Here is my monthly report on projects, goals, and the lessons I learned along the way.
My 2021 Goals
498,738/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+12,184 words)
634/1,000 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (+28 resources)
11/24 Books Read (+2 books)
33/73 Books of the Bible read from beginning to end (+0 books read)
25/100 30-minute workouts (+9 workouts)
How I Spent My Time in March 2021
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:
- 18:02 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 11:50 – 15-Minute Stations of the Cross for Kids
- 8:01 – Theoloji 101
- 7:09 – Morning Preview
- 6:11 – Daily Review
- 7:53 – Formation5 Daily Email Newsletter
- 4:57 – Taxes and Accounting
- 4:12 – Lent and Found: Daily Meditations
- 3:06 – The Religion Teacher Social Media
- 1:43 – Weekly Review
Total Time: 90:46 Hours
March 2021 Highlights & Lessons Learned
Vacation / Digital Nomads
We became digital nomads this month. Instead of taking a one-week vacation, we decided to move to Florida for the whole month. Since my wife and I both work from home and we are homeschooling our daughters during the pandemic, we decided this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It felt crazy, but we booked an Airbnb to share with my wife’s sister-in-law and family for all of March.
As far as the weather goes, we had good days and bad days. Staying for an extended period took the pressure off forced fun. We had some good beach days and some good vacation time, but we didn’t get stressed about doing it all. For the most part, our days were just like they are in northern Indiana. We worked and did school. We made dinner and kept the house clean. We had the added benefit of exploring a new place and enjoying the warm weather.
The other thing I liked about living in a new place is the way a location can spark new and creative ideas. I worked on projects I probably wouldn’t have spent time on at home and it led to some fun future ideas.
Formation5 Newsletter Update
I had worked on the emails for Formation5 ahead of time so most of the time I spent on it was scheduling the emails each week. Still, I spent an enormous amount of time and energy, which is why I am making some changes in April. (More to come in next month’s update.)
15-Minute Stations of the Cross
My biggest surprise project was the collection of Stations of the Cross meditations. We did some virtual Stations of the Cross as a family during Lent, but it didn’t go well. It also reminded me of challenging experiences leading my students through Stations of the Cross in schools and parishes.
I decided to sit down and write my own Stations of the Cross meditations. The goal was to keep them to 15 minutes or less. I really like the way they turned out.
I’m working on finding an artist (or artists) to create the visual focus for the meditations. Hiring a designer is probably the biggest learning experience for me with this project.
I continued to research and write the Theoloji 101 book on Twitter using only my phone. This will probably be one of my shortest books as far as word count, but the longest amount of time to research. I want to make sure I get the theology right before doing the writing and finding the perfect emoji to accompany the words.
I also spent some of my morning journal time writing a book that I may or may not publish next year. I tentatively titled it: Lent and Found. I sat down each morning during March and reflected on one verse of Luke 15 at a time. Luke 15 includes the three “lost” parables: Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Lost (Prodigal) Son. With each passage I wrote a reflection prompt or daily practice to apply the words to our lives. I found it personally helpful and will continue to think about ways it might help others with other topics.