So we’re going to be entering the next new moon phase this week—for those within the US, it will be today—Wednesday October 6th; for others it could on the 6th or it could be on the 7th. This means that there are only 87 days left in 2021. It seems that time is starting to ‘pick back up’ after ‘dragging’ last year.
With the moon moving through the Libra constellation over the next day or tow, there are various things that we can look at or work on over the next few weeks and they include:
Look at how you’re relating to other people (are you’re helping more than asking?)
Look into your partnerships (any issues that need addressing?)
Negotiate–try to bring things into balance if needed
Look gorgeous–work on improving your self-image, and self-love
Regain your identity–figure out how to resolve any unhealthy co-dependency issues if needed.
Looking at the above five items, I would have to say the following about each one (if I numbered them one-to-five):
It is hard to tell how I’m relating to other people, especially since we’re still in the middle of the pandemic and I really haven’t been around anyone but family for the past eighteen to twenty months. I do try to add more value on-line (especially on LinkedIn)
Well, I’m not in a relationship with anyone right now. In terms of family ‘partnerships’, I’d say that everything is about as ‘normal’ as they would be within the family.
I can’t think of things with other people that need negotiating—I know that I probably need to negotiate quite a bit with myself.
I’m slowly working on improving my self-care/self-love routines, plus how I see myself (self-image).
I’m also slowly working on trying to regain my identity—mainly from the negative thought patterns surrounding body image and my writing ability.
The Libra new moon is also moving through my 12th house—or my secret zone. This is the time/house when you really just want to retreat from the world and work things out for a while. In terms of self-care/self-love what are some of the things you could focus on during this time?
Take a break from social media and/or numerous social obligations
Start a dream journal
Face one big fear
Trust your intuition
Buy a mediation CD & use it everyday for a month
Write poetry from the heart
Share one of your secrets
So once again, this new moon is urging me to focus on finding a balance (or harmony) between social obligations and self-care/self-love. Since I’m still self-isolation, this is fairly easy to do—I haven’ had a sit-down, face-to-face conversation with someone (who isn’t family) since last March. The one informational interview that I had this year was via Zoom (and with the chat feature). Looking back at last year’s entry—I’m getting better at mental calmness (not having weird ‘stories/conversations’ running through my head, spiking my anxiety for no reason).
I would have to say that I’m going to try to get back into yoga (possibly through various workout programs), and I’m slowly working on the writing.
So what are my goals going to be for the Libra new moon?
Unplug at night. I’ve been slowly setting the boundary of not being on the computer after say eight pm. While I may ‘scroll’ through social media on the phone, it’s usually a very brief scrolling and then I’m back working on my cross-stitch project. I’m going to try to make it a habit of either shutting down the computer or putting it to sleep no later than eight pm every night, and possibly leaving it off all day Saturday and/or Sunday.
Continue at working to regain my identity. I’m still slowly working at resolving/healing the unhealthy diet mindset that I’d developed over the past couple of decades. While I’ve done quite a bit of work over the last ten months or so (thanks to various groups), I know that I still have work to do in that area. I’m also working on ensuring that I don’t wrap myself up in a ‘professional’ identity, only to lose myself ‘personally’ again (as I’d also done over the past several decades).
Facing a fear—figuring out how to launch a freelance/remote/contract business. This is something that I have in my ‘risk and die’ zones on my comfort diagram—I figured it is risky trying to set up a part-time business, and an anxiety inducing dilemma trying to set up a full-time business. I’m going to try—the worse that comes of it, I keep it part-time, the best that can come of it—I manage to double (if not triple) what I was earning in academia within the first year of doing freelance writing.
I am aiming for ‘progress over perfection’, I’m starting the next chapter of my life (since I’ve stopped reading the last one), I’m not going to fear failure—I’m only going to fear the regret of not trying and I will not allow the opinions of others to sway me from the path I’m setting out on—windy and bumpy roads can lead to beautiful destinations.
What is something you’ve always wanted to try to do, but haven’t done yet?
Well, we’ve entered the month of October—less than 90 days left in the year and we’re going to be heading into another ‘new moon’ phase tomorrow. That means before I look ahead to the October Libra New Moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Virgo new moon and see how I did with each of them.
So what were the goals that I set for the September Virgo new moon? They included:
Taking inventory of various aspects of life (research/writing/editing/publishing, crafts/hobbies, fitness, and mental health/spirituality) and trying to develop a working schedule that will allow me to be both productive, but at teh same time enjoy time outside as well.
Continue with daily workouts (either weight lifting/shadow-boxing or starting a second round of MM100)
In combination with #1–organize the schedule and block out periods of time (or set certain days to certain tasks) and see if that helps improve my productivity
Work on completing the third and fourth goal from the Leo New Moon goal list:
Determine the top five to ten types of freelance/remote/contract writing that I would like to do and start drafting examples of each. Also start drafting my ‘own’ medical content pieces.
Determine the top five to fifteen items/sponsors/affiliates and so-forth for the other three ‘blocks’ of my business foundation.
Continue with evening meditations and start trying to incorporate them into the mornings as well.
So how did I do with each of them?
I’ve realized that one of the things I’ve really been struggling with is setting aside enough time to do the research/writing and editing for various writing projects that I have on my plate. Why? Mainly because I haven’t prioritized them, and unlike the bird pages, I haven’t done a lot of ‘batch research’ (looking for papers on different topics on PubMed at the same time). So, this is something that I’m going to be working on (in addition to making sure that I schedule in enough time for fitness as well).
September was a roller coaster month (one of the younger dogs developed hemolytic anemia after getting an allergy shot—so there were several vet visits, and a lot of worrying), and I didn’t get into an fitness routine. I also decided I’d renew my Beachbody-on-Demand subscription one more year, so I will actually be figuring out the best time to schedule in my daily workout (probably going to start with a second round of Morning Meltdown 100).
Organizing the schedule is still something I’m working on—I’m going to make use of my larger bullet journal as a planner and over the upcoming weekend see how many pages will be required for a monthly/weekly/daily spread.
In terms of the freelance/remote/contract writing areas: I published a post earlier this week mentioning how I’d decided that I was going to be a ‘multi-niche’ writer/blogger. I decided that the three ‘main’ niches were going to be health/wellness, science/medical education/communication, and personal/professional development. In addition, I would still be doing posts on photography, travel, book reviews, and various other things as well (though they may be shorter in length compared to topics from the three main ‘niches’). While those areas are still extremely broad, I’m slowly working on narrowing down to say three to five areas within each one (for example within personal/professional development I’m interested in learning more on personal finances, minimalism, time and project management, and online learning). After choosing the three to five (possibly more) areas, I’ll slowly be writing longer posts/pages for those areas and publishing them both on the blog, possibly LinkedIn, and other sites as well. In terms of the other three pillars (advertising, selling photographs and jewelry), I’m still working on determining those top five plus items (though I’m also thinking of possibly trying to sell my cross-stitch projects as well).
I’ve been doing really well with the evening mediation (or sometimes just sitting quietly), but haven’t really been able to get into the habit yet of doing it earlier in the day.
Okay—so I managed to possibly get two of the five goals met during the Virgo new moon (meditation and slowly figuring out the main ‘niches’ I am going to migrate towards for starting a freelance/remote/contract writing business. I’ve also decided that the best thing to do will be to have polished examples on the ‘tabs’ (the main ‘portfolio’ pages), and then additional posts within the blog. So this means that I will really need to get on top of developing a editorial calendar, and making sure that I’ve got my ‘key words’ for the different niches narrowed down and picked out (something else to put on the to-do list for the weekend).
