Category: bullet journal

Focusing on time & project management…emphasis on time management

So the moon will be transitioning through the Sagittarius constellation tonight—marking the fifth full moon of the year, and there is a week (give or take) left in May. Last year I didn’t write anything for the Sagittarius full moon…so I’ll have to compare reflections to those I wrote two (or even three) years ago. 

Two years ago, I wrote that I was hoping that there wouldn’t be spikes in SARS-CoV2 cases (and there were due to the various omicron variants)…I’m sure that there will be some type of spike due to the newer variants that are bouncing around now. So…I’ll be using the ‘fun energy’ of Sagittarius to reflect on things & work on both launching a freelance business this summer & looking for remote writing positions.

Every month, I turn to “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland to get questions to reflect on for a day or two that deal with the moon in each zodiac constellation. The questions for the Sagittarius full moon are:

Have I been too flippant, or carefree to the point of being careless, irresponsible, even?

Have I been letting myself down by allowing myself get distracted and bored?

Have I been overconfident to the point of arrogance, or too preachy?

Have I been a commitment-phobe, to my own detriment?

Have I been seeing the bigger picture?

If I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers would be as follows:

  1. Well…since my savings account is barely there…and I’m at time binge buying things due to stress/anxiety/depression…yes—I’ve been a little too ‘flippant’ or ‘carefree’ in terms of my finances and money. I’m working on correcting those things though…plus I’m working on figuring out how to potentially set up an online store for selling things (currently digital items; and maybe a few ‘physical’ items that I’d have to mail off).
  2. Have I been allowing myself to get distracted and/or bored? Yes…but I’m working on curtailing those ‘issues’ by becoming a little better at time & project management. I’ve set up a new tracking sheet for content creation; and one of the things I’m going to start tracking is how much content do I create that I’m able to repurpose on other sites. As I mentioned to someone last week—I have a goal of having several portfolio pieces ready by the end of the summer, in addition to hopefully finding clients (or possibly having applied to one or two remote writing positions). 
  3. Nope, I have not been overconfident to the point of arrogance or being too preachy. Though I will argue with my father in terms of things that are going on in West Asia.
  4. Recycling the answer from a couple of years ago: This answer again depends on which aspect of life we’re talking about. Am I being a commitment-phobe to myself (i.e. not doing my workouts, eating well, and so forth)? Or a commitment-phobe to someone else? If we’re talking to about the first (myself)—then yes, I have been a commitment-phobe to my own detriment. I’m working on getting better at it though. If we’re talking about being a commitment-phobe to someone else—nope (can’t be a commitment phobe if you aren’t in a relationship, and I’m currently not in a relationship).
  5. Which bigger picture are we talking? Trying to figure out my life in say five to twenty years? The current societal picture? The global picture? The current global/societal picture sucks…There is still the Russia-Ukraine problem; there is the live-streaming ongoing genocide in Gaza; there are the genocides happening in the Congo, Sudan, and elsewhere in the world. There is the SARS-CoV2 virus floating around; gun violence (within the US), protests (that are peaceful, but are being squashed harshly by the police), and various other things going on. I’d mentioned two years ago, that I thought the Russia-Ukraine issue could erupt into the third world war…I was wrong…but there is the extreme possibility that the problems in West Asia (Gaza & the West Bank) could erupt into either the third regional war or the third global war.I’m seriously wondering now if we’re going to be able to survive as a society and be ‘recognized’ as society in say fifteen to twenty years.

In addition to the fact that the moon has entered into Sagittarius, at least for me it has moved into my second house (or the cash, property, and values zone). This full moon brings about feelings of one’s financial security and stability, and self worth.

It means that we’re suppose to find a balance between various aspects of life—are we tired of working for others and wanting to strike out on our own—now would be the time to start planning it, have we been neglecting ourselves and focusing on others??

This zone is popping up at a time when I need to really start ‘job searching’  (aka looking for remote and/or freelance work within science, health, medical, or agricultural comms), in addition to getting a portfolio put together and uploaded to the science, health, & medical blog; and it wouldn’t hurt to have a decent semi-working editorial content calendar created/developed. 

I can probably figure out how to earn a little extra cash (taking surveys, selling DVDs and/or books & other stuff, in addition to figuring out how to possibly set-up/open an online store to sell things).

So, while I’m still going to treat this time as a period of self-reflection, I’m also going to be doing other things that I need to do to really get the job search up and going….

Two years ago I had updating my LinkedIn profile, creating a functional resume template, updating pages on the creative blog, in addition to attempting SEO research & writing as my goals. My LinkedIn profile is more or less updated (considering I’d been restricted from it for about six weeks earlier this year), I have a decent functional resume template, and I probably still need to update pages to both blogs, continue trying to do SEO research & writing.

Therefore, the goals that I’m setting for this year’s Sagittarius full moon will include:

  1. Plan for June…content editorial calendar—pick different colored pens/markers for the different projects/channels that I’ll have going. June BINGO card; June brain dump.
  2. Develop a ‘fluid’ schedule…blocks of 40-75 minutes of work followed by blocks of 30 minutes for ‘breaks’ (which could include getting some intentional movement in).
  3. Continuing with my content creation challenge (including tracking)
  4. Update my personal/professional growth game and then roll the dice to see what the next set of adventures are.

‘Closing’ the previous chapters of ones life—for me, it’s in terms mainly of my career, has been a battle. I’ve been more than willing to slam the door shut & bar it closed…while others are still inquiring every so often if I’m willing to step back into the world of research (at the bench). I want to write, I want to come up with creative ways of sharing information with the world, and I want to help improve how the general public perceives science, health, & medical information. In order to do that…I need to close the previous chapter, and focus my energy on writing the next chapter…or possibly the next ‘act’ in the play of my life.

What is one of your Sagittarius goals?

Namaste…

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Virgo Goals: Focusing on time & project management skills

So the moon hit its full stage last night as it enters the Virgo constellation, and I’m a day late in posting my reflections & goals. But that’s the beauty of the moon—it stays ‘full’ or ‘new’ for a day or so past the ‘peak’. There are only four days left in Feb—as this year is a leap year. As I mentioned in yesterday’s update on the Leo full moon goals—the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and at times I fall short on hitting goals (due to sitting firmly within procrastination corner).

Looking back at things—I never set goals last year for the Virgo full moon…but that was because we were still in the middle of dealing with the family medical crisis, and I let a lot of things slide (like posting consistently to the blog). That is one thing I’m aiming on improving this year—posting to at least this blog at least four times a month (covering the new & full moon goals).

If you’re one who tries to understand how your mood changes or is affected by the moon—the Virgo full moon usually has people feeling finicky and anxious. Personally—I don’t need any extra anxiety in my life; I manifest plenty on my own. Though no matter what sign I go with (star, rising, or moon)—all three are able to handle the Virgo energy. 

Feeling even more finicky and anxious currently probably isn’t helping world matters, but I’m going to try to focus on what I can control (how I perceive and react to various things).

So what are some questions that one can ask during this full moon? If one looks to ‘Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland—these are the questions:

Have I been too picky, pedantic, or critical of myself or anyone else?

Have I been humble to the point of underrating myself?

Have I been of service to others enough this month?

Have I been worrying and complaining too much, and thus attracting negativity?

Have I paid enough attention to the details that I need to this month?

