Tuesday, May 6, 2014

may goals

April showers bring May... showers, if you're living in Oregon. And it also brings another month ripe for new goals!

First, how did April go?
  • Complete half marathon. I like how I purposely kept this super low-bar; no need to PR or even do well, but just complete it. Nailed it. 
  • Read 2 books. I was an overachiever with this one. I read Panic (love Lauren Oliver, but I didn't like this book as much as her others... Before I Fall is one of my all-time favorites), I Wrote This For You (so meh), Someday Someday Maybe (by Lauren Graham/Lorelai Gilmore/Sarah Braverman, and it was basically written how she talks and therefore I loved it), Eat Move Sleep (it's baffling how this has such good reviews... it's essentially the most basic of health advice that barely furthers the point of the title) and Legend (love me some dystopian young adult and this one was different enough from the usual to be pretty good). Now I'm reading If I Stay because the movie trailer made me cry. If that's not a good reason to read a book, I don't know what is.

  • Try a new restaurant. Also overachieved this one: Gabe and I tried a new barbecue place in town called Brew BQ which was so mediocre despite having root beer flavored barbecue sauce. We also went to Magenta, an Asian fusion place (which really just means it's Asian-ish) that I really liked.
  • Clean out my closet. I feel completely prepared to buy all the spring and summer clothes now that I can actually fit things in my closet without jamming them in. Because that's the whole point of downsizing, right? Preparing for more upsizing?
  • Start a project for my research statement. I'm starting to look at the creativity of engineering students working on open-ended projects. I decided I want to focus my research statement on the non-technical aspects of engineering that aren't taught in a normal curriculum; basically, I want to help develop engineers that aren't just walking nerdy technical dictionaries. I think creativity is an interesting subject because it's possibly more right brain than left, but still is super important for engineering and problem-solving.
Clearly, deciding on a few goals at the beginning of the month really helped me to achieve what I wanted to. I think just having these in mind helped me make decisions more in line with my goals (like choosing to read instead of watching Real Housewives, or trying a new restaurant instead of getting Thai take-out for the hundredth time... not that there's anything wrong with the RH or take-out, ever). So what's next for May?

  • Start triathlon training. I like running just enough to run 13.1 miles, but really, I love triathlons. You're not doing one sport long enough to get bored of it, and I feel more in shape when my training is distributed between three sports. I'm ready to start swimbikerunning again and am hoping to find a race nearby in June or July.
  • Watch 4 movies from the 1001 Movies list. I watched the AFI's 100 Years, 100 Movies list in college, and then moved on to the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die list from this book. I'm clearly back into the habit of reading more books for fun, but I'd like to start getting into watching more quality movies (films, if you will).
  • Explore Washington. This one is sort of a freebie because the trip is already planned, but I'm super pumped to start exploring the Pacific Northwest more. Gabe and I are visiting Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park and Seattle during Memorial Day weekend.

kinda pretty, I guess | source
    • Write 15 blogs. I have so much I want to share here (I have an entire Excel spreadsheet full of ideas and links), but have a hard time carving out the time to write posts. Here's me committing to just do it.
    • Create a Future Faculty resource online. When I was in grad school, I participated a lot in planning events for students who wanted to become faculty members (called Future Faculty events, for obvs reasons). Now, I'm trying to expand the scope a little by creating some sort of resource online where students can learn about what they need to do to become a faculty member (how to gain experience, what an application consists of, what schools to apply to, etc.). 
    • Complete the data analysis for my creativity project. I have this grand plan to write at least a million papers this summer and to do that I really need to get moving in terms of data analysis. I want to start poking around the data we have to see what I can gather about creativity so I can maybe get a paper formulated on that to help contribute to my research statement.

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