15. Visit the guild of your choice, once you’ve completed all of these steps and have your documented 2017 master plan, and proudly announce that you’re ready for 2017!

Done! I shared my goals with my Habitica  party and asked them to share theirs as well as they feel comfortable.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here


14. Before the end of 2016, plan to put your workspace in order: clean, neat, well-organized. It will help get started with enthusiasm, and enjoy your work more.

“If you drive for work, clean out and organize your vehicle. if you have certifications to maintain, schedule training and recert as soon as you  can. Interpret this to-do however it makes sense for you.”

I typically work in a specific classroom called Berkus 242, which is always clean since there’s just tables and chairs.

As for my room however, I need to do some maintenance. I need to put wallpaper on my walls, which have been bare. And although that is not necessarily productive, it’ll make me feel more comfortable in my space. I also need to get binders for my classes next semester and color-code things!!!! My entire life is full of color-coding actually. My desk has a small shelf which I  transform into a standing desk, which I would like to utilize more often while standing next semester. I also have a drawer that has a bunch of junk on top of it. i’m gonna move some stuff from my desk onto that drawer (in a nice pretty arrangement) so that my desk is strictly work stuff.

I move into school on January 8 so I can’t start this process quite yet.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

13. Habiticans: Look at the Short Term Accountability guild and the Long Term Project guild, as well as (if you like them) the Pomodoro Playground guild. If you haven’t tried pomodoros and you have trouble staying focused, give them a try!

“Find communities relevant to your goals and join them. Find encouragement wherever you can–and think about how Habitica can support you in making 2017 an amazing year!”

I’m not super social on forums, so I probably won’t look at the guilds. I have a great lab support system, as well as my Kinesiology classmates who have similar goals regarding my academic and professional career goals (which are basically my goals for 2017).

I have not tried pomodoros yet! I would need a buddy who would be willing to try it out with me for it to be effective I think. I definitely will use this method once school begins again.

Habitica will definitely be useful. It has already transformed the way I do work since it combines productivity and RPGs (and I love RPGs). I already made lists even before I joined Habitica. Now I have an extra push to get my work done since I get rewarded too!

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

12. If any of these goals involve behavioral changes (like quitting smoking or cigarettes, losing weight, getting fit, etc.), it’s essential to look into what will help you be successful and what will undermine you, and make plans and changes accordingly.

“Write a short plan for how you will address these challenges. If this doesn’t apply to you, feel free to just check it off. For this one in particular, consider doing some research–or,if appropriate, see a doctor or counselor. Take good care of yourself!”

Honestly, the only thing that my goals require are a change of time management and sleep schedule.

Time management: I need to utilize my time better, especially on the weekends. I need to have accountability partners, which should be individuals who are productive during the daytime. The more work I can get during the day, the earlier I’ll be able to sleep. This would in turn help with my sleep schedule.

Sleep schedule: I need to wake up 1.5 hours before my first obligation every morning. For most days, this means at 8:00am because my first class is at 9:30. I wake up 1.5 hours ahead of time so that I can put on makeup, do any last minute chores, and eat breakfast in peace. I function best when I get at least 9 hours of sleep. If I can consistently sleep at 11pm, that would be ideal. I feel like it’ll be closer to getting more like 7.5 hours of sleep per night, or sleeping by 1:00am. Currently, my Habitica has a habit where if I get back to my room before midnight, or get more than 7.5 hours of sleep I get to exp/gold. I also have one where I don’t have caffeine after 6:00pm, which can also yield exp/gold. This has been working well since I force myself to stop doing work at a reasonable time, and therefore end up happier.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

11. Schedule monthly planning sessions, and monthly check-ins now, for the whole year.

Again, this one is so hard to do because I’m a student and my life is going to be very different throughout the year.

I generally plan my entire month about 5 days before the month begins. This entails writing my calendar, both physical and electronic. I put long-term goals into my Habitica list.

I generally plan my week every Sunday, which is just constantly checking my Google Calendar, which is synced with my phone.

I consistently check-in with at least one of my lab advisors weekly since we have weekly lab meeting. I check-in with my academic advisor every other week. I don’t know when her office hours are for Spring semester. I will meet with my comps advisor as needed (the reasons why this is so vague are personal).

