Category: Full Moon Goals

Mix one part time & project management with reading & e-courses: equals Capricorn Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be entering the Capricorn constellation tonight (or possibly last night depending on where you are in the world), and it will mark the sixth full moon of the year; and we’re a little over two-thirds of the way through June. We’ve passed the summer solstice, and now are slowly heading towards the shortest day of the year.

Two years ago, I wrote that: ‘I have various ideas of what I would like to do professionally (such as science/medical/health communications, creating (and selling) e-courses, e-books, workbooks (and so forth), creating crafts (jewelry, cross-stitching, scarfs, afghans and so forth) to sell on etsy, educational consulting, professional coaching, blogging, setting up a podcast and YouTube channel, and photography)…now I just need to make the ‘map’ that will blend all of them together (honoring my strengths and values).’

Last year I didn’t do much to move these goals forward (due to the family medical issues which ended in my mother’s passing; then losing two pets within four days of each other in June)…so I’m now working towards getting these goals manifested into reality.

So looking to book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland—what are the questions that can be asked during the Capricorn full moon?? Those questions include:

Have I been ambitious to the point of ruthlessness?

Have I been obsessed with work to the detriment of my personal life?

Have I been hard headed, hard-nosed, or just too hard on others?

I have allowed my head to overrule my heart?

Have I been planning my life enough? Or have I been planning it too much?

So if I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers would probably be as following:

  1. No, I haven’t been ambitious to the point of ruthlessness. There is enough success to go around, and everyone is on a different path…some ‘parts’ may overlap—but not everyone is aiming to be both a science/health/medical communicator who is also creating e-courses/workbooks, crafts, and such. Also—being ambitious to the point of ruthlessness—can be seen as a sign of poor leadership, and people being severely toxic (and I’ve been trying to avoid those types of people the past couple of years). 
  2. I’ve never really been much of a social butterfly (even before the pandemic/epidemic of SARS-CoV2 virus), but in terms of my ‘personal life’…no I’m not obsessed with work to the detriment of my personal life. I do try to ‘unplug’ in the evenings and work on crafts and such; and I also try to balance the ‘work’ portion between the more research-focused work, and the creative/free style work. 
  3. Nope, I haven’t been hardheaded, hard-nosed or too hard on others. I don’t associate (in person) with many people right now. I meet up with a friend for lunch monthly (if we both remember), and currently most of my interactions are online. I try to avoid arguments with people…by either not commenting; turning off comments; or just removing the connection. 
  4. Two years ago I asked the question ‘in what context?’. Right now there aren’t that many decisions that I need to make that are in the realm of head versus heart type of decision.
  5. I’m working on accepting the ‘where you are is where you’re meant to be’ mentality. I would say that in terms of whether or not I’m planning my life enough…the answer is firmly in the middle. My ‘problem’ is trying to do either too much or not enough. Something I’d touched on a few years ago…and that problem is a extremely large one to work on correcting…and I’ll fully admit that I really didn’t do much last year in terms of trying to plan things out better. Breaking large goals down into easier ‘bite-size’ goals is still something I’m working on this year. 

So the Capricorn full moon is also going to be traveling through my third house—or the communication zone. This zone deals with both communications with people that you would see on a day-to-day basis (more or less): friends, co-workers, and possibly family; but it also deals with other things as well: to-do lists, self-expression, and so forth. While it is a time for communications—the communications are best done when people are in “good” moods—you don’t want things to spiral out of control and a disagreement started because someone took something you said the wrong way.

In terms of ‘major disagreements’…well there is a genocide being carried out live-stream, along with others that aren’t being ‘streamed’ (I’m talking about Gaza, the Congo, Sudan, & other places)…so there are disagreements with people on this topic—but I usually just delete the comments and/or block the person. I don’t think In the middle of any type of major disagreement with people that I talk to on a more day-to-day basis (my father, younger brother, or friends). 

I’m working on making the to-do lists (or as I do like to call them the to-be accomplished lists) more manageable—by only have a few things on them per day (and having a longer ‘list’ for the week, that I can go back & grab things to work on once I get other things taken care of). Self-expression/self-care is always an ongoing task..especially when you realize that you’ve spent way too many years ‘shrinking’ yourself to appease others.

So what are my goals for the Capricorn full moon period? They include:

  1. Finish fine-tuning my intentional movement game/schedule & then just doing something each day (whether it’s lifting weights, dancing around the living room, getting on the exercise bike or massive cleaning spree)—just doing something each day.
  2. Work on creating a new long-term goal list. Since I’ve listed out numerous ideas at the being of this post in terms of what I’d like to do career wise—I now need to figure out how to weave them together, plus have goals for other areas of life: health/wellness, finances, personal/professional growth, spirituality, living space, and crafts/hobbies).
  3. Work through at least part of an ‘long’ e-course (one that is over three hours) or watch at least two (possibly three) shorter e-courses
  4. Get at least half-way through at least one non-fiction book that I’ve started over the past few months.
  5. Planning for the second half of 2024 (BINGO cards; July calendars; and July brain dump; possibly August or Sept brain dump as well).

Five goals…that all focus on time & project management. Therefore I should be able to get at least three of the five done (planning for the second half of 2024 & July; new long-term goal list; working through part of an e-course; and possibly finishing (or getting halfway through) at least one nonfiction book). The fine-tuning the intentional movement game/schedule is the really ‘iffy’ one…as I’ve been great at procrastinating doing anything that is ‘fitness’ related (though I have been cleaning out the storage unit, cleaning the house, & carting around the 12 pound cat daily)…so progress is the goal—not perfection.

What is one of your Capricorn goals?

And of course remembering: Progress not perfection.

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Energy & focus…I guess I may be a morning person after all

So the moon will be transitioning through the Capricorn constellation tomorrow…marking the sixth full moon of the year…we’re a little over two-thirds of the way through June, and have just pasted the longest day of the year…so we’re now heading towards the shortest day of the year. While I like the longer days…I like the cooler temps of fall & winter over the hot temps of summer. So..before looking ahead to the Capricorn full moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Sagittarius full moon and see how I did with each of them. 

What were the goals for the Sagittarius full moon? Well, they included:

  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.

So how did I do with each of them?

Planning for June (I’ll say about 98% done):

I got my June BINGO card made, did my June brain dump, and drew the basic calendar. While I had picked colors out for different ‘channels’ (creative blog, science blog, and various social media channels)—I’ve found that I don’t necessarily grab the correct color when I’m trying to do my weekly to-do lists. So..that is something that I need to work on. 

Developing a ‘fluid’ schedule (~95% completed):

Well…I’ve developed a schedule that seems to work in the morning—for the most part. I’ve decided to put things I’d been doing fairly well (morning updates on Gaza & trying to post a science/health news blurb) between tasks that always seem to have fallen off the to-do list. 

This is working well in the mornings—I’m now doing about 20-30 minutes of Mondly (learning Arabic) before doing my morning Gaza update; then I do an oracle card reading (and share that on the oracle card Instagram channel I started), then I do the morning science/health news blurb.

I’m still working on developing an ‘fluid’ schedule for the afternoon (research, chores, fitness, and so forth), as I usually end up scrolling through various social media channels while attempting to do research on the side for different projects.

