January 2020 goals

10 January 2020

For me, January is a month for resetting and exploring. I usually finalize my 2020 goals a few days into the new year, and then use the rest of the month to plot out a loose plan and schedule for what progress on those goals might look like. Unsurprisingly, January looks a lot like the littlest little-by-little: brainstorm, research, prepare, read instructions. The Enneagram 5 in me loves January :)

One note I wanted to add while we’re on the topic of goals. Someone asked me recently why my yearly goals haven’t (ever?) included anything finance related, even though it’s clearly a focus for us. And therein lies the answer: we are most definitely working toward a long-term financial goal, but because it’s so thoroughly accounted for in our everyday life (thanks, budget!), it’s not something that takes any extra planning or thought on my part — and therefore doesn’t need to be broken down monthly like my 2020 goals do!

On my calendar this month:
— June’s birthday! We’re forgoing a party this year in favor of a day of fun with her cousin :)
— Our 15th dativersary!

What I’m loving right now:
— We’ve watched exactly one episode of Amazon’s Modern Love (no. 1), and it was so exquisitely beautiful and lovely (and tear inducing, it must be said) that I’m hesitant to watch another one for fear of tarnishing that memory. Watch it — and watch the rest at your own risk :)
— This should not be surprising if you’ve been reading EFM for any length of time, but CLEARLY I am loving the Jeopardy! GOAT tournament. John is rooting for James and I am rooting for Ken!

What I read in December:
Reclaiming Home: I picked this up after hearing the author on the Coffee & Crumbs podcast and loving what she had to say about family traditions. Her book has a whiff of self-publishing about it, but was still worthwhile! If you want to build your family culture but Sally Clarkson is a little artsy for your vibe, I’d try Krista’s book!

January goals:
— Commission a gate for our front porch
— Open the Advent calendar box :) Look through everything, read instructions
— Brainstorm needed zones for the loft
— Clean out my existing recipe binder
— Cull 2019 iPhone photos
— Brainstorm “forest school” location possibilities near us
— Buy a stationary bike??
— Do something fun with two of my focal friends
— Conduct an initial search for a downstairs desk
— Write our sweet girl a note on her fourth birthday (continuing a tradition)
— Order our 2019 photos from Social Print Studio

As a reminder, many of these are drawn from my 2020 goals!

Since it’s something I’m thinking about right now, let’s talk about recipe organization. How do you organize yours? A binder? On Pinterest? Recipe cards? Something else? I’d love to hear!

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January 10, 2020 7:39 am

We’ve created a digital cookbook using Microsoft OneNote for our “go to” recipes. I like that it can be accessed from anywhere and it’s easy to share or update! I still use cookbooks or recipes from the Internet as well, but al, of our tried and true recipes get added to our digital cookbook.

January 10, 2020 9:22 am

Highly recommend Prairie Ridge Ecostation as a potential local forest school location if you haven’t been yet! https://naturalsciences.org/prairie-ridge

January 10, 2020 9:55 am

I stumbled upon Pepperplate a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. It’s free to join and it files all of my recipes, as well as giving me the ability to tag (soups, seasonal, whole30, etc.) and add the URL for where the recipe came from, if applicable. When I find a recipe from pinterest, blog or magazine, I just manually enter it into Pepper Plate and then when I want to meal plan, I’ll go to my list and choose from there. Super simple!

January 10, 2020 10:03 am

I still save recipes to my two food boards on Pinterest, but find myself reaching for my recipe binder (I have the Emily Ley one) or cookbooks most often now, for some reason! When I get a new cookbook, I make a list of all the recipes I want to try and their page numbers that I keep in the book like a bookmark, so I can refer to those lists quickly rather than flipping through full books. My binder isn’t quite as organized, but Ashley Brooke just posted about meal planning (either today or yesterday?) and I really liked her recipe binder tips!

January 10, 2020 10:04 am

1. Modern Love is SO GOOD! I got hooked earlier in the fall and can’t rave about it enough — I’m so, so glad they’re producing more! Numbers 1 and 2 are my very favorite, and they’re very cry-inducing and incredibly moving.
2. We don’t watch Jeopardy too regularly these days, but we are LOVING the tournament right now (perfect since we’ve both been sick this week)! We’re both cheering for Ken, and I can’t believe how speedy and insanely intelligent (and hilarious) these guys are!!
3. I’m currently cooking our way through Half-Baked Harvest’s newest cookbook, as it’s far and away the best cookbook I’ve ever seen! I bookmarked 38 recipes on our “must make ASAP” list (so many!), and we’ve already made about eight dishes since the new year from it. Highly recommend!!

January 10, 2020 10:04 am

I’m curious about your comment regarding Sally Clarkson’s vibe being artsy. I feel like our family is badly in need of defining (possibly REfining) our rituals and traditions and family mores, and I would love to read more about that. I’ve read – I’m actually in the midst of – a Sally Clarkson book, but I don’t feel like it touches on those things. It’s more about community for moms. In addition to Reclaiming Home by Krista Gilbert, is there a particular Sally Clarkson book that I should investigate?

Similar to your birthday letter tradition, I picked up a nice notebook each for my husband, my little boy, and myself, and instead of cards, for any holiday, we write in each other’s books. Birthday, Valentine’s Day, the random day when my dude got himself dressed for school all by himself… all the sentiments that come along with such celebrations and milestones get written into the book. #1. I figure it will be nice to preserve all of that in a single volume for each of us, and #2. it saves us when we’ve forgotten to grab a card for a particular occasion, which… it happens!

