Let’s calculate your hours worked per year.  Say you only work your 40 hours each week and you get two weeks of vacation each year.  No overtime.  No missed lunches.  No second job.  You work 50 weeks at 40 hours a week, or 2000 hours.  Then you take off a few Federal holidays (companies vary, so I’ll use ten as an easy number to calculate) and lose another 80 hours.  So you spend 1920 hours a year at work.  That’s a lot of time for a place that USA Today says just 30% of people are engaged and inspired to be.

I’m pretty lucky.  I don’t hate my job.  It’s not my dream job and there are other jobs I’d prefer, but, overall, I enjoy where I’m at.  According to the UCR Wellness Center, that makes me pretty healthy:

  • Do I enjoy going to work most days?  Yes.  I like who I work with and I enjoy my general job definition.  I’m not crazy about working in the middle of everyone (introvert) and it’s not my chosen sector (construction/retail sales), but the job is good.
  • Do I have a manageable workload at work?  Most days.  Occasionally I become three people (covering for others) and that’s not the best.  But my general workload is quite manageable.
  • Do I feel that I can talk to my boss and co-workers when problems arise?  Overall.  I suspect this is more a personality issue on my end than a problem with work.  I’m just not good at confronting problems if it sounds like I’m whining.

The assessment doesn’t take into account a sense of accomplishment at work, which I think is important, and using your talents.  My job does tend to skip those for the most part.  So I work a second “job” (largely  unpaid as yet) where I edit and write on the side.  I have more goals for that side occupation than I do for my “real” one.

Short-Term Goals (3 Months)

* Finish writing my novel AND editing it

* Finish editing for my main side project

* Finish the catalog at work

Mid-Term Goals (1 Year)

* Shop out the novel.  If no one has picked it up, self-publish by May 2015.

* Regularly edit and set-up for a professional editing business

* Learn the accounting processes at work

Long-Term Goals (5 Years +)

* Publish at least once a year (novel) and enter short-story contests at least twice a year

* Develop editing business to making money

* ??  at work


Like I said, most of my occupational goals are in the writing and editing fields, so it’s obvious where my heart is, but that doesn’t pay the bills, so I’ll stick with it for now and just try to keep it healthy.  How did you do?


Since financial health is one that I consider necessary to happiness (but UCR does not?), I had to find a financial assessment tool.  I went with the New York Times article here just to get me going.

  • Is your net worth growing?  Um, no.  Five years after divorce started and I’m only starting to dig myself out of the hole I made.  But my potential to have my net worth grow has improved.
  • How is your debt-to-income ratio, your savings fund, and your emergency fund?  Debt has improved (very slowly); I have nearly non-existent savings and emergency funds.
  • Are you spending more than you earn?  No.  I spend exactly what I earn, some of that including paying down debt.
  • Am I adequately insured? No.  No vision or dental insurance, only medical.  No renter’s insurance.

There are  a few other questions (which I welcome you to go look at yourself).  The basic answer, however, is that I’m not financially healthy.  I knew that.  My goal is to improve my financial health.  This is going to take time.

Short-Term Goals (3 Months)

* Follow a budget (I’ve been making one)

* Put a set amount into savings each month and don’t touch it

* Develop a debt-reduction plan

Mid-Term Goals (1 Year)

* Have a set plan in place to get rid of all debts

* Have all the necessary insurances

* Have a will and a death plan (I should look up what the proper terminology for that is, too).

Long-Term Goals (5 Years +)

* Get rid of all debt.  Five years is plenty of time.

* Have a good savings account and an emergency fund.

* Develop my 401k so I might actually be able to retire by age 95.


Like I said, financial health is probably my weakest area, but I know it is a huge component of happiness, so I’m going to work on it hard.  How did you do?

I think this is probably the area where I naturally do the best.  I’d be thrilled that I’m doing well in an area, except that it’s pretty lopsided.  I depend on my brain.  My dad had Alzheimer’s.  I don’t want to be so dependent on my mental ability that I have nothing else.

The UCR Wellness Center assesses intellectual wellness as:

  • Am I open to new ideas?  I love new ideas.  I write speculative fiction.  I boldly seek out new… ideas.
  • Do I seek personal growth by learning new skills?  In the last six years, I’ve learned three entirely new skillsets.  I’ve also lost skill in others, but I’m still growing.
  • Do I search for lifelong learning opportunities?  Yes.  There are amazing free classes available from places like EdX, Coursera, and others.  When I’m not taking online courses, I’m learning by reading.
  • Do I look for ways to use creativity?  I am a writer and songwriter.  I’d like to act.  I don’t have much in the way of visual arts, though.  That should probably be a long-term goal.

Short-Term Goals (3 months)

* Take class on Becoming a Resilient Person

* Write actively each day

* Look for an opportunity to act or perform musically

Mid-Term Goals (1 Year)

* Find a visual skill I enjoy and learn how to do it

* Take at least one class each quarter

* Use the skills I develop

Long-Term Goals (5 Years +)

This is another area where I’m going to leave it open for now.  I might start to develop longer goals in this area, but I already engage in a learning lifestyle.  I need balance first.

How did you do?