Four years ago, I unintentionally started my own New Year’s tradition. Instead of creating resolutions that would be too easily forgotten or too quickly broken (like giving up fast food completely or working out every single day), I made a list of a few specific, measurable, realistic goals: a list that I could come back to a year later to reflect on and see how I grew. And the idea kind of stuck with me, so here I am, for the fifth year in a row, thankful for God’s faithfulness in 2020, the most bizarre year of my life thus far, and yet still turning a hopeful eye toward the new year ahead!
MY 2020 GOALS WERE:
- Continue my streak from last year and spend time in God’s Word every single day. ✓
I missed one day in the Word this year, and it was because I had an emotionally exhausting day and truly just forgot. I am thankful to the Lord for growing this spiritual discipline in me, and I don’t need to include it on my yearly lists to remind myself to work on it anymore. This habit is fully established, and I sincerely look forward to spending time with God every day. ♥
Go skydiving.Man, we tried. :( Daniel refuses to do it, but I have wanted to go for years, and so have a few friends from church. We finally scheduled the trip and we drove all the way out there, but it was too windy. The place we went to doesn’t do refunds, but they gave us vouchers to come another time. We’ll definitely try again once the weather is nicer.
- Do a “no-spend” week. ✓
We did it! We didn’t spend any money for a full week, other than bills that were scheduled to come out of our accounts automatically. It took some planning ahead for meals, gas, etc., but I think it was a worthwhile experiment. It definitely revealed how easily and often we spend money without thinking about where it’s actually going.
- Visit somewhere new with Daniel. ✓
SO. MANY. PLACES. Every December for the last several years, I’ve looked back in awe over how many new places we got to go! In 2020, we went back to NYC for my birthday but visited new spots, like the New York Public Library and Battery Park, and we saw a few new Broadways shows and lots more of Central Park. My side of the family took a trip to Colorado Springs over the summer, where we got to visit Pike’s Peak, Manitou Springs, Royal Gorge, and Garden of the Gods. We got to go to San Diego (first time for both of us to visit California!) for David and Courtney Reagan’s wedding, and we planned a last-minute friendcation to Nashville when our group cruise got cancelled because of COVID. I also took a surprise trip to the emergency room for the first time….! (I’m okay now)
- Call my parents, siblings, and grandparents more. ✓
Thanks to the coronavirus, I DEFINITELY achieved this goal!
- Try something new: an intimidating recipe, learn common phrases in a few other languages, geocaching, maybe a yoga pose. Something brand new to me. ✓
I did more new things than I expected to this year! Some notable favorites were eating authentic Chinese barbecue in Chinatown – ate the whole meal with chopsticks!! – and petting a kangaroo at the Nashville Zoo. And where to start with all of my quarantine things?? I found out what working from home was like, I attempted braiding my own hair, I learned the best way to roast potatoes, I made homemade freaking croissants, and I made my first chicken pot pie, crust and all (AND IT WAS BALLER). On top of all of that, I started attending Kathryn Jernigan’s hip hop dance class at the gym and fell head-over-heels in love with it. I didn’t think I could like anything as much as I liked her step class, but now I look forward to Turn Up days every single week.
Go to a drive-in movie.
Honestly so sad that this didn’t happen. We were supposed to get one in Durant toward the end of the year, but I think funding was delayed because of COVID-19. The closest drive-in theater is an hour and a half away, and we just weren’t ever able to put a date on the calendar once Daniel started his Master’s classes.
- Make some emergency preparedness kits – one for the car, one for the basement, etc. ✓
I used a weekend that Daniel was in Dallas for class to put these together! They were not cheap (and I’m already not looking forward to keeping track of the expiration dates for the snacks…) but I know I’ll be grateful for them someday. It feels good to be ready in case something happens.
- Have at least one TV-free day per week and one social media-free day per month. ✓
Not perfect, but pretty dang good. This is the first time I’ve ever made a plan and tried to stick to it.
January: TV ⊗⊗✓✓✓ // Social media ✓
February: TV ✓⊗⊗✓ // Social media ⊗
March: TV ✓⊗⊗⊗ // Social media ⊗
April: TV ⊗⊗✓✓⊗ // Social media ✓
May: TV ✓⊗⊗⊗ // Social media ✓
June: TV ✓⊗⊗✓ // Social media ✓
July: TV ✓⊗⊗✓✓ // Social media ✓
August: TV ✓⊗⊗✓ // Social media ✓
September: TV ⊗✓✓✓✓ // Social media ✓
October: TV ✓⊗✓✓ // Social media ✓
November: TV ✓✓✓✓ // Social media ✓
December: TV ⊗✓✓✓✓ // Social media ✓
- Shop local more: downtown shops, summer farmer’s market, etc. ✓
This one wasn’t even hard. I love how much our downtown area has grown over the last year, and it was an honor to support so many small businesses! Some of my favorite purchases this year were:
- Salted caramel popcorn, a tan and black floral top, and a funny notebook from Durant Mercantile
- Cookie Monster ice cream from Caked Up
- Rose boho overalls from The Trippie Hippie
- Loose-leaf tea from Tiffany Newton and farm fresh eggs and pumpkins from Freedom Acre Farms at the Farmer’s Market
- Iced vanilla hazelnut lattes and chocolate chip cookies from Opera House Coffee
- A cream and sienna striped sweater from Sweet Lil’ Repeat
- Apple pineapple cider from Old Ice House
• 2021 •
Take a class with Daniel and learn something new together.
Finally go skydiving!
Have at least three device-free days per month.
Go a full month without eating out. (I’m scared)
Host a backyard dinner party this summer.
Take a “just the two of us” trip.
Make at least 20 of the 37,000 recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.
Start recording my prayer requests.
Learn how to make my own pasta (and resist the urge to make it every day afterward).
Host another “Favorite Things” party.
Try something different with my hair.
I’m also continuing my tradition of picking a Word for the Year! Since I’ve started, my words for the year have been Hope, Courage, Joy, and Discipline. When I chose ‘Discipline’ for 2020 (or more accurately, when GOD chose it for me), I could never have guessed the personal transformation I would experience from January to December. I’m doing things daily and weekly that I never thought I would ever do, like keeping track of calorie intake and looking forward to working out. I can’t believe my life looks like this now, and I am so dang proud of myself.
My word for 2021 is:
P E A C E .
I want you guys to know that I didn’t just pull this out of thin air, or Google ‘word of the year ideas’ and pick out my favorite. I am confident, as I have been every single year since I started doing this, that this word was given to me by the Lord for a reason. I am genuinely looking forward to seeing how this word connects with 2021. Here’s to another year of learning and growing!
What is one of your goals for this year? Tell me in the comments!