Goals for 2018:

  1. Lose 35 lbs
  2. Do Couch to 5K program
  3. Submit two articles for publication in academic journals
  4. Purge, declutter, organize my whole house
  5. Plan for an extended stay in Japan (4–6 weeks) in Spring 2019


  1. Staying consistent with food and exercise; cutting out bad eating habits.
  2. Getting to the gym regularly; some concern about stress on joints (I usually walk rather than run, but I want a challenge)
  3. I let my other duties (teaching, service) take priority over my research. I have lots of ideas for articles but haven’t been following up by putting in hours on research each week.
  4. Letting go of things is a huge challenge for me. Also, I get overwhelmed by the scale of the task. My rooms are not hoarder-scale but it’s no weekend task either.
  5. Putting off the specific planning steps that need to be handled until it doesn’t happen.

How to get there:

  1. Enroll in several successive DietBets (this has worked for me in the past). Track daily and reduce alcohol consumption to 7 drinks a week or less.
  2. Get to the gym 3x a week. I am starting the Zombies Run couch to 5K program.
  3. Rework my schedule to incorporate focus blocks for research, preferably first thing in the morning, even on teaching days.
  4. Declutter 15–30 minutes each day, rotating from room to room, and record exactly what I accomplish in each session in a decluttering journal.
  5. This is very doable but multiple factors need to be worked out: save money, apply for a language school that provides housing, find a way to care for my cats for a longer period than usual. I expect to be on sabbatical in Spring 2019 which makes it the best time to plan for.


  1. My current weight is borderline obese and 35 lbs would get me down to a healthy weight. This would have a positive impact not only on self image but more importantly on health: blood pressure, blood sugar, sleep, energy to get things done.
  2. I usually exercise by walking and this works if I do it consistently, but just walking is boring, especially on the treadmill in winter. I need an exercise goal challenging enough to motivate me.
  3. I am planning to write a second book in the next 2–3 years and go up for promotion to full professor. As I write articles, I will also be drafting chapters for the book and laying the groundwork for my 2019 sabbatical. Not being a productive researcher is damaging to my self esteem, and publishing more will lead to increases in salary.
  4. Having an organized home environment would free my mind to concentrate on my highest value work, and would also improve my mood. Having a cluttered environment is both distracting and depressing.
  5. I have been studying Japanese for almost 15 years (a hobby/side hustle, not my main academic work, which is ancient Mediterranean history) and can read well but I am never going to break through the listening/speaking wall without spending more time immersed in the culture.