In December 2013, I made 3 resolutions. How did they pan out?
Goal 1. In 2014, I resolve to successfully make the transition from grad school into professional life. Specific Goal: finish PhD (everything must end) and if unemployed, at least make active progress on a job hunt (regularly send job applications, submit at least 2 articles for review, 2 book reviews).
Result? Hmm…just ooookay. I did not defend but I made considerable progress on finishing my degree and put together all of my job materials. I tiptoed onto the job market as an exercise and it jump started my writing. Having been forced to summarize my (still unfinished) dissertation in a job letter, I now have a general argument, contribution, and outline brought together as an elevator pitch AND a memo to myself for moving forward. I even presented at a conference! The monthly reminders from RemindMe were actually wonderful and motivating, but I just didn’t quite get to my goals.
Goal 2. In 2014, I also resolve to cultivate mindfulness for survival parenting. Specific Goal: develop mindfulness as a daily habit in terms of weekly journals, daily meditations, and an emphasis on acceptance and peace with the Here and Now.
Result? Great? I’ve been more self-aware this 2014 than ever in my entire life. There was very little malaise/anxiety after about month 6, which I credit to stabilizing hormones and sleep training. That being said, I wish I could have meditated more.
Goal 3. In 2014, I resolve to improve my skin tone. Specific Goal: develop Vit C serum habit and drink 2 glasses of water (each morning, each night).
Result? Great! I did Vit C for a while but then ditched that in favor of tretinoin, BHAs, reddit’s skincareaddiction board, and Korean skin care. I look pretty damn great for someone that hasn’t slept in 10 months.
What could I have done better? Why were the latter 2 goals attainable but not the first?
Make goals into simple, “no duh” actions. The skin care goal was so easy: drink water daily, put on vitamin C, wear eye cream. And now, I have great skin and a wonderful de-stresser, anti-aging routine. To cover “Mindfulness,” I penciled in my daily HabitRPG to “make a choice and be confident in it,” (which could be as simple as driving to Stater Brothers vs Sprouts market), “journal,” or just spend time with my husband. In contrast, “Get a phd” is not quite so simple. It should have been “draft chapter 3 by March” or something like that.
Build a buffer in the day for unpredictability. When sitting down in the morning to plan my to-dos and whatnot, I have a bad habit of writing down the IDEAL day instead of a realistic day. This being my very first year in parenthood, I vastly underestimated just how difficult and unpredictable life would be. I made some bleary eyed choices that did not help keep a work/life balance. So I need to build the crazy into the work plan.
Squeeze, streamline for more time. Honestly, the most basic thing is lack of time and then shitty time management once I get a break. One thing we’re experimenting with is split days (I get 1-4pm to work) and what is MOST beneficial is working with specific goals. I also need to automate much more in my life to save on ego-depletion. Luckily my mom gave me a slow cooker for Christmas so, we’ll get started on that asap. This household needs to be a better oiled machine so I can actually sit down and focus.