Saturday, July 31, 2021

Monthly Balanced Life Goals: July Review and August 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.

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, giving, and joyful in July.  I didn't attend any Temple services online (none were available, as far as I know), but, I have been watching blessing videos that have already been posted online and I feel that I do live a spiritually meaningful life!  I will continue to keep the rating at 10.

August Spiritual  goals will be the same as above.

House (8.5)(8.5):  The goal is a home that is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming:
- Clean - Clean the house as needed 
- 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
I was able to do more housework in July, although vacuuming my bedroom caused my leg to twinge a bit the next day and daughter had to vacuum the family room for me later in the week.  Between the two of us, all the essential cleaning was done and the house was maintained.  Very little decluttering was done, but, I am OK with that because there is a decluttering challenge to look forward to in August!  I am keeping my rating to 8.5 because the house has been maintained.

August House goals will be the same as above; I am hoping to be able to go back to my weekly cleaning routines and to declutter 31 items!  

Garden (9.5)(9.5):  The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant:
Maintaining (water, fertilize, and weed), with the bulk of it being done by M and my daughter.

The garden was well tended to in July.  M continued to tend to the garden twice a week and I was able to take over the additional day of watering from my daughter!  The garden has been doing well with all the watering, etc., but, my water bill caused me to wince!  I went over my allocated amount of Tier 1 water (lowest rate per unit of water, measured in hundred cubit feet), exceeded the allocated amount of Tier 2 water (next higher rate per unit of water), and went all the way up to Tier 3, which is the highest rate per unit!  Sigh.  Growing our own vegetables and fruit is lovely, but, a lush, productive garden requires a lot of water in our dry climate!  We pulled out almost all the zucchini plants, after harvesting a total of 130 zucchini!  The majority of the green bean plants have also been pulled out; they didn't produce that well, but, we are grateful for the almost 2 lbs. of beans that we did harvest.  I am keeping the rating at 9.5, because the garden has been doing quite well.    

August Garden goals will include:
Maintaining (water, fertilize, and weed); M will continue to visit twice a week in August, as well.
- Focus on the vegetable and fruit plants
- Schedule tree trimmers to trim the eucalyptus tree

Daughter (10)(10) The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her:
- Enjoying the rest of the time together before she has to go back

My daughter's return to Berkeley, earlier scheduled for July 24, was postponed as renovations at the building her office is relocating to have not been completed yet!  As of now, she will probably stay down here until at least mid-October!  We are both pleased to have her stay here and continue to work from home!  She has also been required to report for Jury Duty, down here, in August, so the delay to return to Berkeley works out well for her.  I am keeping the rating at 10!

August Daughter goals will include:
- Continue to enjoy the rest of the time together before she has to go back
- Plan to do some fun (safe) activities together

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, mostly through phone calls, emails, texts, etc., but, there were also a few in-person visits!  We were able to celebrate friend R's birthday in mid July with lunch we bought from the Sri Lankan restaurant and brought home to enjoy; that was a planned visit.  There were a couple of unplanned visits, too.  Once to support cousin N and aunt C when their cat died and aunt called to ask me if we could come.  Once when cousin V's daughter's flight was delayed and they spent the additional wait time visiting us and joining us for dinner.  There was also a steady exchange of plates of food, treats, zucchini, etc., between myself and several friends and neighbors and a few family members throughout the month as well!  July was a good month for keeping in touch with family and friends. I am keeping the rating at 10.  

August Family and Friends goals will be the same as above. 

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, interacted with my neighbors, etc.  I didn't participate as much in the online organizing group as I didn't do a lot of organizing in July (since I was still in recovery mode) and I didn't participate in any temple events as there were no online services held this month.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

August Community goals will be the same as above.

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

I continued to spend as mindfully as possible in July.  I went over some budget categories, but, didn't spend as much as budgeted in other areas, so, overall, I stayed within the monthly budget.  I need to review and revise my budget, though.  I usually do a mid-year review at the end of June, but, wasn't able to do so this year.  I will redo the budget in August.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

August Financial goals:
- Review and revise budget as needed
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose

Health & Well Being (6)(7.5):  The goal is good health:
- Focus on continuing to recover and regain strength
- Follow up blood tests
- Doctor's appointment (oncology follow up)
- Monitor weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc.  

