Category: 101 Goals

Check-in on 101 goals

So we’re officially a little over halfway through 2019, which means that there are 815 days left in this challenge (as today is July 5th 2019). So I decided that I should probably do a check-in on the goals and see where I’m at with them. Updates are in bold.

The dates for my 101 goal challenges are:

So my original start and finish dates were:

Start Date: January 1 2018

Finish Date: September 28 2020

My new start and finish dates:

Start Date: January 1, 2019

Finish Date: September 28, 2021

Here are my 101 goals for the next 1001 days (random and non-grouped):

  1. Transition into a biotech or biopharma company as a research scientist
  2. Become fluent in Spanish
  3. Become fluent in German
  4. Learn to program (R and maybe python)
  5. Visit at least three new countries (0/3)
  6. Finish the various other e-course bundles that I bought (list out later)
  7. Move to a new(ish) city for #1
  8. Make it through at least 250 days of beachbody workouts (share on twitter?) (0/250) *Luckily it doesn’t have to be consecutive days (though I would like that)—I haven’t done a Beachbody workout in awhile (I also can’t remember how many I’d done before I hit my slump).
  9. Paint & frame at least one original painting (0/1)
  10. Finish the Dream Job Hack program
  11. Finish the Youtube for bosses course
  12. Finish the Youtube course creation for bosses course
  13. Launch a youtube channel
  14. Launch a online course
  15. Get blog traffic to 500+ views/day
  16. Publish 5-10 scientific blog posts (0/10)
  17. Practice more photography (1-2 posts a week) I’ve managed to stick with the photography challenge so far, so at least on the blog there have been new pictures post on a semi-constant basis (at least for the past three-four months).
  18. Get instagram followers to 800+
  19. Showcase crafts on blog (afghans, artwork, jewelry)
  20. Learn to make my own jewelry
  21. Re-pierce my ears
  22. Finish at least 200 personal/professional development books (and post reviews) (35/200) *So out of the 274 books I have on my book reading list for both personal and professional development (and this number is growing)—I’ve read 20 in 2018, and 15 so far in 2019—that means I only have another 238 books to read to finish the list (and that is only if I don’t add anymore books to the list).
  23. Interact more on Linkedin (actually network with connections) (at least 4 a week) (0/140)
  24. Reach at least 14,014,000 steps (0/14,014,000); though if I add in the steps from 2018—this could actually be closer to 20,000,000 steps (goal—19,124,000 by Sept 28 2021 (as of yesterday (07/04/19) 8,047,645/19,124,000).
  25. Visit at least one new national (or state) park (0/1)
  26. Visit at least one new national (or state) monument (0/1)
  27. 5 pushups on toes (0/5)
  28. 10 pushups on toes (0/10)
  29. Fly/land at least 3 new airports
  30. Visit one new city & state (US) (0/1; 0/1)
  31. Go to one or more scientific conferences (0/1)
  32. Go to a blogging conference (0/1)
  33. See the Northern Lights
  34. Present at a scientific conference (0/1)
  35. Post free monthly challenges in facebook groups
  36. Write (or start) a book
  37. Complete a 365 day photography challenge (137/365) I started the challenge a little late this year, or more accurately it took me awhile to build momentum to continue posting a daily picture.
  38. Learn to cross-stitch
  39. Reach 400+ followers on pintrest
  40. Reach 1000+ followers on twitter
  41. Publish at least two blog series (0/2)
  42. Mediate at least 5 minutes a day  (0/1001) This one has been an off and on success—there have been at least one or two weeks when I didn’t feel like meditating nightly, and therefore I didn’t—but I’m slowly getting back into the routine.
  43. No extra snacks at work (i.e. no hitting the coffee shop for cookies in the morning) This one is a work in progress, there are some days when I’m really good at not getting extra snacks at work, and there are other days when I cave and get chocolate.
  44. Declutter the movies in the house
  45. Create an editorial calendar for blog (0/33) Well I’m slowly starting to try creating editorial calendars, but have only been really good at posting certain topics (new/full moon goals & updates, monthly updates & photography challenge). This is something I still need to work on.
  46. Credit card debt down to less than $500 a month (and getting paid off monthly in full) This is almost happening—I do have my debt at a level that I can pay off monthly, though some bills get a little higher than planned.
