Monday, May 1, 2023

Balanced Life Goals - April Review and May Goals

It seems hard to believe that it's time, again, for another monthly review of how balanced (or not) my life has been!  Time sure does fly!

My overall goal is to live a life that feels well balanced to me.  To that end, I have created several areas of importance to me to focus on.  I try to evaluate each area, rating 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 areas get equal rating, but, lower satisfaction ratings indicate that these areas need more work.  My ratings for each area 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 April:

Spiritual (10)(10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:
I continued with daily prayers, meditation, etc.  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 May is to continue to live a spiritually meaningful life.  May is when we observe Vesak, which commemorates three important events in the life of the Buddha - his birth, his Enlightenment (or becoming the Buddha), and his death.  There will be religious ceremonies held in all the Temples and I've already received invitations to participate.  However, I am still not attending public events, so my participation will be limited to a more personal one.  

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, texts, and video chats in April.  She continues to ask me for my opinion and input when it comes to important decisions she needs to make, which pleases me very much because, as my blog name implies, I enjoy putting in my two cents!  LOL.       

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

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies (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.  April leisure/crafts/hobbies, etc., included repairing one quilt top and starting on another, participating in the monthly photo challenge, and knitting a sweater.

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

Finances (9.5)(9.5):  The goal is financial security:
I continued to budget and spend mindfully, with purpose, in April, too.  I  kept to my grocery budget and lowered my heating bill (helped by warmer weather).  

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

Garden (8.5)(9.0):  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

The garden is thriving!  I've harvested snow peas, lettuce, and broccoli; at least some of the fruit trees are setting fruit, the two newly planted tomato plants have flowers and even one tiny tomato, the newly planted chili plant is still growing and so are the beans.  There are plenty of flowers on the other fruit trees and lots of other plants are flowering, too.  M has been thinning the peaches, fertilizing the fruit trees, and weeding.  

May garden goals include continuing to plant summer vegetables (M will be buying some okra seeds and I'm still trying to decide if I want to grow zucchini again!) and keeping the plants watered, etc.

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 community and the online organizing community

There were regular phone calls, texts, emails, etc., with family, neighbors, and friends in April.  There were also a few brief, masked, in-person visits with neighbor S which also included exchanges of food!  

Goals for May will remain the same.  

Health, Self-Care & Well Being (8.0)(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

As I've stated before, improving my health through diet, hydration, etc., is an on-going effort!  I didn't have any medical appointments in April, I continued to take my medications, and I continued to take precautions against viral infections by staying home for the most part. The biggest improvement has been my effort to walk on a more regular basis, gradually increasing the duration.  That was my focus in April and I am happy with my efforts; I have raised my satisfaction rating based on the more consistent walking.  

Health goals for May will remain the same.  I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for the end of the month and I will need to do some lab work prior to that.  I will continue to focus on walking more consistently (5 days a week) and increasing the duration to 30 minutes per day. 

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

Time management is still a bit of a struggle.  I procrastinate doing housework, etc., and play, instead!  As a result, some long term projects are still on the back burner!  

The goal in May is to manage my time, better.  Less wasting time and more doing!  

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 maintained for the most part, but, I didn't make any progress on any of the repairs I had planned to do, for one reason or another.  Nor did I do much decluttering.  

May's goal is to rethink what I really want to achieve when it comes to keeping the house maintained.  

Once again, certain areas continued to get a high satisfaction rating, a couple of areas, including the garden, increased in satisfaction, and others remained the same.  None of the areas decreased in my satisfaction ratings, however, which is good.  I will continue to work on my time management and the housekeeping - I think they might be inter-connected!  

What do you think?


  1. I think you are doing really well. Housework is something I procrastinate on too so don't worry too much about a schedule as some days we feel more enthused than others. You are doing well with your walking exercise and again you don't push yourself too hard. I hope your lab tests and doctor's appointment go well.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. There are times when I actually enjoy doing housework, but, I have to be in the mood for it. The rest of the time, I feel that there are better things to do, like watch online videos! LOL. I am very pleased with the walking and hope to continue with that in May, too. Thank you for the well wishes on the lab tests and doctor's appointment.

  2. Impressive once again. Do any of the services at your temple get recorded, so you could watch them from home? Many churches are continuing to do that even after they have opened up after the pandemic.

    1. Thank you, June. No, unfortunately, the Temple hasn't continued with recording their services or offering online retreats. Never mind; there are some online videos of chanting, etc. that I can watch.

  3. You are doing well with your monthly goals. I did not know that May was so significant in the Buddhist faith. Our local Kadampa Buddhist Temple is conducing a series of mediation classes & information sessions for "Mediation May".

    1. Thank you, Mary-Lou. Yes, May has traditionally been the month in which we observe the birth, Enlightenment, and the death of the Buddha. I used to attend weekly meditation sessions at the temple on Friday evenings, prior to Covid. There is a lot of research done about the benefits of meditation, even if it isn't done for religious purposes.

  4. Another good rating. I hear you on the time management, it is my own weak area, too. It is a pity that you are not able to fully participate in the ceremonies at the Temple, but your heart will be there as you celebrate safely at home. As for the garden, if mine was looking as good as yours (seen in recent photos), I would probably score it eleven!

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. I am the Queen of Procrastination! LOL. Yes, I'm sorry I am not able to attend the Temple ceremonies, but, I am still not comfortable attending any big gatherings. The garden received some rain, this morning, and there's more rain in the forecast for later this week! The plants will be very happy! :)

  5. Really good ratings for April! Procrastinating is easy when faced with chores! Ive procrastinated on decluttering for years! I tell myself that this is the year I will finally clear out closets, the basement...but all I seem to do is add stuff. Are there online meditations or events from other Buddhist temples or groups you could follow or be part of? You clearly are doing very well with spiritually though. You have your goals so well laid out.

    1. Thank you, Celie. I've decided to go back to keeping a daily track of the cleaning and other household tasks that I do. I often forget the daily housekeeping that I do and focus only on the things I didn't do! Decluttering is so hard for me! I wonder if it would be easier if I knew I was downsizing and had to get rid of stuff.
      I haven't found many opportunities to participate online, but, I've found several videos of chanting and discussions to watch and listen to. Maybe I'll put together my own retreat program!

  6. Congratulations on another good month in your efforts towards living the life you want to live.

    1. Thank you, Debra. I like how you put it - to live the life I want to live. That's exactly what it is! :)

  7. You are doing well, quite well, quite quite well. Nicely done, I am sure reaching these goals is bringing you much contentment, and we always need a thing or two to work on.

    1. Thank you, Susanne. Often, I feel that I'm not making much progress on my goals, but, then, I do one of these monthly summaries and realize that, actually, under the circumstances (I am still voluntarily isolating myself), I am making adequate progress. :)


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