Tag Archives: goals

It’s Halfway-ish!

It’s halfway through the year and you want to check on how I’ve done with my 2012 goals?!

Oh, ok. Yea, we can do that…

I mean, I have been very busy, extremely busy even.

Am I stalling? Me? What makes you think that

I’m right on track to completing my goals! I really am. I promise.

I’ve been strengthening my personal relationships. I talk to my mother at least once a day and I have emailed my father a few times since the beginning of the year. As far as my relationship with my friends, I still struggle with that. I’ve always been loner and medical school did nothing to improve upon that. I prefer my alone time and I think that my quirkiness can sometimes overwhelm others.

As far as writing more letters, emails and thank you notes I have done that! I write letters to my babcia once a week, purchased lots of awesome thank you notes from Papersource and I have even tried to send emails to family members on a fairly regular basis. I need to do better though. I would be happy to send more emails, but my friends just text me. So it’s their fault!

Plans to take a real vacation with someone haven’t panned out yet. It’s only half way though the year though! I have been to Tahoe, NYC, Toronto and Missouri. Sadly they were mostly business trips, though a few were to see family.

My novel has been shelved. I have yet to find the time to write, nor have I felt particularly inspired. So that goal is…not happening.

I’ll just say it, I have yet to learn to sew. Moving along.

The reading goal I set for myself is working out nicely. So far this year I have read:

The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy
By Light Alone by Adam Roberts
Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan
Behind the Beautiful Forever by Katherine Boo
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
India Becoming by Akash Kapur
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

With a little over half the year behind me, I am on the right track to hit 20 books by the end of the year.

When it comes to making a blog post 2-3 times a week, I have fallen way behind. This year as been incredibly busy and there have been a lot of stressful situations. I haven’t really felt inspired to blog, but I will try to do better.

One of the goals I decided to carry over from 2011 was to take more cooking courses. I have signed up for a few through the South Bay School of Cooking, and plan to attend a Thai class, Chinese Dim Sum course and Spanish class which centers around making paella.

Running fifty (50) miles a week has been an easy goal for me to keep and I think I will up my distance to 60 in 2013. I still want to squeeze in at least one (1) marathon by the end of the year!

As far as completing a detox plan, I have done a small one over the course of two weeks. I would like to try to complete a longer one during the winter, possibly in between Thanksgiving and the new year.

Planning Ahead and Not Giving Up

At the beginning of the year, I promised myself that I would complete a set of goals by the end of 2011.

So far I have finished 4/10 goals in a 10 month span (almost 11). Now that it is the beginning of November, I decided to look back at my list of goals and see how I can improve upon them, complete them or realize that I have failed.

The problem with this is that I don’t feel like it’s ever alright to quit. The thought of not completing my goals upsets me and I really want to find someway to finish all of them by the end of the year!

Goals Completed:

-Read thirty (30) books in 2011 (officially completed 10/16/11)

-Buy a house in California (completed 7/19/11)

-Volunteer with Doctors without Borders (9/23/11, placed in pool for matching)

– Allow myself to be more artistic (blog posts, baking, sketching, began writing novel)

Goals I Have Partly Finished:

-Run fifty (50) miles a week following Runners World MPW Target Goals (Target: 2600;  Completed: 2300 -20 for sick days = 2280;  To Run: 320 miles in 7 weeks + 6 days)

-Complete two (2) detox plans (first plan completed on 6/20/11, second plan tentatively completed 11/25/11-12/16/11)

-Set aside time everyday to write (I have not been writing creatively everyday, but I have done it almost every other day. Between blog posts, writing a novel and writing a few short stories, I have really tried to complete this goal!)

-Take a cooking course in one of the following cuisines: Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Persian (Middle eastern), Spanish, Latin American
(signed up for an Indian cooking course held on 11/29/11)

Goals I Have Yet to Complete:
-Travel back to Poland to see family
-Learn to say “No” 

These last two goals have been the hardest for me to complete. I have been unable to find the time to fly back to Poland during the year, but I have seen family members periodically. I really want to travel back home to Łódź, but this goal may have to wait until I have more free time.