  47. Monthly budget (plus list of monthly recurring charges on credit cards) (0/33) I’ve been doing this, though not listing the recurring charges on my credit cards.
  48. Learn to give mani/pedi and give myself one a month (0/33) This one is off the list—because I have yet to do it, and while I might in the future I don’t see me doing it quite yet.
  49. Get a new sewing machine and make a new quilt for bed. This one is on hold until I move and then I’ll be buying a new sewing machine.
  50. Make my new moon & full moon goals (0/66) I’ve been keeping up with this one. Though I may not hit all the goals for both the new moon & the full moon—I’m at least putting my intentions out there for the universe to hear.
  51. Buy a new couch and chair for my living room. This one and #s 52-54 are dependent on success with #1 & #7
  52. Buy a new dresser for my bedroom
  53. Buy a new mattress & box-spring for my bed
  54. Buy a new TV & stand for living room
  55. Reorganize my storage unit
  56. Buy fabric & foam and make new cushions for rocking chair
  57. Create a posting schedule (editorial calendar) for facebook pages (0/66) I’m behind on this.
  58. Generate at least three months of memes for facebook pages (0/3)
  59. Create posting schedule (editorial calendar) for instagram (0/33) Behind on this.
  60. Learn to use photoshop for memes & posts
  61. Make a 30-day Zumba schedule & stick with it (0/30) Haven’t done this yet.
  62. Visit one or more new zoos (0/1)
  63. Visit one or more new aquariums (0/1)
  64. Make a top 10 favorite author list (for different genera; romance, fantasy/sci-fi, mystery/thriller, non-fiction) for blog
  65. Write and share at least two posts on linkedin every two months (0/32) Behind on this as well.
  66. Ask for endorsements from 6 well known connections on linkedin (0/6) Behind on this well.
  67. Endorse 3 to 5 people on linkedin every four months (0/40) Behind on this.
  68. Renew professional memberships (0/6) Need to do this soon.
  69. Get into the “best shape” of my life. This is one of the things I’m going to try to focus on more, and maybe should be moved higher in the list.
  70. Finish reading books on scientific writing (review and post) (0/7)
  71. Take a multivitamin & supplements daily (0/1001). There have been several days (going on to a week) that I’ve missed taking my multivitamin & supplements.
  72. Design a logo for my blog/website
  73. Finish 3 hidden object games without using hints, or the strategy guide
  74. Go to a author-reader conference and meet authors
  75. Write in journal daily (0/1001). There have been several weeks that I didn’t do this (mainly due to my current mood—even though I know when I’m feeling down or in a funk that is actually a good time to journal).
  76. Complete my book of Sudoku puzzles (minus the ones crossed out)
  77. Drink 70 oz of water a day (0/1001). There have been quite a few days when this hasn’t happened.
  78. Color in two coloring books (0/2) (pictures on blog/instagram)
  79. Knit another afghan (diamond pattern) This has been started, and hopefully will be finished this coming winter.
  80. Watch all the episodes of Hawaii 5-0
  81. Go to at least 2 professional networking events (0/2)
  82. Update Linkedin profile (0/2)
  83. Watch all the episodes of Grimm
  84. Design a science based board game
  85. Hold a two minute plank (on forearms)
  86. Hold a 90 second plank (full)
  87. Go at least one weekend a month without social media (0/33) This hasn’t happened yet, though with the way the world is going I might start doing it.
  88. Create (and update) a vision board. I’ve created and updated a digital vision board, and will probably try to update it at least every two to three months.
  89. Create my own altar (wiccan/pagan)
  90. Learn basic sign language
  91. Create job searching/networking editorial calendar (0/12)
  92. Get an additional external hard drive to back up the laptop & external DVD drive for installing printer program on laptop
  93. Create my own coffee table photography book
  94. Touch base with friends that I haven’t talked to lately
  95. Savings up another 20K (0/20K)
  96. Get at least three plants and keep them alive (0/3)
  97. Stretch daily (0/1001)
  98. Watch all the episodes of The Librarians
  99. Watch all the episodes of Once Upon A Time
  100. Get Fit with Jessi to 1000+ likes
  101. Get BecomingJessi to 1000+ likes