Content creation & tracking (~95% completed):

So instead of having a list of different content I want to ‘create’, I decided that I would see how much content I could create from June to December this year. I have a spreadsheet created, and every day I go in and log what type of content I’ve created & where said content is published. 

I’ve been diligent in doing daily updates on Gaza & the West Bank on Instagram (especially since I was restricted from posting to LinkedIn for about six weeks), and have been working on my latest large needlepoint project as well. 

I know I need to start creating more science/health/medical related content..as that blog/website is a little ‘sparse’ in terms of content getting published.

One major goal of this challenge is to see what my ‘go-to’ content creation is (currently it’s mainly writing and ‘publishing’ to Instagram daily), and branching out to other types of content (infographics, posters, slide decks, ‘articles’, short stories, and such).

Updating the personal/professional growth game & starting another round (100% complete):

Okay—I redrew the game. I decided to remove one of the boards & condensed down everything else to fit in on the first board. Earlier this week—I posted my update to the game & the fact that I was starting another round.

My personal/professional growth board game. Approximately 80 odd squares of ideas/topics to learn about & content to create & share

The top three things I’ll be focusing on (along with everything else on my to-do lists) are reading (aiming to finish at least three nonfiction books and/or four fiction books), working through an e-course (or three; as I stated I was going to try to do at least three e-courses [giving myself about two weeks per course]), getting the next two blog posts up on the science/health/medical blog (dealing with exocrine & endocrine glands & the cancers that can develop within each of them). The fourth item was a tie between unplugging for the night & content creation.

Conclusions:

Four items…that were focusing on planning, content creation, and time/project management. I did fairly well with all of them (minus the inability currently to use different colored pens for writing on the calendars; and having a ‘fluid’ schedule for the afternoon).  Currently I seem to have more ‘energy’/focus in the mornings for certain projects (mainly learning, sharing news, and doing my oracle card drawing/sharing), and the afternoons find me allowing my mind to wander & I start to procrastinate & put projects off.

So…

I know that I need to develop a fluid schedule for the afternoon, possibly have different colored pens out for the to-be accomplished lists (or at least have master lists written in different colors), & realize that I don’t have to be pushing full throttle everyday. I’m working at acknowledging the phrase that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be…I also know that while the phrase is ‘true’…one also needs to put in the work in order to build the future that they want. Therefore, I need to ‘fine-tune’ the daily fluid schedules—in order to ensure that projects are actually moving forward & I’m not just focusing on ‘fluff’ items (the small things that allow me to check more things off the to-be accomplished lists).

Progress is being made…it may not be quick…it may not be totally linear—but that is the path of the universe…non-linear, spiral, folding back on itself to show that while one may not have totally learned the ‘lesson’—you’re further along in your journey than you were when you first came upon the ‘lesson’.

How did you do with your Sagittarius goals? What was one key takeaway message you found?

Namaste…

No Comments AstrologycareerFull Moon GoalsLifestyle ChallengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

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…

No Comments Astrologybullet journalcareerCraftsfinancesfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Planning…three quarters of the way done…onto the milestones

Introduction:

So the moon is going to be heading into Sagittarius tomorrow and/or tonight (depending on where you are in the world)—marking the fifth full moon of the year. But—before looking ahead and making goals in relation to Sagittarius, I need to look at the goals I set for Scorpio and see how I did with each of them.

What goals did I set for the Scorpio full moon? They included:

  1. Planning out for May: setting up (at least the basic) calendar, the May BINGO card, the May brain-dump, and also trying to set up the ‘editorial’ calendar for the oracle card instagram channel.
  2. Continue working on my two-to-five year plan, and writing out the rough draft for my personal/professional growth plan
  3. Set up a new 90-day content challenge plan

So did I do with each one?

Planning for May:

I made my basic editorial calendar, my May BINGO card, and did a brain dump for May (and even tried to ‘organize’ the brain dump). I’ve decided that instead of drawing out numerous calendars for everything each month—I’m going to try to ‘organize’ by color. Now I just need to chose which color pen/marker is going to be for what ‘project’/‘channel’. Also need to determine the best time of day for posting to the oracle card instagram channel. I haven’t been ‘consistent’ with that channel currently, mainly because of the pain of switching between channels on the computer (for some stupid reason, I have to keep ‘verifying’ my original account when I switch back..on the same damn computer…in the same damn tab on the browser…but this is actually an ‘rant’ for another day).

So, I would say that I completed 98% of this goal…I knocked two percent off—since I haven’t been consistently posting to the oracle card instagram channel this month (actually haven’t posted since the beginning of the month).

Working on the two-to-five year plan:

Okay. I’ve written out eight goals that I want to accomplish in the next five years in relations to personal/professional growth.

Those goals include:

  1. Having both blogs ranking on the first page of various search engines for different topics (science/health/medical educational topics for the jessicamatts[dot]com site; and personal/professional growth & crafts/hobbies for the becomingjessi[dot]com site).
  2. Consistently posting to both blogs (which right now is a struggle)
  3. Writing consistently on Medium & SubStack
  4. Branching out into writing ‘articles’ on LinkedIn
  5. Have grown a large organic following across various social media platforms & I’m posting consistently to various social media channels. (Which includes the different instagram channels)
  6. Have an online shop for selling crafts/pictures/whatever
  7. Have gotten out of debt & have canceled at least one credit card
  8. Have created my own vision of minimalism along with my own vision of success
  9. Have gotten into the best shape of my life (lift heavier weights, riding the exercise bike longer, hiking/walking further; paddle boarding, kayaking, and whatever).

Now—I just need to break these down into actionable steps & achievable milestones (that won’t have me freaking out)…so I’m about 75% of the way done with this goal. A lot of this comes down to developing a working schedule for research/writing & editing/proofreading prior to posting. Also probably wouldn’t hurt to invest sometime into learning SEO optimization for the different businesses/blogs that I’m wanting to launch/run.

90-day content creation plan

Okay…unlike previous years where I tried to ‘plan’ out how I’d be creating new content everyday for 90-days, I’m going extremely simple this time.

I’ve set up a new spreadsheet that I’ll be using to track different aspects of ‘content creation’: research, writing/editing/proofreading, & publishing (for written things), status of craft projects, if I’ve made it outside with a camera (whether its the phone or my actual camera), what book reviews I written, and then where things are getting ‘published’ and whether or not the content can be ‘repurposed’ into new content for other sites.

Trying to do a single project in a day (or possibly three) was mind-numbing and anxiety inducing when I tried that a couple of years ago. Now I’ll simply keep track of things in a spreadsheet…every time I write something (whether it’s for this blog, the science blog, a random musing that I post to LinkedIn, Facebook, or wherever)–I’ll enter into the spreadsheet, at some point I may add in columns to try to keep track of the ‘stats’ of how well the post did…but for now…I’m not going to focus on that (at least until I’ve taken an couple SEO courses).

One series of content that I repurpose weekly are my daily updates on what is going on in Gaza & the West Bank. I do a daily update on Instagram (can be found at jessi1980), and then I compile, edit, proofread the daily updates into an single (fairly long) piece that I publish on both SubStack and the creative blog.

