I was planning to share my dreams and goals for the entire year, but that seemed like overkill. Let’s just do this one month at a time, slow and steady, with long-term results in mind.
I don’t have a word of the year, but a phrase…
“Do it for your future self.”
It’s so, so easy to do things for the me-right-now. I’d rather sleep in than start a healthy morning routine. I’d rather eat what I want than make intentional choices to fuel my body. I’d rather skip the walk or the shoulder exercises in favor of doing something more creative. I’d rather buy this thing now than wait to see if it’s something I really want or need.
But future me always wishes I did the opposite. The future me never appreciates that I indulged on one more piece of cake. The future me never wishes I watched more TV or wasted more time scrolling on my phone mindlessly. The future me is never glad I didn’t take that walk. The future me is never thankful that I rushed into a decision or spent money in haste.
So, I’m going to focus on doing things for my future self – learning the things I want to learn and making the decisions I know will benefit me down the road. I know I won’t be perfect at this, but as is true with just about everything – I’ll get better with practice.
First, I want to clarify the difference between a dream and a goal. This was hit on in the book Atomic Habits and Shaunna drove the point home for me in a recent Mustard Seed Mentoring session on seasonal planning.
Lose 20 lbs = a dream (not a goal)
Working out five times a week and eating a (mostly) whole foods diet = a goal
Increase the traffic to my blog by 20% = dream
Posting quality content on my blog five times each week = goal
Goals can be measured and they are within your control. Dreams are the target, the desired destination.
So here are my dreams (desired destination) & goals (actionable plans) that I’m starting in January, broken into three categories – creatively, professionally, and personally…
Dream – Become a better artist in order to be able to sell more original works, prints, and to develop my own style.
Goal – Paint daily and join Michelle Wooderson’s #january202020challenge. Focus on small works and small improvements, then take on some big challenges again – larger landscapes, cows, portraits, and master copies.
Dream – Crochet a pair of Nordic-style wool socks, because I would love to wear them and I think it would be a challenge.
Goal – Learn and practice the stitches I need to know to make the wool socks by making dishcloths and translate the pattern so I understand it when I’m ready to start the project. (I’m still having trouble with anything beyond the typical abbreviations.)
My professional theme this year is – “Create authentically and share generously.” I hope that spirit permeates all of my professional efforts this year, specifically my online presence.
Dream – Finish my Oil Painting for Beginners Course. I started working on this last summer and wasn’t able to finish it before my trip to Europe and shoulder surgery. This might be the top thing I receive inquiries about, so I need to complete it.
Goal – Do the work to get it done! Record the remaining videos, edit them, finish taking photos, and create the printable companion materials.
Dream – Revamp, refresh, & rethink my blog. I’ve honestly been coasting on and off for a while. It’s not that I haven’t given it time and attention, but I backed away from some of the things that really engage my audience like decorating dilemmas, series, tutorials, budget decorating ideas, etc. My shoulder had a lot to do with it, but so did burnout.
Goal – Post on my blog five times/week, focusing on my theme – create authentically and share generously. Distribute that consistently to social media channels, being mindful of the “language” of each platform. Freshen up a few of the “static” sections on my site and make sure text reflects what readers can expect. Improve ease of navigation. Dust off some old ideas and bring back popular series.
Dream – Grow the Mustard Seed Mentoring group and serve current members generously. I really love this group and my hope is to get more people involved and see them benefit from it as creative entrepreneurs.
Goal – Open MSM to new members the week of January 20th. Set a promotion plan to get the word out about how awesome this group is! (If you’re interested in creative business mentoring with me, you can get your name on the waiting list HERE.) Conduct monthly assessments to see how I can improve in serving this group better and offer more value.
Dream – Increase the TCe podcast audience and website/social media following. This project is still in its infancy, so it needs some time and attention to help it grow. Shaunna and I are passionate about this topic and we’d love to engage with more creatives.
Goal – Treat TCe like more than just a “side thing.” Schedule a brain-storming session/creative retreat with Shaunna to put an actionable plan in place for the year. Read articles on podcast promotion. Cultivate the community we currently have, serve them well, and be thankful for them.
Dream – Increase my strength and fitness level post-shoulder-surgery. Now that I’m healing and able to do more, I want to start to push my limits and get back into the shape I was in a few years ago when I completed P90x.
Goal – Making exercise a regular part of my routine. Work with a trainer to put a workout plan together that will compliment my shoulder PT and work with my current limitations. Workout at the gym 3x/week minimum. Get 10,000 steps/day. Eat food that fuels my body, makes me feel good, and will result in weight-loss. (I have a specific plan, but I won’t go into it all on this post.)
Dream – Relearn German. I used to have a pretty decent German vocabulary from living in Germany as a child and taking it in high school, but I’ve let it slip over the years. I still understand it okay in context, but I’m very shy about speaking and my grammar is pathetic.
Goal – Signed up for Rosetta Stone German. Complete one lesson each day and/or practice past lessons each day. Practice speaking with my dad regularly to increase my conversation skills.
Dream – This is sort of a broad, general dream to reduce stress, nurture a grateful heart, and practice mindfulness. I couldn’t think of how to boil it down, but that’s the idea.
Goal – Set and stick to a morning routine to get each day off on the right foot. This routine will include a devotion, prayer, drinking a large glass of water, and doing a few minutes of stretching before I get the boys up for school. It’ll continue after I send them on their way, but I think that time before they wake up will be key. Writing and sketching is a big part of this as well. When I sketch, I notice things more and am thankful for them. When I write, I am more self-aware.
Of course, I have more dreams and goals, things I want to do, and projects I want to complete, but I wanted to share the over-arching biggies that I hope to start in January and carry through the year.
I’m going to put you on the spot… Does anyone want to share a Dream/Goal pair? Sometimes writing it down and sharing it with others, even strangers on the internet, is a way to commit.