I’ve only removed one goal from the list—giving myself a mani/pedi monthly. I’ve never been the type to fuss with their nails (though I know with job searching, I do need to start taking better care of my nails, and this does include painting them every so often). I’ve realized that I have fallen behind on some of the daily goals (taking my multivitamins, drinking a certain amount of water a day, and writing in my journal every day)—but at least I do start back up, even if it tampers off, and then starts again.

I also know that there are goals that I haven’t started on, and others that require another goal to be accomplished before they are looked at. I know where I need to try to focus for the next few months (personal care—mental and physical health, and slowly figuring out my career objectives), and once these are on track, I think the others will follow suit.

No Comments 101 GoalsBooksCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthjob searchingLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspiritualitytravel

12 month plan update: starting slow and trying to stay moving

So I had posted earlier this week that I was in the process of developing a new 12 month plan that encompassed several different areas: health and fitness, career, finances, and spirituality. These areas were picked because they can more or less feed off of each other and once you have some of these areas under control everything else can then hopefully fall into place.

So I know that starting out I probably won’t reach 100% on each area, and that there will be some weeks when I subconsciously focus on one more than the others. The purpose here is to keep moving forward (even if it seems to be at a snail’s pace).

I decided that each week I’d set two to three goals per area, and then on Saturday and Sunday review how I did the previous week and then adjust the goals accordingly for the following week. Today’s review/check-in will cover my goals for health and fitness, and finances. Tomorrow will be career and spirituality/personal development.

Since my main fitness goal is to get into the best shape of my life.

So my goals for fitness and nutrition this week were:

            Set up a new workout schedule for the week.

            No sweets at work.

            Hitting my step goal daily.

So how did I do with each one?

My workout schedule for the week was to do the following workouts:

Monday—LIIFT4: Chest & Triceps

Tuesday—LIIFT4: Back & Biceps

Wednesday—Country Heat: Country Swing

Thursday—LIIFT4: Shoulders

Friday—LIIFT4: Legs

Saturday—Country Heat: Giddy Up

So today I will be probably doing a double workout (as long as the internet/wifi behaves) of Country Heat: Giddy Up followed by LIIFT4: Legs as I took yesterday off as a rest day. Also for full disclosure, Wednesday’s workout was only 20 minutes of the 30-minute workout (because the wifi in the house blinked out and then reset itself—and I wasn’t in the mood to do the entire program again or try to get it back to where it was). But I have managed to do a workout basically daily—which is a lot better than what I’ve managed to get done the past couple of weeks. I’m also starting back a little light on the weights and hopefully working my way back up to where I was when I finished my first round of LIIFT4—my NSV goal is to be able to do bicep curls with 14-20 pound weights.

In terms of no sweets at work—I managed to go three out of five days (60%) of not getting any sweets at work. I had bought coffee and breakfast on Thursday (which included a candy bar—that I ate with my lunch on Friday), and I guess I bought some candy Tuesday afternoon as well (though I had forgotten about that candy splurge). While it short of my goal of five days it is a lot better than what I’d been doing the previous couple of weeks.

In terms of hitting my step goal daily—yesterday was the day that I fell short of the goal of a minimum of 14,000 steps (I finished with 11,518; which was 82% of my daily step goal). But every other day this week I managed to get at least 14,000 steps; so even though I didn’t hit yesterday—I’m still close to my weekly goal of 98,000 (Sunday-Saturday).

So I managed to hit the goals 75% of the time—rest days are important so I’m not going to beat myself up on the fact that I took one yesterday instead of doing my workout. I also know that stress/anxiety and having a bad night sleep are usually the culprits for me going to look for sugar fix on campus during the week. Know what the triggers are is helpful—but now I need to find a different way of reacting that doesn’t include sweets or spending money.

I am also trying to get back into the routine of writing down what I eat daily (usually at the end of the day; though sometimes I remember to start my daily food journal at lunch). This is just so that I can maybe start trying to determine if certain foods are also making me feel uncomfortable and then adjust what I eat accordingly.

So my goals for the coming week in terms of fitness and nutrition, are going to be more or less the same (as I’m happy with being at about 75% for all three):

Set up the workout calendar again (LIIFT4 with either Country Heat or Yoga Booty Ballet)

Trying to avoid buying sweets on campus (this also helps with the no spend challenges)

Hitting the step goal daily (this way I can work towards my monthly and yearly step goals).

In terms of my finances—I realize that I’m going to be 39 this year, which means that I should be thinking about making sure that I have enough money when I retire (in basically 25-30 years; or possibly sooner if I can swing it). Currently my finances are okay (mainly because I’m living at home and have very few monthly expenses).

Finance goals–broad, but currently better than not having any.

 I have managed to get my credit debt back to down to basically zero from the astronomically high amount that I owed when I moved back home six years ago. I probably could have had it paid off sooner, but I was also trying to build my savings account back up at the same time.

By the end of twelve months I would like to hopefully have my savings up another 10-15K (or at least steady—which means having saved hopefully an additional 6-8K to cover any moving expenses for when I get an new job and have to move out of Oklahoma). I always want to start getting my retirement account a little higher (which means having some money set aside that I can put into another type of retirement account that is separate from my current one).

My goals for this week were:

Fill in my money log for the first part of the month (I know that I’d spent money during the first part of the month—but I didn’t fill in the sheets; so I need to have gotten that done).

No spending money at work.

Check all credit card accounts and readjust my monthly budget accordingly.

So how did I do with each one?

I filled in my monthly money tracker. This was more of trying to keep track of money spent on campus—so there were one or two things that I had forgotten to put on it (like the e-book that I bought or the two journals that I’d bought for note taking).

I did spend a little money on campus this week—two out of the five days (but that is one day better than the week before where I spent money three out of five days).

