Sunday, January 31, 2021

Balanced Life Monthly Goals: January Review and February Goals

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 beginning of the month ratings in black and the end of the month ratings being shown in blue.

These are my monthly goals:

Spiritual (10)(10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:
- Continue with daily prayers, meditation, being grateful, positive, and joyful
- Continue to attend Temple prayer/blessing services online
- Continue to cultivate non-attachment by being generous and giving to the extent I am able

I continued with my daily prayers, meditation, being grateful, and I have tried to be positive and joyful.  I attended the Temple's virtual New Year's blessing ceremony and I have tried to be generous and others, as well.  I feel that I do live a spiritually meaningful life and I will continue to keep the rating at 10.

February's Spiritual  goals will be the same as January's.

House (9)(9.5):  The goal is a home that is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming:
- Clean - Deep clean the house as the Christmas decorations are taken down 
- Organize - Continue to find a place for everything and keep everything in its place
- Well maintained - Keep "erasing the evidence"; implement daily and weekly cleaning schedules
- Decluttered - Continue with the decluttering process; call for a donations pick up by the end of the month

I did some deep cleaning (mostly in the living room and family room) when the Christmas decorations were taken down and have tried to keep things maintained (regular dusting, vacuuming, etc.)  Daughter helped me with organizing the dresser drawers.

I did some decluttering, too, and exceeded my goal of decluttering 31 items!  They were mostly small items, but, they included: 5 fridge magnets (Christmas themed), 1 glittery gold star ornament, 3 Christmas bears decorations, 1 broom, 1 long handled dust pan, 1 gallon size bag full of 3 D plastic snowflakes, 1 plastic shower caddy, 2 burnt out tea candles, 1 sponge paint brush, 22 pairs of bangles and bracelets, 4 dead house plants, 1 torn kitchen towel, some cards and sentimental items, plus several empty boxes.  I didn't call for a donations pick up, yet, though, because I felt that I didn't have enough to donate at this time (I usually like to have several bags and boxes of stuff to be donated before I ask them to do a pick up).

Allowing for the fact that my house is in need of a considerable amount of work (some repairs, a new coat of paint, etc., which won't be done until times are better) to be truly well maintained and deep cleaned, I am happy with how the house is, at present.   I am raising the rating to 9.5!  

February's House goals will be the same as January's, with deep cleaning as needed, maintaining, and decluttering. 

Garden (9)(9):  The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant:
- Maintain (water 1- 2 times per week, depending on how much rain we get; weed)
Clean out the garden shed
- Discuss spring planting plans with M

The garden was maintained and watered as needed.  The roses were pruned, a few other plants were pruned, too.  I was able to pick some radishes, two sweet potatoes, and several oranges and lemons, in addition to curry leaves and flowers throughout the month.  I discussed spring planting plans with M and asked him to buy me several fruit trees to plant.  The garden shed, however, has not been cleaned out, yet.  I am keeping the rating at 9.  

February's Garden goals will be the same as January's.

Daughter (10)(10) The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her:
- Enjoy her being home!

I am definitely enjoying having her home!  It has truly been a blessing and continues to be so!  I am keeping the rating at a 10 and look forward to another month of her being home in February!

Family & Friends (10)(10):  The goal is to have a close connection with family and friends:
- Regular phone calls and emails to check on them

I interacted with family and friends through phone calls, emails, texts, etc.  One of my aunts and cousins dropped off their holiday gifts and I was able to give them theirs, as well, and one of my cousins blessed me with some clothes that she was decluttering.  Friends brought me breakfast on New Year's Day and other friends, too, have made sure that I have been well taken care of!  I am keeping the rating at 10.  

February's Family and Friends goals will be the same as January's.

Community (10)(10):  The goal is to be involved in my community:
- Continue to participate in the various community groups to the extent possible in the following ways:
  - Participate in the blogging community
  - Participate in the online organizing group
  - Weekly phone calls with neighbor T
  - Participate in temple events

I participated in the blogging community and at least one other online community, spoke with the monks at the Temple on the phone, received many wonderful meals from my neighbor S and her family, spoke on the phone with neighbor T and called on neighbor E for his help with the water heater (he later came by to check if it was fixed).  I am keeping the rating at 10.

February's Community goals will be the same as January's.

Finances (10)(10):  The goal is financial security:
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose

I continued to spend mindfully in January.  I had to make some adjustments to my budget due to some new expenses, but, I continue to live debt free and within my means.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

February's Financial goals will be the same as January's.

