Happy New Year!
It is that time of the year when we feel energetic and set goals for the rest of the year. I do that each year as well. Sometimes, I achieve my goals, and sometimes, I learn something about myself. So, the outcomes are always good.
The goals for this year are a little tricky. I expect to finish my studies, hence a significant change in my lifestyle. This makes the future too blurry. But I will try my best to set directions. Let’s see what I plan to do this year!
The goal here is simple. Finish my Ph.D. I have finished writing one draft of my thesis and plan to defend it by the summer term. The process is straightforward: My advisors will review the draft and suggest changes; after a few iterations, we finalize the thesis; we pick the committee for my defense; I present my thesis to them and answer their questions; and hopefully, they approve it.
The goal here is to get a full-time job. I consider postdoc positions temporary jobs equivalent to internships (because of the low salary). While I may accept a postdoc position as a backup, I want a full-time position in industry or academia. I might take a break after I finish my Ph.D. before I start working.
This is a new direction I want to intentionally move towards. Many books I read last year emphasize emotional awareness and intelligence. A lot of our decisions and behavior are guided heavily by our emotions. Our ability to detect them (in real-time) and act on them can bring high benefits. A higher level of emotional intelligence would involve identifying the other people’s emotions in the scene.
Many things can help improve emotional intelligence. I have been writing a one-line story of the day (like a mini journal entry) on my daily tracking sheet. This has helped me a lot. The next level is to identify emotions right when I am feeling them. I will use the feelings wheel (a richer vocabulary of emotions) to track them. I will try to hit each emotion in the wheel at least once. I know that I will feel each emotion over the year, but this goal is about identifying them.
I considered writing a journal daily, but I don’t think I can sustain that. I will instead stick to the one-line journal for each day and write a more extended entry at least once a month.
This year, I plan to publish about 30 videos. 15 videos on modern portfolio theory, 10 on MIP Solver Reading Club, and 5 on other topics (my research projects or something else).
Learning from the mistake I made last year, I will not set a goal on the number of books to read, but a goal on the number of days I read. I plan to read (or listen to audiobooks) for at least 280 days this year. This is now included in my tracking sheet.
The finance goals for this year are tricky. I don’t know where I will be working or my income. I also expect the interest levels to drop this year. So, for now, I plan to slightly increase my passive income from last year: 900 CAD instead of 800 CAD. But, I will most likely revise this goal when I get a full-time job offer.
I am happy with my goals and performance from last year. So, I will continue it. All I have to do is track the number of days I exercise and eat sugar. This year, in addition to sugar, I will also track the number of days I eat unhealthy meals. The benefit of this kind of tracking is that I still get to skip exercise, eat sugar, or eat unhealthy food. But I don’t overdo it. So, no FOMO. This makes it sustainable over the long term.
The goal last year of writing at least 20 blogs worked well for me. I will continue it. This number is neither too high to make the writing a drag nor too low for me to completely abandon it. So, I will write only when I am excited to share something!
If any of my goals resonate with you, please share them with me. I am curious to know your goals as well! Have a great 2024!
Video: Self awareness (Project Tenacious)
Quote: "Life is like an empty field. With intention, it becomes a garden, without it weeds and debris will take over. Something will grow either way, but it’s your choice what takes root." — John Steinbeck