53. summer reset

thinking about quarterly goals & taking it easy

Hi there! 👋 I’m Ida, and this is tiny driver, a newsletter about research, pedagogy, culture and their intersections. Thank you for being here. Reach out anytime by just hitting reply, I love hearing from you.

Hello, and happy Monday.

I hope that July is treating you all well. Unfortunately, I caught a cold last week, so I spent most of my time guzzling fluids and trying to sleep it off. Luckily, I feel much better, but have been taking it easy for the most part.

This was my first time getting sick in over a year, likely because the pandemic had me at home for most of 2020 and 2021. Often, though, when I do get a cold, it is my body telling me that I’m working too hard and that I need to slow down. I guess between all the transitions that are coming these next few months, along with the work that I’m currently doing, has resulted in me not taking the best care of myself.

If you are in a similar place right now—spinning many plates over your head—take this as your sign to check in with yourself and slow down. Rest is important, and you need it.

In the spirit of rest and recovery, this newsletter is going to be a bit shorter than usual. 😴

What I write.

I don’t know about you, but yearly goals stress me out. Call it the life of an academic, but when I don’t necessarily know where I may potentially be the following year (or where my funding is coming from) it’s a bit daunting for me to envision my life one year from now. Sure, I may have a sense of the goals I want to accomplish that year, but it never just ends there.

Throughout my time in grad school and since, I’ve found that what works best for me is quarterly goal setting. This year is no different, and I’ve recently carved out some time in the coming week to set out my plans for July through the end of September. Of course, because I am who I am, these quarterly goals are always sub-divided into more granular lists. For a long time, this would be 2 lists: “Work” and “Personal.” I’ve found, though, that I am much more intentional and “balanced” in my goal-setting when the categories are more specific to the particular roles I have in a given three-month period. For instance, my April to June quarterly goals had a “Teaching” subsection, where this quarter’s list won’t.

Here are some of the categories that I’m planning to include this quarter:

  • Financial

  • Writing (academic)

  • Research

  • Academic admin

  • DEI consulting

  • Tiny driver

  • Fun

  • Personal Development

I also now include the following little lists to the end of my goals, just as a way of making sure that I’m giving myself the best possible chance to get what’s above done:

  • Treats: This list was truly a game changer for me and my happiness. I write down one thing I’m going to do each month that is a “treat” just for making it through the month! For example, in July, I want to spend an afternoon at the beach! I also write down little everyday joys that make me happy, like watching “Love Island UK” (anyone else!?!) or drawing for 30 mins.

  • Accountability mechanisms: Here I list the ways that I’m going to help myself keep on track for the goals. This can be big picture stuff, like monthly reflections or a mid-quarter vision brainstorm. Or, it can be day to day rituals like keeping a writing log, using the Forest app, or having work sessions with friends.

Do you create goals every quarter? I’d love to hear from you, and how you organize them! Feel free to leave a comment or reply to this email letting me know.

Leave a comment

What I consume.

In the Bookshop:
Currently Reading: Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
On Deck: The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler


For July’s book club, we will be reading Conditional Citizens by Laila Lalami! Thank you to everyone who voted, and feel free to purchase a copy of the book here! Details are below.

Here's the event info:
Date & Time: Tuesday, July 27 @ 5PM PST/8PM EST
Registration Link!
Suggested donation (for those able to donate): $3-20 through Paypal or Venmo (@idyalz)

Item(s) of note.

A pup-date.

Higgie boy has that model pose down. Too bad there isn’t an America’s Next Top Model for dogs!

As always, thanks so much for reading through, and I'll see you in the next one!

Warmly,
Ida


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