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13 Peaceful & Productive Goals for This Year

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I am a firm believer that if we do not aim for something, we will wind up hitting nothing at all. I don’t want to wander aimlessly through life. But I also don’t want to fall into the hustle culture we seem to all be prone to. That’s why I decided to write my goals for this year again. I hope to make it an annual habit.

Life is such a rat race, isn’t it?

Hurry up & wait. Every damn day. 

Punch a clock. Get to the next level or promotion. Sell more, work more, earn more. Lose more weight. Eat more vegetables & less junk. Fight depression. Hide your crazy & act like a lady. (Isn’t there a song about that?! LOL)

You get my point. 

There’s always something. So, instead, I want to put the focus on the actions that matter.

I want a peaceful life. I want peace in my environment, peace in my head, peace in my heart.

13 peaceful and productive goals for this year, reta jayne

I want to create my perfect day every day.

I want to craft the life that gives me the greatest peace, satisfaction, & happiness — & I will do that through these goals for this year. One day I will be on my deathbed. We all will. (Cue the existential dread. Eeek!) But, when it’s my turn to flash back to my life, I want very few regrets. And the things we’re most likely to regret are the things we didn’t take the time to do. 

We don’t usually regret things we’ve done. At least we TRIED something. We lived. But those unspoken desires, dreams, curiosities? I have a feeling THAT is where the regrets lie. 

I don’t want those kinds of regrets. 

So, I have decided I am going to plan to create a new list of things to work toward every year.

Every. Single. Year.

And, since my birthday (November 16) is my natural point of major reflection & contemplation & introspection, it makes a ridiculous amount of sense to attach this endeavor to November.

Last year, a couple months after my birthday, I wrote my list of 40 before 40. It was a list of things I hoped to accomplish before my 40th birthday (which I celebrated last week). I updated it a few times throughout the year, the last time being the evening before my birthday.

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I learned a lot in that process & I’d like to duplicate it again, even though turning 41 is less “glamorous” (ha!) than 40. I found, however, that 40 separate tasks proved a bit overwhelming for just one year (especially in the middle of a pandemic). Many of my goals changed & some were too broad or, frankly, just not ME. So, my goals for this year will be a bit condensed, but more thought out.

I am going for a baker’s dozen of goals for this year.

It’s fitting since I am realizing how much I like to bake. And it’s fitting that it is a regular dozen — plus one — just like my next birthday is the Big 40 — plus one. 😉

And, at the risk of adding a potentially depressing note, my mama died less than a week before her 41st birthday. So, MY 41st birthday is somewhat of a milestone for me. 

I know it is silly. Irrational. Maybe even crazy…. To think that way. I get it.

But that doesn’t change the fact that this IS what is on my mind. It plays over & over again. What if I am more like my mother than any of us realized? If you could only hear the inner dialogue I have about this topic. 

So, let’s just leave it at that. My 41st birthday will be HUGELY celebratory, just by getting there, just by living that long.

BUT, I am taking control of other reasons to celebrate too. And that’s PART of where this list comes in. So, without further ado, here’s my baker’s dozen worth of goals for this year.

1). Create a 5-year plan.

And a coinciding vision board (images & phrases that represent long-term goals). It can even be virtual. Maybe it will be another blog post with an embedded graphic. I don't know yet. But I need to get in the habit of actually visualizing my life more than a few months out.

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2). Form a habit of movement. 

I am to the point in life when I need to stop stressing about the scale or even the damn mirror. It requires too much fighting in my brain. PEACE is my priority, remember? But, I also need to be healthy — not just for me, but to set a better example for my daughter & to maybe actually be around a while for others who love me.

So, whether it's taking a walk, dancing in the living room, doing yoga, practicing some workout video, or watching a show on Netflix while spinning on our stationary recumbent bike, I need to get comfortable sweating & just plain old moving my damn body for at least 20 minutes per day, at least three days per week, for four consecutive weeks.(0/4)

3). Start a family newsletter to be sent at least annually. 

(January?) Update family via snail mail on what is happening in our household. Maybe I will find some fun printer paper. Maybe I will get my shit together enough to send a few actual (read: not digital) photos. Either way, a letter will be sent.

4). Create a damn will.

Do I need to elaborate on this one? I am 40 flipping years old. I should have done this a long time ago.

5). Make blogging a habit. 

Post to the blog at least once per week for 12 consecutive weeks. Maybe add recipes, short stories, & poetry to the mix. (0/12)

6). Read for the FUN of it! 

Read often. Read FICTION just as much as nonfiction. I want to embrace reading as an acceptable, enjoyable activity again. Self-help, mystery & suspense, romantic comedies, science fiction, whatever strikes my fancy. So, my goal for this year is to read at least 40 books by my next (41st) birthday. (0/40)

7). Publish a book. 

YES. Self-publishing counts. Finish the darn thing. Novel or memoir. Pick one & get ‘er done. All the darn way.

8). Participate in NaNoWriMo every time. 

It stands for National Novel Writing Month. And it's not a competition with anyone except yourself. The whole idea is to embrace writing as a routine. Daily. And to commit to making progress, specifically, in certain months of the year: Camp NaNo in April & July. NaNoWriMo in November. Make it a priority. Set my own rules, but do the thing. (0/3)

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9). Get passports for me & Eva. 

We’ve never had one. Even if we don’t USE them this year, it’s the year we get them; we can use them next year. 😉

10). Take Eva on at least four trips in addition to trips that are exclusively designed to see family. 

Camping, road trip, quick flights. Whatever. Create memories. June, July, August, & one more? It doesn’t even matter as long as it happens.

11). Start a blog hop — or find one to participate in that is a near-perfect match.

I had a ton of fun back when I participated in blog hops regularly. 10 Things of Thankful. Finish the Sentence Friday. Six Sentence Stories. It would be spectacular to emulate that.

12). Make writing a daily habit. 

Write morning pages most days. Write a blog article for recipes tried in the kitchen & share those recipes with my tweaks. Offer snippets of writing works-in-progress as email lead magnets. Grow my email list to 200. (0/4)

13). Be adventurous in the kitchen. 

Learn how to make homemade pasta from scratch. Try canning something. Learn to prepare the perfect steak. Make homemade bread regularly. Use fewer mixes & more herbs & spices. Figure out what is better from scratch. (0/4)

This list will be updated at least a few times throughout the year as things are marked off or goals change. My hope is that it is uplifting & motivating for not just me, but for whomever else stumbles upon this. 

Might you try making a list of goals for this year? What will be on yours? Comment below to leave a link to them or to share them with me. I wouldn’t mind having some accountability partners. 😉

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