Goals Revisited

by Sarah Luna

It’s been a little over a year since I drew up a list of one year goals for myself. It’s time to evaluate how I did.

I had five goals.

1. Travel to two foreign countries (fully funded of course)

Well, I haven’t traveled to any foreign country this year. However, I consider this goal accomplished because I have funded plans to travel to two different foreign countries over the next year. If all goes as planned, I’ll be in Mumbai, India, next week. Rarely though does everything go as planned.

2. Travel to two nutrition conferences

Eh, this didn’t happen. I did go to an epidemiology workshop. I need to do better at this next year.

3. Become independent of my car

I was independent of it for a lot of last year due to a frozen battery and horrible driving conditions. This goal has become less important to me though. I don’t use the car a lot, but it is very helpful when I do need it. Otherwise, Ithaca is a very walkable place (once you get used to the hills) with a comprehensive bus system.

4. Register a domain name

Done. Haven’t done much with it though.

5. Dance three nights a week

THIS. ALMOST. HAPPENED. I’d say it did happen over the school year thanks to ballroom. I danced almost every night that I was in NYC, too. Tonight I could either go contra dancing or salsa dancing. Otherwise, dancing during summer has been sporadic. Once ballroom starts up again, I’ll have no trouble meeting this goal.


It’s funny to think that I made these goals before even getting to Ithaca. I typed that post sitting in a kitchen in a house in Bryan, Texas, having absolutely no idea what would happen. In the spirit of that post, here is my list of things I’ve done this year:

  • moved from Bryan, TX, to Ithaca, NY
  • began my PhD at Cornell University (and survived the first year)
  • set up my finances with the help of this book (highly recommended)
  • joined a competitive ballroom team
  • went apple picking for the first time
  • gave two presentations to my lab group
  • found a main advisor
  • traveled to competitions in Washington, DC; Columbus, Ohio; New York City; Binghamton, NY; and Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • got caught in a snow storm in Binghamton and had to stay a night in a friend’s friend’s dorm room
  • slid down Buffalo Street on ice
  • learned about a new (to me) religion
  • listened to a bells concert at the top of McGraw Tower
  • saw West Side Story, Billy Elliot, and Mary Poppins on Broadway
  • spent a week in NYC at an epidemiology workshop
  • bought a DSLR
  • ran 6 miles all at once
  • bought a ukulele
  • bought a real ballroom dress
  • bought a hiking backpack for my future travels
  • stopped using shampoo
  • listened to “Diva” in the presence of my advisor and one of his colleagues (oh yes, there’s a backstory)
  • lived one year on my own