An new challenge will be to see how many different ‘projects’ I can possibly ‘repurpose’ across different channels. Currently—it’s my daily Gaza updates on Instagram (they get ‘repurposed’ on the weekend as a weekly summary that I post to SubStack & the creative blog). That’s one…and I’d like to see if I can manage to possibly have three to four different ‘projects’ getting repurposed.

Conclusions:

Three challenges, and I made progress with all of them. I haven’t broken down the goals for the two-to-five year plan into more manageable pieces, but I’ve written out the goals. I’ve got a tracking sheet set up to keep track of the writing I will hopefully be doing daily & to see how many ‘new’ projects I can I plan out to launch come later this summer or early fall.

I commented on someone’s post on LinkedIn this morning, that it’s difficult to engage in ‘training/coaching’ sessions when you have a hard time articulating to yourself what it is you want to accomplish, much less try to articulate it to someone else. Why am I mentioning that here? Well..because it fits in with these goals that I’ll be carrying forward—while I know what I want to do..I need to determine the best path, because there really isn’t a job out there that would let me learn/research/contemplate any topic that I find of interest today…that would let me bounce between different topics/projects or would allow me to put a project on the back burner because I’d gotten slightly ‘bored’ and my brain wanted to switch directions.

So…yeah—I’ve gotta break these goals down into reasonable & achievable milestones…and that will be the next ‘project’ once I’ve gotten the goals for the Sagittarius Full Moon written.

How did you do with your Scorpio full moon goals?

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Check-in time on the 44 goals before 44…take four

4th check-in on my ’44 goals before turning 44’ project; & realizing that I’m four months away from my 44th birthday. It’s been a seesaw in terms of productivity…some days I’m productive…other days I’m sitting in procrastination corner. If it were a perfect world & I was totally on top of my game—I’d be two-thirds of the way through the list (having 29 or 30 goals checked off).

It isn’t a perfect world though…I have gotten several goals accomplished, and there are others that are either halfway done or I consider on-going goals (so can’t consider them ‘completed’ until my birthday).

So what goals are completed? Halfway? On-going, or just not started yet? Images for the drawings, paintings, and needlepoint projects are after the list.

Well here are the 44 goals that I wrote out on the evening of my 43rd birthday last year:

  1. Starting my freelance science, health, medical communications business. In progress–I have the website, and I’m slowly getting blog posts up. I’m still in the progress of creating a portfolio to have on the site as well to highlight the types of communication pieces I would enjoy creating for customers. The site: jessicamatts(dot)com
  2. Transition into a remote science/health/medical comms position. Need to have a portfolio (possibly) and need to start looking to see what companies are hiring remote comms workers. I really don’t want to have an hybrid or in-person job.
  3. Launching a YouTube channel. I have a YouTube channel…I just need to ‘rename/rebrand’ it, and figure out what the hell I’m going to talk about on it (whether it’s a mix of science and things or strictly a science/health/medical channel).
  4. Launch a podcast. Need to launch the YouTube channel first…so I’m not sure if this will happen before my birthday or not.
  5. Complete at least ten different Udemy courses: I’ve watched three; a minimum of seven more
    • Gods and Kings: The Art History of Mesopotamia & Arabia
    • Beginners guide to SEO for medical writers
    • Writing an Effective & Successful Business Plan
  6. Complete at least twelve different Skillshare courses: I’ve watched seven; a minimum of five more to go
    • Creating Your Dream Career: Uncovering & Apply Your Creative Strengths
    • Productivity Habits that Stick, Using Time Theming
    • Goal Setting for Creatives: play to your strengths & tap into flow
    • The Art of Setting Goals: Create Your Roadmap to Success
    • Creative business plan for artists: creative a thriving business
    • Creative journaling: getting started
    • Growing your creativity
  7. Read at least 44 non-fiction/historical fiction books: I’m a little over 2/3 of the way done with this one. I’ve read 30 & only have 14 more to go.
    • Monarchs of the Sea (The extraordinary 500-million year history of cephalopods) by Danna Staaf
    • Conquering your burnout: an actionable guide to overcome burnout by Veronica Llorca-Smith
    • Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to being happy, confident and you in a looks-obsessed world by Anuschka Rees
    • Unfuck your brain: Using science to get over anxiety, depression, anger, freakouts, & triggers by Faith Harper
    • Things no one will tell fat girls: A handbook for unapologetic living by Jes Baker
    • Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • Body Positive Power: Because life is already happening and you don’t need flat abs to live it by Megan Jayne Crabbe
    • Flying Snakes & Griffin Claws: and other classical myths, historical oddities, and scientific curiosities by Adrienne Mayor
    • Letters to a Starseed by Rebecca Campbell
    • White Women: everything you already know about your own racism & how to be better by Regina Jackson & Saira Rao
    • Healthy at Every Size: The surprising truth about your weight by Linda Bacon, PhD
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive approach to living a good life by Mark Manson
    • I’m Not Yelling: A Black Woman’s Guide to Navigating the Workplace by Elizabeth Leiba
    • Pantesdrunk by Misha Rantanen
    • Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World by Eve Rodsky
    • Bust Your Fears (Rebel Diva #4): Three tools to help conquer fear by Tikiri Herath
    • Top 10 Most Interesting Dinosaurs by Daniel Boszo
    • What if it does work out: How a side hustle can change your life by Susie Moore
    • 50 Dinosaur Tales: And 108 More Discoveries from the Golden Age of Dinos by Sabrina Ricci with Garret Kruger
    • Waking up in the Winter: In Search of What Really matters at midlife by Cheryl Richardson
    • Becoming What you are: A concise guide to awakening the light within by Two Workers
    • B*tch don’t kill my vibe: How to stop worrying, end negative thinking, cultivate positive thoughts, & start living your best life (self help with a little sass) by Reese Owens
    • Pagan Portals: Sekhmet: Lady of Flame, Eye of Ra by Olivia Church
    • Pagan Portals: Isis: Great of Magic, She of 10,000 Names by Olivia Church
    • Things You Might Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza by Mosab Abu Toha
    • Just Tell Me What I Want: How to Find Your Purpose When You Have No Idea What it is by Sara Kravitz
    • Headstrong: 52 women who changed science & the world by Rachel Swaby
    • Just do the damn thing: how to sit your @ss down long enough to exert willpower, develop self discipline, stop procrastination, increase productivity…sh!t done (Self help with a little sass) by Reese Owens
    • Authentic: How to be yourself & Why it Matters by Stephen Joseph
  8. Become fluent in Spanish. I need to stick with a daily time to get onto Mondly to work on this and #9 as well
  9. Become proficient in Arabic. See above
  10. Learn to say hello in ten different languages. See #8
  11. Learn to say thank you in ten different languages. See #8
  12. Complete a 365-day photography challenge. Nope. Need to create a ‘schedule’/outline and add this to my 45 things before 45 list
  13. Monthly editorial calendars, weekly/daily to-do lists. This is an ongoing goal, and one I’ve been improving with over the past two or three months compared to the first few months last year.
  14. What is my definition of success? Finished:
    • Being curious, constantly learning, creative, present, productive & aware that not everyday is going to be rainbows & unicorns…sometimes they’re going to be thunderstorms & disasters.
    • Success is more than money, influence & power. It’s being a member of the global community, helping to improve society in whatever small way(s) I’m able to.
    • It’s being comfortable with what I have, doing what I can with what I have, while striving to be a little better tomorrow than I was today. I’m only in “competition” with the me I was yesterday.
  15. Create a vision board based on that definition. Still collecting ‘images/words/phrases’ to place on the vision board.
  16. Learn basic sign language. I think I bought an e-course on this topic.
  17. Get debt down by a quarter to half (based on where it is now). Not sure how well I’m doing..since I’m still in the planning stages of my businesses
  18. Continue getting into the best shape of my life. I do need to figure out what some metrics will be to aim for (heavy lifting or something…because currently its a little too vague still)
  19. Learning about body confidence. Ongoing–have read several book on the subject (see above)
  20. Create a happiness plan. Need to set this up during the next two months
  21. Daily mediation on-going
  22. Stretch daily on-going
  23. Hold a 90-second plank. Need to get on this one
  24. Develop & stick with a consistent exercise schedule. On the agenda for the week.
  25. Make some mosaic art
  26. Make some resin art. Semi-completed. I made a small ‘container’
  27. Draw/doodle, color & frame an original drawing. Completed. See below for the pictures
  28. Draw/doodle, paint & frame original drawings. Completed. Again, see below for the pictures
  29. Start making jewelry. Semi-started. Attempted to make an resin pendant
  30. Complete at least another six cross-stitch projects. In progress-I have one finished, and am currently working on a second large one. Not sure if I’ll get four smaller ones done or not before my birthday.
  31. Create my own calendar using my nature photographs. Debating on whether to do a 2025 or try to make a planner for 2026 with my own photographs
  32. Create at least one piece of wood-burnt art. Haven’t tried yet. I have the kit…just haven’t worked up the nerve to try yet.
  33. Monthly full & new moon goals. I’ve only missed Oct 2023 full moon posting. This is on-going
  34. Daily oracle card drawings. This is on-going. I need to determine the best time to actually also post them to the oracel card channel that I started on instagram
  35. Learn to make sushi. I have a sushi making ‘kit’ and cookbook in my amazon cart to order.
  36. Get a haircut. Since there is starting to be a spike in SARS-CoV2 cases again…not sure if this will happen before my birthday or not.
  37. Create a coloring book from various (uncolored) doodles/drawings. I just need to retake a bunch of photographs (to ensure that that pictures are ‘centered’) so kinda in progress
  38. Complete a Sudoku or crossword puzzle daily (a minimum of 60-day challenge). Currently about two-thirds of the way through the 60-day Sudoku challenge…may have also hit that mark (not sure if I started that on March 20 or not). Almost finished
  39. Complete at least five 30-day challenges. So far have completed at least 30 days of the Sudoku challenge. on-going.
  40. Read at least two ‘new’ (to me) banned books. Halfway done:
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  41. Read at least two ‘new’ (to me) classics
  42. Read at least one ‘new’ trilogy (or longer) series. Finished. Have read at least five to seven this year.
    • Lost & Found series by Catherine Cowles (five books–series is done)
    • Cottonwood Cove series by Laura Pavlov (five books–series is done)
    • Lakeshore U by L.A. Cotton (four books, not sure if there are more yet)
    • Kincaid Brothers by Kaylee Ryan (six books, plus another two to finish)
    • Playing to Win by Bella Matthews (three books, plus one more to finish)
    • The Defiant Kings by Bella Matthews (five books–series is done)
    • The Kings of Kroydon Hills by Bella Matthews (four books–series is done)
  43. Finish creating an inspiring work/crafts area
  44. Write a letter to my future self (again). Wrote one for me to read/open on either 12/31/2025 or 01/01/2026

