Hello, New Year! Is there not a better time to try and revive a dead blog? I’m happy to report that I made a lot of progress last year with both personal and professional goals—with some complete failures, too. Some of them are being carried over into this year, but I’ve also set some new goals ranging from easily attainable to a true challenge. These goals are fluid and likely to evolve as the year progresses, but I’m excited to try and elevate myself in the following ways this year:
- Drink more water
I found out about the cutest water tracker a few years ago: Plant Nanny. It’s a fun way to remind yourself to drink water while also watering a virtual plant. I also need to choose water more often than juice or soda.
The exemplary new year’s resolution… I successfully completed a C25K program last year and would like to do it again this year at some point. My overall plan is alternating cardio and yoga at home at least three times a week and some form of strength training once a week.
- Start intermittent fasting (16:8 method) and transition back to a ketogenic diet
I did keto a couple years ago and I felt super healthy and energetic while doing it (weight loss is just a bonus). It’s HARD to reset my natural sweet tooth, though.
- Skincare routine
I’m embarrassed to admit I’m entering my mid-30’s and until now, I rarely washed my face at night. I’d like to try and set a good foundation for caring for my skin before aging starts to get the best of me. Shoutout to r/skincareaddiction and r/30PlusSkinCare as great resources for a skincare newbie.
- Read 10 books
Books are good for the soul, and I’ve neglected far too many for far too long. I need to be better about turning off the TV and turning pages in a book instead.
- Sort out budget
Again, I acknowledge that I’m a 30-something woman with poor adulting skills. It’s hard to admit being bad with money at an age where we aren’t supposed be worrying about financial security (though it seems many others are in the same boat). I was introduced to YNAB and hope to use it to get a better grasp of our financial needs and plan for the future.
- House organization
We have way too much stuff, from old clothes that don’t fit to college textbooks to unused kitchen gadgets. This is the year of the purge. Speaking of purging…
- Social media purge
Each year I like to pare down the number of people I follow on social media. I still can’t completely cut myself off from online communities, but I can be more selective in what types of content is truly meaningful to me.
- 365 photo a day project
A few friends did this in 2018 and I was inspired to give it a go. Equipped with a new iPhone XS, I want to challenge myself to find beauty in the monotony of our day to day routine. You can follow along on Instagram.
- Knit a “Warming Stripes” blanket
Last year I stumbled upon Ed Hawkins’ beautiful visualization of climate change data. For a creative science communication twist, I want to knit a blanket using a similar scale—one stripe equaling one year, to showcase the warming trend of global temperatures.
- Play more piano
I miss making music, but luckily at the end of 2018, I had the chance to play keys for my brother’s debut EP and I also joined the company band at my workplace. This year I want to play more for myself and gain back my technique, hopefully learning and memorizing one substantial piece of classical repertoire, as well as practice more jazz voicings and scales.
- Finish DHO lab journal article
I left my old job on great terms half a year ago with a promise that I would finish up a manuscript submission for a project I spearheaded. It’s been much more difficult to carve out time to actually do this, but it is high on my priority list to get done in the next month or so.
- Blog monthly
I need to start filling this space again. I have so many ideas that never come to fruition. I’m now officially a science writer by day, but I want to continue working on my craft outside of my 9-5.
- Attend a conference
Last year I attended the National Association of Science Writers annual meeting and I would love to go again. and met some great people at varying stages of their career. The conference also wasn’t too overwhelming in scope, so it was easy to “fit in.” It’s great to have a network of friendly folk who are willing to share their experiences and help others succeed.
- Two consistent freelance gigs
Last year I kind of slacked on freelancing, partially because I switched jobs and wanted to take time adjusting to my new normal. This year I want to get back in the game and will try to develop some great pitches to send out to editors.
- Go swing dancing at least once a month
I miss dancing. It’s great exercise, and it forces me to get out of my introvert shell. Now that our parenting routine is pretty smooth (and I don’t need to be around to breastfeed a newborn anymore), I should have the flexibility to get out at least once a month and rock some rock-step-triple steps.
- Actually follow up with my “we should get together soon” promises
I’m notorious for saying this phrase only never to be heard of again. This year I will be more intentional in staying connected with friends old and new.
- Potty training
Last night, our almost 2-year old asked to sit on the potty and after a few minutes, I almost gave up and was going to bring her back to her room—but she peed! I can’t believe we’re already at this parenting milestone, but I’m hopeful that she can be trained in the next couple of months.
- Wean off pacifier as a sleep aid
We let her sleep with a pacifier during naps and bedtime, though she used to sometimes fall asleep without it. However, lately it’s become a big attachment and she will whine if she doesn’t have her “nuk” before bed. I’m not sure if we should break the habit cold turkey or slowly wean her off of it, but it needs to happen this year because I don’t want it to affect her development in any way.
- Sábado de Español
We are lucky to have an awesome daycare that provides language enrichment through once a week Spanish classes for all the kids (even in the newborn classrooms!). My fluency has diminished quite a bit since college, and my husband knows enough to carry a simple conversation, but I want us to develop our language skill as a family. Spanish Saturdays would be a great way to expose Adria to the language a bit more while retraining our conversational skills. No English allowed at home—we can watch videos with Spanish dubs, listen to Latin music, etc. I want to do this at least once a month, if not all Saturdays.