2020 wasn't a normal year. That's the biggest understatement of the year. Maybe some of you really thrived and maybe some of you really struggled to just survive. And both of that is ok.
There is no need to feel guilt if 2020 was full of many blessings, and there is no need to feel shame and embarrassment if 2020 was downright hard, and you got nothing you wanted to accomplishment. Instead, let's look to lift each other up this upcoming year.
If you are looking to set goals for the new year, I would like to share how I set my goals for the year in a few easy steps. You can also sign up to take the Add One-A-Day 30 Day Challenge to help you stay on track with your goals.
Step 1: Get a planner
I'm still old school and need to write things down. A good planner helps me stay organized and on track with my goals. My husband purchased Christy Wright's planner for me for 2021. I highly recommend this planner if you are a lover of all things organizing and planning.
Step 2: Break down the different areas in your life.
Divide your life into all the different areas of your life that give you purpose and meaning. For me it might look like this:
Step 3: Decide which area to do a Dedicated Year.
Each year have picked one area of my life that I feel as if could use some extra attention and focus, then I set a bigger goal for that one particular area than all the other areas of my life, and I use the most of the year or the whole area to dedicate my time to working on that goal. Hence, the title "Dedicated Year."
In the past, I have done a dedicated year for being a runner. I signed up, trained for, and ran a half marathon.
Last year, I did a dedicated year as a writer and reader. I started a running, updated website, blogged consistently, submitted my work for publication, and wrote a book. I read 50+ books, many related to parenting and race.
The year before, I focused on being a mom by slowing down, clearing my schedule, and letting go. I struggled a bit with this. I had to tell myself that it was okay that I wasn't focusing as much attention on my career as I was in the past. That's why I wanted to dedicate the year to that area of my life.
This year, I think as of this moment, I am committing to the Wife area!
Step 4: Set your big goal for that area of your life.
Since this is an area you want to work on for the whole year, you can set one big goal for the year or many micro goals throughout the year. For example, it might look like this:
Dedicated Year Area: Wife
Goal: James and I will go on 12 dates (inside or outside of the house) in one year without any friends and without our son.
To help me reach this goal and focus on being a better wife this year, I would also read books related to marriage or perhaps sign up for a class.
Whatever I do, this is the area where I will be paying the most attention to.
Step 5: Set smaller goals for the other areas of your life.
Here is where you can set smaller goals for the other areas of your life. You can choose all of the areas or just a few. Up to you. I recommend setting no more than 2 goals for each area because otherwise it's overwhelming.
Here are mine:
Step 6: Write it down.
Write your goals down and, this is important, put them where you can see them, so they are on your mind. Christy Wright's planner is useful in helping you break down your goals setting a plan for how to reach them. You can also read more on how I do this here.
Good luck with all your goals! May 2021 be a happy and healthy year. One where we all emerge from the darkness.
See you out there!
For many, Jesus and Santa are the two main guys of Christmas. They steal the show. And although, Jesus is definitely the reason for the season in our household, there is another guy who is almost just as important to our family every holiday season. It’s the Card Guy.
We have a long-standing tradition on my dad’s side of the family of having a card contest over the years. What started out as a friendly game of voting on which Christmas card was the best to be sent to my uncle and his family turned into an all-out fierce competition of judging, alliances, secret voting, song and dance, tears, fights, and carefully crafting the perfect and funniest card for half a year. We’ve had family members become the Griswalds, Kardashians, Joe Biden and Obama, and Ralphie and Randy from a Christmas Story all in the name of the Card Contest. And out of that, the Card Guy came to life.
The Card Guy is my uncle. On the eve of the contest he transforms into character wearing a jean vest full of Christmas cards from days of yore. The lights dim, the music sounds, and he bursts into the room almost magically singing and dancing the opening number. Usually a spoof on a popular song. It’s oddly reminiscent of Michael Scott performing at the Dundies. Throughout his entire performance for the night, he does a spectacular job of hosting the contest. He divides the cards into categories: Nature, Religious, Plain Text, and the biggest, most coveted one of all- the Picture category. Then, he dazzles us with his jokes, wit, charisma, and charm until he ultimately crowns the winner of the night. For a while, the Card Guy was on top of the world.
But over time, we became greedy and hungry for victory. We pushed the Card Guy for more. More jokes. More songs. More pizzazz. And we riddled him when the contest dragged on for too long. We belittled him when our cards didn’t win. We booed him when his jokes didn’t land. We demanded him to perform like he was some kind of show puppet and not a real person with real feelings. We couldn’t see it, but the Card Guy was cracking. The pressure was too much.
Finally, he hung up his hat and announced his retirement. Some family members made feeble attempts to encourage him to perform again, but he simply wouldn’t do it. But with the birth of children, weddings, surgeries, and the like, the family wasn’t able to be together at Christmastime for the past two years. We made some tries to have the contest over Facebook, but it was missing something. It was missing the Card Guy.
Now with last year, 2020, being so hard and the holiday season approaching rapidly, we all need something to unite the world. To bring peace and simplicity back into the homes of America again. We need the Card Guy. But more importantly, we need the Card Guy because he unites our family together. He makes us laugh. He makes us value family traditions. He gives us hope that despite everything that has happened in the world, we will always have each other to lean on, fight and make up with, and ultimately create long-lasting memories with. Ones we can tell our children about. This isn’t the year for traditions to be forgotten. This is the year for them to be remade, rebirthed, restored in any way possible. This is the year for Card Guy.