Typically, the start of a new year means a list of resolutions. However, I rarely stuck with any of my resolutions in the past, partially because I quickly forgot about them or I was frankly too lazy. This year, I decided that my new year’s resolution was going to be change! I didn’t want to put constraints on what I could accomplish and end up feeling guilty later on. Therefore, I slowly started to incorporate small, manageable changes into my everyday life over the course of the month. I always find it fascinating to see the improvements that other people make to inspire myself, therefore I decided to share some of mine with you!
- Scheduling my evenings: One of the biggest changes in my personal life has been taking advantage of my evenings whenever possible. I used to just end up watching TV most nights, but I decided carpe diem was my new moto! So as a way to motivate myself to be productive at home, I began writing down a list of items I wanted to accomplish that evening on a sticky note and cross them off as I went, and try my best to get through most of the items. I write down anything from scheduling in gym time to working on my blog.
- Making time for being healthy: I have
decided to really try making going to the gym a regular part of my schedule. I am making it more manageable by setting a goal of going 2 times a week, as well as my sticky note system for keeping me accountable. So far so good the last three weeks! I have found in the past that when I start going to the gym consistently I also tended to eat healthier foods. Which was going alright, until the Super Bowl happened, haha.
- Reading for pleasure: I recently went to a local thrift store and pick up a few books that I thought were interesting. I personally find bookstores overwhelming, but at the thrift store I was able to get a whole box of books for $5 making the selection process stress-free. I am also taking time in the evenings to read either right before going to bed.
Academic (PhD research)
- No more classes: I can’t believe I am saying this, but I am actually done with classes after 18 and a half years! This will be my first semester doing full time research, like a real job! I am looking forward to making some serious progress on my research and being able to treat my PhD research like a real job. I haven’t started to miss classes yet, but I have realized that I enjoy them for the pure gain in knowledge. If you are still taking classes, enjoy it while it lasts!
- Plan those experiments: One of the changes I wanted to make about how I did my experiments was to be more methodical in two key ways. The first major change was thinking through each set of experiments and the measurements I wanted or would need later on. The second change was planning the experiments by making myself a word doc with tables of the solutions I needed and a checklist for my procedures. I also calculated a head of time the volumes and masses of all the components I needed to make those solutions. This has made my experimental life so much easier and better, because I can just zip through my experiments the next day. I am slowly getting better at thinking more methodically, but even now I realized in hindsight what I missed or what I should have done differently. But it’s a learning process.
- Blogger Blogging: I had started my blog a year ago and I was excited share my thoughts and ideas with the world. I was gung-ho in thinking I could write posts every week, but I was quickly brought back to reality when I realized how much time, effort, and dedication it took. I also, I over thought my writing. The more I over thought, the less I wrote until I practically stopped all together. I started writing more consistently at the end of November. I am trying not too put too much pressure on myself as to the frequency of the posts or being too critical with myself. But I do want to write posts more consistently and improve my blog. I started the month by coming up with a list of topics I wanted to write about throughout the year as a way to prevent writer’s block. This time around I understand what it takes to run a blog and I am confident I will be able to bring more exciting content to
The Graduate Perspective!
- That Instagram Life: When I started my (blog) Instagram, I thought people just grew their following by posting more pictures and waiting for the likes and follows to roll on in. In hindsight, I realize how naïve that sounds. A friend of mine who works in the digital marketing world had told me that in order to increase my Instagram following I needed to interact with my audience and used thoughtful hashtags. It was not until I listened to these two podcasts (Side Hustle Pro (highly recommend) & The Influencer Podcast) that it finally clicked and made so much sense. So now I am not so worried about my follower growth and instead focusing on interacting with my community of graduate students and fashion lovers as well as bringing more relatable content through my Instagram posts and stories. As proof-of-concept, I was able to grow my following by 80 in just over two weeks (no bots, promise)!
All of these changes did not happen overnight and many of them have not yet become easy habits. I hope I can continue with the changes I have made throughout the year as well as make more positive changes in the future. Changes and actions speak louder than resolutions. I hope this post has given you some inspiration to make the changes to enhance your life or if you have not started your new year’s resolutions, that you realize it’s never too late.
I would love to hear about the changes you have made in the first month of 2018? Comment below!