Much like my New Year’s resolutions, I don’t achieve most of my New Academic Year resolutions. The hope is that something good comes out of having goals even if the goals are not achieved. Well many of last year‘s goals were not achieved, but I did have a productive year in terms of presenting at conferences. I gave two conference papers, a conference poster, applied to two others (one rejection and the UHA which I’ll attend this October). With the understanding that most goals won’t be individual success but the hope that they’ll be an overall success similar to last year, I’ll set some goals.
If last year was about conferences (including organizing our HGSA’s conference), I want to make this year about my research. I have two potential articles that I’ve been waiting far too long to make into finished products. There’s also my dissertation proposal that’s preliminary scheduled for next spring and other digital projects that need finishing. Lot’s to do (but that’s always).
Getting my Life in Order
A couple of weeks ago I made a to do list for the day, on which one of the items was “Get life together.” Aside from making myself laugh, it hit one a key concern of this next year: structure. For basically my entire life school has been go to class, do homework, rinse and repeat. Now that I’ve finished coursework the only time commitment I have this year that requires my physical presence is the twice a week class for which I am the teaching assistant. The freedom that comes with working on my comps and dissertation also comes with the challenge of self-discipline.
Learning to Love the Morning
I’ve decided that part of giving myself the self-imposed structure necessary to survive this year is waking up early. I have never really been a morning person, but I actually do enjoy the mornings. The real barrier to being a morning person is having the motivation to get out of bed. If I have somewhere to be, I can get up and get ready, but if not, it’s usually a struggle. However, I think I’ve found something that will finally motivate me to get out of bed everyday. Bacon. Well actually Turkey Bacon right now, but it still has a similar sizzle and crunch. After neglecting breakfast for too long, I am finally making myself eat substantial breakfasts (the ultimate goal is to make it the biggest meal of the day). With the prospect of a delicious breakfast (and lots of coffee) awaiting me, so far I have been more successful than not in dragging myself out of bed well before I would have otherwise gotten up. A relax and enjoyable start to the day has helped frame the day in a very positive way that will hopefully mean better long term productivity.
Good luck with “getting your life in order.” That was something I had a lot of trouble with once I finished classes and it is something I’m struggling with again. I’ve found that making a weekly schedule on Sunday evenings has been a useful way of keeping me at least somewhat focused throughout the week. It helps me plan my time and is an effective way for me to unwind from the past week and prepare for the new one.