A few years back I decided to great as many goals as there were years in this new millennium: 19 in 2019, 20 in 2020, and so on. That leaves me with the annually exhausting task of coming up with an additional goal each year. I did not think ahead, clearly. However, as the years have progressed I’ve recognized that the best goals aren’t the lofty ones, that require lots of concentrated effort to achieve; instead, the best are the ones that you almost ready to achieve but need targeted attention to fulfill. So, without further ado here are my 22 goals for 2022!
1. Leave the state of Florida once.
We are currently planning a trip up to Massachusetts to see Will’s family on another “baby victory tour” over our spring break in March. Even with COVID, we hope to take a flight up to spend a lovely, relaxing week with family. This will be the first plane trip with the baby so wish us luck!
This is an exact repeat of a 2021 goal.
Read more: Travel Tips: Trip Planning during COVID
2. Complete at least 3 arm-specific workouts per months.
Last year I wrote the goal “Focus on working out my arms more.” Well that was stupidly not specific enough so each month I couldn’t really evaluate if I had accomplished this goal or not. In an effort to make this goal reasonable but certainly more than I’m doing now, I figured 3 times a month would be doable.
P.S. I am NOT counting carrying the baby as any sort of arms workout although it totally is!
Read more: Travel Tips: Keeping Active while Traveling
3. Spend an average of less than $550/month on groceries.
This goal is $100 less per month than last year’s goal but I think we can do it! This goal will require some creative work for sure, but with the baby it is part of my general food plan so accept takeout or a freezer meal or leftovers twice a week so although that may increase our overall food spending, it will reduce our groceries. Obviously, the overall goal is to reduce our spending on food so I will be taking care that our take out meals do not explode our budget.
P.S. that’s $6,600 per year
4. Jog at least once a week.
Last year I wrote the goal “Go for a jog or long walk every week.” I nailed this goal, both pregnant & postpartum, but I pretty much always walked and never jogged. I hate running and I’m pretty terrible at it but it’s important for my cardiovascular health. So this time around I am taking out the option for walking to force me to run. Now, you may have noticed there is no set time or distance. Our neighborhood loop is 1.5 miles so that will probably turn into my weekly jog.
Read more: Travel Tips: Keeping Active while Traveling
5. Use no more than a roll of paper towel per month.
Ok this may seem totally random and VERY specific. lol. Will & I were talking about how to reduce sneaky monthly costs while also being environmentally friendly. We have already transferred over weekly snacks into reusable Ziploc bags, started using cloth napkins over paper, and now trying to move away from paper towels to cloth rags. On December 30th, I bought 12 paper towels (we already had one at one) the GOAL is that this should be ALL WE NEED THIS WHOLE YEAR. Now, if we fail at this goal it will be very clear.
6. Complete a deep analysis of The Iliad.
Usually my yearly goal has to do with a number of books to read, but I was noticing that having quantitative goals do not necessarily reflect quality reading. In an effort to jump start my brain back on college-level reading I chose one book to track my reading goal this year: The Iliad. I was not a literature major in college, but I had one literature class on Dante’s Inferno. I am using that class as a model: slow, deliberate, mix of reading and listening, lots of background information. This may take me all year & that’s ok.
Now you may be wondering why The Iliad? So funny enough, as a Humanities teacher I actually taught high school students about The Iliad, all without reading it. My first year teaching I also taught the Epic of Gilgamesh without reading it. Eight years later I still have not read The Iliad (but I have read & LOVED the Epic of Gilgamesh).
Here are the resources I am using to help me accomplish this goal:
- Homer’s The Iliad and the Odyssey: A Biography (Books that Changed the World) by Alberto Manguel
- A Companion to The Iliad by Malcolm W. Willcock
- The Iliad SparkNotes Literature Guide
- Oxford Dictionary of Allusions
- Still deciding on a specific translator for The Iliad
7. Grow my emergency savings account to at least $2,000.
This is a smaller target than one of my 02021 goals, but then I had to consolidate by savings into my checking to use that money for 1 month of unpaid maternity leave (because this is the only damn “first world” country that doesn’t value families). We’d like to have more kids so I need to make sure I prioritize building this account back up. By making this one of my goals it will inevitably help me spend less money elsewhere.
P.S. this is not our only retirement/savings account so don’t worry.
8. Use my slowcooker at least 4 times a month.
Spring semester is a busy one for us because Will’s tennis coaching & science research class really ramps us. Now add a baby and all hell could break loose if we don’t plan well. Bring in the slow cooker! My mom is a mindreader & got me a new slowcooker for Christmas along with a simple cookbook. Honestly, I would like to use the slow cooker more often than this but this goal is a start.
9. Spend no more than $50 on frivolous personal spending.
Going along with goals 3, 5, & 7 of decreasing overall spending this specifically targets one of my weaknesses that I have never tracked: silly, little spending. Things like books, clothes, coffee, etc. can be small expenses but add up. So I thought it would be a good idea to keep track of those expenses, even if I have a gift card.
