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2020 – It’s the start of a new year and new decade.
Ever since I’ve been a stay at home mom I’ve been forcing myself to set yearly goals, both personally and for the blog. It’s been a great way to keep myself focused with my time and energy.
Even though I have been setting yearly goals for myself, I haven’t really been thinking about more than a year in advance for the last 3 years. When I was working, HR and managers usually asked us to write short and long term goals.
The short term goals were always pretty easy: what were my projects for this year and how I planned to achieve them. But I always found it difficult to imagine where I would be in 5 or 10 years.
I didn’t know if I wanted to still be working as an engineer, becoming a technical expert, or go into the management path with my career. I just wasn’t sure what I wanted for myself and my career, but I suspected I would hit a fork where I would have to choose my path within the next 10 years.
Since this is the start of a new decade I challenged myself to do the same thing I’d be doing if I were working a corporate engineering job – set both short term (1 year) and long term (10 year) goals for myself.
Without the corporate pressure to decide if I want a technical or managerial career path, and free to just be me, I found it was actually kind of fun to imagine what I would like to have achieved 10 years from now.
I recently finished reading a book I couldn’t put down, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. This book immediately drew me in and wouldn’t let me go until the last page (and I highly recommend it)!
The premise of the story is: the main character Alice hits her head and loses the last 10 years of her memory. Those 10 years included the birth of her 3 children and a pending divorce. The last thing she remembers is being blissfully happy in her marriage and pregnant with her first child.
I found it so fascinating to think about what it would be like to lose my memory of the last 10 years. And really how much people can grow and change and mature in that time span. My life has certainly changed drastically in the last 10 years, and if I forgot everything in-between I would feel completely lost and shocked at myself too.
But it’s the in-between bits that have made my life great. I would never want to forget the things that have taken place over the last decade to change me from the kid-free engineer to the stay-at-home mom/blogger I am today.
I highly recommend reading What Alice Forgot and then taking the time to think about your own life and how the last 10 years have changed you as a person. I think it will also help you form goals for the next 10 years, I know it helped me. 🙂
For the past two years I’ve shared my blogging goals for the year. Setting the goals has really helped to keep me motivated and focused to continue working on the blog, and it has paid off. My readers have more than doubled year over year since I began setting goals.
In addition to my personal goals, in the past I’ve shared advice on goal setting. Here are the links to my blog posts from 2018 and 2019 if you want to go back and read my advice on goal setting.
My 2020 Blogging Goals:
- 1 STEAM for kids experiment or activity per month (~12 blog posts)
- 1 STEAM for kids book review per month (~12 blog posts)
- Women in Engineering posts whenever relevant content is available (~4 blog posts)
- STEAM for Kids toys reviews, clothes reviews, children’s museums, tips, etc. whenever relevant content is available (~8 blog posts)
- Continue to be active on Instagram with at least one post per week and Stories more often
As you can see, I’m not committing to weekly blog posts (except on Instagram) as I have in past years. I’d like to continue to post as often as possible, but as I shared in my 2019 wrap-up post, I also have a new focus.
I’m planning to work on writing a STEAM focused children’s book this year. I can’t wait to share more about my book as soon as possible. I know I have a long road ahead, but it is in my personal 5 year plan (but hopefully closer to 1 to 2 years!) to become a published best-selling children’s book author. 🙂
I’d love and appreciate any and all feedback and support. Where do I even start? I don’t know how to get a book published, so I’m taking baby steps. Step 1 is to write the book. 🙂
Along with goals for my blog, I have set 2020 personal goals.
My 2020 personal goals:
- Write a children’s STEAM book and begin looking for agent/publisher – As already discussed above
- Read 20 books – I’m making good progress on this one, I’ve already read almost 2 books (I finished What Alice Forgot and I’m almost done reading All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin) and we’re only 10 days into the year. Being part of a book club that meets monthly will also help keep me reading and working towards this goal.
- Focus on being present with my kids before and after school – I want to put down my phone more when the kids are around. I will force myself to try to use it mostly when they are at school, napping or in bed for the night. I still struggle with the feeling that I’m addicted to my phone and social media and I want to cut back.
- More family time and trips – I want to have weekly game nights, movie nights, and/or other fun family activities at home. We do these things together, but not as often as we’d all like. I find we’re often all home together, but not spending a lot of time together. Also, we’re planning at least two family vacations this year.
- Monthly date nights – My kids are my life, but my marriage has really benefitted from my husband and I committing last year to going out without our kids for at least one date night per month. Often we were able to do more than one night out a month, including time out with friends. The adult-only time has really been a great thing for our relationship and my personal happiness.
I also promised to talk about setting goals for the decade. Last weekend I started to briefly discuss our decade goals with my husband. We started talking about the last 10 years, which included moves to Australia, Dallas, and Houston, the births of our two children (with 4 devastating miscarriages along the way), my transition from engineer to working mom to stay-at-home mom, and so much more.
With so much packed into those last 10 years, it really can be hard to image what is possible in the next 10. I tried anyway and what I came up with are more like daydreams than actual goals, but with hard work maybe I’ll make my dreams come true.
My personal goals for the next decade:
- Maintain similar health and fitness levels – I will do this by continuing with my healthy eating habits and exercising regularly
- Raise kids who are readers – I will do this by continuing to read to my kids daily and whenever they ask to be read to. I’ll make sure they always have access books, and the choice to read what they like.
- Become an established best-selling author – I will do this by writing the best damn STEAM for kids children book series, which will get picked up by publisher and sold worldwide.
- Continuing growing the blog to national recognition to promote Women in Engineering and STEAM for kids – I will do this by continuing to share interesting and relevant posts around these topics regularly on the blog and social media.
- Explore new places by traveling domestically and internationally as a family – I will do this by planning at least two family vacations per year (even a long weekend away counts!).
- Be prepared to move or stay – Maybe we’ll still be living in the same house 10 years from now, and if so I think we’d all be very happy. I have settled in, made our house our home, grown friendships, and established activities and routines for myself and my kids.
Maybe we’ll move 3 more times in next decade, as often as we did the last. Maybe we’ll get the chance to live internationally again in the next decade – and wouldn’t that be an amazing experience for my kids.
The only thing I can control for this goal is to live in our current house and get involved in our community as if we will be here forever (because it’s likely we will), but be prepared to be brave and say “Yes!” when change comes.
We don’t know if, when, or where a new job will be offered to my husband, but I do know we’ve never regretted any of our moves in the past and we’ll continue to be brave and try new things in the future. 🙂
Will I achieve all these goals? Maybe, maybe not. But what’s important is that I wrote them down and came up with a plan of how to work towards making each one come true.
So what are you waiting for? Go set those short and long term goals! Your dreams won’t come true until you acknowledge them, and then start working towards achieving them. You can achieve any goal you set your mind to, and I know I can too!
Here’s to a successful 2020s decade for all of us. 🙂