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.
607,989/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+6,316 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.)
948/1,000 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (+36 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.
31/24 Books Read (+2 including Coraline and New Seeds of Contemplation)
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.
103/100 30-minute workouts (+24 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 October 2022
- 11:20 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 9:06 – The Religion Teacher’s Bible Worksheet Collection (Moses & Exodus)
- 8:28 – The Religion Teacher’s Our Lady Worksheet Collection
- 7:38 – Morning Preview
- 7:23 – The Religion Teacher September Membership Launch
- 6:59 – Daily Review
- 5:25 – Weekly Review
- 4:42 – The Religion Teacher Videos
- 4:12 – The Religion Teacher’s Saint Worksheet Collection
- 3:53 – The Religion Teacher Blog
Total Time: 88:59 Hours
October 2022 Highlights & Lessons Learned
A Sprint to the Finish: 1,000 Member Resources
When I ran track in high school I always loved the home stretch. It was the part of the race where hard work and mental toughness shines through. As a coach I used to tell my runners: finish strong and run through the finish line.
As a part of my “Year of the Worksheet” theme in 2022 I hoped to complete a goal of 1,000 downloadable resources for members of The Religion Teacher. By mid-October I realized I needed 77 more resources with less than two months to go. I made a list of all the ways I could hit the goal by the end of the year.
It’s the home stretch and I’m sprinting the the finish. By far the biggest change since this month has been to narrow my focus on this one goal. It’s my tip-of-the-tongue goal and the only thing I’m trying to accomplish right now.
October was a productive month and I’m feeling confident about reaching the goal even with the holidays coming up in November and December.
Part of the motivation is dreaming about what next year’s theme will be. I’m looking forward to keeping up the daily worksheet habit while at the same time shifting focus to something new.
The 10 Ideas Journal
At the end of every work day I open up Notion and create a list of ten ideas. It’s my daily mental workout, but also a great way to think through challenges or creative ideas. I learned this habit from James Altucher years ago. I used to carry a small notepad in my pocket to write down prayers and the ten ideas, but I’ve been writing the ideas down digitally for about a year and half now.
I keep the journal as a daily practice. It helps me stay creative. It’s a big reason why the “Daily Review” project takes so much of my time each month.
As I look back and the daily entries from October, many of them led to some immediate successes:
- “10 All Souls’ Day Activity Ideas” became a lesson plan post that led to almost 1,000 more newsletter subscribers
- “10 Year of _____ in 2023 Ideas” has me excited about finish this year’s theme in order to try something new
- “10 ways to reach 1,000 resources by the end of the year” nearly tripled the average number of resources I added for The Religion Teacher this month
- “10 ideas for King David Worksheet collection” led me to create an entire new product and collection of resources for members
Most of the entries are dreams about things I could do or want to do. It gives me a creative outlet to dream about creative work after spending my work time nose down and doing the work that is most essential.
Success is Saying “No” . . . Often
A big reason I have been able to be so productive this year is that I’ve stopped public speaking almost entirely. I had one event that was supposed to be live but ended up being a recorded presentation at the beginning of November.
As I’ve mentioned in past monthly reports, I have worked less hours this year than ever before. I’ve also been more productive than ever before.
How? I stopped speaking and writing books in 2022. In the past I was dividing my time between creating educational resources, writing books, and public speaking. This year I focused almost 100% of my time and energy on the educational resources. As a result I’ve launched more products and created more worksheets that ever have in a single year.
In fact, as I write this I realize that I’m describing almost exactly the vision I defined at the start of the year. This is the vision I continue to include at the top of these monthly reports.
I don’t believe in “manifesting” our futures as it is described in the popular program and book called The Secret. I do know, however, that when you write down a vision and constantly re-read it every day, your mind naturally tries to fill in the gaps. I believed that my 2022 vision was going to become a reality a long time before we made it to this point. I think the key was writing a vision as if I was describing my year out loud to another person. I wrote it like I would say actually say it and that made pursuing the vision all the more possible in my mind.