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2014 is almost here. Are you okay with that?

To-do list2014 is almost here. I’m not sure I’m ready. I’m still trying to wrap up projects and tasks from 2013…and I only have 1 more day left to do it. Where did the time go?

At this time of year, I start thinking, “What have I been doing for the last 364 days?” Then, I start stressing out because I haven’t finished everything I wanted to do. So, I thought I’d just take a few minutes to therapeutically review my 2013 major to-dos list and think about a few of the tasks that I’ve finished to feel better about those that will roll over to 2014. Instead of being upset with myself that I didn’t check everything on the list in 2013, I’ve decided to accept that some items will carry over in to 2014 because they’re either ongoing or larger than a year or less worth’s of work can accomplish. And I’m okay with that.

1. Started a new blog. Why not start with something I’ve enjoyed? Starting this blog was a project I’ve been thinking  about for years, but I’ve never taken the steps to do it. So, this year, I finally did it. With end-of-term papers and projects, and grading and reviewing, though, I wasn’t able to post anything in a while.

2014 rollover: Blog regularly. So, in 2014, I want to have a more regular opportunity to carve out time to post content. It’s a time commitment, I know, but it’s one that’s worth it to me and worth working hard to make happen.

2. Started important, meaningful research. Some of you know from my other posts that this year I started research work in military veteran writing. It has been  exciting and insightful, but I’m nowhere near finished with it. In fact, it’s just beginning.

2014 rollover: Continue finding out more about military veteran students. Not only do I have more research to conduct, I have more students to talk to, more colleges to contact, more programs to consider. There is so much more work left to do that if I spend too much time here, I’ll feel too overwhelmed and defeat the purpose of this whole exercise.

3. Developed online course videos. Developing my online course content is a project I have been working on all year. I wanted to have videos for all of my online courses, but I only managed a few.

2014 rollover: Complete additional online course videos. Some projects will just be ongoing, and this is one of them. So, for next year, I’m going to create even more videos. I’ll probably even tweak some of those I’ve already recorded because, well, that’s what we do as instructors. We continue to update and renew our content based on experience, feedback, new ideas…the list goes on.

4. Completed classroom coursework for my PhD. That’s right. I wrapped up my last classroom course a few weeks ago. I tallied that I’ve been taking classes for the majority of the last 15 years. More than a decade of my life has been spent as a student. And, it’s not quite finished.

2014 rollover: Completing my last course of my PhD. So, in 2014, I’ll be taking my last course (not in a classroom) and then working toward those pesky exams in the summer. But, I’m okay with that last straggler hanging out there. Really. I’m more excited to take that last course to work on some final writing projects that are nearly complete.

So, those are the big ones. The projects from 2013 that must hang around for 2014. I’m not too upset that they weren’t all completed because, really, I see this short list as not too shabby. It’s okay. The year will end; another will begin; and the projects will go on. This year, I’ve accepted the projects I’ve finished and those that I haven’t, and I’m ready for 2014.

I hope you are, too. This list was of course unique to me, but I hope each of you goes through this exercise, too. It’s helpful if you’re like me–someone who always feels like more could have been done. Take my word for it. It really is reassuring to see the “left to dos” in connection to the “did thats”. If you sort through the list in this way, I hope you’ll become proud of what you’ve accomplished in 2013 and okay with the items that remain. Here’s to a great (read “productive”) 2014!

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