Despite the curse of 2016 (and the woeful lack of new Doctor Who episodes!) it was a pretty good year for me. We had our third son, Asher, and I finished my MSc in Psychological Research Methods. While that it only 2 things they are 2 pretty big things that are jolly hard to do at the same time, and we survived. I’m proud of what I’ve done in 2016. Even though I failed NaNoWriMo :P.
So now it’s 2017, and I’m starting the new year going back to my pleasant enough admin job after maternity leave and a little bit of extra time now I’ve finished university. I wanted to set some goals, but I’ve honestly found it tricky. When I tried to list them there’s a lot of things I want to do, but really only a tiny bit of extra time when I factor in spending more time with the kids and not leaving Markie to do everything in the house (Markie is awesome). So I’ve limited myself to three primary targets that I will try to report on. Other things may sneak in (like building my Lego castle), but these are the three biggies that must be done, or else.
1) PhD Applications
My job is comfortable but it’s not really want I want to do forever. So my first job for the year is to submit PhD applications. I’m done with part-time study. It worked well for my BSc, but now we have a sizeable family to care for I need study to be my day-job, and for that I need funding. Funding applications close Feb/March time so the next few weeks will be very focused on completing this goal. If I don’t get a place, fair enough, but I must apply!
New Year diets are so cliche, but for the first time I’m making a commitment to be healthier so I can enjoy as much time with my family as possible. I’m not very overweight, just a couple of lbs really by BMI, but according to NHS metrics I need to lose some volume around the waist to be healthy. A quick check online revealed certain diet programmes/groups are a bit pricey. Also I don’t like going out and meeting new people at the best of times, nevermind having to get weighed in front of them and paying for the priveledge. So I’ve decided to try the free NHS weight loss guide. It’s a 12 week plan. I’m not sure exactly what is in it as I’m not reading ahead. That spoils the fun 😉
Week 1 is adjust your diet. Lots of fibre, protein, veggies, smaller portions, healthy snacks (not chocolate muffins unfortunately), and stick to 1400 calories per day. I’ve done this for one week and so far it’s not as bad as I though. It helps that Markie is good at cooking low calorie dinners! And I usually have enough calories left in my allowance for a little bit of chocolate :). I’m using an app called My Fitness Pal to track calories. It scans barcodes. It’s like living in the future!
Week 2 is to up your activity levels. I’ve been to the gym a couple of times and am starting the NHS Couch to 5K programme next week (too cold this week!). I’ve had fun shopping for fitness clothes. Using them might be less fun, but we’ll see…
Which brings us to the final goal:
3) Publish a book
Not traditional publishing, alas, but indie publishing is on the rise and my drafts keep stacking up so one way to get out of the endless editing cycle is to publish. And if I’ve learnt anything from my MSc it’s that deadlines are highly motivating, so I’m going to publish by 31st December 2017. Or else.
Or else what?
Um, not sure really. Meh. Anyhow, that doesn’t give me loads of time. 30 chapters to edit, not really starting until after PhD applications are in, need it ready for beta readers in Summer, so I’m looking at about 3 months to blitz through my next sweep to have a hope of getting it ready in time. Yay, deadlines!
So that’s the plan for 2017. The fact I was supposed to be researching infant language acquisition when I was writing this blog post doesn’t bode well. But at least I was eating a salad at the same time…