The beginning of a new year hasn’t been the time that I traditionally make my plans and set my goals. Since I’m a college professor, I usually think about the year on the basis of the academic calendar.
One of the benefits of the academic calendar is that it has a number of new beginnings, so one can keep making new resolutions all year long. August starts the new school year. Excitement and purpose return to my dull routine. January brings a new semester, in which I can attempt to correct all the mistakes I made in the fall. May brings the summer, the time when I always resolve to “get more done”—whatever that means.
My year is broken up into smaller chunks, and I’ve recently realized that it’s difficult for me to think and work long term. If a project takes longer than three months, I say to myself, “Self, you really ought to wait on that idea until the current semester is over.” But the truth is that there will always be another semester on the horizon, so I chase the chimera of “getting more done” in the summer until I resign myself to crushing disappointment brought on by requests for fall syllabuses.
This year will be a little different.
I’m in full-blown new-year’s-resolution mode. I’ve plotted and planned. I’ve written ten measurable goals down for 2016. (Okay, so maybe a couple of them aren’t very measurable, but I tried.) I’ve shared the goals with my wife, and she’s going to hold me accountable.
I’m not going to blog extensively about my goals, because I’m afraid that the euphoria of sharing my lofty ambition will actually keep me from achieving anything. However, the goals are pretty much what you’d expect—read, write, exercise, etc.
Some things in life don’t conform to the academic calendar, and those things have tended to suffer because of my short-term thinking. Only a few of my goals are career related.
One of my ten goals was to redesign this website. Mission accomplished. I changed the look and navigation. I hope it’s user friendly. Send me a message or leave a comment if you have an idea for improving the site. It’s always a work in progress.