I've been inspired by the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast to make a "20 for 20 list." The idea is to list 20 goals, accomplishments, things to learn, etc. that you would like to complete in the year 2020. (They've been doing this for several years, I'm just jumping on the bandwagon this year.) Joel helped me brainstorm ideas for my list and I think I've narrowed it down to a nice mix of things that are both aspirational and completely achievable.
So here we go!
1. Walk 20 minutes a day
This one is also stolen directly from the Happier podcast - they have given this challenge to all their listeners! We have incorporated a lot of walking into our daily lives since going abroad - mostly out of necessity as we don't usually have access to a car. Yet there are still days that I manage to spend completely inside doing nothing but moving from the bedroom to the couch. I'm hoping this goal will get me outside and moving for this bare minimum every single day in 2020!
2. Win a Healthy Wage
We have tried Healthy Wage (a website where you bet money that you will lose weight) since early 2018 and so far have yet to win a single bet. Whoops. However, it has still been really motivating and a large contributing factor to the weight that I have lost in the last two years. This year we are going to start smaller with 20 pounds (in the past we've gone for 40 or 50) and hopefully actually win some money this time! If you want to join me use this link to sign up and we'll both get a bonus to our prize!
3. Do yoga 3x a week for 20 minutes a time
I tend to go in spurts with my yoga practice - I will be adamant about it for a month or two at a time, then I will suddenly stop for a long time. I've realized that it has to do with where I am and whether or not I have a good space in which I can consistently practice. In 2020 I want to make sure that no matter where we are, I carve out a space that can be used for yoga consistently.
4. Do a 20km walk
This one will take some building up to but I think I will be able to accomplish it by the end of the year! 20 km is about 12 miles or about 4 hours of walking at my current pace. Hopefully, over the course of the year, I will get faster and build up more endurance!
5. Run 2 miles in under 20 minutes
Speaking of getting faster and building more endurance...I want to be able to do 2 miles in under 20 minutes by the end of the year. A 10-minute mile is not a ridiculous goal and yet it's something I have literally never done in my life even when I was in my best shape. This is the year to go for it!
6. Read/re-read 20 classic novels
I knew I wanted to set another reading goal for myself this year but a simple number goal is too easy now that I'm back in the habit of reading (largely thanks to my Kindle.) So this year I am setting categorical goals for myself. I've realized that there is a lot of classic literature that I have either never read or read but don't remember well, so this will be a focus of mine. I'm working on curating an exact list! Feel free to send me any suggestions you might have!
7. Read 20 different theologians
This reading will help me continue to grow personally and professionally and make me a better minister. There are some classic theologians I have not read (or not read enough of) and I'd also like to choose some contemporary ones as well as have a focus on women and BIPOC. I don't think I'll create a list in advance for this one but I will make it a focus throughout the year. It will be a bit more challenging logistically than the previous one as theologians won't be quite as easy to get on my Kindle from the local library. Feel free to send me any suggestions you might have!
8. Read 20 psychology books
My undergraduate degree is in psychology and yet at times, I feel woefully ignorant of things I should know in this field. So my third reading goal for the year is to brush up on my psychology! I will also read novels and other non-fiction for fun throughout the year, I'm not restricting myself to these 60 books, but these 3 categories give me a good focus for growth in my reading habits. Feel free to send me any suggestions you might have!
9. Meditate for 20 minutes a week
I have always vaguely appreciated the idea of starting a meditation practice but it's something I've never articulated or ever tried. I struggle with what I call "hamster wheel" brain where I am constantly thinking, worrying, making lists, etc. I've heard that meditation can help calm this tendency and I think it would be really good for me. I'm starting small with 20 minutes a week so that it will be something I can actually accomplish. I thought about 20 minutes a day but I know myself well enough to know that I would abandon that goal quickly.
10. Visit 20 churches
I love visiting churches and all our travels have given me ample opportunity to do so. As we slow down our traveling this year I want to be more intentional about seeking out churches/cathedrals/monasteries/etc to visit.
