It is once again a new year, so it is time to reflect on the one just past and set goals for the one to come. I will try to keep this brief, but… well, if you read this blog, you probably know me pretty well, so you know that’s not terribly likely.
Bad Stuff from 2011
(Please note that this is in terms of personal goals, not the world in general. In general, my life is quite excellent, with little to complain about.)
- I didn’t finish my PhD. Technically, I’m on leave of absence now. However, I did make some good progress.
- I didn’t write enough. One of my goals from last year was to write more, and while I wrote a bit, I don’t think it was more. Unless you count Twitter, which are not the kind of words I want to write.
- I didn’t see the girlfriend nearly enough. I mean, we’re kicking ass with the long distance thing, because we’re awesome, but we’d both rather like some more in-person face time, rather than just Skype.
- I wasted a lot of time. I still need to break my internet time-wasting routines.
Good Stuff from 2011
- My teaching skills improved. I taught a couple of courses, and my evaluations were on an upward trajectory. I look forward to some day teaching courses directly in my specialty.
- I got a job. Admittedly, this came at the end of the year, but it is interesting and pays well and means I don’t have to worry about financial stuff for the foreseeable future.
- I read more stuff. Perhaps not as much as I would have liked to read, but I think I’ve made a good start at reconnecting with my love of reading.
- I ran. And hated it. There will be no epiphanies from me as I realize “I am a runner.” I am not. But I can do it, and it was good for me and improved my health. (Granted, I’ve let that slide over the holidays, but I’ll get back to some kind of exercise now that they’re over.)
So, in terms of last year’s goals, I more or less managed about half of them, with progress toward others. The only areas I really fell down were in reducing my time-wasting. Moving forward into 2012, I’m hoping that the absolute need to structure my life more will help on that front.
Goals for 2012
- Finish the PhD. I’m close now. I know what I need to do. And now that I’m working full time, I will have to focus and use the limited time I have available rather than goofing off. I will be ready to defend in the summer, and I will convocate in November. That is my goal.
- Get Healthier. While running in the winter doesn’t work for me, I’m going to try to get some more exercise of some kind. I’m going to go out and buy a scale to track my weight, and I’m going to avoid bringing a stash of junk food to work. I will wean myself off my snacking habits.
- Read More. I always want to read more. I should probably figure out how much I read last year, and strive to beat that.
- Write More. I need to get back in the saddle on writing. Maybe I’ll aim for 250 words per day as a minimum. Or to spend a half hour writing or revising something.
- Submit my Writing. I will finish some stories and submit them to magazines or anthologies or somewhere. It’s all well and good to vomit out first drafts and view that as “writing more”, but I need to kick myself in the pants to revise stories and finish final drafts and send them out into the world.
- Be More Social. I think I’ve fallen into a tendency to just sit at home, talk to people online, and avoid going out at all. This is helpful to my productivity, but probably not my sanity. I have to try and get off my ass more and go out and do stuff from time to time. (Now that I have an income, this includes the possibility of seeing the girlfriend more, though now I will be constrained by vacation time rather than finances.)
And so that’s my plan for the year to come. Mostly the same as last year. The nice thing about a lot of these is that they can never be “finished” (except for the PhD), so any progress toward them is a good thing.