She’s Got Goals

At the beginning of 2017 I set out a list of goals for myself to achieve by December 31, 2017. In working towards these goals I have learned a lot about myself. At the top of the list, I have learned that I have great ambition but sometimes I just do not have the hours in a day/week/month/year to achieve everything. Sometimes I do not have the tools to do everything. Earlier today I was part of a 90-minute session on strengths-based leadership. Forcing myself to think about my strengths and how they interplay with others strengths. As I sat at my desk this afternoon, I started thinking about those goals I had set for 2017 and where I stood with them. So, following are some of my goals that really taught me something, and how I have been working towards them. Most importantly, this post is a post about how I have learned about myself and my role in life, not just how I made a plan and some follow-through.

Finish Writing a Novel

I have not started. Fortunately, even though I listed this at the top of the list, I had always planned to participate in NaNoWriMo and begin brainstorming on November 1. I am very eager to get started with this tomorrow. I had originally planned on using my blog posts as a means to practice writing daily, and when I remember, I still do. However, I found that for a while over the summer writing just wasn’t interesting me (nor was reading), and it became a chore. Therefore, I had no posts from July through September. I still have drafts of posts that I promised, and I still promise you that they will get written.

Run a marathon

I registered for the Kansas City Marathon in May and I switched my registration to the Half Marathon the night before the race. Although I had a training plan and I had been running, I stopped finding the joy in running. I stopped caring about how far or how long I ran and only cared about when it was over. For many of you, that may be how you run. However, I love running. I love the feeling I get from the power of my own two legs. I love the strong calf muscles. I love the strong lungs. So, for me to be having legitimate anxiety about running a race I knew something was wrong. There were a lot of people (mainly people who had not run a full marathon before) who told me that I could do it. One day, I finally sat down with myself and realized that most everybody I know who had run a marathon was oddly silent. I realized that a lot of the people I talked to had run half marathons, but never full marathons. I realized that it just wasn’t my time to run a full marathon.

Now, for the fun part. I ran a half marathon in 3 hours 7 seconds. I walked on all of the uphill stretches in the second half of the race because I was just burnt out. My stomach was full of powerade and water, it was a little bit warmer than I would have liked, and as a slow runner anyway, I was surrounded by walkers for the majority of the race. But that was totally okay, because it meant that when I was running I was giving it my everything. I finished only seven seconds slower than what I wanted my maximum time to be. I walked away feeling proud, a bit sore (because 13.1 miles on concrete is a lot harder on the knees than I realized), and ready to run another (lets be honest, several more) in 2018. Maybe one day I will do a full marathon, but for now I love that I love to run, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Live healthier every day

This one had several sub-goals. I am going to include one thing that was not a sub-goal and one that was. First, there were a couple of weeks in October that I stopped consuming alcohol. One night I was drinking a beer I didn’t even like because it was all I had at home and halfway through I just stared at it and wondered what the heck I was doing. The next morning, I saw a post on Facebook reminding me that Sober October exists, so I tried it for a bit. I told my friends, and they were all really supportive. I think only one person asked if I was pregnant! But ultimately, I just needed to figure out why I felt the need to drink. At the same time, I wasn’t sleeping well, I was tired literally all of the time, and I just wanted to give my body some recovery time. Since then, I have only had alcohol I legitimately enjoy (red wine) and I have not felt drunk at all. While it still makes me somewhat uncomfortable to be confident in saying that I stopped drinking in excess given the environment that I am in, it also makes me really proud to know that I am keeping poison out of my body.

Second, the thing on the list, decrease my resting heart rate to 71 bpm. Why 71 bpm? Because I have a heart murmur and for as long as I can remember, my heart rate has been over 75 bpm, even when I was playing sports. I honestly did not think that I would be able to drop my heart rate below 70. Well, I am proud to say that 64-65 bpm is now a reality for me! Through hard work, a good diet (I would say low-fat, but I do not in fact know that that is the thing doing it), and exercise I have been able to surpass this goal.

Open a retirement account

So this one, I looked into it. I was totally ready to call somebody, then I needed a new car. So this is still a goal. If the money I could have put into a retirement account is the money I have paid towards my car loan, I would say that this goal has been successful. I still have plans to do this, and I recall actually telling my friend right after I bought the car that this was supposed to be my retirement money. In any case, I know the time to start saving is now, and once I feel like I have regained some financial security I will do just that. I hope that this will be very early into the 2018 year, and given that it is at the forefront of my mind I see that there is no reason for it not to get done.

Interactive portion

How are you doing on your 2017 goals? There are still two months left- over 60 days with which to work on achieving them, and another year ready and waiting to continue working towards them.


Published by She Got The PhD

A web-based soapbox of an Assistant Professor of color in Chemical Engineering; sharing my feelings on books, academia, and current events. I hope you enjoy reading :)

2 thoughts on “She’s Got Goals

    1. Thank you so much Phoebe! It’s really no different than setting resolutions when you break it down, but it seems so much more achievable this way! Goals are concrete, with milestones and deadlines built in. Often we don’t take the time with resolutions for that. Also, it’s spread out. So you aren’t trying five new things at once, improving your chance at success!!

      Liked by 1 person

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