I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it too. How the haystones am I supposed to write a mid-year goals review for 2020 when the first half of the year has been a complete gongshow?! If I had to sum up the past seven months in one word, I couldn’t. Bizarre doesn’t begin to cut it. Weird is too simple a label. Devastating, perhaps. Centering, possibly. Redirection, most definitely. And the list goes on.
Science fiction movies are basically everyday life these days. (Yes, I watched Contagion and Dante’s Inferno. Don’t try to convince me you haven’t yet.) Normalcy is an idea from the distant past. For some, life is on pause, but it’s chaos for others. I’d also describe 2020 thus far as disappointing, unpredictable, gobsmacking, intriguing, gratitude-inducing, and horrifying, not to mention about a million other descriptors.
Let’s just say that all of the plans I set for myself at the end of 2019 have lurched way off the path. I’m pretty sure this is what, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” refers to. Am I right?
That said, I’m still re-evaluating those goals each month. Without further ado, here is the halfway mark report on 2020’s personal, travel, and professional goals. I think you’ll really like the last one.
- Read 20 Books – In January I set the goal of increasing 2019’s 12 books to 20 books for 2020. In order to easily achieve the goal I said I’d set aside 20 minutes each day to read. Then life happened. Schedules became hectic balancing a full-time and two part-time jobs. Each 12+ hour day fried my brain and reading quickly tumbled down the totem pole of priorities. In fact, I didn’t pick up a book again until COVID stomped all over everything in March. As a teacher I had March Break off which meant my brain could breathe. I devoured two books and holy Hannah was that ever satisfying! Then online emergency learning roared into being and I barely squeezed out a solitary book in April. At the beginning of May the LTO (long-term occasional) teaching contract ended and, as an unemployed individual sans children, I gobbled up a whopping 6 books! Let’s just say I haven’t read that much for fun in a month since I was a pre-teen, which made me tremendously appreciate that unencumbered period of life. In June I picked up a short teaching contract and slid back down to 1.5 books. As of July 11, the year’s book count is 11.5 – right on track.
- Move Daily – I wanted to travel for a race this year, but that’s off the table thanks to COVID. In addition, I’ve only gone running a handful of times. Between a very rainy May (I am truly a fair-weathered runner) and losing my running partner to social distancing, the momentum I had has been lapped…a few times. On the other hand, two great things gave my movement goal a boost. The first was teaching PhysEd, which coincided with the basketball unit. I might as well have been back on the middle school team because I was in heaven doing drills, skill development, and playing games with the students! Then, when shit hit the fan in March, I gathered a few enthusiastic souls to join me as online accountability buddies. I created a fitness calendar full of different activities for us and each morning we texted each other to wake up and roll onto the mat. Boom, crushing goals. Since then, there have been spurts of movement and spurts of, well, a lack of movement. When I’m in the zone, there’s a mix of yoga, trying out different HIIT routines, and increasing the number of push-ups these pipes can manage. I never used to enjoy home workouts, but for some reason things are clicking this year and I have to say COVID gets some credit. The fact that my schedule is more or less my own really helps.
- Memorize Countries and their Flags – Originally I said I would schedule 5 minutes each Sunday to learn all of the countries and their flags. I think I’ve done this about 5 times so far this year. Priorities lay elsewhere for now.
- Learn to Knit – I’m saving this goal for the winter months.
- Live Clean – I’ve really struggled with this one since the pandemic hit and it bothers me every day. Last year we worked so hard to educate ourselves on ways to reduce plastic intake, increase use of non-toxic household and hygienic products, and compost responsibly. I’m frustrated and angry (with myself) to say that a lot of that disappeared when COVID crashed the party. Farmers’ markets closed, personal containers are no longer accepted at stores like Bulk Barn, we stopped composting, and out of nowhere I started buying plastic-packaged frozen pizzas, cookie boxes, and chip bags. It’s been rough, but the light at the end of the tunnel has begun to shine again. I’m contemplating getting us some pets (re: worms) and figuring out a composting system that will work for our home. The cookies, chips, and frozen pizzas no longer make the cut in our grocery runs. And word on the street is that personal containers may soon be accepted! I also started experimenting with homemade non-toxic household cleaners (aka vinegar solutions). Bit by bit I’m going to rock this one out of the park again. For now I will do what I can do, imperfectly and more consistently.
