowers) - I planted two tomato plants (they are already forming some flowers!) and scattered more osteospermum seeds around.  

Daughter (10)(10):  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her

- Daily texts, phone calls, and video chatting, etc. - On-going.  She interviewed for a new position at her place of work and received the job, which has made her a permanent employee rather than a contract employee.  I am happy for her, although it means she won't be coming home to stay any time soon!  I've threatened to move up there and she pretends to be horrified at the idea and assures me I won't like it as the weather is not sunny and warm.  LOL.  

Family & Friends (10)(10):  The goal is to keep in touch with various family members and friends.

- Regular phone calls and emails - On-going

- Visit aunt T - Visited, at least a couple of times

- Send package to niece - Not done.

- Send out Easter cards - Not done.

- Will be seeing several members of the family and friends at this month's prayer gathering - Accomplished  

In addition, one of my cousins visited from Australia, so we had a few family gatherings, which were nice.  It was a good month for family get togethers, some planned, and some, impromptu.  This area remains at a 10. 

Community (7)(10):  The goal is to be more involved in my community.

- Continue to participate in the blogging community - I feel I accomplished this.  I enjoy blogging and I enjoy reading the blogs of others.  I appreciate people taking the time to comment on my blog and I try to comment on the various blogs I read and be supportive and encouraging.  

Weekly phone calls with neighbor T - On-going

- Participate more in an online group of which I am a member - On-going

I am quite happy with this area and I have raised my satisfaction level to 10, after some consideration.  There was a time when I wanted to get more involved in my actual community, but, I recognize that my current level of involvement is sufficient for now, in terms of time, energy, and commitment.    

Finances (10)(10):  The goal is financial security.

- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose - Accomplished.  I feel very blessed when it comes to my finances.  I have lived quite frugally, out of necessity, at first, and now, out of habit!  

This area in my life continues to rate a 10.

Health & Well Being (7)(7):  The goal is good health.

- Attend this month's medical appointments - Accomplished.  I only had one medical appointment, this month, and it went well.

- Continue to work on the following life style changes:
   - better diet - eat more vegetables, less carbs - A work in progress!  I keep going off the low carb diet!  
   - better hydration - drink 8 x 8oz glasses of water, daily - On-going
   - better sleep habits - earlier bed times/earlier rising times - Ha!  Yes, I am going to bed early...early in the morning, that is!  
   - more exercise - walk 30 minutes 5 days/week - Another work in progress.

- Lose 5 lbs - Didn't accomplish, due to eating more carbs and not exercising enough!

I am going to keep my satisfaction level at a 7, because I wasn't able to improve on my life style changes to the extent I wished.  There is much room for improvement in this area!  

Time Management (7)(7): The goal is to spend my time in a mindful manner.

 - Implement a realistic daily schedule - A work in progress!

 - Procrastinate less - Another work in progress!

I am still struggling with is area of my life.  I really shouldn't be!  Now that I am retired, I should have all the time in the world to do everything I want to do, but, it isn't working out quite that way!  In fact, now that I have all day to do something, I seem to want to procrastinate even more!

I will be keeping my satisfaction level at 7.

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time (8)(10):  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.

- Engage in daily joyful activities - On-going

- Finish embroidering the 2 T-shirts - Not done

- Work on one of my many "works in progress" knitting projects (finish the black sweater) - Accomplished!  I finished knitting the black sweater!

- Finish one of the quilts in progress - 90% completed!  After I sewed the quilt top and the borders, I decided it should be made a little bigger, so, will be continuing to work on it a little more, in May.

In addition, I crocheted a baby blanket for my cousin's expected grandchild.  This was a good month for doing my hobbies and crafts and for having leisure/me-time!  I am well pleased with what I accomplished in this area and my satisfaction rating is at 10!

Those were my goals for a more balanced life in April.  Everything went up or stayed the same and my wheel got plumped nicely in several areas!  Unfortunately, that makes the dented areas all the more noticeable and felt!  I know where to focus on in May!

Did anyone else make goals for April?  If so, have you done your end of the month review?  How did you do on them?  


