Goal setting for the year ahead

So it is week 2 before my official start date…and already I have become overwhelmed with the tasks ahead of me.

I have spent the better part of the last 3 days reading and writing all day (from 9ish until 2 ish with a break for lunch) and by day 3 I was going through the motions and feeling very drained. Meeting with my BB helped to put some of the immediate tasks in perspective, and lead to me mulling over my goals on the drive to pick up LT from school. After a long talk with my WH after dinner last night I came to some conclusions about myself and my work habits. These are things I already know, but tend to loose sight of when I get in a ‘study/work zone’ and a chat with WH usually clarifies this for me again. (After being married as long as we have been, we tend to know each others patterns of behaviours, and these chats do happen regularly for both of us).

So last night I got to thinking about this PhD journey that I am on, and that my family will be living with too. I decided I need to write down my list of goals and things I am involved in this year and how I will structure my ‘study’ and ‘home’ life. I was looking on facebook and found Home life Simplified blog, outlining a number of goal setting sheets to be of help for Deb’s 52 week challenge, and here is a link to the one I like the most and will use. I also reminded myself that this journey is as much about the thinking I do as the reading, data and writing, and that I need to give myself time to breath and think. Instead of overwhelming myself with ‘I need to read 4 articles today’, perhaps I am better to take one article to the park, read and highlight and think about it, and then write a reflection on it.  After all, this is a journey I am spending 3 years on…it is not a 6 week course. It is a journey that will give me skills to take the next steps in a rewarding and challenging career…it is more than ticking boxes and jumping through hoops (though they are important too).

One other thing I need to remember too is that this lot of study is different to the previous study I have done because I now have a family to care for as well as my study. I need to be constantly looking for balance and assessing, every week if necessary, how it is working and what I need to do to make it run better.

Tomorrow I plan to get some printer ink and set up my menu plan again, as I have let it slide over the holidays. I am thinking of scheduling in some meals for WH and LT to make, so I can have a little head space. I also like the idea of turning off technology for a time after school so I can spend quality time with LT, though as he is a bit of a techno kid, I will turn off my applications and email so I am not distracted in this time and I can play/help with what he wants.

I also want to keep blogging, and having two blogs is sometimes a strain. My goal here is to blog once a week, my other blog can be more sporadic as it is more of a hobby blog, and while I enjoy it, it can become a distraction. Here is where (if you are still reading) you may be able to help. I have been mostly blogging and publishing on a Sunday…but what day is best for a blog to be published do you think? With wordpress I can schedule publication on any day, so perhaps I should use this feature more too.

There are my thoughts for the last 24 hours….thanks for listening/reading! Until next week (on a day yet to be decided!)

Fiona

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deb @ Home life simplified
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 14:18:24

    I am so glad the blog posts have helped and you sound like you have a good plan in mind now. In general with blogging I find Monday – Wednesday to be peak time on my own blog, but also think you create a rhythm and it goes hand in hand. So if you pick a day and stick with it people who read your blog will see it each week as they know it is “your” day if that makes sense. (some say weekends are low but others find people are looking to relax with blogs on the weekend so i think there is no right answer)

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    • Fiona T
      Feb 09, 2012 @ 14:37:03

      Thanks Deb, for the support and the advice. I have realised that I generally write on a Sunday morning, coffee in hand and it is my relaxation/reflection time. Having said that, I could still blog then and just publish,say, on a Wednesday if that is most popular. Perhaps I am just creating a problem where there isn’t one, as I know there are different times every week when I look at blogs I follow.

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  2. Deb @ Home life simplified
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 14:44:20

    Exactly – it can get in your head – i say post when you want and stick with it. if you pick Monday or Tuesday let’s say people will either read it then or catch up later in the week. You are not posting 3-5 times a week where they won’t have time…

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  3. Shar
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 08:29:28

    Love your blog! I’m in a similar stage to you with the uni year starting very soon, and am going to spend this week focusing on goal setting and working out a rough schedule to maximise my on-task time and balance it with family needs.

    It doesn’t really matter to me what day you publish on, I like it being a set day though.

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    • Fiona T
      Feb 13, 2012 @ 08:50:32

      Thanks Shar. After having last weekend ‘off’ I think I will stick to publishing on a Sunday. I like a set day too. I love routine. I like the thinking/reflection time a usual Sunday morning allows. Of course, I can post more than once a week if I get really excited! All the best for your studies Shar, is is a busy time of year.

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