I know that 2020 has been a challenging and chaotic year to say the least, but I can’t believe that it’s already over and time to review the goals I had for 2020. For a little over half of the year, I felt very unproductive. I think it was because I didn’t efficiently track my progress for most of my goals. So in July, I reviewed at least some of my goals and made adjustments.
So, without further ado, here’s a comprehensive end-of-year review of my goals:
Pray daily using these four components: adoration, confession of sins, thanksgiving, and supplication. For about the first half of the year, I did not pray every day. If I were to guess, I would say that I prayed about three days per week, on average. In July, I decided to revise my goal to pray a minimum of five days per week, Monday – Friday, using the same four components. With this revision, I’ve been able to maintain consistency.
Read Bible daily (devotional). Start the first 40 days of the New Year with The Purpose Driven Life. For about the first half of the year, I didn’t read the Bible every day either, probably only about three days a week on average as well. I did start The Purpose Driven Life on January 1st and finished it in March, but it obviously took me longer than 40 days, because I was inconsistent. I read Proverbs in March – May, and I started Psalms in May. In July, I decided to revise my goal to read the Bible five days per week, Monday – Friday. With this revision, I’ve been able to be consistent. I didn’t finish reading Psalms – I stopped around Psalm 52 or 53 and decided to start another devotional book, Our Daily Bread: A Selection of Daily Readings From the Popular Devotional instead.
Regular, engrossed church attendance every Sunday morning. HA! I only attended church services twice this year, once in January and once in February. In July, I decided to revise my goal to to watch church services online every Sunday morning (my church has a YouTube channel where they post Sunday services every week since the corona virus started reeking havoc in the U.S.) until it is deemed safe to quit social distancing because of the corona virus; once the corona virus dissipates, I will try once again to have regular, engrossed church attendance every Sunday morning like I intended to.
Even with this revision, I’ve still failed to maintain consistency. I know that I need the influence of other Christians, though, so I need to stop making excuses and just watch the church services.
Purge worldly influences and replace with Godly ones. The main “worldly influence” that I struggle with is that I binge-watch shows that I should not binge-watch (i.e. true crime), because they negatively influence my thinking. I like these shows, and I am certain that they would be fine for me in moderation, but when they start to impact my thinking in a dark, negative way and prevent me from being productive because I’m so engrossed, then it’s time to purge. Unfortunately, this has been difficult for me for the entire year, so I fully intend to finally purge these shows from my life and replace them with godly and/or positive influences such as Christian radio and educational podcasts at the start of the New Year.
Practice thankfulness and contentment. I have so much to be thankful for and content about, but I often take my blessings for granted. In order to accomplish this goal, I had a few ideas:
1) Keep a Gratitude Journal to record, on at least a weekly basis, all of the many wonderful blessings God has bestowed on me and my family. I never even started this journal, and if I’m honest, I probably never will. Instead, I think that I’ll start acknowledging my blessings in the moment, no matter how seemingly insignificant, lifting up praise to the Lord for His goodness. This seems more achievable to me.
2) Pursue a minimalist lifestyle. I started trying out the minimalist lifestyle in March. (You can read more about why I decided to become a minimalist in my post, Farewell, Project Home; Hello Minimalism and about my first household declutter in my post, Pursuing Minimalism | Five-Week Room-by-Room Purge.) That first round of decluttering my home shortly after making the decision to become a minimalist had such a positive impact on me that I’m definitely going to continue pursuing the minimalist lifestyle by maintaining a simplified home and life.
3) Read Love Your Life Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze for inspiration. I ordered and received this book in July, and I finished reading it in September. It did inspire and motivate me to be content, if only for a moment.
Tithe my income. I’ve only tithed my income three times this year, twice in January and once in February. I got laid off on May 1st due to the corona virus. Since my husband is agnostic, he doesn’t believe in tithing… or charitable giving. So, I decided to pause the tithing for now until we reach Baby Step seven of Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps to Financial Peace. (We’re currently in baby steps four, five, and six.)
Tithing is extremely important to me – I believe in the power of tithing (see Malachi 3:8-12) because I’ve experienced God’s amazing provision in the past when I tithed. It’s not that He doesn’t provide for us or bless us now, it was just more pronounced, in astounding ways.
Continue to maintain a monthly budget in Every Dollar. Update finances/track expenses at least five times a week, every Monday – Friday. I’ve been fairly consistent with maintaining our monthly budget in Ever Dollar this year, and I was consistent with tracking our expenses until I got laid off at the beginning of May. After that, I started slacking on tracking our expenses five days per week. Even though I haven’t been 100% consistent with this goal, I do enjoy managing our finances, so our budget is being maintained on a regular basis, just not five times per week – more like a few times per week now.
