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.
615,120/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+7,131 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.)
1,000/1,000 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (+52 resources)—Complete!
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.
32/24 Books Read (+1 including The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)—Complete
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.
73/73 Books of the Bible read from beginning to end (+1 books read)—Complete!
I see myself reading the daily readings with a new perspective remembering the experience of reading the entire Bible.
118/100 30-minute workouts (+15 workouts)—Complete!
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 stopped 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 November 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:
- 14:10 – The Religion Teacher’s Bible Worksheet Collection (King David and other Old Testament stories)
- 10:16 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 8:31 – The Religion Teacher’s Saints Worksheet Collection
- 6:08 – Morning Preview
- 5:05 – Daily Review
- 4:21 – The Religion Teacher’s Biography Worksheets
- 4:05 – The Religion Teacher Blog
- 3:24 – The Religion Teacher Newsletter
- 3:20 – Weekly Review
- 1:51 – The Religion Teacher Social Media
Total Time: 74:44 Hours
November 2022 Highlights & Lessons Learned
Milestone Reached: 1,000 Resources for Members
There were 748 worksheets and class videos available to The Religion Teacher members at the start of the year. It took me seven years to get to that point. My goal for the end of the year was to create, edit, and upload 252 more worksheets and videos. On November 30 I accomplished that goal, one full month ahead of schedule.
It has been a year of changes in the Dees household. In 2022 I spent lot more time as a stay-at-home dad. This forced me to focus. In the past I divided my creative time among writing books, speaking, creating videos, and making worksheets.
This year I narrowed my focus on only one of those areas: worksheets and class videos. Just a quick glance at the year so far and the comparison is incredible:
- The Religion Teacher Member Resources: 156 hours
- Other Worksheets: 41 hours
- Speaking: 9 hours
- Writing Books: 4 hours
Clearly, I was living out the theme of my “Year of the Worksheet.”
Compare these numbers to 2021, when I actually spent more time on books than member resources. It was a big shift, but one that really made a difference in the lives of the people I serve.
I set a vision at the beginning of the year and I lived it: “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.“
Becoming narrowly focused on one goal made this vision possible.
Vision vs. Goals
I experimented this year by focusing on vision before goals.
I think of a vision as a concrete description of where I will be in the future. Some people like to create vision boards with images to show what their lives will be like. I like to define a vision verbally by imagining how I would respond if someone asked me how my year (or day) went. The visions you can read above are what I would have been excited to say about 2022 at the end of this year. The key is to dream big and say something that inspires positive emotions.
Goals can be good, too. The 1,000 resource goal kept me on the right track towards achieving the vision. I didn’t have to think about what I was supposed to work on each morning. If I only had the vision, then I might be in danger of evoking the good feelings without doing the hard work. I like having a milestone to track progress to see evidence of progress towards the vision.
I call this The Milestone Method in an unpublished book I wrote for creators. It has helped me create a successful membership website and publish more than a dozen books.
Now that I accomplished my main goal for the year, I’m starting to plan ahead for 2023. I lived out most of the vision for my “Year of the Worksheet” and now I’m dreaming about what I could do in 2023. It’s an exciting time of year.
The Design of the Day
In addition to the vision I set for the year, I also create a new vision for every day.
I started this daily practice after listening to Hugh Jackman’s interview on The Tim Ferriss Show in JUly 2020.
In that interview, Jackman describes a daily morning ritual in which he writes a description of his day as if it already happened in the past tense. He sends this as a text message to his wife for accountability. The idea is to describe the day as if it went perfectly with improvements in the areas that need it the most. Then at the end of the day he re-reads the text and gives himself a score on a scale of 1 to 10.
Ever since I heard that interview, I have created my own “Design of the Day” in Trello each morning. Then I give myself a score at the end of the day.
I cannot express how transformative this practice has been for me. Every day I commit to working on certain changes I want to make in my daily life. I do this as a part of my morning routine (Morning Preview) for journaling and prayer time.
People talk a lot about the desire to live more intentionally. If that is your goal, I cannot recommend the Design of the Day enough. It will automatically add intentionality, joy, and success to each of your days.