Walking up a snowy path towards the camera

Well, hello there! It’s been a little while. 2017 went in the blink of an eye and now here we are in 2018. For most people a new year heralds a fresh start with good intentions towards change. Whether it’s getting fit and healthy or giving up on a bad habit – a brand new year means a clean slate for a lot of us. But does a new year mean a new me?

I have always struggled with making new years resolutions. I have every intention to stick to them but within the first couple of months in the year I find my willpower waning. And then inevitably I feel like ‘what’s the point?’ However, that being said, it hasn’t stopped me making plans for this year. Here’s a snippet of some of the things I want to achieve this year.

Reaching out and touching snow covered branches of a plant

  • Continue to hit the gym and be happier with my body
  • Finish my PhD
  • Work on my blog and youtube with more consistency
  • Be kinder to myself

This is by no means my full list but a few of the things I have planned. What I need to remind myself is that if any point I slip up and feel like I am coming off track from these resolutions – it doesn’t mean that I’ve failed. We’re allowed to make mistakes. Allowed to get things wrong and forget. Messing up for a day (or even a month in some cases) doesn’t mean I have to give up on the whole thing. It doesn’t tarnish the year or take away from the times that I had managed to work towards these goals.

Walking down a snow lined path away from the camera

2018 is the year I want to see myself change and grow. I’ve been stuck for a few years in the same space and the only person who can change that is me! So if you were to ask me does a new year mean a new me? I would say – well why the hell not? With a little bit of perseverance anything is possible.

Do you think New Year’s resolutions work? What are your resolutions for 2018?

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copperpoet

When I finished my undergraduate degree I remember I was ecstatic to think I had finally achieved my goal. However I was also filled with an overwhelming sense of dread thinking of what I would do next. I adored research and chose to apply for a postgraduate degree and was lucky enough to be accepted onto a PhD. Not only did this mean I would be doing what I loved but also meant that I no longer had to worry about my immediate future. For the next 3 – 4 years I had a plan.

In the grand scheme of things 3 years is actually not that long. I am fast approaching the end of my postgraduate studies and if anything the original dread I felt is beginning to amplify.

Whenever I tell someone that I’m currently doing a PhD I’m usually met with the reply of ‘You won’t struggle to find a job then.’ It would be a lie to say that wasn’t also a contributing factor when I accepted the position. Postgraduate degrees are meant to give you the upper hand when looking at the career ladder. So why am I so nervous about the future?

copperpoet

Regardless of the few extra years in academia that I have under my belt, I feel the hard work is only just about to begin.

Justifying my research through papers, grant applications and fellowship applications is going to be a whole new learning curve. Postdoc jobs depend on funding and there’s no guarantee that your contract will be renewed. My lab has seen some wonderful researchers leave as they can’t be paid. This fact also means that we need to be more flexible and go where the funding takes us. This appeals to me at the moment as I wouldn’t mind working in a different part of the country or a different country entirely. As I get older though, I also question what that means for me in terms of setting down roots.

copperpoet

During my time in academia I’ve been able to plan in advance for years. Now, a lot of uncertainty lies ahead and I’m going to have to learn how to take each day as it comes. It’s hard not to be nervous about what the future holds but I also know that worrying obsessively isn’t productive. I am trusting that things will play out like they are meant to and have to have faith it’ll be in my favour.

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