My goals for 2017: progress report 4 of 4

It’s already the end of December – time flies! It’s time for another quarterly review of my goals for 2017. You can find the three reviews here, here and here.

Start my new job

It’s almost a year ago now that I started my tenure track, which I am still sometimes finding hard to believe. Although not all things went as I planned, it’s been a year that I’m proud of. I’m not quite ready for a “one year on the tenure track” post (see a great one here though) but my main take-aways would be:

Submit. All. The. Papers.

No progress here. I was feeling overwhelmed in the previous quarter and decided to drop a few projects, then concentrate on finishing up other important/urgent ones (grant writing and teaching) first. This was important and effective so I don’t regret it, but I will need to approach this better in 2018 – writing is the main focus!

My writing should probably take lessons from my blogging (see below). I am thinking about adapting the idea of weekly targets that I’m accountable for to writing – perhaps weekly reports with digests of papers I’ve read, and how much I’ve written?

Write a blog post every week

Going strong for over a year now! If only I could also do this with my other writing…


Read at least 1 book per month

Yes! Here are the latest additions:

I recommend all of them, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would be The Productive Researcher, because I imagine I would read it again in a few months.

I recently got a Kindle which increased my reading frequency… so in 2018 I might go for 2 books per month.

Bonus goal 1: Running

This is a goal I revealed only in part 2 of this series because I didn’t dare to write about it before. In part 3 signed up for 10K. Now I am happy to report I finished two 10K races, in 1 hour 8 minutes and 1 hour 5 minutes. It was a bit tough, but definitely something I plan to do again – perhaps under an hour in 2018.


Bonus goal 2: Finances

Another goal that I only revealed later – reducing my mortgage from six to five figures. I was successful in doing so without too much effort, so although it’s a big milestone, it’s somehow less satisfying. What I did find satisfying was tracking my savings rate (explanation by Mr Money Mustache), which is now 50% on average.  This calculator tells me that with this savings rate I could retire in 17 years, but if I get it to say, 75%, this time is shortened to 7 years. Not really something I’m planning to do since I’m enjoying academia a lot right now, but it’s good to have options.

Bonus goal 3: Headspace

Following up on the tradition, here is another goal I had – and achieved – finishing ten packs on Headspace. I would have laughed if you told me a year ago I would be meditating regularly. Not that I don’t believe in its benefits, I just didn’t think it was for me. And it’s pretty hard. But despite being quite terrible at it (my mind has a hard time staying quiet), I do think it has been quite helpful.  This is definitely one to continue in 2018.



Thank you all for reading along this year! Perhaps this would surprise people, but I have never set such goals before, or at least never written them down. This has been a helpful exercise, even though I didn’t achieve everything I wanted. I hope to improve my process in 2018 and hope you keep reading to keep me accountable 🙂

2 thoughts on “My goals for 2017: progress report 4 of 4”

    1. Oh that’s odd, thanks for pointing it out! I do see them myself, but the links are generated by Amazon, so perhaps something is going on there.

      In any case the books are Power of Habit, The Productive Researcher, Tools of Titans, Deep Work and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

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