I’ve decided not to do resolutions for 2020. Not because the month is more than half-way through (how?!) but because we often give up on them too quickly. 

The start of this year was a whirlwind: time spent enjoying the holiday with family and friends, traveling, preparing the bakery for a new year. Now I feel I have a moment to breathe and I’ve spent time reflecting as I look ahead. Instead of making resolutions, I’m making a few personal goals for 2020. 

My goals are big or lofty, but I’m still calling them goals. I believe this year we should all be kinder to each other, and we should also be kinder to ourselves. Let’s not put so much pressure on ourselves. Let’s not be everything to everyone all the time, to the point of burnout and exhaustion. Let’s give ourselves grace to mess up and try again tomorrow. Let’s give ourselves grace to just be

In addition to spreading kindness, here are a few things I hope to accomplish this year:

Read more. I read blogs and newspapers, magazines and the occasional book, but I’d really like to spend more time with a good book this year, and not just when I’m sitting on the beach! Ideally, I’d like to read one each month. Seems realistic enough, right? I may revert back to the days of grade school where I sit for a dedicated 20 minutes to read each day. 

Connect with others. In person. Face-to-face.We all mean well but things get busy and we often don’t take enough time to connect with friends and family and coworkers. I want to make connections with friends: share conversation over a cup of coffee, invite family over for a Sunday night meal, break out board games with my kids and grandkids as a way to beat the winter blues. We can also connect with strangers by saying hello, holding open doors, offering a compliment when someone does a good job. These are simple things, but they can make us feel connected and happy. 

Send more snail mail. Sure, stamps may be fifty cents a pop, but it’s worth it to send a handwritten note in the mail, knowing the recipient will be delightfully surprised when it arrives. A goal is to send a note of encouragement to someone going through a rough patch, a note of congratulations when there’s something to celebrate, a thank you note to show appreciation for a gift or kind gesture, or simply just to say hello. An easy way to spread a smile and make someone’s day, even across the miles. 

Cherish the small stuff. With each year that passes, I gain a new appreciation for life, and just how fragile it can be. There are so many wonderful moments and such beauty all around us. I just want to take the time, even if it’s just a minute or two, to cherish the small stuff. You know what I mean – the way the world looks blanketed by snow, when a sunset paints the sky in the most beautiful colors, the sound of my grandkids’ giggles. I want to savor the conversations and Sundays spent with my dad, savor the taste of freshly baked bread, savor the kindness of our loyal customers. 

Need some inspiration for your own goals for 2020? Here’s a few ideas below. Join me – I know this year is going to be a great one! 

  • Take your daily vitamins.
  • Drink more water.
  • Exercise a few times each week.
  • Run (or walk) a local 5K.
  • Organize the linen closet. 
  • Organize the pantry. 
  • Volunteer at a local organization once a quarter.
  • Be present.