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.
588,880/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+5,483 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.)
885/1,000 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (+22 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.
21/24 Books Read (+3 books including Dungeon Crawler Carl, the Art of Living, and The Emperor’s Soul)
I see myself talking to friends and family about some of my favorite books.
21/100 Non-fiction Books Started & Skimmed (+2 including Put Your A$$ [Where Your Heart Wants to Be] and Undistracted)
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.
64/73 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.
52/100 30-minute workouts (+16 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 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 July 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:
- 11:48 – U.S. Presidents Biography Worksheets
- 9:59 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 8:58 – The Religion Teacher YouTube Videos & Member Videos
- 8:19 – Daily Review
- 7:08 – Morning Preview
- 6:00 – Social Media
- 4:49 – Weekly Review
- 4:30 – ToolsTeach.com YouTube Videos (Shorts)
- 3:23 – The Religion Teacher Newsletter
- 2:45 – The Religion Teacher Weekly Member Email
Total Time: 76:36 Hours
July 2022 Highlights & Lessons Learned
U.S. Presidents Biography Worksheets
Every morning between 5:00 and 5:30am, I wake up, read the Bible, and begin working on my worksheet for the day. I’m calling 2022 my “Year of the Worksheet” and finishing that one handout is my only absolutely essential goal each day.
I have finished and scheduled to publish worksheets for The Religion Teacher for the next few months. I needed a new project to work on and decided to start with biography worksheets about the Founding Fathers. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to keep going and create a worksheet for all of the U.S. Presidents. My goal is to create a short biography for each president that will inspire students to think about their own futures as leaders.
I have drafts completed for the first seventeen U.S. presidents (Ulysses S. Grant) and will be sharing them through the ToolsTeach.com brand soon.
YouTube Research and Recording
I am also very far ahead on YouTube videos for the year. I have whiteboard videos scheduled to release each week until the end of the year and graphic organizers created for each of them for members of The Religion Teacher.
As I am learning about U.S. presidents, I got to think about what kinds of videos would be helpful in a history class. While researching the start of a ToolsTeach YouTube channel, I was fascinated by the YouTube Shorts format. YouTube Shorts are vertical videos that resemble TikToks and Instagram Reels. I listened to a few podcast interviews that shared some really interesting statistics that got me to do some experimentation.
I made a few videos and posted them online. I didn’t mention them on social media or share links with anyone. I had a few goals:
- See how fast I can create a YouTube short video.
- Learn the technical tools available in the creative process.
- Watch how the YouTube Shorts algorithm works.
My first attempt did well with more than 1,000 completely organic views:
By my other tries on a completely new Tools Teach channel were not as successful:
“John Quincy Adams: Death and Legacy”
“President George Washington: 3 Interesting Facts”
“President John Adams: 3 Interesting Facts”
“Ulysses S. Grant: What does the “S” stand for?”
I learned two big take-aways:
- The YouTube Shorts algorithm will show your videos in the Shorts feed and if it gets views and likes, it will be shown to more people for about 24 hours.
- It took me an average of 15 minutes to record each video. That is about the same amount of time it takes me to record a horizontal whiteboard video. I saved on research and description writing time as well as thumbnail design, but I was surprised by how long it took me to create each video.
I want to continue experimenting with Shorts content on the new channel, but I have to increase the speed of development and make videos that will perform well in the Shorts feed to make it worth my time.
The other question on my mind is whether a teacher will use a vertical, 60-second video in class. If not, then I need to focus on normal YouTube videos instead.
Social Media Content
I keep coming to the conclusion that social media isn’t working and yet I keep spending hours of my time trying to figure out the best way to use various platforms to reach new people.
I drafted and published a bunch of tweets that did very poorly.
I tried to reply to big accounts, but only a few responses were meaningful and really not a great use of my time.
I started writing drafts of Twitter threads focused on teaching frameworks, but I won’t plan to publish them until I have a lot of content ready to go.
I know I need to diversify beyond search engine traffic, but I still have so much to learn.