Wellness, Productivity, Balance for Graduate Students and Beyond

19 before 2019 - or the magic of goals to reignite your motivation!

I love goals and I love New Year's, but I also love the push of a deadline. So the last few years, I've taken time out in the second half of the year to set a list of goals to finish before the year is through. I find that by mixing fun things, professional things, and life goals, I get a boost of focus and excitement when I'm dragging with "not quite the end of the year, but not really the middle either" energy. 

You don't have to wait for a significant day to refocus yourself. You don't have to wait for a new week, or new month, or new year, to make plans for what you want to do next. If you find your motivation and clarity waning, take a few minutes and make a few goals. Imagine where you want to be when the next milestone hits, and make some goals to get you there. Let the new clarity and excitement carry you through when the motivation seems to have gone on holiday. 

And to spark your thinking, I'm sharing my 19 goals I want to accomplish before the clock strikes 2019!

  1. Run a 5k without walking. I recently completed my first 5k race, but I walked quite a bit of the time. So my next goal is to train and run one without walking at all! 
  2. Take my 100th barre class. I've been going to a barre class off and on since early spring, and have really enjoyed the classes. I want to hit my hundredth class before the end of the year! (and hold a 90 second forearm plank too!)
  3. Learn to knit in the round. Dangerously, a beautiful independent yarn shop has opened up down the street from my house and I marched myself down there before they were even fully open to buy some yarn and my first needles. I've been working on various stitches but only in rectangular pieces - so my next goal is to learn how to knit in the round! 
  4. Grow fall vegetables. I meant to do this last year, but time got away from me. But as I harvest my first crop of successful carrots this month (hooray!) I'm going to replant some fall greens and root crops to take advantage of the cooler weather and feed my need for kale. 
  5. Complete my 50 book Goodreads challenge. I've been making good progress (28/50) but I need some good snuggly weekends with cats to really knock this out of the park. Bring on all the crime novels!
  6. Redesign my website. I think it's time for an overhaul to make all my various projects and ideas separate but unified, plus space for all the exciting new things coming soon!
  7. One family fun day a month. My husband and I are still relative newcomers in our city, so I want to plan one day a month where we unplug and go exploring. 
  8. 30 days of meditation IN A ROW. I'm very good about being mindful during activities, but I have just NOT been able to figure out seated meditation. So I'm hoping that making it a goal will make it stick, finally!
  9. Write a piece of creative non-fiction. As I get more and more comfortable with my writing, I want to reach out into new genres and stretch my voice.
  10. Launch the Thrive Planner. After a few months of beta testing, revisions, and research I'm on track to launch a Thrive PhD planner for 2019 (both digital download and printed product!) Stay tuned!
  11. Write a book proposal. I've got a book idea kicking around, so one of my big goals is to write up a proposal and see where I can take that!
  12. Plan first in person event. Although I have a few clients locally, I see almost everyone virtually - and it's time to shake that up! I've got big plans for an in person event, and I'm excited to try and make it come through.
  13. Streamline business tools and systems. I'm always looking to streamline and make sure that I'm using the best systems possible for both convenience and cost. I've got a few trouble spots to smooth out!
  14. Invest in our home. Not necessarily a money goal, but I work from home and we (duh) spend a good deal of time here. We basically unpacked in a blitz two and a half years ago and just put everything in a trial spot. It's time to optimize and personalize (and maybe paint!)
  15. More regular connection with friends and family. I want to schedule time to reach out - text, in person, snail mail - to keep up relationships with family and friends near and far. 
  16. Meal prep. I eat so much better when I've got easy options to grab in the fridge - and I really enjoy batch cooking, so it should be a no brainer. But I do have to work and save time on the weekends to make this happen, so that's why it's a goal!
  17. 30 day streak of morning pages. I have been loving for my morning pages, and I really want to complete a 30 day streak of freewriting 750 words every day! The difference in my mental clarity is amazing after only a few days at a time, so I'm excited to see what a 30 day streak would do!
  18. One afternoon blocked off a week for professional development. Just when I was a grad student, there is so much coaching and grad student development literature and learning to keep up with. I want to block off one afternoon a week to focus on broadening my experience, reading, and literature base in the field.
  19. More self care. This is my eternal goal, but I find that raising my self care game only raises my overall life quality. I want to focus on regular exercise, good sleep hygiene, and more creative/fun time in my days. 

Here's wishing you a great run up to 2019 - may you have all the motivation you need to get where you need to go!