Category: finances

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

The moon is moving through Taurus: New Moon Goals for May.

So the moon is transitioning through Taurus today, as it marks its new phase. We’re a third of the way through the year, and somehow time seems to crawl by during the week and then zoom by on the weekends.

So what are some of the things that one can focus on during the Taurus new moon? Looking at “Moonlogy: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland:

            Making a financial plan.

            Love yourself.

                        Make a list of your values and ask yourself if you’re living your life in a way that allows you to honor those values. If the answer is no—figure out a new plan to allow yourself to honor those values.

            Be sensual. Ask yourself “What would make my life better?”

            Character check. Ask yourself “Am I being too stubborn or too lazy?”

            Persevere—remember that there is more to life than racing head, there is also the journey that should be enjoyed as well (or as much as possible). Slow and steady will win the day.

So the new moon in Taurus is also moving through my seventh house, or my “love zone”. This zone can also be referred to as the relationship zone as well. So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the seventh house?

            Go through old love letters and get rid of at least some of them.

            If you’re single and feeling brave, try online dating.

            Ask your parents about their ideas on how to make love (aka a relationship) work.

            Recommit to your partner.

            If you hurt a past lover, admit you were wrong & apologize to them.

            Make a list of the qualities you look for in a partner.

            If you’re already attached, play matchmaker for a friend.

So looking at these two lists, I can honestly say that right now I’m going to focus on the financial/personal aspects of the Taurus new moon. I don’t have the time or energy to put into the dating scene and finding someone. In terms of relationships and being with someone—I seem to be one of the odd ones that doesn’t mind being alone and unattached. I also know that I have other things to work out on my own before even attempting to stick my toes into the dating pool.

So my goals for the Taurus new moon include:

            Making a financial plan. I’ve realized that I’m not getting any younger, and that there are still things that I either want to do (travel more for leisure) or will need to be doing (moving for a new job) that will require having a decent amount of money saved and/or invested.

            Continue working on my transition plan—since I know at least one or two of the cities that I’m willing to relocate to (Boston, and maybe Washington DC, Chicago, or St. Louis) now I need to start looking for say three to four companies within each area that I think I could work for and start trying to network for informational interviews.

            Try and finish the following two books: “Next Gen PhD: A Guide to Career Paths in Science” by Melanie V Sinche and “Reboot Your Life: Energize your career and lie by taking a break” by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearge, Rita Foley and Jaye Smith.

            Box (or bag) up the t-shirts that no longer fit well for donation (or selling online).

            Get back into a workout routine (go between weight training and cardio).

The goals might seem a little repetitive, and it may seem to others that I’m not making progress between months/years—but slow and steady is the way to go and not everything is publically shared.

No Comments AstrologyfinancesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

What I’ve learned from reading “Anti-Goals: Find Success by Knowing What to Avoid” by Kevin Wagonfoot

So I just finished reading “Anti-Goals: Find Success by Knowing What to Avoid” by Kevin Wagonfoot as part of my big push again into reading more personal/professional development books in 2019. This book struck several chords with me, and therefore I want to share with you.

So anti-goals are basically things that you want to avoid (and we’re talking things other than death, taxes, and getting sick—because really those are three things that no one can avoid forever). But the book also informs “you cannot know what you want, until you know exactly what it is you don’t want”.

That quote right there basically sums up my life for the past eight years for different areas of my life—namely in terms of work and health. I’ve been slightly struggling with my job search/transition because I don’t know exactly what I want to do—though I have some ideas of the type of jobs I don’t want to do (now I just need to narrow it down in terms of company culture to determine the companies that I don’t want to work for).

Another two line from the book that resonated with me were “You’re not going to know what you want until you taste it. You might not even know your own preferences yet, even if you’re 30+ years old”. All I have to say is—Yes, yes, yes—I have no idea of what all my own preferences are yet. Right now I’m still learning the things I want to avoid (mainly in terms of personalities of people to try to avoid being around).

Also there was the addition of phrases to avoid, which mainly leads to self-doubt, negative self-talk, and procrastination. Those phrases include: “I’ll start on it tomorrow”—I will admit guilt to using this phrase. I am now going to try to be better at starting projects on time (even if they’re something I rather not be doing). “We’ve never done it like that before”—if I’ve used this phrase it usually is in a lab setting and would be followed by ‘how is different from our current method’ or something similar. “I don’t know what to do”—I’ve only said this to myself when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack thinking about all the different possible job directions I could go and the ways I could get there. I will try to get better at not thinking (or saying out loud) as I work on transitioning into industry. The phrase that is suggested that you also avoid using is “this is in my way”. Now that particular phrase can be mentally thought when looking at anything or anyone; while I probably do mentally use the phrase—it is so subconsciously that I truthfully can’t remember the last time I thought it in a negative way against someone. I probably mentally say it around things at home or when looking at a calendar and wanting the next break.

So getting back to the setting of the anti-goals, you can pick as many different parts of your life to look at and list out the things you dislike and would like to avoid in each area, and then list ways that you could possibly avoid doing those things (while realizing that some anti-goals may still crop up in life and you will then just have to face them head on).

I then realized that this could almost blend in with the Level 10 life—here you always want to raise the level of different areas of your life, and with the anti-goals you want to avoid hitting zero. I think that they could almost be a balance of each other (in certain areas).

So if I were to list out different areas of life and the things I would like to avoid they would probably look something like this:

Work

            Continuously long work days.

