Much thought has ensued since my last goal setting post. I decided that a Life Analysis is in order. Am I having a midlife crisis? No, just an annual review!
Here is my score card:
Do I like having a live-in, exclusive, legally-recognized partner?
Yes! Works for me.
Do I like my choice of partner?
Yes. Love him lots!
Do we spend enough time (or quality time) together?
Do we share chores well?
Do we spend an appropriate amount of time with our families?
Needs more thought to decide what works best.
Am I being the kind of parent my (21 year old) child needs right now?
I think so?
We are separated by 1800 km (1100 miles) so it’s a challenge.
Things to keep in mind?
Will want to plan an extra visit at the end of 2015 if Link has top surgery.
Things to keep in mind?
Look for challenges, keep current, don’t get too comfortable, there is always the possibility of being transferred within the library system to another position or location.
Home (House and Yard/Garden)
Still like being a homeowner?
Yes, enjoy it, willingly do the work, it’s affordable, don’t need hired help.
Things to keep in mind?
14 years to retirement, lots of time to downsize, but no need to build up piles of new clutter! Need to think about value and use of any home improvements during this time.
Need a car?
Yes. There will never be a time when Rom and I will both live, work, shop and have all our activities in the same neighbourhood. Our city is sprawling and there isn’t a great enough population to have services duplicated in every neighbourhood. Nor is there a good enough tax base to have an excellent public transit system. So we can only be mindful and reduce our car use.
Do we need two cars?
No. We no longer need two cars since I walk to work and Rom takes the bus. We have minimized our driving and will go down to one car when it works best economically.
Like having them?
I love our cats and can’t imagine a home without them. They are 7 years old. I have just realized that they will be my last cats. They will probably live until I retire. And then I will choose not to have new cats or kittens when I am 65 because we will want to be open to life changes (where to live, etc.)
Rom’s family have always owned corgis. We have decided not to own a dog while we both work all day. But in 15 years’ time, Rom’s dream may come true and he can be home with a pup! So we will keep that in mind for any future home and travel decisions.
We will continue to visit Sussex UK and Toronto CAN annually or better as long as we have relatives in each place. That takes care of most of our travel budget.
We will add side trips from those locations in order to spread our wings a bit. That being said, since Rom and I only have 3-5 weeks’ annual vacation time, we crave time at home, too, and need to use some vacation time for home maintenance. So additional travel is not at the top of our priority list.
As you see, health is #8 on my list so clearly it is something I am not worried much about. I am more concerned about being a caregiver for others (see Parenting, above, or being available if my parents need any help, which they usually don’t these days).
Resuming my former good health habits which have been rather lax since September!
In 2014 I started an aggressive 15-year pre-retirement savings plan and met my goal for Year 1. If there are no unexpected financial setbacks – only 14 years to go, LOL! I also reviewed my investments and may start a small sandbox/play money investment strategy next year (experimenting with a low amount of money in somewhat riskier investments).
Activity Level and Well Being
I don’t want to be OK. I want to be Really Well!
I like the feeling of being vibrantly full of life that I get from walking to and from work, skating, and roller skating. I would like to feel physical excellence more often! I want to build skills and feel successful doing new things and meeting new fitness goals. Failing at a couple of well-intentioned new activities would be fine too!
Culture, Community and Celebrations
What do I want to do? What do I not want to do?
I miss having time for creativity, whether it is dabbling with paper crafts or writing a poem or adapting a recipe.
I want my schedule to be open enough to meet a friend for lunch or drop in to see my parents for coffee without having to plan it a week ahead.
So it is clear what I don’t want, and that is to have all of my free time hemmed in with fixed commitments, like groups and classes and committee meetings.
I will need to balance this with doing work for some causes that are meaningful to me, but in a way that works better for all concerned than my current over-committed situation.
So that is my 2014 Life Analysis. The goals should ensue, right? There will need to be a part 3 to this series!
What categories would you add if you were reviewing your life right now?
Good list! As for me…
Self-Improvement/Education – basically, was I satisfied with how I’ve grown this past year academically or otherwise. What could be different? what would I like to work on/learn about next?
Alturism – What did I give this year? Who or what organizations did I give to? Was I happy about the donations in terms of amount and target? Who would I like to give next year?
Those are good ones. I “overhauled” my charitable giving last year, so the upcoming year or two are likely to be status quo. Academically, I am OK for my current career, so wouldn’t be taking on a course load unless that changes!
Nice framework for reflection x
Hi LG, My vehicle category will be simpler than yours 🙂
That is such a succinct coverage of such a broad range of areas…I almost want you to analyse my life and write my Goals for me for 2015!
It is great that so many elements already seem to match your current life closely – no serious, simmering dissatisfactions or radical overhaul needed.
I’m not sure I’m achieving as close a match of ‘priorities : actual life.’ I have some fine-tuning to do (especially ‘health and fitness’.) I enjoy setting goals / reviewing so it is a good end-of-year task.
True, I am in a good place and nothing dramatic needs to happen; more of a fine-tuning as well.
