Bad Blogger-February Goals

Wow, where has the time gone!? Obviously, I’ve let everything (reading, editing, writing, work, etc) get in the way of maintaining this blog and website. I admit it: I’m a bad blogger. But rather than virtually flog myself for this shortcoming, I’m going to just jump back on the proverbial bicycle and start 2015 with renewed vigor. Here are my goals for February!

Professional:

Try not to let job rejections get me down. Yesterday I received three new rejections, each stating something along the lines of how I was “a competitive candidate” but that they chose to go with someone “better suited” to the position. My friends and colleagues have reminded me not to take it as a personal attack on my experience or abilities, but to see it as the Universe telling me that that was not the right job for me. I hope they’re right. And maybe I’ll be able to enter the academic market in the Fall.

Continue to apply to any and all jobs matching my skills, interests, and abilities. I can’t let the rejections stop me from applying. And I need to learn to market my education and experiences in a way that show that while I’ve been in school non-stop, it doesn’t mean I don’t have applicable experience. This may require a serious CV/Resume overhaul and I desperately need to seek professional help.

Try to get one of my dissertation chapters published. I’m nearly done with the suggested edits to one of my chapters and I need to try to get that submitted somewhere ASAP. The worst they can do? Reject me. I have nothing to lose.

Academic:

Finish the edits to the three completed chapters. In this way, I’ll be all set to write the last two chapters, as well as an intro/conclusion, and be able to submit the entire manuscript to my advisor for the full edit. I strongly believe that if I can just keep my chin up and my motivation high, I can finish the dissertation in time for a Summer 2015 graduation. It’s ambitious, but doable. There’s honestly no reason I shouldn’t be done already. But I’ve let issues with my advisor and my own personal fear get in my way. No more. It’s time to buckle down and get it done.

Make sure I’m keeping tabs on my students and emails. I want to make sure that this, what may be my last semester teaching a class, is the BEST semester EVER! This weekend, I need to make sure that I’ve made my video introduction and have checked on their discussion posts.

Personal:

Get the dogs caught up on their vaccinations. With moving twice in the last 6 months, my poor pups are about a month overdue for their updated Bordotella shot. Also, we need to get them their annual heartworm test and set back up on Trifexis. Now that we’re more settled, I have the time to research vet offices more thoroughly (the last couple of experiences in the area have not been great) and find them their new, sole veterinarian office.

Date Kyle. My husband and I have been trying to save money and eat healthier, so it’s rare to find the time to go on a date that is both inexpensive and doesn’t involve a restaurant. I’m hoping to set something up, like a drive out of town to go hiking or a trip to Savannah, just the two of us. No phones, no distractions, no stress.

Finish Make it Happen by Lara Casey. This book, and Lara’s story, is incredibly inspirational. But it forces you to face your fears, acknowledge your mistakes, and challenges you to stop chasing perfect. At times, I shy away from this difficult task, but I make it my goal to finish this book this month.

Keep up with going to the gym. I’m paying for the gym membership, I better use it. I’ve done really well in the last couple of weeks, but this week, I really lost track. Tomorrow, I’m going to kick butt and get back into that gym. No excuses. It’s all about making a schedule and sticking to it, not letting my irrationality get in the way.

Same goes for meal prep. Again, I was doing really well cooking up all our meals on Sunday so they were ready to go. Since I had to wait, though, this week to buy chicken on Tuesday, it threw my schedule off and I failed to meal prep this week. I’ll be going to the grocery store on Sunday and making sure I have everything ready for meal prep (including lunches) this week. I’ll also make all of Kyle’s lunches on Sunday so he doesn’t have to go out for lunch.

Make time for phone calls. I’ve gotten better about maintaining more contact with friends and family via text/Facebook, but now it’s time to take it a step further. I need to make it a point to spend at least 15 minutes in a voice conversation with my loved ones. It doesn’t have to be every week, but it needs to be more than once a month.

Here’s hoping that I can manage everything while maintaining my sanity and a smile on my face!

April Goals

Academic:

Complete new suggestions for BNH Book Shelf categories-Now that I’ve talked with both Justin and Sam, I need to go ahead and finish creating a new list of categories for the Book Shelf, organize the current book lists under the new categories, and send them off to Justin and Sam for approval.

Daily Writing-I have a new mentor who is helping me with the writing process. She has projected a completion goal of all dissertation chapter drafts (no editing) by the end of the summer (July). To accomplish this, I must write at least 10 pages weekly (broken down into roughly 500 word-minimum daily goals).

Launch my summer class page-I need to make sure that I have all the components for the course set up and ready to go for the start of summer session in June. The earlier I get this done, the better.  I actually knocked this one out yesterday! Great start to the month!

Write up my Fall course syllabus-This will mainly be tinkering with a former syllabus, but I need to get it out of the way and ready to go for when the Carmen system opens up the Fall class pages for editing.

Personal:

Work out-I want to make sure that I incorporate even the smallest of workouts daily, whether that’s attending the gym for weights/cardio or a class, or doing something in the house like yoga.

Set aside relaxation time-I want to make sure that my dissertation goals, teaching, preparing to move again, and my BNH responsibilities don’t interfere with my ability to relax. Each morning I’ve set aside 1 hour of quiet time with my coffee. At night, I’ve set aside 30 minutes for quiet reflection. And on Sundays-no work!

OAH Conference-I want to make the most of my time in Atlanta. First, my friend Jen will be with me and we need some quality fun time. Second, I’ll be attending most of the job search/networking forums to get prepared for entering the job market in the Fall.