This is one goal setting task I probably won’t do a very good job on, but I will keep it mind. Hopefully I’ll be able to get into a rhythm when school starts back up.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

10. Create a general monthly plan for the year, so you know what you need to accomplish each month in order to be successful, and so that you have to clear ways to monitor your progress and identify problems.

End of December

  • 12/28 (yesterday): Have letter of recommendation writers confirmed!:
  • 12/30 (end of day): Send the necessary items to one of my letter writers
  • 12/31: Have programs I definitely want to apply to chosen


  • 1/15: Check in with recommenders
  • 1/20: Complete full drafts of applications; get feedback
  • 1/23: Choose 10 empirical papers for comps
  • 1/23: Choose 10 empirical papers for my literature review
  • 1/23-1/27: Schedule a meeting with ym advisors
  • 1/25: Final drafts complete
  • 1/30: Turn in applications


  • 2/10: Outline my paper complete
  • 2/15: Outline of my comps paper complete


  • 3/1: First draft of comps complete
  • 3/15: Skeleton of presentation complete
  • 3/18-3/19
  • 3/25: Possible conference
  • 3/27: Final draft of paper and presentation due
  • 3/27-4/1: Practice presentation
  • All month: Be on lookout for answers regarding CRISSP


  • 4/2: Comps presentation day!
  • 4/3: Celebrate comps and wait for distinction?
  • Rest of April: Work on the literature review


  • Hear back about CRISSP and potentially other programs
  • 5/21: Graduation
  • 5/31: Head out to whatever summer program I might get into


  • Do research
  • Find employment: Sign up for an EMT class


  • Complete my EMT courses

As one can see, I have the time while I’m in school quite scheduled, but everything after that is very blurry since certain goals are dependent on whether or not I get accepted earlier in the year. I don’t want to fully flesh out secondary or tertiary alternatives yet. However, as the year goes on, the timeline will become much clearer.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

9. Make a list of barriers, challenges, and tasks that consume your time.

“Include responsibilities and projects you’ve taken on–list as much as you can. Think about each one and be honest with yourself about whether you need to do them and whether they actually benefit you and help you reach your goals. What can you eliminate? But remember that friends, family, and a social life as absolutely essential!”

  • SCHOOL. This is still a thing. At this time, I most definitely want to continue all the classes I’m currently enrolled in. If I have to drop a class, there is one class I can drop and probably not feel super upset about (Avian Biology).
  • SSAP. I cannot drop this because this is one of my favorite things that I do. I will work on making worksheets more thorough and helpful during break so that I don’t have to expend extra energy later.
  • Volunteering at hospitals. I want to finish volunteering at one of my hospitals ASAP. As soon as I complete my 200 hours (probably in April), I will stop. I need to try and do as many extra double-hours as I can so I can reach that goal faster. As for the other hospital, where I work in the emergency department, I want to continue volunteering as much as possible because this directly helps me achieve my goal of going to medical school (hopefully for cardiology or emergency medicine!)
  • Dance Production. I’m pretty committed to putting on a high quality show. I need to be super efficient with my rehearsal time because my dancers need to be trained. I want to finish choreographing before break ends so that this is all ready to go as soon as the semester starts. I will make my rehearsals work out.
  • POCs in STEM. Delegate, delegate, delegate. That’s all I can even say about this one.
  • Kinesiology Ambassadors. An outline for fall semester has already been created, and I have 4 other teammates to work with! I can definitely say that if I can’t do something, there will be someone who should be able to do it… hopefully.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

8. Understand what motivates you to get work done. Rewards? Deadlines? Praise? Accountability partners? How can you motivate yourself?

“a. Think about finding someone who can either work with you or who has similar goals, but make sure it’s someone who has a track record for success. Partners can help you fail as easily as they can help you succeed.

b. Consider going public with your goals, if that will help keep you motivated.

c. Ask a friend to provide you with rewards (that you provide), but only if you’re productive.

Write a few sentences in your plan about how you will help motivate yourself.”

In general, the main thing that motivates me is deadlines!!! And also recognition of doing a good job.

