20 goals for 2020

Amid the debates about whether we’re starting a new year or a new decade, I saw a Twitter thread last week about New Year’s superstitions and traditions. Things like the southern tradition of eating black eyed peas for prosperity, kissing someone when the clock strikes 12, or the Spanish custom of scarfing 12 grapes, one for each month of the year, at each stroke of midnight (That last one I read online. Does this really happen?). In the conversation, some folks cautioned against cleaning on New Year’s day… you don’t want to sweep your luck away! Others mentioned “starting as you mean to go on,” or setting the tone for the next year. And who wants to set the tone with housework?

So in that spirit, I’m starting 2020 as I usually do… with goal setting but I’m also cooking a vat of spaghetti sauce, writing a bit, working on a puzzle, BLOGGING, submitting my last batch of grades, and taking the fluffs for a walk. These mundane, mostly happy things things I hope to continue throughout the year.

Along the way, I’ve got big plans for the new year, of course. In addition to my standard fare… reading non-school books (I read/listened to 85 in 2019!), journaling daily, trying new recipes, and taking down the Christmas tree (yes, it’s always on the list now), I’ve got one giant thing and 19 smaller things to do…

Book advance1. The Big One: Finish the book! Ya’ll. YA’LL. I GOT A BOOK CONTRACT LAST YEAR! And yes, I forgot to blog about it. It was a late summer offer and to be honest, I wasn’t completely convinced of the deal until the advance check arrived in December (patience is a virtue the universe keeps teaching me). It still feels surreal but I’m utterly thrilled that my biggest goal for 2020 will involve my lifelong dream of writing a book… that people will actually want to read. (Thesis and dissertation books not quite fulfilling the must-read status). Stay tuned for the “101 Patdowns” website to come online later this month. Until then, you have my permission to randomly yell at me to get back to writing. The manuscript is due April 30, 2020!

2. Volunteer 150 hours this year. I’ve aimed for 100 volunteer hours the last few years and I’m bumping it up. Most of my volunteer work includes research for nonprofits and platelet donations, but I’d love to do some more hands-on stuff, too.

3. Fly 40 hours. My 2019 shame? Barely flying. I know. I KNOW. So my repeat goal from last year is to actually the 40 hours I missed in 2019. And finish my tailwheel training.

4. Fly Young Eagles. Another 2019 holdover: To fly Young Eagles, a program that introduces kids to aviation with a free short flight. (Stan are you reading this? I’m serious this time!)

5. Put art up above our bed. In contemplating a “decade in review” post, I looked at my 2009 goal sheet. Has “put art up above our bed” been on the list for 10 years? Why yes, yes it has. GOODNESS.

6. Fix veggie garden drip system. It hasn’t worked since our Back 40 Revamp six years ago. Now is the time. Because see #18.

7. Take the sewing machine out of the box. You know, that one I registered for 10 years ago.

8. Touch up baseboards and trim. Because the folks who installed our new flooring last fall were not kind.

9. Dissertation model paper. Because apparently it won’t finish itself.

10. Figure out Ipad grading. While I generally try to grade electronically and collect as few paper papers as possible–to be green, to reduce costs for my students, to avoid their germs–I admit, I hate grading papers on the computer. I spend too much time behind a screen as it is. But I’m hoping to transition some of my grading practice to the Ipad… the theory being, if I can do some hand writing of comments, it might feel more like paper? Advice welcome!

11. Start new book. With Mr. T’s help, I plotted out a novel last summer that I’m dying to write.

12. Fly somewhere new. Last year it was Spokane, WA and Great Falls, MT. Looking forward to new flying adventures with T.

13. Organize my campus office. In four years, I’ve accumulated a lot of paper it seems! My winter break goal is to clean up my office and give it a Harry Potter-inspired refresh. If only “tergeo” actually worked. Sigh.

14. Average 150 minutes of exercise per week. Yeah, so what if I’ve reached the age to consider exercise for heart heath as well as vanity. If you need me, I’ll be following the American Heart Association’s recommendation for exercise… 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.

15. Fit comfortably in my pants. And as this goal went unmet for 2019, I will also be, erm, addressing my healthy habits in the kitchen as well.

Dogs in front of Christmas tree16. Organize computer files. Because saving triple copies of things in four places is not a tidy strategy, according to my in-house IT guru.

17. Train dogs to come when called. Stop laughing. A girl can dream!

18. Plant a full veggie garden. For the last few years, I’ve scaled down my gardening activities to tomatoes and basil. While amazing, I miss my full garden… curly beanstalks, frilly greens, an abundance of radishes since they’re so easy to grow. I may even attempt zucchini again, something I’ve never been able to cultivate, despite it growing like weeds for everyone else on the planet.

19. Streamline grading. Teacher friends, stop laughing!

20. Help Mr. T with his goals. While you could read this as “nag T until he fixes the freaking doorbell,” I’m framing this goal as “being a supportive spouse,” especially as many of T’s 2020 goals involve cool, time-consuming flying things.

Happy New Year, all!

–dr. shawna

* Cross-posted from www.bluestmuse.com

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