My goal for 2020 was to Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friends.

Yearly review 2020 – Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friends

My goal for 2020 was to Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friends.

My goal for 2020 was to Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friends. The impact of COVID-19 made this easier when it came to our family unit and of course harder in terms of friends and broader family. Overall though, I would say it had a net positive effect on my goal as it gave me great perspective and helped me make decisions aligned with my goal like:

  • As a family in the second lockdown everyone was home at night due to the curfew and even if they were working and missed dinner, they could most often still join in our after dinner card games each night.
  • In the small time we had between lockdowns in Melbourne I made a trip to Mildura to see family and friends which was such a tonic for my soul.
  • For birthdays that occurred during this time with nieces and nephews on my side of the family, we had Zoom catch ups and I would make a birthday Kahoot for the birthday child.
  • I had walking catching ups with lots of friends.
  • Then once the second lockdown started to ease, I made sure to catch up with those I missed dearly. It made me make these catch ups a priority even if I felt I was too busy to fit them in.

No year is ever perfect for me when it comes to goal achievement, but given everything that happened this year, I do feel that I successfully achieved my goal. I am very aware that 2020 has been an incredibly hard year for many. Myself and the family have been incredibly lucky to have kept our jobs and our health this year and I know this hasn’t been the case for all. If 2020 has been hard for you, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Of course there is more to my year than just my goal, so I will go through the key questions I like to ask myself each year to help me determine what to set for a goal for the new year.

What were your successes?

My biggest success this year was of course my successful crowdfunding campaign to get Adapt Drinks up and running. And for that I have so many people to be thankful for. It had tremendous support not only throughout the campaign, but I had many amazing women helping me along the way to turn this idea into a reality.

Reflecting upon how we managed as a family during Melbourne’s severe and extended lockdown, I saw keeping family harmony throughout lockdown as a major success. Seven people in a not large house for pretty much 24/7 could have been pretty full on. I made lots of changes on how I managed daily life with the family to keep things calm and really tried to pick up on the mood of each child and combined household mood to prevent any major blow ups.

Family life was certainly not without its moments during this time and there was fighting, some tears and frustrations, but on the whole we all have some pretty good memories to take away from this time.

Running wise, I ran more this year than I ever have before, clocking up 4,000kms for the year. I would have been happy with this result if I had been training for key events across the year to keep my motivated with my training. To have been so consistent with my running without events to keep my motivated, I am seriously happy with the base work I have put in this year. Looking forward to being able to train for a race soon!

There are also some years, where events happen and they provide moments for you to take a deep look at yourself and work out what you need to work on and improve. This was one of those years for me. For some of the work, it is just the tip of the ice berg and I know I have a great deal of inner work I need to do going forward. I do count this as a success as at least I am aware of it now and am working on ways to improve myself.

What didn’t work out?

There were many things that didn’t work out for various reasons this year. Here are some stand outs:

  • I didn’t get to run a marathon this year due to COVID-19.
  • Convincing the family to eat less meat didn’t go so well. We spent so much time in lockdown, that food was one of the few things that could bring us together and I chose not to make this a battle and force this on the family.
  • I was let down last minute by my drink manufacturer so was unable to fulfil all of the Pozible orders before Christmas. This was definitely my biggest disappointment of 2020. My supporters however were amazingly understanding and encouraging, which has been a wonderful highlight of 2020 for me.
  • Our eldest graduated from university but due to COIVD-19 there was no graduation ceremony which was sad.
  • I still think we have too much stuff in our house and could have decluttered more. I know I am placing emotional value on items that I really shouldn’t. I will need to keep working on this.

What made you happy?

Without doubt having all the family together more often made me so happy. Since restrictions have eased in December and the older kids have been working more and going out more, we have had lots of dinners when we are down to only five or sometimes even four of us! I look back so fondly on our lockdown dinners and after dinner card games (even the ones that ended up in tears!).

Working on Adapt Drinks, as hard as it has been at times because it is all so knew to me, gave me so much joy. I really believe this drink can help women and make a difference, so I would just focus on this thought when things got tough.

Running made me happy. Even if I only could run for an hour and had to stay inside a 5km radius of my home, it still made me happy and I would always feel better for having done it. Running with my run group and smaller groups is also something I love and being deprived of it made me realise how much easier it is to do hard efforts with others than on my own.

Being outside in the sunshine makes me so happy. This year there hasn’t seemed to be as much sunshine (our solar power tracking also agrees with me, with some months like October having significantly less sunshine), so I think I have loved even more the moments I can be outside in the warm sunshine.

Most of the kids are passing or passed into a new stage across this year. It really does fill my heart to watch them grow up to be good people. They of course make mistakes, but watching them learn from them and mature is wonderful and as the youngest is now entering secondary school, I can feel our whole family is moving to a new stage.

What made you unhappy?

