Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Balanced Life Monthly Goals - March Review and April Goals

It's time, again, for another monthly review of how balanced (or not) my life has been!

As mentioned 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 shown in (blue). 

These are the individual areas of my life and their ratings for March:

Spiritual (10)(10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:
I continued with daily prayers, meditation, etc. I have also been watching online videos about religion, which have been quite interesting.  I didn't go to the Temple in March, but, I feel that I am living a spiritually meaningful life in accordance with the teachings of my religion.  I am happy with this area of my life.

My goal in April is to continue to live a spiritually meaningful life.

Daughter (10)(10) The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her:
Daughter and I continued to keep in touch by phone and video chats in March.  We celebrated her birthday in early March, although I was disappointed that she couldn't come home for her birthday.  But, she would have had to fly down in order to do so and she didn't want to expose me to any germs that air travel might expose her to, she said; I appreciate her concern on my behalf.  

My goal in April is to continue to have a close relationship with her.

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Self-Care (10)(10):  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
Another area in my life that continues to get a high rating.  March leisure/crafts/hobbies, etc., included repairing the quilt top. participating in the photo challenges, and knitting.

Looking forward to a month of leisure activities and crafting in April, too.

Finances (10)(9.5):  The goal is financial security:
I continued to budget and spend mindfully, with purpose, in March, too.

However, I wondered how does one aim for financial security when the financial institutions, themselves, don't seem very secure, with at least some of them failing!  One might be frugal and build up an emergency fund, but, what happens when one can't access that emergency fund?  I know that bank accounts are federally insured up to a certain maximum amount, over here, so, there are some safeguards in place and things seem to have settled down, somewhat.  I also know that worrying about what might happen doesn't help.  Nevertheless, that sense of financial security I had earlier slipped a notch.

My biggest financial accomplishment in March was getting my taxes done!  Other, smaller, accomplishments were keeping to my grocery budget and lowering my heating bill.

I will continue to budget and spend mindfully in April, too.

Garden (8.0)(8.5):  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

We continued to receive above normal rain fall in March and the garden is thriving!  I've been harvesting snow pea pods and/or lettuce on a daily basis and most of the fruit trees are showing signs of new growth.  M has been thinning the peaches, fertilizing the fruit trees, and weeding.  

April garden goals include continuing to plant summer vegetables (M has already bought me two packets of green beans to plant) and keeping the plants watered now that the rainy season is coming to an end (no rain in the forecast for April).

Family/Friends/Community (8.0)(8.0):  The goal is to have a close connection with family and friends and be involved with my community:
- Regular phone calls and emails, etc., to keep in touch
- Participate in the blogging communityq

There were plenty of phone calls, texts, emails, etc., with family and friends in March.  Several family members and a couple of friends had birthdays this month, so, cards were mailed, birthday wishes were texted or emailed, and phone calls were made.  There were no in-person visits, however, and while that's not ideal, it's what I'm comfortable with for now.  

I have merged the Community area with Family & Friends as there wasn't a lot of community involvement in March, other than participating in the blogging community, phone calls with neighbor T, and food exchanges with neighbor S.  Again, it is not ideal, but, it's what I am comfortable with for now.

Goals for April will remain the same.  

Health & Well Being (8.5)(8.0):  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

Improving my health through diet, hydration, etc., is an on-going effort!  I don't feel I have been doing enough, although, I've been eating more salads because I've been harvesting lettuce from the garden and although I didn't lose any weight, I didn't gain any, either!  My sleep schedule is completely out of whack and I know I haven't been getting more than 5-6 hours of sleep per night.  Plus, the leg pains I had earlier in the month was a symptom of being dehydrated and I haven not walked consistently, either.  I've reduced my satisfaction rating, accordingly.
I didn't have any medical appointments in March, I continued to take my medications, and I continued to take precautions against viral infections by staying home for the most part. 

Health goals for April will remain the same.  I need to walk more consistently and that will be my area of focus.

Time Management (8)(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

Time management was a bit of a struggle for me, in March.  I need to find a good balance between leisure activities and housekeeping/paperwork, etc.!  However, important paperwork and filing taxes were done in a timely manner and I didn't procrastinate on that!  

The goal in April is to be more efficient with my time.  

House (7.0)(7.0):  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

The house has been kept clean and maintained for the most part although I haven't been consistent about it and I've let a few things pile up.  However, I did a big tidy up at the end of the month and started April with a relatively clean and tidy house.

Once again, I didn't reach my goal of decluttering 31 items in March and I didn't get any of the repairs done (although M tried his best with fixing the garage roof). 

April's goal is to double up on some of the household tasks I need to do!

March wasn't a bad month, but, I feel that I could have done better in some areas and I struggled to find balance.  Well, April is a new month and I have the opportunity for a fresh start!  What are your goals for April?  


  1. You are keeping pretty much on track. As for finances it's a worry for many people with prices rising so fast in this cost of living crisis. I can't worry about banks as money there has to be safer than keeping cash at home. I read it's safer to spread your money between a few banks to keep within the protected limits but not something I need worry about.

    You are fortunate to grow so much fruit and salad leaves in your garden. Do keep well hydrated and look after yourself. I ate my first salad of the year this week and really enjoyed it as we had a couple of beautiful sunny days I welcome April and the weather will improve and I think that alone will make us all feel better.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. I am satisfied with how things are going, for the most part. Every now and then, something comes up and I feel stressed, but, in general, I am happy with how things work out.
      I am blessed to be able to grow fruits and vegetables in the garden! Today, I made a salad with the lettuce I picked and made a glass of lemonade with one of the lemons I picked. :)
      The spring weather is a real mood lifter, isn't it? I'm looking forward to the warmer weather. Hope you have a lovely rest of the week, Eileen, and a wonderful Easter weekend.