The second goal, which seems easy, is terribly difficult. I can never seem to find it in myself to say no to someone. I always volunteer for everything and it has worn me very thin. I will continue to work on this, but I have a feeling I will just resign myself to tacking this on my goals for 2012.

Speaking of 2012, I have thought about the goals I want to set for myself. So far I have come up with:

Possible 2012 Goals
-Strengthen my personal relationships by spending more time with those I care about.
-Finish my novel
-Keep a “365 Food and  Exercise” Journal for a year (make it a page on my blog)
-Take an actual vacation with someone
-Complete at least one (2) marathons (shoot for 4) or six (6) races (shoot for 10) in 2012
-Read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series
-Learn to do one of the following: sew, knit, screen print
-Host a dinner party once a month to meet new people
-Get back into photography
-Write more letters and thank you notes (emails do not count)
-Make a substantial blog post once a week or a small post once a day
-Try something new once a month
-Read 40 books in 2012
-Watch AFI’s 100 Best Movies in 2012
-Learn a programming language
-Take a course in something I know nothing about (and get an A!)
-Build a computer (desktop)
-Learn to surf, snowboard or ski
-Meditate once a day for one (1) hour

Goals to Continue
-Take more cooking courses (Persian, Latin American, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish)
-Read at least a book a month (shoot for 20, hit 30 if possible)
-Allow myself to be more artistic
-Write something, creatively, each day

Obviously I will not use all these goals. I need ten (10) solid goals, which do not include the goals I would love to carry over into the new year. I really need to make sure that I understand the time I have to invest in each to complete them on time. Setting the goals I did this year, really pushed me into trying some new things and I enjoyed the feeling of completion when I finished a goal!

Questions: Are you going to set goals for yourself in 2012? What are some of the goals you have in mind? What do you think of some of the goals I have in mind for next year? Have you completed a similar goal? Do you have any advice on completing any of the goals above?


Setting goals and reaching them…sometimes

Each year, my friends and I set goals for ourselves. We normally gather around a table in a restaurant we have all (amazingly) agreed upon, lists in hand and give each other an overview of what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. Goals range from the mundane (I want to clean out the guest room), to the ridiculous (I want to travel to every continent), and anywhere in-between. We share our lists with each other in case someone is able to offer some advice or even help with accomplishing the goal. In the past my goals have been about “keeping it together” throughout medical school/interning/residency, but with that behind me I had to look toward the future in order to come up with my yearly goals.

In the weeks before I went to Boston to visit friends for the New Year, I agonized over what I wanted to write. I didn’t want to make a list of safe, easily attainable goals and I also didn’t want to place my goals so far out of reach they weren’t attainable. After much deliberation I came up with the following list:

– Read thirty (30) books in 2011
So far I have done well with this goal. I have read eight books since the January gathering and I am working on my ninth book at the moment.


Can I do it? Can I read 30 books in 2011?

If I complete the goal earlier than December 31, I will consider aiming for a higher number next year. I just have to remember that I currently work ridiculous hours and maintain a home on my own.

I am always open to suggestions regarding what I should read. Have a look at my Goodreads account and make a recommendation!

-Run fifty (50) miles a week following Runners World MPW Target Goals
Since starting this I have hit the 50 mile mark each week, substituting an elliptical work-out on days when I could not run on a track or outside. I have definitely enjoyed this particular goal, but I don’t think I would want to run more than 50 mpw as long as I am working my current hours.

-Complete two (2) detox plans
So far I have completed one 21-day detox and plan on doing another later on in the year. The first detox was moderately difficult to

Detox staples

I learned to love tea, cayenne pepper and citrus

follow, but I want to challenge myself more with the second. I was able to follow the detox for the full 21-days and would like to try a month-long detox in the future.

