Moving Forward, Step by Step

Beaver swimming
“A goal is a DREAM with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.” – Jim Rohn

In January last year, I started bullet journaling (Looking Forward, Making Plans). I’ve always been good at taking notes (a side effect of too many years in school!), so carrying around my bullet journal felt like a natural fit. It’s been an invaluable tool. I set up my bullet journal with an index, a “future log” for the year, a monthly log, and daily logs where I list key items that I need to accomplish each day. The organization is very simple and flexible. I can capture notes, business ideas, or inspiration from books, articles or people I meet. This loose framework gives me a guide that I can then make my own. The discipline of outlining my plans for the following day helps me to focus on what is important and clears my mind for a good night’s sleep. Crossing off tasks gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

One of the most useful aspects of bullet journaling was coming up with a goal list, to remind me to align my actions with my goals. For 2019, my goals were:

  • Planning a trip to Japan with my family.
  • Making our home a welcoming place to entertain family and friends.
  • Exercising regularly and eating well.
  • Making an impact on the future of youth in our community.
  • Blogging consistently and growing a following on social media.
  • Developing an ecommerce business.
The Bullet Journal Method is available on Amazon.

Reflecting back on 2019, I’ve worked well towards many of these goals, to varying extents. Overall my focus has been on home and health. Between renovations, decluttering, and organizing, I’ve made great progress on making our home a welcoming place for our friends and family (Welcoming Friends, Sparking Joy). We have hosted international guests from Italy, Brazil and Mexico, and held baking parties for others from Estonia, Japan, Finland and Switzerland. I’ve loved the opportunity to learn more about the world and build my own bonds toward global peace one friendship at a time. Our door is always open for our kids to host parties or Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. This, along with our family gatherings, makes me very happy. I’ve also made exercise a regular part of my life again for the first time in ages. I feel very comfortable popping over to the gym for an hour, listening to Podcasts as I ride the exercise bicycle and lift weights. I may drag my feet going over to the gym, but I always feel revitalized on the way back.

I also made progress on planning a family trip to Japan, including a rough itinerary with costs. The trick is figuring out a time that works for everyone. My daughter would love to go immediately, but she is busy studying to finish up high school with good marks and waiting to hear back from universities (Timing is Everything). Meanwhile my son is still deciding what to do next year after finishing his undergraduate university studies. Plus, I need to consider my husband’s’ work schedule. And there is the not-so-small matter of the high costs of vacationing in Japan, especially around the time of the Tokyo Olympics. We will need to wait for the future to unfold a bit more before making this goal a reality.

Over the last year, I’ve focused significant effort on giving back to the community through involvement with youth-focused projects. I’ve joined the board of a local charity, helping to fundraise and promote youth programs. I’ve also started tutoring high school students in math. However, I found myself putting off starting the ecommerce business that I’ve been thinking about for more than a year. This is the one goal that did not progress this year. Every month I would plan to move forward on it and every month it got deferred. In 2020, I either need to move forward or decide that this is no longer something I want to pursue. Each month I need to take concrete steps towards making the goal a reality.

Finally, I have continued to blog consistently for more than one year. I originally hoped to blog more often, but once or twice a month is a pace that I can sustain. My audience is small but growing; I am grateful for every person who takes the time to read what I have to say and supports me in my journey. Hopefully, I have achieved my original goal of providing inspiration and ideas for your paths as well.

My goals for 2020 include:

  • Generating new revenues through ecommerce.
  • Growing and applying my skills in strategic financial planning.
  • Exercising regularly and eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Booking our bucket list family trip to Japan.

What are your goals for 2020? Write them down and get someone to hold you accountable for working consistently towards your goals. Together we can make 2020 a great year!


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