Luckily, we hopefully caught the hemolytic anemia in time, and our younger dog will be making a ‘full recovery’. It may be another month on the high dose of meds until the allergy shot is totally out of her system, and then a gradual tampering down on the dose of the two meds.
Hopefully it will be somewhat smoother sailing for the rest of the year (as long as there are no more medical emergencies—either animal or human, or any other problems). Minor progress is still progress, and trying to develop a schedule has always been a minor problem for me (I don’t really like trying to totally plan out my days/weeks to far in advance).
But tomorrow, is another new moon—which means it is another chance to set a series of new goals, but also to continue working on the goals that have been previously set—but not totally met.
As I’d mentioned at the end of my Virgo New Moon goals—I’m going to be focusing on progress not perfection, slowly starting to write the next chapter of my life, and not allowing the opinions of others to deter me from the path that I’ve started on. It is usually the bumpy and windy roads that lead to unique places.
Though I am curious: when is your favorite time to meditate?
As I work on navigating the realm of the online world and freelancing/remote/contract writing—I’ve realized one thing: the suggestion of choosing a single niche for writing, makes me feel like I’m back in college, where one is urged to declare a major by the end of your freshman year.
Truthfully, when I first think of the word ‘niche’—I think of the scientific definition of the word—where every plant and animal within a specific ecosystem has a functional and even defined role.
The term has also expanded into the ‘human’ day-to-day realm, and can be defined as a ‘comfortable or suitable position in life or employment’ or as ‘ a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.
Can one have more than one niche, and can they be ‘different from each other’, and melded into a broader category?
Well, I’m going to find out—because I’ve realized over the past few weeks of trying to narrow things down to one or even two niches—it felt like being back in college. I declared a major—but always felt like I had to choose one direction over the other (I like/enjoy both the typical sciences and the social sciences, but never could figure out how to combine them into one major or double-major).
When it comes to picking a niche, people always suggest some variation of the following questions:
What could you talk about all day?
What do people ask you about?
What would you love to learn about?
What is a unique subject you know about?
And finally–is it more important to write about what you enjoy or being in a profitable niche?
In theory, answering these questions is suppose to help you narrow down a list of niches that you could focus on. If I numbered the above questions one-to-five, my answers would be:
I could talk about crafts, books, bird watching, photography, science, nature, various random facts, and numerous other things all day long. I would say that these areas could fall into a couple of categories: personal development/hobbies (crafts, books, bird watching, and photography), education/communications (science/nature) and health/wellness (science). This is also just a very short ‘curated’ list of things I could probably talk about all day.
While it has been awhile since I’ve actually talked face-to-face with someone outside of family (thanks pandemic). I would have to say that I’ve been asked about fitness/health/nutrition, job searching post-graduate school, science, and other things. These subjects could also be divided into professional development (jobs after grad school), education/communication (science) and health/wellness (fitness/nutrition/health).
Learning is my top strength according to both the Clifton Strength Assessment and the VIA Character Assessment tests. While I took an ‘on-and-off’ break from learning after grad school, I’m slowly embracing that inner quality again. Things I’d enjoy learning more about include: intuitive eating, personal finances (especially investments and saving for retirement), stress/anxiety management, time/project management, minimalism, and improving my mental and spiritual health (along with my physical health). These are only a few of the topics I’d enjoy learning more about and can fall under the umbrella of health/wellness (intuitive eating, stress/anxiety management and improving mental/spiritual/physical health), and personal/professional development (personal finances, time/project management, and minimalism).
Unique subjects that I know quite a bit about all fall under education/communications–specifically science education/communication. Those topics include molecular cloning, small RNA biology, recombinant protein expression and purification, cell biology, molecular biology, and many other little nuances within the molecular and cellular world.
I would say that one could probably do both (enjoy what they’re writing on and earn living doing it), and it can be done wither by being within one niche that you really like and can talk about all day, or enjoying two niches, but one is a little more profitable than the other. I’m starting with the second path–more than one niche, for several reasons that I’ll explain below.
Answering the questions, have allowed me to ‘narrow’ it to three niches: personal/professional development, health/wellness, and education/communication (starting with science, but possibly expanding to other ‘subject areas’).
Should I focus on just one? Possibly—but I realized early on when I first started this blog/website, I need to bounce around between topics or I get bored and quit doing things. I’d always wondered why I would start to get bored after awhile in lab (undergrad, grad, and postdoc)—and finally figured it out—if I’m not learning something new, or challenging myself with a new hobby/topic, I get bored and only put in the minimal effort required for the job.
Having three niches that are somewhat intertwined (at least in my mind), will allow me to challenge myself in terms of research needed on the topics, and enough variation that I shouldn’t get bored while working. The niches are also diverse enough, that there are numerous ‘sub-niches’ within each as well.
If I look to just science education/communication—I can name at least eight broad ‘subject areas’ (cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, botany, microbiology, zoology, entomology, and soil science) that I’d be willing to ‘dive’ into researching. Then within cell/molecular biology and biochemistry I could probably name numerous other ‘sub-topics’ such as the cell cycle, the central dogma of biology, metabolism, genomes, proteomes, transcriptomes, metabolomics, pre/post-transcriptional and translational control, apoptosis, and prokaryotic versus eukaryotic cells.
Therefore, I’m going to go with a ‘triple-niche’ approach (at least for the bigger articles/posts) and focus on those areas: personal/professional development, science education/communication, and health/wellness. I will still be doing photography (it has its own tab), plus travel posts (most will be throw-back posts until I feel like its safe enough to travel).
The posts may cycle through the different niches, or I may focus on one for a particular month and then tie it to the next niche as I transition to writing on a different topic—but the tag line for the blog/site sums up my current state of mind and focus: ‘a little bit of this, a little bit of that’.
So question: In terms of those three areas (personal/professional development, health/wellness, and science education/communication)—which would you like me to write on first (and bonus if you have a topic idea)?
We’re heading into the last quarter of the year—there are only 92 days left in 2021. Somehow, the summer sped by and it seems like the fall is going to swirl into winter before we know it. Truthfully, there really hasn’t been much change for the pandemic—various numbers are bouncing around (namely the number of people getting their vaccines, and booster shots for the Pfizer vaccine [if you’re in one of the three categories] started this week). Hopefully J&J will be announcing when their booster shots are available and will be for everyone (not just a small percentage of the population). But, no matter what—I’ll still be self-isolating for the most part through the fall, winter, and into spring—at least until the numbers are on a steady decline (and I’m not talking about the vaccination rate).
I decided to stay away from the media as much as possible this past month (as it really doesn’t do much for me—other than ramp up both my anxiety and stress levels). In terms of the total number of cases of the virus in the US, when I published ‘August in Review’, I noted that the US was a little over 40.1 million cases for the SARS-CoV2 virus, and now we’re at a little over 44.3 million cases (so it was an increase of a little over 4.2 million cases last month—again all due to the delta variant, poor social distancing [especially in schools] and fewer people getting vaccinated).
So, while there are ‘breakthrough’ cases (people catching the virus after getting at least one vaccine shot), majority of the cases are still unvaccinated individuals. Hopefully within the next few months, the Pfizer shot will get emergency approval for younger kids age five to eleven (which will hopefully help cut down on the spread of the virus through schools). All I’ll say is this again: I really wish things would go virtual for another semester or two, and if everyone wants schools opened—get the damn shot. (End rant)
As one may have noticed—I’m slowly working on ‘reorganizing’ pages/tabs on the blog. I’ve combined the birding tab with the photography tab (more organizational pages will be coming for the ‘main tab’), and I’m renaming/rewriting other tabs. I decided that I’m going to be a multi-niche blog/website and focus my writing on three main areas: science/medical education and communication, personal/professional development, and health and wellness. Though I will also be doing crafts, photography, and travel as ‘enjoyment hobbies’—so those will still pop in every so often, as well as book reviews.
