2022 has arrived, and with it a fresh layer of snow here in Colorado. On the heels of the challenging past two years, I made sure to set aside some time to reflect on how fortunate and blessed we are, and it’s given me a renewed sense of hope for the future.
So it’s with a hopeful heart that I’ve begun working through the opening pages of my planner and crafting my goals and plans for 2022. I’m following the process we outline in our planner, beginning first by working through my self-reflection to evaluate my priorities. As we often speak about, this is an essential first step as it offers a moment to really examine your life, how you spend your time, and whether your daily actions align with your deepest values.
After spending some time on my reflection and vision board, I brainstormed the areas or categories I need to focus on this year and came up with eight themes. Finally, I started building specific and measurable goals. Though the list is not complete yet, I decided to share them with you in hopes that they might provide a little inspiration as you begin your year.
Note: I’ve added some photos of goals of my planner to showcase how it’s designed to track everything easily from month to week to day by frequency.
- Parenting: Focus on being more present. I am not always the parent I want to be – especially when I’m feeling impatient or stressed out – but I’m trying. It’s particularly important to me to make the most of these days with young children and to foster the sort of relationship they need from me. So I’m committed in 2022 to improve in a few ways:
- Listen to positive parenting podcast series and do workbook exercises with Annie by end of March
- Make dedicated creative / art / drawing time each Saturday morning
- Monthly one-on-one breakfast dates before school
- Skiing with kids 5x this winter
- Check in with Annie a couple times this year to get an outsider’s perspective on my parenting interactions
- Marriage: Create more quality time together. Funny how the most important relationship in my life is the one that often gets pushed off for later. Maybe it’s the sense of security we take for granted, or the unspoken understanding that other things require attention more urgently. For 2022, here’s to not letting the urgent matters in life get in the way of the important ones:
- Regular date nights (formal going out twice a month, informal staying in twice a month). Maybe we can switch off planning and arranging babysitters…
- Fill out our marriage journal each Wednesday night
- Use our informal date nights to introduce more fun, interactive games
- Surprise her with two or more gestures each week like ‘I love you’ sticky notes or unsolicited backrubs
- Spend two weekends away – one this summer and one this fall
- Find a way to go on a retreat or at least a lengthy getaway where we can focus on each other and our relationship
- Take a class together (French lessons? Cooking? Painting? Marathon-training?)
- Finances: Clean up expenses and reevaluate where we’re at. With technology these days (bills are auto-paid and paychecks are auto-deposited), our finances are a little bit too much on cruise-control. A thorough refresh is warranted this year:
- Close old checking and credit card accounts by end of January
- Meet with CFP in March to get feedback on our finances and future plans
- Update our will by the summer
- Review our budget from the last year to make sure it’s still reasonable, and commit to reviewing at the end of each month
- Finish personal finance spreadsheet by this summer and use it to track monthly budget
- Health: Commit to small changes. Pretty sure this is on everyone’s goal list every year, but as we all know, it’s also one of the toughest to stay committed to. I’ve trimmed down my goals in this area to be a little more realistic so hopefully I stick with it this year:
- Get more sleep! Shooting for eight hours a night, five nights a week
- Do a month of 100’s this February (100 pushups, sit-ups, squats every day)
- Limit coffee to two cups a day
- Make at-home family meals 4x / week (use the ‘Meals’ section in my planner’s weekly layout)
- Hit gym twice a week, run stairs twice a week
- Train for and run a half-marathon this summer
- Home: Complete unfinished house projects. We are committed DIYer’s when we have the time, but lately life has gotten extra full and we have become really good at starting house projects and not finishing them. Here are a few that I commit to tackling this year:
- Finish master bathroom remodel by March
- Finish laundry room remodel by June
- Paint interior walls
- Passions & Hobbies: Make time for the things that inspire me. Let’s not overlook how important it is to make time for ourselves. Here’s how I plan to do more of the things I love this year:
- Practice piano 2 hours / week
- Paint at least once / month
- Fly fish three separate times this year
- Self-growth: Be the best version of myself. Similar to the previous category, there are facets of myself that I want to carve out dedicated time for this year. This year I hope to focus on these positive habits and actions:
- Daily prayers in the morning
- Journal once a week in my weekly self-reflection
- Foster important friendships by scheduling monthly social outings
- Read three novels and three nonfiction books
- Organization: Get better at planning ahead. (Use my planner more!) The last few weeks of the year were hectic for us, as they are for most people, and I re-discovered that when I really commit to using my planner, I feel much more centered and less stressed. So for 2022 I intend to keep at it:
- Dedicate one hour for self-reflection in January, mid-year, and December.
- Spend 20 mins every Sunday evening to plan for my upcoming week.
- Plan out our family vacations and trips ahead of time, starting in January
- Create and follow monthly and weekly house-cleaning schedules
That's it for now. Happy New Year!