So if I were to number the above questions 1 to 5, my answers would look like this:

  1. Since I haven’t really been around other people daily since 2019…I don’t think that I’ve been picky, pedantic, or critical of others. Unless, one wants to consider my daily updates on the situation within Gaza—then yes, I have been critical of A LOT OF PEOPLE..all strangers…all politicians…all individuals that are doing LITERALLY NOTHING TO STOP A GENOCIDE. So…I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be harboring critical (and at times disparaging) thoughts on various world leaders—look at the state of the world. In terms of how I see myself? Possibly, I do at times have the bad habit of letting my inner critic/imposter syndrome get the better of me quite frequently lately—and by allowing that, I’ve realized that I’m sitting firmly within procrastination corner, and need to move out into productivity central.
  2. This is a maybe, leaning towards a hard-yes. I’ve realized over the past few years, several ‘problems/issues’ I need to work on addressing. The first—stop being a people pleaser, start having firmer boundaries, learning to say no to things, and not be ‘agreeable’ just to avoid confrontations/conflicts. The second—speaking up for myself—this can be in terms of advocating for projects/work (not wanting to work on the same thing day-in and day-out), or standing up for my right to express my opinions on different platforms. The third—work on ‘speaking’ up on camera/video. I’d realized recently that I’m still letting a particular childhood ‘phobia/trauma’ dictate certain things…that ‘phobia/trauma’—being concerned/scared of others trying to ‘correct’  my speech (and how I say pronounce things). How do these ‘problems/issues’ equate to humbleness—I prefer being in the background and not center stage, and not ‘claiming’ the spotlight when one of my ideas or something I worked on gets spotlighted (letting others take the ‘fame’). Moving forward (either working for myself or into industry)—I need to start tooting my own horn and showing/highlighting my own worth.
  3. I’ve taken over majority of the household chores & half the cooking chores at home. Up until recently—I’d also been sharing a daily update on the situation in Gaza & the West Bank on different social media platforms—giving a voice to those that are being targeted for genocide, and helping to (hopefully) educate more people on what is happening. I say ‘up until recently’—because currently I’ve been restricted from my LinkedIn account, but am still posting those updates to Instagram & my personal Facebook page.  I’m working on my transition plan to either remote writing and/or freelance writing. I’ve discovered that two of my ‘whys’ for this change include wanting to help improve both science communication between the general public and scientists, and to help improve science education (possibly through the creation of online courses that can serve as supplemental study aids for students).
  4. Umm…the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. There is still the Russian invasion of Ukraine (entering like year two?), the genocide going on in Gaza, genocides happening within various African countries (the Congo & Sudan to name two), and other areas of the world. The SARS-CoV2 virus is still floating around as well…so have I been complaining—I’d say I’ve been more sharing news (with my opinions interspersed), and if that accounts for complaining—then yes. Has it attracted negativity? Yes…but there are always going to be people that don’t like things being pointed out to them—and I refuse to moderate what I write/share/post just to appease the emotions of total strangers. Therefore—I’m trying to focus on what is actually within my control (how I react to things), and am working on trying to catch and ‘rewrite’ the negative self-thoughts throughout the day. 
  5. Well, this month is almost over…and I’d say I’ve accomplished possibly a third of what I was aiming for—while making note of where I can strive to improve things. The biggest area that I need to work on: time & project management (aka getting out of procrastination corner and into productivity central). While I managed to watch an e-course this month, I have yet to watch any TedTalks or listen to many podcasts—two things I’m going work on improving moving forward. Creating an fluid weekly schedule, editorial calendar, and having access to all my social media channels—I will hopefully move slowly out of procrastination corner. 

 So one other thing people should look at is what house the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Virgo full moon also correlates to my 11th house or my friend zone. Therefore, the period of the Virgo full moon is a time to try to focus on the other people in your life, plus build up your personal and professional networks as well.

I’d been doing decently at networking on LinkedIn over the past few months—especially since I’d started speaking up on behalf of Gaza & Palestinians. Though, now (since my account has been restricted)—I need to figure out how to build that type of network off of LinkedIn, in other words—really start building out both blogs/websites, setting up an ‘craft’ store, creating newsletters and so forth.  

I’ve realized over the past few months—that while remote work would be nice (steady paycheck), it may not come to be—because of the fact that I’ve been speaking out on behalf of Gaza & Palestinians. Therefore—I do need to start focusing a little more on getting the freelance business(es) up and going by the summer. That also means figuring out how to reach-out/network with other freelancers (and just people in general) off of social media channels (since once your accounts are ‘restricted’—you do lose access to things).

So what can I work on during the next full moon period? Well, I can:

  1. Get back into the practice of doing ‘monthly brain dumps’ and using things from the list as ideas for blog posts, infographics and so forth
  2. Working on that two-to-five year plan. Brainstorming (hopefully) reasonable milestones to aim for
  3. Make a list (from both my 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days) that I want to accomplish during the second quarter of 2024
  4. Develop a rough draft of a fluid weekly schedule…leading to hopefully a workable fluid schedule by May.

Four goals for the Virgo full moon. Two could be considered ‘one-and-done’ goals—doing a monthly brain dump, and making a list of things I want to accomplish during the second quarter of the year. Though technically—the second goal could be a ‘one-and-done’, if I make the time to sit and contemplate what those milestones would be. One thing that I’ve realized over the past year or two—I’m old fashion in terms of keeping track of things—meaning, I like writing things down on paper and referencing back to them..though I also know that once various aspects of either getting a freelance business launched or landing a remote job, I will have to also make use of digital tracking systems.

The rough draft weekly schedule has more to do with setting a ‘timer’ for say sixty to ninety minutes for working on a project (or doing research), then taking a ten to fifteen minute break before starting the next block of time. If I get a ‘task’ done quicker, I’ll stop the initial timer (make note in the planner how long task ‘x’ actually took), and set the break timer. In addition I need to find a productivity app that allows me to block access to social media for set periods of time as well (not sure if the self control app works on this laptop).

I’d mentioned two years ago that I’d been trying to work on an mind-map for a post/article where I was going to try to combine different methods of goal setting (SMART goals, the 12-week method, & setting goals by the phase of the moon)…and then something else caught my attention and I never got that particular project off the ground…this year will be the year that I get that article written and published (after coming up with a good tracking method and testing it out).

So..yeah–I’ll be spending most of the Virgo full moon trying to figure out the best ways of being more productive so that I can move out of procrastination corner and further into productivity central. Hopefully by focusing on what I can control, will also help in controlling the anxiety, stress, and to a point the mild depression that I fall into every so often.

I want to end by asking: what is one of your favorite ways of setting goals? Is it using the SMART method, the 12-week method, or by the phase of the moon? Also—how are you handling the extra anxiety of the Virgo moon this week?

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Time to work on getting out of procrastination corner

So, we’re going to be seeing the second full moon of 2024 this weekend. Which means before looking ahead to the Virgo full moon, I need to reflect back on the goals that I’d set for the Leo full moon—and that I’m going to be a day (or two) late in posting both of them. 

I know that I have probably only managed to achieve about half the goals that I’d set at the end of January. The reason…well, I’m currently sitting nice and semi-comfortable within ‘procrastination corner’. Where is procrastination corner, you ask. Well—it’s wherever you’re feeling extremely comfortable, and knowingly putting off tasks. The tasks that I’ve been pushing off…have centered lately on looking to the future. The world is still going to hell in a hand basket (with the ongoing & live-streaming genocide in Gaza; genocides in the Congo & Sudan; and elsewhere). So…yeah, it’s a little difficult right now to try to look to the future, when one isn’t sure if world is going to survive past May.

