1. Walk at least 500 miles this year (511 miles completed!)
I completed ten miles this week by doing Bodyfit by Amy videos (I did the Kettlebell Bodyweight combo, Pilates and strength, & the Soup can workout) Then we took a couple of walks outside while it was warm and dry.
**Thoughts: I just love Bodyfit by Amy so much. Being able to workout at home and have a lot of variety is a true blessing this year. Also, the fact that it is 100% free is nice too.
2. Eat at least five fruits/vegetables daily (+ drink 96 oz. of water)
I did this for five days last week.
**Thoughts: I think this was a great way to challenge myself to eat better and drink more water. I find that if I have to account weekly for dietary things, I am much more likely to keep up the good habit. So if you are struggling to stay on track, maybe share about it on social media?? The worse that can happen is that you inspire someone to try and be healthier!
3. Read more nonfiction and classics
I reread Animal Vegetable Miracle for the third time and enjoyed another Jon Krakauer adventure story that ended in calamity.
**Thoughts: I always enjoy setting a reading goal for myself. For the past two years, I have tried to read more nonfiction books and I really think they have enriched my life. I love this quote from Malorie Blackman, “Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.” I find this to be so true. If we only stick to our well beaten path or only surround ourselves with stories that are similar to ours, I think we just cannot grow as human beings. To build depth of character, you need knowledge. You only get that knowledge through life experiences or reading about other people’s experiences. So pick up more books in 2021 and see where they take you!
4. Take a family outing each month
Thoughts: We had a year of fun outings in 2020. Being stuck in quarantine and trying avoid people helped us to discover a love of hiking and out of the way museums/attractions. We hope to keep up this trend in 2021.
5. Have more family game nights
Since we decided to stay home for the holidays, we played a lot of games together this week at our house. We played the Try Not to Laugh Challenge, Long Cow, Bananagrams, and our new game this year, Dungeons and Dragons: Adventure Begins. We liked the D&D game so much we played it the next night too. Ben wore his Harry Potter robe the second time and kept us entertained with his adventure stories.
**Thoughts: Family game nights are fun, easy, and basically free. We have so many great conversations during our games and a ton of laughter that I am sure we are building strong bonds and giving our kids special memories that they can look back on. It is a wonderful way to stay connected to your kids.
*If you need ideas as to what games are fun for families here is a list of our current favorites.
6. Buy more used items and keep track of the savings
Thoughts: This year I saved at least $650 by simply buying things used. We love to go to the thrift store and yard sales year round and find amazing deals. If you are trying to cut back on spending this year, try buying items used first. Besides the monetary savings, it is a wonderful feeling to know that we are preventing something from being sent to the landfill. So many times, the items we buy are in near perfect condition and if not then you can always sanitize or wash it if you are squeamish.
**I am doing a rough estimate based on how much I could find the items on sale or on clearance at a store for minus what I paid for the items…so its not a perfect guess, but close.
7. Finish my 2019 NaNoWriMo novel (~35,000 words) and publish it before January 1st, 2021.
I am up to 19,000 words.
Thoughts: I really hoped to finish my novel this year, but that simply did not happen. My creative juices were running very low due to the stresses of the quarantine and our new way of life thanks to the coronavirus. But I have to remind myself that it is saved on my computer, so I can work on it when I start to get inspired again. **Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of my novel Murder at Kelsey Hall on Amazon!
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. $5 Weekly Charity Challenge
Thoughts: Besides my health and religious goals, this goal has to be one of the best ones for my soul and mental health. Our family donated a lot of food to local food banks, hosted a baby shower for Save a Life with our church youth group, and gave to a local ministry that clothes underprivileged school children in our area. Helping someone will always make you feel better, so if you are struggling this year maybe create your own challenge and see how many people you can help. I can guarantee it will make you feel better than you already do and it can even be something you do together as a family. Little eyes are watching you at all times. **This challenge was meant to show that giving does not have to be expensive. Even $5 a week can impact someone else’s life in wonderful ways.
9. Make a spiritual checklist to do with my kids each month:
Thoughts: 2020 has been a wonderful year for our family in regards to our spiritual health. We have prayed more, read the Bible more, and talked constantly about what it means to be a good Christian. Things like why we obey the mask mandates even when we are the only ones wearing masks (This by itself has made my children better people this year. God bless masks!), why it is okay to vote your conscience and not limit yourself to two flawed candidates, and how to deal with unkind people who are struggling right now, have popped up again and again in our family discussions. We may not be perfect, but in our family we err on the side of caution and kindness so we can be at peace with ourselves. May 2021 be an easier year, but if not, we will tackle it together as a family.
10. Home Improvement projects
While I did not complete everything on my list, I did get a lot of stuff done. We installed new kitchen cabinet doors, added gravel and borders to our driveway, reorganized many spaces in our house to better suit our needs, and fixed countless other things that have fallen apart this year. I know that we are blessed to live in a home that is bought and paid for, but we still have so many things to fix that it gets a little overwhelming at times. But…..we will get there eventually!
**Looking onward: I have been whittling down my 2021 goals over the past week. There are so many areas in my life that I want to improve on that it can be a bit overwhelming to pick the ones that I want to focus on in the New Year. But by the grace of God, I will get there. Have a wonderful New Year! Hopefully 2021 will be wonderful….but if not we will survive and hopefully come out even better than before!