Before looking ahead to October and the start of the last quarter of the year, I should look at the goals I set for September and see how I did with each of them.
The goals for September included:
130-150,000 steps; I’m hoping to get at least one walk in at Boomer Lake this month
Start my own fitness routine (weight lifting, shadow boxing, and possibly yoga)
Start working through the User Experience Squad program, work on the writing assignments for MWO, and finish the sixt module of the MWO
Read one to two non-fiction books
Read two to four fiction books (have small book reviews written and published on the blog and other sites)
No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month
Time outdoors, mediation/sitting quietly, and daily gratitude journal entries
Craft time (start a new cross-stitch project)
Work through at least one other personal/professional development course
So how did I do with each of them?
130-150,000 steps: I managed to meet and slightly surpass my step goal. I managed to get 157,114 steps during the month of September. I managed to get two walks in at Boomer Lake, took Chaos for two short walks through the neighborhood, and wandered around enough during the day to get my steps.
Start my own fitness routine: This didn’t happen. Mainly due to the fact the month was thrown into partial chaos by the fact that we had to take Rolex (one of our younger dogs) into the vet several times due to her developing hemolytic anemia (all from a damn allergy shot), and this threw me for a loop. I also decided to renew my Beachbody-on-demand for a year, and will hopefully be starting up with morning meltdown 100 again in October.
Start the User Experience Squad program and finish up the MWO program: Well this didn’t happen either. In part due to the issues with the one dog, and therefore I spent more time working on crafts (which seems to help me control my anxiety) then I did workingon any professional development courses.
Read one to two non-fiction books: While I’ve been reading books–I haven’t finished any of them yet.
Read two to four fiction books: So, I managed to publish book reviews for My Next Play (On My Own #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan and Catnip & Curses (The Faerie Files #2) by Emigh Cannaday on the blog earlier in the month (these were two books I’d finished reading towards the end of August).
I’ve also read (but haven’t finished the reviews):
Breaking Badger (The Honey Badger Chronicles #4) by Shelly Laurenston
Yours to Keep (The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers #6) by Claudia Burgoa
No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month: I’ve done better this month in terms of honoring the challenge, and will give a breakdown on it in the next installment of my limited spending challenge check-in.
Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, and daily gratitude journal entries:
I’ve been spending more time outdoors, as the season is changing (technically we are in autumn now) and I want to be outside while I can. I probably should have my journal, or laptop with me and that way I can also work outside (instead of feeling slightly bad that I’m just sitting and enjoying the weather).
I’ve been really good at my evening meditation/sitting quietly as that has become critical to being able to fall to sleep at night. I think it’s a combination of the ambiance of the room (I have candles lit) and realizing the days over and what has been done is done, and what hasn’t been accomplished can wait until the next day (or week).
I’ve been keeping up with the daily gratitude entries as well—though sometimes they’re something as simple as I’m glad I don’t live in an apartment and having to walk the dog in the rain.
Craft time (start a new cross-stitch project):
I managed to finish my second cross-stitch project and have started (and am also finished with) a third cross-stitch project. I’ve found that cross-stitching is actually relaxing and seems to help me manage my anxiety and stress. Once I’m done with the third (and possibly before starting my fourth), I may try and see if I can cross-stitch with small beads or possibly take a break from cross-stitching and create some jewelry.
Work through at least one other personal/professional development course:
I started working through a little more of the write your way to freedom course, and am currently in the second module (picking a niche or niches and working on a ten to thirty day challenge). As the temperatures get cooler, and the days shorter—I will probably be spending a little more time indoors and working though various courses.
So I’d say I was probably about fifty/fifty on meeting the goals this month. Some of the goals that I didn’t hit—were computer heavy, and those were ‘missed’ because I found the weather to be nice, and spent most of it outdoors. Others that were ‘missed’ were due to scheduling and the month just having curveballs thrown constantly. But—fifty percent is better than nothing.
As I head into the last quarter of the year, I’ve realized that I need to have a slightly more focused agenda—especially in regards to trying to set up my freelance/remote/contract business. I’m going to try to accomplish this by starting my to-be-accomplished lists again, in addition to having a ‘due’ date next to the item (which may or may not correspond to the current week).
The goals for October are probably going to be similar to the ones for the past few months—but trying to be a little more focused (at least in terms of the personal/professional development goals).
Therefore the goals for October will include:
130-155,000 steps; hopefully there will be one or two walks at Boomer Lake, and a couple of walks through the neighborhood with Chaos
Start my second round of Morning Meltdown 100
Work on the editing/writing assignments for the MWO & finish the 6th module. Start the Business Development Federation program
Read one to two non-fiction books
Read two to five fiction books (have small book reviews written and published on the blog and other sites)
No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month
Craft time (finish the third cross-stitch project; possibly start a fourth or maybe make some jewelry)
Work on updating the blog/website (finish rewriting different landing pages; aim for at least one 1500-3000 word article for each area: personal/professional development, science/medical education/communication and health/wellness [pick one or two subtopics within each to write on])
Work through at least a part of another personal/professional development course (not listed above)
I also put in my ‘application’ for another freelance writing position (with the same group, but for a different project), as I wasn’t selected for the first freelance position.
I’m thinking that in terms of the ‘writing’ assignments that I’m giving myself, I’m going to create a chart/diagram that goes from things I’m totally interested in, willing to learn about, to things that I’m only semi-interested in but still willing to write about to areas that I can write about but not really interested in. I think that having a ‘scale’ on which to rate things will probably help me create content easier, but also help me find my ‘ideal’ clients/customers/businesses that I would like to partner/work with as I move forward.
Hopefully October will be a little more smooth sailing then September was (having to deal with hemolytic anemia in dogs isn’t fun), and I will be able to focus on establishing myself as a freelance/contract/remote writer instead of worrying if we’re going to be losing our dog or not.
As we move forward into the last quarter of the year and then into 2022, I hope that those that are still holding ‘out’ on getting the vaccine for whatever reason—will get it. The Pfizer shot has been granted full approval by the FDA, and any side effects are usually mild to moderate, and then for everyone to get their children vaccinated. That is truthfully the only way we’re going to see the tail end of this damn pandemic (along with masks and social distancing when needed).
So question time: what is your favorite part of fall?
So, yesterday was my birthday—and I’m now technically a full year into my fourth decade (even though I’ve kiddingly said that I’m celebrating my 39th birthday for the third time).
Last year I did a post shortly after my birthday on trying to answer the question of which hobbies, passions, and interests fall under the jack-of-all-trades umbrella, and which fall under the specialist umbrella. That posts evolved from a previous post (‘self-reflection, planning, and yet more self-reflection’).
I’d stated then that my two biggest struggles were imposter syndrome and being stuck in the ‘academic’ mindset of career progression (though industry does have clear career progressions—my ‘problem’ has been not knowing which direction to go in).
Recently I’ve been coming back to the possibility of freelance/remote/contract work where I could be doing writing, data analysis, project, and/or product management in addition to writing/blogging on personal/professional development topics as well.
The main reason why I’m leaning in that direction—we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, and I feel more comfortable with going in a direction that is semi-location independent and to a degree company-independent as well.
While at the same time, I want to create a ‘niche’ that will allow me to flow between topics that I feel fall into either the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ category or the ‘specialist’ category. In addition to allowing me to make use of my strengths: learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative/ideation/arranger.
