As I look towards the New Year, I’ve realized that I need to quit being a passive actor in my own life and I need to start putting serious work and dedication to certain areas to be able to get to where I want to be. So I’m doing things a bit different—I’m doing both a 101+ Goals in 1001 Day Challenge, and looking at my life from a level 10 view. Level 10 Life is a method that is described in Hal Elrod’s book “The Miracle Morning”; after seeing what the Level 10 life chart looks like and trying it myself—I’ve ordered the book and it is on my to-be read pile for this year—so look for a book review coming later (yes, I’m doing things backwards—but hey I never liked marching to the same beat as others). Below are the “10” Levels of life that we usually are giving some part of our life to, and the ranking (1 to 10) is how satisfied I am with each level as the calendar switches from 2017 to 2018; why I feel that way; then hopefully ten goals for each level that I can work towards over the next say three to five years to get everything up to a 7-to-9 ranking.

Here is a picture of what my “Level 10 life” looks like right now.

My current Level 10 life

Some of these goals will be overlapping with my 101+ goals in 1,001-day challenge that I decided to start this year as well (see that post-101+goals). Note—not all sections have 10 goals yet (and one has more), mainly because I’m still trying to think of ideas/goals for each area.


Level: Family and Friends (5): This is the level that I have the most satisfaction with, though it is only at basically 50%. It helps that I do live with my parents currently and my younger brother lives with in the state. I try to keep in touch with friends through social media, and the occasional get together.

GOALS for Family and Friends:

  1. Touch base with people (email/facebook/ in person) more often
  2. Sending Channing an postcard/letter monthly (start a pen-pal system with niece)
  3. Try to have a monthly lunch meet up with friends
  4. Send out a yearly Christmas letter/card to update everyone on how I’m doing (start a new tradition)

Level: Personal Development (4): This is a pretty good ranking, considering I’ve really only started to spend the past couple of months working on any type of development (personal, spiritual, or professional).

GOALS for Personal Development:

Read all the personal development books that I’ve currently bought (or pre-ordered) on my Kindle (roughly 56)

  1. Read the few autobiographical/personal/professional development books that I’ve bought on my Kindle (Roughly 3)
  2. Brush up on at least one foreign language (Spanish & hopefully German)
  3. Start doing more cooking (learning/trying new recipes and cultures)
  4. Tackle my anxiety of driving (find a place for lessons that has done some work with people that have driving phobias/anxiety)
  5. Take at least one vacation trip solo a year (either to a new state/city or to a new country/city)
  6. Listen to at least one podcast a day
  7. Write in a journal daily (make a hybrid of bullet journal and a normal journal)
  8. Set goals monthly (review daily/weekly/monthly)
  9. Develop a time management schedule and stick with it (i.e. planning out the day)

Level: Spirituality (3.5): This isn’t that high, but then I’ve never really considered myself to be a spiritual person (I vary daily between being a pagan and an atheist depending on my mood).

GOALS for Spirituality:

  1. Read the different spirituality books that I’ve got on my Kindle (4 right now) and possibly buy a few more
  2. Try to keep up with doing my new and full moon rituals (wishes)
  3. Mediate at least five minutes a day
  4. Do yoga at least twice a week
  5. Set up an altar for meditation/spell casting

Level: Finances (4.5): This is almost to 50% mainly because I do have a decent size savings account at the current time, though the debt could be lower.

GOALS for Finances:

  1. Get credit card debt down to less than $400 a month re-occurring
  2. Put 8K into a short-term CD investment
  3. Get savings account up at least another 20K
  4. Get a side hustle(s) going that can bring in at least $500/month (cover the re-occurring credit card debt)
  5. Have a monthly budget set up and stick with it; Write down everything that I buy (charge) for two months to see where money is going (and cut back accordingly)

Level: Career (4.5): This is almost to 50% mainly because I’ve realized that I really don’t want to be a professor in academia. Now I just need to spend some time trying to determine exactly what it is that I want to do, and work my way towards that goal.

GOALS for Career:

  1. Read the books that I’ve bought on scientific writing and presenting (7)
  2. Finish the CSA transition plan (mainly trying to rewrite my story to be short and powerful).
  3. Finish the CSA and SMBA modules
  4. Determine the best non-academia position that I fit and meet my criteria of balancing work and life
  5. Start networking with my linkedin connections
  6. Determine the company(ies) that I would like to work for
  7. Start reaching out for informational interviews
  8. Start reaching out for recommendations/referrals on linkedin
  9. Apply for key positions within companies
  10. Land dream(ish) job and start working my way up the ladder to the point that I want to get to.
  11. Finish the other online course bundles that I’ve bought over the past several months (programming, project management, Six Sigma)

Level: Relationship/Social Life (0.5-1.0): This is the lowest ranking. Currently I’m not in any relationship, and until I have my life somewhat figured out (i.e. what my career choice/goal is; location for said career) I don’t feel comfortable getting into a relationship with someone, that could end up having to be long distance. Also right now I don’t feel comfortable trying to meet people in the same town that I basically grew up in (in other words I don’t feel like potentially dating someone I went to school with (either public or college).