I’ve done my credit check, and my monthly budget that I set up is looking like it is still good—I’ll probably readjust it after the next biweekly paycheck comes in so that I can set up for my May budget.

One thing that I will be doing is making a list of monthly re-occurring fees and looking to see which ones I might cancel. I know that I do support a couple of non-profits via monthly donations that I charge to a credit card; plus I have several other things that come in monthly that are charged to a credit card as well. My goal is to try to have a monthly sum (via all credit cards) of less than $750 dollars—that way it can also get paid off monthly as well (and there will be no interest charged). So we will have to see how this goes.

My goals for the coming week in terms of my finances are:

No spending any money at work (keep money log up to date).

Transfer about half a paycheck to the savings account.

Resubmit the declutter order and sell quite a few DVDs back for a little bit of money.

So overall I’m pleased with the first week’s progress for both my fitness and nutrition journey and getting my finances back on track. I realize that there may be weeks that I have a set back in both areas—but I need to remember that small setbacks are okay (and even expected)—I just need to keep moving forward and not allow them to derail me like I have in the past.

No Comments 101 GoalsfitnessHealthPersonal Development

Trying to get back into a workout routine

So one of my goals from my 101-goal list is to make it through at least 250 days of Beachbody workouts. Now this doesn’t mean that it’s all going to be back-to-back (because you do need rest days in addition to workouts), but that I’d make sure that I’ve done at least 250 days of exercise over the next 1001 days. Yes, this does seem small when you compare the days—but if you also add in rest days, walking, and possibly biking and/or hiking come late spring & summer—you get the 1001 days. Plus, the 250 days is just the minimum, I will probably go over the total by the end of the time period.

I’ve also decided that it needs to be 250 different workouts—so it will probably be done in more than 250 days. Because if we look at what I’ve done in January—I’ve done a workout I’d say 20 out of the past 30 days—but I’ve only done 3 programs (most of my workouts have been country heat, one LIIFT4 workout & 1 combat workout). So I’d only count all that as doing 7 different workouts (as I’ve been doing all 5 of the country heat workouts). I’ve also realized that while it’s good to try to go all in on a workout—when it’s been a year or so since you’ve done the workout, you should probably dial back the intensity just a little.

Basically, on Monday I did combat 30 for the first time in probably a year or so—I love the program, but have never made it all the way through (mainly because the later two workouts are 45 minutes & an hour long—and sometimes I don’t have that amount of time during the week to do a workout; 45 minutes I can almost squeak in—the full hour workout not so much). I slept really well Monday night, and didn’t feel all that sore for most of the day—but around 3 or so yesterday afternoon, my back and legs decided to remind me exactly what I did on Monday. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been this stiff and sore (I’m hoping the acupuncture mat helped relieve some of the stiffness, but I still took today as a “rest” day–though I walked a good 45+ minutes on campus today), and I’ve realize that I’m going to have to start a little slower than I want—but since it’s been about two or three months since my last consistent workout schedule, I really shouldn’t be surprised.

So I think that I’m going to have work in some Pilates or yoga for awhile to help stretch out the muscles before I jump back into any hard core cardio. One goal is to see if I can make it through all of the workouts that I have on DVD from Beachbody before starting on the ones that are solely available via the online streaming platform. Also for the programs that are pushing the hour time limit–they will be done on the weekends, when I have that time to spare.

No Comments 101 GoalsfitnessFitness ChallengesPersonal Development

Revised 101 Goal List

So I’ve decided that since the past couple of months haven’t been the best (and that is an understatement especially for the month of October), that I’d revise my 101 goals list and slightly “restart” it. This isn’t to say that I’m making a new list—I’m just going to go through and revise, reorder, and possibly remove some of the goals that I actually may not accomplish (because lets be honest—I don’t see myself taking up jogging any time soon).

So my original start and finish dates were:

Start Date: January 1 2018

Finish Date: September 28 2020

My new start and finish dates:

Start Date: January 1, 2019

Finish Date: September 28, 2021

Here are my 101+ goals for the next 1001 days (random and non-grouped):