The three pictures that I drew and colored with either colored pencils or markers.

Two of the four paintings that I’ve done. I did two watercolors & two acrylics (one of each for two different sizes–the 9×12 seen here & then 8×10).

The finished needlepoint project on the left & the progress of the other large one on the right.

But, since it isn’t a perfect world—I’ve ‘completed’ a few goals: doodling/drawing, coloring & framing at least one original drawing (I did three); doodling/drawing, painting & framing at least one original piece of art (I’ve done four); reading at least one ‘new’ trilogy (I’ve read at least two—truthfully probably closer to five now), determining what my definition of success is (still need to make the vision board), and writing a letter to my future self.

That’s five goals finished…and technically there are three others that are halfway finished (reading at least two banned books, doing at least a two-month challenge of attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle each morning & creating some resin art). This means I’ve accomplished almost 11.5% of my goals (and if I add in the three halfway completed goals—I’m a little over 18.2% of the way). 

Several of the goals are ongoing goals—meaning I won’t consider them ‘finished’ until I hit my birthday (there are seven which accounts for almost 16% of the goals). So—that means there are 30 to 31 goals that I should still aim at trying to finish over the next four months). Though in all honesty I probably won’t become fluent in Spanish or proficient in Arabic in four months…these goals will possibly also be added to my 45 goals before 45 list, along with the new 365-day photography challenge.

In terms of reading goals: I’ve finished one (reading at least one ‘new’ trilogy or longer series; I think I have like five to seven actually listed above), I’m halfway done with another (reading at least two ‘new’ banned books), and I’m almost two-thirds of the way through the nonfiction/historical fiction challenge (I’ve read 30 books, which means only 14 more to go). I still need to read another ‘new’ banned book & two ‘new’ classics.

In terms of the continuously learning (aka e-courses), I increased the total number of courses for both Udemy & Skillshare—I’m now stating I will finish at least ten Udemy courses (I’ve done three—so I’m also a third of the way there); and I will finish at least twelve Skillshare courses (I’ve done seven—so I’m a little over halfway done ‘watching’ these courses).

Progress is measured in the baby-steps forward, the tasks being checked off the list—and an new goal list is being brainstormed to come into being on the eve of my 44th birthday. I’ll check in later (possibly next week) with the goal list that I’m aiming to accomplish before July 20.

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Content Creation Challenge & Planning: Scorpio Goals

So we’re heading into April’s full moon tonight, and it will be a couple more months before the next partial lunar eclipse (there was the full lunar eclipse last month). Unfortunately, I never feel like trying to stay up late enough to see the lunar eclipses…this month’s earlier solar eclipse was neat…to bad I didn’t have the right filter on the phone to be able to get a picture of it.

Since the moon is moving through Scorpio over the next few days, here are some questions that one can reflect on (according to ‘Moonology’ by Yasmin Boland):

Have I been jealous, vengeful, suspicious, or otherwise behaved toxically?

Have I been living out of fear rather than joy?

Have I been brooding and dark: focusing on the negative rather than the positive?

Have I been cruel and cunning?

Am I having the sex I need to feel good about myself (of course some people need no sex at all to feel good about themselves)?

