I'm sure most of you remember when I set my New Years Resolutions, but I've noticed so many wonderful new faces around here that I thought I'd re-introduce this series. At the start of 2011, I challenged myself to develop meaningful New Years Resolutions in many areas of my life. To maximize my chances of being successful, I review my successes and failures at the end of every month.
+My first resolution is to finish up my masters degree. To do this, I need to prioritize my thesis and just get it done. March wasn't a very productive month for me with this so I am happy to report that I've finally made some progress on this front! I completed a rough draft of my discussion section (which is the final section of the paper) and turned it in to my advisor for review. Unfortunately, my advisor has been so busy so we haven't had time to meet about it. But, we have something scheduled for the week of the 16th. The first draft is always the hardest part for me, so I am hoping the subsequent drafts will go more quickly. I've also set up a meeting with the statistics wiz in our department, who also happens to be on my committee. I'm going to go over the analyses I did with him just to make sure everything is legit. So, in May I'd like to: meet with my advisor about my discussion section, finish a second draft of my discussion section, review my results to make sure I completed the analyses correctly, and finish the methods section. I also need to check with the graduate school to determine when I need to submit my thesis for format checking in lieu of my August degree conferral date (yay!!!!). And that just reminded me, I need to check with my committee members about their availability this summer so I can adjust my time-line as necessary. Ideally, I'd like to defend in the beginning of August. That gives me three months. If I am dedicated to working on my thesis I think this goal is achievable.
+My second goal for 2011 is to make time for my VIPs. I want to increase the effort I put into my relationships with family and friends in order to combat the nasty habit I have of putting school first. These last few weeks I've been holed up working on my finals, so I have priortized school over seeing my friends and family. I even had to miss a trip back to West Virginia, where my in-laws live, so that I could stay and get work done. Boo to that. Unfortunately, sometimes actually doing work is a necessary evil of graduate school. But, I did celebrate birthdays with two friends and Passover with my mom. Neill and I have also made sure to spend at least one or two nights a week together, where we both put our work aside and just enjoy the evening. This month coming up, I want to invite friends to get together and do some of the fun things on my summer in the city challenge.
Yes, in April we still had to wear winter coats and scarves in Chicago.
Me and my mama on Passover
+My third goal is to work towards financial security. Overall, we've shown awesome improvement in this area! We used our tax return to get ourselves out of credit card debt and it feels great! Now we are planning to put the money that was going to our monthly credit card bills to savings. As I mentioned last month, we are having a bit of a competition to see who can save the most money the fastest. The friendly competition has motivated both of us to shore up our finances.
+My last goal is to focus on being healthy. This has been the one where I've failed miserably this whole year and April is no different. It just struck me that I keep calling it my "last goal" month after month and I think that is telling of where it falls on my priorities. My thesis, my loved ones, and saving money have all come before being healthy (okay - and my love for food). The only positive thing I can say about this month is that I think I'm very close to hitting rock bottom. Every month I've been setting the goal to get back to the gym and eat more healthfully, but I haven't really wanted to. Now, however, I'm actually getting to the point where I want to exercise. So, my goal for May is to actually go workout when I feel the urge. I think I also might be interested in meeting with a nutritionist so I will also set the goal for myself to call my insurance and investigate my coverage. Next month, I'm going to switch up the order and report on this goal FIRST.
Reporting on my healthy goal has left me feeling down on myself. ::sigh:: But, I have to remind myself that everything on this list is in my control. I can make the month of May whatever I want it to be.
How was your April? Are you struggling with any of your resolutions? Any awesome successes you'd like to share? What are some things you are looking forward to accomplishing in May?