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Looking ahead for 2020. - Say What? #29

Hello! Happy last-weekend-of-2019 everyone! I hope that 2019 has treated you well, and that your goal
December 28 · Issue #29 · View online
Say What?
Happy last-weekend-of-2019 everyone!
I hope that 2019 has treated you well, and that your goals (be it personal, academic, professional, social or otherwise) have materialized.
If the year has been sh***y for you, I hope that you’ve found some form of happiness throughout the year, and may 2020 be a brighter and better year.
In this final issue for the year, I wanted to share with you some thoughts that I’ve been having as I’m thinking and planning ahead for the next year.

Happy New Year!
Every year, you’ll probably see a lot of people making new year’s resolutions. Losing weight, finding love, getting a new job/house, etc. While I’m not much of a fan of making ’resolutions’, I do sometimes set some personal goals to achieve every year and work hard to accomplish them.
In 2019, I wasn’t able to accomplish some of my goals. Perhaps it was because they were not SMART enough (read about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals here). But some of them were also due to my lack of focus and self-discipline in managing my time wisely (I am aware of how much I procrastinate, especially in the past few months).
So, for this next one year, I want to set more SMART goals, and, hopefully, by this time next year, I can successfully tick them all off.
2019 has been a pretty good year, Alhamdulillah, but it's time to look ahead for 2020 and what the future holds for us.
2019 has been a pretty good year, Alhamdulillah, but it's time to look ahead for 2020 and what the future holds for us.
Spending more time on my professional growth.
I’ve only shared this news with some close friends and family members, but insyaAllah, I’ll be starting my new job in Malaysia in February 2020. Sure, I was bummed that I wasn’t able to secure a job in the UK (which was actually one of the goals I failed to accomplish this year), but I’m super excited to start my new stint.
It’d be a new environment for me though, so that’d be a new challenge. I’m used to working with college and university students (18+ years old), so working in a school would be a change. But I love the job scope, my would-be manager sounds great, and I’ll get the flexibility to shape the job and do things in my own way, so that’s something to look forward to.
I also promised myself that I would attend at least one event for my professional growth in 2020. This may be any networking event, a career workshop, a conference or symposium or anything of the like. As I’m re-entering the job market, it’s essential for me to ensure that I’m always on the look out for opportunities to grow and develop my skills.
I’ve also bought two courses on Udemy earlier this year, one of which I’ve started in September (for only two hours). It’s probably a good time for me to revisit my Udemy account and finish the courses to make the most out of my purchase.
I might have missed out on utilizing LinkedIn Learning (as I would’ve gotten free access to it through my student account at the University of Huddersfield or my staff account at the University of Leeds), but hopefully, I’ll get similar access to any online learning platforms through my new company next year. If not, there’s always the option of taking free MOOCs or attending short courses or classes in KL/Selangor over the weekends too!
Writing better content in 2020, hopefully.
One of my new SMART goals for the next year is to write and publish at least 5 more posts in my #FreshGrad101 blog series. I already have a couple of ideas lined up, but as always, I’ve been putting them off for weeks. But I do owe it to the blog and to myself to finish these posts and share them with people.
Fresh Grad 101 - So What Now? - Silent Confessions Fresh Grad 101 - So What Now? - Silent Confessions
I am also looking forward to a potential writing collaboration project with a friend in 2020. This is still in discussion and we’re trying to figure some things out on how the collaboration would work out, but it’s definitely something that I’m super excited about as it involves a LOT of writing and also ticks off a lifelong dream of mine. I’ll reveal it in a few months if this project takes off, so stay tuned for that! :)
Aside from that, I also want to work on improving this #SayWhat newsletter. I started this in 2019 as a way to train myself to consistently write and release content in a timely manner. Alhamdulillah, for the most parts, it has been quite successful. We’ve had 109 subscribers in the first year (thank you everyone!), and we’re into our 26th issue of the year (if you take out the three practice issues from December 2018).
In 2020, one of my SMART goal for #SayWhat is to reach at least 200 subscribers by the end of the year. It’s quite a big number, so it’d be quite a challenge. But, I’m sure we can meet the goal together. So, if you know of anyone (a friend or family member) who might enjoy reading the newsletter, do forward this on to them! Share it on your social media (and tag me!) and let me know what you’d like to read about.
Working on some personal goals.
Sometimes, we often plan things related to career or academic that we overlook our personal life. I wanted to ensure that I spend a healthy time on my personal and social life, and therefore I set aside a few personal-related SMART goals.
One of the most cliche new year’s resolutions is to go to the gym more often or to lose weight. I didn’t want to set it that way because I knew that I might not be able to commit to actually going to the gym on a regular basis (I’ve done it before and failed miserably). So, this time around, I’m going to start small and build the habit first.
I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for the past three months or so, and Alhamdulillah, I’ve managed to do IF for at least 12-16 hours each day. I started IF mainly to help me to reduce snacking, especially in the middle of the night. I’ve only taken up IF and not actually changing any other things in my diet (i.e. I still eat chocolates during my ‘eating window’ and drink orange juices and Milo with condensed milk, etc), but it’s still a small step towards a healthier lifestyle.
I knew that my body may not cope with such a big and drastic change in my lifestyle (i.e. if I were to completely cut out Milo or sugar from my day), so IF was my way to start training my body to live a little healthier. It works too, as I’ve managed to cut off a few KGs off, so that’s a good sign.
In 2020, I managed to talk my husband into committing to a weekly (or at least biweekly) run with me. I aim to run at least 150km with him throughout the year. It seems like a small amount, as I know some people who runs at least 5km every morning and can easily accomplish that within a month. But for someone who doesn’t go out running on a regular basis, it seems like a manageable amount to aim for as a start.
Aiman's not much of a sports-guy, so let's see if he can achieve 150km of running in 2020!
Aiman's not much of a sports-guy, so let's see if he can achieve 150km of running in 2020!
2020's going to be a great year, insyaAllah.
When you’re thinking about the goals that you want to achieve in the next year, make sure that you make them SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). Setting specific goals can help your mind to focus on achieving them, and hopefully increase the potential success of these goals.
It’s also a good idea to share your goals (or some of them, at least) with someone else (a friend, a family member, etc) to help keep you accountable to your goals. This is one of the reasons why I’m sharing with you some of my goals for the year, as it would give me more reasons to achieve these goals as soon as possible. Accountability partners can help you to stay motivated in achieving your goals and help you to work through any challenges you may face.
How to Work with an Accountability Partner to Conquer Your Personal Goals
I guess that should be all for now. The next time you’ll hear from me will be in 2020, so I wish you a very Happy New Year! Enjoy the last few days of the year, and let’s work for a better and brighter future in 2020.
Until next time, stay awesome and take care!
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