 Health & Well Being (8)(8.5):  The goal is good health:
- Attend the medical/dental appointments (2) and lab tests (1) scheduled for this month 
- Continue to work on the following life style changes: 
  - better diet - eat more vegetables and complex carbs, less refined sugar
  - better hydration - drink 8 x 8oz glasses of water, daily
  - better sleep habits -  get sufficient sleep and try to adjust the sleep schedule
  - more exercise - continue with a walking schedule 
- Continue to strive for a healthier weight 

I attended this month's medical appointments, including a repeat mammogram and ultrasound.  There was good news about the mammogram/ultrasound and the blood test results were mostly good, too.  I have a routine follow-up appointment with the oncologist in April.  I am continuing to work on my life style changes (sleep patterns, exercise, better diet, etc.), although my weight seems to have remained the same, over all.  I'm raising the rating to 8.5 due to the good mammogram results!

February's Health and Wellbeing goals will remain the same as January's, except I have no medical appointments scheduled for February.

Time Management (8)(8): The goal is to spend my time in a mindful manner:
Spend time purposefully, mindfully
- Continue to focus on making my schedule work for me
- Procrastinate less

This is still a work in progress!  I did manage to accomplish most of what I wanted to accomplish this month in a timely manner, without procrastinating.  There is very little time sensitive stuff that I have to do, these days, but, I do want to keep myself to a somewhat regular schedule when it comes to housekeeping tasks, etc.  I am keeping my satisfaction rating to 8.   

February's Time Management goals are the same as January's.

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

I have been engaging in daily joyful activities and did several of the activities listed in my January Joys list.  Currently, I am crocheting a granny square blanket and plan to continue to do it in February, too.  I am keeping the rating at 10.  

February's Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time goal remains the same as January's.  

January was a well balanced month, I think.  All my areas improved or remained the same; nothing got neglected to the point where I was dissatisfied with it.  I will continue to work on maintaining those areas that did well and try to increase the satisfaction rating in the remaining few areas.

How was your January in terms of maintaining balance among the different areas of your life? 


  1. It makes me happy that your scores are all so high and you are doing so well. That is a blessing not to be taken for granted these days.

    I have to admit that January went by pretty fast around here, and after the extra work of the holidays (which didn't seem like much extra) we enjoyed more me and us time than usual to start 2021. But that is soon to be balanced. Last year we decluttered pretty universally, so not much to do there. Hubby wants to make February spring cleaning month around here, and mentioned moving furniture and even dusting crown molding. It's nice that he brought it up instead of me having to ask for help with that type stuff - which honestly I haven't done in several years. I usual clean thoroughly but don't move the larger pieces of furniture or get out a ladder. It would be nice to have it behind us so that we are free to travel once that is again the norm.

    1. Thank you, Susanne. I am focusing only on the things that I can do at this time and that is why the ratings are as high as they are! For example, I can only interact with the extended family and friends minimally because we are socially distancing, and so, my goal is limited to phone calls, emails, and the very occasional drive by drop off/pick up and, as long as I can do that, I am happy. This has become an exercise in learning to be content with what I have and can do. :)

  2. Hi Bless! You certainly started the new year out right! Congratulations on your self discipline. I enjoyed reading through your goals and was inspired to try better with my own. I am easily distracted with cyber related activities, not to mention my love of reading. 💖

    1. Thank you, Susan. Oh, I am too, when it comes to cyber-related activities and I do like to read, although, these days, I seem unable to concentrate on a book for long!

  3. Another fantastic month Bless! The only things I concentrated on in January was getting back on track with healthy eating and exercise along with being extremely frugal. I'd have to give myself a 10 in those areas. All other areas were neglected but I'm full speed ahead on my deep clean and decluttering this month. Here's to us both meeting our goals this month, cheers :)

    1. Thank you, Martha. I think I should follow your example of concentrating on one or two areas, but, then, I don't want to neglect the other areas, either! I'll be cleaning and decluttering right along with you, but, maybe not in as focused a way! :)

  4. You always do so very well in following through with these intentions and goals. Well done! I wish I could be so disciplined.

    On the subject of granny squares, I am very envious - I have been wanting to make a poncho out of granny squares but can't get to grips with the pattern I have chosen for the square. A friend offered to help but under current circumstances it is not possible to get together... And so the project waits...

    1. Thank you, Lady Ella. As I explained in an earlier comment, I am only focusing on what I can do under current circumstances, so there aren't a lot of individual objectives under each goal - easier to keep in touch with family through weekly phone calls than visit them/get together for a meal as in pre-Covid days, so, I don't even list those objectives, anymore.

      I only know the very basic granny square pattern. But, a poncho with granny squares will be very nice, I think. I have a poncho that I knitted, but, maybe I'll crochet myself one, too! :)

  5. You continue to do well with your goals and intention for your life.
    I find these posts very inspiring

  6. You are doing so well, both to maintain your ratings in the majority of the categories and to increase the ratings for health and home ... that's so good to see.

    I hope February continues to be just as successful for you.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. January was a well balanced month; I think February will be, too. :)


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