If you haven’t heard of it by now, there’s this great planner called the Passion Planner that launched on Kickstarter a couple years ago. They’re available for about $25, but can also be downloaded for free and printed at home. There are motivational quotes and places to draw and reflect on the good things that have happened each week.
I wish I had this planner through most of my undergraduate career. I used it occasionally during my last quarter, and it was extremely helpful in planning and setting priorities. Postgrad, it’s not as applicable for me, but there is an end of the year reflection that I decided to share.
From 1-10, how do you feel overall about this past year?
9. I feel like my year was divided into 4 separate segments. Each had its stressful moments, but all had pretty amazing high points as well.
January – March
I was so lucky to find a study abroad program that fit my career interests (International Business Economics), and it happened to be in the amazing city that my boyfriend was living and studying in. How could I say no? I regret not being more spontaneous and taking the initiative to really go out and experience ALL of the attractions Barcelona had to offer. My time abroad in Europe seemed so short and fleeting. But I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to go. Next time, I’ll be so ready to conquer the rest of Europa.
April – June
Spring quarter, final quarter. I actually enjoyed taking classes at UC San Diego. I took three 4-unit major/minor classes, a 2-unit P/NP seminar, and two 4-unit dance classes. Flamenco and West African Dance had me skating back and forth between Revelle and ERC like a crazy woman with my backpack of school supplies and a bag of lunch.
I got to meet up with Cathy in Vancouver for an amazing weekend trip that ended in me flying back to San Diego and attending class from 2-8pm. I became super close to old and new friends, “danced my heart out” and basically lived in three different places. Then I graduated, and I knew I would never see some of these people again.
July – September
Ah, my postgrad summer! I had already decided I was too busy Spring quarter to look for a job, and that I wanted to take some time off to relax and consider travel before beginning the job hunt (I wanted to go to India, but realized I had no money). Ever since middle school, I devoted so much time and energy into getting straight A’s and being a good girl. Now, I just wanted to be super lazy.
It’s hard to really describe what I did during this period. It doesn’t seem like I did that much, but I know that I didn’t do nothing. I had a free schedule, and seized the opportunity to attend events I otherwise might not have been able to. I visited Anthem in the beginning of the summer, and joined Amy’s friends on a West coast road trip. Cathy visited San Diego a lot (oh, she’ll be back!), and I got to splash around with the twins at Uncle Andy’s house. I broke Victoria’s ankle and spent many a miserable hour with her. I started and finished Parks and Recreation. It was a full summer, with my default friends/sisters.
October – December
Amy started work and school. Now, I really needed to return to reality. I began looking for a job (really depressing). Still, I got to celebrate birthdays, Thanksgiving, the holiday season, and Cathy came back to San Diego twice mas (told ya). I went to Arizona again, Vegas with Amy/Victoria/Karen in November, and ended the year in Vegas with my study abroad fam.
What advice would you give yourself at the beginning of the year?
Budget better. Party harder but smarter. Take advantage of where you are and who you have the opportunity to be with.
What were the three biggest lessons you learned in this past year? What is one way to incorporate these lessons into your life?
- I’m stronger than I even thought I knew I was.
- There’s no room in my life for certain kinds of people.
- Doing things usually ends up better than not.
Review your planner for the past year and assess your priorities. Are you happy with how you spent your time? If not, what steps can you take this next year to adjust them?
There are more days than I would like to admit spent almost entirely on the living room couch. More 5-minute planks, reading, and exploring are on the to-do list.
How are you different between this year and the last?
I have learned so much about myself this year. As an individual, sister, partner, student, academic, employee. This self-awareness has made me more self-assured, and I’m sure that I am more sure of what I desire in terms of love and work.
What or who are you especially grateful for this year?
My family. My best friends. My study abroad fam.
Name three things you can improve on next year. What are concrete actions you can take to work towards these improvements?
- Read more
- Exercise more (cliché I know)
- Save more
- Clean more
Let’s not just hope 2016 is great. Let’s MAKE IT great.