A to-do list for 2012

At the very end of 2011 I tried to write a list of 12 things I aimed to do in 2012. It was a cross between a to do list and a set of New Year’s resolutions. I found it the other day saved in a draft, unpublished and thought now might be a good time to share it.

This list was inspired by the idea that sharing your pledges or goals publicly makes you more likely to do achieve them. This could be part of the reason why the Academic Writing Month is so successful.

So, in the order I wrote them last year here goes:

  1. I will change my own behaviour and use our organic waste bin – yep, I’m all over this
  2. I will write and submit my thesis, technically due by the 1st of September – done!
  3. After no 2 I will become gainfully employed in a ‘proper’ job – achieved, I have even started paying my student loan back
  4. I will do my physio exercises so I can get back to playing hockey before I miss the entire season – I had just come out of having my wrist in cast for 10 weeks after breaking it but it got a tick too
  5. 5./ I will make time for myself and do some nice things for myself, not just write and make myself feel guilty when I’m not writing – never really consistently managed this one, except for number 7
  6. I will get my control interface prototype working – this really should be higher up the list in terms of priority, but it was eventually, after much frustration with coding achieved
  7. I will go watch the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – for photographic evidence see here
  8. I will update/put together my portfolio. It really needs some attention! – I added it to Behance but subsequently removed it and stuck with the PDF version
  9. I will make my CV into a nicely designed document not just the word document it is at the moment – I did about 1700 versions of my CV in 2012, mainly to support aim no. 3
  10. I will prove to myself I am a finisher! – done by wrapping up my thesis corrections before Christmas

To put the list in context at the end of 2011 I was in a pretty dark place for me. I also only managed to write down 10 things I aimed to do, I just couldn’t think of two more aims, or at least two more aims I was prepared to publish. 2012 was a tough year and to be honest I’ll be pretty glad to see the back of it.

But by accident or design I achieved the majority of my aims.

Seeing as I never made it to 12 perhaps if I make three new resolutions for 2013 I could total them and get there in the end. Please do get in touch if you managed to keep your resolutions or just remember what they were, academic, research or personal. I’d like to hear if you have any resolutions or to do lists of your own. Have a lovely Christmas as well.

“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.”

W. Clement Stone


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