Tag Archives: New Year

New Year, New Resolutions

It is finally that time of year. Time to set my goals for 2012 and then try to keep up with them until 2013. I am very excited about my 2012 goals, as the 2011 goals I set for myself were either met or exceeded. I had a lot of fun trying to meet the goals and I felt that I challenged myself continually throughout the year. This year, I have tried to choose a list of goals based on feedback from friends, family and my readers. I have also taken into account the amount of time each goal will take and the effort I will have to expend to complete it.


My 2012 Goals 

Relationship goals:

Strengthen my personal relationships by spending more time with those I care about. 

This may not seem like that difficult of a goal, but you have to keep in mind that I only have one family member in California, relatively few friends because of the hours I work each week, and a very demanding job. I am hoping that by the end of 2012, I will have solidified my relationship to a certain significant other, made a few close friends, and have a small circle of acquaintances with whom I can have some fun.

Write more letters, thank you notes and emails.

This is one of those goals I always mean to make myself do. Ever since university, I have tried to write more thank you notes and letters, but I always seem to come up short. However, I have written a few emails this year and I plan to keep that up. My goal is to write an email (outside of work) each day. I would like to email my grandmother, mother, father, brothers and friends at least once a week. My family alone will be 6 days!

Take a real vacation with someone.

“Real vacation” does not include: going home to see family for a holiday, traveling for a family emergency, traveling for a work-related reason or medical conference. I will only consider it a vacation if I am traveling solely for relaxing and spending time with my travel companion.

Preferable Destinations: Seychelles,  Dominican Republic, Toronto, Spain, London, Belize

Personal Goals:

– Finish my novel

Just last year I started a novel (no I’m not going to post it on this blog 🙂 ). I wanted to take part in NaNoWriMo, but then I had to travel/get sick/deal with personal issues for most of November and was unable to write at all. I only got around to writing about 10, 000 out of 50,000 words. Will I finish my novel in 2012? Maybe not, but I will try to write for a bit each week.

Learn to sew

I have wanted to learn to sew for some time now. I always see these amazing dresses/skirts and when I ask where they got the dress I get the, “Oh, I made this!,” response. I need to buy a sewing machine and convert the “cats room” into a sewing room. I welcome suggestions on where to buy fabrics in LA/Hermosa, what sewing machine I need to buy and what the best way to learn is (online tutorials, sewing books, classes) .

Read 20 books in 2012

In 2011, I read 30 books. I thought about upping the ante to 40, but then I remembered I want to have a life outside of work. I have decided to keep the goal of reading a set number of books, but I want to read less. I would really like to read the Harry Potter series, but only if I can get them on my Nook.

Make a substantial blog post two (2) times a week or a small post three (3) times a week.

I am looking forward to blogging in the new year! I have some posts I am working on (mostly about my travels), but they are fairly time intensive. I will be posting more often, around 2-3 times a week and I would love suggestions! Anything that you would be interested in me blogging about, I am open to it! 

Goals to Continue

Take more cooking courses (Persian, Latin American, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish)

I enjoyed this goal immensely. I was able to sign up for a few cooking courses and it was a blast! I would like to cook through a few classic cookbooks for each type of cuisine, while also supplementing my cooking with some outside classes.

Run 50 miles a week following Runners World MPW Target Goals or 2700 miles for the year. Try for 3000 miles if possible!

Even though this goal was difficult to keep up with in 2011 (due to work, travel or illness), I loved the way I felt after completing the required 50 miles a week. This year I am shooting for 3000 miles, but hitting 2700 or 2600 would be acceptable. If I can squeeze a few races or marathons in, I will definitely try!

Complete 1-2 detox plans over the course of 2012

This goal was actually a lot of fun for me. I scheduled both of my detoxes after holidays, in hopes that I could rid my system of the toxins I built up eating all that holiday fare. This year, I plan on trying to get in two (2) detoxes, but one (1) detox over the summer will work!

I am very pleased with my 2012 goals. I have already started a few of my goals and will keep everyone updated as I complete or struggle with each one.

Question(s): Have you decided to set goals for yourself in 2012? If so, what are they? Do you have suggestions to help me complete any of the above goals? Would you like to challenge me to complete another goal (I am up for some challenging!)?

Happy New Year!

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!