So how am I going to do this?
Well, I’ve come up with three broad areas that will be added to the two ‘fun’ niches that I already have ‘pages/tabs’ for on the blog/website.
The three broad areas that I’m going to be adding will be:
Health and Wellness
Science Education and Communications (abbreviated Science Ed and Coms)
Personal Development (may also include some aspects of professional development as well)
Since each area is extremely broad, I’ll be focusing on certain subtopics within each area (though the science education and communication may remain some broad—only because I find almost all science to be interesting). What those subtopics are–I’m still working on those lists, but my goal is to have three-to-five subtopics per broad area.
They will also have their own ‘tab’ on the website (serving as individual ‘portfolios’), and I’ve decided that the Health/Wellness tab is going to be the ‘renamed/worked’ Fitness tab; Science Ed and Coms will be the ‘renamed/worked’ All Things Science tab; and Personal Development will be the ‘renamed/worked’ Everything Else Bucket List tab.
The two ‘fun’ niches that I will be keeping on the blog (and that already have their own tabs/pages) will be travel and photography (which I’m going to be combining with the birds tab).
Having these five ‘niches’ or areas will allow me the flexibility I need to stay focused, productive, and happy. Science education and communication may also branch out to include social sciences and humanities at some point (as I also enjoy those topics as well).
Other crafts (such as cross-stitching, jewelry design/creation, knitting, and others) may show up from time to time under the personal development tab or possibly just as individual blog posts.
Looking back over the past year, I’ve realized that I have made progress in numerous areas (even if it has been minuscule), and as I continue forward on this freelance/remote/contract path I know that I will continue to improve in those areas. That being said, I’m still going to be working on the following areas:
Time and project management (I have numerous writing projects in the pipeline, but haven’t really gotten anywhere with any of them)
Brainstorming, researching, writing, editing, and publishing–on a schedule
Publishing my writing (in more places than just the blog and LinkedIn)
Different types of writing (though I’m actually doing this a little with the volunteer medical content writing position):
Reworking the blog/website to serve as one of my ‘portfolios’ (with another being my LinkedIn account) in terms of the different areas/niches I want to branch out into
So, I have the overall plan of trying to go freelance/remote/contract for writing/data analysis/project and/or product management. Now it is time to rework the blog/website (slowly, since I have had it going for a couple of years now), and then figure out the other little nuts and bolts of starting my own business.
So, for my next revolution around the sun–I’m going to focus on stepping out of my comfort zone more, write more, create more, and if the pandemic every gets under control–perhaps even travel more.
So the moon will be entering its latest full moon stage either tonight or tomorrow night (depending on where you are in the world). This full moon is also falling on my birthday, marking there are only ten days left in September, and then only three months left in 2021 (slowly peaking around the corner to see what may be coming towards us in 2022).
So if I looked to the book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, I’d see that there are five questions that one can ask themselves during this time:
Have I been dreamy to the point of not getting enough done and making silly errors?
Have I been overly sensitive and too easily hurt?
Have I been acting like a martyr? Or too easily led?
Have I been meditating every day, and if not, why not?
Have I been in touch with my intuitive side? Following my dreams and hunches?
So if I were to number the above questions 1-5, I think that my answers would be as follow:
Well, I haven’t been too dreamy—I’ve been at times too distracted, too upset, semi-depressed, and totally irritated to the point of not getting enough done. But then again—the idea/concept of being super busy, productive, and always getting things done—that can be a determent to ones mental health. Therefore, while I may have been slightly less productive the past month (in terms of trying to get my freelance business up and running), I have been more productive in terms of managing my mental health.
No, I haven’t been overly sensitive and too easily hurt. But then again—we’re still in the pandemic and I haven’t been interacting with a lot of people outside of family (and what other interactions I have had have been online, and its easy to block the trolls and haters).
I’ve been getting better at meditating, or at least sitting quietly for a few minutes every night. Now the goal or challenge will be trying to introduce meditation/sitting quietly to the morning and possibly early afternoon routines as well.
I’m trying to get better at this—I’m good at being in touch with my ‘analytical’ side, but had spent years ‘ignoring’ my intuitive side. That is something I’ve been working on correcting over the past year or so. In terms of trying to follow my dreams and hunches—I’m slowly working on moving away from the bench, and towards a more independent ‘career’ of freelance/remote/contract writing/data analysis/project and/or product management style career. This is because due to the pandemic—I think it is more important to have a career that is location independent, and semi-company independent as well.
So in addition to the self-reflection questions, one should also check to see what house or zone the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Pisces full moon is moving through my 5th house (according to my rising sign), which is also known as the “kids, romance, and creativity zone”.
All of the zones are still a ‘challenge’ this year due in part to the fact that the pandemic is still going and I’m still self-isolating (even though I got my J&J shot back in April—I’m a little petrified of the delta variant). Though, even if everything had gotten under control and we weren’t in the middle of the pandemic—I still don’t have the time for romance.
As I stated last year, I’m still trying to figure out my life, and part of that is determining where I may be moving (with at least one dog), and I don’t feel like trying to start a relationship with someone knowing that I’d possibly be moving at some point in the near future. Currently I’m not around ‘human kids’ (my niece is out in California, and I haven’t gotten together with any friends that have kids in well over a year), but I am surrounded by ‘furry kids’ (three dogs and three cats) daily. Though one of those furry kids is currently at the vet’s getting numerous tests done to determine what caused her to develop hemolytic anemia. Therefore I’m going to focus on the ‘creativity’ part of the fifth house.
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time lately doing cross-stitching, as this is a nice activity that doesn’t require me to concentrate that much on it (as I’m doing more abstract designs than following a pattern) and it doesn’t cause my hands to cramp as much as knitting does.
I’m still working on stretching my crafting comfort zone (which usually encompasses photography, knitting, reading, and when I have a working sewing machine-quilting), and now can add cross-stitching to that list. Next craft that I will hopefully find as enjoyable will be jewelry design/creation.
So what are my goals going to be for the Pisces Full Moon?
Continue working on my third cross-stitch project, and then also start working on creating some jewelry (bracelets and necklaces to start but maybe also some ear-rings).
Start reworking various pages/tabs on the website. I have a general idea of the direction(s) I want to go in, and some pages will be combined, others will stay the same, and one or two will be renamed and/or reworked.
Personal/professional development and self-reflection
There are only a few goals for this full moon period—mainly because I know that I’m going to be a little distracted (at least emotionally) until we have a ‘proper’ diagnosis and treatment plan for our one dog (who developed hemolytic anemia earlier this month). My game plan is to be productive, but at the same time realize that there may be a day or two of doing nothing but creative work—and that is fine.
I’m also going to keep the following quote at the forefront: ‘progress over perfection’, and knowing that I’m slowly starting the next chapter of my life (as I’m done re-reading the last one), in addition to limiting the influence of others in terms of what I decide to do with my future.
Question time: what are some of your favorite crafts?
So, we’re going to be heading into another ‘new moon’ phase this week. If you’re in North America, it will be on today (Monday, September 6th), elsewhere in the world—either today or tomorrow.
The new moon is two weeks prior to my birthday this year and the full moon will be on my birthday this year.
So what are some of the things that one can do during the Virgo new moon?
Take an inventory of your life. Figure out what is working and what isn’t and then figure out what needs to change for the things that aren’t working.
Be of service–help out more at work (if able), do the little things that can help make someone else’s day a little more bearable.
