Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Balanced Life Goals: September Review and October Goals

As always, 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 and high 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 August:

Spiritual (10)(10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:
I continued to live what I consider to be a spiritually meaningful life, in the ways I am able to.  I am happy with this area of my life.

My goal in October is to continue to live a spiritually meaningful life.  I am also planning to visit the temple, mid-month, on a week day, when it is not crowded.

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 September, too.  

My goal in October is the same, to continue to have a close, if long distance, relationship with her!

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies (10)(10):  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
I feel like I didn't do a lot in terms of crafts, but, I made a birthday card for a friend and I spent an afternoon trying my hand (rather unsuccessfully, I'm afraid) at basket weaving with twigs cut from the bottlebrush tree!  The resulting object didn't look anything like a basket, but, I had fun!  I also did a little bit of quilt repairing, read a library book, and participated in the Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt.   In addition, I put together a list of joyful activities to do during the fall season.

I am happy with the amount of leisure/crafts/hobbies activities I did in September.  My goal in October is to continue to engage in fun, relaxing activities including crafts and hobbies.

Finances (10)(10):  The goal is financial security:
I continued to budget and spend mindfully, with purpose, in September.  I continued to manage well on my retirement income.   

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

Garden (9.5)(9.5):  The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant:
Maintaining (water, fertilize, and weed); M will continue to visit twice a week

The garden did well in September.  I picked some green beans, the volunteer cherry tomato plant is providing the occasional ripe tomato, I have other tomato plants from the 10 year old seeds growing and flowering (no fruits, yet), three baby zucchinis developing, and a baby butternut squash! 

M has been doing some pruning and has brought me some plants to try growing. 

I am very pleased with how the garden performed in September.  I am keeping the rating at 9.5

October garden goals include keeping the plants watered and the garden weeded and tidy with M's help.  We will also start planning a cool season garden, although M might have to make a new planting bed!  

Family/Friends/Community (9.0)(9.0):  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, friends, and neighbors in September.  I had a special phone call with my long time friend from college who celebrated her birthday and emailed birthday greetings to a cousin in Sri Lanka, who emailed me back right away.  As always, there were several exchanges of gifts of food with neighbor S and her family and with gardener friend M!  LOL. 

I participated in a community survey by the California Department of Aging; apparently, I was one of the people who were randomly selected to provide input about the needs and access to services of those 55 years of age and older in my community.  It was a 4 or 5 page survey and I hope my input will be considered useful.  I also participated in the blogging community and in the online organizing friends group.  

Goals for October will remain the same.  

Health, Self-Care & 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

As I've stated before, improving my health through diet, hydration, etc., is an on-going effort!   

On the whole, my health was being maintained during September, although the hip pain I experienced at the end of August lingered well into September, as well.  It set me back when it came to walking and I've been slowly trying to increase my walking by a few extra minutes each day.      

Health goals for October will be to continue improving my overall health.  I need to schedule my flu vaccine and Covid booster shot and a blood test closer to the end of the month for a November doctor's appointment.  October is also when the annual open enrollment for health insurance begins and I need to review the brochures I've received in the mail and see what I need to do.

Time Management (7.5)(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 still have a tendency to procrastinate, but, I managed to get documents filled out and bills paid on time and I finally got a big backlog of paperwork cleared!  These are big achievements for me and I have felt better about my time management in September.  

As a result, I've increased my satisfaction level to 8.0

The goal in October is to work on improving, or, at least, maintaining, my time management skills!  

House (7.5)(8.0):  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

As I've mentioned before, I tend to be messy!  However, in September, I tried very hard to clear up some of the messes.  I've kept up with the dusting and the vacuuming, I've cleared horizontal surfaces and have tried to keep them cleared.  I did some decluttering, too, but, I didn't meet my goal of decluttering 30 items.  Even so, I feel good about what I did manage to achieve and I've raised my satisfaction rating to 8.0.

October goals for this area include maintaining and improving on what I've achieved!  I will do some deep cleaning of rooms as I decorate for fall and continue to declutter.  I have wondered if having a goal of X number of items decluttered is helpful or not (I haven't met my monthly goals in the last couple of months), but, I do like having a specific, measurable goal and it motivates me, so, I guess I will continue to have a goal of decluttering a specific number of items (31) in October, too (and have already made a small start, decluttering one small decorative metal container that I've had since the mid 1980s).  

Once again, certain areas continued to get a high satisfaction rating and some remained the same, but, two areas (time management and house) increased!  Just by half a point, but, still, a move in the right direction!  I'm feeling very encouraged by that as they were my two lowest scoring areas in August.  I found September to be a bit of a difficult month for me, so even if I didn't meet all my goals, I'm happy with what I did achieve.  I'm looking forward to October and, hopefully, a better month.  

Did you make any goals for September and were you able to meet those goals or, at least, work towards them?  Will you be making any goals for October?


  1. You always do such a great job of goal-setting and looking back to check your progress. I really need to get it together and re-evaluate some of my own.

    1. Thank you, Mandy. I find it very helpful to do a monthly check. I hope you will find it helpful, too, if you decide to do something similar.

  2. You are doing so well Bless and being able to up your score on time management and house categories is proof of that. I don't make goals as I just take each day as it comes.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. Taking each day as it comes is good, too, but, I'm afraid that, in my case, it would lead to more procrastination and, perhaps, more negative thinking at the end of the month ("I didn't do anything, I didn't keep in touch with family and friends", etc.), especially now when I don't go places, visit people, or engage in social activities in person. I tend to do enough of that, already! Which was the main reason why I started doing this balanced life goals in the first place. I had felt that certain areas of my life was very lacking and this was how I was going to remedy that. :)

  3. What a purposeful, thoughtful life you are living.

    1. Thank you, June. That is my intention, although, lately, I feel like I am still trying to find my current purpose! I feel that I've reached a certain stage of life where I've fulfilled most of my former purposes and obligations. I had some plans about what I would do after retirement, but, external factors beyond my control have caused me to reconsider those plans. So, what do I do to live a thoughtful, purposeful, meaningful life in what would be the autumn of my life?

    2. I understand what you mean about redefining yourself in this stage of life. Much to ponder.

    3. Yes, much to ponder, as you say. :)

  4. You did well with time management and the house, increasing both
    ratings! I did manage to declutter a box of items yesterday to a large charity store in another town, and the only thing I bought there was something that our DDIL had asked me to look out for.

    1. Thank you, Bushlady! I'm pleased with my progress in both those areas!
      Well done with the decluttering and being so restrained in your purchases at the charity store! I have stopped going to charity stores because I tend to want to buy everything I see! :D


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