2020 mid-year goals review, part one

24 June 2020

Aside from March (when I crossed off almost nothing on my PowerSheets, having set my monthly goals before the world fell apart), 2020 has been a year of surprising progress for me.

Perhaps this is because, as an introvert, my goals are naturally focused on my home and my family. Certainly it’s because we’ve been fortunate to only have experienced soft blows from COVID-19, like disrupted childcare, travel upheaval, and weaker earnings, and not the devastation of illness, death, or job loss. I’d imagine it’s also because, with uncertainty raging outside our door and what matters most thrown into even greater relief, I’ve had the motivation to double down on the good things I can control. No commutes for John or me have certainly helped, too :)

I’ve done these mid-year goal updates for the last few years, and I’ve always found them a helpful chance to look back and look ahead. But in this particular year, when the disappointments and canceled plans and heartache of the last six months loom large, I think it’s even more important to count the fruit. Thanks for counting it with me, friends.

P.S. This post ended up being longer than I expected, so I’ll be back with an update on my last four goals later this week!

Goal no. 1: Live a wild life outdoors
Progress I’ve made: We’ve gone on a hike or “off-trail” adventure at least once a month: wading in our neighborhood creek, playing at Prairie Ridge Ecostation or the Museum of Life & Science, forging our own trails in our neighborhood and local parks, picnic lunching in the middle of the woods, and swimming in the Eno River. Closer to home, we added a sand and rock table to our front porch and commissioned a gate across our steep front steps, creating a new zone for independent outdoor play (we also added more plants to our back bed). I read How to Raise a Wild Child and picked up some tips on how to be a better “nature guide” for our kiddos.
What I hope to accomplish in the next six months: More of the same! We’ll continue to notch a family adventure in the woods at least once a month, and if restrictions loosen, I’d love to encourage June to get back into more “loose parts” free play with neighborhood friends. I would also LOVE to make more progress on organizing our garage.

Goal no. 2: Be a generous friend
Progress I’ve made: I go deep, not wide, with friends, and this goal is to encourage me to go all-in on this strategy. I chose 8 “focal friends” for the year to very intentionally love, delight, and care for, and so far, I feel I’ve really made a difference with four of the eight. I’ve left housewarming and baby gifts on front steps; brought over meals; had lunch dates, dinner dates, and double dates; sent snail mail; had Zoom game nights; and had long catch-up calls. I also read one of my friend’s favorite books of all time so we could discuss it together :)
What I hope to accomplish in the next six months: You know those friend dossiers that keep popping up on my monthly goals? I’d really like to finish them :) I hope that will help me get creative with the four relationships that have not seen as much love so far.

Goal no. 3: Grow strong by biking regularly
Progress I’ve made: We bought a stationary bike in January, and so far I’ve ridden 6-12 days each month. I love it! I’ve never owned a piece of exercise equipment nor taken a spin class before this (or any exercise class, really), but the short classes (15-20 minutes), the ability to hop on anytime I’d like, and the lack of travel time are a winning combination for me. Of course, in the current climate, we’re especially grateful to have an in-home exercise option! Since March, we’ve also gone for a family bike almost every Saturday morning. Most recently, we’ve added in daily stretching and 5-minute arms classes through the Peloton app – John and I do them together, which has been fun!
What I hope to accomplish in the next six months: We haven’t yet registered for an MS ride for later this year, but I hope COVID might still allow us to participate in either New Bern or Reston. I also hope to continue to increase the number of days per month I squeeze in a ride.

Goal no. 4: Read through the Gospels together with John
Progress I’ve made: This has been more slow-going than I would like (we’re still at the tail end of Matthew, our first book), but I’ve really enjoyed what we’ve been able to do so far. It’s been awhile since I’ve read through a complete book of the Bible – it’s neat to hear the stories in order. We’re reading the Crossway books of the Bible and using my study Bible for more context as needed!
What I hope to accomplish in the next six months: I still have high hopes we’ll finish all four books before the end of the year!

Thanks for always cheering me on, friends! I’d love to hear how your progress on your 2020 goals has gone so far, if you’d like to share. Big or small, it’s worth celebrating!!

See part two here!

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June 25, 2020 3:00 pm

Love reading your progress posts like this! :) Thank you, as always, for sharing.

A couple of my goals have been difficult/pretty much impossible during COVID — finding new doctors/making appointments, going to daily mass regularly, make more friends in our new neighborhood — so I have been focusing on what I CAN do safely at home. And that has been pretty fruitful!

I have designed 3 of the 4 photo albums I wanted to tackle this year. I started a book club and joined another one — both meet virtually for now. My husband and I have made a lot of progress on our financial goals, including creating a plan to finish saving for a house down payment, redoing my 401k investments with help from our financial advisor, etc. We also took care of creating a will and other important documents. Now I need to focus on working out with any sort of regularity — my motivation for that task is definitely lacking! Working out at home has never been my strong suit.

June 25, 2020 3:22 pm

I was suspicious I was a focal friend, haha, but this confirms it! ;) I am honored and I can’t believe I forgot to ask you how you’re liking A Tree Grows in Brooklyn yesterday!! We definitely need a book discussion soon because I finished The Invention of Wings and am halfway through Save Me the Plums!

Kelly Strawberry
June 26, 2020 9:29 am

Love this! The focal friend idea is probably my favorite and something that seems so easy but tends to be challenging in this stage of life. I love your idea to focus on 8 (or 4!) friends and love them well.

July 1, 2020 9:42 am

I always love reading your goals and updates Em – and I love that yours are so home and family centred that Covid hasn’t turned these upside down! x