Be healthy–see what is and isn’t working in your health and fitness routines and figure out what to fix (what new habits to start working on)
Avoid nitpicking–this is where the motto “progress over perfection” really comes into play
Get organized–pay bills, figure out the monthly schedule (workout, eating, so forth)–things that can make life a little bearable going forward
While most would think that the new moon would be moving through my first house (since my star sign is Virgo), it actually moving through my 11th house (or friends’ zone), since I’ve been going with my rising sign (which is Scorpio).
Looking back at what I wrote last year, I’d realized that the ‘new normal’ was possibly going to consist of social distancing, wearing a mask, and just being considerate of others. Too bad others haven’t gotten that memo yet (but that is a rant for another day).
Some of the things one can do in regards to their 11th house include:
Sign up for an evening class in something you’ve always wanted to do
Ask your friends to introduce you to friends of theirs you’ve never met
Wish on a start every night for a month
Introduce a childhood pal to a friend from your life now
Say ‘Hi’ to someone you see nearly every day but never talk to
Thank your best friend for being there for you
Well, some of these things still aren’t really possible due to the fact that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic (and who knows when it will get under control). Therefore, if I were to try to do something in regards to my 11th house it would be either wish on a star every night for a month, or thank my best friend for being around still. I also know that I could try to do virtual meet-ups, but that will still require me investing in a better wifi router for the house, and some drapes for one side of the room (if I decide to sit at the desk).
Prior to the pandemic, I would have a monthly lunch get together with a college classmate, but we haven’t done that since March of last year, and with the way things are going—it could easily be March of next year (or possibly 2023) before we may be able to get together for lunch again.
So, since I’ve decided to stay in semi self-isolation, my goals for the Virgo New Moon period will include:
I’m going to take inventory of various aspects of life (research/writing/editing, crafts/hobbies, fitness, mental health/spirituality, and finances) and work on developing a working schedule that will allow me to be productive, but at the same time enjoy time outside as well.
Continue with daily workouts (either alternate between weightlifting and shadow-boxing ro stream Morning Meltdown 100)
In combination with the first goal–organize the schedule, and work at blocking out periods of time (or assign certain tasks to certain days) and see if that helps improve my productivity
Work on completing the third and fourth goal from the Leo New Moon goal list
Determine the top five to ten types of freelance/remote/contract writing that I would like to do and start drafting examples of each. Also start drafting my ‘own’ medical content pieces.
Determine the top five to fifteen items/sponsors/affiliates and so-forth for the other three ‘blocks’ of my business foundation
Continue with the evening meditation and start trying to incorporate them into the morning as well.
My focus moving forward has been ‘Progress over Perfection’, and while it has been a bumpy and windy road, I feel like it is now allowing me to start writing the next chapter of my life (since I’ve stopped reading the last one). I also know that I may have to take an ‘in-person’ job at some point to help make ends meet until I really can get the whole online/freelance/remote/contract writing/consulting/blogging career up and running.
So, it’s now September, which means there only four months left in 2021—with four new moons, and four full moons. The September new moon is coming up, for those in the US it will be on Monday, September 6th (Labor Day), but for others it could be on Tuesday. Therefore, before looking ahead to the Virgo New Moon, I should look back at the goals I set during the Leo New Moon and see how I did with each of them.
So what were the goals that I set for the Leo new moon? They included:
Continue developing my self-care/self-love routine. This will include meditation, time outdoors, journaling, stretching, and figuring out what type(s) of exercise I enjoy the most.
Continue with the creative/reflective and minor research content posts for the blog, but also start working on creating more in-depth pieces as well (in addition to possibly new ‘landing’ pages and consolidating other pages)
Determine the top five to ten types of freelance/remote/contract writing I would like to do and then start drafting examples of each. Also start drafting my ‘own’ medical content pieces.
Determine the top five to fifteen items/sponsors/affiliates and so-forth for the other three ‘blocks’ of my business foundation.
So how did I do with each of them?
In terms of developing my self-care/self-love routine, I’ve been doing evening meditations, spending some time outdoors (either sitting & reading, having my camera, or doing some yard work; currently it’s a little too warm for walks), journaling a little in the evenings, and figuring out the exercises/intentional movements I’d prefer doing.
Those movements include lifting weights, shadow boxing, walking, yard work, stretching, and dancing (as long as I’m by myself). I’m planning on probably canceling my Beachbody-on-demand subscription this month, which means I will be needing to find things that I can do that really won’t require ‘streaming’ workouts on the computer (as I’m going to be trying to limit my screen time).
The first goal was the only one I managed decent progress with, I didn’t publish as many posts/pages last month as I’d done in previous months (though it doesn’t look like it hurt the traffic to the blog that much), but I’m behind on the las three goals that I set for the Leo new moon.
I’d planned on getting several bird pages, travel pages, and reworking the science section done last month, and I’d only managed to get a couple of the bird pages done. I also hadn’t gotten around to figuring out the different top groups for the writing or other blocks of my future business foundation.
I would love to say that it was so nice that I was sitting outside all the time not wanting to be on the computer, and that was a small portion of it—the main reason is I was just so irritated with how quickly things have gone downhill again in terms of dealing with the pandemic, that I just wanted to ‘ignore the world’—so that is what I did. I ignored the world, and only did the bare minimum amount of work each week to meet my goals.
This is something that I’m going to be working on going forward—staying more optimistic, focused, while still ignoring the world (but not letting it irritate me to the point I try to ignore my goals).
So, I managed a quarter of my goals for the Leo New Moon, which is better than what I managed in 2020 (since I hadn’t set goals for the Leo New Moon), and that is what progress is—forward movements with the occasional backwards slide.
As I look ahead to the last four months (and series of new and full moons), I know that there will be progress, as well as a few steps backwards—but I also know that I’m further down the road this year compared to last year. In addition, I can see the ‘signs’ for doing freelance/remote/contract work starting to shine a little brighter.
So, we’re on to the last third of the year—there are now only 122 days left in 2021. While it feels like time is starting to speed back up again, I’m wondering when things are going to totally go to hell. The vaccination rate is still on a steady decline (though there are days when the number of shots given is high), and the delta variant is still running rampant through the country. Luckily, I’ll be able to get the J&J booster shot sometime between October and December (they state that it is most effective six to eight months after the initial shot). So, it looks like I’ll be staying in self-isolation throughout the fall and winter (with the occasional walk to get the paper on the weekend, and possibly a walk once a month at Boomer Lake).
The world is still crumbling at a decent clip, and I’m talking about everything from the issues in Central Asia (Afghanistan) to the fact that while Greenland lost a huge amount of ice—they also got a huge amount of rainfall (for like the third time in recorded history). Therefore, I’m limiting my news intake to morning/night and the occasional lunchtime checks on Facebook. When I published ‘July in Review’, I noted that the US was a little over 35.7 million cases for the SARS-CoV2 virus, and now we’re at a little over 40.1 million cases (so it was an increase of not quite 4.5 million cases last month—all due to the delta variant and fewer people getting vaccinated).
So the numbers are going back up, and less than 0.5% of the hospitalized cases are vaccinated individuals (break-through cases). That means over 99% of the people in the hospital for SARS-CoV2, haven’t gotten the vaccine (and a good number now are children under the age of 12 that currently aren’t eligible for the vaccine). I really wish things would go virtual for another semester or two, and if everyone wants schools opened—get the damn shot. (End rant)
Staying in self-isolation will give me the time to really start focusing on trying to get a freelance/remote/contract career started (focusing first on writing, crafts, and possibly project/product management, then stretching to data analysis, and possibly educational consulting).
Before looking ahead to September (the start of the last third of the year, and a semi-modified new set of goals, and continuing to work on my time and project management skills), I should look at the goals I set for August and see how I did with each of them.
