With the new year fast upon us, I find myself contemplating how I have grown and changed over the past year. Since late September or early October, I find myself regularly pondering priorities. After all, the way we spend our time says a lot about the world we want around us.
A theme this academic year has been the number five. Upon my return to my assistantship, my supervisor and I talked about Steve Jobs biography, which she read over the summer. She talked about how having five goals is a more manageable than more, and more efficient than less. It allows one to have good balance between variety and focus.
This being said, the past few days I have thought a lot about what is important to me, and what I want to accomplish in the new year. I can tell already that this year is going to be one of significant change, between graduating and starting a new job and moving to a new place.
Without further ado, I would like to present the five priorities I would like to focus on. They are all equally important to me, so there really is little intended by the order.
1) Growing in my faith
This is like growing as a person. It never really stops. I’m very lucky to have some incredible men in my life who have helped me grow, who have been there to listen and ask questions and share. I have grown so much over the past year, and I look forward to being even more intentional about it than I have been before. I’m reading a book with one of my mentors, and very much looking forward to the discussion.
2) Building my relationships
The past year and a half I have focused more on accomplishing tasks than on building relationships. Being in grad school and managing a graduate assistantship feels like it has been a lot more about mastering skills and checking off boxes than it has been about getting to know people, one of the main reasons I chose this field. I want to get back to my focus of knowing and spending time with people. In undergrad, I spent more time with people than I did doing work. That being said, sometimes spending time with people was my responsibility for my position. I want to get back into that frame of mind. I love being around people, and hearing stories.
3) Working on my writing
I almost completely avoided this in 2012, minus a spike towards the end of the Spring semesters. One of my mentors has been on me a lot about not finishing either of my novels or writing any of my short stories or really doing much of anything, besides the blog. At the end of the year, I would like to finish a novel and a handful of short stories. Who knows, maybe I wil even have a .pdf sampler of my writing available for free download.
4) Completing my degree
After four years of high school, four years of college and (when complete) two years of grad school, I will finally reach a level of education which I am satisfied with – for now. I am so excited to be done with my masters, and super proud. To come from a low socio-economic status background, to be a first generation student and still have the opportunity to finish my masters degree is something that makes me super proud. I have to recognize though, that if it were not for my families support, my time at Hanna Boys Center and the amazing faculty and staff I was able to interact with at Sonoma State, I would not have made it this far.
5) Maintaining physical well-being
This has had increasing importance in my life over the past few years – I really began pushing at this in January of 2011. This year (2012) I have run more than any other year, lost weight, regained weight, tried being vegetarian (for about 14 days), and ran a 5k. By the end of 2013, I’d like to be able to say “I’ve run a 10k” and at the very least, “I’m signed up for a half-marathon.” I need to eat more green things and seriously consider what is in the products I am eating – my cousin Marisa has been an incredible example in this way.
All-in-all, 2013 brings a lot of opportunity and change. I will probably be a walking case-study for Schlossberg’s transition theory, but I am excited. I think having priorities as opposed to specific goals – though I have a few of those too – will help me guide my decisions, but provide an opportunity for deeper reflection on my development at the end of the year.