My Outlook for 2024

To me, it certainly feels like 2023 has gone by so fast. I distinctly remember that around this time last year, I was in the process of submitting my PhD for my viva.

2023 has been a big year for me. By far, the two most important events of 2023 include getting my PhD and welcoming our first child into the world.

In light of this, I thought I would reflect on these events and state my ambitions for 2024, drawing upon what I would like to happen this time next year.

Pursue a post-doctoral fellowship

Starring with my career ambitions, I’m hoping to put together an application to receive funding in the form of a postdoctoral fellowship. This will help me to dedicate more time to an area of research which interest me.

Seeing as I have now been awarded my PhD, I’m hoping to secure some funding to gain some independence and to be in the position where I lead my very own research project as a PI (Principal Investigator).

I won’t give much detail as to what my research would look like for now, as I’m still in the process of gathering ideas together.

Looking at the long-term picture, this could lead me into a teaching and research position or, alternatively, take me outside of academia completely and into industry. Who knows what will happen. I’m keeping my options open for now.

Get into a better exercise routine

Before, I got COVID, I was getting really into running. I was getting faster, and faster, and I was starting to hold a decent pace.

I intend to carry on with this for as long as I can – even as the temperatures start to go up as we approach the warmer months.

Because I do a lot of cardio and cycling, I also want to focus on my upper-body strength though some targeted workouts. Plus, my son is getting heavier to carry by the day, so I need all the strength I can get!

Spend more time on personal projects

I would also like to dedicate some blocks of time just to focus on a few personal side projects. I have a few small programming projects on the side for me to work on when I have a free hour or so in the day.

I would also like to use this as an opportunity to learn a new programming language. Over the last year or two, I’ve really enjoyed learning Go. It’s really nice how you can compile everything down into a single binary. A few of my favourite features include, native concurrency and the ability to build simple HTTP servers

Anyway, I’ve got a few project ideas I would like to develop in the new year, one of which involves Go.

Improve my DIY skills

One of the perks of being a homeowner involves knowing how to do some DIY jobs occasionally.

It’s fair to say that I’m really not what you could call a “practical” person. In other words, I’m not very good with my hands and had to learn this the hard way on occasion.

It’s fair to say that I also lack the confidence when it comes to these things, and I rely heavily on the support and wisdom of others.

I’m at the point where I want to start leaning some basic DIY skills myself (even if it’s as simple as putting up a shelf by myself).

Read more

One of my main passions is reading. I have a broad range of interests focusing on a combination of Christian, fiction, biographies and productivity books.

There is nothing I love more than buying books.

That being said, I’m quick to hand my excuses when I’ve got other things on my mind. I’ve also got a bad habit of readding multiple books at once just to keep up with my growing reading list.

I would like to spend more time in 2024 reading (when I’m not looking after my son, that is). For me, this means focusing on reading just one book at a time rather than multiple.

Also, as a Christian, part of this issue involves becoming more disciplined in my Bible reading. I plan to set aside a fixed time (usually early morning) in the day to do this by working through a reading plan. This is where the YouVersion app comes in.

Final thoughts

These are just some of my ambitions for the new year. Other, more general, plans include spending quality time with my son (this one is really important to me) and looking out for my mental and physical health.

With 2023 coming to an end, I’ll come back to these this time next year and reflect on how well I think I carried them out.

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year, everyone!