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

  1. I’m not acting jealous of others. I’m not acting vengeful towards others (I’ll leave that to karma). Am I suspicious of others? Well…there is the on-going (live-streamed) genocide in Gaza…and as I’d mentioned a couple times on Instagram—I’m losing respect for those that think what is happening is okay…I’m still working on ‘derailing/fixing’ internal ‘toxic’ thoughts (when I notice them). Since I started trying to write out a weekly schedule again—I’ve gotten a little better at time & project management…but catching and controlling the inner critic/imposter syndrome is a little more tricky (I don’t always notice when it grabs the ‘wheel’). 
  2. As I mentioned a couple of years ago: Am I afraid of failure? Yes. Am I afraid of attempting something new (and possibly failing)? Yes. This is in part to the inner critic/imposter syndrome, but also in part to how I was raised—I was raised to ‘be better than average’ (though I know my parents meant only academically)—and it is a mindset that I’m working letting go. 
  3. Again—Have you seen the world lately?? I mean with all the damn problems going on—yes, I probably have been focusing a little too much on the negative rather than the positive (especially when I can’t control the events of the world). Therefore, I need to focus on what I can control, and what will hopefully bring more positive and less negative vibes to my life.
  4. No, I have not been cruel or cunning to others or myself. Though I’m sure that there are others that would argue against this…but as far as I’m concerned—I haven’t been cruel to others…if you can’t handle the truth—that is on you, not on me.
  5. Nope..I don’t need to be having sex to feel good about myself. Also—currently not in a relationship. I could recycle parts of my answer from two years ago (since I didn’t write about my Scorpio full moon goals last spring)…but will leave it at this: I’m not in the mindset to get out and meet new people (aka not into dipping my toes into the dating pool).

The moon then also moved through my first house (or my Image zone), as I usually work with my rising sign (which happens to be Scorpio; my sun sign is Virgo & my moon sign is Pisces). This house/sign is focused on yourself and what you want to fix/update/refresh/toss or whatever in regards to both your personal and/or professional life. 

As I mentioned in yesterday’s review of my Libra full moon goals—I’m going to try to start ‘tracking’ my energy patterns throughout the day/week/month. As I’ve realized that there are some days/weeks that I really don’t feel like doing anything…and no amount of internal ‘pep’ talks can get me to move the needle very far during these periods. This was something I was dealing with last week..I didn’t feel like getting much done…so I focused on just a few things (like trying to share a sciences news ‘blurb’ daily on LinkedIn, doing a daily update on Gaza on Instagram and things like that).

I know that this is a ‘cyclic’ nature—as I’d mentioned two years ago: “everything is cyclic in nature—what goes up, must come down”. I also know that I need to ensure that the downward trends are ‘dips’ and not a sharp drop-off that I struggle to recover from. Our ruts/routines that we fall into when dealing with burnout or grief are sometimes the hardest ones to break…as I’m discovering. 

So what are a few goals that I can work on over the next few weeks to help bring myself back towards all my other goals?

Well, those goals will include:

  1. Planning out for May: setting up (at least the basic) calendar, the May BINGO card, the May brain-dump, and also trying to set up the ‘editorial’ calendar for the oracle card instagram channel.
  2. Continue working on my two-to-five year plan,
  3. Writing out the rough draft for my personal/professional growth plan
  4. Set up a new 90-day content challenge plan

Four goals…in theory all could be ‘one-and-done’ goals…if I manage to actually sit down and write out goals–that I can ‘logically’ break down into yearly/quarterly/monthly/weekly goals…that is where I usually either freak out (I set the time period too short or too long), or I just don’t break them down. That is a goal–make a ‘large’ goal, that I can logically breakdown into easier, smaller & more manageable goals.

And above all remember—Aim for progress and not for perfection.

What is one of your Scorpio goals?

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Full Moon Goals: Two completed, two started, and one forgotten

So the moon will be heading into it’s next full moon—tomorrow. Which means that I need to reflect back on the goals I’d set for the Libra full moon, before looking ahead to the Scorpio full moon.

So what were the goals that I’d set for the Libra full moon? Well, they included:

  1. Reflecting on the first quarter of 2024 & potentially ‘fine-tuning’ goals for the rest of the year.
  2. ‘Brain-dump’ for April
  3. Continue working on my two-to-five year plan 
  4. Start drafting an outline for a personal/professional growth plan (also known as personal/professional development plans—but I like using the word growth instead of development).
  5. Work on creating an fitness calendar or game board to help get me back into an fitness routine.

How did I do with each of them?

Reflections on the first quarter of 2024:

Yep…I managed to get a decent amount of stuff done during Jan-March. Did I get everything I wanted done (or even started)? Nope..but I got a decent amount of things done. The biggest thing that ‘derailed’ me—was having to ‘argue’ with a certain platform to get access back to my account. While people probably think that I enjoy following rules (since I was never much of a ‘rule-breaker’ growing up)…I only follow the rules if they make sense & agree with my values…I’m currently very begrudgingly following rules on a certain platform until I build a large enough following off of that particular site.

I’ll be ‘fine-tuning’ some goals for the rest of the year. I’d initially aimed to listen to at least three podcasts a week and watching at least three TedTalks a week, and writing a ‘blurb’ weekly on different science papers. All three goals will be getting ‘modified’ going forward. In addition—I haven’t ‘restarted’ a photography challenge…because I haven’t decided if it will be daily on Instagram and then bimonthly update on the blog or what…decisions, decisions…

‘Brain dump’ for April:

Yep…this is the second one that I’ve done this year…and it’s starting to help me get slightly organized and giving me numerous projects that I just need to ‘number’ and start focusing on. I’d kinda forgotten how much I enjoyed doing a mixing research and creative writing…now I’m working on a series of ‘creative’ interviews (currently focusing on different dinosaurs—though I’m thinking of stretching it into other areas as well).

One thing I may do with future brain dumps—after the initial, take the ideas and break them into groups, based on the amount of work that needs to go into ‘completing’ the project. So..that means I need to think of the titles for the different ‘groups’.

Continue working on the two-to-five year plan:

So, this is probably going to be a work in progress for a couple of months—the main reason, is that I’m working on merging a couple different goal setting methods into one plan: Having the ‘long-term’ (aka possibly five year goals) set via the ‘value-based’ method; then the yearly goals via the OKR (objective & key-results), with new and full moon goals weaved through as well.

I know my values: Learning/Knowledge; Creativity/Curiosity/Imagination; Authenticity/Self-Respect; Growth/Evolution/Transformation; and Spirituality/Inner Harmony.

Now…it’s just a matter of setting goals that fit within those values…and then breaking them down to yearly/quarterly/monthly/weekly/daily goals/habits.

Start drafting the outline for the personal/professional growth plan

Nope..this is on the schedule for the upcoming week (or next month). 

Work on creating a fitness calendar or game:

I have a rough-draft of a fitness board game. Last week I meant to sit down and write up the ‘rules’, tracking sheets (mainly for the weights), and start using the game…that never happened. So I’d consider this goal to be about half done. One goal for this week is to write up those rules, draw up the tracking sheets & start using the damn game. While I’m not aiming to hit any particular number on the scale…I am aiming to get into the best shape of my life (regardless of what the scale states my weight is at).

Conclusions:

I made five goals for the Libra full moon…and I managed to ‘totally’ accomplish two of them (reflections and April brain dump). The creation of the fitness game is in progress (I’d say I’m about halfway done with that), I’m making a little progress on the two-to-five year plan, and I really need to sit down and create my personal/professional growth plan (mainly for launching the different freelance businesses and to ‘focus’ my attention on different craft projects).

I’m starting to actually try and track my energy throughout the month…and sometimes it varies—but the week before either the full moon (this month) or the new moon, I literally don’t feel like doing much of anything. This was me last week…I had quite a few things I wanted to get accomplished, and while I got probably about half the list done…I could have done more—if I had the energy to do.