  2. Well done you. March by its very nature is a challenging month (IMO) & never more so with regards to budgets & food planning. Those two seem to be at polar opposites these days. April is definitely a month of renewal in many cultures & faiths, so perfect for goals of tasks to be completed. Happy April, Happy Spring! :)

    1. Thank you, Mary-Lou. I think it is the fact that I felt so cold during March (our temperatures were, on the whole, lower than normal and I was trying to limit the amount of heating I allowed myself in order to keep the gas bill down) that made everything worse! I felt quite sorry for myself from time to time and that's something my mother said I should never do!
      But, you are right; April is a month of renewal and the forecast calls for warmer temperatures! :)

  3. I'm sure many people are concerned with financial security in this unstable world but as you say, worrying doesn't help. My DFIL's favourite song was "One Day at a Time". You are doing well with the salads and other veggies. I still battle with time management but like you I did get the taxes done.
    Well, we had the predicted dreadful day yesterday with a mix of rain, snow, and freezing rain, but not enough here to cause problems like in other areas. We stayed put, and today there is sunshine and it is warmer so we will be out and about.

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. I guess, when it comes to financial security, one does ones best to "prepare for the worst and hope for the best". That song is one of my favorites, too!
      Sorry you had such terrible weather, yesterday! It's good that you didn't have to go out and were able to stay home. Today sounds like a much better day! It's sunny, here, too, and 63F, currently (at 11:40 a.m.). Today's high is supposed to be 69F!

  4. Your lowest rating was 7.5 which is remarkable when you consider it. Most people would be thrilled to be that in control of their life. I think the fact that you take time to write it all down and to regularly evaluate things makes all the difference. A good example and inspiration for all of us.

    1. Thank you, June. Some of the higher ratings might also be because I tell myself to focus on the positives; otherwise, I can go off the deep end at the other side! For example, I can feel dissatisfied with the house because it really needs painting and the kitchen floor tiles (vinyl) are peeling, but, instead, I focus on the fact that I have a safe home, the walls are standing, and I have a working kitchen! Yes, it is a form of tolerating and putting up with less than perfect, but, it is better for my sense of well-being than focusing on the negatives. :)

    2. Negatives are easy to focus on. It takes a lot of practice to focus on the positives.

    3. Yes, negatives are easy to focus on, but, that often leads to feeling sorry for yourself. There was a time when I fell into that downward spiral and I was in a very bleak place. I could rattle off at least 100 negative things in a minute and feel sorrier for myself with each one of them! But, one day, I challenged myself to come up with 100 positive things, instead, and to write them down. I didn't think I could come up with even 10 things, but, I started writing my list, starting with the most basic item of all - I was alive. I could breathe on my own without the aid of machines. I could see, I could hear, I could walk, I could talk, I had my mother (she was still alive then), I had a daughter who was healthy, I had a job, I had an income, health insurance, a house (well, the bank owned it, but, you know what I mean), a car (that was paid for), and before I knew it, I had a list of 125 positive things to be thankful for. I stopped at 125, but, I could have gone on. That was when I decided that I will write down every day, at least 5 things I was grateful for. It was not easy, some days, I had to go back to the "I am alive, etc." I still have that original list in one of my journals (back then, I kept a written journal; these days, the blog has replaced it!)

  5. Im always impressed by how well you keep track of your goals! I agree that a lowest rating of 7.5 is very good, remarkable as Live and Learn says. My biggest goal has been improving my health. I've now started attending one day a week exercise class, which is a small start, but I do need to eat healthier as well.

    1. Thank you, Celie. The lowest rating is actually 7 (for the house), but, I'm not going to quibble about half a point! :D In any case, the house satisfaction rating fluctuates from day to day, depending on how much cleaning and tidying I get done! :D
      Well done on joining a weekly exercise class! It's a good start and sometimes, getting started is often the hardest part!

  6. Great job with the goals! You did really well. I like that a new month can bring a new start. It certainly makes me feel less of a failure rather than doing resolutions at the beginning of the year.

    1. Thank you, Sharon. Yes, each month is a new start! My annual New Year's resolutions are incorporated into the balanced life goals and sometimes, I do a mid-year review to see if those resolutions are still valid or not. :)

  7. You had another good month. It's interesting that you mentioned adjusting your financial life based on the bank failures. I was surprised by those events too even though they didn't personally affect me. It's hard to know if that is all a harbinger of things to come - if the financial footing of this country and the world is more precarious then we would know.
    But there's not a thing we can do about it so I am not going to worry.
    All we can do is make the right choices in our own lives and like the sign says, Proceed with Caution. lol

    1. Thank you, Debra. Yes, the bank failures (and there were at least 4 of them in quick succession, weren't there?) rattled me a bit. I knew that there were problems with other banks in other parts of the world, with limits and restrictions imposed on how much people could withdraw from their own accounts, but, that seemed like an unlikely scenario over here. But, then, I got to thinking (I should have known better than to do that! I always get into trouble when I start to think! LOL!) My bank accounts might be safe, but, the majority of my retirement income comes from a pension fund that is invested in the stock market and if enough banks fail and the stock market does a deep dive, that retirement income could be in jeopardy, couldn't it? Then, what would I do? It was a scary thought! In the end, I decided that I should simply acknowledge that I've done my best to prepare for the future and deal with circumstances as and when they take place. It's all one can do, isn't it? Besides, all that thinking was giving me a headache! :D


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