January 6, 2016

2016 New Year’s Resolution – Suggestions for Faculty

Posted by Laura Guertin

It’s that time of year again – the time when some people declare to dedicate efforts to improve their personal and/or professional lives. With so many online articles and posts calling attention to New Year’s resolutions, this wasn’t a topic I could ignore on my blog, as grad students, post-docs, faculty and researchers can generate resolutions to help us find that magical work/life balance (or at least get closer to it!).

Last year, I did a post to kick off 2015 titled Spending some time unplugged – a New Year’s Resolution, perhaps? The Teaching Professor blog The Scholarly Teacher did a post in 2015 on A New Year’s Teaching Resolution, which included thinking about engagement in the classroom, assessing for learning, classroom climate, and interprofessional support. One additional resolution from last year included #365papers, where people challenged themselves to read one new journal article a day, which is addressed in some tweets and blog posts below. This year, there are some new hashtags that are making appearances:

Jacquelyn Gill (University of Maine) has a full blog post about her academic resolutions, past and present. Anne Jefferson (Kent State University) did an excellent job of keeping to her #365papers resolution for 2015 – I encourage you to check out her blog post that summarizes what she has learned through this challenge (and the fascinating analytics of what she read).

Note that a resolution does not have to be to “add” something to our already-full plate, but the resolution can focus on NOT adding something, or even removing some things, from that plate. The blog post below offers tips and reasons why it is OK to say “no” once in awhile.

Science Friday has a very interesting audio segment (~12 min) titled Don’t Stress! How to (Hopefully) Keep New Year’s Resolutions. This audio file discusses that “as you try to keep your new year’s resolutions, willpower is only part of the equation. What could end up undermining your goals is not your lack of discipline but your abundance of stress.” The interview includes suggestions for apps to help us stick to our resolutions, whatever they may be.

And for those that are a part of the Earth Science Women’s Network, be sure to check the current discussions on the forums – there is some excellent advice being shared to help us find a great balance between our personal and professional lives.

What will my resolution(s) be? Because I’ve been more involved in mentoring and hearing undergraduate and graduate students ask more questions what it is like to be a faculty member, I may just try the #365scienceselfies challenge over in my Instagram account. And I should be OK getting #50posts up here at GeoEd Trek. And I’m absolutely going to make the tweet below one of my resolutions!