Some encouraging stats from 2021 – and goals for 2022

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12
– NC writer Derek Maul

This is the day I look back on 2021 and check the statistics. The numbers are interesting, and promising across the board. Health, fitness, reach, influence, even solvency(!) – it’s all good.

Numbers don’t tell anywhere near the whole story, but they do point to trends and they can serve as useful mile-markers along the journey.

The truth of this became evident to me one year when my book sales were disappointingly low. Poor numbers, yes, but I also received letters from people who had been so dramatically impacted by my writing that the entire trajectory of their lives had been transformed! One reader had simply read an old Guideposts article of mine they found in a used bookstore!

Breaking New Ground:

2021 broke new ground for this blog, as I passed the 180,000 views threshold for the first time. That’s an average of 15,000 per month, just shy of 500 every day.

I had not expected this because A) I felt 2020’s surge in numbers was an anomaly, and B) I lost a huge platform when Rebekah retired from WFPC in the summer.

It would be amazing if the thousands of people who read this space would occasionally buy a book. Only a couple of hundred would cover the investment I make in keeping this site ad-free (you’re welcome, BTW!).

(click here for my Amazon author site).

Health and Fitness:

As to health and fitness, my Fitbit has been tracking steps, and miles, and weight for the past five years. Here are a few highlights from 2021:

  • 3,000 miles walking; that’s a little more than eight per day.
  • 5,933,265 steps – that’s almost six million – an average of 16,261 each and every day or 113,000 a week.
  • Best of all I have maintained my weight goal of 165-168 pounds. I first dropped below 170 between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2019.

Additionally – and probably direct cause-and-effect vis-a-vis weight and exercise – turning 65 in 2021 came along with healthy scores for cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, and more.

Goals for 2022:

Obviously, I want to continue these positive trends. I am not retired as a writer, I am not setting aside my commitment to personal health and fitness, and my foundational sense of purpose is exactly what it has been for as long as I can remember.

My purpose, the essential reason I get out of bed every morning and look forward to each new day, is to live in such a way that I stand as a winsome invitation for others to “Live like they mean it” too.

Years ago, when I ended my teaching career and moved into full time writing, Rebekah gave me the following transformational word of encouragement. I had been concerned that I would not earn enough to “pull my weight” in terms of family finances.

“We don’t work to earn money,” she said; “we earn money so that we can do the work God has called us to do.”

This is a hugely important idea. Now, entering the year 2022 with a  potpourri of retirement income streams, the truth of her words ring with a new clarity.

– so much to anticipate in 2022!

God has work we are being called to do, and God will provide in every way. That means writing, speaking, purpose, opportunity, spiritual gifts, and – if need be – an uptick of interest in my Amazon author page!

Peace, blessings, good health, and joy as you engage the new opportunity that is 2022 – DEREK

(click here for my Amazon author site).


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