We are now a few days into the new year, and I want to share my list of personal undertakings. (Using undertakings rather than resolutions as it is sounds much more aggressive. Gives it that “GET AFTER IT!” mentality.)
Read for fun more often: In academia, it is easy to get sucked into the world of solely reading scholarly journal articles. I am making this my biggest, most important undertaking of 2020. Starting out strong by re-reading The Audacity of Hops by Tom Acitelli (with a solid first beer of 2020 — Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA). Yes, it coincides with my research interests, but it is more importantly something I can sit back and relax to. Open to others recommendations!
Engage in hobbies: I am 23, going on 24, and when asked what I do for fun… I have to think about that for a second. There are two hobbies in particular I have in mind. The first: homebrewing. (Thanks goes to my aunt and uncle for helping out with some of the start-up costs.) This has been something I have wanted to try for the past few years, but just never got to it. Partly due to costs; partly due to time; but primarily partly due to me continuing to make excuses. Though it might be a bit stressful at first, as Charlie Papazian says, “Relax. Have a homebrew.” Super excited to start this up once the equipment arrives! The second hobby is on the other end of the health spectrum: getting back to my old self in the gym. Going to the gym is something I do 5 to 6 times a week, but it has felt more like a chore over the past few months. It is not something I have enjoyed; rather something that was done out of necessity. My goal here is to get back to seeing the gym as an activity, a stress reliever, and as one of my gym buddies called it, my personal “jungle gym.” I am attacking this goal by getting back on Cory Gregory’s #GetStacked plan.
Be more vocal: I have always been more of an introvert and have shied away from confrontation in the past. The easiest way for me to start is by engaging in and starting discussion — both in the classroom/on campus and on social media. In the classroom, it is pretty straightforward. Just participate more. On campus, and especially on social media, it is a little more complex. Particularly as a graduate student. There is a certain balance between expressing yourself and your views against the possibility of offending someone or risking future career opportunities. It is a necessary consideration, but the most pressing issues are the ones that trigger confrontation. And I am done suppressing my voice on these issues.
Organization & Daily Planning: This is something I used to be pretty good with, but I slacked off last semester as I was too cheap to buy a $6.00 planner after losing my old one during my move. I just bought my 2020 planner, and I’m ready to rock and roll. This goal is not just to help organize my daily agenda, but also to provide small mental boosts throughout the day. No matter how small the task may seem, it feels good seeing what you are able to accomplish throughout the day.
Drink more water: Now, this is coming from someone who already makes drinking water a priority. But, there are times where I feel dehydrated and continue to do nothing about it. This is a simple, yet effective strategy for improving physical health and mental clarity. My biggest challenge here is that the water on the 4th floor of Ag Hall tastes like metal.
Consistency with these blog posts: When I first made this website, I hammered down on the blog posts. Once the fall semester started, I slowed down big time. Ideally, I will get back to two a month. Future blog post topics will include my research interests (beer/hops, wine/grapes, ag production, consumer behavior), my successes and failures at homebrewing, summaries/reviews of the books I read, etc.
Start the year off strong, don’t be afraid to reach out for support, and be the best you that you can be.