2014 Reflections

It is almost the end of 2014. That means that people have begun to set resolutions for 2015. Most people are focusing on who they want to be in the new year and what they want to change about themselves. But we should also look back at the past year to see, not only what we could do better in the coming year, but also what we accomplished and what we were great at.

These are some of the things I’ve accomplished in 2014:

  • read 30-ish books
  • watched 17-ish TV shows
  • got productive
  • maintained 9-5 study schedule
  • Dean’s list
  • graduated high school
  • started college
  • started this blog
  • learned the importance of personal projects
  • journaling daily in August and December and a couple days in between
  • rekindled interest in space and books and medicine
  • learned HTML
  • learned about MBTI
  • envisioned more goals for myself

I’ve read about 30 books. Not many I know, but I was distracted by Netflix. Speaking of, I’ve watched 17 TV shows in their entirety. Which is way excessive. But I did productive things while I watched Netflix, so I am okay with the large amount of shows that I have watched within a 9 month period of time. I should probably calculate how many hours of my life I spent on Netflix. Netflix has expanded my interests so so much. Namely, Doctor Who and Torchwood have changed my life. I also watched some movies, but I don’t really remember which ones. I should have recorded them somewhere. Most notably, I became productive. Never before, had I though that I could maintain a 9 to 5 study schedule. Oh, and I completed my first semester of college on the Dean’s list. I started journaling regularly, which I never realized was so fulfilling. I started this blog. I started to crave work. I can’t really do nothing for a day anymore. Well, I can, but I hate it. I learned that planning is a passion of mine. I also learned that I need creativity outlets, whether they be in forms of writing or forms of art. I have explored the merits and drawbacks of both digital and analog productivity. I still have not struck the perfect balance between the two, but my current methods are working for me reasonably well. I went through multiple rounds of fitness phases. I have also gone through innumerable amounts of unhealthy phases. I have rediscovered a love for space and space travel. I have started reading avidly again. I have also started to listen to podcasts and watch TED talks regularly. For me, 2014 contained many a momentous occasion: I officially became an adult; I graduated from high school; I started, and finished, my first semester of college; and I began to realize more of the things that I want to do in my life. I have begun to aspire to be one of those people that just does so much. For example, Hank Green, Tina Fey, and the various productivity bloggers that I now follow.

The year of 2014 has brought many changes to my life. My schooling has changed. My habits have changed. My interests have changed. And my mindset has changed.

I started this year as a procrastinator who had completely succumbed to senioritis. And I end this year as a relatively productive college student, who has a colossal amount of goals, for her schooling and for her life.

While 2014 was a year of change, 2015 is going to be a year of maximum productivity.

What have you accomplished in 2014?

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2015 New Year’s Resolution Guide

2014 is coming to a close. That means that it is time for everyone to start setting New Year’s Resolutions. Most people will only get to mid-January, February if they’re lucky. But this year, you are not going to be one of those people! 2015 is going to be a year of growth and productivity. Over the next couple of days, I am going to be teaching you how to set New Year’s Resolutions in a way that it will be easy to maintain them.

How to set new year's resolutions

What is your system for setting New Year’s Resolutions?

12 Books You’re Wishing For

Today is Day 1 of 12 Days of Book Lists! Yay! I have listed only productivity/lifestyle books so that this actually fits with the theme of my blog.

The 12 Books I’m wishing for this winter are (in no particular order):

12. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
I am actually currently reading this, and it is awesome. I have already changed the way I think about routines and habits that I would like to implement to achieve my ideal lifestyle. I’m less wishing for this book, and more wishing to finish it.

11. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I. Love. Amy Poehler. So. Much. I only recently learned that she had written a book, and I immediately wanted to devour it with my eyes. Since I probably won’t ever be able to hang out with Amy Poehler in real life, I am going to read this book, so I can pretend to be her best friend.

10. Juggling Elephants by Jones Loflin and Todd Musig
This is a productivity book that I want to read. This blurb from Amazon describes it perfectly: “Juggling Elephants tells a simple but profound story about one man with a universal problem. Mark has too much to do, too many priorities, too much stress, and too little time.” I’m hoping that this book will teach me more productivity skills and how to balance my circus of a life.

9. How to Win at College by Cal Newport
I’ve been reading Cal Newport’s Study Hacks blog for about a year. The things I have learned from it have changed my life immensely. His blog taught me skills such as time-blocking and research-paper outlining. I could not imagine my life without implementing the productivity tips I have learned from his blog. I assume that his books will teach me even more. I want to read How to Win at College because I am in college (university for you non-Americans). And I want to win at it.

8. How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
“The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading.” Nothing much else to say.

7. Do It Tomorrow by Mark Forster
In this book, Mark Forster approaches time-management in unique, innovative ways. I want to learn these ways. So I want this book.

6. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
This is Cal Newport’s newest book. It is about “why skills trump passion in the quest for work you love.” I want to get a head start in finding my perfect job, so that I don’t realize that I want to do something entirely different with my life once I have already gotten deep into a specific industry.

5. Bossypants by Tina Fey
I love Tina Fey. This book was written at a time when she was juggling an enormous amount of projects. Tina Fey lives a busy lifestyle, as many of us do. But she is able to laugh about it. I think this is a skill that we can all do well to learn.

4. Use Your Head by Tony Buzan
“How to unleash the power of your mind.” Well, I want to unleash the amazingawesome power of my mind, so…

3. Brain Rules by John Medina
“In Brain Rules, molecular biologist Dr. John Medina shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule–what scientists know for sure about how our brains work–and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives.”

2. The Motivation Hacker by Nick Winter
I have lots of things that I want to do, but lack the motivation to do (working out). But I know that if I can figure out what my personal motivation is based on, then I can accomplish any- and everything that I want to. I think this book will help me (fingers crossed). It is pretty high up on my reading list.

1. Getting Things Done by David Allen
I’ve researched a little bit on the infamous GTD productivity system. Honestly, it hasn’t seemed very appealing to me. I want to read this book because I want to see if it lives up to the hype. I also want to figure out what the big deal about GTD is. Maybe I’ll try it out after I read this book.

What productivity books are on your reading list?