Well, summer is half over and what do you have to show for it? Have you accomplished any goals you set out at the beginning of June?
Earlier this summer I co-wrote How New Graduate Students Should Spend Their Summers in The Chronicle of Higher Education. My co-author and I discussed many things that graduate students who are in the early stage of their graduate student career could elect to do during the summer to get them ready for the next year as well as to help them think about long-term goals. I believe in articulating one’s goals regularly and revising them periodically and, at the same time, I think it’s important to make them very realistic and as doable as possible.
I am someone who always keeps lists. One is of things that need to be done right away, another lists what needs to be done this week and a couple others are things to do within the next 6 months or if I find the time to do them. I have these lists in both my work life and my personal life, and they help keep me going. Some are real goals and some are just what “needs doing”. Although I don’t always do this myself, I encourage students to keep track of the goals they’ve completed so they can note their accomplishments.
So, look back. What goals have you met? Pat yourself on the back and tell a friend or family member about those you have achieved. Now, look forward. There’s still six weeks of summer which is enough time to edit your list to those goals that matter the most, to develop a timeline for accomplishing them and then, to carry that out. You can do it.