The 21-day detox plan was taken from an issue of Natural Health Magazine. I did take recipes from different detox sites to make the detox “my own.”

-Buy a house in California
This goal has been fully completed and I am currently in the process of fully moving in/unpacking. Buying this house means that I now own my first home (was never in one place long enough to consider purchasing a house) and adds even more responsibility to my already heaping plate.

-Set aside time to write every day
I have been working on doing this, but I have to admit that I have not written every day. Even though I have been keeping a journal

Hospital board

Yea, this doesn't count as writing

(a practice I learned during the detox plan), writing blog posts and using Twitter more frequently it hasn’t been something I have done daily. I also don’t think I can/should count Twitter, so that means I have been writing even less.

I think the reason it is so difficult for me to write when I get home, is because I write on charts and CBC’s all day. When I get home I just want to relax and not make my brain work any more than it already has.

-Learn to say “No”
Since I was young, I have found it very difficult to tell people no. I would end up working shifts I didn’t want, driving for hours to pick up a friend and generally not looking out for myself. I have completely failed at this goal so far this year. I continually agree to work extra hours and see patients well past their scheduled appointments. By doing this, I have put myself in a place that is further away from where I need to be. I should be working fewer hours, enjoying what I have worked hard to attain and traveling to the places I want to visit before I no longer can

Volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières
Working with MSF has been a dream of mine since I decided to go into medicine. I have always wanted to help those dealing with endemic disease and living in war ravaged countries. When I finally completed my residency, I kept looking forward to the day I would be able to travel with the organization. Sadly, my life has gone in the other direction and my specialization makes it more difficult for me to leave my current job.

-Allow myself to be more artistic
A little known fact about myself, I originally wanted to attend SCAD and major in sequential art and photography. In high school, my father set up a dark room for me in our basement and I spent hours developing photographs. I became obsessed with photography and began creating

Super Doc

I think I may change my name plate to "Super Doc"

comics that were a combination of photographs and pen/ink drawings. My sophomore year of school, I begged my parents to send me to a summer program at SCAD. After much protesting, they finally relented and I spent the majority of the vacation in Georgia. I learned that I adored the creative process, but loathed being told what I could and could not create. I came home, told my parents I wanted to attend art school and began applying to schools all over the country. My parents flat-out refused and told me that I would choose either engineering or medicine. They signed me up for an MCAT program at a local college and I took the test the following year. When I was accepted to medical school, I burned all of my drawings and most of my photographs, as I didn’t want anything to remind me of what I had originally wanted.

-Take a cooking course in one of the following cuisines:  Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Persian (Middle eastern), Spanish, Latin American
I have yet to actually sign up for a course (mostly because I don’t know where to sign up in Los Angeles), but I still want to improve upon what I have already learned. When I was in NYC, I was lucky enough to take cooking lessons from Italian, Thai, Chinese, French and Korean chefs.

-Travel back to Poland to see family
This goal will probably have to wait until later in the year, as I will be busy for the majority of the summer. I would really like to travel back home to Łódź and visit with friends/family, it is definitely something I miss.

After I had read my list there was much discussion about the time commitment some of my goals would take. Many of my friends didn’t think I should try to take more cooking courses or write every day. I told them that I understood why they thought I wouldn’t have time, but that I wanted to challenge myself this year. In the end they agreed to help me in any way they could and many said they would even try to follow the detox plans as well.

I think that setting these goals for myself, even if I don’t complete every one of them, allows me to see just how much I am capable of. They show me that I can fail at certain things and life will still go on, even if I’m not perfect in all aspects. I wonder how many other people set goals for themselves and actually stick to trying to attain them. It makes me happy to know that I am continually setting the bar higher, striving to enrich my life and make myself a more interesting person.

I would be very interested to hear the goals other people have set for themselves! Leave a comment with a past/present goal that you enjoyed completing or hope to complete at some point in the future.

Also, if anyone can give me tips on how to format pictures better within the paragraphs (so that there is less spacing) let me know!