Goals Habits

2021 Goals Countdown: Personal

December 27, 2020

Thank you for your kind notes yesterday. Everyone is still doing okay. The waiting game continues . . .

And in the meantime, 2021 is marching ever closer! So we will continue this goals series. I was going to write about WORK, but Sunday doesn’t seem like the right time for this! So here we go with personal, which is a bit of a catch-all, but whatever.

1- Schedule one day per Quintile as personal retreat day. I am going to sit down on Jan 5th assuming childcare is not an issue and schedule these days out, preferably for the entire year. These will be days that the kids are in school, I have childcare, and I do not have work (normal work or pod recording).

On my retreat days, I will just . . . take the day for myself. Journal, read, workout without time constraints, and (eventually once COVID is less of an issue) massage. I might take a walk along the beach or the gardens. 5 days out of 365 just for me. (I will be home for dinner w/ the kids, but even just the idea of having ~8a -6p sounds heavenly.)

2- Focus on keeping phone screen time to less than 100 minutes/day. I was doing so well with my #operation100 for quite some time, and I want to bring that energy into the new year. Honestly, I probably care the most about this goal.

minutes will be recorded here for posterity

I will record Screen Time minutes daily and avoid using my laptop as a phone sub (sneaky). I will aim for an average under 100 and ideally under 100 almost every day. I would like 2021 to be the year I part ways with excessive scrolling. Instead, I will read / write / organize / talk to people via FaceTime or phone. (Yes, FaceTime is screen time but I consider it nontoxic.)

3- Continue daily-ish Headspace and Duolingo. I won’t say “daily” because super long streaks intimidate me and I don’t like the pressure. But daily-ish is fine.

4- Invite at least 3 new families for play dates outdoors. Need to continue building tribe up here. (“Up” as in north of where we used to live). Maybe even someday we will be able to do indoor meetups again but even if not, we could meet up in outdoor circumstances. The outside time is good for kids anyway and less to clean up.

5- Try to get outside most days for 20 minutes. Therapeutic. Enough said.

6- Restart Organize 365! YES. I am more determined than ever this time to get through the 100 day program. I started last spring and did about half of it, but then . . . got too tired. Or busy. Or something. This program gives you one assignment per day for 100 days, with the end result of a more organized home. My life is organized; our home is . . not. Not to my liking, anyway.

I am reassured by the fact that Lisa Woodruff notes that most people take 2-3 rounds to get all the way through.

7- Read every day! Read something. For some amount of time. I pretty much do this already, but like the reminder. I usually have one fiction & one non going at any moment. Currently it’s Michelle Obama’s Becoming and The Authenticity Project: A Novel by Claire Tooley. I will continue to record reading on the blog (need to get on my 2021 Reading List page!).

8- Fitness – Excited to embark on Another Mother Runner’s Many Happy Miles program! I purchased a membership to this program in a fit of boredom of my current workouts and wanting to run more (and run a little faster) again. I’m excited! I will still continue to lift too (combo of their strength workouts + Beachbody, primarily LIIFT4 b/c I find them very efficient and reasonably effective).

I think that is plenty. OH and I also want to write something every day (or almost every day) in my 5 year journal! NO PRESSURE.


  • Reply Sarah K December 27, 2020 at 7:30 am

    I have been using a 5 year journal for about 3 years and it’s soooo awesome to look back on previous years. Just think of your future self. =)

  • Reply Irene December 27, 2020 at 7:51 am

    I would be interested to hear how it goes trying to find other families for outdoor play dates. My daughter started a new school virtually this fall and has never met any of the kids in real life with the exception of a handful of play dates I was able to organize in the fall but it was so difficult. A lot of people are either still completely locked down, in a pod with their long term best friend or careless and don’t want to wear masks. It was great when we did a few but since we are solidly in bad weather here it is not happening. Well I have not made it happen I guess. You will probably have better luck since you your weather is better. I have to try again I think and not get discouraged when it takes 2 months to schedule a follow up play date because the weather is bad every weekend…

  • Reply Lauren C December 27, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Sarah, how to you manage so many goals in so many parts of your life? Do you have a post I could read or a podcast episode I could listen to on the subject?
    Hope you and your family stay well this week!

  • Reply Rachel December 27, 2020 at 8:39 am

    So glad everyone is still doing well. These are thoughtful goals.

    I’d love to hear more about how you made friends, here or in your old location. My kids are 3 and 1 and I’ve found it so hard to make any serious friendships. We don’t belong to a church..