Do I even need to elaborate in this category? In some ways I think this “mid-year goals review” for 2020 is kaput. At the same time, I’ve been enjoying local food truck adventures and scouting backyard gems.
- Spanish-Speaking Country – This is clearly not going to happen in 2020. Does anyone see a viral theme here? However, I have been teaching beginner Spanish which has been quite enjoyable.
- Road Trip – The book I mentioned in January’s goals post was Ron Brown’s “Top 160 Unusual Things to See in Ontario”. I just published my first two blog posts on the adventures this month, here & here! I’ll be heading out on another (socially distanced) excursion this week and can’t wait.
- Work & Live in 2 Countries – …………Yeah. Not happening.
- Spontaneous Travel – Political strife in the States cancelled the first spontaneous travel of the year. It’s a good thing the tickets only cost $10 return for our bus trip to NYC. Then COVID hit and I cancelled trips to New Orleans, Poland, Latvia, and Newfoundland. But, all is not lost! Spontaneous travel, while originally internationally-focused, can still happen locally. I’m looking forward to exploring in Ontario and will be researching safe ways to do so.
- Write 2 Blog Posts per Month – In January I wrote a post for the year’s goals and that was it. February I somehow managed to write 4 posts, despite how much I was working. March and April saw one post each, as did May. Then in June I wrote another three posts (here, here, and here), but am especially thrilled about the piece on Where to Eat and Drink in Norfolk County because it was on my To Do list for months. It’s now July and by tomorrow I’ll have 4 posts published for the month and another in the wings! I’m thrilled that things are on a roll so far. Halfway through the year, the count is sitting ahead at 15/24.
- Attend 3 Conferences – I won’t be attending any conferences in person this year. However, I dove back into some courses that have been on hold for 2-3 years. Learning is learning, and I’m looking forward to exercising the ol’ noggin.
- Create and stick to a work calendar – My original plan was to allot a minimum of 3 hours a week for Travel with TMc for writing posts, editing photos and video, social media, and setting up a newsletter. I haven’t consistently set aside 3 hours a week, however I’ve managed to mostly stay on track with some of the website goals. With the summer months rolling, stunted social calendars, and “more” time, I’m sensing progress in the works.
- Earn Steady Monthly Income through Travel with TMc – January and February I met the goals I set for earning steady income with the site. There was a momentary spike in May, and now it’s back to a lull. The services I provide are similar in a lot of ways to helping someone prepare for retirement. The end of one’s working life may be a long way off but that doesn’t mean it should go on the back burner – quite the opposite! Ironically, COVID is the best time to prepare yourself for travel when the world opens again. Some of my clients are already on track to be able to fly around the world for $200, give or take, and all they did was make a few easy tweaks to their everyday life. Another client is rocking their way to financial freedom, while learning travel hacks, and saving for future trips. I’ll also be able to fly anywhere in the world for next to nothing when it’s safe to do so. You best believe I’m gearing up for that opportunity! There’s no time like now to prepare, especially when the effort is so minimal and the rewards are so powerful. If you’re interested in meeting for a free 20 minute Travel Consultation, let’s chat. Travel really is affordable – whether you’re a homeowner with a new mortgage and renovation costs, a university student working part time, or a parent. It’s true!
How Are Your 2020 Goals Coming Along?
How have your goals, plans, hopes, and dreams been affected by COVID-19 this year? I’d love to hear your 2020 mid-year goals review on what’s working, what’s not, and everything in between. Drop a comment in the section below.