The year is more than halfway through! How scary is that? If you want to be even more scared, check out this Twitter account, which gives regular updates on the percentage of the year already past. Anyhoo, less of the drama. This past quarter has been neither fantastic nor terrible. Here I unpack what I’ve been up to, as well as the changes I am making to improve things. Typing this up did make me realise all the things I have done though! I write these posts in the hopes of inspiring you to have a look at your own life and take on the rest of the year in a big way!
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Update on three big goals
Right, at the start of the year I set three big goals (one of which I have changed to something more measurable). These goals are linked to my health, research work and income. They are:
- Walk / run 2,018 miles (I used to track this with my Fitbit, now I have a clever Garmin thingy);
- Develop a methodology for a citizen science project in Rio and send to my supervisor;
- Earn £10,000 in extra income.
So am I halfway there (livin’ on a prayer?)? I have yet to “tick” any of these off, but I am making slow and steady progress. At the end of the second quarter (which was in reality a few weeks ago – but hey I was on holiday) my progress was as follows:
- I’ve walked / run just over 600 miles, which is about 30% of the total goal;
- I have written several literature reviews which will inform my fieldwork in Brazil, but not yet touched upon the practical methods;
- I have made £541.85 in extra income – mainly from teaching work at the university – which is about 5% of my goal.
Clearly there is quite a way to go! However there have been some wins which will hopefully lead to bigger gains later on.
- Signed up for the gym, which gives structure to my day;
- Ate vegan food throughout my stay in Amsterdam;
- Enjoyed the sunny weather by spending time outside;
- Cycling to Radley train station and back (when I go to campus);
- Exercised six times a week (several times);
- Went on a long walk and talked about our wedding budget;
- Went on long runs;
- Ran parkrun despite issues with knees/ankle;
- Ran a 10K a finished in under an hour;
- Went to “ladies lift” sessions at the gym (amazing!);
- Got a parkrun PB;
- Went to my first zumba class.
- Sent off citizen science in the global south literature review;
- Applied for funding for summer school;
- Started following a workday schedule;
- Sent off some key emails – my research presentation and my advisory panel date;
- Finished the Duolingo Portuguese skill tree;
- Went to useful Reading Researcher Development Programme sessions;
- Sent off my progress report (due every six months);
- Sent off citizen science in Latin America literature review;
- Had a positive meeting with supervisors, outlining next steps;
- Sent introduction to urban agriculture in the global south to supervisors;
- Planned my expenses estimates for fieldwork in Brazil.
- Saw an upturn in views on this blog;
- Created and automated a “welcome email series” (they’re four emails you receive – one a week – when you subscribe to this blog);
- Got website back up after it disappeared (!).
- Got a better handle on my schedule: making time for relaxation in the evening and weekends;
- Was of service to students in Amsterdam;
- Made time to enjoy doing things with Rob and family;
- Created a weekly inbox system to limit the madness;
- Went to a cognitive behavioural therapy group about low self-esteem once a week, which helped to figure out how I get in my own way;
- Applied for a council tax rebate.
- Prioritising exercise ahead of anything else;
- Tackling my inboxes regularly;
- Sticking to one hour of video games / series at a time;
- Forcing myself to get up in the morning, even if it means a nap later;
- Using a timer for completing tasks;
- Bright lights and screens off at 21:00;
- Continuing to stick to my schedule, i.e. stop working in evenings and on weekends;
- Washing face and moisturising to keep myself awake in the morning;
- Scheduling fewer Todoist tasks per day;
- Sticking to the plan I make (wake up time and work blocks) even I don’t feel like it;
- Relaxing a bit – not trying to control everything (ha!);
- Try to post things as early as possible for birthdays etc.;
- Asking people to not say unkind things;
- Focusing on getting a blog post out per week;
- Consistently reading at least one scientific publication every workday.
I’m tracking my goals for the upcoming quarter in a pretty and very visual way, check it out below! The “chart” lives right next to my desk and I colour it in every Sunday, based on miles run/walked, publications read, blog posts published, books finished and bucket list items ticked off, phew! How do you track your goals?
Please tell me how your first half of the year has been for you, and also what you would like to see more of on the blog in the comments below!