Welcome to Part 2 of my Depth Year diary. For newcomers, a Depth Year is a year where you commit to digging deeper in to your hobbies, interests and relationships instead of branching out to new things and ventures. You can read Part one of my Depth Year Diary here, where I go in to more details about what a Depth Year is and why I have decided to do this.
For this entry I want to share some of the more practical stuff about my Depth Year. What am I actually going to do? What is this Depth Year going to look like? What is the plan?
I’ve divided my Depth Year goals into four main areas: Writing, Relationships, Possessions and Spiritual. For each of these areas I have made a few dig-deeper resolutions. Here are my goals:
- Writing: Writing is the main skill that I want to develop this year. It is the thing I most love to do and yet it often get’s pushed down in the list of my priorities. My mini goals for writing are to…
- Keep a daily diary — Even if I don’t get to write a blog post or work on a story, the very least I can do is write a diary entry in my journal before I go to sleep. I am very near the end of my current diary, so there is the added bonus that soon I will be able to start a new diary using one of the many blank notebooks that I have got waiting ready to go. This also ties in nicely with my goal to use things up before buying more stuff, which you’ll see is one of my Possessions goal.
- Set a weekly writing goal — they are likely to be simple goals; write up a blog post, outline a chapter, write a sermon. But each week I am going to set myself one writing goal to complete within seven days.
- Look into joining a course — I haven’t studied English since I was 18. I would love to find a course to take that would teach me some writing skills and develop me further. I am researching a few options now and will report back when I find the right fit.
2. Relationships: This was one of the most appealing features of a depth year; the challenge to purposefully invest in my relationships with my family and friends. You never regret spending quality time with people you love so this is a great push to do lots more of that.
- Put my phone on charge during family time — I am getting worse and worse at disconnecting from people to mindlessly scroll my phone. So I am going to use this year to break that habit. Putting my phone on charge, out of arm’s reach is my first step in weaning myself off the device.
- Plan more play things to do with my daughter — she goes to school in September so I want to make the most of the extra time we have together during the week. I have conducted an inventory of all of her toys and games and made a list for inspiration of things to do and play with her.
- Saturday Supper with friends — I have some great quality friends but many of us are in that stage of life where it is hard to spontaneously meet up. My plan is to write a list of the people we don’t see enough of and arrange meet ups. With having a child and limited funds at the moment, my go-to option is to invite people round for Saturday evenings, after the kid is in bed, for drinks, nibbles and maybe one or two board games.
- Quiet time with Rob — These last few weeks Rob and I have been making an effort to have about twenty minutes each evening after our daughter is asleep to just talk with one another. No telly, no jobs or multi-tasking; just sitting and catching up for a short time. It’s just a little thing we can do to of carve out some connection time each day.
3. Possessions: I love to shop but I don’t need more stuff. I appreciate a lot of my things, but I feel like I don’t make the best use of them either. I’d love a less cluttered home and life, but I don’t want to waste anything. Here are my depth goals to appreciate and better utilize my possessions:
- Read the books we own — I am actually pretty good at reading the books that I buy and I use my library often. That being said, there are still a host of quality books that belong to my husband and to my parents that would be a great read. I am going to read from the stockpile of books already available to me in the house instead of buying more.
- Make a watch list of my DVDs — Last year I moved all of our DVDs out of their boxes and in to one ginormous DVD holder book. As I did, I realised that there are quite a few of these that I haven’t seen. I am going to go through them and make a watch list of them so that we will have something ready to go on our next movie night instead of trawling through Netflix for an hour.
- Rainy Day activities — Last week my daughter and I went through each room in the house looking for things we might enjoy to do on a rainy day. We found candle making kits in the loft, a dressing up box in Orla’s room, paint sets in the kitchen and lots more interesting things. We ended up with over 50 rainy day activities written down in a big list that we plan to work our way through this year.
- Use it up — I am making a commitment to use things up before buying more and this applies to everything but the things I am most guilty of needlessly stockpile are: make up, candles, bath products, crafts supplies and notebooks. I am not going to buy any more of these things until I have used up what I already have.
- Work through the cook books — For the last couple of years I have been working through the recipes in my cookbook collection. Every week I pick a new recipe, try it out and then write a couple of notes about the attempt in the cookbook. I really enjoyed this project and I am going to continue it in 2020. I think it fits in really well with my depth year because it’s using the books I already have to build up my cooking skills.
4. Spiritual:Psalm 1 talks about being a person who is like a tree planted by streams of water. When I think of my Depth Year in terms of my faith, I think of being planted; roots furthering their reach, seeking nutrition and strongholds deep in the earth. Here is how I am digging deeper with my faith in 2020;
- Work on character not activity — There is only so much time in the day. As much as I would love to I can’t spend all my day in ministry, prayer meetings and Bible studies; I’ve got work to go to, a kid to feed, dishes to wash. But what I can do is bring a godly character to those everyday things. In 2020 I don’t want to do more, but I do want to be more; be more patient, more faithful, more peaceful and kinder.
- Do the basics first — My basics are; read the Bible, pray and meet with other Christians. These are the things that help me feel rooted in my faith. When I keep these things going in my life I feel more connected to God, when I let them slip I soon feel disconnected and dissatisfied and more easily overwhelmed by life’s struggles.
So these are my Depth Year goals and ambitions. I have no doubt that it is going to be a challenge and I am not likely to meet all of these goals, but I am confident that these goals propel me in the direction I want to travel in. It’s the direction of simplicity and gratitude. I am looking forward to travelling the way and reporting back on the journey.