Happy New Year!
I hope that I can still get away with wishing you a happy new year almost 2 weeks into 2017. I originally wrote a “Happy New Year” article last night but managed to erase it all *insert monkey hiding face emoji*
I had a great Christmas break. Very relaxing with lots of quality time with my husband and my family and absolutely no work. I took the opportunity of our holiday in the Alps to fill in the reflection part of my Passion Planner. As you might have guessed, I love a bit of introspection. Last time I was in the Alps was in December 2013 and so much has changed since then:
- I was living in London full-time, not 2 weekends a month
- I did not know I was going to go to medical school
- I had an income (I really miss that one)
- I was not engaged, let alone married
- I had never run a marathon, I’ve ran 2 since
- I was not a running coach
Wow. Just Wow. So much has changed in 3 years! I’ll tell you what has not changed though
- I still suffer from low self-confidence
- I can get very stressed (although I think I have made huge progress with that one)
And honestly, as I am going to turn 30 this year *insert monkey hiding face emoji*, I am more than happy to leave these 2 last points into my twenties.
In this time of the year, we are bombarded with “New Year, New You” messages. Should you really become a new you? Personally, I think that rather than “new us”, we should be looking at an “optimised us”. I don’t want to become someone completely new, but I can do with a little less stress and a little more self-belief.
I had a very tough time last academic year, I let myself become completely consumed by stress. I am not sure how I got to the end of the year but once I got there, I said “never again”. I then started working on my “optimisation” with the wonderful Kim, over the summer and started 4th year of medical school more motivated than ever. Except that this summer, I was not “doing medicine” when I started to put new tools in place. Therefore, during the Christmas break, I spent some time “optimising” further again to make it work while in med school. Hey, you don’t do a PhD and then don’t live for optimising experiments and seeing what results it gives you. Between my Passion planner, Trello and the Getting Things Done* method, I had finally cleared my inboxes. I was ready to go, I thought that I finally had my
shit act together.
And then the COMP1 iSSC happened (hi Bristol medics reading this). Basically a formative coursework for which you still need to put some sort of effort as you will not be eligible to sit your end of the year exams if you fail it. This was far more time-consuming than I anticipated it. It made me want to cry and smile at the same time. Cry because I thought I had finally prepared myself for 2017, I had a vision, and this coursework completely hijacked it as I could not do some of the things I had planned to i.e. some workouts or post on the blog for instance. And smile, because this iSSC made me realise that I can *create* time. Indeed, I thought I had no time and yet I managed to make time for this coursework. Now that it is handed over, I am excited to see that with a little focus and a lot more self-belief, I can, slowly, achieved these goals I have set for myself.
2017 is going to be the year of the marathon.
- The life marathon. It took me nearly 30 years to get to where I am now, slow and steady wins the race.
- The medical school marathon. I have a big set of exams at the end of June and then my medical FINALS in December
*insert monkey hiding face emoji**insert crying face emoji*. I don’t want to burn out, I want to keep having a balanced lifestyle and keep enjoying myself until the end of this degree.
- The running marathon. I had promised not to run a marathon until the end of med school but the trough is, it’s probably easier to squeeze in training now then when I’ll start working. I’m 12 weeks out from race day. By now I would prefer to be in half marathon shape like when training for my previous two marathons, and I would have liked to start training more consistently 4 weeks ago but you know, life. But now that this iSSC is out-of-the-way and that I know how to create time, training will happen.
Well, I did not think that I would pour out a post like that a second time. To summarise, should you change this year? Not necessarily. If you are happy, keep doing what you are doing! Perhaps make a note of what you are doing so when time gets tough, you can go back to what you know works for you to make you a smiling person.
However, if things are not working out so well, then don’t be afraid to shake things up. Perhaps don’t become an entirely new person but as I like to say, an optimised version of yourself. Believe me, it’s much more fun once you start stressing a little less and believe a little more.
So to the old or optimised you, I would like to wish you a happy, happy new year 2017.
Lots of love,