Planning a Happy and Worthwhile Life in 2017

Planning a Happy and Worthwhile Life in 2017
The Dust is Troublesome by Edward Wilson (1813-1878) via State Library Victoria (Shows a man on horseback, wearing a top hat, almost obliterated by a dust storm.)

Depending on who you listen to, a Worthwhile Life in 2017 will either manage new beginnings and growth or endure greater turbulence and difficulty. I kinda hope for more of the former and less of the latter. I would rather not deal with even more turbulence.

In fact, I went so far as to choose a keyword (or theme) for 2017 which I haven’t done before – my word is Clarity. I was thinking in terms of purpose and expression, but as the word settles in I keep thinking of more kinds of clarity that I could do with. I shall be glad when my new spectacles are ready for collection and I can literally see more clearly! (Red ones!)

After reviewing my virtues, I believe Beauty, Friendship, Pleasure, Wealth and Wisdom remain important for my Worthwhile Life in 2017. However, when I think of how disappointing 2016 was – the weight I didn’t lose, the books I didn’t read, and the income I didn’t earn – I think I need more Discipline. Not the bondage kind (though that might fun), but a Stoic kind of “you were made to be more than this” development of excellence in follow through kind of Discipline.

Adding a sixth virtue makes me feel that I need to drop one of the others, but the development of Discipline could underpin and strengthen the others. Eric Barker paraphrased Ancient Chinese Philosophers: you are what you do – your behaviour shapes your temperament, more than the reverse. A series of morning and evening rituals helps you grow into the person you want to be.

Worthwhile Life in 2017 Goals

As usual, these are based on further developing the virtues.


Beauty will still consist of Body, Presence, Home and Garden. Partly because I still think these are important, and partly because I know many of you are encouraged by my struggles in these areas.


  1. Bloody-well get down to ≥ 59 kg (130 lbs). Maybe not by my next clinic appointment (6 February), but definitely by the May one (Discipline).
  2. Book all the appropriate 2017 dental, medical and mental appointments so they take place on schedule.
  3. Join a local yoga class and pay for the term up front (Discipline).


  1. Pick a hair style and commit to growing it in (Discipline).
  2. Book hair appointments for 2017 (schedule).
  3. Plan 2017 Winter and Summer wardrobes.


  1. Develop a plan for decorating and upgrading through 2017.
  2. Execute the plan.
  3. Complete all tasks required by the plan (Discipline).


  1. Develop a native plant landscaping plan for privacy 2017.
  2. Execute the plan.
  3. Complete all tasks required by the plan (Discipline).


If Beauty and the associated post-transplant health care weren’t more important, Friendship would be at the top of the list – particularly people. As well as maintaining existing relationships, I need to cultivate a peer group of writers, local people to hang out with, and people to remind me that I was once and can be a professional again.


  1. Book 2017 lunches, coffees and dinners with local friends.
  2. Join Writers Victoria and attend meetings at least monthly (Discipline).
  3. Join a local chapter of Toastmasters and attend at least monthly (Discipline).


  1. Book 2017 vet appointments for the dogs.
  2. Develop habitats for native creatures (shared with and reported through Garden.1).


  1. Develop a sharing program.
  2. Where possible purchase from small or local suppliers.


Pleasure remains the feeling of satisfaction, happiness and fun. However, my Worthwhile Life in 2017 requires that these things cannot be about business. Business-related satisfaction more properly belongs in wealth.


  1. Plan and do one new thing each month.
  2. Plan an overseas vacation for 2018.


  1. Turn the computer off by 9 pm.
  2. Read a book each week (Discipline).


Wisdom was originally about becoming a more complex person by developing my mental capacities. The ability to make good choices is a byproduct of growth, and I found I was making more intentional choices by the end of 2016 so I will be leaving it out of my planning for a Worthwhile Life in 2017. Similar to pleasure, developing business skills belongs in wealth.


  1. Read a book each week (shared with and reported through Recharge.2).
  2. Visit a historically or culturally significant venue or event each month.


I still wish I didn’t have to think about this, but I’m not in a position to move to the country and live off-grid in a self-sufficient homestead type situation. However, as I mention in Holistic Personal Finance (coming soon) wealth is not just about money, it’s also about your time and your physical and mental strength.  It’s about feeling prosperous and managing your wealth to meet your needs.

Business and Development

This is a catch-all for business related things. This will be my first proper year as a business and I have no real idea what needs to go in here, but I have to start somewhere. And that somewhere is professional development.

  1. Select and attend a business-related conference or event – real not virtual.
  2. Select and attend a marketing course (real or virtual).
  3. Consider buying advertising to market my products and services.


I find setting an income target troublesome. It doesn’t really matter whether I set a target of $100, $1,000, or $10,000 a month, I have no control over whether I reach it or not.

However, a target may motivate me to take a more active role in completing and marketing my books. I’m going to include freelance writing and editing as well as temporary work within the target and continue with my 2016 goal.

  1. Earn $1,000 a month.
  2. Re-develop CV and re-register with employment agencies.


An expenditure target is similarly troublesome as there are limits on where you can cut costs. The money you save by reducing costs one year is blown the next by the annual round of price increases. Not to mention that there is a lot of work that needs to be done around the house and garden this year. So while I will be continuing to pursue a Lean shopping methodology coupled with Just-In-Time-Delivery I won’t be reporting on it in 2017.


While there are some changes here and there, my Worthwhile Life in 2017 is more or less another circuit of the spiral – a little deeper, a little tighter, and a little better than 2016.

For more information about Project Worthwhile Life, including plans, reports and reviews Click Here.

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