The world is going down the drain…the country isn’t in much better shape—this is going to be a hellish election year…and also the first one where I vote third-party. I refuse to support a president that is backing a genocide, and I refuse to vote for the orange anus. We’re 55 days into 2024…and there is 111 left…but can we fast-forward to 2028 please…and thank you.

So what were the goals that I’d set for the Leo full moon? They included:

  1. Develop not only an calendar for intentional movement (such as weight lifting, cardio & other stuff), but also a weekly schedule for working on different projects (such as morning updates on Gaza & the West Bank; my microbe series I want to get started; and other ‘random’ projects), as well as continuous learning (working through e-courses and listening to podcasts). 
  2. Continue working on my two-to-five year plan…with mini-goals/objectives
  3. Spend time in the evenings working on crafts (continue the afghan, or also work on the needlepoint project, doodle/draw, maybe try to make some jewelry).
  4. Evening oracle card reading and meditation time. 

So how did I do with each of them?

Developing a calendar & weekly schedule, (I’d say I managed about 10% of this goal):

I draw out a calendar monthly…as I’ve yet to find a physical planner that has an layout that I like. I’ve also realized—I’m “old-fashion”—I do better when I write things out by hand (hence drawing the calendar, making to-do lists, and so forth). I just haven’t created a calendar for doing intentional movement—the best I’ve managed is trying to get out into the backyard for about an hour or so & throwing the ball for the younger dog. I’m still working on developing a fluid weekly schedule. Also, I decided that instead of starting with my microbe series—I’m ‘relaunching’ the oncology series—it will be on the science, health/medical blog, possibly on Instagram, Facebook (have to decide if it will be on my personal page, or what), and then on LinkedIn (once I hopefully have been given access to my account again). I may try to start listening to podcasts at night when I’m working on craft projects.

Continuing to work on my two-to-five year plan, (I’d say that I managed maybe 5% of this goal):

Do I know what I would like to have accomplished within the next two-to-five years? Kinda…do I have those goals broken down into more manageable steps & milestones…nope, not yet. Again, I have fallen into procrastination corner—where I’ve been putting off things…and allowing my anxiety, stress, and depression to kinda dictate what I do during the day…something I’m trying to work on improving—it’s small steps each day, sometimes sliding backwards, sometimes crawling forward.

Evening Craft time, (I managed 100% of this goal):

I’ve been diligent with this goal. I’m not quite two-thirds of the way done with the current afghan project. I should be finished with the second large panel by next week, and by the end of next weekend, have it attached to the other portion of the afghan. The final panel, plus the two border pieces will be hopefully finished by sometime in April—with a completed afghan by early May (at the latest). I’m thinking of using it then as a ‘example’ of the type of afghan I can create & possibly sell (have color selections—like warm colors (red, orange, yellow, and variations of those two), cool colors (blue, greens, purples), and possibly ‘mixed’.

Prior to focusing on the afghan, I’d been working on my second large needlepoint project—which is currently on ‘hold’ until I get the afghan finished. Though I’m thinking of creating a few smaller ‘abstract’ pieces to use as ‘examples’ or possibly to sell (see what type of engagement I get with them).

Evening oracle card time & meditation time (check–100%, though I’m trying to ‘extend’ the meditation time):

I’ve been diligent with reading oracle cards in the evenings..though at times I look back to see if I’ve pulled the cards and then just reference back to those pages…so I should still sit with the cards and see if I feel like I’m getting a ‘different’ answer. 

Meditation time is usually a few minutes and tied in with pulling the oracle cards. 

Overall thoughts on the Leo full moon goals:

I wrote at the end of last month that life wasn’t so much about finding balance—but equilibrium between areas of life. Right now I feel like I have to spend more time doing things to replenish my inner cup due to the massive amount of negative news in the world. It seems that it takes more and more energy every day to read what is happening in Gaza & write something about it for LI and then put it into graphics for Instagram. I didn’t realize how deep the void of compassion & empathy was in the west until the genocide started in Gaza.

So…I managed a little over fifty percent in terms of completing the goals. I fully acknowledge that I’m sitting (quite comfortably) within procrastination corner currently and it is going to take a good amount of energy (and accountability) to move from that corner to being on the outskirts of productivity central. The two areas I need to work on—being more organized & productive during the day (getting back to writing out to-do lists, using a planner, and so forth), and being a little more optimistic about things (especially in regards to long-term goals).

I also acknowledge my privilege in terms of life right now…I’m a white, heterosexual female living within the US…technically I only have to ‘worry’ about: sexual assault and low pay (compared to white male counterparts) in comparison to women of color, and individuals with visible handicaps/disabilities. One of the things I’m working on this year is decolonizing my mind, and relearning (or learning for the first time) the history of places & people that might have been ‘polished’ (shall we say) when they were talked about within history books in the west.

I’m hoping therefore to also have more nonfiction book reviews up this year over topics that might make people uncomfortable–because they point out the hypocrisy of the west & at time our willingness to turn ‘blind eyes’ and ‘deaf ears’ to various problems, because they don’t affect us personally.

But to end on a lighter note–what is one goal that you accomplished during the Leo full moon?

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Acknowledging where growth is need: Review of Cancer Goals

So the moon is transitioning into its second full moon phase of 2023 tomorrow—moving into Leo, and that means before looking ahead to the Leo full moon and hopefully setting a set of reasonable goals—it’s time to look back at the goals I set for the Cancer full moon and see how I did with them.

What were the goals that I set for the Leo full moon? They included:

  1. Continuing with my nightly meditations and oracle card drawings, and trying to work in at least one morning meditation sesssion
  2. Draft a three-to-five year plan (with breakdowns-yearly/quarterly/monthly/biweekly/daily)
  3. Finish at least one more non-fiction book
  4. Start working through (or watch) at least part of another personal/professional development e-course

So how did I do with each of them?

In terms of meditation:

I’ve been fairly consistent with meditating at least a few minutes every night—and usually would finish listening to the meditation while doing an oracle card drawing. 

I haven’t been that good at trying to do morning meditation sessions—something to work on this year—cause I need all the little moments of zen I can grab.

In terms of non-fiction reading this year:

I’ve finished ‘Creativity: A Short & Cheerful Guide’ by John Cleese, and am probably about halfway through ‘Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman’ by Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson.

It’s been one of those years so far (and we’re only on February 3rd) where I’m falling back on favorite series to read or playing mindless games on the kindle (somewhat bad habits for avoiding various tasks that I need to be doing).

In terms of personal/professional e-courses:

I did watch a couple of short courses on skillshare during the full moon period and they were:

The Art of Planning, Master Time Management, and Increase Productivity

Planning a life you love: Creating, organizing, and utilizing a agenda

I just need to actually start utilizing information from both short courses—and that ties in with the next goal:

Drafting a three-to-five year plan:

Well—right now my main goal is to get through each day without having a breakdown. I haven’t been nearly as productive as I need to be…I avoid being on the computer most of the day for the past week or so—enjoying the digital detox—but at the same time feeling a little ‘guilty’ that I wasn’t doing any work.

