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Mom, PhD's Top 5 New Year's Resolutions

Welcome to 2020! We’re having a great first day of the new decade and we hope you are too. We engage in a lot of rituals to welcome the new year here at Mom, PhD. I’m Korean-American so my family has passed down a lot of traditions like making rice cake soup and cleaning to welcome in good fortune. We also celebrate American traditions like staying up until midnight, watching the live stream of the New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York City, and drinking champagne and kissing when the clock strikes twelve.

I write a lot of New Year's resolutions every year. I find it fun and motivating to think about all the things I want to aim for this coming year. I find the exercise of goal-setting a useful meditation in and of itself. I don't always follow all my goals through but I enjoy marking the intentions. I’d like to share some of my 2020 resolutions with you:

1. Make time for self-care. Whether it's taking care of myself in terms of eating well and working out, relaxing at the spa, or watching an episode of my favorite show with a cup of tea and biscotti, I want to make time for me and my health this year. As a parent, student, and freelancer, it's hard to find the energy for anything outside of work and family sometimes. But it's important to oil and polish the machine that makes all the magic happen.

2. Cook more, complain less. Cooking can be challenging because I'm often tired at the end of the day and it seems like another chore. I'm always proud of the outcome of healthy, custom meals, but it can be tough to get through the process. This year, I want to "just do it," try to enjoy it, and stop complaining about doing something good for me and my family. That said, it does take a lot of effort to decide on a meal, grocery shop, cook, and clean, so I'm going to invest some time into streamlining the process. I'll take the initiative to cook, but I'll also recruit my family to help me.

3. Find presence. As I wrote in my blog post about the end of the semester, I often daydream about work when I have too much on my plate. I'm also someone who lives in my head and often thinks about the past or the future. I'd like to practice mindfulness this year and work to organize my headspace between the present moment and considerations for another time. One way to implement this is to incorporate a small meditation practice every day with my family. We can all find our presence together.

4. Read. As a PhD student, I read a lot for class. While the texts are often challenging academic works, I enjoy reading them. I also want to read more casually outside of school like news, magazines, articles, and more. While we do read together every day in our family, I'd like to orient our household to read more adventurously and habitually. My husband is a voracious reader and I'd like to follow his lead and reinforce healthy reading practices in the family.

5. Be fearless. Sometimes I feel caught in the "shoulds" of life: I should be living my life, approaching motherhood, or socializing in a certain way. The reality is that I have my own individual convictions and goals based on my value systems; I won't let societal or cultural expectations stop me from living my best life. Following your intellect and heart is the only way to enact change in your life and in the world. For 2020, I want to be fearless in how I approach my life: my work, family, and social life. Let's be brave this decade!

Let me know what your resolutions are for the coming year. Shoot me an email at Happy New Year!


Mom, PhD


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