The goals for August included:
Restart LIIFT4 (mainly following the lifting schedule, not necessarily streaming the program)
Finish up the writing/editing assignments for MWO, the MWO course, and roll the dice to figure out the next advancedcheeky scientist program to start
Finish reading two to three non-fiction books
Read two to four fiction books (and hopefully write small reviews over at least one of them)
No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month
Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries
Craft time (Continue working on the cross-stitch project)
Work through at least one other personal/professional development e-course
So how did I do with each of them?
135-155,000 steps: I managed to get in 154,591 steps this past month. Mostly through wandering around the house and yard, though I did manage to get a walk in at Boomer Lake earlier in the month. I’m thinking that for September–most of the steps will be from wandering around the house/yard, walking through the neighborhood (early mornings, so I can wear my mask), and possibly a walk at Boomer Lake.
Restarting LIIFT4: I’m still giving my wrist a little more time to heal (I semi-sprained or did something to my right wrist last month), and therefore didn’t do any lifting this past month. As I mentioned in another post (400 day update), I have until basically the end of September to decide if I’m keeping my beachbody-on-demand subscription or not. I’m trying to limit my ‘screen time’ (or as much as one can when they’re thinking of freelance/remote/contract writing as a career option). Therefore I’m thinking of working out away from the screen (lifting weights and doing other things), and doing ‘screen time’ for mainly yoga.
Finishing up the MWO program & deciding on new one: I’ve finished the editing assignments for the program, and am still working on the writing assignments. I have one module left to go through (though I may not get the certificate until I complete the writing assignments), and then would be ‘done’ with the program. I did roll the dice and decided that I’d be working through the following programs over the next several months (regardless of when I finish the MWO): User Experience Squad, Project Management Consortium, Regulatory Affairs Council, Business Development Federation, and Product Management Group.
Finish reading two to three non-fiction books: I managed to read the following non-fiction books:
I Want to Do All the Things: Finding Balance as a Polymath, Multipotentialite, and Renaissance Soul by Arcadia Page
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker
Though I haven’t written mini book reviews over either of them yet.
Read two to four fiction books (and hopefully write small reviews on at least one of them): The fiction books Imanaged to read during the month of August included:
Vortex: A FBI Thriller (#25) by Catherine Coulter (review posted to blog)
Dawn Unearthed (Ravenwood Coven #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan (review posted to blog)
Wiretaps & Whiskers (The Faerie Files #1) by Emigh Cannaday (review posted to blog)
Catnip & Curses (The Faerie Files #2) by Emigh Cannaday (review coming soon)
My Next Play (On My Own #3; advanced reader copy) by Carrie Ann Ryan (review coming soon)
Three out of the five books have reviews posted to the blog, and the other two books are books that I just finished within the past few days, so those reviews should hopefully be getting posted to the blog (and other sites) by the weekend.
No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month:
There have been a couple of books bought, one (or two) large amazon orders–but truthfully, nothing more than usual. The breakdown for this will be in the next installment of the limited spending challenge check-in.
Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries:
I’ve been able to spend time outdoors this month–though there was only one walk at Boomer Lake (due to combination of temperatures and the delta variant). I am very grateful that my parents have a decent size backyard that one can be out in during this period of time. I’ve been doing my evening meditations/sitting quietly moments for at least a few minutes (hoping to add this to the morning routine as well).
In term of the daily gratitude entries–I’ve been pretty good with these, even if they’ve been something along the line of being grateful that I don’t have kids and therefore I don’t have to worry/stress about navigating things with the pandemic still raging.
Craft time (continue working on the cross-stitch project):
I actually finished my first small abstract cross-stitch project the other day. Instead of trying to find a pattern, I’m sticking with abstract made up on the spot designs. The reason: I can’t draw a straight line to save my life, and trying to write letters on the fabric was giving me a headache, though I do know that with practice I’d be getting better at both of them).
I should be getting in my glue gun by the end of the week, and will be gluing some of the fabric to the backside of the framefor a more completed look.
I’m starting on a second and larger cross-stitch project, and am finding it therapeutic stabbing the fabric over and over again with teh needle and thread. It seems that the amount of time spent on the project is directly correlated to how irritated I am with the world.
Work through at least one other personal/professional development e-course:
I started two different short e-courses this past month, and finished one of them:
Understanding and Developing Emotional Intelligence on Udemy
With the way the world is going today (especially in terms of the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers), this is something that a lot of people seem to be lacking. Out of the five main concepts (self-awareness, self-control, social skills, empathy, and self motivation)—I feel like everyone needs a good dose of empathy.
While I may be getting tired of being in self-isolation (more or less) daily, at least I know that I’m doing my part not to spread the virus. Just like I know that wearing a mask in public, helps slow the spread of the virus (even though I shouldn’t be carrying it—it would still help protect me from catching it).
Everyone that is screaming ‘it’s their right’ on whether or not to wear a mask, or get vaccinated, or whatever—yes it is your right, but the world doesn’t revolve around you. We’re a global society, and we really should be looking out for each other (instead of being of the ‘me-and-mine’ mindset).
After taking the course, I’ve realized that I need to work on the self-motivation (keeping the inner critic/imposter syndrome in check) the most, with maybe self-awareness coming in second. I’m usually aware of my emotions, and while I try not to let them get the better of me, sometimes I don’t always control my facial features as much as I should.
Another thing I did last month (and actually at the very end of the month)—I submitted a ‘application’ for paying freelance writing gig. The opportunity came from the company that I’m doing the volunteer writing for (one of the editors wants the pages on another site rewritten), so I sent a response with links to both the blog and my LinkedIn profile (as my portfolio) to the editor I work with and we’ll see what happens.
Even if I don’t get the job—I managed to quiet my inner critic long enough to ask some questions in one of the medical writing Facebook groups I’m in, and put together a response and emailed it back in the afternoon. This is a really big step for me, since I’m more likely to try to let the inner critic/imposter syndrome win and not try to go for things.
I decided earlier in the month that I was going to be keeping the website url, and running tagline for the blog. I will be updating the site over the next few months (especially with a ‘portfolio’ section to highlight various science/medical writing styles/topics, and other writing examples).
I’m not going to change up my ‘goals’ that much, though I will be trying to put a little more time into the other ‘writing’ projects that I’ve got on my plate.
The other goals for September will include:
130-150,000 steps; I’m hoping to get at least one walk in at Boomer Lake this month, in addition to maybe one or two walks through the neighborhood in the mornings (when I shouldn’t run into anyone who could be potentially ‘anti-mask’)
Start my own fitness routine (weight lifting, shadow boxing, yoga/stretching)
Start working through the User Experience Squad program, work on the writing assignments for the MWO and finish the sixth module of the MWO program
Read one to two non-fiction books
Read two to four fiction books (have small book reviews written and published)
No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month
Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, and daily gratitude journal entries
Craft time (continue working on the new cross-stitch project)
Work through at least one other personal/professional development e-course
I’m keeping the goals similar to the ones for August—though I’m changing up the fitness/intentional movement goal. Instead of streaming workouts (though I might do that for the yoga), I’m going to just put on music and either lift weights (focusing on certain muscles) or shadow box. This way I’ll be getting in my fitness/intentional movement for the day, but at the same time will be having some ‘screen free’ time as well.
I’ll also be trying to figure out what other types of writing I’d like to be doing, so there may be a variety of blog posts (or pages) popping up throughout the month as I try my hand covering different topics.
While I’ve semi rewritten the ‘work with me’ page, that page and the welcome page may get updated throughout the fall as I slowly make my way into the freelancing world of writing, editing, proofreading, and crafting.