So—this goal wasn’t accomplished, and will be worked into future new/full moon goals. In addition—I really need to try to figure out where I would like to settle within a few years (I’m willing to do possibly one more big move)—cause, I’m getting tired of being in this particular state.

So there it is: sixty percent of the Leo full moon goals accomplished: nightly meditation & oracle card drawings; working through an e-course, and continuing to read a non-fiction book. 

Fleshing out long-term goals has always fallen slightly short of being completed—mainly because I either throw everything down on to paper for every category of life—or I’m not realistic in the time frame for accomplishing said goal. Something to work on this year.

But progress is being made–especially when I can acknowledge where some of my time ‘wasters’ are….

Therefore I know that I need to remove the games from the phone and kindle..find a good time management app to download onto the computer (to help keep me off social media)–and also to be totally realistic in the timeframes that I initially come up with for the three-to-five year plan. Some goals may be accomplished quicker than others…and there may be some major setbacks as well…just have to remember to breath in and breath out.

How did the Leo full moon treat you?

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Peaking around the corner at 2023: Gemini Full Moon Goals

So, we’re entered the full moon for December on the 7th, and I’m a couple days late in posting…This means that there are now only twenty-two days left in 2022. I have no idea how I feel about that fact, nor do I have any idea how I feel about 2023…other than hoping it goes (or at least ends) a little better than this year is going to be ending.

As I’ve been reflecting back on the past several years—there may be a ‘economic gap’ on my resume—it isn’t a ‘experience gap’—I have added in the science/medical/health content creation, blogger, and writer to my resume (and acknowledged the creative blog as well).

Before I get carried away in the direction of reflections and what I may or may not have accomplished this year (that will be the topic for at least one or two posts at the beginning of the year)—back to the topic at hand: December’s full moon.

Wednesday, the moon moved through the Gemini constellation, and there are questions that one can contemplate during the days surrounding that transition. If one looks at “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, those five questions are:

Have I been gossipy, superficial, or flighty this month?

Have I been glossing over other people’s feelings?

Have I been too quick to change my mind, or too restless?

Have I been too much of a silver-tongued hustler?

Have I done enough reading to keep expanding my mind?

If I were to number the above questions one-to-five, my answers would be as follows:

  1. Well, I’m still self-isolating for the most part—so I don’t think I’ve been gossipy or superficial this month. Flighty…yeah, I’ve been a little flighty this month, but considering the ongoing family medical drama (that is still ongoing and acting like a roller coaster)…not surprising that I’m a little flighty.
  2. I don’t think I’ve been glossing over people’s feelings either this month.
  3. This depends on what we’re talking about—I haven’t changed my mind in terms of pivoting into remote/online/contract writing and/or data analysis position and trying to start my own freelance company. Being restless—maybe a little, but hey—dealing with a family medical issue (which has entered month four), the damn SARS-CoV2 virus is here to stay, and I’m not sure which way is up anymore.
  4. Nope.
  5. Working on this—I’ve realized this year that I go through cycles when it comes to reading non-fiction. I have enough non-fiction books that I really shouldn’t buy any new ones next year—or at least make sure that I’ve read at least three books for every book I think of buying.

So I’m also going to see what house the moon will be transition through during this time. Using my rising sign (which is Scorpio), the Gemini constellation is moving through my eighth house—the focus of this house on “death and rebirth, reinvention and transformation”.

Thanks to the SARS-CoV2 virus, I’ve spent majority of the past three years doing serious self-reflection and personal/professional development. I’ve decided the direction I want to head in for my career transition—remote science/medical/health communications, with the long-term goal of having a successful freelance business within both that realm and creative/hobby side as well. Therefore, I have allowed the ‘bench lab scientist’ to ‘die’ and I’m going to be reinventing myself in 2023 as a successful science/medical/health communicator.

So this is the time to try to find balance between slowing down, rushing to learn things, being real with people, money, and determining one’s self worth.

Therefore my small goal list for the last few weeks of 2022 (and the first few weeks of 2023), will include:         

  1. Setting up my master 2023 habit-tracking journal. I had fairly good success with the 2022 master habit-tracking journal (just had to remember to take time towards the end of each month to finish setting up the next month—especially towards the end of the year)
  2. Continue reading one of the many non-fiction books that I’d started during the last half of 2022
  3. Finish getting the second website/blog up and running, as it will be one of the major parts of my online portfolio for science/medical/health communications
  4. Get the ‘writing/working’ station setup in the bedroom…aka rearrange the room
  5. Figure out an schedule/calendar for various sites (LinkedIn, the creative blog/website, and the science/medical/health website), plus figure out the other social media sites that I want to use to promote both blogs

But above all, remind myself—that I’m making progress and that is what I should be striving for: progress over perfection, the ‘okay’ draft over the ‘polished/perfect’ never published draft.

Here is to the last full moon of 2022, and sending out happy thoughts and vibes to everyone, and fingers crossed that going into 2023 and beyond—things calm down, and we all figure out what our individual (and global) new ‘normal’ looks like.

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November in Review: planning and looking ahead to 2023 & beyond

So, we’re in December…that means there are only 31 days, roughly four and half weeks, or 744 hours left in 2022. That means, I now really need to get serious about planning out things for 2023…because it will be here before we know it (or are possibly willing to accept it).

I’m still feeling massively tired and burnt out on life, and while I would love for the year (and decade) to be over—I’m also not ready for the good-byes that will go along with them.

I’d hoped that November would be a little mellower than the past three months—and it was, and at the same time it wasn’t; if possible it was an even tie for September in terms of being a mess.

Still dealing with the ongoing family medical issue—and the outcome is still up in the air. Then there is the fun of elderly animals…probably having to put one cat and dog down within the next few months (cat due to health issues, that I currently can’t afford to treat; and the dog due to old age and pain).

The only cool thing I can say about the news is Mauna Loa erupting this week. It’s been well over a decade since I’ve been to the big island of Hawai’i—and when I went, I only visited Kilauea (since it was within the main part of the Volcano National Park).

While I wouldn’t want to be living on a island with an active volcano—I think it’d be cool to see it erupt (from a safe distance)—cause while I did see Kilauea erupt—it wasn’t as cool looking as pictures have been lately for Mauna Loa or even when Kilauea erupted a few years ago.

Still staying off the news for the most part—mainly because of my current mental health state. Though if everyone would just grab a snickers bar and take like a three-month timeout, I think that would help things settle down.

By this time next year, I won’t be surprised if I’m diagnosed with moderate cases of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Elections were earlier this month, and hopefully Democrats can hold their slim majority in the senate, and knock heads together in the house to get things done. Sorry if that seems ‘violent’—I’m tired of seeing mass shootings in the news, and basic human rights being attacked basically every damn day.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘October in Review’ on November 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 99.3 million cases and now as of December 1st —we have reached just a little over 100.6 million cases (an increase of a little over 1.3 million cases). So, numbers are staying ‘steady’—though I’d like to see the number actually start going down again. But there are the various omicron subs-strains running amok.

So—please, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get boosted when needed.

I finally got around to getting my booster shot this past month—and other than a sore arm (for about four days), I didn’t have any other side effect of getting the booster. Flu shot is on semi-hold, only because it looks like I potentially have to schedule a doctor’s appointment to get it—and I don’t want to do that right now.

Still trying to keep the mental health on an even keel—therefore, I’m still trying to lean more into my strengths and values: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths).

