Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014: Reflections

Sunset in Santorini, August 2014

2014 was quite a year for me, most notably in terms of my professional life. I wrote a scholarly paper that will be published in the near future. I received a job offer in my field after completing a summer internship. I decided on the subfield that I will specialize in. Through it all, I had to spend a lot of time reflecting on what my long-term goals are and learning that sometimes, life happens and causes many of those goals to change. In terms of my personal life and self-growth, I learned a lot about what is important to me in my friendships. 

2015 is going to be another big year in terms of professional milestones. I graduate in late May, take a licensing exam shortly after, have some time to travel, and then I will start work in early or mid-autumn. There will likely be some major relationship milestones as well. 

I have had mixed success with some of my more abstract goals for 2014. For the most part, I did well with things like eating healthy food, exercising, and reading more for fun for a few months at a time before those habits suddenly dropped out of my life. A few of those things returned at the end of the year, but some did not. 

Here are some general things that I hope to work on in the coming year:

  • Stick to my budget. Once I graduate, I will have fairly significant student loans to pay off from graduate school. 
  • Be a more thoughtful consumer. This is mostly in support of my budgeting goals, though I would also like to think about the environmental and ethical consequences of consumption. I can't say that I anticipate getting very far with anything but the budget-related side of things, but my hope is that being careful about how much I consume will help with the other goals.
  • Read. I am much pickier about what I like to read now than I was a few years ago, given how much reading I have to do for work and school. Because of this, reading for fun definitely fell by the wayside in the second half of the year. 
  • Work on forming and sticking to healthy habits. This goes to both diet, cooking, and exercise. I enjoyed and quite liked the book Foodist by Darya Pino Rose of the blog Summer Tomato and will likely approach both the exercise and healthy eating goals using her suggestions. I can't speak for whether her suggestions are universally helpful and I realize that a fair amount of economic and other privilege is required. However I think her ideas are at least a good fit for a young student or professional living in a major city and cooking for one or at most two people at a time. 
  • Keep working on being "good." This is both in terms of always aspiring to be a kinder person and one who is open to learning about and understanding where others come from. There is also a component of public service. I will be entering a profession where public service and volunteering are relatively "easy" to do at work, and because that sort of work is important to me, I hope to stick to it and find ways to be more effective in that capacity. 

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