Goal Reviews: Q2 ’12


It’s the end of another quarter. This was where I was 3 months ago. Time for an update on how I’m stacking up against my goals for the year:


  • Get into graduate school. Mission Completed in Q1. This time three months ago, I had already received offers of admission, but struggled on deciding where to attend and whether this Fall was the right time to go back to school. After a lot of thought, I decided to defer my admission to the Elliott School until Fall 2013. Given my new circumstances however, I’m now considering postponing returning to school for another year or two.
  • Get published in an academic journal. Mission Aborted. As this relates to grad school, this goal is now firmly on the backburner for the year.
  • Pass the TOCFL Master or HSK Level 5. Mission Incomplete. I was supposed to take the HSK Level 4 in April in NYC, but in a rush to catch my bus from DC, I forgot to bring along a required form of identification in order to take the test: my passport. I was a little annoyed by my mistake, but was passed has passed. The next available test date is in late October. However, despite my initial desires to get certified for my proficiency in Mandarin, this goal is also now on the backburner, mainly because of again, changed circumstances.
  • Get a policy or IR-related job or internship, preferably in DC. Mission Accomplished! During the past quarter this goal was priority #1. I poured all my efforts in finding a job that resonated with my interests in policy. Last month I succeeded in achieving this goal, and now work as a Research Assistant at APCO. Although the firm isn’t a think tank or institute, many of the issues – reputation management, issues management, brand management – our clients face are heavily influenced by policy. The position nicely blends my interests in policy, my background in economics, and my prior experience as a researcher.


  • Learn to code. Mission In Progress. I made significant headway on this goal during the past quarter. I completed most of the HTML/CSS track on CodeAcademy, and am halfway through the Javascript track. I think my success on this front stems in part due to creating a plan of action. I’ll share more on this in another post.
  • Run a half-marathon. Mission In Progress. I haven’t registered for anything yet, but it looks like I’ll be doing the Philadelphia Half-Marathon. Several friends and my cube-mate are already registered for the run, and I’ve begun training with others for another run (which I’ve yet to register for) in September. In order for me to stay the course, I plan on creating a plan of action to ensure I follow through on this goal.
  • Blog at least once a week. Mission Failed. Since heading back to work, my blog posts have been less frequent. I’ll need to figure out how to carve out more time for this.
  • Go to mass at least once a month. Mission Accomplished. Still chugging along on this one!

Closing Thoughts:
It’s really hard to focus on multiple goals. I’ve worked on specifically adding more time to my day by getting up at 630am on weekdays to work on programming before work. Beyond that, I’m struggling with other ways to add more time to work towards my goals. As I look to Q3, I’ll need to start proactively eliminating some goals while relentlessly driving harder on the ones I find worthwhile.