So before setting goals for December, its time to look back at the goals I set for November and see how I did with each of them. The goals for November included:

  1. 120-150K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finishing at least one of the many non-fiction books that I’ve started
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least 22 days)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily oracle card drawings, daily gratitude journal entries
  7. Craft time
  8. Work through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  9. Getting the second blog up and running
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So how did I do with each of them?

120-150K steps:

I fell short of my minimum step goal of 120,000 steps. I managed to get 116,503 steps this past month. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts throughout the years—I’m an extremely fair weather person, so in order to be outside doing some type of workout I need it to be ‘just right’. We’re heading into winter, though with climate change, the temperatures have been doing a yoyo the past few weeks.

At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement each day:

There was no walk at Boomer Lake during November. The reason—having to play ‘phone tag’ with medical staff in regards to the on-going family medical issue. I probably could have done a brief walk up there—but I did other chores instead.

I know I’ve probably moved around at least five minutes a day—but I have yet to write down what the intentional movements have been. (Need to get better at this)

Finish at least one non-fiction book:

I finally managed to finish reading INNERCISE: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power by John Assaraf. I just need to go back and do some of the exercises within the book (especially those that revolve around setting goals, and putting together routines).

Read at least two-to-four fiction books:

There were six new fiction books read during November, and six re-reads:

The new books:

  1. Someone to Hold (Wild Widows #2) by Marie Force
  2. Always Mine (Honey Mountain #1) by Laura Pavlov
  3. Ever Mine (Honey Mountain #2) by Laura Pavlov
  4. Make You Mine (Honey Mountain #3) by Laura Pavlov
  5. Simply Mine (Honey Mountain #4) by Laura Pavlov
  6. The Path to You (Wilder Brothers #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan

The re-reads included:

  1. Alpha Turned by K.B. Alan
  2. Protect & Defend by Francesca Hawley
  3. Hot & Badgered (Honey Badger Chronicles #1) by Shelly Laurenston
  4. In a Badgered Way (Honey Badger Chronicles #2) by Shelly Laurenston
  5. Badger to the Bone (Honey Badger Chronicles #3) by Shelly Laurenston
  6. Breaking Badger (Honey Badger Chronicles #4) by Shelly Laurenston

No spend challenges:

Well, I did okay with the no spend challenge—managed 17 days (so a little over half the month)…spending money unfortunately is my coping mechanism for stressful situations (and the past several months has been a roller coaster of stress)…but I’m going to work on improving this both in December and then in 2023.

Meditation/sitting quietly, oracle cards, gratitude (aka mental/spiritual health):

Time outdoors is again becoming limited to basically evenings (and when I need to fill bird feeders) due to it being winter.

Meditation and sitting quietly at night (or actually anytime during the day) is something I’ve been fairly good at doing.

I’ve also been on top of doing daily oracle card drawings (I think there may have been one day I didn’t—but I’d done a double the day before), and doing daily gratitude journal entries.

Craft time:

I finished the one abstract science cross-stitch project, and had decided to use buttons to tie off the fabric in the back.

Latest abstract cross-stitch project

I’m currently working on a second abstract cross-stitch project and should be done with that one hopefully before the end of the year.

Working through part of a personal/professional e-course:

I’ve started watching the e-course: Master Business Writing & Editing on Udemy. I’ve watched the first three videos (so about 15 minutes of the three hour course). It looks to be a good course—so, aiming to finish this plus the 15 errors in scientific writing & how to fix them (an two hour course) during December.

Getting the second blog/website up and running:

One of the bigger goals for December

Writing, writing, and writing:

While I’ve gotten quite a bit of writing done during November (kept up with the three ‘series’ that I do on LinkedIn each week; plus the various posts on the creative blog), there is room for improvement.

I know that I need to get the second blog up and running—plus I need to decide on the various social media platforms for each blog, and get a tentative content calendar planned and actually stick with it…goal for December and 2023.

So, other than not getting any work done on the new blog/website—I managed a little on all other goals (while totally meeting at least the reading goals). As I’d mentioned in my #thoughtfulthursday post on LinkedIn today—I’ve been allowing myself to fall into the pits of ‘fear of failure’ and ‘fear of opinions of others’ this year—which has sidetracked, and sidelined my progress on numerous fronts.

Taking today out of the equation—there are thirty days left in the month. I know that I probably won’t be super productive this month (holidays and the on-going family medical drama), but I need to start setting things up so that I can hit the ground running in the New Year.

That means measuring things in the bedroom and rearranging furniture—to hopefully create an ‘office’ space that I actually feel comfortable working in, in addition to creating a portable working space in the living/dining room area (elderly dog likes to be in the same room—and has trouble navigating areas that lack area rugs).

It means getting in the different bullet journals and getting the tracking sheets set up for at least the first several months (besides the ones I did for 2022, introduce some new ones for 2023).

It will mean actually taking the time each day (morning and night) to plan and then reflect on how I did each day. It will also mean creating content calendars and trying to stick with them.

I’ll be spending some time during the next month or so deciding on what other social media channels I want to be active on for each blog…some might overlap (Instagram, Medium, and possibly having a Facebook page for each of them), but others will be specific for one or the other.

Therefore, I’ll still be working on improving my time and project management skills as well throughout the month of December.

The goals then for December will include:

  1. 120-155K steps
  2. Partial walk at Boomer Lake, and intentional movements daily
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Commit to the no-spend challenges
  5. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  6. Mental/spiritual health (meditation, daily oracle card drawings, daily gratitude journal entries)
  7. Craft time
  8. Get the second blog up and running
  9. Work through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing
  11. Set up the ‘master’ goal list for 2023; and start the ‘master’ blueprint plan for 2023-2028

The December goals are basically the same as what I’ve set for September, October, and November—with the addition of setting up the ‘master’ goals or plan for 2023 to 2028. What I need to do in terms of that ‘goal’ is start with the five year goals, and work my way backwards. That way hopefully each year I’ll be working towards those ‘larger’ and loftier goals.

As I mentioned the only goal that I didn’t really touch was getting the second blog/website up and running. I have an idea of what I want to write for my about me page (helps that I got my functional resume finished), and hopefully will have at least one blog post in addition to various pages ‘live’ by New Years Eve.

All I can try to do is devise a schedule/plan that will hopefully be able to bear the brunt of whatever happens during 2023…that will be a large focus this coming month.

Becoming more consistent will really let me lean into my strengths and values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/growth, and intellection.

In addition—they all give me great practice at time and project management as I’m aiming for at least 85% overall completion (I’m fully acknowledging that I may not hit the step goal, and that I may also not have that much time outside—but I can work towards all the other ones).

Time/project management goes hand in hand with consistency and productivity. I’m going to be making more use of airtable (for content/project management—it’s a calendar and spreadsheet in one space), an old fashion timer, and pen/paper to manage my time and projects.

Curious to know what is your favorite time, project, or productivity tracker/manager?

Namaste….

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Time & project management improving–time to focus on the second blog

So, we’re in November…that means there are only two months, 61 days, roughly nine weeks, or 1,464 hours left in 2022. It’s the final sixth of 2022, and I’m trying to figure out what and how much stuff I can get accomplished before both the end of November and the end of 2022.

As I mentioned last month—I’m tired, burnt out (more on life overall than career), and really ready for this year, and the decade to basically be over.

October was even a bigger mess than September—which is saying something. So how was it a bigger mess than September?