P.S. that’s $600 per year
10. Make a meatless dinner at least twice a week, especially Friday.
I listened to a podcast from “The Economist” about eating less meet both for the environment & your family budget. This wasn’t new to me but this podcast resurrected something I’ve been trying to systematically do for a while: east less meat. Most people know about the secular “Meatless Monday,” but this year I just learned about the ancient Catholic tradition of “Fish Fridays.” We don’t eat meat on Fridays of Lent because that is still a current requirement, but I recently learned that it’s still a requirement to not eat meat on all Fridays or to complete some other penance. So rather than just saying a vague “eat less meat” I can specifically schedule a meatless meal Monday & Friday thereby saving money, doing something for the environment & our waistlines, and participating in a centuries old religious tradition.
Read more: Catholic Culture: Traveling during Lent
11. Go to church every Sunday & Holy Day of Obligation.
Yes, this is no great feat. As a Catholic you are required to go to mass every Sunday & Holy Day of Obligation (list to follow), but I actually learned of that rule only a few years ago. I always thought that you were “supposed” to go to church every Sunday or “it was good to go” but I literally had no idea that it was a mortal sin nor did I know about the “other” days. Although we are pretty good about the Sunday obligation, we could work on it. The baby makes it more difficult to attend the 7pm Holy Day of Obligation mass but we’ll try.
Holy Days of Obligation for 2022:
- Saturday, January 1, 2022 Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (moved to the Sunday before)
- Thursday, May 26, 2022 Ascension of Jesus (in most dioceses, moved to the nearest Monday)
- Monday, August 15, 2022 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (moved to the Sunday before)
- Tuesday, November 1, 2022 All Saints’ Day
- Thursday, December 8, 2022 The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary
- Sunday, December 25, 2022 Christmas
Read more: Catholic Culture: Liturgical Living
12. Send someone a surprise postcard once a month.
This one pretty much speaks for itself. Two years ago my goal was to send a letter once a month, lol that did not happen but I think I can make a postcard happen – even if it just says “HELLO!”
13. Travel internationally at least once.
We have a trip already in the works – to go to Oxford for a program I was supposed to take back in 2020 but if that year taught me anything it’s that shit can always hit the fan. I am still trying to figure out how to make this trip work with a baby and COVID still lingering but I’m determined to make this happen!
Read more: Best Year Ever! Oxford Summer Program
14. Listen to at least 1 hour of Spanish language learning a week.
Will & I have been using “Coffee Break [insert said language here]” on and off for a few years now but never really taken it seriously. I lived in a “Spanglish” world all my life but never really systematically sought to improve my broken Spanish. Well with the baby, we have both gotten more serious about trying to raise him in a multi-cultural household. Ideally multilingual but considering we are not fully fluent in anything but English, that will be a (worthy) up hill climb.
15. Listen to at least 1 hour of Italian language learning a week.
Same as #14 just in a different language. Enough said.
16. Go out on a date with the hubby at least once a month.
I’ve read lots of things about “dating your spouse” and that is something we’re pretty bad at even before the baby so I knew I needed to make it a priority in 2022. I haven’t yet figured out how we are going to define a date: drinks? dinner? long lakeside walk? coffee on the couch? We shall have to see how we are going to make this goal our own.
Read more: Travel Tips: Traveling as a Couple
17. Do yoga at least twice a month.
Yoga always seems to figure onto my annual goals lists, in variety of forms but mostly my goals can be summed up into a simple phrase: DO IT MORE. I always feel more balanced (physically and mentally), ready to tackle life when I incorporate yoga into my life. Ideally I would do yoga more than twice a month, but baby steps! I actually pay $55/year for extra access to the website Doyogawithme.com because I like the extra videos & I want to support their website.
18. Only shop second-hand for clothes I want (& do not need).
With COVID, I got out of the habit of hunting for good deals in second-hand shops, preferring the ease and safety of online shopping, but that’s a habit I need to break. No better time to break it than when I am trying to actively save money to build up my savings account. We have two major second-hand stores in the area, along with one for baby stuff so it shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish.
19. Vacuum at least once a week.
This is an exact repeat of a goal for last year. I did a decent job getting this done & between my allergies and the baby, I really should keep this as a goal again.
20. Write at least 1 art history blog post a month.
So this is actually a downgrade from last year’s goal of writing an art history post twice a month, because ya know, baby and all. I don’t want to neglect my little academic corning of the interweb so I need to make sure I keep this goal. The art history posts take me the most time to research and write, so they are the hardest to get done.
21. Waste more time with the baby (& hubby).
This may sound like a silly goal, but it is anything but. Pope Francis has talked a lot about spending time with family, free time to be specific, as an important part of building a healthy family. This world is so “busy,” but it’s a false business, one that leads people to brag about what they’re doing without accomplishing much in the end that it meaningful. I am someone who likes to feel accomplished, often times using a to do list to measure the value of a day, but now with a family I don’t want business to replace simple things like play and undivided attention.
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