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.
583,397/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+8,308 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.)
863/1,000 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.
19/24 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 (+3 including 12 Rules for Life and Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World)
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.
56/73 Books of the Bible read from beginning to end (+4 books read)
I see myself reading the daily readings with a new perspective remembering the experience of reading the entire Bible.
36/100 30-minute workouts (+5 workouts)
I see myself working out often and having more energy and happiness around my kids and at the computer for work.
28/200 word vocabulary to learn American Sign Language (+3 words)
I see my son and I having conversations in sign language during our one-on-one time during the day.
How I Spent My Time in June 2022
- 16:56 – The Religion Teacher YouTube Videos & Member Videos
- 8:15 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 8:18 – Morning Preview
- 8:37 – Daily Review
- 6:45 – Founding Fathers Worksheet Collection
- 6:01 – Update The Religion Teacher Product Cover Images
- 5:16 – Weekly Review
- 4:46 – Social Media
- 4:41 – ToolsTeach.com Setup
- 3:14 – The Religion Teacher Newsletter
Total Time: 86:47 Hours
June 2022 Highlights & Lessons Learned
As a part of my “Year of the Worksheet,” I have created a new printable handout every work day this year. I am farther ahead on worksheets and video graphic organizers for The Religion Teacher than I ever expected when the year began. I have videos scheduled to release on YouTube every week for the next five months and I have dozens of new worksheets ready to be published for members.
Last month I started experimenting with worksheets in areas outside of religious education. I created a full set of biography worksheets featuring the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. I enjoyed the research and the writing. I set a goal to get the resources uploaded and available prior to July 4, 2022.
The next logical question, however, was how to actually get them out into the world. I brainstormed some names for a new website. I had three criteria:
- Two words or less
- No numbers (“2” instead of “to”)
- The .com must be available
I started brainstorming combinations of words like learn, go, practical, teach, good, love, active, heart, applied, and useful. I don’t remember where I was or what I was doing, but I really liked the combination of two words: tools and teach.
When I saw that toolsteach.com was available, I bought it and moved forward.
I wanted a name that says exactly what people will get and I think I accomplished this.
Go to ToolsTeach.com and you will get tools that teach.
It also gives me the freedom to create resources for a wide variety of areas and not just one subject area like history.
What I really want to do is create tools that teach kids leadership, hard work, and how to be happy. I want to create tools that help kids apply what they learn to everyday life.
Adults complain all the time about all the things they wish they learned in school. I want to create tools that teach kids life lessons through history, science, literature, and more.
I started with biographies about the Founding Fathers and I will be expanding from there.
New Cover Images
I spent a lot of time on Teachers pay Teachers doing research. I searched for resources similar to the ones I want to create for ToolsTeach.com and came across some really great resources. I have a much better idea now of what I will be able to offer.
While I was doing this research, I started to see some common elements in the visuals of successful products on Teachers pay Teacher. The cover images were much, much more attractive than the simple ones I created for The Religion Teacher. I found a few cover images I liked and adapted them for my own products.
I went through product by product creating screenshots of worksheets and updating the cover designs in Canva. I don’t know if the new covers will encourage more sales or not, but I’m much happier with the way the images look. At the very least, I’m much more excited about the resources than I was before the covers.
They turned out really well:
Personal Goals Update
We reached the half-way point of the year and it’s worth looking at goals for the year.
Here is my progress so far:
- 24 Books Read: 80% complete
- 100 Non-fiction Books Started & Skimmed: 21% complete
- Listen to the entire Bible from beginning to end: 76% complete
- 100 3-minute workouts: 36% complete
- 200 word vocabulary: 14% complete
I’m writing a lot less this year than in years past. It is no coincidence, therefore, that I am reading a lot less than in the past as well. For this reason I set a low reading goal of 24 books in a year or about two books a month. I’m not too worried about reaching this goal.
But I tried something a little different this year. I set out to read the introductions to some of the great books on my Kindle, but I haven’t been systematic about this yet. I want to read more books than I have time in my life to read. Nevertheless, I didn’t make much progress on this goal. Part of the problem was that I would get so excited about a book from the introduction that I had to keep reading it.
So, going forward this year I am going to:
- Make a list of the top six fiction books I want to read this year.
- Add non-fiction reading to my daily morning routine.
- Listen to at least one book of the Bible every week to finally reach this goal.
My workout goal is really far behind. I used to lift weights multiple times a week, but that gets difficult with a toddler. I’m going to continue to run more with my little guy in the stroller and lift here and there without full weightlifting workouts for now.
Finally, let’s talk about the sign language.
In retrospect, setting a vocabulary goal was actually holding me back. I was trying to be deliberate about words to learn and teach my son but the process has been much more fluid than I expected. We are learning a lot of new words together, but keeping track of the number of new words in Notion just isn’t helpful.
I learn new words with him when the words are needed. For example, now that it is warmer, we needed the sign for “outside.” As I talk with him, I’m constantly looking up words and rephrasing sentences with signs instead of just words.
It’s going better than the number shows. I’m really excited by his progress and his signing. He communicates very well using sign language while his verbal communication lags behind. I’m just so proud of him for his hard work in speech this year and excited to learn new words along with him.
But most of all, I need to thank the old Baby Signing Time videos we have played for all our kids over the years. The other kids picked up a few signs as young children, but Bennett is learning them all. He loves the songs, but more importantly, he actually imitates the signs while watching and uses them later with us. It’s really incredible.