Happy New Year, everyone! Since January is a month when we can energize our commitment to our research and writing goals, its worthwhile to think about how we can chart a course toward success.
Former FFPP Mentor Carrie Hintz has offered some timeless advice in her post “On Distraction and Tomatoes,” that is worth revisiting. She describes the Pomodoro Method that offers three important tips that can help you stay on track with your goals:
- Conceiving of your writing as taking place in small increments of time [25 minutes] rather than enormous, unbroken blocks of time–and progress is absolutely possible within those smaller blocks.
- Resisting distractions from those 25 minute blocks of time–especially the urge to check email or the news. Often this resistance to distraction takes place 15 or 20 minutes into the writing session, where I can tell myself “only 5 or 10 minutes to go,” so no interruptions allowed.
- Taking regular breaks, which clears the mind and feels healthier physically and mentally.
It seems so simple, right? Achieving your goals requires that we establish a plan for our work despite all of the other demands of our personal and professional lives. Here are a few more tips:
- Be realistic. Set goals you can achieve.
- Make a plan that includes how you can be accountable for your goals–this might include scheduling an hour a day into your calendar, practicing positive self-talk, and trusting your working group peers for encouragement.
- Tell people about your goals so you can build a community of support.
- Make note of your small successes. Every step counts toward your larger goal–be sure to acknowledge every little milestone of your journey.
- Take it one day at a time. When you experience a setback don’t beat yourself up. Get back to your plan and keep moving.
You are part of an amazing community of scholars. You have already achieved so much–don’t forget you earned a tenure track job in an incredibly competitive market. Yay you! You have everything you need to achieve your goals, so go ahead and get to work. You got this.