  1. Transition into a biotech or biopharma company as a research scientist
  2. Become fluent in Spanish
  3. Become fluent in German
  4. Learn to program (R and maybe python)
  5. Visit at least three new countries (0/3)
  6. Finish the various other e-course bundles that I bought (list out later)
  7. Move to a new(ish) city for #1
  8. Make it through at least 250 days of beachbody workouts (share before/after or calendars; method of accountability still to be determined.) (0/250)
  9. Paint & frame at least one original painting (0/1)
  10. Finish the Dream Job Hack program
  11. Finish the Youtube for bosses course
  12. Finish the Youtube course creation for bosses course
  13. Launch a youtube channel
  14. Launch a online course
  15. Get blog traffic to 500+ views/day
  16. Publish 5-10 scientific blog posts (0/10)
  17. Practice more photography (1-2 posts a week)
  18. Get instagram followers to 800+
  19. Showcase crafts on blog (afghans, artwork, jewelry)
  20. Learn to make my own jewelry
  21. Re-pierce my ears
  22. Finish at least 200 personal/professional development books (and post reviews) (20/200; though I’ve only written & posted book reviews for 8 of those)
  23. Interact more on Linkedin (actually network with connections) (at least 4 a week) (0/140)
  24. Reach at least 14,014,000 steps (0/14,014,000); though if I add in the steps from 2018—this could actually be closer to 20,000,000 steps (it would actually be 19,124,000 steps. I’m currently at: 5,292,617/19,124,000 steps).
  25. Visit at least one new national (or state) park (0/1). Technically I’ve done this with the visit to New Mexico last spring (but I want to try to go to another one).
  26. Visit at least one new national (or state) monument (0/1). Again, technically I’ve done this one with the visit to New Mexico last spring. But I want to try to go to another one.
  27. 5 pushups on toes (0/5)
  28. 10 pushups on toes (0/10)
  29. Fly/land at least 3 new airports
  30. Visit one new city & state (US) (0/1; 0/1). Have visited Roswell NM last spring.
  31. Go to one or more scientific conferences (0/1)
  32. Go to a blogging conference (0/1)
  33. See the Northern Lights
  34. Present at a scientific conference (0/1)
  35. Post free monthly challenges in facebook groups
  36. Write (or start) a book
  37. Complete a 365 day photography challenge (0/365)
  38. Learn to cross-stitch
  39. Reach 400+ followers on pintrest
  40. Reach 1000+ followers on twitter
  41. Publish at least two blog series (0/2)
  42. Mediate at least 5 minutes a day  (0/1001)
  43. No extra snacks at work (i.e. no hitting the coffee shop for cookies in the morning)
  44. Declutter the movies in the house
  45. Create an editorial calendar for blog (0/33)
  46. Credit card debt down to less than $500 a month (and getting paid off monthly in full)
  47. Monthly budget (plus list of monthly recurring charges on credit cards) (0/33)
  48. Learn to give mani/pedi and give myself one a month (0/33)
  49. Get a new sewing machine and make a new quilt for bed
  50. Make my new moon & full moon goals (0/66)
  51. Buy a new couch and chair for my living room
  52. Buy a new dresser for my bedroom
  53. Buy a new mattress & box-spring for my bed
  54. Buy a new TV & stand for living room
  55. Reorganize my storage unit
  56. Buy fabric & foam and make new cushions for rocking chair
  57. Create a posting schedule (editorial calendar) for facebook pages (0/66)
  58. Generate at least three months of memes for facebook pages (0/3)
  59. Create posting schedule (editorial calendar) for instagram (0/33)
  60. Learn to use photoshop for memes & posts
  61. Make a 30 day Zumba schedule & stick with it (0/30)
  62. Visit one or more new zoos (0/1)
  63. Visit one or more new aquariums (0/1)
  64. Make a top 10 favorite author list (for different genera; romance, fantasy/sci-fi, mystery/thriller, non-fiction) for blog
  65. Write and share at least two posts on linkedin every two months (0/32)
  66. Ask for endorsements from 6 well known connections on linkedin (0/6)
  67. Endorse 3 to 5 people on linkedin every four months (0/40)
  68. Renew professional memberships (0/6)
  69. Get into the “best shape” of my life
  70. Finish reading books on scientific writing (review and post) (0/7)
  71. Take a multivitamin & supplements daily (0/1001)
  72. Design a logo for my blog/website
  73. Finish 3 hidden object games without using hints, or the strategy guide
  74. Go to a author-reader conference and meet authors
  75. Write in journal daily (0/1001)
  76. Complete my book of Sudoku puzzles (minus the ones crossed out)
  77. Drink 70 oz of water a day (0/1001)
  78. Color in two coloring books (0/2) (pictures on blog/instagram)
  79. Knit another afghan (diamond pattern)
  80. Watch all the episodes of Hawaii 5-0
  81. Go to at least 2 professional networking events (0/2)
  82. Update Linkedin profile (0/2)
  83. Watch all the episodes of Grimm
  84. Design a science based board game
  85. Hold a two minute plank (on forearms)
  86. Hold a 90 second plank (full)
  87. Go at least one weekend a month without social media (0/33)
  88. Create (and update) a vision board
  89. Create my own altar (wiccan/pagan)
  90. Learn basic sign language
  91. Create job searching/networking editorial calendar (0/12)
  92. Get an additional external hard drive to back up the laptop & external DVD drive for installing printer program on laptop
  93. Create my own coffee table photography book
  94. Touch base with friends that I haven’t talked to lately
  95. Savings up another 20K (0/20K)
  96. Get at least three plants and keep them alive (0/3)
  97. Stretch daily (0/1001)
  98. Watch all the episodes of The Librarians
  99. Watch all the episodes of Once Upon A Time
  100. Get Fit with Jessi to 1000+ likes
  101. Get BecomingJessi to 1000+ likes

The list will be update periodically (either with a link to the blog post covering said goal, crossed out, or dated and crossed out). The only goals that in theory will be “starting over” on are the ones that have specific number of days (such as taking vitamins, writing in my journal, drinking water daily), as these are some of the tasks that I’ve really fallen behind on this year.

