Saturday, December 31, 2016

a new year & new beginnings

Happy New Year's Eve!

2016 has been a great year for me - I started PA school and passed 2 semesters of classes, which I am extremely proud of. My big girl career is off to a great beginning and I cannot wait to see what comes next!

With a new year comes new beginnings. I know, it is such a cliche, but what better time to kick old habits and start new ones?!

In 2017, I have a few goals for myself. Over the years, I've learned that I like to set extravagant goals that I usually don't reach, so this year I am trying something different and setting more manageable goals for myself.

Basically, I want to manage my time better. Of course, PA school kind of forces you to manage your time well or you will definitely fall behind. I have been succeeding in all of my classes, so that must mean I at least have some pretty good time management in the study and learning department. But I would like to improve my time management outside of the realm of school. I want to have more time for exercising and taking care of my body. I already gave myself Tuesday nights each week off for Symphonic Band practices, since that is literally one of the only hobbies of mine that I feel like I can enjoy without a nagging guilt coming over me - making time for creating music gives me a sense of calmness and clears my mind. I would also like to give myself a little bit more time to myself to do whatever is calling me at that time. PA school is insanely stressful, and that means needing a definite time to relax, even if it is once a week every other weekend. I can remember definite times in the past 2 semesters where I procrastinated and was not as focused as I could be while studying. I want to make the most of my study time so that I can have some me time back. Finally, I want to be able to get a little bit more sleep each night. Again, going back to procrastination, when I procrastinate, I don't sleep as well. And we all know, sleep is important!

So how do I plan on improving my time management skills? Well, I am super excited about this new planner from Target! It is a monthly/weekly planner made by Sugar Paper, and I am in love with the layout. It has your typical days per week sectioned off so you can write any notes in there, and then it has a page full of to-do check boxes. They are my absolute favorite to use!

In the past, I always penned in my own checkboxes for each day, but in PA school at least, it usually always takes a lot longer than 1 day to complete a task (maybe my tasks are about as manageable as my past New Year's goals?? - something to definitely look into), so this planner should help me with being organized and reminding myself of weekly instead of daily to-do tasks. This planner is also a little bit larger than my past planners, so I am hoping that I can fit all of my color-coded chaos better than I did in my last planner. Finally, it is absolutely adorable! Motivation in itself right there to be better with my time management!

What are your New Year's resolutions? What do you want to accomplish in the next 365 days? I'd love to hear!

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

time for rest and restoration

Now that I am on break (yay!), I am attempting to revert back to Holly as a social being as much as possible, without sacrificing all of the forward motion I created for myself during a hectic 18 classes in 6 months.

My goals for this break: to unwind, to work, to study, to spend time with friends and family.

Version A of unwinding: binge watching Netflix with B. Specifically, binge watching Dexter - it's a great show! Version B of unwinding: exercising more. I've started doing a nightly ab workout that only takes 10-15 minutes, and I am hoping that I can carry this through the next semester as well (I definitely slack in the working out department when the semester gets going - and that is something I would like to work on!). I have also been running after getting out of work. There are some really amazing trails in the general area of the location I work at, and it kind of forces me to make sure I am prepared for a run after my shift ends. Version C of unwinding: music. I want to perfect my Amazon Prime Music playlist for studying (no words!) and for times where I would like other music that I enjoy (a mixture of indie I guess you can call it, with some piano, jazz, classical, orchestral, etc. etc...I love most all types of music!).

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Working. I'd like to make a few dollars over break. Not working like a mad woman (like I did to get into PA school - more on that on a later date), but a few shifts a week so that I can have some money to support my coffee addiction. Yes, that is a legitimate thing! Coffee = necessary essential.

I've been pretty good about keeping up on studying, sort of. In a much more leisurely way than I'm used to. It is really nice to head out to a coffee shop, plug in my headphones, and review/read/write. It is amazing how much I am remembering, despite how quickly it was thrown at us in class and exams. It is also nice to have a few assignments ahead of time (i.e. a pharmacology journal article review) so that I can take my time and really understand the scientific articles I'm reading.

Finally, the best part: spending time with friends and family. My first encounter with the outside world (my non-PA school friends) was going out with my friend while wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. I immediately headed to my mom's closet, where she keeps several brilliant 90's Christmas sweaters that fit the "ugly Christmas sweater" description perfectly! She doesn't like me saying that though. :) Then, of course, there is cooking dinner with/for my parents and sister, shopping with my family, Christmas eve mass, Christmas day lunch, and much more! I also plan on visiting a good friend from college in Philadelphia, and going for lunch with some of my local non-PA school friends. B and I plan on taking a little mini trip somewhere and exploring. We always have the best times when we randomly pick up, Priceline a hotel an hour or less before we get there, and find fun local activities for the next few days. Not going to lie, it usually always involves a lot of tourist attractions (we are both nerds at heart), yummy food, and shopping (for me - B is always a good sport about it)!

I am going to soak up every last bit of this break before I hit the ground running next semester.

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