11. Make the perfect steak at home
I consider myself a decent home cook but I have long been intimidated by cooking steak. I am very picky about my steak (medium-rare only please) and I always figured if it gets messed up at a restaurant I can send it back to get re-done but if I mess it up at home I just wasted my money. However, this is the year I will finally make the perfect steak at home. I've had lessons from Joel's dad (on the grill) and from our friend Elaine (on the stove) and I am finally confident enough to try it! I'm going to aim for making steak at home once a month until I get it perfect - then perhaps more often, haha. We'll see what the budget allows.
12. Sew pockets into my thrift store dresses
I want to continue to do most of my shopping for clothing at thrift stores/secondhand/charity shops both for financial and environmental reasons. However, I am also obsessed with having pockets in my dresses and those are hard to find secondhand. Enter my limited sewing skills! I can sew a button, ribbons on pointe shoes, and fix holes, so I figure teaching myself how to add pockets to dresses (and maybe skirts) is a level up I can handle.
13. Work on learning a foreign language 20 minutes a week
Working on my French was a goal for 2019 that managed to last almost 3 months. Then the app I was using (Duolingo) changed and I didn't like it and I just... let it go. (But not in the good Elsa way, in the bad giving up way.) This year I want to explore more creative ways of working on my language skills and I'm starting with a small but definitely achievable goal of spending 20 minutes a week on it.
14. Try 20 new to me foods
I am pretty good about trying new foods if they are put in front of me...but not as good about seeking out opportunities to try new things. This goal will help me be more aware of looking for new things to try and give me the guts to go for it! I also think it will be fun to track what I try and what I do or don't like about what I find.
15. For 20 consecutive days eat 20g of carbs or less
This essentially means I'll be going back to the "keto" diet for at least 20 days at some point in the year. I tried it before in 2018 and 2019 to great success, but I do find it harder when traveling. Once we have a place of our own I'm going to do it again both to help kickstart some weight loss and to help break me of my sugar/carb habit. I don't ever plan to live a life completely without sugar/carbs but I could definitely stand to get to a point where I rely on them less than I do now.
16. Practice 20 dishes for Come Dine with Me
Okay, this is a fun one. If you aren't familiar with bad British reality TV you might not be aware of the absolute gem that is Come Dine with Me. The premise of the show is this - five random home cooks are placed together in a competition to win £1,000. For a week, each night a dinner party is hosted by one of the five and the other four guests rate them on their food, entertainment, and general hospitality. It is a true life goal of mine to be on this show someday. (I googled how to get on it, you just send them an email and when they are filming in your area of the UK they'll reach out and you can be on the show!) So this year I want to practice a variety of dishes that I might eventually use when I get to be on this show - I need to get really good at a variety of appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Everything must be as homemade as possible (people get really picky when you use shop-bought items) and they often throw a vegetarian into the mix so I have to prepare for that possibility as well!
17. Every single day set aside $20 towards savings and/or debt repayment
We have big financial goals in 2020 that include building up our savings and paying off debt (student loans, anyone?) $20 a day adds up to $7,300 over the course of the year and is totally doable as long as we really pay attention to it!
18. Spend 20 minutes a day (or 140 minutes/week) writing towards something to publish
This was another 2019 goal that kind of fell by the wayside that I want to pick back up. I would love to be a published author someday so I really need to start working towards this goal. Writing towards this goal cannot include sermons, blog posts, or anything that I already have to do anyway. This is writing above and beyond my "normal" work. I want to average 20 minutes a day, but since I know I won't always want to write on let's say, a Saturday, I can pile the time together throughout the week for this one.
19. Go on 20 free excursions
Our travel will taper off at some point this year but we don't want our adventures to go away. So this goal will keep us looking for fun things to do wherever we are! An excursion might be visiting a castle, a museum, going on a walking tour, or who knows! It just has to be something fun and free!
20. Play 20 sessions of board games
One thing I have missed desperately while traveling has been playing board games. While we can play my favorite one, Dominion, online, it's just not the same and I don't make as much of an effort as I should in scheduling times to play with friends. I want to be intentional this year about either setting up a time to play with friends online or, even better, inviting people over to play once we have our own place and actual games in our possession again!
These aren't my only goals for 2020 but they are ones that will take my time and attention throughout the year. You know I'll be sure to keep you posted on how I progress!
If you decide to set your own 20 for 20 goals (or any amount more or less) I'd love to hear them and cheer you on!