Saturday, July 2, 2022

Monthly Goals for a Balanced Life: Mid Year Review

Here we are, half way through the year!  The first six months behind us, the next six months ahead of us.  It is a good time to pause and do a bit of a review, don't you think?  In addition to my usual monthly reviews, I want to take this opportunity to review my goals for a more balanced life, to see if I want to continue the way I've been doing things or do things need a bit of a mid-year adjustment?  

For example, New Year's Resolutions - do you make any? If you do, do you review them from time to time to see if you are keeping them or if they need to be modified in anyway?  I made five New Year's Resolutions at the beginning of this year.  Very briefly, they were to pursue good health, better time management, being more organized, being more positive, and maintaining a balanced life.  These resolutions are incorporated into my monthly goals for a balanced life; the monthly reviews enable me to see my progress on those resolutions.   

Or, how about a Word of the Year? Did you have a Word of the Year?  Or One Little Word as some call it? I know at least one blogger who selects a new word every quarter.  I chose "Resilient" as my word of the year; I wanted to be more resilient in all areas of my life and considered it as part of my overall well being, but, going forward, I will include it as part of my "Spiritual" category, along with joyful, grateful, and positive, in my Balanced Life goals.  

I visualize my life as a wheel, with 10 spokes, currently (I had more spokes, at one time, but, 10 are what I have now), each spoke representing a category or area in my life.  Each month, I rate my satisfaction in each area on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being most dissatisfied and 10 being most satisfied.  Ideally, all the spokes have a rating of higher than 5 and are of equal length which enable the wheel to roll along smoothly.  If some spokes are shorter in length than others, then, the resulting wheel is lop-sided and wobbly!  I usually indicate my satisfaction ratings for each segment within parentheses, with the beginning of the month ratings in black and the end of the month ratings being shown in blue.

So, here is my mid-year review of my goals for a balanced life:

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

I have continued with my daily prayers, meditation, being grateful, positive, resilient, and joyful.  I have continued being generous and giving in various ways (not just in terms of giving money and other donations, but, also giving my time, energy, and other resources).  I haven't been to the Temple during the first six months of this year, but, I have had the monks come to my home for an almsgiving, I have helped them from time to time, and I have practiced the teachings of my religion in my daily life, observing the daily precepts of being mindful of my thoughts, speech, and actions in order not to cause harm or pain to another being.  I feel that I do live a spiritually meaningful life and moving forward, I will continue to keep the same spiritual goals. 

I will continue to keep the rating at 10.

July's Spiritual goals will be the same as above.  

House & Garage (6.75)(7):  The goal is a home that is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming:
- Clean - Clean the house and garage as needed
- Organized - 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've kept up with the housework, cleaning, organizing, maintaining, and decluttering.  During the first six months of this year, I have sorted out the garden shed and the garage, and I have decluttered hundreds of items.  June decluttering included several food storage containers and canning jars, a couple of items of clothing, some household items, magazines, gift bags, boxes/packing material, and a broken sewing machine.    Moving forward, I will continue to keep the same goals for a pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming home.

In June, I managed to keep the house maintained and I managed to fix one item that was broken; I felt very pleased with myself that I was able to do that!

I have raised the rating to 7, based on what I was able to accomplish!

July House & Garage goals will be the same as above.  My July Room of the Month will be the kitchen and my decluttering goal is 31 items.

Garden (8.0)(8.0):  The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant:
Maintaining (water, fertilize, and weed)
Planting summer vegetables!
- Start improving the parkway in the front

The garden has done well during the first six months of this year, providing me with fresh fruits (lemons, oranges, peaches, blueberries, a handful of plums) and vegetables (broccoli, peapods, beetroot, broccoli leaves, chard leaves, chilies, potatoes, and one or two sweet potatoes) as well as flowers and hours of enjoyment.  I was able to preserve some of the produce to share with my daughter, family, and friends, and to enjoy in the coming months.  Going forward, additional watering restrictions will make gardening more challenging, but, I will continue to focus on growing an edible garden.

The parkway improvements are still under consideration; it will be my July project.  

I am keeping the rating to 8.0 even though a recent heat wave caused some damage to the newly planted vegetable plants.

July Garden goals will be the same as above.

Daughter (10)(10) The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her:
- Keep in daily contact with her

My daughter was with me for the first quarter of this year, returned to her apartment for two months, and visited me, again, for a week in June.  I loved having her home with me and look forward to the next time we will be together.  In the meantime, we keep in daily contact, checking on each other and chatting.  I am happy with the relationship we have and hope we will continue to have a close relationship in the future, too.   

I am keeping the rating at 10!

July Daughter goals will be the same as above.

