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Friday, January 2, 2015

2015: In laying out academic goals and life priorities

I can't seem to focus right now and it's just the second day of the year.

So I am deciding to list down my goals and priorities for this year.

Top Priority:
Enroll in Thesis Writing 1 (submit application form on January 5, 2015 as soon as my Univ opens)
Deadline for enrolling in Thesis Writing 1 is on January 20, 2015. But I am depending on the people who will be signing my paper... honestly? I don't know why it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

You know the difficulty in doing personal errands in my current status in life right now is that a lot of people seems to be looking for me and it's actually stressing me out. But I have to learn this year, that, dude... It's okay if I am not there when they need me... they will... come back... I have to tell myself (constantly) it is okay if somebody looks for me and I am not there. You've been too nice, Toni. They will find ways if it is really important.

This year, I have to learn and get used to it that I cannot be available for everybody unless I am already selling my soul and unless I do not want to give value to my personal life. I have to be a little bit selfish of my own goals. These people who are looking for me, they are only looking for me because they are being selfish of what they want. And I don't think its something to be taken against them but I have to learn from them that I, too, have to be selfish and focus on the things that will be better for myself.

In connection with the Priority to enroll in Thesis Writing 1, I am dedicating all of my Saturdays in 2015 to going to school and hanging out in our Learning Commons. I will go to school (which is also the location of my office), not to work but to study. To write. To do my thesis. To do anything that is related to accomplishing my graduate school. Because on top of my work, my first priority is really my academics. It has been there even before I was working in my univ. My graduate school is something more long term. I have to understand that. I cannot let, "life to get in the way" in my graduate school this year. The year 2014 was the time I tried to master my new job and I have already given myself the space for adjustments. Now is the time I go back to focusing on my graduate school.

Second Priority:
Industrial Psychology class. I enrolled in a special class that I need in order to complete the units required in taking Psychometrician Board Examinations. A lot already passed the first exam that happened last year (2014). People have more confidence in me than I do have with myself in feeling that I will pass the board, It's been ages since I had my psychology courses, so I think I need time to review. Thankfully this opportunity to take the lacking units, will help me refresh in the field of psychology. Now, as to when I will take the Board Exams... I am still contemplating if this year (2015) or the following year (2016) ... Considering the line-up of things I have this year... But as long as I have completed the number of units (ergo enrolling in Industrial Psych), the date of the board exams will just follow. Anyway, my class happens every Tuesday this Third Trimester. There are only two students in this class. So... :) I am looking forward nonetheless because I really miss attending classes!

Third Priority:
Yoga Class. Prior to the opening of the yoga studio in my univ I invested money in buying class cards. Now it was a decision between buying unlimited classes per month or buying class cards which can be used any time until August 2015. With my given busy schedule this year I wasn't sure if I will be able to maximize the unlimited classes (with at least 10 classes per month so that your money will be worth it). So I bought class cards instead, but I will try to make sure I will be able to attend as many yoga classes I can.

This is a priority because it will mandatory allow me to attend to my psychological well-being. All these work... these studying... even if I am passionate about it, I do not want to experience burn-out again. It's not a nice feeling of emptiness and exhaustion. Health should be part of our priority.

Fourth Priority:
Work requirements. My academic goals this year is practically just broken down to 4 priorities. There are requirements at work that I have to NOT forget... like the medical requirement, renewal requirement.. professional org requirements ... These are the things that is not happening on a daily basis which I should not forget. I have to include this in my priority because there are a lot of little things that occupy my time at work which is rather, meaningless in the long run. Those minor disturbances that when you multiply it to abundance have taken your whole day and worst, your whole week. Life should NOT get in the way this time. (or should it be, the life of others should not get in the way?)

Basically, I have to respect my time. There is a time for everything and I have to respect my own schedule. There are way too many other things that I have to do that is related to my career growth and it does not have anything to do with being able to successfully reply to every single e-mail or be able to answer every single phone call or be able to accommodate every single person waiting in line to see me. If I don't respect my own time, these routines will consume me, my youth and my life ambitions.

I have to constantly make these four priorities a habit. A Way of Life in the year 2015.

My schedule so far:

Saturdays - Learning Commons (thesis and academic related tasks); Yoga in the morning, so it forces me to go to school really early.

