New Year’s Challenge

IMG_5148Since the last time I updated this blog, a lot has happened:

  • I passed the qualifying exam in my doctoral program.
  • The Religious Studies Project posted another podcast response by me, this time on why women are more religious than men.
  • My husband and I adopted two dogs.
  • I saw the Mississippi River for the first time when we visited St. Louis.
  • I ate a ghost chili (OK, I swallowed it whole–a strategy that resulted in much less suffering).
  • I turned 30.
  • Jesse Preston, Ryan Ritter, and I had a review paper on religious prosociality accepted for publication in a forthcoming book edited by Vassilis Saroglou.
  • I began writing my (second) master’s thesis. (Some of the work from this thesis will be presented in a poster at the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Preconference for the Society for Personality and Social Psycholigy’s annual meeting later this month.)
  • I lost about 25 lbs.

Last night, a friend asked if anyone at the New Year’s gathering had any resolutions. I couldn’t help but think that my life was pretty good over the past year. I accomplished several milestones, all without the help of any New Year’s resolutions. So I answered

But reflecting on the question today, I feel differently. When I turned 30, I realized two things. First, I need to take care of myself–lose weight, sleep more, have a more regular schedule–otherwise, I might find 40 unpleasant. Second, I want to keep challenging myself, keep improving at what I do and keep trying new things. So why not see a New Year’s resolution as a challenge?

Ok, I challenge myself to write here at least three times a week. But to accomplish this, I need to make some compromises with myself: Not all of my posts can be 1,000-3,000 word essays on esoteric research topics. I just need to write about what’s inspiring me today. And sometimes, that might be my dogs or cooking or hiking. I will still write about psychology and religion and politics. I am just giving myself permission to write about other things as well.

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