Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Monthly Balanced Life Goals: January Review and February Goals

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 (later, when I do reviews, the end of the month ratings will be shown in blue.) 

The following four areas of my life continued to receive a high satisfaction rating of 10, so I am just going to skim over them:

Spiritual (10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:
I continued with daily prayers, meditation, and being grateful; I tried to be positive, joyful, and to cultivate non-attachment.  I will continue to do the same in February, in addition to making a donation to the Temple in memory of my mother on her death anniversary.

Daughter (10) The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her:
Daughter spent most of the month of January with me and we enjoyed our time together.  Now that she has returned to her apartment, we keep in touch by phone and video chats.

Community (10):  The goal is to be involved in my community:
My community involvement in January included visiting with neighbor S and her daughters, visiting with neighbor T and her daughter as well as weekly phone calls with T, and participating online in the blogging community, etc.  I plan to continue to do the same in February, too.

Finances (10):  The goal is financial security:
I continued to budget and spend mindfully, with purpose, in January.  I will continue to do so in February, too.

The remaining areas of my life continued to receive a satisfaction rating of 7 or above and they are the areas I will be focusing on:

House (7.5)(7.5):  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'm doing better about keeping the house cleaned and maintained although I continue to struggle with finding a place for everything and keeping everything in its place!

My decluttering goal for January was 31 items decluttered and I am happy to say that I met that goal!  I decluttered:
1 sweater, 2 old trash cans which had holes in them, 5 magazines, 1 plastic storage box (shoe box sized), 2 file folders (each containing 3 years of bill statements), 1 flower pot, 1 blue and white china bowl (gifted), 9 CD cases  (Daughter kept the CDs), 1 CD (without a case), 1 old kitchen towel, 3 calendars, 1 glass jar from a jar candle (after the candle was burned and the leftover wax removed). several brochures (counts as 1 item), several cardboard boxes (counts as 1 item), some recipes I had clipped from magazines, etc.; not likely to make them (counts as 1 item) = 31 items

February's decluttering goal will be 30 items.

Garden (6.5)(7.0):  The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant:
Maintaining (water, fertilize, and weed); M will continue to visit twice a week
- Focus on the winter vegetable and fruit plants

Mother Nature did quite a bit of watering for me in January and I am very thankful for that!  We planted snow peas, celery, onions, and lettuce; there are four self-seeded broccoli plants growing, as well, and a new mint plant that M gifted me.  We repotted the blueberry bushes and added soil amendments to the fruit trees.  I've plenty of volunteer osteospermum seedlings sprouting up everywhere as well as several phacelia plants.  But, the thing that raised the rating is the progress M made with the parkway in the front, putting down 12 bags of pea gravel!  We will need another 15 bags or so of pea gravel to finish the parkway and I am hoping that we will be able to do that in February.

Family & Friends (8)(8.0):  The goal is to have a close connection with family and friends:
- Regular phone calls and emails to check on them

I started off the month with wishing family and friends a Happy New Year over the phone and online and exchanged several phone calls with them in January.  There were no in-person visits with my friends, but, several of daughter's friends (including my late friend A's daughters) visited her (all wearing masks at daughter's request) and it was nice to see them.  There were, also emails with several friends.  
I am content with how things stand in this area of my life.  There is room for improvement, of course, but, I am not that comfortable with in-person visits, especially since the majority of my family and friends don't believe in wearing masks.  

Goals for February will remain the same, with the addition of a phone call or two to wish people for their birthdays.

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

In January, I had a blood test, a mammogram (results were normal, thank goodness!) and an ultrasound done.  My appointment with the oncologist and the injection for bone strengthening were postponed till February.  
February's goals will remain the same as above and will include two doctors' appointments (one with the oncologist and one with the primary care physician).  There will be additional lab work for the second appointment and I need to schedule that.  

Time Management (8)(8.0): 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 think I did OK with my time management in January.  I still tend to procrastinate, but, things do get done, eventually.  I'm getting better at doing things when I have the energy and taking it easy without feeling guilty about it when I don't!
The goal in February is to keep at it.  

Anyone else making monthly goals for a more balanced life?  