Well—the ongoing family medical issue that I mentioned having started in my August in Review (and touched upon in my September in Review)—it’s still ongoing, and there was a point where it wasn’t looking very good. Currently we’re back to the fifty-fifty chance of it going either way.

I’m also trying to stay off the news (I know that this is showing my privilege—but with my current mental health state—I need to stay off of it). But I will just say—Russia should be kicked off the UN Security Council and kicked out of the UN in general.

By the time the family medical issue is resolved, I won’t be surprised if in addition to the moderate cases of depression and anxiety, I don’t also have a moderate case of PTSD as well.

Elections are coming up next week for the US—and this is where I’m going to share my two-cents.

Basic human rights are on the ballot this year. Women’s rights (voting and health care), sensible gun laws, the environment, education—all of it are on the line. For whatever reason there is a major dichotomy between the two major political parties within the US—and I don’t mind debating how each view finances, the budget, and those topics—but I won’t debate my stance on women’s rights, education, gun control, the environment, or issues I consider to be general ‘moral’/’common sense’ issues.

Therefore, if we elect more common sense and/or liberal individuals to Congress—we can end the filibuster, expand the Supreme Court, enact term limits for both the Supreme Court and Congress, and finally codify women’s health care and gun control into law.

And I’ll end my political/social/economical ‘rant’ here, before it takes over the post.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘September in Review’ on October 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 98.2 million cases and now as of November 1st —we have reached just a little over 99.3 million cases (an increase of a little over 1.1 million cases). So, numbers are staying ‘steady’—though I’d like to see the number actually start going down again. But there are the various omicron subs-strains running amok.

So—please, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get boosted when needed.

I thought I’d manage to get my booster shot in October—but with the way the beginning of the month went…this task fell by the wayside. Hopefully I can get around to scheduling it for sometime in November (and possibly the flu shot—if its free as well).

While trying to keep the mental health on an even keel—I’m still trying to lean more into my strengths and values: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths). Though sometimes it doesn’t help having the background/understanding of medical issues…ignorance is bliss at times.

So before setting goals for November, its time to look back at the goals I set for October and see how I did with each of them. The goals for October included:

  1. 125-155K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending challenge
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle drawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Getting the second blog/website up and running
  9. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So how did I do with each goal?

125-155K steps:

I managed to get 134,240 steps in during the month of October—basically right in the middle between hitting a little over 4K steps a day and the ‘goal’ of 5K steps a day. I managed two walks at Boomer—a partial and a full, plus took Chaos through the neighborhood once. Hopefully I will be able to get Chaos out on more walks in November, plus have an late morning/early afternoon walk at Boomer Lake at least once or twice in November.

At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day:

I managed to get in one partial walk and one full walk at Boomer Lake, plus a walk through the neighborhood with Chaos. I probably managed about five minutes or so each day of ‘intentional’ movement (which for me means helping our elderly, arthritic dog in and out of the house).

Finish at least one non-fiction book:

I’m still reading Trilobite: Eyewitness to evolution; and I’m about thirty percent of the way through the book. I’m almost finished with INNERCISE; and I’m about eighty percent of the way done with that book–so I should possibly finish it sometime in November.

I’ve realized that I have cycles when it comes to reading non-fiction books—I can read several in a month (or over a period of say two months), then I go for a month (or longer) where I only end up reading a little bit of different non-fiction books (as none really grab my full attention).

Read at least two-to-four fiction books:

I’m pretty certain that I read more than four books during October (but didn’t track how many were re-reads). But teh four fiction books that I know I read during October were:

  1. Give Me Love (Rose Canyon #2) by Corinne Michaels
  2. Bittersweet Promises (Montgomery Legacy #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan (book review was posted last week)
  3. Fractured Sky (Tattered & Torn #5) by Catherine Cowles
  4. My Favorite Mistake (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #4) by Claudia Buroga

In addition, I also finally got around to writing and posting the book review for Always the One for Me (Wilder Brothers #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan.

Commit to the no spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending challenge

My goal for October was a minimum of 22 days but aiming for 29.

Well, I managed seventeen days (just a little over half the month) without buying any extra e-books, or other stuff. But since how bad the beginning of the month was (in terms of the family medical issue)–managing seventeen days isn’t too shabby.

Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings:

There was time outdoors—possibly not as much as I would have liked—but we’re heading into the cooler months, and unless the sun is directly overhead, it can get chilly sitting outside (even in a sweatshirt).

I’ve been making use of the soothing pod mediation app at night—and managing to sit and focus on the mediation for at least five minutes (some of the meditations are upwards of ten to fifteen minutes).

I’ve been on track doing my daily gratitude journal entries, and doing daily oracle card drawings. For October I was using the Oracle of the Shapeshifters deck:

Thursdays–I share the oracle spread on LinkedIn as part of my Thoughtful Thursday series

Craft time:

In addition to creating graphics and other multimedia items on Canva—I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time working on a new cross-stitch project (that I’ll hopefully have completed sometime during the month of November).

My current cross-stitch project: An abstract ‘microbiology’ petri dish showing different bacterial, fungal, and viral growth.

Getting the second blog up and running:

Still working on this….

Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course:

I watched three short courses on Skillshare during October, and they were:

3x your productivity with this weekly planning guide

I liked the course–though I didn’t print off the planning guide. Basically you’re given ten tips on how to improve your week (and those tips could also be applied to one’s monthly or even yearly calendars).

The tips that the instructor gave were:

  1. Visualize your goals
  2. Schedule self-care
  3. Celebrate and appreciate small and big wins
  4. Just say No (to things you don’t want to be doing)
  5. Major lessons and inspirations (from the previous week/month)
  6. Failure is feedback
  7. Who can I help? Who would I benefit from?
  8. Feed your soul
  9. Focus (top three priorities for the week)
  10. Daily goals and review (break the three top priorities down into actionable steps for each day)

Needless to say—I’m still working on incorporating some of these tips into my schedule/life.

Content Calendar Made Easy: Save Time and Develop a Personal Brand

This was a decent course—it talked about taking your top traits (but traits in terms of what works best for content development) and mixing them with different types of content prompts (such as FAQs, behind the scene, future plans, and so forth).

I know my strengths/values—but am still working on how to meld those into my brand, but also realize I should be thinking of traits as well (would be having to brainstorm with others on this one).

Blogging Rituals and Routines: 10 secrets for increasing blogging productivity

This was a good course, and similar to the other productivity course gave ten different tips on how to improve one’s productivity.

The ten tips this instructor gave were:

  1. Clean up your office/desk space
  2. Organize drawers and files
  3. Clean up your computer files
  4. Remove things that don’t belong in the office (ties in with #1)
  5. Write at the same time everyday
  6. Have a daily, weekly, or monthly word count goal
  7. Have a daily time goal for writing (say fifteen minutes each day)
  8. Go on a ‘blogging retreat’
  9. Go on a weekly solo artist date
  10. Put on your ‘writing’ clothes each day

In addition, there were the suggestions of going for a morning walk, and changing your scenery (going somewhere other than your home ‘office’) to help improve your productivity.

There are several things that I need to do to help improve my productivity—and the big one is to create a couple of functional (but fun) work spaces in the house. One in my bedroom (which will be the biggest challenge), and then another in either the living room or dining room (since I split the time I spend working in different areas of the house).

