Each year, during the several-day lull between Christmas and New Years, I take some time to think back on the previous year and to plan for the upcoming one. I don’t imagine I’m a lot different than many people in this regard. I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions, mind you, but real thoughtful, strategic decision making about how I’m hoping to shape the next twelve months.
And then I share these thoughts…it’s sort of my accountability piece in motion. After all, when we let others know about our plans, we know we’re more likely to accomplish them. It’s certainly no guarantee, but it definitely helps!
So, here are my plans for 2014, both personal and professional:
1) Finish my Ph.D. – For a year, I languished in that post-Comprehensive Exams, pre-Dissertation phase, followed by a year (2013) pretty heavily immersed in my research. Now, I’m in the final stages of manuscript writing (and hoping to finish my rough draft in the next 10 days or so). So, #1 on my goal list is finishing up that major life milestone!
2) Continue growth as a college professor – In my third year of teaching at this level, I’ve truly found my passion in life. And yet, I am never satisfied with my teaching, always searching for ways I can better affect student learning and engagement. In 2014, I will continue seeking out new approaches to try and new manners for further strengthening those areas in which I already am seeing student success.
3) Volunteer coaching & consulting – A hallmark of 2014, I hope, will be my increased volunteer involvement with start-ups and non-profits. Too often, these organizations desperately need assistance in the areas of organizational and leadership development, but lack the resources to make that a reality. Rather than see these as money-making opportunities, though, I hope to offer up some of my free time to help these types of organizations make the leap to sustainable operations.
4) Increased writing – As I wrap up my dissertation and put that into my rearview window, I hope to spend more time and effort on my other writing. My blog-writing goal for 2013 had been 100 posts, and I accomplished that with 118 posts. Well, my professional blogging goal for 2014 is again to hit 100 posts. In addition, I hope to finish up my first novel, on which I’ve been working for about the past four years. Fingers crossed!
5) As a parent, I hope to thoroughly engage in interactions with both my daughters in the upcoming year. My oldest heads off to college in the fall, so this is my last opportunity to have her around full-time. And my youngest and I will undergo quite a transition ourselves in the fall as we learn to interact just her and I in the household. I’m tremendously excited for both situations!
6) On the health front, 2014 will hopefully mark another successful year in my life, with continued emphasis on my physical and mental health. I’ve mapped out my half-marathon series (8 races, plus two other equivalents), and I’m anticipating more yoga sessions each week. On top of that, there is the hope and plan to resume in 2014 the best stress reliever activity I’ve ever discovered – Skydiving!
7) And last but certainly not least, I’m looking forward to much more romance and relaxation with my partner, JoDee. She’s a truly incredible and inspiring woman, and I look forward to all our joint adventures in the upcoming year…traveling, reading, eating, and anything we do.
So, these are my top 7 priorities and plans for the upcoming year! What are yours?