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. I find a vision to be much more motivating than a goal, but a goal to be much easier to act upon than a vision.
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.
575,089/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+6,952 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.)
841/1,000 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.
16/24 Books Read (+2 books including The Tao of Pooh and Crystal Shard)
I see myself talking to friends and family about some of my favorite books.
18/100 Non-fiction Books Started & Skimmed (+1 including Mastering the Market Cycle)
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.
52/73 Books of the Bible read from beginning to end (+0 books read)
I see myself reading the daily readings with a new perspective remembering the experience of reading the entire Bible.
31/100 30-minute workouts (+9 workouts)
I see myself working out often and having more energy and happiness around my kids and at the computer for work.
24/200 word vocabulary to learn American Sign Language (+1 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 May 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:
- 11:49 – The Religion Teacher YouTube Videos & Member Videos
- 10:04 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 8:04 – Morning Preview
- 7:42 – Daily Review
- 5:54 – Weekly Review
- 3:49 – Social Media
- 3:01 – The Religion Teacher Blog
- 2:51 – The Religion Teacher’s Creed Worksheet Collection
- 2:48 – Notion Templates for Teachers
- 2:36 – Founding Fathers Worksheets
Total Time: 79:20 Hours
May 2022 Highlights & Lessons Learned
I finally got COVID
After two years of dodging it, I finally contracted the coronavirus. My oldest daughter brought it home from school and gave it to our young son. At that point there was no avoiding it.
Thankfully all three of us only had mild symptoms. We have been very worried about my son getting COVID from the start of the pandemic because he has Down syndrome and a weaker immune system. It sounds strange to say, but I’m grateful he was in the hospital last summer with pneumonia. When he started showing COVID symptoms, we knew what to do and our family pediatrician acted fast. We gave him breathing treatments, steroids, and ibuprofen. He got through the week with only a minimum amount of worry.
This was the first time I’ve been sick in almost six years. Since I started working for myself, sickness has not been an option. The long streak convinced me of an unscientific mind-over-matter approach to health. It’s no coincidence that the only day I felt sick with COVID was a Saturday. I had too much to do on the other days to feel sick.
The final observation about getting COVID as a solopreneur: my life was exactly the same. I didn’t need to quarantine with my family. I didn’t really need to leave the house. Life was pretty much normal other than wearing a mask within the ten-day window. I’m not complaining. I love working for myself. Life is pretty simple.
My number one project this month was making videos and graphic organizers. I am now months ahead in publishing both to YouTube and to The Religion Teacher membership website.
Creating a kanban board process in Notion has been a huge help in visualizing the steps to making a video. I create videos in batches of four:
- Select the four topics.
- VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Research and write descriptions for the videos.
- VIDEO RECORDED: Record whiteboad videos.
- YOUTUBE READY/CREATE WORKSHEET: Upload and edit the videos. Proof and create thumbnails.
- WORKSHEET DRAFT: Make a graphic organizer worksheet for students to use while watching the video.
- TRTM PAGE DRAFT: Create the page for members to watch the video and download the worksheet.
- TRTM PUBLISHED: The final step. Publish the video on the membership website.
I have dates attached to each video’s card in Notion to display on a content calendar. This way I know when I will publish it to YouTube. I’m now scheduled through the month of August with more videos on the way.
I’ve repeatedly said in these monthly reports that creating just one worksheet a day has been an incredible experience. I’m well on the way to reaching the goal of 1,000 member resources in The Religion Teacher. As I approach that big number, however, I’m running out of topics to cover. There are an infinite number of possibilities, of course, but I started looking for another creative outlet this month.
I started two new projects:
Founding Fathers Worksheets
I was a double major in college: religion and history. I love history. I taught middle school social studies. I continue read history books and watch history documentaries in my free time.
I wanted to learn more about the lives of the Founding Fathers especially after watching Ken Burns’s Benjamin Franklin documentary.
In the last few years, I created more than 200 biography worksheets on Biblical figures and saints. I used that same system to create worksheets for the Founding Fathers of the United States. Now I’m working on ways to publish these resources before Independence Day.
I follow a lot of entrepreneurs who have been creating notion templates as a business. I haven’t seen many Notion templates for teachers so I started creating my own. It was fun to make simple graphic organizers in Notion. I can see teachers and students using them effectively in class, but regardless of their usefulness, I’m learning a lot about how to design better resources in Notion.