Writing, writing, and writing:

I managed to get quite a bit of writing done overall during the month of October. I think I managed to do all three of my weekly post series on LinkedIn (Science Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursday, and the Oncology Friday), plus several posts for the creative/reflective blog.

I still need to work on drafting more blog posts (especially for the medical/science/health blog) in addition to starting to build out a portfolio of different communication style projects (mini-reviews; clinical trial summaries, slide decks, posters, and infographics).

What other lessons did I learn in October?

Trust your gut. I almost landed a freelance client for a writing project—but the payment method that they wanted to use was extremely phishy—so I politely declined (after having drafted an contract), and two days later—they’d blocked me on LinkedIn and the conversation thread disappeared as well (I wonder if I try to send another email if it would go through???).

Slowly dip your toe outside your comfort zone—but be completely honest and transparent with the other party.

A recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn about a potential remote writing position focusing on oncology—great, I’m dipping my toes into the field, but was honest that I didn’t have the post-doc or publication experience that their client wanted. The recruiter thanked me, and basically then terminated the conversation (in all it was less than a five minute phone call).

In addition last week, I reached out to someone who was looking for a freelance science/medical writer—and while they aren’t sure if they’re going to be taking on that particular project—they gave me the idea/suggestion of possibly doing consulting work for training/on-boarding science/medical writers.

So, while I may not have made progress with all the goals (still need to carve out time to focus on the other blog/website)—overall progress was made during the month of October. There should always be room for improvement (if nothing else—extending the ‘goal’ line [in terms of steps for fitness, or words/time for writing).

So looking further into November, what are my goals going to be? Well, they’re going to include:

  1. 120-150K steps
  2. Hopefully at least one partial walk at Boomer Lake and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finish at least one of the many non-fiction books I’ve started
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no-spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month challenge (aiming for at leat 22 days; goal is 27)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily oracle card drawings, and daily gratitude journal entries
  7. Craft time (finish the one cross-stitch project, start a new one, and/or possibly create some jewelry)
  8. Working through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  9. Getting the second blog/website up and running
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So the goals for November are basically identical to the goals for October; and technically are identical to the goals for September.

The only goal in October that I really ‘fell’ down on was getting the second blog/website up and running. It is technically ‘live’—I just need to write the copy for the various pages, get the blog up and going, and start developing the portfolio.

In terms of how I’m hoping November will go—I’m going to be pessimistically optimistic, and just try to take things a day/week at a time. This means that I might have to scrap the weekly to-do list if something goes south—or I might get more accomplished, because I’ll be hyper-focused on something other than the family medical issue.

I’m still going to be aiming to become more consistent—especially in terms of posting to the different blogs (I have a editorial/content calendar created [more or less] for LinkedIn, and semi-created for this blog—just need to work on one for the other blog).

Becoming more consistent will really let me lean into my strengths and values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/growth, and intellection.

In addition—they all give me great practice at time and project management as I’m aiming for at least 85% overall completion (I’m fully acknowledging that I may not hit the step goal, and that I may also not have that much time outside—but I can work towards all the other ones).

Time/project management goes hand in hand with consistency and productivity. I’m going to be making more use of airtable (for content/project management—it’s a calendar and spreadsheet in one space), an old fashion timer, and pen/paper to manage my time and projects.

Curious to know what is your favorite time, project, or productivity tracker/manager?

Namaste….

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Time/Project Management: Center to the the Pisces goals of the Hunters Moon

So the moon will be entering its latest full moon stage this weekend…and can also be referred to as the Hunters Moon—as it’s the full moon closest to the fall equinox (Sept 22). Since it should be transitioning through the Pisces constellation this weekend—it means that we’re a third of the way through September…

So if I looked to the book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, I’d see that there are five questions that one can ask themselves during this time:

Have I been dreamy to the point of not getting enough done and making silly errors?

Have I been overly sensitive and too easily hurt?

Have I been acting like a martyr? Or too easily led?

Have I been meditating every day, and if not, why not?

Have I been in touch with my intuitive side? Following my dreams and hunches?

So if I were to number the above questions 1-5, I think that my answers would be as follow:

  1. I would have to say that I haven’t been too dreamy lately…too distracted, upset, semi-depressed, and totally irritated with the world? Yes, I have allowed myself to be ‘distracted’ from things and not get enough done (especially since I have a huge to-be accomplished list that I need to write out and start tackling).
  2. The past month has been difficult, so I may be a little more sensitive than usual (and I do admit to losing my temper), and am trying to find a nice balance in dealing with certain people.
  3. Nope
  4. With the use of the app soothing pod, I’ve been able to meditate for anywhere from two minutes to over ten, every night for the past two months.
  5. As I mentioned last year—I’m trying to get better at this—I’m good at being in touch with my ‘analytical’ side, but had spent years ‘ignoring’ my intuitive side. I’m trying to get better at tuning in to my intuitive side/gut. I am slowly trying to follow my dream of having a more ‘independent’ career away from the bench. I’m leaning more and more in the direction of freelance/remote/contract writing (science/medical/health) with the possibility of data analysis or project management style career. I’ve decided this route—because I want something that can be location independent, and also allow me some time independence and project independence as well.

So in addition to the self-reflection questions, one should also check to see what house or zone the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Pisces full moon is moving through my 5th house (according to my rising sign), which is also known as the “kids, romance, and creativity zone”.

I’m still semi self-isolating—I am now starting to occasionally meeting a friend for lunch, trying to get a walk in at Boomer, and visiting a family member in the hospital. I do plan on getting my booster shot hopefully within the next couple of weeks (the new Pfizer one has just been approved).

I’ve realized that when (and if) I move—it will have to be to an area where renting a small one (possibly two) bedroom house won’t be super expensive—the reason, my dog. Chaos is not an apartment dog, nor will he ever become one…I will need a place that has a decent backyard for him to run around in.

Only ‘kids’ I’m currently around are the furry variety (two dogs and three cats), as my niece is out in CA (though they may come for a visit next month), and if I meet up with one friend for lunch—we can do it during the week, so her daughter is in school.

I need to try to start scheduling more time for crafts (cross-stitching, jewelry design/creation, and even photography), as I really haven’t been doing as much as I was either earlier in the year or this time last year.

The comfort zone when it comes to crafts has included photography, knitting, reading, quilting/sewing (when I have a working sewing machine), and now cross-stitching. Hopefully over the next few months I can also add jewelry design/creation and maybe even mosaic design/creation to the list as well.

So what are my goals going to be for the Pisces Full Moon?

  1. Work on developing a ‘workable’ schedule for the day/week/month. I know that part of my problem is that I’m consistent in being inconsistent. If I really want to make freelance work—I need to improve my time/project management skills.
  2.  Make sure that I’m making time for crafts/hobbies and not just falling back into the ‘bad routine’ of work, work, and more work.
  3. Continue working on both blogs (coming up with editorial calendars, getting the copy written for various pages on both, and making sure that I have at least four to five blog posts written for the science/medical/health communications blog).
  4. Work through at least part of one personal/professional e-course.

Four goals, and while only one (the last) will actually have a ‘yes/no’ in terms of completion—the rest can also be considered on-going/continuous goals—but if one doesn’t start them…one can in theory never continue them…

Bits and pieces from previous chapters of our lives usually find their way into our current chapters that we’re trying to write…the bits and pieces from my previous chapters unfortunately right now include: imposter syndrome, inner critic, negative self-talk, and feelings of inadequacy.

