My dreams and goals for 2020 in three key areas of personal, home and financial, and business. Plus a recap of how I did on my 2019 goals, all with the hope of inspiring and encouraging you to work towards the life you want.
I'm a little later with my goals for the new year than usual because, you know, life. I have been thinking about them, though, for a few weeks, taking time to reflect on last year and think about this next year.
Which is how it should be, right? There's no one forcing anyone to make goals by some deadline. In fact I've read a number of other bloggers who are doing only monthly or quarterly goals. It's all good as long as you record it somewhere (like the easy goals section in The Flexible Planner) and you work towards them through the year.
Dreams or Goals?
I even read that dreams and goals should be separate with the "Dream" section listing things like "travel more" and then the goals being specific steps towards that, like "buy tickets to Australia."
In the end, I don't think it really matters what you call them - as long as it works for you and it's helping, not hindering your progress to the life you want.
What does this look like for me?
For the past few years Brian and I have chosen four areas to be our "5-Year Big Goals," basically what's important to us in the near future. These haven't changed much in the past few years and I guess you could call these dreams, but writing them down has been key to guiding the yearly goals I choose.
I use the goals section of The Flexible Planner to record them (obviously, ha!) and it's like a funnel, with each relating to the next:
5-Year Big Goals -> Yearly goals -> Goal Action Steps
You can then put the action steps on the Year-At-A-Glance page to get an overview and/or move the steps to the goals sections of the months you'd like to work on them.
The key is to look at your goals more than just in January, lol. Set up a time to look at them monthly, quarterly, or even just a mid-year check-in - anything is better than nothing to remind yourself of what's guiding you or to think about what may have changed.
While you don't have to do goals this way, I've found having the bigger goals/dreams has really helped the last few years to have a picture of what we'd like to focus on over the next 5 years. It's helped to say "no" to some things that don't move us closer to our big goals and then "yes" to others more easily.
I don't think I've shared our big goals/dreams before, but I think it will help give you an idea of how they inform the goals I choose for the current year, so here are Brian and my dreams/goals for the next 5 years:
- Fix Up Farmhouse
- Fund Retirement & More Passive Income (Note: we're not near retirement, but have always been self-employed and need to catch up.)
- Give & Invest In Relationships
These are a combo of things that are important to us as well as things that really should just be done. Both will take up the majority of our time and resources over the next years.
So with that in mind, I'm adding how they relate to the goals below for both 2019 and 2020 in green. This is just to show you how I come up with my goals - it's made such a difference in setting goals to have some overarching ideas of what we want our life to look like rather than just pulling things out of the air that sound good. And I hope it helps you, too, to think a bit bigger!
Recap of 2019 Goals
Maintain weight with Intermittent Fasting (16:8 eating window) and healthy eating (I feel this just has to be a goal every year, even if I’m at a good weight).DONE! If I'm not healthy, I can't travel or work on the farmhouse and garden.
- Move everyday.
Barre3 at-home videos 3x/week, adding in 4x/week walking and/or gardening/DIY. Also, add Pomodoro timer to computer and set to work in 60-90 minute blocks before getting up to move. HALF - while doing Barre3 is still consistent for me at 3x/week, walking or gardening the other days really only happens when the weather is nice. Ugh. I'm so cold all the time I cannot even think about getting out in the yucky weather. This might just be seasonal... Ditto - health allows us to do so much! Read/Listen to 80 books. SMASHED! Read over 100 books in 2019 for the first time ever! I don't think I need a number reading goal anymore, now that it's a firm part of my life. Reading helps me be a better friend, daughter, wife, and mom as I expand my world. It also gives me things to talk about and share with others. Build relationships by connecting with friends in person 2x/month and home group 1x/week. DONE! Feel really good about this goal and will keep it up in 2020. Investing in family and friend relationships is key for us.
- Farmhouse Remodel:
Finish master extension, flooring on main level, porch roof, living/dining room, kitchen, vegetable garden fenced and useable, and sunken flower garden started. HALF. Yikes, this doesn't look good, does it? Yep, it's taking us a lot longer to pass our inspections. The good news is that now those are mostly done, we can start on the flooring and wood walls which makes everything seem to start coming together. Obviously working towards big goal #1. Max out retirement funds. DONE! Planning for retirement. Find new CPA + better plan for taxes. DONE! (Though I'm not really happy with him and may be moving...) Retirement.
- Move by end of year? Plan for manufactured home? NO. See #1. (Also, why do I keep putting this on here - it's more a dream than a goal at this point, ha!) Working towards #1.