  1. I was determined to improve my sleep patterns and I've been doing much better (my daughter's gave me a Fitbit for my birthday which has helped me measure progress)
    My decluttering went well during the Lent challenge but now Easter is over I must keep at it. Your baby blanket was 5* decluttering - well done.
    Let's keep on encouraging one another. It helps a lot!

    1. I'm glad your sleep patterns are improving, Angela; I shall keep trying. You did great with your decluttering during Lent! I don't see how you can still have more stuff to declutter after that! But, yes, let's keep on encouraging one another. :)

  2. Hello my friend, yes, it's me! Surprise! LOL! I really enjoyed reading your monthly goals as I dip my toes back into the blogging world once more. I think sometimes we can get so caught up in all we have not accomplished, that we forget to give ourselves credit for all we did. Much love to you!

    1. Hi Debbie, it's good to see you again. :) I'm glad you are starting to blog again. Thank you; I think you are right - we tend to get bogged down in what we didn't do and lose sight of what we did do. Part of the reason why I want to focus on the positives. :)

  3. You had another great month. One of these days we are all going to have a month where we get everything we intend to do done___maybe!

    1. Yes, in retrospect, I did have a good month, didn't I? I achieved quite a lot of what I wanted to do. It's just that what I didn't do is what loomed large in my mind, initially. I forgot to focus on the positives, the things I did do!

  4. I was surprised that you don’t feel that you done too well in certain areas because your ratings seem to show an extremely successful month. You’ve maintained or increased your rating in every category so that is a fantastic achievement in my book!

    Congratulations to your daughter on her new job and that it is permanent rather than contract. I don’t know how things work in the USA but does this now give her an occupational pension?

    1. Eileen, when I started doing the review, I was mostly focusing on what I didn't accomplish - I didn't declutter the 30 items I wanted to declutter, I didn't walk as often as I intended to, I didn't eat as well as I should have, and so forth. It seemed that the "didn't"s outweighed the "did"s! Not outnumbered them, but loomed larger and stressed me more.

      Thank you; yes, she is able to participate in the company's retirement plan. A certain percentage of her wage will be deducted from her pay check and invested in the company's retirement plan. If she leaves her employer within a certain number of years of being hired, then, she will receive what was deducted from her pay checks, minus any interest earned and what her employer contributed. If she stays longer than a certain number of years (usually 5) before she leaves, then, she has the option of keeping her contributions in the retirement plan until she reaches retirement age. Most jobs also withdraw a certain percentage of the wages to pay into Social Security, too.

  5. You are doing so good☺ I also try to look deeper into some parts of my life and spiritual life is also really important to me☺

    1. Thank you, Natalia. Yes, I think a spiritual life is important to many of us. :)

  6. I can't believe you hesitated to post your accomplishments for the month of April. The results look great to me. You were not perfect in a all categories, but if you had been, I wouldn't have believed that you were a real person. :)

    1. Thank you, Live and Learn. As I mentioned, above, the things that jumped out at me, at first, were the things I didn't accomplish! My first thought was, "Oh, no! Not another month when I didn't declutter or walk or eat or manage my time as well as I planned to!" Those areas where I didn't accomplish what I wanted to crowded out what I did accomplish. But, I'm glad I proved that I am a real person! :D

  7. That's excellent, Bless. You are doing so well. Congratulations.

    1. Thank you, Stephenie. I am making progress! I am going to rethink some of my goals and maybe make some adjustments to make them more realistic! :)

  8. I would have rocked this 10-20 years ago, but now it seems overwhelming to think of all those areas at once.

    1. Akasha, you could select fewer areas to start with. Maybe choose 4 or 5 of the most important areas? Then, go from there?

  9. You did really well and you know where you want to improve. Some goals are harder to achieve than others! I have items on my to-do list that get shifted onto the next day and the next and the next! I have people I don't correspond with regularly that I want to e-mail, and yesterday I finally got one of those e-mails done. It all depends if I am feeling tired in the evening when I spend some time at the computer. I'm blaming the weather for anything I don't get done! At least we didn't get the freezing rain that was threatened.

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. Yes, some goals are harder to achieve than others. Sometimes, it is the nature of the goal; sometimes, it is my own lack of motivation. You did well to get that email sent. :) I'm glad you didn't get the freezing rain. Hope the weather improves.


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