Emily Lynn is a NWCDTP funded first year PhD researcher in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on the intersection between faith and the public welfare activities of faith-based organisations. Emily is the editor of NWCDTP Online and NWCDTP’s Social Media Coordinator. Follow her on Twitter at: @EmilyJLynn

Firstly, Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful and restful break!

Don’t you think there’s something about a new year that symbolises a complete fresh start? However so clichéd that sounds, I’m all for the “new year, new start” statement.  That’s not to say I believe in the “new year, new me” thing, but I do 100% believe that it’s a good time to really evaluate where you are in life and what you’d like to achieve in the new year. It’s a time to reflect upon all the positive and negative things that happened in the previous year and assess how things can perhaps be more positive or successful in the new one.

I’ve always been a BIG goal-setter – no matter what time of year, I think it is SO important to set goals for yourself so you can keep on track with your work and motivation. However, at the start of the new year, I always like to revisit my goals and become more in tune with them or set new ones. I find that if I lose focus of my goals, I start to become very demotivated and unproductive, and funnily enough I always lose my focus over the December period with all the fun personal commitments going on! For me, January is a slap to get back into the zone and regain understanding about what exactly it is I want to achieve or aspire to.

There are so many opportunities that accompany NWCDTP funding, such as the placement schemes and the various pots of funding that enable us to do other important things independent of the thesis, like organising certain academic events, for example (have a little peek on the NWCDTP website if you’d like to find out more about these funding opportunities). In 2018, I’d love to start utilising these opportunities to gain what is such worthwhile experience in other aspects of academic life too, and to really make the most of #PhDlife and embrace it! What are your goals for this year?

Whatever your goals may be, I hope 2018 brings you lots of happiness, health and success 😊

Please get in touch with me if you’d like to contribute to this blog or find out more about how to do so – it would be great to hear from you!

e.lynn@lancaster.ac.uk