Ashton’s Hobby Fund: Save and maintain at least a $1,000 balance. The purpose of this goal was to wean Ashton off of his credit card. He always uses the credit card for his hobby, which can be profitable. But, we started Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps to Financial Peace a few years ago, and it was always a given (to me, anyway) that we’d completely quit using credit cards. Since I couldn’t convince Ashton that credit cards were a curse, no matter how hard I tried over the course of a couple of years, I thought that saving a fund for his hobby would be a great compromise.
Nope. With the layoff in May and other financial goals taking precedence, this goal was never accomplished and we’re still using a credit card for his hobby. And, to be completely honest, I started using my credit card again, too. We are able to pay them off every month, though. But, with the holidays over, I quit using my credit card. And maybe one day, Ashton will be comfortable enough to quit using his credit card, too.
10th Anniversary (June 16th) Fund: Save $1,500 by the end of May 2020. We were able to completely accomplish this goal. But, because of the corona virus, we weren’t able to use it for it’s intended purpose and transferred it to the emergency fund instead. But, we did have a romantic celebration at home, which you can read about in my post: Romantic, Simple 10th Wedding Anniversary Celebration at Home!.
Christmas Fund (gifts, income replacement, etc.): Save $1,900 by the end of November. We managed to save over $2,000 for Christmas! Since I got laid off, I didn’t need the income replacement for childcare, but we definitely spoiled the kids and ourselves on Christmas morning this year!
House Down Payment: Save $10,000/$20,000 this year. During the summer, we decided to null this goal. My in-laws offered to buy us a house closer to them when we’re ready to move.
3-Month Emergency Fund: Save $15,000 by December, if not before. We accomplished this goal in October. I had revised it to make it more attainable in the spring to save $10,500. But by the end of the summer, I decided that the original goal was attainable, after all.
Daily Diet: Drink more water, at least the recommended 64 fluid ounces per day; balanced diet, with more vegetables; take a multivitamin at dinner. The purpose of my diet goals was health-related (not weight), but I wasn’t consistent at all with any of them this year.
I think I was the most successful at drinking more water – I tracked it in my Control Journal sometimes, especially during the week.
I didn’t even track my diet, so I have no clue if I ate as many vegetables as I should’ve every day. I know I ate fairly healthy at the beginning of the year, before I was laid off, because I meal-prepped.
I wanted to take a multivitamin at dinner every night because I’m convinced that I have a vitamin deficiency due to the petechiae all over my upper body and arms, and I know that my diet is not as nutritional as it could be.
Monday – Friday Exercise Routine: 1-Minute Core Workout; The 5-Minute Full Body Stretch; Kegels, 10 sets of 15. After being pregnant for a total of 27 months and pushing three babies out of my poor vagina, my body could use a tone. I’ve never been overweight, but after all my body’s been through (with the pregnancies), my goal was to tone my core and reduce back and neck pain with a simple routine. But, I wasn’t very consistent with this goal, so I changed it in July – I removed the 1-Minute Core Workout and added walking. While I still wasn’t 100% consistent, I’ve been able to exercise at least a few times a week, if I had to guess, with this simple revision.
Weekend Family Exercise: Get outside for a walk, playground at least once every Saturday. I’m ashamed to admit that I allow my kids to have superfluous amounts of screen time. I wanted to set aside at least one day every week to get us outside to be active as a family, but I wasn’t consistent. My guess is that we all went outside together about once every month or two, on average. And I can’t even blame the pandemic.
Marriage: Simple date night every Saturday evening; complete The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick. The purpose of my two marriage goals was to increase intimacy, especially emotional, in our relationship.
Though we didn’t have a date night every Saturday evening as intended, we did have several irregular date nights throughout the year where we would binge-watch shows or watch a movie with snacks together. I would also visit with my husband almost every work-day during his morning and lunch breaks to chat.
I did read The Love Dare (for the fourth time since I purchased it in 2011 or 2012), which is a 40-day devotional challenge for husbands and wives designed to strengthen marriages through learning about different aspects of unconditional love (statement of principle) and practicing it (“dares”). I started reading this book in March and finished it in June. However, I didn’t do any of the dares after each day’s statement of principle, but it was still a good refresher.
Children/Parenting: Read books about parenting to learn how to become a better parent; raise responsible, Godly adults; “children learn what they live,” so teach them by example; “power down and parent up” – it’s not about being right every time; family meeting and movie/game/activity night every Friday.
The purpose of my parenting goals was to be a better parent. I’ve struggled with parenting since I first became a mother at age 19. I did want to have a family of my own, but I don’t think I was quite mature enough. I’ve treated my children like siblings for too long.
I didn’t read any books on parenting this past year.
I wanted to get Raising Responsible Adults by Dr. Randy Carlson to learn how to raise my children to be responsible, godly adults. I never did this year, but I still want to read this book and maybe complete the accompanying workbook, too.
Since children learn by example, I wanted to lead a responsible, godly life myself. But I never had a measurable plan, so I’m not sure what kind of example I set for them this past year – hopefully, a good one.