Love how you step back to reflect on where you are and where you want to be. I think you covered everything pretty well.
Thanks, Yetunde. You are sure at a busy time in your life!
Reconsider the Corgi!
-Jamie and Gracie
Ha ha! What breed is Gracie?
Gracie is mixed. She looks like a small well fed black Border Collie
Great review! I love how you are actively planning for retirement and that you love your job. As for pets we too have been tossing around the idea of getting a dog but don’t know if we would be home enough to give the dog as much attention as it needs. I really should review my life too…
I have never owned a dog in my adult life, so Rom will have to take the lead on that. I think you are very proactive about your life!
This is a great list! Can’t think of anything I would add. I may borrow this list and do my own life analysis. It’s time to think about my goals. I can’t imagine them changing from last year – but maybe this will help plan better action steps. I truly need to work on a way to get better balance.
Thanks. Last year I did a mind map instead: https://anexactinglife.com/2013/10/12/mind-map/
I do mind mapping too. I think it lets me “play” with thoughts. But then I get serious and make my lists. Mama (87) always says “Without your lists – you’d be listless.”
Excellent advice 🙂
All worthwhile aims! My mind is too jumpy at the moment to focus on goals, but hopefully after the new year I can sit down and have a think. 🙂
I don’t want to wait because when I have more time after the holidays, I’m afraid I will fill my year with a frivolous list of goals! Better to list now and be concise 🙂
I’m going through something akin to a “quarter-life” crisis. Now that I have work after being so long unemployed, now that I can make life decisions that affect only me but not people who have depended on me, now that I can pursue my dreams instead of always having to do things based on financial needs, now that I can dream of the future instead of forcing to work only in the moment…now that so many doors have opened up, I am questioning if I want to continue pursuing an education in what will amount to little more than a desk job, or maybe pursue another major that will allow me to get ahead at Starbucks. I wanted to study computer science to work with scientists and engineers, not to work in IT for business management, R&D, or HR. Rather than go back to my alma mater and finish classes, I’m thinking of going to a completely different school and start over, as it’s been so many years since taking even basic math and English writing courses–and at my old school, computer science is an “arts” degree, not a “science” or “applied science” degree.
At the same time, I’m trying to figure out if I should transition first, getting at least my name changed and finding a specialist who can sign off on getting the gender marker on at least my driver’s ID (and everything else but my birth certificate in Jersey sadly) changed, then pursue college and career advancement, or if somehow I can do it all simultaneously. I’m holding off on getting a second job till my name does change by the end of January or early February, not something my folks are happy with (as I live with them). That’s right now the only real deferment I am sure of.
Transitioning has opened me up to a ton of doors I have never had open since I was a teenager. For the first time in my life, I have so many decisions I can make, rather than have made for me. I am carrying my own weight, rather than living off of others, charity, and welfare. I have the chance to rise and fall, but now I can do it on my own terms, not by another’s gameplay.
Cai, what an exciting time. I love the idea of being so full of possibilities. Those are great decisions to be able to make.
Good performance review and career development session. If I could give you a raise and promotion I would.
Hmm, I’ll have to check if I am “competent”!
Nothing to add – your categories cover it for me! Tons to consider here. I’ve been thinking a lot about our car usage lately too. Eliminating a car isn’t possible, but it would be nice to move closer to work to shorten our commutes, though we really love our home and its location. Something to mull over for now . .
Sometimes just a little germ of an idea is good!
I need to do this – my weekly church session sometimes acts as a weekly re-alignment, but I seem to need a greater realignment than ever after commuting further to work since mid August. The weeks are numbered, I just don’t know how many weeks, and what I might do at the end of it!
In the meantime, I’m still trying to do the last of Christmas tasks – yesterday cards, today a gingerbread house for my team. And I’ve put up the most magical fairy lights in the hallway. Then I need to get 30th invites finished and sent out for early Feb. So still very much ‘short sighted’ goals, but the holidays will help to review what I want in 2015.
Hi Sarah, You must be so busy and tired! I have had jobs with long hours and jobs with long commutes, but not at the same time. Your task-oriented goals sound just right for you. Hope you get to relax over Christmas – no big outages for you and your team to deal with!
That’s an exacting list! I wouldn’t add much more for myself either. Just education: at the moment I deliberate between pursuing a Phd or pursue another BA (totally irrelevant to my undergraduate studies). Or maybe none? Needs deep thought but there is no real urge-hopefully! Thank you for sharing your analytical list!
Hi Alice, I loved being a student but I’m not planning any education upgrades now. I’ll be interested to hear about your choice!
Wow, what a great analysis sheet! It’s so easy to settle into habits and never take a step back to determine if you really like how your life is going. It’s great you do this every year! I don’t ask myself all those questions (though I should!) but I do ask myself if I still want to live here, since I renew my lease yearly.
You know I love your goal setting process too!
Love the different life areas. What about friendships? Time for others is something I need to work on – as well as the general fitness/ wellbeing thing!
Saved that for the next post…