So..that is another ‘project’—tracking my energy throughout the day, week, & month. When I’m feeling ‘blah’…I may focus more on learning (reading and e-courses) or networking, and when I’m feeling more ‘energetic’…I will focus on more ‘research’ intensive projects. But—at all times give myself grace, since productivity can vary from day to day, week to week. What is productive for me, may not seem productive to others…and that’s fine—it’s my life, my lane, not anyone else’s.

So…now before I look ahead to the Scorpio full moon, I’ll inquire—how did you do with your Libra goals?

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Time to reflect & plan, while staying focused on the present

The moon will be transitioning through the Libra constellation today—marking the third full moon of 2024. There is a week left in both March and the first quarter of 2024. Have I gotten everything I wanted done this month (or quarter)? Probably not…but I’ve managed to get more done so far this year than I did during the same time frame last year. Though to be fair, this time last year, we were still dealing with the major family medical crisis.

I didn’t write anything last year around this time…and looking back at what I wrote in 2022—there was just the concern about trying to get the SARS-CoV2 virus under better control, so that the world could move from the pandemic stage back down to the endemic stage. Plus, at that time the biggest concern was the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

Now? It’s the SARS-CoV2 virus (damn thing isn’t going way—in part due to the damn anti-vaxxers), the Russia-Ukraine conflict (which is on year three?), plus the whole genocide in Gaza—that is about to flare into a regional conflict. In addition to probably a dozen other global problems that I’m not totally up-to-date on (such as the issues in the Congo, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere in the world).

So looking to the book ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland here are the top five questions that one may meditate/think on during this time are:

Have I been too concerned with appearances in general?

Have I been thinking too much about others and neglecting my own needs?

Have I been too easily influenced, gullible, or unable to decide for myself?

Have I been living my life through someone else?

Have I spent enough time beautifying my life?

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

  1. Appearances? Are we talking in-person appearances, on-line, or digital? I’ve never really been a dress-horse. Yes, I have a large wardrobe now (one I’m working at slimming down)—but that was in part due to not wanting to constantly try to get change to do laundry, while living out in Boston. I have the ‘dressier’ clothes for more professional settings (job interviews, career fairs, and such), but for the most part—I dress for comfort. Digital appearances? Well—again, most pictures are not of me being ‘dressed’ up. Plus…there is the issue of me currently being ‘restricted’ from my LI account. I’m working on trying to regain access—but at the same time, I won’t apologize for the reason(s) why I was restricted either.
  2. I don’t think so…I try to ensure that I have some quiet time to myself for crafts and so forth. I know I need to start writing/researching & editing/proofreading more and building a portfolio of projects to hopefully jumpstart my freelance career. So…if nothing else, I’ve been potentially hyper focused on being in procrastination corner and not working my way towards being in productivity central. 
  3. Am I’m easily influenced, gullible, or unable to decide for myself? No. True, I’ve spent years in a career I wasn’t totally in love with—but looking back, I’ve realized I love learning, trying to solve problems, and see how I can fit my little bit of data into the huge overall picture/mosaic of whatever science topic I’m dealing with—that I loved. What I didn’t love, was the hours, low pay, the stress of ‘publish or perish’ (academia) or the idea of the stress of ‘innovate or perish’ (industry), and the pettiness of people in general. I’ve figured out what I want to do—I just need to finish trying to design that roadmap to get me where I want to be in say two-to-five years.
  4. Well—do fictional characters count? If we’re not counting fictional characters—no I’m not living my life through other people. Am I traveling? Not right now…for several reasons, and therefore I do enjoy seeing pictures that other people post from trips and so forth. I’m slowly working on forging my own path within the freelance world. What services will I offer? I’m thinking writing, editing, proofreading, within not only science, health, & the medical realm—but also within the personal/professional development world as well. In addition to possibly launching a online store to sell crafts.
  5. Caring too much of what others thought of my life—is what semi-lead me to quitting my job in 2019. Attempting to follow the path that others think is the best for you…turned into being on the wrong path…so now I’m forging my own path. I am working on improving my health—I’m learning more about intuitive eating, removing the word diet from my vocabulary, thinking of fitness as intuitive movement instead of exercise. I’m slowly decluttering the house to get rid of excess…while at the same time trying to empty out my storage unit (to save money). I’m trying to reframe negative self-talk in order to get a better grasp on my anxiety, stress, and depression. So, I’m working on changing, and also working on developing my own definition of ‘minimalism’ (figuring out what I don’t need a lot of, and what I like having a lot of). Right now I’m thinking more of working outside in the yards and trying to improve on the flower gardens (or at least what use to be the flower gardens).

One can also look to see what house the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Libra full moon is moving through my 12th house, or my secrets zone. This is the time to actually take some time for one self—meditate, practice yoga, and just work to find some balance.

Let’s see…I didn’t attempt to do my Libra full moon goals last year. Looking back at 2022: there was still the pandemic going on, Russia invaded Ukraine (which is now entering year three), and this year—we get to add the genocide happening within Gaza (due to the occupiers), in addition to genocides happening within the Congo & Sudan as well. So, yeah—the world is still going to hell in a hand basket, and at a slightly faster clip currently. People seem to forget that there are nine countries that have nuclear weapons (and more with ‘nuclear capabilities’)—and they don’t all get along…so I feel like there is a clock ticking down to the start of a potential nuclear war.

So what does that mean in terms of setting goals? Well, for me—the Libra full moon going through my twelfth house means I need to focus on plans for the future while also focusing on my ‘self’ in the present.

So my list of goals for the Libra full moon will include:

  1. Reflecting on the first quarter of 2024 & potentially ‘fine-tuning’ goals for the rest of the year.
  2. ‘Brain-dump’ for April
  3. Continue working on my two-to-five year plan 
  4. Start drafting an outline for a personal/professional growth plan (also known as personal/professional development plans—but I like using the word growth instead of development).
  5. Work on creating an fitness calendar or game board to help get me back into an fitness routine.

While remembering: ‘Progress over Perfection’ and ‘you can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last chapter’.

What are your plans for the Libra full moon?

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Brain-dumps & goals lists (check)–now on to the long-term objectives

So the moon will be going through it’s next full moon stage at the beginning of next week-which means it’s time to look at the goals I’d set for the Virgo full moon, before planning for the Libra full moon.

So what were the goals that I’d set for the Virgo full moon? Well, they included:

  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.

So how did I do with each of them?