No Comments 101 GoalsPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional development

Starting to organize the storage unit

Well I finally managed to work up both the energy and the nerve to start dealing with my storage unit this week. I’ve had the unit for basically five and a half years now (since I moved home from Boston at the end of 2012), and realized that I really, really needed to get it somewhat organized. It is nice to have something else semi-checked off my 101+ goal list.

Angle 1

The organization was needed badly, because when the movers unpacked everything for me—they didn’t put in the unit correctly—all the boxes were more or less behind larger pieces of furniture (or mattresses) and were unreachable. See the above and below pictures.

From the front

So I spent a good solid two hours Thursday morning rearranging the unit (and my shoulders are still extremely sore from the lifting and carrying that I did). I had planned on only dealing with part of it Thursday, and then finishing it up on Friday—but realized that I couldn’t leave boxes in the middle of the mini hall in the storage unit (doing that would have probably resulted in either boxes being thrown out or stolen) and I wasn’t going to just cram them back in to the unit.

So during the two hours—I managed to get things reorganized. The mattress and box spring are against the side of the unit (instead of in the front). Then the bookcase was pushed back against the back (though I probably can still reorganize things to where the bookcase is totally against the back and boxes can be placed at least on the bottom shelf). Then I more or less have all the boxes in the front of the unit. I still need to get a lot of boxes so that I can spend another couple of hours (probably across several days) repacking things. I wasn’t that surprised when I saw how many boxes were falling apart or were caving in—all of the boxes had been acquired before moving out to Boston (so they’re all about eight years old), and if they’ve just started falling apart—its nice to know that they have about an eight year life span (though it could be a little less, since I wasn’t getting into it constantly).

Angle 2

Once boxes are repacked, there will be even a little more room for other boxes (and some furniture and/or bikes) from the house to also be placed within the unit.

From the front

It was nice to see that 1) I could actually stand within the unit and still have space for boxes, and 2) I have the small foot stool/ottoman down so that when I do need to repack things I have something to sit on. Yes, the kitty condo is leaning–but I think that is because there is a loose screw between the top house and the bottom portion.

So my next goal with the storage unit is to repack boxes, and also to maybe get rid of a few things that I probably don’t really need anymore. One thing I noticed was that I still have years worth of birding articles in the unit (since I do enjoy bird watching and reading bird articles; though I haven’t been saving the ones from the newspaper lately)—but unless I buy another photo album to make into a birding scrapbook—there really isn’t any point in saving the articles—they’d just wind up in the trash sooner or later. I have decided that I’m going to try and start limiting the amount of things I own and collect. Having collections are great, until you have to move them to the next place. While I know it will probably never happen—I’d like to get my belongings to a small enough number that if I just wanted to start traveling the country or world, it wouldn’t cost me a fortune in storage fees to house them somewhere.

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Second Quarter Update on 101+ Goals

So I thought of just cutting and pasting in my 101+ goals again with the “newer” notes added to it. But then decided that having two or more extremely wordy posts getting posted might be pushing it for the day. So I’m going to just post what’s been going on this second quarter in terms of meeting some of the goals. There are now only 820 days left in the challenge, and what I’ve gotten checked off the list includes:

Finishing up the modules for two programs that I’m in within another group (these are to help transition into an industry position).

I’ve visited one new national park:

                     Ceiling within the caves

Had gone to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico last month. It was a great experience, but next time I go–I want to be in better shape so that I might go on one of the guided tours, which goes into other caves. The self guided tour is only in the main cavern (which is still like a round 2 mile hike). Also visited a new national monument (White Sands) and a new wildlife refuge (Bitter Lake), both of which were also in New Mexico. So while I had list one new state or national park–I’ve met the goal, but would still like to see more (both state and national) over the next couple of years). Also with the trip to New Mexico, visited a new city: Roswell.

                        Aliens have landed

I loved the UFO museum.

I got a new camera, which I used to take numerous pictures both in New Mexico and since I’ve been home. Its nice having two (well technically three if you count the cell phone) cameras for photography–you don’t have to worry quite as much about how much memory you have when you’re out and about. You can take as many pictures as you want, then if any look bad once you get home, you can delete them.

