The end of the year is nigh and so comes the social media feeds filled with ‘new year new me’ posts. And while some people are ready to completely leave 2018 behind, I always try to reflect on the year just gone in order to shape my 2019 goals. Every 12 months that pass holds highs and lows, mistakes and lessons, memories and emotions; and processing these events before the clock strikes 12 on the 31st December can help you make the most of the motivational wave that comes with the change in date. I thought I would write a post reflecting on the highlights of my year just gone and share some of my 2019 ambitions in my work and personal life. Physically writing these goals down will hopefully help me see some of them through and make the most of my time instead of mindlessly scrolling my life away (thanks Apple for that screen time update…).
Work Life: Working 9 ‘til… whenever the experiment is finished
2018 saw me finish the first year of my PhD. Hours of optimisation, many failed experiments, a few good results, trawling through data analysis and learning new techniques; this year has been really packed. I have been knackered, excited, deflated and motivated in equal measures, with some days having me question what I am even doing while others show me there is nothing else I would rather do. I am now officially a second year PhD student which means the dreaded ‘you are half way through’ chat will be coming during early 2019. So I need to make the most of my time and jump a train from motivation station.
Highlight of 2018: Putting together my research proposal
A research proposal is a 1000-word document stating what you want to study for the next 3 years and why. My PhD project was completely undefined, which had its positives and negatives. I had free reign over what I wanted to research within the bounds of our group’s field but as a person with little research experience, drafting up these ideas was daunting. With the help of some fabulous scientists and students, I pulled together a project I am super interested in and have already got some promising results.
I attended my first ever research conference
I set-up a new technique that hasn’t been used in my lab group before (and it actually worked lol)
I started teaching with The Brilliant Club, letting me share my passion for STEM with some amazing young people
2019 Goal: To pass my upgrade exam and get some of my work published
Health: Fitting in Fitness
A really important part of my life is trying to be active and healthy as it is good for both my body and mind. From the age of 3 to 20, dance was my main form of exercise and since moving away from home, I have struggled for a few years to fill that fitness void. Finally, I think I am getting there. My main focus now is strength training and this year, I definitely feel more confident bouncing into the weight section with all the males and just doing ma thangggg. I am also heading into my third year of vegan life and 2018 has seen me get more inventive with my plant-based cooking.
Highlight of 2018: Following a 6-week Fitness Programme from start to finish
I am the first to admit that I find it hard to stay motivated with fitness goals (literally give up in the middle of fitness classes every time). So sticking to a 6-week fitness programme which involved exercise and culinary alterations was a huge deal. It was tough to not binge out on crisps and biscuits, but the results were worth it, and it showed me what I am capable of if I keep my goals at the front of my mind. This programme was ran by @adammartin_coach - check him out if you want to reach your fitness goals this year!
I ran 8km without stopping
I stuck to 3 workouts a week all year (except my vacay)
I managed to cook really high-protein vegan meals
2019 Goal: To be able to do a pull-up (this was also my goal last year, but I still can’t do it so persevering on!)
Personal Life: We are Fam-i-ly
I have made so many memories with my family and friends this year and been lucky to go on some great trips and to some fabulous events. We have partied, chilled and chatted the year away. I also started my sci-com adventures and I am so excited for things to come!
Highlight of 2018: Starting my Sci-Com Instagram account and blog
I have been saying since I started my PhD in 2016 I wanted to start an account to translate science into everyday conversation. After almost 2 years, I plucked up the courage to finally enter the sci-com world and it has given me a whole new passion for science and STEM education. I have been introduced to some fabulous scientists and accounts who have inspired me to get creative with my work and opened the doors to many interesting discussions. I couldn’t imagine my life without “me, my cells and I”.
We welcomed 4 new baby girl cousins to my family (female power)
My partner-in-crime started studying post-graduate medicine
I went on fab holidays with amazing people including trips to Barcelona, Bermuda and Bath.
2019 Goal: To start a podcast about science. Also, to limit the time spent on my phone and spend my spare time being productive and enjoying the moment.
That’s a wrap 2018! Here is to a year of new adventures. I hope you all have some time to reflect on your year just gone and think of a how you want to get the most out of 2019. Have a fab, bubbley NYE!