The good news is, I continue to recover from the sciatica inflammation.  The lab tests I did for the oncology visit came out well, for the most part and I have received my bone density booster injection  after some back and forth with the insurance company about the timing.  My blood pressure and blood sugar readings have been good and my weight has remained stable, which was the best I could have hoped for, considering I have not been able to be very active.   I'm raising the rating to 7.5 based on how well I feel and the good blood test results.

August Health and Wellbeing goals
- Focus on continuing to recover and regain strength
- Follow up blood tests
- Doctor's appointment (primary physician follow up; August 24)
- Monitor weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc.

Time Management (6)(7): 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

I have been spending my time a little more mindfully, although I am not so sure about the "purposefully" part!  I still seem to spend an awful lot of time staring at a screen, especially with the Olympics games to watch!  I was still resting and taking it easy in July, so, I will not be too critical about how my time was spent and managed.  Time sensitive things like paying bills and renewing the car registration were accomplished.  I  am raising my satisfaction rating to 7.   

August Time Management goals are the same as above.

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Self-Care (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 in July; they've included painting with my daughter, celebrating my friend's birthday, having some special celebratory meals, etc.  I am keeping the rating at 10.  

August Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Self-Care goal remains the same as above.  

July turned out to be a good month!  My health improved as the sciatica pain faded and as a result, I was able to do more and my overall sense of wellbeing improved!  I felt better about a lot of things, there was more social contact during a brief window of time when I felt physically better and Covid numbers were down!  My Health and Wellbeing area and Time Management area went up and the others remained at a high rating.  I feel that it was a well balanced month.  I am looking forward to seeing how well August turns out to be.  

Anyone else making monthly goals for a more balanced life?  If not, how do you try to maintain balance in all the different areas of your life?  


  1. Your July has turned out so well. I have watered my plants using water from my butt (that means something completely different in the US! I'm not sure what term you use for the barrel in which rainwater is collected) However it ran dry and I used tap water on Wednesday on Thursday. Much heavy rain filled it again on Friday. I hope August is a good month for you, and especially that it is pain free

    1. Thank you, Angela; it turned out to be a very good month, didn't it?

      They are called rain barrels over here. The normal rainfall in July in the Los Angeles area is 0.02 inches. :) In my area, we had a slight drizzle, one night, and that was all the rain we had in July. Other areas received more rain, but, not where I live. I think I should learn to like nopales (prickly pear cactus leaves). :)

  2. July was a good month for you. Here's hoping August is even better.

    1. Thank you, June; yes, July turned out really well. August has started off with a pot of burned rice! Hopefully, not a bad omen! :D

  3. Well done Bless. Out of your 10 categories, you've maintained maximum ratings on six of them, maintained on another two and improved on two ... that's brilliant. Here's hoping August is just as good.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. Yes, July turned out to be a really good, well balanced month for me! I might have lowered my expectations as a result of my sciatica pain and I think that was beneficial. I am hopeful about August, too, even though I managed to burn the pot of rice I was cooking! :D

  4. Once again you have managed to have a successful month, despite the pandemic and your health issues!
    I think in Ontario we are currently having an English summer, cool and often wet, the way they were many years ago that I remember. Once during a July visit I was so cold that when we returned and got off the plane in a very steamy Ottawa, I almost kissed the ground. But today I'm going to have to bundle up for our river walk!

    1. Thank you, Bushlady; I think lowering some of my expectations helped! Imagine that! Who would have thought? :D

      Well, I suppose the current cool and wet weather is better than a heatwave and drought. Hopefully, you'll still have some nice sunny, warm, and dry days before the winter chill sets in. Enjoy your walk to the river and back. :)

  5. Excellent is the only word for your month! I am so impressed!

    1. Thank you, Anne. It turned out to be a very good month. I'm happy. :)


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