20 Goals for 2020

Peace Corps service is a great time for intentional (or unintentional) self-reflection, which is how I have come to writing this post. Before leaving for my New Year’s trip to Barbados, I spent a good amount of time reflecting on my 2019 and the things I hope for 2020. Like most people, there are highs and lows to my 2019, but I am hopeful for more highs than lows for my 2020.

To keep the momentum of self-reflection going, I have come up with 20 goals for 2020! This year I want to focus on improving different areas of my life such as personal, health, professional, relationships, and fun. The majority of the items on my list are things I don’t do or don’t do enough of, so I tried to set the goals in a realistic and obtainable manner for myself.

So here we go, 20 things to achieve for the new year!

My top 5 goals that I am most excited about are:

  1. Write at least 2 pages in the morning journal every day. I missed the first 3 days of the new year, but today I started journaling and it was great.
  2. Focus on creating & implementing one more meaningful project at site. Our regional HFLE workshop was a success but I am ready for one more successful project.
  3. Finish service feeling fulfilled. This is pretty ambiguous because at the moment I am not completely sure what this will mean but I’ll figure it out.
  4. Read a minimum of 12 books this year. The first book I am reading is Educated by Tara Westover
  5. Write a blog post at least once a month. This will qualify for my January blog and I have more ideas prepared for the coming months.

Here’s to 2020! What are some of your goals for the new year?

Xoxo, Mere

Ambitions for Peace Corps

During college and my AmeriCorps services, I learned that goal-setting can be really important for holding onto your purpose for doing something. Goals can give you things to look forward to and a gentle reminder for why you decided to do something in the first place.

I knew that if I wanted to be able to survive and thrive in my 27 months abroad, I would have to come up with some goals for my Peace Corps service. Starting wayyy back in June 2018, when I first got to Guyana, I started to think about the things I wanted to achieve and the things I wanted to do. My initial lists have grown since then, but I thought I would share with you all my ambitions I set for my Peace Corps service!

First, I came up with a bucket list of all the things I wanted to see and/or do while in Guyana for 2 years. Then as my Pre-Service Training progressed, I swore in as a Peace Corps Volunteers and spent some time at my new site, I decided to come up with a list of goals for my service. My goals are not necessarily specific to my position in Guyana but rather a general reminder of things I can achieve regardless of my job title.

Guyana Bucket List

  • Visit 8 out of 10 regions.
  • Go to Rodeo in Lethem, Region 9.
  • Fly kites on Easter Monday.
  • Successfully make roti.
  • Color it up at Phagwah (known as Holi in other countries).
  • Participate in the different Mashramani (Republic Day) activities.
  • Visit Kaieteur falls in Region 8.
  • Explore Sloth island in Region 7.
  • Experience the different religions
  • Celebrate Amerindian culture during indigenous heritage month.
  • Go to the Guyana zoo.
  • Feed the manatees at the National Park.
  • Party at Guyana’s Carnival.
  • Spend Christmas with my host family.

Goals for Peace Corps Service

  • Improve my health and achieve a healthy weight.
  • Read more and keep my brain challenged.
  • Focus on myself and personal growth.
  • Have at least one project that I define as successful.
  • Stay open-minded – try new foods, experience new things.
  • Start doing yoga to slow down my mind and actions.
  • Improve on my writing/blogging skills.
  • Be more emotionally open.
  • Make new friends – take my time to create meaningful, productive and lasting relationships.
  • Network more – growth professionally.
  • Take chances but stay safe.
  • Leave a positive legacy both at my site and within PC Guyana.
  • Appreciate and celebrate the little successes.

A poster I created for the Resource Book that was distributed at my Region #2 HFLE Workshop in August 2019.

Throughout my service, goals have been an important part of what I do. Goal setting is one topic that I teach in HFLE and I do so by using the acronym SMART. SMART goals are used to help guide goal setting. Its stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

When you look at my goals I set above, you will see that they don’t follow the SMART acronym entirely, and honestly that is because I didn’t know about SMART goals until I had to teach it in my classes.

When I am teaching my students, I like to provide examples for them, so I often talk about the goals I have set for my service. Since my goals are more broad, I have to develop the goal more to meet the SMART acronym to provide a more accurate example.

After that, I work with the student to develop their own goals by going step by step through the acronym. This allows them to fully understand their goal they want to achieve and to commit to their goal rather than just creating one to get a good grade.

Some students set goals for school, for future careers, for improving relationships with family members, etc. It’s really exciting as a teacher to see my students think past their current situation and aspire for things in the future.

I’ve already been able to check off some items on both lists above, so let’s see how many more I can accomplish with 7 months I have left of service!

Look out for my next post which will be about my new goals I have set for 2020!

xoxo, Mere