Re-evaluating your priorities is a good idea to do at least once a year, but can be especially helpful if you are feeling stale or stuck in a rut.
During this "New Years Resolution" time, it’s a good idea to take a step back from your coursework and evaluate where you are.
While the end of the school year may seem like the appropriate time to do so, I argue for December.
Why? You still have a semester in school to network, seek out internships, and talk with your advisor about your goals.
Another reason – when May rolls around, you are t-i-r-e-d and d-o-n-e. You’ve gone through 2 sets of classes, 2 sets of exams (4 with midterms), and you are looking forward to having the summer off from classes.
This time last year, I had been accepted to a doctorate program, and was wrapping up my Masters. What were my priorities, balancing work and career and social life?
Write down values and ideas that come to mind, that relate to your life, and then number them in order of importance. Family, friends, school work, love life, career goals, finances, health, wellness. Some topics may intertwine for you, like family and friends, some may be separate.
Looking forward to next semester, I want to spend most of my time in my off-campus office working on my research. This term I was either on campus in class or at home – overall acclimating to the schedule and new town. Now that’s done, I can evaluate how my schedule will likely go next semester and reorganize to improve my feelings of satisfaction.