Family & Friends (10)(8):  The goal is to have a close connection with family and friends:
- Regular phone calls and emails to check on them
- In person get togethers as and when I feel comfortable about them

I am satisfied with the connections I've had with family and friends during the first half of this year.  They were mostly by phone, emails, and texts, but, there were a few in-person visits, too, although some of them made me feel a bit uneasy due to on-going Covid concerns.  I tend to be more reluctant to let my guard down than the rest of my family and the majority of my friends where Covid is concerned and am not as willing to mingle as they are.  They are ready to put Covid behind them and move on; I am of the opinion that we are still in the middle of the pandemic (our County's new Covid case numbers are still quite high, over 7,300 new cases, today) and I am not willing to take many risks.  In fact, I have declined an invitation to get together with my sister for lunch and to attend an up-coming family event due to my reluctance to mingle.  Moving forward, I see myself continuing to keep a physical distance and limiting interactions with family and friends to phone calls, texts, emails, and maybe the occasional curb-side/masked visit.  Is that the best way going forward?  Probably not.  But, it is the only way I am comfortable with, at present.  

I have reduced the rating to 8.0 to reflect the fact that I know there are things I can do to improve my connection to them, even if I am not willing to do those things, at present.

July Family and Friends goals will include:
- Regular phone calls and emails to check on them; as mentioned above, I've already opted out of two invitations to be with family
- Celebrate a friend's birthday with a curb-side visit
- Observe my father's death anniversary

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
  - Food exchanges with neighbors from time to time
  - Participate in temple events when safe to do so

I participated in my community in the various ways that I felt comfortable participating in the first half of this year.  Much of it was online or on the phone, with some limited in person interactions with neighbors.  Unlike interactions with family and friends, I am content with this level of interactions with the community in the second half of this year.  

I'm keeping the rating at 10.

July Community goals will be the same as above.

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

I live on a fixed income since I am retired and have continued to manage my finances in a responsible manner, budgeting and spending as mindfully as possible during the first half of this year.  I don't anticipate that to change in the second half of the year, even with rising inflation and increasing costs of living.  

I am keeping the rating at 10.

July Financial goals:
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose 

Health & Well Being (8.5)(8.5):  The goal is good health:
- Focus on continuing to improve my health through diet, hydration, adequate sleep, etc.
- Attend my medical appointments
- Continue to take my medications as prescribed
- Continue to take necessary precautions against viral infections

I continue to have some chronic health issues, but, my health was good for the most part during the first six months of this year.  I have had routine check ups with my health care providers, including the required lab tests and scans.  I have continued to take my medications as prescribed and the booster vaccinations against Covid.  Going forward, I have more routine check ups, including one appointment at the end of July, one at the end of October, and one at the end of November.   

I am keeping the satisfaction rating at 8.5.

July Health & Well Being goals will be the same as above.

Time Management (7.5)(7.5): 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 continued to struggle with my time management during the first half of this year and often felt that I was not making good use of my time, procrastinating and idling and not being as productive as I should be.  I know that I spend a lot of my time on the computer.  However, I have managed to accomplish quite a few things during the productive periods.  Going forwards, this is one of the areas in my life that I will closely monitor to see why I feel I am not managing my time as well as I should and what needs to improve.   

I am going to keep the rating at 7.5.

July 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
- Engage in leisure activities
- Do crafts and pursue hobbies

I feel I did very well in this area of my life during the first six months of this year, engaging in daily joyful activities, leisure activities, crafts and hobbies, although, sometimes, they were more "inactivities" than "activities"!  LOL!  I tend to be less of a "do-er" and more of a "be-er".  I don't always enjoy doing things - going places, seeing things, attending events, etc.  I'd much rather just be where I am, usually at home, relaxing and not doing anything in particular.  I think this might be why I feel I am not managing my time well, because I am not being productive; I'm just sitting and be-ing!   I did finish a few crafts projects and I participated in photo challenges and I did some painting!  Going forward, I am planning to continue with craft projects and the various hobbies that I enjoy doing.  

I am keeping the rating at 10.  

July Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Self-Care goals will be the same as above.

In conclusion, I feel I have managed to live a fairly well balanced life during the first half of this year.  Yes, there is room for improvement, even in those areas which have a high rating of satisfaction, as the areas can be changed to expand or contract as needed as circumstances change.  Going forward, I plan to continue to review each area and do what I can to live as well balanced a life as possible while still being cautious about viral infections, pandemics, and other concerns.  That is the goal for the second half of this year.

What do you think?  What are your goals for the rest of this year?


  1. From what I see, your time management must be good because you are able to maintain a balanced life and achieve most of your goals. You should reread what you accomplished the first half of the year as if you were reading someone else's blog. I think you would be impressed just as I am.

    1. Thank you, June; maybe I am kinder to others than I am to myself! :) But, I am going to keep an eye on my time management habits, because, I do know I tend to procrastinate! :)

  2. You are doing well with your goals and have achieved a lot so far this year with all the decluttering and clearing the shed and the garage. It's good to see that most of your categories have remained the same with one small increase and one reduction and that reduction is mainly due to anxiety about Covid, so something that is outside of your control.

