January, the month of Learning

Hi all! January has oficially ended and I am in such an emotional turmoil. You could have blamed it on the full moon eclipse, but I blame that in having to move out of my apartment, in ending my stay at MIT, and soon starting a new phase for my PhD. I realized how I owned so many things, even though I had already given some of them for MIT Reuse, and tidying everything up was quite shocking. That’s why my February’s resolution of Digital Nomadism and Minimalism will come in handy.

However, we’re here to review how my January was in the light of my Happiness Project for 2018. I have to say this was one of the most intensive months learningwise in my life. The Independent Activities Period (IAP) of MIT was so important to explore different avenues in my career and personal life and I also engage into other separate workshops off campus. The last workshop will be tomorrow and I will tell you how it ended tomorrow, but I can make a quick overview of the activities I had.

learning happiness project 2018

1 – Go to as many IAP Workshops that interest me

Yes! I went to plenty of the workshops I resolved myself to. I went to the ones in graphical communication (mostly presentations, graphics generation and posters), science journalism, public speaking, creativity and figure skating. I even went as well to a workshop in digital marketing and maybe this reflected the interview I had in store to publish. I left some off, but the month was so busy that I was already feeling burnt out from so many new concepts. I need some time to crystallize the new things I learned into new awesome content that can be so helpful for grad students and people thinking about changing careers. I even won a raffle for a personalized one month career coaching and I will let you know all about it by the end of February.

2 – Make a technical writing consultation appointment

It’s scheduled, but I will have it in February. Hopefully it will help on my first research article of the PhD thesis.

3 – Read non-fiction books

This didn’t happen. I started “Hit makers” by Derek Thompson but didn’t finish it yet. Took the remainder time to finish a fiction book. However, throughout my workshops, I took notes of new books that I should read and seem great reads for grad students.

4 – Take a science photography course online

No, I didn’t organize myself for this. I went to the live session with Felice Frankel and it was awesome, I learned so much on how to make great illustrations for research publications and presentations. I’m sure the course will be great when I can take it, and you can find it here.

learning happiness project 2018

And now, let’s make a recap of my year-long tasks!

  • Be punctual: Improving but still not ideal in any way
  • Keep my promises in time management: There was only one instance where I had to say no to a dinner after having said yes for the purpose of self care. So, I’m improving in keeping my schedule.
  • Commit to only one large event daily: MAJOR improvement needed. IAP was way too busy.
  • Talk more with loved ones: I have been taking a hard time doing this in the way I thought. I didn’t make as many Skype calls I would like to back home, but I have been more open with those around me here.
  • Be more present in my interpersonal relationships: I’m going to put down my damn phone more often in February, I promise.
  • Meditate daily as much as possible: Well, it started well, then went downhill
  • Sleep 7h daily at least: Except for these last few days in Boston where I had a lot of goodbyes and I’m sleeping at a friend’s, I was doing pretty well on this.
  • Run twice a week: HA-HA! Couldn’t run even once this year yet. I found out I put on a lot of weight and I am trying to shed it a little before I commit to running more.
  • Prepare weekly PhD reports: Only did 1 of these this year.
  • Write a weekly post for the blog: YES! =D I upped up my game on this fortunately! 🙂 I hope to keep up the good planning I did in January in the next months. Already have a lot of things lined up.

Monthly takeaway: There’s a lot to improve. Throughout all this learnt contents, I saw that planning and keeping all the resolutions in sight helps so that you don’t forget about them. And making too many resolutions in a month with lots of changes will be hard.

In February even more changes are coming. I’m going back home soon, but there still could be more layers to my PhD life that I’m not ready to reveal yet. And since I’m going to do my digital nomad week starting on Sunday, I have to keep resolutions tidy and short. I really realized how clutter affects me these last days more than ever and I’m ready for a new take on the PhD that will make me so excited. And you can also check my updated Digital Nomadism and Minimalism board on February if you’re interested in the mindset for this new month.

Tell me, what was the most important thing you learned in January? In the meantime, don’t forget to follow my PhD journey in the US in FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest to keep up to date!

See you tomorrow! There will be a super special post about the 1-year anniversary at MIT! Stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll cry as I write it.

Cátia

 

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