Update on March Goals

Academic:

Start editing the BNH Book Reviews Site–As a new member of the website BritishNavalHistory.com, my role is to re-organize and edit the Book Reviews section. Since it’s going to take a lot of work, I want to make sure I don’t bite off more than I can chew. My first steps will be to go over the plan with Sam and Justin via Skype and then get more comfortable with editing the page through WordPress.  I managed to speak with Sam and Justin and get a plan outlined for tackling the Book Reviews section. Lately I’ve been contemplating new categories and will be making this my priority for April.

Construct new chapter outlines–Now that I have new, solid direction for my dissertation, I need to write up a new set of chapter outlines not only for myself, but to send to my advisor so that she and I are on the same page. These outlines are nearly complete. I’ll be finishing them tomorrow and sending them off to my advisor. The next step will be getting back to chapter writing.

Join the Twitter #writingpact–I’ve seen several colleagues using the hashtag “writing pact” to keep themselves on point. This month, I’d like to start participating in “writing pact” and get at least half of my second chapter drafted. If I’m good, I’ll get the whole chapter drafted. I did not manage to complete this goal. I am adding it on to next month’s goals.

Write my summer syllabus–I need to get this written up (probably just an edited version of last summer’s syllabus) and get my summer books ordered. Completed.

Get my summer class page up and running–Once I have the syllabus edited, I need to make sure that my Carmen page is up and running for the students. The Carmen website did not have the summer pages ready to work on, so that is being moved to April’s goals.

Write my teaching philosophy statement–Since I’ll be entering the job market in the Fall, I think it’s high time I get my teaching philosophy out on paper. While it seems overwhelming, I’m determined to get a draft of it completed this month. Again, this was at the bottom of the priority list, so it is something I am moving to next month’s goals. I managed to reach half of my goals. Each month will get better and better.

Personal:

Get back to the gym–In the last couple of weeks, with lots of traveling and friends visiting, I’ve fallen off my workout routine. I’ve decided that rather than sticking to the rigid daily routine I was working on before, that I’m going to incorporate a lot more cardio activity and then stick with the weight lifting routines I can do without a buddy. I sort of accomplished this one before coming down with the flu. Now that I am recovered, it’s back to it tomorrow!

Spend more time with new friends–I only have a short time left here in Fayetteville, so I want to make sure I spend as much time with my new friends here as I can. I want to designate at least one day a week to social time (in person, not online). Had a few coffee dates this month!

Spend less time on social media sites–Aside from my duties with BritishNavalHistory and my academic work on social media, I want to spend less time checking my personal Facebook. I was somewhat successful with this goal. It’s a work in progress. But I did participate in Unicef’s program in which they donate water to people in need for every 10 minutes you spend without your phone. In just a couple of days, I spent nearly 20 hours without it.

Have one date night a week with my husband–This is a no brainer. The further along he gets in his program (and the more work I have to do with my dissertation), the less time we get to spend together. I want to designate one night a week to a no-study/no-school date-night. Getting him on board will be the tricky part. This one is still a work in progress as he prepares to move on to the next phase of his course.

Finish the two novels I started–I am most of the way done with both The Scarpetta Factor and Dust by Patricia Cornwell. I need to go ahead and finish both of them! Incomplete so far.

How did you do this month?

 

March Goals

Academic:

Start editing the BNH Book Reviews Site–As a new member of the website BritishNavalHistory.com, my role is to re-organize and edit the Book Reviews section. Since it’s going to take a lot of work, I want to make sure I don’t bite off more than I can chew. My first steps will be to go over the plan with Sam and Justin via Skype and then get more comfortable with editing the page through WordPress.

Construct new chapter outlines–Now that I have new, solid direction for my dissertation, I need to write up a new set of chapter outlines not only for myself, but to send to my advisor so that she and I are on the same page.

Join the Twitter #writingpact–I’ve seen several colleagues using the hashtag “writing pact” to keep themselves on point. This month, I’d like to start participating in “writing pact” and get at least half of my second chapter drafted. If I’m good, I’ll get the whole chapter drafted.

Write my summer syllabus–I need to get this written up (probably just an edited version of last summer’s syllabus) and get my summer books ordered.

Get my summer class page up and running–Once I have the syllabus edited, I need to make sure that my Carmen page is up and running for the students.

Write my teaching philosophy statement–Since I’ll be entering the job market in the Fall, I think it’s high time I get my teaching philosophy out on paper. While it seems overwhelming, I’m determined to get a draft of it completed this month.

Personal:

Get back to the gym–In the last couple of weeks, with lots of traveling and friends visiting, I’ve fallen off my workout routine. I’ve decided that rather than sticking to the rigid daily routine I was working on before, that I’m going to incorporate a lot more cardio activity and then stick with the weight lifting routines I can do without a buddy.

Spend more time with new friends–I only have a short time left here in Fayetteville, so I want to make sure I spend as much time with my new friends here as I can. I want to designate at least one day a week to social time (in person, not online).

Spend less time on social media sites–Aside from my duties with BritishNavalHistory and my academic work on social media, I want to spend less time checking my personal Facebook.

Have one date night a week with my husband–This is a no brainer. The further along he gets in his program (and the more work I have to do with my dissertation), the less time we get to spend together. I want to designate one night a week to a no-study/no-school date-night. Getting him on board will be the tricky part.

Finish the two novels I started–I am most of the way done with both The Scarpetta Factor and Dust by Patricia Cornwell. I need to go ahead and finish both of them!

 

Do you write monthly goals? If you do, I’d love to hear them!