  1. I am very impressed by your accomplishments. I think you are meeting all of your goals. From the photos you post, your garden looks lovely, I'd give it a much higher rating! I need to follow your decluttering method. I keep thinking I'll do big sessions, but small and steady like one item a day does win the race!

    1. Thank you, Celie. I think I'm doing OK, but, there's always room for improvement, isn't there? M is in the garden, right now, weeding and tidying it up. He is going to try and get the rest of the bags of gravel this week or next. :)
      Big decluttering sessions are good if you can manage it. I have to be really in the mood for it (like I did with the garage and the shed) but, for me, most of the time, the one or two items a day tend to work the best. Or, it might be 5 items over the weekend. I seem to find it hard to go through one shelf and say it's decluttered, but, I can pick at that shelf a couple of times and then decide that it is decluttered for now. :) "Slow and steady wins the race" used to be one of my mother's favorite sayings, along with "Little drops of water, little grains of sand". :)

  2. You're doing so well with your goals. You do well with the decluttering and I'm sure you will meet your February target. January was very cold and wet here too and Mother Nature does help with plenty of rain. You did well with planting and your parkway is looking good. So pleased that your mammogram result was normal. We both have our bone strengthening infusions in February and I booked my blood test already. We have things in common in that I have to do things when I have the energy and no need for either of us to feel guilty xx

    1. Thank you, Eileen. One day I am going to be completely decluttered and then, we'll throw a party to celebrate! :D
      We do have things in common, don't we? By the way, when I sorted through my freezer, yesterday, I pulled out the rest of that loaf of bara brith I made...guess what I'll be having with my cup of tea this evening! :)

  3. You are working hard on the different areas of your life and your high ratings in all areas show that you are content with your efforts (that's not to say that you don't wish for more in some areas.) That is an admirable place to be.

    1. Thank you, June. Yes, I am content with where I am in most of my areas. I would like the house and the garden to improve a bit more and health to be maintained if not improved. :)

  4. A good report for January. I think your number could be higher for your lovely garden!

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. The garden is looking nice after the rain. I took a photo of the peach tree, this morning - it's in full bloom and the bees are going crazy! :D

  5. You've had a good month by the sounds of it Bless. You've increased one rating and the others have stayed the same so that's a brilliant achievement. xx

    1. Thank you, Eileen; yes, it was a good month! I had my daughter home with me, we enjoyed the holidays and time spent together, there was rain for the garden, the heater worked, and life, in general, was good! :)

  6. I love your analogy about the spokes on a wheel. :) It sounds like you are doing very well my friend. I have been decluttering too and trying to find places for the things that I am holding onto.

    1. Thank you, Debbie. Yes, I'm doing well for the most part. It's hard for me to declutter, but, I'm getting there! :)

  7. ha I learn so much from my blogging community for me recent community. I wonder now about balance that way... because i still cannot stand on one leg easily, practice every day, but keeping, ..maybe two spokes, way shorter, hence the imbalance. You seem in balance very well. How is your standing on one leg?

    1. LOL, I can balance on one leg for short periods of time, although I do better when I stand on my right leg than on my left! I used to be able to balance better when I took dance classes, but, it's been awhile since then.
      If you want to try the balance wheel thing, start by figuring out what are the different areas of your life and how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with those areas, then, maybe pick 3 or 4 areas to work on. Keep asking, "Why?" "What am I trying to achieve?" "What do I need to do to achieve it?" Good luck!

  8. ha! me too, my right leg is better. Last night at Yoga I was asked to participate in a dance group. I will today make a drawing of your wheel and do what you suggest. To see if i want to participate in dance or not. I like my yoga group once a week, that for me seems the perfect amount of social activity like that.

    1. Maybe give the dance group a try and see if you enjoy it? Will it be on a different day of the week than the yoga group? If so, you'll have two social activities a week. Would that be something you'd like or would it be too much?

  9. Another good month for you with improvements too :)
    Your decluttering was good. I especially like the 3 file folders with a years worth of bills in each.
    You did well in living the life you have designed for yourself.

    1. Thank you, Debra, especially for that last sentence! I appreciate that very much. :)


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