I created my digital vision board:

               My current Vision Board

Which is serving as the background for my laptop. It’s reminding me of the more critical things that I need to be focusing on right now: my transition into industry, and getting into shape. Everything else can be accomplished once I have managed those two things. My current position is a dead end position with no possibility of advancement, and I need to get into better physical condition if I want to be able to do different outdoor activities.

Other things I have also managed to get done:

Cleaning up my desk (and trying to keep it straightened), and thinning out the monkey grass around the maple tree in the front yard (it doesn’t look that bad anymore).

So I have about six things that can be checked off as done (where I’ve at least reached the minimum of one). There are other things that I won’t know the final tally of until the end of the challenge (the total days of: taking my vitamins daily, drinking 70oz or more water daily, meditation, journaling, things like that). Other things will be able to be checked off once they’re completed. So it will be interesting to see over the course of this third quarter of 2018, how many other things I can get accomplished.

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Monday Motivation: Stay Curious

Today’s photography challenge is brought to you by the weekly Monday Motivation drive. I had randomly picked several different motto of the day cards to put together as a collage for the Monday Motivation, but then saw this one and decided on doing just one today (the collage may be next week).

Monday Motivation

Today’s motivation mantra is: Stay Curious.

Now this can mean any number of things: going back to school (if you’ve graduate and are out in the work force), reading different books (check out my other post on my reading list for my 101+ Goal challenge), learning a craft, or even learning a foreign language.

Personally right now, I’m in the middle of reading numerous different books (see above), trying to carve out time to either knit, try to work on making my own jewelry, practice some photography, and I’m still looking for a good online program for learning a foreign language (I’m thinking of brushing up on my Spanish and German and then maybe learning another language as well). In addition to the different things I’m doing via professional development to try to work on my transition plan on getting an position in industry by October of this year.

I’m slowly trying to push outside of my comfort zones (and at the same time trying not to set off any panic or anxiety attacks), and staying curious is just one of the ways I’m going to accomplish that in 2018.

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Update on my reading list for the 101+ Goal Challenge

So I thought that I’d give an updated reading list for my 101+ Goal challenge. These books include personal and professional development books, autobiographies, and then other books of interest (science or otherwise).  Some of the books are short reads, mainly because they revolve around answering a series of questions (see # 32 and #111), these could even become a series of blog posts on their own (depending on when I get finished answering the questions). While I’ve finished several of them so far (look for the bold lines), I haven’t finished writing all the book reviews to post on the blog yet. But the new goal is to now finish at least 112 books before September 28 2020.

1. Black Hole Focus by Isaiah Hankel
2. Rewire Your Habits: Establish Goals, Evolve your habits, & improve your relationships, health and finances and free time by Zoe McKey
3. Minimalist Money Makeover by Michelle Moore
4. The No Spend Challenge Guide: How to stop spending money impulsively, pay off debt fast, and make your finances fit your dreams by Jen Smith
5. Minimalist Living: Declutter your home, schedule, and digital life for simple living (and discover why less is more) by Aston Sanderson
6. Self Talk: How to train your brain to turn negative thinking into positive thinking & practice self love by Aston Sanderson
7. Tame Your Emotions by Zoe McKey
8.The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
9. The happiness advantage by Shawn Achor
10. Am I making myself clear by Cornelia Dean
11. Escape the ivory tower by Nancy Baron
12. Kiss that Frog by Brian Tracy and Christina Tracy Stein
13. The Science of Intelligent Achievement by Isaiah Hankel
14.Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Berstein
15. Judgement Detox by Gabrielle Berstein
16. Science Blogging: The Essential Guide. Edited by Christie Wilcox, Bethany Brookshire & Jason G. Goldman
17. Hiding in the bathroom by Morra Aarons-Mele
18. The Little book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
19. Introvert Survival Tactics by Patrick King
20. T is for Transformation by Shawn T
21. Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss
22. The Scientist’s Guide to Writing by Stephen Heard
23. Write Science in Plain English by Anne Green
24. The Science Writer’s Handbook edited by Thomas Hayden & Michelle Nijhuis
25. A Field Guide for Science Writers Edited by Deborah Blum, Mary Knudson, and Robin Henig
26. 7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey
27. The confidence code by Katty Kat & Claire Shipman
28. You 2.0 by Ayodeja Awosika
29. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
30. The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobensteine
31. Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher
32. Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself by Henri Junttila
33. I thought it was just me (but it wasn’t) by Brene Brown
34.What color is your parachute? 2018: A practical manual for job hunters & career changers by Richard N. Bolles
35. Manage your day to day: build your routine, find your focus, & Sharpen your creative mind. Edited by Jocelyn Glei
36. Raise your vibration by Kyle Gray
37. Sugar Free: 8 weeks to freedom from sugar and carb addiction by Karen Thomson Read More

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Vision boards (A mini review of a book and a goal met).

