My 2022 Goals & Visions
In addition to the concrete goals I’m working towards this year, I’m also sharing the vision for why the goals exist in the first place. A vision describes the concrete experience of achieving a goal. Working towards a vision increases the motivation to achieve goals as long as there is alignment. Here is my overall vision for the year along with the visions for each individual goal I’m working towards.
My 2022 Vision
I called 2022 my “Year of the Worksheet.” I wish I had made worksheets my priority sooner. This was one of my most prolific and profitable years yet. I published more products and produced more creative work than any other year before and I worked less hours than I ever have before in order to be present to the family. The focus on worksheets also let me to make connections with new people. It helped me stand out for a unique skill instead of being just any other author.
596,339/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+7,459 words)
I see a kid putting into action something she read in a book. She is trying to overcome a challenge in a new way with a positive attitude. She surprises her parents and explains where she learned it: that book by Jared Dees. (Or: that worksheet…that video…that exercise with Jared Dees.)
903/1,000 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (+18 resources)
I see a teacher showing The Religion Teacher videos and using worksheets that get kids thinking and praying in class. They experience something with those resources that keeps them thinking the rest of the day: an encounter with Christ. The teacher returns to lesson planning feeling less overwhelmed and more excited to teach the next class.
27/24 Books Read (+6 including Hero on a Mission, Dawnshard, Personality Isn’t Permanent, Limitless, and Upgrade)
I see myself talking to friends and family about some of my favorite books.
21/100 Non-fiction Books Started & Skimmed (+0)
I see myself talking about non-fiction books on social media and during interviews because these books helped me improve my life and create my own work.
72/73 Books of the Bible read from beginning to end (+8 books read)
I see myself reading the daily readings with a new perspective remembering the experience of reading the entire Bible.
71/100 30-minute workouts (+19 workouts)
I see myself working out often and having more energy and happiness around my kids and at the computer for work.
*/200 word vocabulary to learn American Sign Language (* words)
I see my son and I having conversations in sign language during our one-on-one time during the day.
*I’m no longer keeping track of the number of words in ASL I’m learning with my son. He’s doing so well that it’s really hard to keep track of all the new signs we are learning! Imagine trying to keep track of how many different words you speak every day! It’s a much more fluid process than the experience of learning vocabulary words in school.
How I Spent My Time in August 2022
I track every minute of time I spend working on projects using an app called Toggl (here is why). Here is a list of the top ten projects I spent the most time on last month:
- 10:21 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 6:43 – Morning Preview
- 6:33 – Daily Review
- 5:47 – U.S. Presidents Biography Worksheets (ToolsTeach.com)
- 3:12 – The Religion Teacher September Membership Launch
- 2:29 – The Religion Teacher YouTube Videos & Member Videos
- 2:23 – The Religion Teacher’s Saint Worksheet Collection
- 2:16 – The Religion Teacher Newsletter
- 2:14 – The Religion Teacher Blog
- 2:02 – Weekly Review
Total Time: 66:17 Hours
August 2022 Highlights & Lessons Learned
I used to think it would be fun to write one of the biography books in the Who Was…? Series, but I’m honestly having much more fun researching and writing one-page biography worksheets for presidents and saints. I added a few more saints worksheets for members of The Religion Teacher and created drafts of biography worksheets for all the U.S. presidents up to Teddy Roosevelt.
I created ToolsTeach.com as a way for me to create educational resources that motivate and inspire young people in all subject areas, not just religious education. Adults and kids alike are motivated by the success stories of others. Just as adults are inspired by reading biographies of successful people, I believe that biography worksheets will be a great way to inspire young people. I’m excited to expand beyond U.S. presidents into the lives of entrepreneurs, authors, artists, scientists, and more in the future.
Meanwhile, I will continue to create more saint worksheets on the way towards my goal of 1,000 downloadable resources for members.
The Religion Teacher Newsletter Update
I don’t talk about it much, but The Religion Teacher’s email list is the most important part of what I do. Every Sunday I send lesson ideas, videos, and a prayer to religious educators to use in class. The list has now grown to nearly 80,000 active subscribers—that is nearly the same number of people that can fit in the football stadium at the University of Notre Dame!
It’s hard to wrap my mind around these numbers, but I feel blessed to be able to offer this simple help each week. It helps me prepare my own lessons and I’m happy that it helps others, too.
In September I will send a series of long emails to kick-off the new year followed by an invitation to become a member of The Religion Teacher. This makes September my busiest and most important month of the year.
New Year, New Schedule
It was a whirlwind month of trips to see family before the start of the new school year. We took our annual trip out to Long Island during the first week of August then I was able to travel down with my dad, uncles, and cousins to visit our extended family in Mississippi. These and another short trip to Ohio made for a fun month of family time and great conversations.
School started in the middle of August and we began our new family’s schedule. Our four girls are in the same school all day and I will be spending more time at home with our son while my wife spends more time in the office.
I’m now working in three sections during each day:
- Morning (5:00am – 6:30am)
- Nap Time (12:30pm – 2:30pm)
- Flex (8:00am – 10:00am or 3:00pm – 5:00pm)
This set up has allowed us to do a few things:
- My wife gets more time in the office.
- Either one of us can be present during our son’s three weekly therapies (PT, OT, and speech).
- I get to maximize dad time while the kids are still young.
- We eliminate the commute time for daycare.
- I’m also getting more time to exercise while I’m with my son. My neighbors know me as the dad running with his kid in the stroller almost every day.
Earlier this year I struggled with a decreasing amount of working hours, but then I made a mental switch. I embraced the challenge of a 4-hour work day. This forces me to focus during work hours and eliminate projects that are not producing an impact.
We are almost one month into the new schedule. I get to spend a lot more time and energy on my family and I have had more than enough time to keep my creative business growing to serve more people.