- AOC Products:
promo current productsand introduce 1-2 more. HALF. I'm counting the coil-bound Flexible Planner because even though it wasn't totally new it took so much of my time it was like it was! #3 - biz & passive income. Increase newsletter subscribers. DONE! I grew thousands more. #3 - biz & passive income. Pinterest focus to increase traffic from that source. DONE! I really focused and took back my own scheduling which increased my traffic from Pinterest. #3 - biz & passive income. Continue SEO optimization of older recipes and articles. DONE! Though this is an ongoing task (will it ever be done??). #3 - biz & passive income. Regular videos and more social media lives. DONE! While I could be more regular, we produced more videos in 2019 and I did some live cooking in January. #3 - biz & passive income.
New 2020 Goals
- Maintain weight and visit my doctor regularly (I tend to put this off, but really need to check in a few times a year). Health = travel & DIY projects.
- Move 6 days/week. Continue Barre3 videos 3x/week; walk & garden spring, summer, fall; add more movement throughout the day on bad weather days (use the Pomodoro timer I installed last year to get up and stretch, etc.). Again, health = travel & DIY projects.
- Complete the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. So excited about this new type of reading challenge for me - I know some of you are doing this, too, so I will be talking about my choices in the Best Books of 2019 list coming out tomorrow. Expand my world to better relate to others.
- Relationships: start new Sunday small group and meet with friends a couple times each month. #4 big goal.
- Farmhouse Fixer: wall, floors, finish exterior, kitchen, new stairs, and living/dining room finished. #1 big goal.
- Three Trips: Australia (March); Yellowstone (August); Arizona (November). Travel.
- Sunken garden next to farmhouse: lay out, initial planting and mulch. Farmhouse.
- Adjust finances (our self-employment income is changing) to tighten budget but keep retirement. Retirement & biz.
Business: (all relate to #3 - retirement, biz & passive income.)
- Create 1-2 new products (that you, friend, will find useful).
- Update newsletter. I'm looking into changing my provider and format as well as creating more funnels to direct new readers to my existing content.
- SEO & Audit. I'm in the middle of a whole website audit in order to keep up to date with all Google wants to see (that's what "SEO" is about = "search engine optimization" to get seen in Google). I foresee updating and cleaning up the site after 11 years of blogging to take most of my time in 2020.
- More video - try to keep a consistent video day each month to produce 1-2 videos on both old and new content.
Word of the Year?
You may have noticed that I didn't mention a word for this year in the title or up until now and that's because I don't have one. Each year that I've had one, it just seem to come to me to help guide my overall outlook for the coming year.
This year? Nothing. And it's not something I'm going to force or pretend about. If it's not something that I can be excited about, it's not worth pushing for me.
But what I do have are some habits I want to track for 2020. Not many - just three things that I've been wanting to improve in for awhile. And not only to see I've done them, but because I think these habits will make a big impact in my life.
Here are the 3 things I'll be tracking using my Flexible Planner Habit Trackers:
- Gratitude Everyday. While I do use the gratitude area of the planner, it's not consistent and I would like to see a list when I'm done. I'm ordering a new journal for this and will track my progress.
- Stop Work at 5:00 Weekdays + Friday Creative Block. I don't work on weekends, but it's always hard to stop at 5 - or not go back after dinner to "finish just a few more things." It's not good for my mind or my relationships. Also, I've been wanting to have a whole day for creative pursuits, whether they are blog related or not, so I'm aiming for Fridays. The goal during the block is to do nothing on the computer, but only things with my hands - could be working on the farmhouse, garden, or doing a crafty thing. (Recording it or taking pictures for the blog later, though, is okay!)
- Big Thing First. This is that "eat the frog" idea that I've thought didn't apply to me - but I think I should give a try, lol. I'm not a morning person and my most productive time is usually afternoons, but I do tend to put off the hard thing, dealing with easy email, comments, or the like instead. I want to give this a real try this year and see if it makes a difference for me.
What do you think - what goals/dreams are you thinking about or setting towards living your simple homemade life? They'll look different for everyone, but inspiration can be found all around you - don't be afraid to dream and plan.
Even if you only reach some of them, you're that much closer to the life you want than you would've been - count it all a victory!
And thank you so much for joining me on this journey of living the simple life, finding joy in the everyday, and creating everything from food to welcoming homes for ourselves and our families. You truly are the reason this blog keeps going - I appreciate your time visiting, the comments and emails. I read each and every one - and even save the best to read during those inevitable times I wonder, "why am I doing this again?" 🙂
Hint: I love hearing from you and if you want to quickest access, sign up below to get the weekly newsletter which makes it easy to just hit "reply" whenever you want to comment or ask a question.
Interested in my past goals? You can see them all here.