    • Reply Jordan December 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm

      Chiming in here about making friends… my husband and I are both super social and moved to a new city 2 years ago. We similarly aren’t members of a church, and we both work from home (pre-Covid) so we weren’t meeting people through work. We had both kids (now ages 2 and 4) in daycare and a few activities (soccer, swim lessons) so met people that way. It required us being really outgoing and making the first “ask” – usually to meet at a neutral location (similar to SHU’s outdoor playdate idea), we’d invite them to meet us at the zoo, Botanic Gardens, playground, etc. then we’d see how the vibe was.

      Also, we would strike up conversations at playgrounds if we noticed our kids playing with similarly aged kids. My husband is more friendly than I am, so we joke that he makes the most friends for us when he takes the kids out by himself. He’s gotten people’s phone #s (again, you have to be comfortable taking the initiative!) and then we’d invite them to meet up somewhere.

      Then if things go well, we’d have people over to our house (or during Covid/summer – outside in in our backyard) for brunch or dinner. Just order pizza to keep it simple, or since I like to cook, sometimes I’d make a meal. Pre-Covid, we’d also throw pretty big adult-only parties. It’s sometimes (always) hard to develop deeper friendships when you have toddlers running around underfoot, so it’s nice to have the adult-time. We hosted a holiday party last year, and also did a fancy dress up murder mystery party for my birthday. People LOVE to be invited to stuff like this, and I found that since I actually really love entertaining, it’s fun for me, and helps us to make friends.

      Obviously Covid has put a major damper on our social lives, but there are a few outdoor/masked things we feel comfortable doing with people and try to keep up these friendships. I will also add, that a lot of people hate hosting so we try not to be offended if people rarely reciprocate. We definitely have a few friends who love to have us over to their backyards too, but others are more of the “let’s meet at the playground” friends, and that’s fine! Whew, didn’t mean to write a novel but I have a lot of thoughts/recent experience on this topic 🙂

  • Reply Allie H December 27, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Hi Sarah!

    Wondering if you have any recommendations for any free resources out there similar to Organized 365?


  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns December 27, 2020 at 9:47 am

    I hope you can find other families for outdoor play dates. Hopefully you can find some through school? That’s basically the only way we meet other families aside from a couple on our block. Our daycare has a slack channel so that has helped us get to know other parents.

    Your retreat day is a great goal. Reminds me of my ‘shouldless day’ goal from past years. I don’t know that I can swing that this year with returning from maternity leave but maybe by the 2nd half of the year I can take some me days for myself! My personal goals include continuing to make reading a priority and fitting 3-5 workouts in each week once I get cleared at my 6 week appt. I plan to get a beach body membership. It’s going to be tricky initially because this baby does NOT want to be put down during the day. Our first son was not like this. He was happy to sit in the boppy lounger or swing. This kid screams after 5-10 minutes!

  • Reply Marissa December 27, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Wondering if you could elaborate more on #4-inviting families for play dates?! I know this sounds simple enough, but just wondering if this has worked out well for you in the past? Have y’all made close friends by doing this? My kids started a new school this year and I’d like to do the same. Do you pick families that your kids talk about from school? Have you found other families to be reciprocal? Just wondering as I haven’t done this yet, but would like to start!

  • Reply Sarah S. December 28, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    I just read the previous post and want to send my best wishes to the health of your family. What a hard situation, and I hope everyone is still feeling ok!

    I also hope the 5 year journal will be a great addition at a time like this. You obviously have an amazing record of your life with this blog, but I have loved having a 5 year journal for the past 2 years to just have one key memory of the day through these times of big emotions and events. It gives me a lot of strength to look back at last March, when I was wondering how we would survive a 3 week shut down, for example. On the lighter side, my kids love hearing stories about something funny they said or did a year ago. Making a somewhat representative record of the good and bad has been really fulfilling.

  • Reply Helena Murphy December 28, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    5 year journal!!!!!!!! I have been toiling with this idea for, erm, several years… I can’t settle on what I would record each day. I fear I’d want to write a lot on some days, draw a blank on others, and not manage to write at all on particularly challenging days. Are you planning on freestyling it? I love historical data and feel like recording the same category of information would make sense for year-over-year comparisons. Or maybe record a different category for each day of the week? Can’t wait to hear what you have in mind! p.s.: I want retreat days, but ideally those would happen at home, alone, which is… not likely.

  • Reply Jen December 29, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    I am curious to hear how you like Many Happy Miles. I listen very frequently to AMR and it does sound fun – if i didn’t have a big race deferred from 2020 (which i hope happens in 2021) I would like something like this to keep up fitness/running mojo along with the community part.

  • Reply tram nguyen January 4, 2021 at 12:27 am

    How do you keep track of the 100 minutes of screen time? Does your phone have a tracker or do you just keep a mental note?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 4, 2021 at 5:58 am

      yep, the iPhone has a built in tracker 🙂

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