I know that I can work through all of those feelings, and will be doing so—but also just acknowledging them is a huge step in the right direction of self-care/self-acceptance, and healing.

Therefore, I’m also going to keep the following quote at the forefront: ‘progress over perfection’, and knowing that I’m slowly starting the next chapter of my life (as I’m done re-reading the last one), in addition to limiting the influence of others in terms of what I decide to do with my future.

Question time: what are some of your favorite crafts?

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Virgo Season: Time to start planning the goals

So, we’re going to be heading into another ‘new moon’ phase this weekend (and I’m probably going to be a day late in posting).

We’re entering Virgo season…I should be counting down the days until my birthday—but I’m not (and that’s another story for another day)…

So what are some of the things that one can do during the Virgo new moon?

  1. Take an inventory of your life. Figure out what is working and what isn’t and then figure out what needs to change for the things that aren’t working.
  2. Be of service—help out more at work (if able), do the little things that can help make someone else’s day a little more bearable.
  3. Be healthy—see what is and isn’t working in your health and fitness routines and then figure out what to fix—what new habits to start working on.
  4. Avoid nitpicking—this is where the motto “progress over perfection” really comes into play
  5. Get organized—pay bills, figure out the monthly schedule (workout, eating, so forth)—things that can make life a little more bearable going forward

While most would think that the new moon would be moving through my first house (since my star sign is Virgo), it actually moving through my 11th house (or friends’ zone), since I’ve been going with my rising sign (which is Scorpio).

Looking back at what I wrote over the past two years—my ‘new normal’ is still social distancing (with a some exceptions), wearing a mask, and really just being considerate of others…

Some of the things one can do in regards to their 11th house include:

  1. Sign up for an evening class in something you’ve always wanted to do
  2. Ask your friends to introduce to friends of theirs you’ve never met
  3. Wish on a star every night for a month
  4. Introduce a childhood pal to a friend from your life now
  5. Say ‘Hi’ to someone you see nearly every day but never talk to
  6. Thank your best friend for being there for you

Well, besides the fact that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic/epidemic—I’m not getting out that much still. Therefore, there are still several things that I probably won’t be doing in regards to my 11th house.

I’d say that there are probably only two things that I could do in regards to my 11th house: wish on a star every night for a month, or thank my best friend for being around still. I am starting to do more virtual ‘coffee/water’ chats as well.

I had lunch with a college classmate a few weeks ago, and may try to get together again sometime in September (but it depends on a whole slew of other things).

So, since I’m still in semi self-isolation, my goals for the Virgo New Moon period will include:

  1. Take inventory of various aspects of life (research/writing/editing, crafts/hobbies, fitness, and mental health/spirituality) and try to develop a working schedule that will allow me be both productive, but at the same time enjoying time outside as well.
  2. Continue with daily workouts (alternate between weight lifting and shadow-boxing).
  3. In combination with #1—organize the schedule, and block out periods of time (or set certain days to certain tasks) and see if that helps improve my productivity
  4. Work on the outlines/drafts for the following items:
    •  My LinkedIn oncology post series
    • The follow-up(s) to my LinkedIn molecular cloning series: Introduction to biofuels, Introduction to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and Introduction to vaccine development
    • Digestion, absorption of nutrients, and the nucleic acid biosynthesis pathways
    • Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells: Similarities and Differences
    • Antibiotics and the rise of Antibiotic Resistant Microbes
  5. Continue with the evening meditations

Since the next few months are going to be extremely crazy (and that’s putting things nicely)…my motto is going to be ‘progress over perfection’…which means I need to spend a little time each week working on my other blog, doing research and starting to write on various topics (see fourth goal above).  I also am not going to let the opinions of others deter me from the path that I’m starting on, as I know it will be a windy and bumpy road.

How do you handle things when everything seems to be going to hell?

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Leo goals: organization, goal-setting, self-care, in addition to reading & writing

Looking at past posts—I didn’t set any goals during the Leo new moon in 2020 (not surprising considering we were still in the beginning stages of the pandemic), and I did set some goals last year. The moon will be moving through the Leo constellation either tonight (or possibly last night-depending on where you are in the world), marking the seventh new moon. There are also only 156 days left in 2022…that means I really need to focus on certain goals…

But, what are some of things that one can do during the Leo New Moon? If we look to ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland—we’ll find suggestions such as:

  1. Show off–celebrate life.
  2. Flirt
  3. Be creative
  4. Love thyself–self-love, work on confidence, and leadership goals
  5. Spoil thyself

So there are two things I won’t be doing (mainly because we’re still within the pandemic, and I’m trying to figure out my life)—and those are showing off and flirting.

I will work on self-love, my confidence, and leadership skills while being creative and spoiling myself (within reason).

Working on my confidence may be as easy as publishing more on LinkedIn (posts/articles), or even trying to do a video introduction to the Facebook page for the blog/website or something like that.

These are all good for being within the Leo constellation, but one should also look to see what house/zone the moon & Leo are progressing through as well. For me, that means that Leo is going through my 10th house, or my career zone. This is about my career & reputation (professional brand).

So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the career zone? They include:

  1. Speak to your boss about how you’re doing
  2. Help a colleague out of a rut
  3. Check that you’re not become status mad
  4. Start a new business as close to the new moon as you can
  5. Apply for new jobs with confidence
  6. When you’re earned it, take the credit
  7. Plan your next best career move

So, we get to focus on our career zone twice a year (whenever the moon moves through our tenth house—which it does twice—new and full moon). This is fitting that the Leo new moon is happening right now, though since I’ve been on a reboot/career break fro the past two years there is one thing that I really can’t do, and that is speaking to my boss about how I’m doing (unless I want to talk to myself), I can try to help ‘colleagues’ out of ruts—as anyone who is job-searching is truthfully a colleague.

Plot my best career move—I’m looking for remote positions within science/medical/health communications (writing or marketing), while also being open to remote data analyst positions (that don’t require a vast knowledge of coding).

New business—I’m working on updating the blog/website (will probably be changing the url within a few weeks) to showcase both my creative and analytical sides. Having a freelance business up and running full time—is my long-term goal.

Apply for jobs with confidence—I’m slowly getting there. I almost have my LinkedIn profile optimized for writing (or data analysis), and I’m working on that ever-dreaded resume. In addition, I’ve been slowly working on creating a portfolio—I have a decent chunk of the molecular cloning project written up, and have outlines for two other ‘basic’ science series almost fleshed up, in addition to working on an outline for several oncology topics.

The writing won’t be the only part of the ‘new business’; I’m also going to do some crafts, photography, and other things as well. The look and organization of the blog therefore change over the coming months.

So looking at these two lists, my goals for the Leo New Moon will include the following:

  1. Continue developing my self-care/self-love routine. This will include meditation time, time outdoors, journaling, stretching, and getting back into weight traning.
  2. Create an editorial calendar for the blog and possibly even LinkedIn to help streamline projects and have an idea of waht I’m talking about different platforms. Also should think of creating an editorial calendar for Instagram as well. In addition to finish editing some pages on the blog.
  3. Create my August BINGO card for goals
  4. Continue working on filling out the job search spreadsheet.

Above all else: progress over perfection, and remembering the following words: growth, creativity, and curiosity.

So what is one of your Leo goals?

Namaste.

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