GOALS for relationship/social life:

Try to get together with friends on the weekends (lunch, or walking around Boomer Lake)

And more to come as I can think of them…………..

Level: Fun and Recreation (4): This is a decent ranking—I do enjoy reading for pleasure and make time to do that daily (sometimes to the detriment of personal and professional development).

GOALS for Fun and Recreation:

  1. Continue knitting (this is both relaxing, and I create more blankets for the apartment, which means that I can potentially keep the heating bills down).
  2. Learn to make my own jewelry (necklaces and bracelets to begin with)
  3. Spend more time also working on my photography (may want to try to save up some money to buy another digital camera, that is a little better than the little one I currently have).
  4. Spend time outside gardening and working in the yard.
  5. Try to arrange a girl’s weekend with friends (though it may be problematic as currently with some friends I’m the only one who doesn’t have kids).
  6. Re-read at least two romance series that have more than 10 books each and write a review on each book, and then develop a “series tree” on the connections between each book in the series.
  7. Color in adult coloring books
  8. Do a suduko puzzle more often
  9. Fill in a sketchbook with abstract designs
  10. Start choosing designs from sketchbook and transfer to canvas (paint and frame my own paintings)

Level: Giving and Contributions (2): I had been doing some online donations to various groups before learning that I was going to be getting laid off. There are still one ore two that I’m doing monthly donations to.

GOALS for Giving/Contributions:

  1. Set up monthly donations again for Sierra Club and one or two other science related groups
  2. Donate clothes to charity (clothes that I haven’t worn—mainly t-shirts that I got at conferences)
  3. Start knitting scarfs that can be donated in the wintertime
  4. Volunteer at the hospital or library one to two evenings a week
  5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen over a holiday (once I’ve moved to a different city)
  6. Pick up the litter on a walk and dispose of it in the trash

Level: Physical Environment (3): This ranking is mainly because I’m back living in my bedroom at my parents (where I’ve been for the past five years), and it is hard to do any type of re-arranging or decorating. **This ranking may not change all that much until I’ve moved out of my parents house. Currently all I can really do is try to get rid of some of the clutter that I’ve accumulated over the past few years of living at home—so the ranking may go up a point or so between now and the potential moving date***

GOALS for Physical Environment:

  1. Move to a new(ish) city for a new job (see goals for career)
  2. Buy the following furniture to replace the furniture that I had left behind when I moved home from Boston:

-New couch and chair for living room

-New dresser for bedroom

-New TV and stand for living room

-(Depending on size of apartment) Possible small dining table and chair(s) for kitchen area

-Smallish desk for the living room or bedroom area for working on laptop

  1. Get a sewing machine and make new cushions for rocking chair (since I left the cushions behind as well).
  2. Organize the kitchen area
  3. Organize the bathroom area
  4. Get frames so that I can frame & hang all the pictures from old calendars that I’ve kept
  5. Organize the DVDs (sell back any that I don’t think I’d watch within the next 6 to 8 months) [again this to be done once I’ve moved and in my new place]
  6. Design a display system for my knick-knacks
  7. Develop a cleaning schedule for the apartment and stick with it
  8. Get an aquarium for the living room and one to three fish


Level: Health and Fitness (3): This ranking is mainly because I have more or less fallen off the health and fitness wagon again this year—I’m pretty good for a couple of weeks at doing a workout or eating healthy, but if something comes up that irritates me I can find myself losing motivation and will power quite easily and slipping back into bad habits.

GOALS for Health and Fitness:

1.Taking my multivitamin & supplements daily

  1. Drinking 70 oz of water a day
  2. Doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day (beachbody/zumba/yoga)
  3. Measuring/weighing first and last Sunday of the month (or twice a month)
  4. Look into exercises to strengthen the ankles
  5. Start jogging/running
  6. Completing a 5K and then a 10K
  7. Getting 14,000 steps/day
  8. Meal plan/prep (though do fresh veggies for dinner every night—because reheated veggies [if they aren’t in a soup or casserole] are just plain gross).
  9. Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night

I will be reassessing my Level 10 life every three months (ends up being a total of three reassessments—one for each quarter of the year), and add/adjust goals based on the new levels and what goals may have already gotten accomplished.

While the above list is rather extensive—obviously the goals aren’t all going to be achieved within three months, so below is a picture of my goals for the first quarter of the year:

My first quarter goals for improving my level 10 life

So I’m trying to just focus on a single thing in each area right as we head into the New Year–Also these are for a three month period, so once I have one under control I can go back to the list and add an second goal, and then reassess where each level at the end of March (without looking at the graph from the beginning of the year).