Tuesdays - Industrial Psychology class.

Mondays, Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays - Yoga at 6:30 pm. I have to leave my desk by 5:00 pm - 5: 30 pm and just relax at the yoga plus studio. I can actually do my e-mails there anyway. Less distractions = more productivity. So basically 5:00-6:00 pm is my window time to checking my e-mails. It's still work, but more productivity because there will be fewer distractions.

If I am able to maintain my Saturday ritual I will be able to produce so much work that my Sundays can be free to other leisure things. I am sorry my friends. I know I told myself in 2013 that 2014 will be the year I will be missing in action (but didn't happen). But this 2015 will really be.. a year that you will have to go to the Library if you want to see me. I am seriously panicking already. I have to, at the least, be able to have my thesis proposal defense already before the academic year ends.

In other news, I will finally share the results of my comprehensive examinations that I took last February 2014. This was the exam that I have been preparing myself for early in 2014. I was also having the same mixed emotions but I was finally able to conquer that in flying colors. A rating of 3.91 with 4.0 as our highest.

This will always remind me and give me confidence in myself. I never expected a high score in my comprehensive exam. I just really wanted to pass. I always had fears because the feedback I always heard about compre exams in our department were negative feedbacks (students failing the assessment part, etc etc etc).

The results of my comprehensive exam will forever remind me that with determination, I will be able to achieve what I am aiming for.

My friends always had more belief in me... and I guess it is also good that I doubt their confidence about me because it avoids me to be to complacent. I know with the right amount of fear I really work hard for anything I want to achieve. Regardless if I had an advantage or if it was an entirely new thing.

This reminds me... I also have another priority in connection to my career goals this year... I have to learn a new language and I chose Spanish. I've always wanted to learn Spanish and how I wished that it was never removed in our Philippine curriculum to learn Spanish. A lot of people grew up learning it. It's my personal goal. Ugh I just don't know where I can squeeze it in my schedule.. Maybe I'll put in under Sundays :)

All the best in 2015, my dear self.

You were never able to complete the modules in Foundations in Teaching Coursera Moocs!! (Only accomplishing 3 certs out of 8) Ayayay... This time at least my goals are involved with more physical movement.

In summary, Thesis - Industrial Psychology - Yoga - Work - Spanish,

I guess that's easy to remember.

Oh and in March, is Rhizo 2015 !!

I should NEVER miss out on that.


  1. Oh no...I just wrote out a whole comment and it got lost...oh well....

    What I was going to say was - well done on taking the time to prioritise your goals. Like you, I struggle sometimes with saying no - or rather realigning other people's expectations - at work. It's hard at first, but people generally adapt quite well if you tell them upfront, as long as you are then able to meet the ammended deadline. (Then you have to constantly realign new unexpected requests from other can get rather exhausting!) It's a work in progress : )
    Outside of work, it's the tough decision about how to juggle all of the things I'd like to do - and recognising I'm not going to have time for all of them (moocs, chats, blogs etc...) AND finish the masters as well. So I'm going to have to work on that this year.
    Anyway, I'm 100% certain that you can - and will - do it! I think it's great that you've left time in for your physical and mental wellbeing - that's important, and something that I need to do too : )
    Look forward to checking in with you as the year progresses!

  2. We can do it Tanya! I'm enrolling officially for Thesis Writing next week. I got my approval already to enroll. LOL... But it's still not yet proposal defense, just writing.. with guidance haha... I also enrolled in a masteral class, Industrial Psychology because it's a missing course I need to qualify for the Psychometric Board Exam. Luckily, the class has been designed to focus on the board exam :)) ... So it's like actually enrolling in a board exam review class. Did you see the "Dates to remember" I posted here in my blog? HAHA.. I just HAD to post it here already to remind me of the things I need to do this year... I'm sure and feel it's going to be a productive one and very busy one indeed... or rather busy-er ..

    Unfortunately, my line of work does not have anything to do with online learning :( but once I graduate I'm going to focus my papers in edutech/online learning...

    We have to keep on checking each other for progress!! ^_^

    1. hehe good luck Toni - I am sure you will ace your exams (as always!). It's really nice to have some moral support out there in the wilderness! Getting a random tweet from you every now and again always makes me smile : )