• Michael McGowan

A Year in Review 2019 - Personal

At the beginning of every December I reflect on the previous year. I categorize my life into seven groups: mind, body, emotion, career, relationships, financial and fun. I attempt to evaluate whether I have improved or not and this will lead to the end of December of what goals I have in mind for the coming year. This year has been a whirlwind of complexity.


Mind: I've had a few goals in expanding and my mental capacity. I challenged myself to read 26 books this year. In years past this would have been a normal challenge, but regarding my last few years I knew this would be difficult. I'm ending the year with 11 books finished. Rather than books, I'd rather say reading materials. Of these 11 "books", one was the Mueller Report and two were more like long pamphlets. Not to say that I haven't read otherwise. I enjoy multiple news sources. Considering I've completed 8 of 26 I'd fail myself on this goal.


Body: Like most people I had a goal to improve my diet and overall health. This has been a spectacular failure this year. Going into December I don't feel good at all. From previous years it was about maintenance, but this has been a lazy year for me on that front. More to come on this goal.


Emotional: This goal can be absorbed by other groupings, but I like to have this as it's own category. I normally lump into this category things such as simplicity, tidiness, overall emotional well-being. I had a goal to tidy up my household. There are five people, including myself, and four animals in my home and all with different ideas of how they want to live. Tidiness isn't among the goals of the children. However, for the most part I have been able to keep the house clean and have simplified my surroundings by ridding myself of unnecessary things. I grade this with a pass, rather than a letter grade.


Career: A career can be many different things. My w2 job has limped along as normal. Nothing spectacular. I'm expanding into different avenues of careers. This is where emotional well-being can touch other goals. This blog isn't necessarily career oriented, but it is a fulfilling portion of what I may consider my professional life. Maybe I'll rename this category to Professionalism.


Relationships: We can't only think of relationships as family. Our relationships entail of how we interact with the people around us. As with any of these categories, when concentrating in one area you take away from the other areas of your life. If I take from my family, I take from friends and vice-versa. My family life has developed well this year. My children are becoming good individuals no longer identified by their parents. My wife and I are easing along into a post child-rearing era. We took a wonderful trip to New York earlier this year. My friendships have come along nicely as I realized this year that my well-being cannot be determined by family alone. I had a great guys' trip to Louisville for a week. Unfortunately, there wasn't much beyond that. There is room for development there. I'd give myself a B-grade family weighted.


Financial: Are you better off today than you were yesterday? With incredible discipline on budgeting, investments and debt management I can say I am better off this December than last. I could have put in more hours at work to earn more, but again concentration in one area diminishes another. I'd give myself an A grade.


Fun: What is life without fun? This is another area of life that can be absorbed into the other categories, but I like to keep this its own because I want to ensure I am enjoying myself. This year I traveled to New York and Kentucky. I've had a few game nights with family and friends. My son joined his high school wrestling team and I thoroughly enjoy watching him and his teammates. There area actually nights I enjoy being at work. I take my dogs for walks. That can be fun. Even watering the lawn is fun to me.




“The whole thing is a dream, but that I don’t want revealed till the end.” ~ Lewis Carroll

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