Yearly Themes 2020: Follow-Through & Roots

Much like The State of the Apps, the concept of a Yearly Theme is something I adopted after listening to the Cortex podcast. As CGP Grey explains in the video below, themes are much easier for us to wrap our brains around and maintain throughout the year than a simple pass-fail resolution.

Themes are malleable and can change with the realities of your year. They’re also memorable, making them an ever present guide as you make decisions throughout the year. And most importantly for me, they’ve been pretty widely adopted by the Cortexan listener community. Having the social pressure of others definitely helps me stick to my themes. And with that in mind, I thought I should share this year’s themes here.

The Year of Follow-Through

As my primary professional theme for 2020, The Year of Follow-Through is all about making continued progress on the many projects I’ve started in the last two years.

During my day job at Georgia State I’m continuing to solidify a sustainable communications platform for the Andrew Young School and assist with a strategic re-positioning of the organization. Following-through on projects there will include a lot of long-range planning this year to set us up for success in the next decade.

As a second(ish) semester graduate student, I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of being back in academia. This year, in that part of my life, is all about completing my master’s coursework. I’ll still have a couple of classes to take in 2021, but I really want to focus on acquiring a lot of new knowledge and building up my research skills this year. That seems to be the best step I can take towards starting my thesis early next year. Going to school part-time has turned what was already a long process into a bit of a marathon, but I feel prepared and excited to dive into my courses this year.

Speakng of marathons, I really want to run one this year or next. My running fell off after a knee injury last summer, but I’m ready to get back out on the streets. I want to run at least three organized races of 10k or more this year, hopefully with one being a half or full marathon. Running a full has been a goal of mine since I started running and I feel like this might be the year I make it happen.

The Year of Roots

My personal theme for 2020 is The Year of Roots, which is mostly concerned with rooting more firmly in the communities I’ve worked to establish for myself.

I recently moved into my first apartment of my own, and I want to make sure that my home still feels like a social space even though I no longer have roommates. I’ve always enjoyed hosting, cooking and having friends over. I want to make a concerted effort to do that more often in this new space…once I finally get a couch.

Attending and working at Georgia State for the past year, I’ve established a lot of new professional relationships and friendships. I want to continue to build on those and integrate myself more fully into the academic community this year, both at GSU and in my field more generally.

Those are my themes for 2020! If you’ve never done a yearly theme I encourage you to give it a shot. And if you have a theme for this year I’d love to hear about it in comments, on twitter or wherever.