2013, Resolved: Quarter-year checkpoint


Ladies and gentlemen, we've made it to April. And if you're like me and living in the Northeast (or at least in Boston and, from what my parents tell me, New Jersey), you know that the weather is playing a huge April Fool's joke with the cold and wind this week.

But despite these outside forces, I'm doing my best to not fool around this month. In fact, since I'm a quarter of the way through this year, I wanted to check in with myself (and with TF when we digitally hang out on "Hangout" this Saturday) on the status of my New Year's Resolutions. There are definitely some tweaks that should be made to the list, but I'm making progress on a few fronts.

Two things that need some work/more thinking: I've been very 'meh' on the consistent reading of news headlines across the Journal and the Times. I do have a Times online subscription now, which is good, but more often I'll go on an articles binge on the weekend than systematically chew a bit of news every weekday. That said, whenever I put on Squawk Box on a weekday morning, as ridiculous as its cast of characters is, I really enjoy it and feel a little less clueless about business world drama. I also think Andrew Ross Sorkin is extremely easy on the eyes and he does a great job with editing Dealbook for the Times.

Given this, I'm changing the resolution of "Read the WSJ and NYT headlines at least 4 days a week and substitute silly morning news-watching for something more business-oriented (ex: Squawk Box, Morning Joe, etc.)" into "Consume some sort of political or economic news at least 4 days a week." For now, this is a more reasonable goal and I can work up to the old resolution in time.

As for figuring out my next career step and academic step for when I leave HBS as a Research Associate in July 2014, I've made some small steps, but I really need to have more conversations and figure out if a year in China followed by law school is really the right way to go. Mostly, I need to decide if I want to put myself through another standardized test ringer after the headache that was the GMAT. Then again, the LSAT isn't computer adaptive, so in that respect, it's less daunting. Until I crack open a book and change my tune. Luckily, one of my best friends in town is already in at HLS and seriously beasted the LSAT. Study party, KF?

Some ground covered: While I hesitate to say anything before I have a flight and hotel booked, the bossman's plan is for me to go to China for the middle two weeks of June for research. So I will definitely be accomplishing my "Get out of the USA" resolution. I hope I can have a stopover in London or Paris, where I have some dear friends whom I've yet to see in their new work and school environments.

Insofar as submitting three pieces of writing for publication, I'm going to go ahead and count the first case study I wrote as one of these. "Kunshan, Incorporated" is on its way to clear final permissions and join the Harvard Business Publishing case materials database. I've coauthored another case and am in the process of writing 8 teaching notes in 8 weeks, but for the purpose of this resolution, I'll only count cases for which I've done more than half the writing toward the resolution. But ideally I'll submit something creative, too. Modern Love is still on the table, and if I'm not too busy, I'll definitely try to write something while I'm in China.

Mission accomplished: I learned how to box. I still do it, but the gyms are really expensive once your Groupons and Livingsocial deals and Google offers expire. So it's not a highly sustainable hobby, but it was a fun thing to do really intensely the past three months and I'll probably buy a 20-class card for the South Boston gym I liked best when summer rolls in. Though I'll still get spooked walking around in Southie at night, at least I'll be able to run away from people without slipping on black ice in the Projects.

Surprise success: One of my resolutions was to learn how to code and to make something with it. I've never been keen on back-end programming thanks to bad experiences with VB in high school (though maybe someone can help my change my mind on it), so I opted to go back to the web design stuff in which I had some small foundation but never had the chance (and maybe was too intimidated by the CS-ers) to build on in college. By the end of the month I'll have completed 3 courses in HTML and CSS and I'm hoping that by my birthday in July I'll have purchased a domain name and taken this blog off of blogger to an awesome webpage that I'll have designed myself.

Last, but not least, a pure overhaul: In the effort to focus on myself, I had a resolution that forbid me from committed romantic relationships and casual hookups for as long as I could hold out or at least until June (June was decided to allow for any Reunions transgressions). I wouldn't have broken this resolution save for someone pretty awesome. And while I'd never have planned it, a pretty awesome person kicked this resolution off the table and then some.