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2021 Monthly Wellness pReview - March/April

March was a good month!

As the grass became greener, spring flowers bloomed and seedlings started to sprout, my drive to kick my wellness into higher gear took hold. I hestiate to articulate it as having "gotten a lot done" because that sounds too productivity focused. The point of this monthly reflection and planning exercise is to actively strive toward balanced wellness. Every category of the Nine Dimensions of Wellness will not recieve the same energy every month, but not allowing one or more of the categories to fall off the radar entirely is what's important. Throughout March, I devoted some energy to all nine areas at one point or another.

Success!

Thinking back, the key seemed to be setting manageable goals from the otuset.

It was easy to weave in components of these wellness objectives, or at least I made them easier. For instance, my primary counseling assignment for the month was to write down messages from my childhood that are manifesting now in my adult life. Rather than writing a series of lengthy journal entries (which I don't have the patience for or interest in doing) or feeling like I had to make a long list all in one day, I used my Daily Manifesto "Spiritual + Emotional" Wellness section to jot down one memory/message per day. By the time my appointment came around, I had a new set of about 14 points for conversation. 

I also allowed myself to count counseling in more than one category. The assignment that I was working on stemmed from a conversation about forgiveness (mostly forvigiving myself), which is deeply spiritual in many regards.

We don't have to spread ourselves thin and come up with elaborate "projects" for each wellness category. Again, the important thing is to not let one of them languish for too long because when you do, you are essentially neglecting a core aspect of yourself.

Building on the Momentum

In April, I just want to keep going! I am doing well so far.

In the spirit Financial Literacy Month, I am particularly focused on my money habits. For one, I am typing this blog post while on vacation and traveling can sometimes turn my budget upside down. I am striving to make wise financial decisions all month and staying within my budget is one of them.

Additionally, 'tis the season for tax refunds. Rather than blowing all of the money and not being able to account for it, I already made headway with savings by "paying myself first." I not only met, but exceeded my Roth IRA goal for April! I also added a little to my son's 529 plan.

I am building up my Roth IRA for many reasons, with setting up for an adequately funded retirement being the number one goal. At this point, however, I am loosely viewing this account as my larger emergency fund. I am not a financial advisor, so don't take this as advice. I've done my own research and this is what works for me. Since contributions are made on an after-tax basis, money that you put in can be withdrawn without penalty. Invested dollars grow tax-free. Thus, it is a win-win as long as you follow all of the time and age requirements. Here's an article that breaks everything down, but the moral of the story is make you're saving money and getting the biggest bang for your buck in the process.

Spring is a good time to revamp financial goals because with nicer weather, it's easy to get off track. Outdoor happy hours, concerts, graduation parties and other events/outings can drain your pockets. Crafting short- and long-term plans in advance helps you stay in touch with reality -- funding some splurges while also keeping spending in check.

One other difference I want to note is in the Social Wellness section. Most of my focus in 2021 so far has been on serving my community. This relates to my emphasis for the year on living out the Nguzo Saba daily. This month though, I need to circle back and do a little social-emotional housekeeping. Boundaries got a little mushy and I feel like some of my relationships aren't as healthy as they could be. My desire to live a flexible life sometimes leads me to bend a little to far toward "yes" when I really want to say "no," so I have to practice being vigilant and true to myself again.

 

These are the core areas that jumped out to me so far.

Check back in May for the next pReview!

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