            Working on the weekends

            Not getting paid what I’m worth

Finances

            Large amount of credit card debt

            Not enough in the retirement account

            Struggling to survive month to month

Health and Fitness

            Being overweight and out of shape

            Not getting good night sleep

Physical Environment

            Having more stuff than I need

            Feeling “cluttered and disorganized”

Friends & Family

            Losing touch and not staying connected

So my anti-goals would then be for each area:

Work:

            Position that would only require occasional long day (or weekend) but with compensation (days off in return)

            Move into a job sector that will pay people with high level of scientific training what they are worth

Finances:

            Avoid using credit cards when ever possible & keep the debt low enough to be paid off monthly

            Figure out different ways of being able to get more money into a retirement account (safe alternatives to the stock market)

            Have a job with a company that pays what you are worth, and also one that takes into account the cost of living in that particular city/area

            Being financial responsible and realizing that less is actually more.

Heath and fitness:

            Starting to workout at least three days a week.

            Aiming for at least 14,000 steps/day

            Cooking more at home, and trying to cook healthier versions of different meals

            Aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night

            Meditating before bed

            Not checking the news/social media before bed

            Not counting calories/macros & giving up the word “diet”

Physical environment

            Selling back movies that I haven’t watched in years (this should be fun, since I technically haven’t watched any of the movies in my storage unit in the past 6 years)

            Donating clothes that I don’t wear that often

            Start to realize that less is actually more and get rid of stuff that I don’t need (or really want)

            Set up a cleaning schedule and actually try to stick with it for once

Friends & Family

            Keeping in touch via social media (if I don’t have their telephone number or email address)

            Trying to get together for coffee, or a walk, or something sort of social event

            Actually accepting invitations to social events and then actually showing up to them.

            Let friends/family know when I’m in the area on vacation/work so that maybe can get together for coffee or dinner

All in all, this was a good book with some very good points (and the sad thing is—is that all the points were basic, common sense points that as a society we’ve seem to have lost connections to). I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to figure out why they’re stuck where they are in life, but also remember that change doesn’t happen over night and that like anything in life slow, sustainable progress is better than quick, fast changes that you might not be able to maintain over the years.

While the anti-goal list seems lofty and extensive-I’m not going to be doing all of them every day of the week. I may try to focus on one area one week, and then maybe another area the next week, while still incorporating some of the previous week. Small steps will still get you to the finish line–and life shouldn’t be a race, we will all get to our own finish lines at the correct time.

No Comments Book ReviewsfinancesfitnessPersonal Developmentprofessional development

June in Review

Well the weather is definitely on the warmer side of things now. June is over, and that means 2018 is also halfway over. The second half of the year starts, and the third quarter of the year starts as well. I made note last month, on how I needed to get better at time management so that I didn’t feel overwhelmed everyday—sufficient to say that is still something that I need to work on. I’ve also realized that I really have no tolerance for the high humidity of summer; I remember throughout both my undergrad and grad years I wouldn’t blink twice at biking when there was a heat index in the low 100s—I’d bike a little slower, but I’d still ride my bike. Now I step outside and I almost immediately feel sick to my stomach—so there are other things I need to work on as well this second half the year. So there will also be a couple of posts that are showing where I’m at in terms of my 101+ goal list, and how I’m feeling with my Level 10 life. But for now lets look back on June.

So my goals for June included:

At least 435,000 steps (adding in about 500 steps a day to make up for the deficiency from May)

Shakeology daily (breakfast or dinner)

Reading (finishing) at least 4 non-fiction books & writing the reviews

Finishing up the reviews for the other books

Packing my lunch daily

Walking around Boomer Lake at least once on the weekend (early morning)

Getting through the first month of InsantiyMax30 (its an 8 week program)

Networking and adding value to my online connections

Keeping a money log & having at least two consecutive non-spend days

Finish up the project management e-bundle course that I bought

  Read More

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Money Saving Challenge

Other than meeting up with a friend for lunch sometime this month for lunch, and the few things that I purchased today, and the few books that I’ve got on pre-order, one goal now is not to spend any more money this month. That means that I pack my lunch for work (twenty days), not spending any money on the one main match three game that I have on my kindle (it’s funny—I deleted a few games that I was spending way to much money on from my kindle and then downloaded one that I’d deleted because I got stuck on a certain level—and now I’m back in the boat of spending money on the boosts for that game)—this game might get deleted for the month of June (and then re-downloaded come July). This also means that I will have to curb my habit of randomly buying e-books as well. There have been a number of personal/professional development books that I’ve bought over the past couple of weeks, which I need to add to my list of books to finish by Sept 28, 2020.

Trying to stick with a budget hasn’t been that bad—my problem has been trying to also stick with a money log. I can do about a day or two, and then I slowly quit writing down what I’ve bought and how I’ve paid for it. Hence, the money challenge this month—other than lunch with a friend, I’m going to aim for not spending any more money this month (and that lunch shouldn’t run more than $20 [including tip]). Then come July I’ll get back into also trying to keep a money log as well—maybe if I switch up how I’m doing my savings challenges I will actually keep track and stay on top of everything.

So, on June 30th I will post an update on whether or not I was able to stick with this challenge for the entire month (and if I failed, I’ll mention where that money went)—if I succeed I’ll pat myself on the back, maybe get an new e-book (if I also manage to write at least another four book reviews for the blog).

No Comments financesmoney saving challengesno spend challenges