I have technically been A.B.D. (All But Dissertation) since mid-November, but I took an extra class so it feels real now. Completed the last assignment for Fall 2019. Finalized grades for the classes I teach. 

Did I tell y’all I sold an actual craft that I made with my hands on eBay? Even inspired by satire, Art (that I made with my hands) traveled across the country and I got money. That’s the wildest and most not intentional happy goal I have ever accomplished. I don’t want to seem presumptuous, but is this how Michelango felt looking at a slab o marble? When he was like “Mike, you got this buddy. The entire universe exists in this finite space, and you, you rugged magician, are going to set it free. 500 years from now some ABD doc will use this as reference for a joke post on Facebook. Also, Facebook will be created as a social platform provided to those enrolled in an institution of higher education. It will evolve to a platform encouraging those with acceptably private thoughts to share them with the masses for validation. It’s ok though, not here to judge. The internet has successfully interposed a barrier to authentic interpersonal interaction but creates a safe barriered platform for people who may not speak out otherwise. There will be too many Trump memes. Also, the United States will be a thing and democratic elections will take place to establish a guidance system for the greater good and allocation of available resources. I forgot my favorite chisel. I can’t even with this today. What do I have to do to get a frosty cold Iced Macchiato with Almond Milk? Almonds make milk against intuitive reasoning. After I finish with this rock, I might take up ceiling painting. Nobody else is doing it. Haters are my #motivators. Hashtags will be confusing pop culture and functional reference between generations. The “number sign” and a way to track your own musings or ensure visibility to folks with a shared sentiment will make it nearly impossible to foster clear communication between Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Xennials, Millenials, and Gen Z. Honestly, it is not any single generation’s fault that the waxes and wanes of human development and progressive change from generation to generation. One cannot simply expect an idyllic existence. Light doesn’t exist without darkness. The moon would not illuminate if not for reflection and placement of the sun as the earth spins on an axis. This crazy Copernicus kid is working on proof that the earth is not stationary but the sun. His time will come. I sure hope Mom’s making Stove Top.
( *I used google here for some historical accuracy*)
(**Yes, I am ok)
(***Yes, This is exactly how my mind processes thought when left to its own devices)
(****Trust roughly the first seven sentences of this post. The rest is utterly ridiculous.)

Want more? Subscribe to Happy Kotter and check out the info below! 

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!Image


How many times have you decided to get healthy starting Monday? Are you going to write the next great novel “someday”? Perhaps you are a student and “hoping” to pass all of your classes?

All of these dreams are the beginning of a goal, but without more detail they are harder to accomplish. As people, we tend to have a lot of really great ideas. Someday kills them. Hoping to get lucky with no responsibility eradicates our own ability to celebrate without a gnawing suspicion that we may not be so lucky next time.

When you want to set a goal, make sure it is “SMART”!

S= Specific


A= Achievable



Let’s stick with getting healthy and do some practice.

“I want to get healthy, but I will start on Monday.”

Does this statement answer all of the SMART statements above? Is it specific? No. What is healthy. There is no way to assume that you are over/underweight. It could be that you want to change your diet to feel better/alleviate some ailment. Healthy is too broad of a term to ensure that this goal is Specific.

“I want to lose 20 pounds.”

Better. This one is specific as it provides a precise measurement. Just saying “I want to lose weight” leaves us nothing to measure. This statement has knocked off the first two criteria for setting a SMART goal (Specific/Measurable)

“I (still) want to lose 20 pounds”

Great! Is this achievable for you specifically? This may be an easy answer for you or you may need to seek the advice of a medical professional (which is most definitely not me). Make sure you are setting a goal that is relevant to you. Make sure you and your body will be happier once you start to see these results. You could always alter the amount. “I want to lose/gain 5 pounds”, “I want to have more energy and not feel so bogged down because of my diet”. You can also measure subjectively. If you feel lethargic a lot, you could maintain a journal on your journey to track any changes/improvements. You are not tied to the statements I make. Make them your own. If your goal is attainable, move along. Is this goal relevant to you? Keep tweaking until you come up with something that fits your needs/desires. (Achievable/Relevant)

Now, let us give it some Time.

“I want to lose 20 pounds in six months”

Look at that! You have created a deadline. Now your goal is Time-Bound. You have taken away the dreaded ambiguity of someday and given yourself a block of time to achieve a goal. (Time-Bound)

Time to review the entire thing and make sure we have checked off each of the criteria.

S= 20 pounds

M= You have your starting weight and a measurable goal (20 pounds)

A= You have made sure that this is something that you can do and that it is an achievable goal with your overall health in mind.

R= Looking at whether the goal fits you personally. Relevance has passed.

T= You have given yourself 6 months to reach your goal.

Now that you have created an overall goal, you can start creating mini-goals.

“I want to lose about one pound a week. I will lose 4 pounds in one month.”

Your smart goal has led you to a place where you can seek out the information that you need to make it happen. These are your actionable steps. Each of these should also be SMART.

  • I will exercise for one hour 3 times a week.
  • I will increase my daily water intake to 64 ounces per day.
  • I will decrease my saturated fat/carbohydrate intake by 20%.
  • I will increase the amount of fresh foods in my diet by including two vegetables/ fruits to each of my meals.

Again, you are in no way bound to my example including weight loss. Write a book! Achieve a Grade Point Averge (GPA) you can be proud of on purpose! Clean your house! Take up running! Do whatever you want! Just make sure you are SMART!

I tried to find an origin for the SMART acronym. Here’s a little tidbit I found…

Origin of SMART Goals Acronym (click the link)

Want to read more? Start here:

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!




Confessions of a 12-year Undergrad

5) You are going to fail at something…

It was 2005. I just started my junior year at SIUC after transferring from a local community college. That is as romantic and dramatic as it gets. I failed, and failed hard. I tried to hang on and could not do it. There are a million things that I am not skilled in, but I failed something I loved, and it deflated my self-esteem.

Maybe I am not “smart enough” to be a psychiatrist. We simply are not born with a finite degree of intelligence. We are malleable and moldable creatures with potential. Through changes of major and a complete career change, I never became “smarter”, but I have become a more competent student.

4) Everyone questions their life choices around midterm…

I remember when I shower cried over math. Every term led to some deep introspection about my life choices. I considered dropping out more than once. I stopped out more-than-once. Do I need to keep trying? Why am I trying? What else can I be good at? Are there enough points left to save my grade? All of it.

Students face this crunch in cycle. I have seen it happen. When you feel all alone and on the edge of failure, reach out. You are not in it all by yourself and no one wants to see you throw it away.

Side note: Study! With an open book now an then. It helps!

3) What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn inside of it…

I spent several years as loosely engaged as I could manage with my campus and the strangers on it. I spent just as much time keeping my academic life separate from everything else.

It’s Thanksgiving and you have a plate full of food, but you are the type that does not want anything to touch. You have to spend more time consuming the structure and dynamics  of your plate that you can’t enjoying what is offered. Hopefully, you figure out that the turkey tastes good with the gravy on your potatoes, that cranberry sauce is amazing with the turkey, and the gravy can go just about anywhere with no complaints. (I am still clean eating! This illustration is fantasy as much as anything right now!!)

I was in graduate school before I figured out that engaging with my campus was beneficial and that there were a plethora of opportunities for growth supported by a world of people that literally only want to see students succeed. I spent a lot of time figuring out that my life inside and outside of academia was symbiotic. One feeds the other and vice versa. What you learn inside the classroom is just as important as what you learn outside of it.

2) Success takes time…

A lot of it. There is no race against anyone else. What you offer cannot be duplicated. Chill. End of story.

1) Do not mistake confidence for competence…