2020 Goals

Before I really get into this years goals I do want to revisit last year. Many of my goals are based on how I did with my 2019 goals so context is important. Last year I put my goals into the following categories: fitness, personal, relationships, nutrition, blog and reading. You can read my post from 2019 for all the details. I pretty much nailed my nutrition and reading goals. I wanted to make lots of smoothies and start eating less meat. I ended up going completely vegetarian at the beginning of May and I had fun making lots of smoothies (although it has been a while now!). I feel good about that and I think it was successful in part because I had very specific aims. For reading I wanted to read 52 books. I did achieve that goal although I had wanted to be reading one book per week and I don’t feel like I really did that. Some weeks were really great and others I did not read at all. I also feel like I did pretty well with my goal for my blog which was to figure out what my goal really is and make sure it is an enjoyable thing for me to be doing. I also wanted to post three times a week which I did not do consistently but I feel pretty good because I took a couple months off, blogged everyday for a month and figured out what I really want to be writing about.

My personal goal was not super specific which is why I think I struggled. I do think I am in a better place and am really enjoying my home life. There were some big changes liking Aiden moving out and getting Hazel (our dog) that were all so positive! For my relationship goal I really think I could have done better. I still don’t feel like I prioritized relationships and I did not send letters like I wanted. And then there is my fitness goal… I also feel like I really could have done better with this. I did pretty well last spring but once I started traveling I pretty much stopped working out for a few months. I do think I walked almost everyday but I don’t feel like 2019 was very fulfilling for me on the fitness side of things. Overall I do feel good about what I have accomplished and am excited for a new year!

Just to preface a little I am trying to make my goals as specific as possible because I am better at achieving them when I know exactly what it is I need to do. I also am not necessarily doing the same categories but I do want to improve on the ones I struggled with last year.

Cooking: While I do think I eat pretty well I have not made cooking a priority. I want to learn how to make good meals and make more of an effort especially during the week. Specifically I want to make at least 30 different dishes and for breakfast, lunch and dinner have five solid meals that I could make with no recipe.

Writing: This is another new goal for me. I really love writing but do not prioritize it at all. This year I want to spend time every week writing both for fun and for work (separately). I would include my blog on the fun side of this but I also enjoy writing stories. My goal is to have written two short stories that I am proud of, and to have 150 pages of ‘fun’ writing done. I also want to spend at least an hour per week writing for grad school.

Personal: Since this has been a hard one I want to give myself three things that I am going to focus on for the year. I want to meditate six-seven days a week. It always helps me feel better and I want to make it a part of my routine. I also want to write in my five minute journal every day. I have been very sporadic about it but it also helps me remember who I am and what I want to be doing every day. The final goals is to see a therapist a couple of times. I think seeing a therapist can be so good for everyone! There is nothing wrong with it and I have not been while in grad school so I am feeling the need to go again.

Relationships: This was another goal from last year that I don’t feel like I achieved. Specifically I want to say yes to social events more. Specifically once per week. I sometimes get so caught up in work and other projects that the social aspect of life falls to the wayside. The other thing I want to do is be better about keeping up with friends and family who are not here. I want to call my parents and siblings once a week. I also want to call a friend at least once a week. The other goal I have is to visit at least one friend who lives outside of Utah/Colorado.

Exercise: I mentioned I had a fitness goal last year and felt like I did progressively worse throughout the year. I am going to make it a little more manageable. I want to get outside six days a week (for at least 30 mins!). I also want to go to three classes per week when I am in town. For another specific goal I want to complete a 30 days of Yoga with Adriene every season (so four total). I terms of keeping myself accountable I am going to try to plan out my workout schedule for the week on Sunday so I know exactly what I am going to be doing.

Grad School: So I do have separate goals for work/school that are very specific so I don’t usually include them here. I wanted to this year since I am going to take my comprehensive exams in August. I want to spend several hours per week, starting in March, preparing.

I would love to hear what you all do to stick to your goals every year! I am going to try to post updates on my progress every season in order to keep myself on track.

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I hope you are having a good start to the new year!

❤

Erin

5 Things I Learned from My First Year of Grad School

It is Sunday night and I am at my friends house in Vermont. I have been trying for days to brainstorm ideas for today’s post and I have not had any that I felt passionate about. What I realized is that I spend so much time thinking about grad school and stressing about work. I have been actively avoiding the subject since it has been hard for me lately but sometime the most important thing to do when something is hard is face it and talk about it. Instead of updating you on where I am right now with everything I though I would list the five most important things I have learned from my first year (and a few months) of grad school.

  1. Stuff happens. The unexpected happens a lot and the worst case scenario happens way more then I thought it would. The thing I have learned from this is that the best way to handle it is to recognize it, deal with it and move on. Rolling with the punches is a must and finding a solution to an unexpected problem has been a part of my job. It does not help at all to stress about it and overthink it a ton (which I have spent lots of time doing).
  2. Don’t say yes to everything. This is by far the most surprising point for me on this list. I was the ‘say yes to everything’ person in college and that was a great strategy for me since I was able to do so many amazing things. Now if I said yes to everything I would really be struggling. In fact, right now, I am limiting what I say yes to and still feel completely overwhelmed. A few weeks ago I had to drop something since I realized that I was way over my head and I did not feel like I was doing anything well since I had too much to do.
  3. Have a life outside of school. Having both a family and a hobby are so important for staying balanced and sane. I am so used to being around people whose jobs are their hobbies and vice versa (that seems odd but I had quite a few professors in undergrad who truly loved their jobs and spent a ton of time going above and beyond a day job). While I am happy for those people and look up to them, I am the kind of person who needs other things in my life. I want to do other things. I also think that regardless of whether or not you need a hobby you should have a work life balance that consists of people you care about. Ever since Aiden came out to Utah I have been way better at this but am by no means an expert. I am still struggling a ton with this one.
  4. Make friends outside of work. While I love my lab and everyone in it I have been learning how important it is to have other people in my life. I do want to talk to my co-workers and hang out outside of work but it can be so easy to slip into talking about work. For me the lines definitely blurred and I am feeling the need to at least reach out some more to other friends.
  5. Try to focus on what you want to get out of it. In other words, what do you care about in regard to this job? This is definitely not always possible since there are many things you need to do for others in order to get where you want to be. I included this one though because I feel like I struggle with it the most. I always think about the expectations others have of me and what they want me to do versus what I want to be doing. I care so much about people and want to please them and for them to be proud of me. I still think it is important to care about others but in grad school I am learning that the biggest motivator is your own desire to do certain things (i.e. care about your research). Not only that but it is about creating your own research. So build off of other people but the most important thing is do what you want to be doing.

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Thanks for reading! If you are in grad school or have had similar experiences with work I would love to hear about it.

❤

Erin