Another new year, another round looking ahead at the year and setting goals for what I want to accomplish and who I want to be. I truly love this time of year.
Having now gone through the process of setting and blogging my new year’s goals for about five years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019), it’s become obvious what types of goals are important to me. Every year, there are things I want to write, things I want to learn, health and exercise-related goals, and personal projects that have stuck in my imagination. Every year, it’s a bit of a challenge and a negotiation to figure out how to keep pushing myself forward, and how to make sure I don’t just keep setting and failing at the same goals.
Here are my plans for this year.
Relaunch Grad School Uncovered
I initially launched this blog series almost two years ago now, as part of a course project, and I’ve always intended on keeping it going and adding more profiles. I even did additional interviews, but haven’t yet written them up and pressed publish. This is going to be the year! For the series to be robust, I think it needs at least 15 different profiles, and I’m determined to get there by the end of the year.
Write an e-book
This might be a little bit mis-titled; it’s very unlikely that I’m actually going to put together an e-book. However, I want to start writing about the process of designing our online orientation program, and what I’m learning about online learning through my graduate program. In my mind, the collection of posts I’m envisioning could come together as an e-book, so that’s what I’m calling the goal. It makes sense to me!
Write 1 personal post per month
A lot of my writing time over the next year is going to be taken up by graduate school, and the two above goals. But I want to ensure I also spend time writing about other things that matter to me, whatever they may be each month.
Write for 15 minutes every day
You may have noticed that the above goals all require a lot of, well, writing. Way back in 2014, I consistently wrote for 15 minutes a day for months, and I produced more writing than probably any other time period of my life. I want to bring that back. This is a goal I’ve failed at may times (probably every year since 2014, really), but I determined to try again. Caveat: I know that EVERY DAY isn’t realistic; the real goal is never to miss two days in a row. Then I’ll have at least a 50% success rate!
Journal every day
Life is just better when you’re journaling. It allows me to process and work-through situations, and I love reading through the documentation of my life. Plus, I’ve been writing in the same journal since, like, 2015 now and haven’t managed to fill it. And that’s just embarrassing.
Read 52 books
This goal is a staple on my list every year, and one I almost always manage to achieve. Figuring out how to balance grad school readings with for-fun readings is a bit of a challenge, but a necessity since I refuse to give up my novels!
Join a book club
Joining a book club has been a dream of mine basically forever, and this is the year I’m determined to make that dream come true. What could be better than talking about books with other people?!
Complete 2 online courses
I know I’m in graduate school, but that doesn’t mean I’m not continuously interested in the online courses I see popping up. I completed two in 2019, and I’m hoping to find time to do the same in 2020.
Read one chapter of a work-related text weekly
I have seven books on my bookshelf that are work-related, and that I bought because I really wanted to read. But because there a bit academic-y, they live on my bookshelf, and I never make it past the first few pages. Sitting down to read the books in their entirely has proven to be too large of a task, but I’m hoping to be able to take them on bit by bit this year!
Complete the Hootsuite social media training
This has been on my list of things to do forever, and I just want to cross it off.
Present at CACUSS
Despite the fact that I’ve been actively involved in CACUSS forever, I’ve never had the chance to attend the conference, meaning I’ve also never presented at the conference. My name is on a few different proposals that have been submitted, so I’m keeping those fingers crossed!
Do you ever look at other people’s writing and think: “how do they make it so fancy?” I do, all the time. I want to be able to make pretty posters, labels, and whatever else I want. I’m pretty sure I bought a hand-lettering course years ago (I honestly don’t even remember), and now I want to put it to use!
Volunteer 25 hours
Sometimes I’m so busy living my life that I forget to be a part of my community. For the last few years, I’ve set this goal at 100 hours, and always failed miserably. I’m hoping setting a more attainable number means I’ll actually get out there!
Develop a CACUSS competency self-assessment
For the past few years, I’ve been a part of CACUSS’s Professional Development Committee, and we’ve slowly been inching toward creating competency-based resources. This is the year that a final product is going to be put out into the world; we’re determined!
