Friday, December 30, 2016

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Personal photo from a long weekend in Cape Cod.

2016. What a year. I was getting really exhausted at the end of it, for various reasons. There's some amount of fear and uncertainty when it comes to what the next year will look like in the world at large. In general, I'm feeling less chipper about things than when I wrote last year's New Year's resolution post.  

Looking back onto last year's goals, things were alright. Although my financial goals morphed a bit, I consider my work on them to generally be a success. I wasn't great about reading books this year, despite the ample time that I now spend on a commuter train every weekday. I'm often too sleepy in the morning and too mentally drained in the evening, and I haven't found many books that really captured my attention. I stuck to a nearly three days/week gym habit for almost the entire year, though there were gaps. I continued doing substantial pro bono legal work, at least another 80 hours for my months at the firm. It's easier to prioritize relationships with friends, family, and K in my current job, as I'm able to completely disconnect from work after hours. So on this front, things are pretty good. 

I have a few personal goals for 2017:
  • Continue getting my financial house in order. Among other things, my food budget is maybe a bit excessive, even for a NYC resident. I'd like to cut that down. There may be a few other categories where I can also reduce my budget, though identifying which ones will take some more analysis. I'm expecting a fairly substantial tax refund this year, which will hopefully allow me to come through the last few months of my clerkship (and its attendant pay-cut) without having depleted the emergency fund I accumulated in my first ten months at the firm. 
  • Get back into the reading habit. I miss reading! I have so much time on the train, and that would be a better use of my time than just mindlessly browsing on my phone . I don't have that many books that I'm excited to read at the moment, so getting started on this goal might be tough. 
  • Take more ownership of my work and hit the ground running at my next gig. My first stint in biglaw was a bit of a strange in-between time, given that I had already committed to a clerkship due to start a little less than a year later. Especially with how much work there was, I didn't always do a great job of seeking out additional opportunities for more substantive work and to build skills that were new to me. I'd like to do much more of that at my next position, whatever that may be.
  • Focus a bit more on healthy eating. Throughout the year there were a few periods of time where I was eating too much takeout food and relying too much on Grubhub, which tends to result in meals with very low fresh vegetable or fruit content. It's not the healthiest way to eat, and not especially good for my wallet either. 
  • Write more. As I mentioned in this year's "blogiversary" post, I have so much fun writing here, and I am truly grateful to everyone who reads along with me. I'd like to stick to a more regular posting schedule this year, and hopefully write some things that are interesting and fun to read.

That's a fairly modest list of goals, I think. This time last year, 2016 looked like it was going to be an intimidating process of adapting to the "new normal" of working life. This year, I feel a lot more settled in and adjusted, even if some things are still challenging. Do you have any New Year's resolutions or goals for 2017? Any favorite books to recommend?

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