So, while time is starting to ‘speed’ up, I hope that everyone is getting their vaccination shot(s) against the virus, and if you have kids—they’re getting theirs as well. As that (along with masks and social distancing when needed) is really the only way we’re going to be able to get to a ‘new’ normal.
While I’d asked this question last month on what types of posts people would like to see more of (science/educational, personal/professional development, hobbies/crafts, book reviews, or thoughts on different career paths), I decided that I will continue forward with a mixture of all (as that fits my personality and my top two strengths: learner and intellection).
I’m going to share the words I chose for 2021 again— growth, creativity, curiosity, happiness, and prosperity.
I just realized that I missed doing a 1-year check-in for the challenge last month since I’d been so focused on doing 100-day check-ins. I’ve also realized that I don’t check-in as often as I should with the list, possibly because we’re still in the middle of this damn pandemic and at times I feel like there isn’t a point.
TV shows were removed during earlier updates, as I usually don’t watch that much TV currently, and I am also thinking of cancelling my Beachbody-on-Demand subscription, since I’m also wanting to start ‘working-out’ away from the TV/computer screens. But, if I decide to do that—it will probably be before the fifth check-in on the challenge, and it will have it’s own post on the blog as well.
There is still the pandemic going on—which means that the travel plans are still on hold, and I’m still sheltering in place. While three vaccines have been approved for emergency use and the Pfizer was just granted full approval for people over the age of 12 (with several more in the middle of phase 3 clinical trials), I managed to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (1 & done) in early April. The numbers of cases had started to go down, but then people got lax on getting their vaccines (or just didn’t want them—not going to rant here), and then the delta variant decided to become the most dominant—and numbers are going back up. Therefore, I’m still going to be sheltering in place through the fall and winter, and hope that maybe by the late-fall of 2022 things may be heading towards a new ‘normal’.
So how are things progressing?
Professional Development and Career–Ongoing:
Transition into an industry position (this is probably going to be remote/online or freelancing; exact direction (subjects) still to be determined; there will be several posts on this goal
Learn a programming language (going to go with python to start); just need to set up the newer laptop and download both teh program and bookmark the e-courses that I bought on the subject
Finish various e-courses that I’ve bought, but in particular:
Clinical Research Coalition--Finished May 30th 2021
Medical Writers Organization–need to finish the writing assignments; finished up the editing assignments last month
Data Science Syndicate–Finished September 3rd 2020
Project Management Consortium
Management Consulting Firm
Intellectual Property Pack–Finished June 25th 2021
Regulatory Affairs Council
All other e-courses that are in the journal (including other Cheeky Scientist Courses)
More interaction on LinkedIn-while hard to score (see the below photograph), I’m slowly figuring things out. There are certain posts that do better than others, and certain versions of posts that do better than others.
Sharing articles from various biotech pages and other science pages–I’m managing to do this at least once a day, Monday thur Friday, I don’t really share much on the weekend.
Commenting on posts–as I commented on a post, I’m trying to do more than the just usual congrats, or that’s great. So this is still a work in progress
Giving/Asking for recommendations–this still needs to be done in order to ‘finish’ building my professional/personal brand on LinkedIn. I just have to decide who I’m going to ask (and then who I’m going to give recommendations to)
Start writing my own posts–see the below photograph, but I’m slowly dipping my toes into the world of LinkedIn publishing. I mentioned previously that my first two comfort/stretch/risk/die diagram posts had been my best posts (1st had over 1900 views, 36 reactions, and 12 comments; the second had over 6 thousand views, 36 reactions, and 20 comments). Obviously I didn’t use the correct hashtags with the third diagram (as it hasn’t come close to the number of views, reactions, or comments yet).
Creating monthly/weekly/daily calendars for above goals–trying to get better at the whole ‘planning’ things out in advanced.
Renew professional memberships–I need to pick two (one is going to be joining the American Medical Writers Association, and then the other may be either ASBMB or ASCB).
Personal and Professional Development: on-going
7. Becoming fluent in Spanish–I need to get back to using the app Mondly, and aim for thirty minutes two to three days a week to begin with and build back up to doing it daily.
8. Become fluent in German again
9. Become proficient in French, Norwegian, Swedish, or Mandarin
10. Read at least 300 personal/professional development books total (since I first started these challenges in 2017). Aiming for twenty to thirty (plus) books a year, this year is going to be low (unless I start really reading all non-fiction and very little fiction).
11. Finish the books on scientific writing
12. Start building a portfolio (possibly as another ‘page’ on the blog) of different types of work (writing/data analysis)
14. Develop a daily writing habit
15. Write a letter to my future self
Personal Development and hobbies: on-going
16. Paint and frame at least one original painting
17. More photography–have been doing some, but now between the weather and the delta variant I’m not walking at Boomer as much as I would like to
18. 365 photography challenge–this one I’d try to start, but had fallen off track already. May try to restart it in the fall
19. Update photography pages on blog–I’ve been adding pages to the bird tab, and I have about another 100 pages to go, plus have been trying to expand the travel pages as well
20. Make my own jewelry
21. Learn to cross-stitch–I’ve started an abstract project, where I’m just filling in the entire tapestry with colors
22. Get a new sewing machine–on hold, due to the fact that there are issues with the machines being able to wind their bobbins, and the fact that people are probably buying them up again to make masks.
23. Make a new quilt (on hold due to #22)
24. Make a set of drapes for the bedroom (for backdrop when sitting at desk; on hold due to #22)
25. Start a new afghan–not sure if I’m going to be buying any yarn this year or not, since I still need to finish patching the second afghan that Chaos had chewed holes in.
26. Showcase crafts on blog (weekly update or possibly new pages when I have several completed?)
27. Start writing a book
28. Learn Photoshop
29. Write in the journal daily
30. Create my own coffee-table photography book
31. Learn basic sign language
32. Start a virtual book club
Finances: on-going (still a little difficult as there is no steady paycheck yet):
33. Create monthly budgets–currently this is just paying off the monthly bills
34. Credit cards debt down and hopefully paid off monthly–there are two that are high (where they aren’t paid off in full). Plus one is probably going to be high for a couple of months (since I’m thinking of possibly buying a bookcase and nightstand).
