This is the Year to Conquer. And as such, I have been PUSHING to finish my proposal during the first quarter of the year. Spoiler Alert: It did not happen.
But all is not lost!
Well, not anymore. Back in January, my chair said my proposal (and what I had been working on for 8 months) was not viable. As part of the Year to Conquer, I resolved to conquer ME. More specifically, I resolved to:
Be in charge of my reactions to setbacks (and there will be setbacks, I am a PhD Student). When an idea did not work, my reaction has been to abandon the idea and move on to the next. That was a natural part of the process. Now, I am further along. So instead of changing my research ideas completely, I will make sure to refine and edit my current idea as necessary.
So yes, I experienced a MAJOR setback. I had no choice but to PIVOT.
It has been some time since then. This is how I am doing now. For context, I am doing a three paper dissertation:
- Paper 1: Institutional Logics Literature Review (Complete and approved by my chair!!!!!!!!)
- Paper 2: The role of Leadership in Institutional Logics Change (in progress, idea approved!)
- Paper 3: Sustainable Strategic Change (starting theory development, no approval yet)
Getting to this point was not easy. I went through three different sets of ideas after I had to pivot. Each one took a lot of time and work. I detailed not just the theoretical underpinning and directions, but two sets of ideas with their empirical tests. And each time my chair said no. Until one day, he did not say no – he said keep working on this (and how the pre-proposal was over).
So now I am ready to re-start the 100 Day challenge! But I am changing the rules (again). I began this challenge as part of AcWriMo. That required A LOT of preparation – and that was the reason I was so productive. I need to change the rules so that I give myself time to read, prepare, write, fail, and recover. So, my new rules are:
- Write a little bit every week day (for at least 25 minutes). Gone are the word counts. That is not helpful to me at this point.
- Read one to three new articles every day and add them to the master spreadsheet. The range will ensure that I am staying up to date on my lit review, as well as really learn about the other theoretical foundations for my papers.
- Send an update to my chair every two weeks. Since I am at such an early stage in the proposal process, each conversation with my chair means I have to make a lot of changes, read a lot more papers, and re-write a lot of my theory development.
This is a much slower pace than I had been attempting. But this one respects the process of being in the early proposal stage.
My new goal is to defend my proposal before my academic conference in August.
¡Si Se Puede!