So what is a vision board? Vision boards (or dream boards) are boards that can help you clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus on either a specific life goal or an overall change. This is where you display images and sayings that represent what you want to be, do, or have in your life.

Usually when people do vision boards, they may make one for the coming year, or they may make a five or ten year goal one—where they may switch out images or sayings that no longer resonate with their vision with different images or sayings.

I have to admit that I have always been curious about doing vision boards (and I think I may have done one or two in school [but they were called something else]), but at the same time I wanted to know more about the process before getting started (this is where my slight OCD comes into play). So one of the books that I finished back in February was “The Complete Guide to Vision Boards: The Ultimate Starter Kit to Get Wildly Clear & Create the Life of Your Dreams” by Christine Kane.

Complete Guide to Vision Boards by Christine Kane. Image (c) Amazon.com

This book covered a lot of different areas of creating a vision board—from the type of vision board you can create, to the supplies that you should have on hand, to the type of questions that you should be asking yourself before getting started. This book opened my eyes to the fact that there is more to creating a vision board than gluing pictures and words onto a pieces of cardboard—you have to have an idea of the direction you are heading (even if its—I need a change), before getting started. I know that I still have quite a bit to learn on this topic (even if it is a fairly straight forward topic), because I don’t want to start manifesting the wrong goals or changes and then having to start back over from scratch (i.e. I don’t want to take a job that may or may not work out—only to find out it isn’t going to work out and I’m either potentially unemployed again and/or having to move back home).

So, now on to a goal met.

One of my goals on my 101+ goal list was to make a vision board. And there were various reasons behind that goal.

So, in one or two of the groups I belong to on Facebook have suggested at one time or another that we should make a vision/dream board at least yearly (for one of the groups—the other had the suggestion to be more long term in thinking). So I’ve spent the past couple of weeks answering different personal and professional development type questions and actually trying to figure out both what I wanted in life long term, and where I saw myself in a few years.

I decided that this first vision board was going to be digital (mainly because I’m hoping to move within a year, and I don’t want to be packing up anything more than what I already am going to be having to). The second reason for doing the digital form is that I can see it daily if I have it as the background on my laptop. This will remind me of what I want to accomplish in my life, and that in order to accomplish it—I need to keep working towards it (no matter how slow that progress may feel).

                             My Vision Board

So within my vision board, I’m reminding myself that there are several areas that I know I want to change—I want to get into the best shape of my life (and also have a successful beachbody business—but I need to start working on that [actually following a program and nutrition plan (this is more or less—it won’t be a 100% because I don’t do that much of the shopping and right now I hate meal prepping) to make sure that I can both “walk the walk and talk the talk” in terms of what beachbody has to offer. By getting into the best shape of my life—I could probably manage a hike at the Grand Canyon or going to the Incan ruins in Peru (which right now I know I’m no where near ready for). I want to travel (leisure mostly, but occasionally for business), and I want to be a leader in industry as well. Plus a few other things that I have on the board as well (balance life, crafts, time for pets, and owning either my own small house or maybe a condo).

Looking at the board daily, will push me to make sure that I’m making progress towards all of these goals (especially the fitness and transitioning into an industry position), and will serve as a reminder—that it’s time for me to quit being a bystander in my own life, and take control of where I’m headed.

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Another goal done: Photography Challenge Day 11

So this past weekend, I managed (with the help of my father) to get some major yard work in the front yard done. We had planted monkey grass or Liriope under our maple tree shortly after we planted it. Then it had been several years since we had leveled the bricks around the tree (silly roots grow closer to the surface than other trees), and the monkey grass was also pushing the bricks around.

Before the leaves were removed and the monkey grass was thinned out.

So the above picture is showing one side of the tree with leaves still covering the grass (though the flowers had been coming up through both the leaves and the grass for at least two months) to work as a before picture.

Slowly starting to thin out the monkey grass

Now the other side is showing the work that I slowly had been making–basically I was removing the bricks, pulling up the monkey grass that was growing between the bricks to replant somewhere else in the yard, and then using the pruners to trim back all the other monkey grass around the tree.

My father went and got a couple bags of top soil so that we could start leveling off the bricks and have them in a nice circle around the tree. So our method was that I was removing the monkey grass for transplanting and trimming the rest of the monkey grass, while he worked to re-level all the bricks around the tree (he even had to go back to the store to get a single brick due to having to take the circle out a little further).

The pruned monkey grass and leveled bricks

And then finally after about four hours of work, we managed to get everything re-leveled and I have two topsoil bags full of money grass to now replant somewhere in the yard over the next few weekends (I think Sunday is suppose to be nice).

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