Update on 2020 Goals

Well this year has not gone how I envisioned it would when I posted my 2020 Goals post.

Who knew when I set out those goals that we’d experience a global pandemic, economic craziness, and start recognizing the systematic inequalities in our society concerning race.

Seek Healthy Lifestyle. Anyone else wait until about a week before the dentist and then start flossing in order to avoid the critical stares of the dental hygienist? No, me either. This one has been tough with working from home more. You would think that without a long commute that I’d have the extra time to walk, to row, to hit the half-finished home gym in the garage. I think Spring classes got the best of me and I was pushing working out to the back burner. Since then it’s been tough to get back into a routine of working out or even walking on a regular basis. Now that it’s full blown summer time with 95+ degrees most days, work outs are being restricted to what we can do around the house or just walking the dogs. I’d definitely give myself a C- in this category if I had to grade myself. Plans for improving here are to use the home gym 2-3 times a week, and try to walk 3-4 times a week as well.

Seek Knowledge. For the first time in many years, since taking an intro to sociology course or an intermediate classical Greek language course (yeah, that was a conscious choice), I was rocked by having a tough semester in school. I think it was as a combination of being spread too thin, not prioritizing my coursework, and the specific pedagogical approach (or lack thereof) of the professor. While I don’t want to shift blame at all, because it was definitely on me to learn the material, challenge myself, and hold myself accountable, it was made particularly hard by some non-orthodox teaching methods (or, again, lack thereof). Moving on…. I’m continuing to read for pleasure and for school. I’m trying to balance not only reading for pleasure and for school, but gaining some new coding knowledge prior to this upcoming school year. This is definitely spreading me thin, but I know that I can do it if I take small bites each day and each week.

Seek Scholarship. I’ve been able to submit a book chapter for publication, a journal article after revising it (and being moved up to 1st author after being 4th), and have several other scholarly projects in the works. So I’m well on the way (fingers crossed) to having four publications submitted (and hopefully accepted) by the end of the year. A huge thing I’ve done to stay on track is set up a Trello account where I can monitor all of the research projects and the various stages they’re in. (Check out Trello.com)

Screenshot of my Trello Research Board

Before doing this it was a huge waste of my mental space and energy to think about where everything was. Now I’m able to track the various projects, make notes, and keep some consistency in my research and writing.

Seek Service. This is an easy one for me. I naturally find myself giving of my time and energy to worthy organizations, such as the Financial Therapy Association, or the South Carolina chapter of the Financial Planning Association. Sometimes I’m too giving though, sacrificing other goals. This hit me big time in my schoolwork earlier this year. I’ve struggled with this – do I scale back, do I quit some service all together, or what? I’ve spent several hours reflecting on this.

Ultimately I’m going to incorporate some more time management and strategic planning to be more efficient with my service. This includes ramping up my use of my bullet journal (check out how I originally intended to use bullet journaling here). Now I’ll be talking more about this in a later post. But it’s already helping me track what I’m working on and be more deliberate with my time and energy, which I love. So hopefully I’ll be better able to balance service with my other goals throughout the rest of this year.

Seek Fellowship. Wow, this one took a hit, kind of. While my ability to casually drop in and chat with my colleagues vanished a few weeks after the original post (my 2020 Goals post), I’ve still been able to connect with my doctoral cohort and others who are involved in some of the same organizations. I made a shift though a few months ago – to try to be more focused on giving and receiving of the gifts of others. In the past I’ve focused a lot on giving to others. But this spring and early summer I definitely needed help from others, especially in my doctoral studies. I allowed myself to be vulnerable for a moment, and in that I received so much grace and support that I was amazed. I was really grateful for the support of some of my peers and friends that it reminded me what fellowship is about. The goal is to give and to receive, to be in close community with people you cherish and that cherish you. While it may not be needed at all times, they’re definitely there for you when you need it. And you should let them help and support you when you need it.

2020 is done, not by a long shot. There’s a lot of time left in the year to make mistakes, course correct, reflect on achievements, and to set new goals. Hopefully you’ll be there with me as I seek a deliberate life.

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