35. De-clutter the house–basically trying to sell DVDs back as a way of earning some extra money; on hold only because of the delta variant and me not wanting to be around other people
36. Saving account up another 20+K–this will take quite awhile since I haven’t ‘officially’ started doing any freelancing or remote work yet; nor have I landed any type of contract position
37. Talk with financial person about short-term investment possibilities–on hold, again due to the delta variant
38. Continue doing the small surveys as a way of earning a little extra cash
39. Finish the various financial e-courses (and decide how to implement what I’ve learned)
Fitness and Health: On-going
40. Get into the best shape of my life
41. Multivitamin and supplements daily–I’ve only forgotten to take my multivitamin and supplements every so often
42. Manage to make it through the following Beachbody workouts–these might be removed by the time I do a 500-day check-in as I’m thinking of cancelling my beachbody-on-demand membership
43. Morning Meltdown 100–I finished my 1st round on 9/15/2020
44. Yoga Booty Ballet-Abs & Butt series–Made it through 3/4 of the program by 11/14/2020
45. 10 Rounds–1st round finished 12/26/2020
46.Barre Blend–Started on 2/8/2021; managed to do half the program before deciding to call it quits
47. Insanity Max 30
48. LIIFT4–Did a round of the program back in 2018; second round finished on 11/14/2020, 3rd round (focusing mostly on the lifting) was finished 7/23/2021
49. 22-Minute Hard Corps
52. Insanity: Asylum 1
53. Insanity: Asylum 2
54. 4 weeks of Prep
55. 6 weeks of work
56. T25 (have already done once)
57. Brazil Butt Lift
58. 21 Day Fix (have done once); started the ‘LIVE’ version and made it a week before moving to LIIFT4
59. 21 Day Fix Extreme (have done once)
60. Country Heat (have done once)
61. CIZE–managed to make it through the program, even though I felt like I had two left feet the entire time. Finished this April 9th 2021)
64. Let’s Get Up! (hopefully out fall 2021; but have to decided if I’m keeping BOD or not)
65. 9-week control freak off the wall (technically with dumbbells)
66. Shawn Week
67. 80-Day Obsession
68. Brazil Butt Lift: Carnival
69: Shift Shop: Proving Grounds
71. Core de Force
72. Manage 5 push-ups on my toes (I had been practicing, but I haven’t done much lately–need to get back to it)
73. Manage 10 push-ups on my toes
74. Hold a two-minute forearm plank
75. Hold a ninety second plank
76. Meditate nightly–Have been doing, even if its only been for a minute or two
77. 60-80 oz of water daily–some days I fall way short on this; something to work on
78. Stretch daily
79. Get at least 10,010,000 steps (breaks down to 5K/day)–on my way; some months are better than others.
Blog and Social Media: On-going:
80. Finish the YouTube for bosses course
81. Finish the YouTube course creation for bosses course
82. Launch a YouTube Channel
83. Launch an online course
84. Launch an online freelance/remote/contract business
85. Get blog traffic to 500+ views a day–have managed to increase the monthly views (May-July it was a little over 500 views per month), and now just need to work on increasing the weekly and then the daily views
86. Rebrand myself (?)
87. Get Instagram followers to constant 800+
88. Get Pintrest followers to constant 400+
89. Get twitter followers to constant 1000+
90. Publish at least two blog series
91. Editorial calendars (monthly/weekly/daily)
92. Blog–tried this for August, but life had a way of throwing it out the window; will try it agian for September
94. Facebook Page(s)
97. Get BecomingJessi (or new name if I change) to 1000+ likes/follows
98. Various top 10 author lists
99. Various top 10 book series lists
100. Launch a podcast
101. Full/New Moon Goals–I’ve been managing to keep with these, even if I may not hit each goal that I set for each new/full moon
102. Create my own altar (wiccan/pagan): This was accomplished earlier this year, though I will be moving things around since it is a small shelf and everything feels crowded
103. Oracle Card readings (Weekly or Daily)–I’ve managed to do this more or less daily (though there have been a few days that I’ve missed). I started a 120-day oracle card sharing challenge, but after 26 days I’ve called it ‘quits’ for now, as it was feeling more like a task than an enjoyable hobby.
104. Sitting outside in the morning with my coffee (back to waiting for nicer weather–so hopefully sometime this fall)
Others (that don’t require travel): On-going
105. Keep at least three plants alive–I’ve managed to ‘root’ and replant several cuttings from our dumb cane plants, so I guess that could count as keeping plants alive. Though the Christmas poinsettia didn’t survive it’s repotting.
106. Design a science based board game
107. Update my digital vision board
108. Reorganize my storage unit
109. Put in at least one flower garden around the house (backyard, and/or front yard).
110. Help put up a partial privacy fence in backyard
111. Start downsizing clothes and creating different ‘minimum’ wardrobes (work/professional/casual; home/casual/working out). Have found different non-profits that I could donate clothes too, but the overall project is on hold due to the delta variant. Once that is under control, I’ll box up clothes that I don’t want and ship them off.
112. Develop different 30-day challenges–this one may be taken off by the 5th check-in if I haven’t come up with one and seen it through to completion.
113. Start down sizing the rest of my belongings (would like to live comfortably in a small house/apartment and I know that I don’t need majority of my stuff).
Goals that require a little traveling (or having moved into my own place):
114. Re-pierce my ears
115. Go to at least one scientific conference
116. Present at a scientific conference
117. Got to at least two professional networking events
118.Move to a new (or maybe not new) city for job
119. Visit at least three new countries
120. Visit at least one new national park and/or state park
121. Visit at least one new national monument and/or state monument
122. Visit at least one new zoo
123. Visit at least one new aquarium
124. Fly out and/or land at three new (to me) airports
125. Visit at least one new city
126. Visit at least one ‘new’ state
127. See the northern lights
128. Attend at least one blogging conference
129. Attend at least one author-reader conference
130. Swim with whale sharks
132. Get fabric and foam and make new cushions for chairs
133. New couch and chair for living room
134. New dresser for bedroom
135. New mattress and box spring for bed and/or a new bed set
136. New TV & stand
137. New desk/craft workstation
While the number of goals seem shorter than previous: the total number is still about 147 (ten of the goals in the professional development group were dotted instead of numbered).
Since, I thinking of cancelling my Beachbody-on-Demand membership next month, there will probably be about 25 ‘goals’ that may disappear from the list (at least the ones that would require the use of streaming; older programs that I have the DVDs on may still be done).
Therefore I may in add some additional personal or professional development programs to the list, or some other goals to take their place (in other words I’m not sure I’ll be decreasing the total number of goals or simply switching numerous ones out).
I’d mentioned in a post last week (my most updated comfort diagram share), that I felt like I’d let my time management slip the past month or so—and I have. I actually tried to make an ‘editorial’ calendar last month for August through October. But, life has a way of getting in the way at times, and it threw the calendar out the window (though I’m going to try to update it for the rest of fall).
I’m almost certain that I want to go in a freelance/remote/contract direction for my career (since the delta variant isn’t going to be disappearing anytime soon), and am slowly brainstorming the ideas needed for that pivot.
The bingo card that was created at the beginning of the year (both for yearly goals and the fitness programs I wanted to get completed), with the best intentions—I’ve realized that I probably won’t be getting a ‘bingo’ this year, and I will need to fine-tune the ideas for my 2022 yearly bingo card and any future fitness bingo cards.
I’ve decided currently that I’m going to keep the current web addy (becomingjessi) and the running tag-line (a little bit of this, a little bit of that) for the blog, but also start trying to brainstorm some ideas for new ones as I slowly start trying to develop my freelance/remote/contract business (writing, with possibly data analysis, project/product management, consulting).
So, the summer saw me becoming a little lax in time management and online learning—but I’m reactivating the self-control app, and will be setting weekly goals (say three hours of online learning, non-fiction reading, and work on crafts; in addition to some type of word total for writing).
The volunteer writing position that I took is helping me learn some of the ins and outs of researching various types of topics and writing for a general audience (I’m slowly figuring out how much science is actually needed within those topics), and I’m hoping to be able to do more than one post a week (one for the company, and then a different one for the bog) within another month or so.
So I will be brainstorming/mind-mapping different ideas for the career pivot that will appeal to my mixed-style multipontialite personality (different types or number of projects), and my strengths (learner, intellection, input, achiever, ideation, and deliberative) moving forward. This will mean trying to determine the best type of daily schedule (when to do research; what to research; how long to research; blocks for writing and so forth).
Therefore, the goals for the next 100 days will include getting through various professional development programs (finishing up the writing tests for the Medical Writers Organization, making it through the Regulatory Affairs Council, and possibly the Business Development Federation program as well), reading at least 3-4 books off the personal/professional development list, and creating my own fitness/intentional movement calendar for the rest of the year (weight lifting, and then some types of cardio and recovery), and then whatever else from the list that will fit into the 100-day schedule.