I have been tracking my goals via this blog for the past two years and have been pleased to realize that it has helped me to stay on track for at least 90% of my goals. Each year, there has been at least one or two goals that I have decided dropped, but overall I make it through the year keeping my goals ongoing. I know having to publicly note my progress on these goals have helped me to stay on track, so thank you for reading these posts! Also if you have been wanting to make (and stick) to goals that will enrich your life and health, I highly recommend keeping a record online (like through a blog, YouTube videos, or even posting on Facebook) Or if you want a little more privacy, simply having an accountability partner to check in with from time to time, will help make sure your goals stay on track for the year. **Also, weekly check-ins are the best way to keep your progress going in my opinion. Monthly check-ins can quickly be forgotten or overlooked in your busy life, but those weekly goal updates keep you honest.
1. Walk at least 500 miles this year
This is my third year of listing this goal and since it has helped me to walk and exercise more, it stays number one again. I list this goal as “walking”, but I count other forms of exercise under this heading. My basic formula is 15 minutes of exercise equals 1 mile. So swimming, weight lifting, and my favorite Body Fit by Amy exercises are easily counted this way (These are free to stream on YouTube. I love them! Also, the ability to workout from home is simply awesome.) **I do hope to exceed 500 miles this year, but we will see.
2. Eat at least five fruits/vegetables every day
I have officially stopped low carb dieting. (There I have said it, so if I mention it again, please remind me how awful it made me feel!!) After being on a low carb diet for the past three years, I realized that it made my anxiety skyrocket and my hormones get all out of whack which has not been fun. So I have transitioned into a diet of not eating added sugar except on rare occasions, eating more fruits and vegetables, and lowering my meat intake. **When I was on low carb, I noticed how queasy I got when I ate too much fatty meats, so that was the first thing to go when I switched over to this plan.
I added this goal because I think it will be a great way for me to stay on track with this new eating plan. I have been eating this way for the past month (except for Christmas week) and have noticed a remarkable difference in my mood and energy levels. Oh…and it has been so nice to eat apples everyday!!
3. Learn Spanish this year
I think I mentioned that I started to help teach English lessons to our Spanish-speaking members in my church this past fall, but I quickly realized that the ability to speak Spanish makes every thing go smoother. While I did take Spanish in high school over twenty years ago, I have very rudimentary Spanish skills to say the least. So I decided to sign up for a Duolingo account and plan on doing lessons for at least 1-2 hours a week this year. This will be good for my class and for my brain (I turn 39 next year and the big 4-0 is quickly approaching)
4. Take a family outing each month
This year, I thought a fun way that my family can spend more time together was to create little surprise outings that we can do together during the year. I plan on creating 12 envelopes (one for each month) to open throughout the year that will have a family outing suggestion inside. I think this will be a great way to spend more time together in 2020. **Each envelope will have a couple of suggestions for the month that will take into consideration the season and our schedules. Back-up plans are wonderful!
5. Have more family game nights
We love to play games together, so this was a repeat from last year. I shared our favorite family games a few weeks ago, if you need ideas for more family-friendly games to play. **We also got the cutest game for Christmas this year called Pass the Pigs. Its looks to be a keeper.
6. Buy more used items
Instead of having another “buy nothing new year” I decided to just continue buying as many items used as I can, before I resort to buying new items. I also plan on posting more of what I buy and the savings those purchases accumulate for my family throughout the year.
7. Finish my 2019 NaNoWriMo novel and publish it
I am behind on writing my 2019 NaNoWriMo novel (yes I was supposed to finish it by December 1st….but oh well) so I decided to put it on my 2020 list because it helped me to finish my novel from 2018 last year. **I know I could have simply skipped writing a novel for the year, but I fell in love with my characters and really want to know what happens next in their lives. If you want to check out my novel from last year it is Murder at Kelsey Hall and is free right now with Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.
8. Complete one home improvement or project each month
Last year, I tried to complete two projects each month, but found that to be a little too much, so this year I decided one was plenty. I really loved (and hated) this goal because it forced to me make necessary changes to our home that I easily could have pushed off indefinitely (I am a terrible procrastinator)
9. Put money into sinking funds
I have followed Dave Ramsey and other financial gurus over the past few years and heard about sinking funds again and again, but have never tried them out for myself. Basically a sinking fund is an account (or multiple accounts) that are set up for specific bills throughout the year. By putting small amounts into an account with its purpose targeted to pay off these future bills, you can rest easy knowing that the money is already there for that purpose. We have always just had a lump sum kind of take on savings in the past, but I have noticed that if I ever need to take out money to pay for a surprise bill (aka one I forgot was coming up like property taxes, insurance, etc.) I tend to get stressed out seeing that number go down. A great way to solve this is to separate our emergency fund from our other savings funds. This year I plan on creating multiple savings accounts at our credit union (within our primary account), so we can just add a little money each month for these ear-marked purposes. My hope is that this will help me to be more organize and create a sense of calm with our finances. I hope to report back here as to how much money we saved each month.
Do you have any goals for 2020?? I would love to be your accountability partner. Just come back here each week and note your progress (or failures) and we will conquer our goals one by one together!