In disciplining my children, I struggle with being right. But parenting is not about who’s right or who’s wrong – it’s not a power play amongst siblings. It’s about lovingly teaching your children how to live a responsible, moral life. I’ve been working on this goal by being more mindful of this purpose when they need to be disciplined.
Family/Friends: Quality communication (active listening); make a list of family and friends to stay in contact with, especially during birthdays and holidays. I’ve lost contact with a lot of my loved ones since I’ve been married and started my own family almost 11 years ago. I wanted to make a list of my family and friends (mostly family) and contact them at least on birthdays and holidays. I never made the list – except mentally – but I was better at communicating with them this year than in the past. I kept up with their birthdays, sent them texts during holidays like Mother’s Day, and sent them Christmas cards.
Others: Be caring, friendly, and patient. With everyone else I come into contact with, whether it’s the cashier at the grocery store or a receptionist on the phone, I wanted to be kind. Overall, I think I accomplished this goal.
There was one incident that I regret. A person in a yellow Jeep couldn’t decide what school drop-off lane he wanted to be in (there are two), so he cut in front of me at the last minute, which scared me. “Butthole,” I called him. Even though he didn’t hear me, my kids did. Now, every time they see that yellow Jeep during morning drop-off, they (especially my oldest) say, “There goes the butthole.” Just great.
Work (as an aircraft mechanic): (1) “Do not let your adornment be merely outward … rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV). (2) “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3, NKJV).
Before I got laid off on May 1st, my goal was to have a gentle and quiet spirit and to be more humble at work, just like those Bible verses state. I had a tendency to talk, even gossip, a lot. And I cared too much about what my co-workers thought of me to the point of conceit. I embarrassed myself on several occasions (which isn’t difficult for me to do). But, after my husband bought me AfterShokz headphones, I was able to listen to podcasts while I worked instead of being loquacious or getting caught up in gossip.
Home Management: Continue to consistently follow and adapt routines/schedule; finish turning apartment into a home via Project: Home by the end of the year.
Overall, I think that I followed my home management routines fairly regularly this past year. I did have to adapt my routines after I got laid off, and it was a fairly difficult transition for me. But, after I condensed my home management binder to a Daily Docket (a list of tasks I do every day written on notebook paper on a clipboard), it was easier for me to maintain consistency, especially when I intentionally crossed out tasks as I completed them.
In March, I quit Project: Home, which was a plan to organize and decorate our apartment room-by-room, in order to pursue minimalism as a lifestyle.
WordPress: Publish at least one post per month – dedicate 10+ minutes every Monday – Thursday morning to brainstorming/planning, writing, revising/editing, and posting. I didn’t post in February, July, or October, but I posted 21 times total this past year, plus seven video-related posts for my YouTube channel. That’s more than double my minimum goal of 12 posts (one post per month)!
Read at least one chapter per week in a nonfiction/educational book. On average, I accomplished this goal. I didn’t read a chapter a week for a total of 53 chapters, but I still managed to read five books and a total of 132 chapters, 82 of those chapters being extremely short.
|Title||Author||Amount of Chapters||Date Started||Date Completed|
|The Purpose Driven Life||Rick Warren||42 (short)||01/01/2020||03/23/2020|
|The Love Dare||Stephen KendrickAlex Kendrick||40 (short)||03/20/2020||06/29/2020|
|The Emotionally Destructive Marriage||Leslie Vernick||13||03/30/2020||05/30/2020|
|Love Your Life Not Theirs||Rachel Cruze||16||08/02/2020||09/09/2020|
|The Proximity Principle||Ken Coleman||15||09/09/2020||11/06/2020|
|Business Boutique||Kristy Wright||19||11/06/2020||on chapter 7|
Create family scrapbooks in chronological order using Snapfish – complete years 2009 – 2019 this year. I only managed to complete scrapbooks of 2009 and 2010, and I started 2011 and 2012 this past year. I made collages with a short description on Snapfish and put them in plastic sheet protectors in 3-prong fastener folders by year.
Use dialectical behavior therapy to quit vaping (and a few other bad habits). HA! I “tried” to quit vaping a couple of times this past year, but failed miserably. I still want to quit – I NEED to for the sake of my mental and physical health – but I’m addicted to the nicotine, and it’s been very difficult for me.
In spite of this challenging and chaotic year with many inconsistencies and failures, I think that I was still able to finish fairly strong. I may not have accomplished as much as I wanted to, but I think that life is about learning from your failures and improving yourself for the glory of God and the benefit of others. So, I press on.
I hope that this post inspires you to evaluate your own goals. I hope that you’ll be patient with yourself if you’re not quite as accomplished as you want to be and to make adjustments so that you can live the life that you want to lead. May the Lord’s favor be upon you in 2021 and a thousand generations!