Monthly brain dump:

Well–I’m getting back into the habit. I made a brain-dump for March and actually managed to get a decent number of things checked off/accomplished, including:

  1. I posted the review to Last First Kiss on Amazon on the fourth…and they accepted it rather quickly (which was a nice surprise for a Monday).
  2. I’ve been keeping up with running the ‘accountability’ series within a Facebook group (posting the initial one on a Monday & then check-ins on Wed & Fri)
  3. I’ve been doing daily updates on Gaza on my Instagram channel (still debating on whether to start a ‘separate’ channel or not on this)
  4. I’ve found two new recipes to try this month
  5. I’ve done two e-courses
  6. I’m slowly getting back into getting on Mondly for learning a foreign language
  7. I’ve sent off two boxes of used DVDs & books…managed to hit about a quarter of my goal of earning a minimum of $100 this month selling stuff back.
  8. I finished two non-fiction books by the 20th (which meant I’d read/finished six books between 1/20 & 3/20)
  9. I set up the BINGO cards for both the second quarter of 2024 & for April
  10. Did my 3rd check-in on my 44 things to accomplish before turning 44
  11. I did my new & full moon goals this month
  12. I should hopefully have the third panel of the afghan completed by the end of the upcoming week

Working on the two-to-five year plan:

This currently is one of those ‘constantly’ in progress goals. I’m currently in the process of brainstorming ideas for not only objectives (short term goals) but ‘milestones’ as well. As I’d mentioned within my rough draft of a two-to-five year plan—I usually freak out trying to figure out how to break down the big ‘vision’ goal into smaller ‘sub-vision’ goals. It’s a work in progress, and maybe having watched the one course on how to write an business plan—I can at least get the big ‘vision’ goal down into smaller/yearly ‘sub-vision’ goals.

List of things from both the 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days to put on the second quarter BINGO card:

I’ve gotten this accomplished. What’s being added to the second quarter BINGO card (and partially to the April BINGO card) includes:

  1. Creating a vision board based on my definition(s) of success
  2. Launching a YouTube channel
  3. Completing three 30-day challenges
  4. Reading at least another 8-12 nonfiction books
  5. Reading another ‘banned’ book and at least one ‘new’ classic book
  6. Finishing at least one small needlepoint project
  7. Finishing the afghan project
  8. Drawing/doodling & painting an original piece of art
  9. Creating a workout plan
  10. Writing a letter to my future self (again)
  11. Completing at least 4 more Udemy courses & at least 5 more Skillshare courses
  12. At least 30 minutes 3x/week on Mondly learning a foreign language
  13. Start at least one new Instagram channel (possibly for the oracle cards)
  14. A minimum of 12 mini book reviews (for the creative blog)
  15. A minimum of 10 ‘blurbs/reviews’ of different science papers (for the science/health/medical blog)

These are in addition to the ‘normal’ goals that I have on it:

  1. Daily oracle card drawings
  2. Water before coffee
  3. Daily craft time
  4. Daily gratitude journal entries
  5. Daily intentional movements
  6. Daily mediation
  7. No spend challenges
  8. Time & project management
  9. Read at least nine fiction books (breaks down to at least three a month)

Develop a ‘rough’ fluid weekly schedule:

I’ve realized that at times my biggest distractions are getting back onto social media and semi-doom scrolling…so I need to ‘block’ myself from at least Facebook majority of the day. I’m not going to ‘block’ myself from Instagram…as I haven’t bookmarked the ‘help’ page yet for LI ticket submissions.

This week I’ve tried the idea of time theming…where I put a particular ‘theme’ to a day. The theme is suppose to help me ‘focus’ by the fact that most tasks for the day should be around the ‘theme’. What I’ve learned—I need to do more of a morning & afternoon theme than a particular full day theme. Especially since I’m still not fully certain of when I have the most focused attention/energy. 

I know that most people (and there is research to back this) state that we’re most focused the first couple of hours in the morning…and I’m semi-focused during the morning. I think that I’m the most focused at night when I’m working on crafts…which means that I possibly should be thinking of trying to get more ‘crafts’ made so I can launch a online craft store (via Etsy or some other site).

Next week I’m going to try to blend ‘theming’ in with time blocks. I’ve also realized that I kinda like semi-spontaneous during the day/week—and by that I mean moving projects around to days when I think I’ll actually make some progress towards getting them started/finished. Also next week will show me how well I can manage my day when I’m in charge of the animals for more than just ten or twelve hours.

Four goals. Two were ‘one-and-done’ (monthly brain dump & list from the combo 44 things/101 goals), and both were finished. The other two were more ‘fluid’ and semi-continuous goals. The weekly schedule needs to have decent breaks scattered throughout (not to mention a time for intentional movement). The two-to-five year plan…well I still need to fine-tune the goals & objective statements, not to mention figuring out what milestones to have for each sub-objective. But I made some progress on both of those goals…so it was a win for the Virgo full moon period.

As I mentioned in last month’s post—I want to try to combine different methods of goal setting and see if a blend of methods works better than a ‘single’ method. I’ve picked the following methods to try to blend: Value-based goal setting (are the goals I’m setting matching my values?), OKR (objective & key results), WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan) & goals based on the phase/constellation of the moon. Four methods, and truthfully the biggest ‘obstacles’ are going to be trying to determine the key results/outcomes that I can actually achieve within a set time frame (not too long or short of time).

Since we’re also entering the last week of March—it is also time to reflect back on the first quarter of the year—did you get everything accomplished that you wanted? Or are there still big goals that will now be stretching into the second quarter of the year?

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Progress on the 44 things to do before turning 44 project

Okay…I realized last night as I was working on the latest update to this ‘project’–I never got around to posting the original 44 things to do before turning 44, nor either of the previous two updates. The original post, and both previous updates I think I posted to Instagram, and I think LinkedIn.

I’ve posted the third update to Instagram this morning, and until LinkedIn allows me back onto my account–obviously I can’t post it there. So I’m posting it here, and will probably post it over to Facebook this afternoon sometime. So, this ’44 things to do before turning 44′ is an update/continuation to the previous ‘birthday’ challenge (43 things to do before turning 43) and the ‘goals’ have been taken from the new 101 goals in 1001-days challenge that I’d also started back the day after my 43rd birthday.

Today marks the third update (March 20), and the half-way point between my birthdays. Now, if it was a perfect world–I’d be halfway done with the goals (in theory knocking out 22 goals in six months)…but it isn’t a perfect world, and I’ll admit that I’d fallen into procrastination canyon for awhile last fall. I’m slowly getting better at getting things done, and who knows I may actually get a decent number of the goals totally completed by my birthday in six months.

So what is on the 44 things to do before turning 44?

Well these goals include:

The daily oracle/tarot card readings are an ‘365-day’ challenge…so obviously I’m not going to be checking this one off until basically my birthday in six months. I have been consistent at doing an oracle card drawing daily, and am even thinking of starting an new Instagram account for sharing those ‘readings’.

I’m learning about body confidence (I’ve read several books on the subject–so check out the list a little further down the challenge list). I’ve got an idea for creating a consistent exercise routine (hopefully by the next check-in, I can say that I’ve managed at least 30-days of consistent intentional movement).

The daily mediation goal is another one that I won’t be ‘checking’ off until basically my birthday in six months. I have been sitting ‘quietly’ for a few minutes every evening, and am still working on trying to introducing some ‘quiet’ (aka meditative) time in the morning. Getting into the best shape of my life will slowly start happening once I’ve developed that intentional movement plan that I will (hopefully) be able to stick with.

I have an idea for the name of a YouTube channel, and ideas for what I would be wanting to talk about…I just need to ‘record’ a practice video and see how it looks/sounds before actually ‘launching’ the channel. Then hopefully by the end of the summer I will have ‘launched’ it as a podcast as well–or at least have a outline/schedule for launching it as a podcast.

Working on the happiness plan, and slowly working on getting the debt down (starting to keep track [more or less] of purchases and such).