With respect to recipes, I’m Evernote all the way. In fact, it’s almost the ONLY thing I use Evernote for, and I’m a paying subscriber. I love it because I can “clip” recipes into it from the net (via phone or desktop), or I can scan in (or take pictures of) recipes that I get from magazines, books, or friends. The tagging structure is incredible and makes finding a recipe so easy. Out of the gate, I tag everything with what course the recipe is (i.e., breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, etc.), but I also tag with things like “Vegan” or “Instant Pot” or “Meal Prep”. Also, Evernote brilliantly searches hand-written notes. So, even though I can’t remember the name of that chicken casserole recipe from my great grandmother, I know that I can search among all my recipes for the word “frizzle” (because she wrote that you have to “frizzle” the corn flake topping in Crisco – ha!), and that beautifully hand-written recipe will be the only thing returned in my search.

“Buy a stationary bike??”: My immediate thought was, “that sounds like a little slice of hell”, but then I remembered reading about your cycling accomplishment recently, and… I think it’s awesome that you’re going deeper with it! Cool!!!

I always love your goal posts. ALL your posts, really. Thank you!!!

Jenn S
January 10, 2020 11:16 am

I recently learned about this parent/child outdoor class! https://tinkergarten.com/ It looks so cute and encourages exploration. Here are a bunch of the local options. :) https://tinkergarten.com/classes/all/27607

January 10, 2020 2:56 pm

Just a thought on the stationary bike goal. You might want to consider rollers or a bike trainer. I really like this as an alternative because it allows me and my husband to ride using our normal bikes/geometry and folds up pretty small for storage. I use a cheap yoga mat underneath and can easily ride in the kitchen, garage, or back porch depending on the weather. You may also find this to be more cost-effective as well.

January 10, 2020 3:55 pm

you should DEFINITELY watch at least #2 “When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist”. If you love About Time, this one will give you those gooey romance feelings too. The others may tarnish your feelings, but #2 will be a safe bet! :)

January 10, 2020 7:54 pm

I loved Modern Love! Even though not all of the episodes lived up to the first one, but I did enjoy all of them!
As for recipes: I have the recipe box from Rifle Co. and love to use that for recipes that friends send me or I find online (and stood the test!). But I do have a few cookbooks that I bookmark and use regularly, too. Pinterest doesn’t really work for me for some reason… Maybe if my boards were better organized? I don’t know. Half the recipes I pin because the picture looks pretty, but that doesn’t always mean it tastes good, ha!
I‘m also looking at ordering photos and I will give the Social Print Studio a try. Thanks for the recommendation!

January 10, 2020 8:05 pm

Love Emily Ley’s recipe binder. I use sheet protectors to easily change out recipes and also protects the pages from ingredients.

January 13, 2020 10:41 am

In the photo under WHAT WON’T MATTER TO YOU THEN you have “the amount of money we saved.” I was wondering if you could elaborate on this a bit. I really like your vision on what matters most. It’s very inspiring. I’m doing a deep dive into older posts, some I’ve already read and some I missed, and your voice and perspective is so refreshing. I’d love to be able to give my daughter an heirloom cookbook one day but I should perfect a recipe before I get too far ahead of myself. WHEN I do, I’d like it to be in my handwriting because I often think about how I would feel if I had a recipe written in the handwriting of someone I love.

Kristin W
January 13, 2020 11:42 am

The first time I make a recipe, I use my phone or iPad, but if it’s a keeper, I print it and add it to my binder (just a basic binder with page protectors…nothing fancy!) I dislike using digital devices for recipes because you often can’t seen the ingredients and the directions on the same page, I often have to change the “go to sleep” setting or keep logging in with messy fingers and finally, I like the ability to easily add notes to my recipes (yes I know you can do it with some of the options suggested, but like you said with the bike, sometimes the smallest amount of “hassle” is enough to not do it!) I’ve also found occasionally that a recipe I linked is no longer available. I really try to minimize my use of resources (like paper) as much as I can, but this is one area I’m comfortable with “splurging”. Plus I’m easily able to add any recipes from magazines, along with their pretty photo spreads. I also have a folder for loose recipes, things like desserts I might not make on a regular basis, but want to keep. And I do keep two boxes of recipe cards that contain family recipes in loved ones’ handwriting as well as a box put together from two bridal showers. One of my goals for this year is also to improve meal planning, so now that I have the recipes organized, I need to have a better system for putting them together in a meal plan!

Thanks you for your thoughts on family culture! This is something I think I want to improve in my life too, so I’ll be following along! I already have my books picked out for the year (I’m planning to read 100 books from the last 100 years) so I might have to wait until next year, but I will get your recommendations on the list for 2021! I’ve never done focused/planned reading before (usually just read whatever catches my eye) so if this year goes well, it might be the start of a more intentional and productive reading life! I like the idea of matching books to goals in an intentional way!

January 13, 2020 11:51 am
Reply to  Kristin W

Speaking of cookbooks, a fun story to share. My grandmothers were college roommates and friends after that and that’s how my parents eventually met! My maternal grandmother had a newspaper column and compiled 2 cookbooks, soliciting favorite recipes from her family and friends. So the cookbooks contain favorite family recipes from BOTH sides of my family! My grandmother died before I was born, so the cookbooks are extra special to me. I often wonder how my life would have been different if their friendship had continued and how that would have impacted our extended family dynamic!