1. Pass my senior comprehensive with distinction. 

a. I have 18 other classmates who are also doing their senior comps. I can definitely think of two specific people who I think would be good individuals to be my accountability partners (I won’t name them here).

b. I don’t know how I feel about going public. My goals will certainly be shared with my classmates since we meet every Monday night. I feel like publicizing it on social media though doesn’t necessarily motivate me anymore.

c. I’ve asked my friend to lock me out of my social media before (i.e. Facebook). I think I’ll do that again.

2. Produce a high quality literature review (worthy of submitting to a journal) about diversity in STEM and high-impact practices. 

a. My research advisors are my people! I need to ask them to hold me very accountable for the deadlines that we designate. I can tell myself when to get things done, but I literally will ignore them because they come with no accountability or consequence. I need an external source to give the deadline for it to be effective.

b. I don’t want to go too public with this. I may give commentary on the side, but I wouldn’t want to publish anything that is not ready to be published.

c. I don’t think I need a friend to provide me with rewards on this one.

3. Find employment

a. Gah. I need to find someone who is also applying for summer programs. I need to get myself together and finish my applications already!

b. I will keep friends and professors updated on whatever programs I get accepted to, and which one I decide to attend. If I get accepted to none, I will get my EMT certification and I can be public with that (I’ve already been pretty public about it).

c. I should ask my friend to log me out of my Facebook again because I’m so behind on my own deadlines. I need to add these deadlines onto my Google calendar. Like right now. After I publish this blog post.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

7. Examine patterns of work. (What times and days do you work best?)

“Write a few sentences in your plan about how you can make time to accomplish your goals.”

When I get plenty of sleep in a day, I work best during the day. When I’m sleep deprived (aka when I have school), I ironically work best after 10:00pm. I need to take advantage of not having any school work right now and work during the day while also balancing taking care of two small animals, cooking for myself, and volunteering at the hospital.

As for days, I can work pretty well on any day except for maybe Saturday. I work best when I work along side one or two other people, but we all have to work in silence  / I can play soft music (usually piano).

I tend to not actually schedule in time to do things, especially if I don’t have a consistent study area. I’m not at school right now, so I don’t have a proper desk or people to work with. However, once school starts, I will have that place and I will probably do what I’ve been doing which is ask my friends if they want to do work. Now I don’t even have to go to Starbucks to grab coffee because I got myself a Keurig.

The way I can make time to accomplish my goals is trying the Pomodoro technique. I like to take a lot of breaks, and this method is conducive to that so I think it might work well for me.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

6. For each goal, write a few sentences about your motivation, the benefits of each project, and how the project will help you accomplish your goals. Documenting this can help keep you motivated.

1. Pass my senior comprehensive with distinction. 

My motivation for this is that I’m a go-getter. I’m a Type A, driven, incredibly passionate person who wants to do the best of the best. But more important than those things is the fact that this will be the last major assignment I will ever write in my college career that will actually matter. And doesn’t that paper deserve to be my absolute best work? I know my best work is better than just average, and that is what I deserve to submit, and that is what my professors and classmates deserve to receive. This is the last time I get to experience this, so I better cherish it.

2. Produce a high quality literature review (worthy of submitting to a journal) about diversity in STEM and high-impact practices.

This paper that I will be writing is an important contribution to the scientific community, especially in a world where Trump will be president. My motivation for writing this paper is for all the students that I teach over the summer at Aim High. I hope that by the time this paper gets published, they attend college where they receive the education they deserve: an inclusive and culturally sensitive education, not just in the classroom but outside as well. They are the reason I care about diversity in STEM to begin with, and that paper will be for them.

3. Find employment: Research? EMT?

My motivation to do either/both of these things is because I thoroughly would enjoy them and they guide in my journey to medical school. Neither are requirements to apply to medical school, but I don’t want to do them simply because I think they would fluff up my resume. I really want to do research because that is an opportunity I did not have during my time in undergrad. I also want to become an EMT because… I need to make money somehow. That is the reality of my life, and this is probably the most real motivation out of all my motivational statements. And since I want to go into the medical field… and I like working in the emergency department, EMT might be a good option for me. I would want to work in the emergency department, not in the ambulances. That’s sort of my goal in life right now and I have to start somewhere, so that’s my motivation.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here