Again, the stretching daily won’t be ‘checked’ off until my birthday–and I’ve been stretching in the morning & before bed. The monthly editorial calendars have been getting made (and more or less followed). The others are still works in progress.

Okay…something checked off: My definition of success.

I’m defining success as any of the following:

I have my credit card debt paid off…and have canceled a credit card…and the others are paid off monthly

I have started saving money again, and adding to my retirement account

My yearly earnings are in the upper five figure to low six figures

My stress levels have ‘leveled’ out

I’m committed to a fitness routine that I’ve tailored to my likes and dislikes…I’m in the progress of getting into the best shape of my life

I’m meditating twice a day

I’m spending time out in nature

I’m writing and researching things of interest

I have two successful blogs….two successful freelance businesses

I have a podcast…a YouTube channel…that I do for fun…and to educate and entertain others…earning money from them is secondary…

I have an online store for selling my crafts…

I’ve developed an “working relationship” with my ‘imposter syndrome/inner critic’…

I have developed and embraced my vision of minimalism…

I am staying up-to date on world events…

I have created numerous online courses that not only cover science topics, but history, social sciences, and current events.

Basically…Success to me is being curious, constantly learning, creative, present, productive, and aware that not every day is going to be rainbows and unicorns…sometimes they’re thunderstorms and disasters…Success is more than money, influence, and power…it’s being a member of the global community, helping to improve society in whatever small way(s) I’m able to. It’s being comfortable with what I have, doing what I can with what I have, while striving to be a little better tomorrow than I was today. I’m only in ‘competition’ with the me I was yesterday.

The next step is to create a vision board based on the above statements.

I’m making progress on the non-fiction reading:

I’ve been averaging about five books every two months (so roughly two and a half books a month). While I’ve read more non-fiction books this time around compared to the list for the 43 before 43 challenge–I’m hoping to still ‘finish’ this challenge. That means I need to try to read at least one non-fiction book a week for the next six months. One thing I need to do–is to go back and write at least four to five mini-book reviews over various books that I’ve finished.

Okay two more things have been totally checked off, and I’m halfway done with the challenge of reading two banned books.

Both of the above series are romance series that are based around a group of siblings. The ‘Lost & Found’ series has aspects of suspense woven throughout all the books, while the ‘Cottonwood Cove’ series has various other ‘tropes’ (such as brother’s best-friend [though so does the ‘Lost & Found’], enemy-to-friends, and friends-to-lovers). I give both series five out of five stars, and am planning on going back and writing reviews for each of the series (haven’t decided if it will be five individual reviews or a combo-five reviews over the entire series).

The other goal checked off that page: Doodling/drawing, coloring & framing at least two original drawings. I decided that for this goal I was going to do large drawings/doodles instead of the smaller ones I’d been doing last spring/summer and early fall.

Here are the three that I’d completed last fall:

In addition last fall, I also finished up the first really large needlepoint project:

I’m currently working on a needlepoint project that is even larger than this one. Though I should possibly do a couple of small ones as well–just to make sure that I hit the goal of completing at least three needlepoint projects. I’m also thinking of launching an etsy store to sell abstract needlepoint projects, digital coloring books, downloadable prints of my colored doodles, and other crafts–so stay tuned to hear about when I decide to launch that project.

I may get several of the above goals finished over the next few days/weeks. I have numerous black and white doodles that I can use to create a coloring book. I just need to have really good pictures of them to upload into a program to then print off (or upload) as a pdf booklet. I’m thinking of possibly trying to complete the draw/doodle & paint goal this upcoming weekend along with starting to possibly play with some resin or make some charm bracelets & necklaces.

Okay. In terms of the photography challenge–I need to try to develop a plan–am I going to do various 30-day challenges, random times with the cell-phone camera or what. The last time I did a photography challenge was back in 2018/2019 and I managed about six to seven months before I called quits (mainly because I felt like I was constantly ‘repeating’ the subject matter).

In terms of new & full moon goals–I’ve only missed one so far, and that was setting full moon goals in Oct 2023. I wasn’t dealing with Oct very well (as that was the start of the ongoing genocide in Gaza), and the one thing that really fell by the wayside was the full moon goals at the end of the month.

I’ve finished three Udemy courses and two Skillshare courses so far:

I now have a couple of ideas of sites to use when trying to do SEO research for writing (both on this blog & the science, health, medical blog), and I have a better idea of what goes into a business plan.

I’ll be doing one of those exercises again that allows me to figure out my values at this stage of life, and then figure out how to combine those with my strengths to determine how to create my ‘dream career’. Time theming is something I’m attempting this week…and I’ve realized so far that I need to pair the ‘theming’ with other productivity ‘tools’ such as using a timer, logging out of social media sites, and so forth to ensure that I’m not getting overly distracted from what I’m wanting to get accomplished.

The final two goals:

The sudoku & crossword puzzle challenge is an way of keeping the brain active. I use to do the sudoku puzzle almost daily, but when things really started to go south late 2022…I quit doing them–now I’m going to try to get back into doing them. The crossword puzzles are just for fun, actually they both are. I don’t expect to ‘win’ at the sudoku puzzle every day–especially the harder levels towards the end of the week, and I’m pretty sure that I won’t be finishing every crossword puzzle either.

Learning basic sign language is another ‘refresher’ in a way. When I was younger I could sign the entire alphabet using sign language, but as with many things–since it wasn’t ‘related’ to school…I quit practicing and have forgotten most of what I’d learned. It similar with wanting to become fluent in Spanish–I took a year of Spanish in high school (my freshman year) before switching to German. I didn’t take any foreign languages in college–though, I did take a class that had a class trip to Honduras (so I brushed up on my Spanish a little). I want to become fluent in Spanish to where I could travel to Spain and hopefully not have to rely on a guidebook. I’m hoping to become proficient in Arabic…because why not?

But there you have it. If you’ve read this far (or scrolled) I’ve managed to complete 3 out of the 44 goals currently–that’s not quite 7% (it’s actually 6.8%) of the goals met. Some of the goals are just a matter of deciding that the evening craft time will be spent drawing, painting, playing with beads/charms, threads, or resin instead of knitting (which has been my major project for the past couple of weeks–trying to finish my latest afghan).

So what am I going to try to accomplish over the next two months?

I’m going to work on accomplishing the following:

  1. Create a vision board based on my definition(s) of success
  2. Launch a YouTube channel
  3. Complete at least two 30-day challenges
  4. Read at least another eight non-fiction books
  5. Read another ‘banned’ book & at least one ‘classic’
  6. Finish at least one small needlepoint project
  7. Draw/doodle & paint an original piece of art
  8. Create a workout plan
  9. Write a letter to my future self
  10. Complete another four Udemy courses
  11. Complete another five Skillshare courses

Have you ever made a list of goals based on how old you’re going to be the next year? If so–were you able to accomplish all the goals, or were there some goals that were left unaccomplished?

I’m hoping to put a little progress into all the goals–regardless of whether or not I land a remote position (I want to have at least applied to say half a dozen remote science/health/medical communications positions), as some goals are on-going (getting debt down, getting into the best shape of my life), while others can be marked as ‘done’ once the birthday rolls around (since they’re ‘on-going’ but only for this particular birthday year–currently).

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