Run 8+ activities with the Graduate Student Network
Near the end of 2019, CACUSS approved the creation of the Graduate Student Network, and I somehow became a co-chair. This is going to be a year of growth, but our little leadership team is excited to hit the ground running, and has LOTS of ideas to put out into the world.
Health & Wellness
Train for and run a Spartan Race
A few times over the past few years, I’ve participated in for-fun obstacle course races, and it’s been a whole lot of fun. This year, I want to complete an actual Spartan Race… and the only way that’s going to happen is if I train for it, because while the running part is likely fine, anything that requires arm strength is 100% not!
Pass Star 1 and Star 2
Despite the fact that I’ve been skating since I was five, I’ve never competed or tested. You’ll have to ask my mother why not, because I have no idea. Skate Canada testing has changed a lot over the years, but passing Star 1 and Star is the goal this year. Competing can stay in its untouched box.
Start training the axel
I feel like landing an axel has been a goal of mine forever, and yet, I don’t ever even practice it. Landing an axel seems like a goal that may or may not be in my control, but practicing it I can definitely do! Heads up, this is a terrifying goal.
Find other adult skaters
Skating can be lonely, and I’d love to make some friends to share the ice with. Someone needs to get me out the door and onto the ice for those public skating sessions! Plus, I need folks to commiserate with.
Start a swimming habit
I want to, at least for a short period of time, take up swimming. We talked up my lack of arm strength up above (if you don’t believe me, challenge me to an arm wrestle and you’ll be embarrassed for me), and I feel as though swimming is a great way to work on that, while also building up my cardiovascular system.
Feel healthy and strong
This is a goal that lacks any form of concrete measurement, but it’s important to me nonetheless. For at least the last part of 2019, despite that fact that I’m active 4-5 times per week, I just haven’t felt that healthy or strong. While I’m no doctor, my eating, sleeping and exercise habits all aren’t that great. I think I’ve been able to get away with a lot for years, but it’s starting to catch up with me. So I need to find a way to chase it back.
Run 3 races
Ideally, I won’t feel like fainting during any of these races, maybe I’ll even train for them, and fingers crossed, I might finish a 10K in under 60 minutes, or a 5K in under 30 minutes!
Go on 10 hikes
I like hiking, and I don’t do enough of it. That’s the full story.
Add 3 new meals to the repertoire
Anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to food, I basically don’t like anything. This means I basically eat the same thing over and over again. It can get a little tiring, and sometimes I just stand in my kitchen not knowing what to make because I just don’t want any of those staples. I don’t even cook that often, but I’m hoping to find three new meals that I can make and enjoy this year. Suggestions welcome!
Take a multivitamin
Based on my diet, I’m probably not getting the nutrients that I need on a daily basis. I’m sure bloodwork could give me an accurate picture of what I’m missing, but since I don’t see that on the horizon, a multivitamin it is!
Launch a podcast
I have an idea for a podcast, and I want to make it happen. I have absolutely no idea how much work this entails, or how to make this happen at all, so this could be an adventure.
Complete 100 things project
I did this last year for the first time- tracked all the major and minor events and accomplishments of the year. It’s a way for me to make sure I’m actually doing new and fun things with my life, and a way to recognize that life is made up of the smaller moments, and not just the large accomplishments.
Develop a chore routine
My apartment is regularly a disaster, and because I don’t have a plan for doing routine chores on the regular, they build up and then become one massive, terrible project. As much as I hate cleaning, I love living in a clean apartment. I need to find a low effort way to make that happen. It can’t be that hard, can it?
Keep up with school
Balancing school and work and life is hard, and I feel like I’m constantly behind. I am constantly behind. I need to find better systems to integrate school work in, and better ways of holding myself accountable when no one else is going to. I like what I’m learning, and I want to be able to explore the topics fully, and this is hard to do when you’re reading and writing at the last minute.
My #oneword for 2020 is actually two words, and is very in line with my last two goals: Balance and systems. More and more over the last few months, I’ve found myself actively giving myself permission to take a break, to take a day off. Because I now always have schoolwork to do, this granting of permission is especially important. But it’s also important not to grant myself breaks simply because I want to procrastinate. I need to find the fine line between the two, and this is going to be the year. It has to be, or I might not make it to the end!