I do not usually make New Year's resolutions. However, I love the feeling of a new year. I love the possibility of change, renewal, and new challenges. It's a great feeling.
A new school year gives me a similar feeling. Even fresh school supplies get me psyched.
I used to be a religious reader of Goals! by Brian Tracy. It's funny, Tracy is a super corporate, capitalist dude, totally not someone I would expect to look up to. However, Goals! helped me focus and think about what I really want to achieve. Reading Goals! helped me with grad school applications and basically changed my entire life. It's a simple book with clear directions. Tracy asks you to create an inventory of yourself- your strengths, your weaknesses, and your desires. Then you have to clearly delineate your goals, writing them down and figuring out the next steps. While I am not quite done refining my goals I have found it helpful to write them out somewhere semi-publicly.
My Goals for 2017-2018
Finish the dissertation - This is the big one. I am going to finish the majority of my writing this academic year. My plan is to defend next fall. To achieve this I have a lot of smaller goals and tasks to complete. I have started breaking those down into smaller pieces:
Maintain regular writing schedule - Super key for me. In the past I have had a lot of trouble getting started. I basically have to force myself to write. Using Pomodoro Technique has been helpful.
Make weekly goals - Some times I have page minimums for the week, other times it is sections that I need fleshed out.
Check in regularly with advisor - This is sort of a no brainer. I need the accountability.
Submit to journals - I submitted to two journals this summer. Initially I was afraid it would take time away from my writing. Now I have seen that it actually helps my dissertation.
Read - I read to learn how to write better. I need to make sure I am keeping up with some of the publications in my field, even if it is just 15 minutes a day.
I have a bunch of more personal goals that I will probably explore in another post. School starts Thursday. Let's do this!