It’s already the end of December – time flies! It’s time for another quarterly review of my goals for 2017. You can find the three reviews here, here and here.
Start my new job
It’s almost a year ago now that I started my tenure track, which I am still sometimes finding hard to believe. Although not all things went as I planned, it’s been a year that I’m proud of. I’m not quite ready for a “one year on the tenure track” post (see a great one here though) but my main take-aways would be:
- Find mentors
- Create a system for getting things done
- Say no more often
- Take time off when you need it (it’s OK!)
Submit. All. The. Papers.
No progress here. I was feeling overwhelmed in the previous quarter and decided to drop a few projects, then concentrate on finishing up other important/urgent ones (grant writing and teaching) first. This was important and effective so I don’t regret it, but I will need to approach this better in 2018 – writing is the main focus!
My writing should probably take lessons from my blogging (see below). I am thinking about adapting the idea of weekly targets that I’m accountable for to writing – perhaps weekly reports with digests of papers I’ve read, and how much I’ve written?
Write a blog post every week
Going strong for over a year now! If only I could also do this with my other writing…
Read at least 1 book per month
Yes! Here are the latest additions:
I recommend all of them, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would be The Productive Researcher, because I imagine I would read it again in a few months.
I recently got a Kindle which increased my reading frequency… so in 2018 I might go for 2 books per month.
Bonus goal 1: Running
This is a goal I revealed only in part 2 of this series because I didn’t dare to write about it before. In part 3 signed up for 10K. Now I am happy to report I finished two 10K races, in 1 hour 8 minutes and 1 hour 5 minutes. It was a bit tough, but definitely something I plan to do again – perhaps under an hour in 2018.
Bonus goal 2: Finances
Another goal that I only revealed later – reducing my mortgage from six to five figures. I was successful in doing so without too much effort, so although it’s a big milestone, it’s somehow less satisfying. What I did find satisfying was tracking my savings rate (explanation by Mr Money Mustache), which is now 50% on average. This calculator tells me that with this savings rate I could retire in 17 years, but if I get it to say, 75%, this time is shortened to 7 years. Not really something I’m planning to do since I’m enjoying academia a lot right now, but it’s good to have options.
Bonus goal 3: Headspace
Following up on the tradition, here is another goal I had – and achieved – finishing ten packs on Headspace. I would have laughed if you told me a year ago I would be meditating regularly. Not that I don’t believe in its benefits, I just didn’t think it was for me. And it’s pretty hard. But despite being quite terrible at it (my mind has a hard time staying quiet), I do think it has been quite helpful. This is definitely one to continue in 2018.
Thank you all for reading along this year! Perhaps this would surprise people, but I have never set such goals before, or at least never written them down. This has been a helpful exercise, even though I didn’t achieve everything I wanted. I hope to improve my process in 2018 and hope you keep reading to keep me accountable 🙂