It is hard to write these being completely objective on how you felt over the whole year because often the immediacy of emotions makes them feel bigger. That is certainly how I feel at the moment! As life is returning to normal having all of the kids home at once much less, especially at meal time makes me unhappy. To a certain extent this is normal evolution, and prior to lockdowns I don’t think I realised how much I missed this.

Feeling like I let people down made me feel very unhappy. Also not feeling like I can control the end to end process also makes me feel very unhappy but at this point in my start up there isn’t a lot I can do about this, but it is something I am looking at longer term.

Spending too much time on my phone makes me unhappy, mainly because most of the time when this occurs it is just a waste of time. I am generally doing it because I am over tired or procrastinating. I normally have a pretty good handle on my phone use, but I needed to be on my phone more for the Pozible campaign to respond to supporters etc and again now in December as some deliveries have been sent out and some bad habits crept in. I need to work out a better process for this and get back to my good habits.

What did you want to do more of?

Family time together! While none of the kids plan to leave home at the moment, I think for the first time I am starting to see that this will happen in the next couple of years. This of course is completely appropriate and needed, but it has made me think about how can I maximise our time together while everyone is still at home.

Sunshine! I love Melbourne, but so wish it had a better climate. This year I really felt the lack of good weather as I couldn’t get away to Mildura as often as I would usually, nor did I have my trip to Queensland with girlfriends.

The slower pace. COVID-19 restrictions did severely limit what we could do for such a long time and as a consequence it slowed the pace of life down and I did really like that. I need to remember this going forward and give it weight when it comes to my decision making on what I want to achieve in 2021.

How was 2020 for you?

HabitConnection to goal - Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friendsQuote - “A simple lifestyle is good for us, helping us to better share with those in need.” ~ Pope FrancisDecember Review
Simplify our evening meals (make one meal a week meat free)With five kids, two being older teenagers and one being an adult I need to cook a lot of food. These three also have who casual or part time jobs, so having family meals with everyone eating at the same time is becoming increasingly more difficult.

The types of meals I cook now need to cater more for different sittings of meal times and also larger volumes so they can eat left overs for other meals as needed. This can be time consuming and I want it to take up the minimal amount of time, giving me the greatest chance of eating a family meal with as many kids as possible.

I need to simplify some of the meals I make to make this happen and I also want to reduce meat intake in the house, so want one meal a week to be meat free as well.
"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." ~ Mother Teresa
You can read the changes I have made to this habit in this post here.
Simplify our home cleaning routineWe have the kids involved in doing work around the house across the week, but it isn't as streamlined and as simple as I would like it to be. We also have a different system of contributing to the housework once kids leave school, so I need to work on simplifying how we all contribute to keeping the house clean and tidy. "The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment." ~ Marie KondoThe household is very much led by me in terms of cleaning routine and with work on Adapt Drinks reaching peak territory, my usual cleaning routine was thrown out the window!

It was very much a reminder to me that mess begets mess. If I had worked late and didn't do an evening reset, the kids seemed to make much more mess.

Towards the middle of December, I would grab the youngest three and explain we all needed to work together for 15 minutes to get things sorted. I would give them all tasks to do and everyone did it without complaint which was great.

I will take things easy for most of January and we will have a family meeting and reset household tasks late January.
Simplify my exercise routineRunning will be my focus for 2020 but I would still like to keep up strength training and do some yoga. I need to work out a way to fit this into my life without taking up too much time or feeling like I have too much to do.

Both the strength training and the yoga help my running, so I need to find a way to simplify how I can blend them into a routine.
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Too many late nights did mean I shortened a few runs and missed one or two workouts due to lack of sleep in December. A highlight though was track session with my running group returned!

But even though not perfectly sticking to the plan 100%, I can feel that my consistently over the last few months is starting to pay off. I very much look forward to choosing a race to target in 2021 and start training for it.
Declutter one item a day (can be averaged over a week / fortnight)There are cupboards that are too full, bedrooms that look a little messy because they have too much stuff in them. I find I am spending too much time on managing the stuff of the house.

I want to work slowly over the year to really pare back the belongings we have in the house. I feel much calmer with clear surfaces and minimal mess.
“Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter find simplicity.
From discord find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein
No decluttering has occurred as yet in December (writing this on 23rd) but after Christmas I tend to do a big declutter with the kids as we go through school uniforms, clothes and toys to make way for new stuff.
Spend an hour outside each dayBeing outside is so good for me in so many ways and good for the kids too. I find the pace of things slows down when I am outdoors.

With my running I do spend time outside everyday, but often in winter this is when it is still dark. I want to spend time outside in daylight hours and also use this time to be with the kids where I can too - who also benefit from more outdoor time.
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao TzuWith nicer weather for some of December I have even been working outside, which makes a lovely change. It also makes me feel like I am not missing out so much on the good weather if I do this. Looking forward to spending more time outside in January!

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  1. Pingback: Doing the inner work - my goal for 2021 | Planning With Kids

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