    I need to review my own goals and see where changes are needed and whether I want to carry on with the same categories or not. Mine boils down to needing to complete the decluttering (nearly there!), finish of the tolerating lists, and rebuilding my social life. I think I'm getting there with everything and am pleased with how life is at the moment.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. Yes, the reduction is due to my anxiety about Covid. I think it is within my control in the sense that I have the option of weighing the pros and cons and deciding if the benefits are worth the risks I take and any possible negative consequences. I wasn't always this cautious! I've taken some risks that my daughter says causes her to shudder. Then, again, she wasn't around to ask me what was I thinking, taking those risks! LOL.

      I think you are well on your way to attaining those goals of decluttering, eliminating that tolerating list, and rebuilding your social life. I am in awe of what you've accomplished so far and how you take action once you've determined what it is that you want done. :)

  3. You have had another good month and I don't see anything amiss in preferring to stay home and do craft activities rather than going out and about. Sometimes it is nice to visit special places but I've never subscribed to the idea that one must be where everyone else is dashing around to visit. Just having been able to see some wonderful places over the years and still a possible trip here and there is good enough, when some people never get the chance to get out at all.
    We have a lovely sunny day today, unlike yesterday, but the rain stopped for Canada Day mid-afternoon and we had a great outdoor time at the barbecue in an interesting garden.

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. Yes, it is nice to visit special places, but, if I travel or go sight-seeing, I would like to do so with my daughter to share the experience. After I retired, before Covid, I pondered going on a tour, but, it really wasn't something I wanted to do, just something I thought I should do and that's not really a good reason for doing anything, is it? I have been to several countries (mostly in Asia) and some of the states; I'm perfectly content to stay at home, now.

      I'm glad the rain stopped in time for you to enjoy your Canada Day celebrations and you are having a lovely sunny day, today, too. I'm enjoying a slightly cooler day, today, with a high of 86F. I haven't had to turn on the fan, yet! :D

  4. You do really well on your goals! I'd feel really pleased if I did that well! I must admit that I do like going other places. I like seeing new scenery and taking new photos. I don't really want to see new people lol, just the places.

    1. Thank you, Sharon. If you enjoy visiting places, then, you should do so. I virtually visited a couple of new places, today, watching some travel videos and I was very happy to be able to do so from the comfort of my sofa! :D

  5. You are doing so well. I love that you and your daughter have such a close relationship. That's wonderful. You are wise to set goals and take steps to achieve them.

    1. Thank you, Stephenie. I feel blessed to have the relationship I do with my daughter. It's good to have goals, I think; it gives me something to strive towards. :)

  6. You have been on a wonderful path and your year has really been in accord with your plans. I need a huge motivation booster, because the past few days I have been languishing.

    1. Thank you, Anne. I think you are feeling the after effects of having the family visit. It's like the post holiday blues. Give yourself this weekend to rest and then, plan something fun to do next week. :)

  7. Well done, Bless. You have achieved so much. And you have wisely chosen worthwhile goals. You're also honest about the areas where you feel you could achieve a little more. May the second half of this year be equally blessed, and may your health and strength remain. God bless your daughter too ❤️❤️

    1. Thank you so much, Angela; I really appreciate your well wishes for me and my daughter. :)

  8. You are doing so well with your goals. Covid has changed so many things in our lives but personally I need to get out and about. It's wonderful that you have such a close and loving relationship with your daughter. You're doing well.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. I do enjoy the occasional outing, but, for the most part, I'm perfectly content staying at home! :) I am blessed when it comes to my relationship with my daughter. I enjoyed a close bond with my mother and now, I have a similar bond with my daughter. :)

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I find the way that you set goals and then assess the result inspirational (as I fail epically at both). You are awesome.

    1. Thank you, Lyssa, for your kind words. It's taken me many years of trying and not quite succeeding (I don't like the word "fail") to get to this point! I've learned to adjust and readjust (often downsizing!) what I'm trying to achieve, why, and how I try to achieve them. :)

  10. I think you've had a really good first half of the year as you strive towards the life you want to live.

    Personally, I think you are wise to be cautious with covid. We do the same. My husband has charted daily the covid numbers in our state since the beginning so we are always aware of what's going on.
    And now we are even more mindful because those numbers, for the most part, represent an extreme under reporting due to the prevalence of home testing.

    I think you do really well with your time management and are too hard on yourself in that regard. You accomplish quite a bit for one retired lady and should maybe shift your gaze a bit ;)
    When I read your daily accomplishments, I often see a nice stack of checked-off tasks - so you must be managing your time somewhat well, right?
    Sure, we all take some downtime but this isn't a race and I'm a big fan of down time :)

    1. Thank you, Debra. Yes, I'm quite happy with how everything went during the first half of this year. One or two areas could do with some improvement, but, I am re-thinking what I really want to achieve in those area and there might, in deed, be some gaze shifting! :D
      We had over 15,000 reported new Covid cases in Los Angeles County over the 3 day weekend; another nearly 3,000, yesterday. I am only going out when I need to and assessing the risk each and every time!


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