Thursday, 26 January 2012

Life challenge - week 4 - wheel of life

Week 4 - Balance and the wheel of life was much easier for me than the last two weeks. I thought about my 8 categories and decided upon:
  • Home environment
  • Family
  • Friendships
  • Environment
  • Work
  • Finances
  • Health
  • Relaxation and recreation

The ones which I was most happiest with, scoring a 4 each were work, environment, and relaxation and recreation.
  • I'm happy with my job. I enjoy the work I do, it pays well, it's flexible and provides me with good mental stimulation. I like being able to use my skills and the flexibility means I can work around school drop offs, coming in late or leaving early if needed.  I'm able to take days off for important events in the kids lives such as first day (or week in my case) of school and excursions. And of course the money assists in my core value of security!
  • We try to help the environment the best we can.  I used cloth nappies whilst my kids were in nappies, we recycle, use environmentally friendly cleaning products, have solar electricity and reuse things and buy second hand when possible. At this point in my life this is enough for me.
  • I allow myself time for relaxation and recreation without the kids.  I go to a scrapbooking workshop monthly, where I get to do some pages and have a natter!  I enjoyfortnightly coffee and walking catch-ups with friends at work and going out for lunch at work monthly or so. I try to catch a movie with my sister every so often and my Mums group have Mums group dinners from time to time. I spend time for myself reading  - an activity I really enjoy, and whilst also promoting reading habits to the kids. I feel it's important, as a working Mum, to have some child free, non-work time!
I scored 3s for home environment, health, family and finances.
  • To me home environment encompasses organisation, cleanliness, tidiness and smooth running of the household. This is one I really want to work on this year. After working all day, we are tired and the last thing we want to do is clean and tidy. We have really struggled to keep the house in order in the past. I started the 52 week organised home challenge, which so far I've been keeping up with. The kids are lazy - leave toys around the house, and we let them get away with it. This is something we need to work on! I've hired a cleaner once a fortnight to keep on top of the cleaning tasks -my thinking being if she is coming in once a fortnight I need to keep the place tidy so she can clean, and then I don't need to the bulk of the cleaning - just spot cleaning in between.
  • Health is one I've been so big on in the past, but in the last few months have seem to let it slip. I want us as a family to eat healthier!  The kids expect treats everyday - and I'm struggling to get good food into them. I have a treadmill in my loung room and a gym across the road that I'm a member of - which I'm only using about once a week at the moment (either treadmill or gym). I'm in my healthy weight range thanks to losing around 8kg in the middle of last year - and I completed the Couch to 5k program. I used to have a good treadmill/gym routine but I've lost motivation.  Being at work 4 days per week, when I get home I want to spend time with the kids, and they want to spend time with me.  I feel guilty leaving them to go to the gym. On the weekends I try to do something (gym or treadmill), but often I'm just too lazy.  My plan for this year is treadmill twice a week (preferably in the mornings before work, on the 2 days that I drop my son at school - so we don't leave until 8.15am), and gym twice a week- one week night and one weekend. This means I only need to leave the kids one night per week for an hour - something we should all be able to cope with!  Just need to find the motivation!  And no one in my family gets enough sleep. We struggle to get the kids to bed at a decent time - Hunter is often still awake around 9.30-10pm, then I have to wake him to leave in the morning. Depending on the day we leave at either 7.30am or 8.15am - so sleeping in late isn't an option.  Then I don't go to bed early enough as I want some "me time" after the kids are asleep. I think if we all got a decent amount of sleep we would be healthier!
  • Family is important to me, and after a day like today (Australia Day public holiday) where we spent time together laughing in the pool it really hits home.  There is nothing like laughing with your kids! I've rated this lower as I feel we don't spend enough quality time together. I spend too much time on the computer, and the kids too much watching TV. Hubby will often watch something different on TV to me, or watch TV whilst I'm on the computer. We spend a lot of time frustrated as the kids don't listen - which leads to us being cranky. This year I aim for us to spend more quality time together, with less technology. More laughter, more fun and less yelling.
  • Last year we spent more than we earned more than I would have liked. We are lucky we have a nest egg stashed away in our home loan - but I had to crack into it more than I would like to pay the credit card!  My aim for this year is to develop a budget (I'm about 3/4 of the way there) and stick to it!  No impusle buys (hubby and I are both very good at this- him on food at service stations and me via online shopping). I want to actually get ahead with our finances, rather than just bobbling through.
And my final area was friendships, which unfortunately only scored a 2. Whilst we have many friends and catch up from time to time, I feel I've let connections and relationships slide. I prefer technology like facebook and texting as my means of contact, so haven't been calling people on the phone to make a real connection.  I feel I'm missing out by working 4 days per week - as it's so hard to catch up with everyone one day per week - and I feel that people generally don't want to catch up on the weekends as it's family time. I often feel sad that we have nothing to do on the weekends. I want to work on better connecting with friends this year.


  1. I know how you feel about the home environment, both working full time and letting things slip. It's also why I started the challenge too, figured that if I can't get a handle on our home, then I obviously haven't got a handle on my life either! I hear you on the impulse buying too, so naughty!

    1. Thanks Clancy - I'm working 4 days per week -and it's more than enough for me. I would definitely struggle with full time.

  2. Wow Bec, I am in awe. you have put a lot of effort into this week's challenge. I like you found it easier this week, maybe we are learning something. ha ha.
    I like your reasoning and planning to get a handle on your life. Well done - I might even borrow some of your ideas (if that's ok with you).
    Shine on in 2012 :)

    1. Thanks Rita. The funny thing was I didn't feel like I put much effort in this week. I just started writing and before I knew it had a long post!

  3. Bec you definetly have a great way with words!!! I wish i could get my thoughts out as good!!!! WEll done!! Your life seems really great at the moment, your wheel is looking good you should be pretty proud of that balance. Good luck with incorporating more exercise into your life - god i take my hat off to you, i would just say (actually i do say!!) cant fit it in ah well!!! Loved your post today thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thanks Paula! I do feel like it's starting on an upward turn. Not such a good year last year (lots of deaths/funerals). Yeah lets see how I go with the exercise!

  4. That sounds fantastic bec. I always find the best way to make a connection with families during the weekend is to build relationships with families that both you and your husband can relate to. If my husband knows he's got a bloke to socialise with, everyone will enjoy themselves. lol.

    1. Thanks for the tip Miss Mandy! I think you are onto something there!

  5. I can relate to many of your category evaluations. I am hoping though that my fun and recreation standing can improve this year. Great post Bec!

    deb @ home life simplified