Category: Health

Check-in on 101 goals

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

The dates for my 101 goal challenges are:

So my original start and finish dates were:

Start Date: January 1 2018

Finish Date: September 28 2020

My new start and finish dates:

Start Date: January 1, 2019

Finish Date: September 28, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

A review of Gemini New Moon Goals

So we’re halfway through the year, and the moon will be transitioning into the Cancer constellation today and tomorrow and starting a new moon phase. July is going to be an interesting month, as there will be two new moons—today (which was also a total solar eclipse—but one you had to be in South America to see), and then again on the 31st.

So it is time again to look back on the few goals that I set for the Gemini new moon phase and determine how I did with each one, and what I can do to continue striving for improvement in those areas.

So my goals for the Gemini new moon include:

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

            Try to get back into meditating nightly (I got out of the habit last month, and I need to try to get back into it again).

            Read at least three more non-fiction books (out of the large list that I have going).

So how did I do with the goals?

In terms of making a financial plan—I’m trying to put about half a paycheck into the savings (which accounts for about 1 paycheck a month), though sometimes it isn’t quite that much. I know that I need to speak with a financial consultant about my meager retirement account (especially what to do about it when I leave my current job), and also how to go about getting it a little higher.

I’ve realized that I don’t need to be making seven figures a year to be happy—I’m pretty sure that I’ll be happy with a nice low six figure income that covers my monthly bills (and it may include a mortgage for an small house or an condo), and still leave me enough to save/invest and even travel.

I’m trying to get into the habit that less is actually more (especially when it comes to certain things like clothes, movies, and similar things). So one long-term goal is to get my belongings down to where I could live comfortably in a small apartment.

I still need to make a better long term financial plan, one that will hopefully account for one move, travel, and living in a decent size city.

In terms of meditating nightly—I probably managed it about eighty percent of the time. There were just a few evenings, where I was running behind on doing things and decided just to chill and read for a while before bed instead of meditating for a few minutes and then reading before bed. It does help my sleep at times when I do meditate—so a goal for July will be to hopefully meditate before bed every night.

In terms of reading (or finishing) at least three non-fiction books—I managed to finish one. The one I finished was related to finances and was called “The Latte Factor: Why You don’t have to be rich to live rich” by David Bach and John David Mann.

It’s a book that shows you how to focus on what you’re spending your money on—that way if you know what you’re spending money on, you have ideas of where you can start saving money. A book review will be coming in the next few weeks.

Over the past year, I’ve been keeping track (more or less) of how I spend money and I know where I splurge. My goals now are to 1) figure out a better way of dealing with stress (that doesn’t involve buying candy), and 2) reminding myself that I should work through several of the different little e-courses that I’ve bought over the past two years before I buy any more.

Reading has always been a pastime of mine—now I just need to figure out a way to incorporate more non-fiction books into the reading mix (lately I’ve been going with fiction as a escape tool against reality).

While I did okay on my mental and financial goals during the Gemini new moon period, I’ve realized they’re things that I should be constantly working on, so I’m going to try to focus on my mental and financial health during the next new moon period.

No Comments HealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Development

June in Review

So we’re officially halfway through the year now—that means there is only six months (or 184 days) left in the year. That means that sooner or later, I’m going to have to really start pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone in order to make any real significant changes. One major realization I’ve had this month, is that I keep falling into an almost cyclic habit of being on target with goals one month, and then falling short and/or not doing about half of work the following month.

June seems to have been the month where I managed to only hit probably about a third of my goals for the month. I need to draw out or plan some of the goals and actually look at them on a calendar (or a weekly/daily to-do list) and see if that helps me manage to move forward on some of the goals.

June goals were basically the same goals that I’ve had for the past few months, though I’ve added in the goal of working on my “reboot break” plan. The goals for June included:

At least 420,000 steps (14K/day)

Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books

Continuing with the photography challenge

Working on planning my “reboot break”

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

Start back on a workout schedule (potentially alternating between weight training & cardio).

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 420,000 steps (14K/day)

I managed to go above the minimum number of steps for the month, even though there were several days that I again fell below my goal of 14,000. My final total for the month was 463,429, which also means for the year I’m at 2,703,794. I’m on my way to hitting my yearly goal of five million steps, as long as I manage to hit at least 12,500 steps a day.

Striving to met my step goal has been one of the things that does keep me going—while it isn’t as calorie-consuming as some of the workouts, it is one workout I’ve managed to keep up with this year.

Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books

I only managed to finish reading one book in it’s entirety, and that was “The Latte Factor: Why you don’t have to be rich to live rich” by David Bach and John David Mann. I have several other books that I’m probably about a quarter to half way through reading, but I’ve spent more of the month re-reading other books that allow me to “escape reality” for awhile.

This has been one of my minor problems—I can finish reading several non-fiction books in a month, and then the following month, I may not even start one or if I do I may not finish it. I’m going to try to go back to where when I’m going between both fiction and non-fiction reading (this does help—I read personal/professional development for 30-45 minutes a day and then I go and read something that is more “escapism” for the evening.

Continuing with the photography challenge

I have managed to more or less keep up with the photography challenge. Though I did have to do a “catch-up” post at the end of the month. There were several days where I either couldn’t decide on a picture to share or I couldn’t figure out what to write with the picture I was thinking of sharing. One thing I’m going to try to do over the next couple of months is have a theme for a week within the photography challenge and see if that also helps to spark more creativity with the challenge.

Working on planning my “reboot break”

I’ve done a little work on my reboot break. I have acknowledged that I need one, and that it will probably be at least six to eight months (maybe a little less, maybe a little more). I want to get rid of quite of bit of my stuff—I don’t need all the clothes that I have, and I probably don’t need the majority of the movies either. While I don’t want to totally get rid of everything—I want to get rid of enough that I could comfortably live in a five hundred square foot apartment without feeling claustrophobic (like I did in Boston—only because I had way to much junk in a small confined area).

I also want to take the time to work on “me”—getting my physical, mental, and spiritual health back on the right path. Currently I’m feeling so burnt out, the only things I’m trying to do are my daily steps, hopefully meditating at least three nights a week, and cutting back on the sweets. I know that if I make the time I can get back on the right path and hopefully once I’m feeling better—everything else will fall into place as well.

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

While I didn’t go a full two weeks without spending money on campus, I did manage to limit the amount of spending to only about 1 day a week. Though there was a full week of no spending on campus in there as well. I’ve realized that buying chocolate is only a temporary fix for the problem (and that includes the walk as well), and that I need to try to figure out better ways of dealing with stress.

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

I’ve interacted a little on linkedin this month, but nowhere near the level I need to be at in terms of networking to set up informational interviews. Part of the problem is that I’m still not sure what I want to be doing, and I don’t want to be wasting other people’s time in setting up an interview if I’m not at least sixty-five percent confident that is a path I want to be going down.

I do need to get back in the habit of sharing articles on linkedin and commenting on posts. I think this is something else that could probably use a little more structured time schedule in dealing with.

Start back on a workout schedule (potentially alternating between weight training & cardio).

My workout routine this month has been walking (more or less). I know that I should be doing a workout program, but by the end of the day I don’t really feel like doing one and I’m not going to be getting up any earlier than what I already am for work. Come July, I will hopefully restart an program and stick with it—start with a mini reward system for doing the work until it becomes second nature again.

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

It seems that I basically took the month of June off from doing anything related to moving my career forward. I did buy some e-courses that were discounted, so now I have more things to work through. I want to work through the various e-courses and other programs that I have, but at the same time I just want a magic wand that I can wave and have all my problems taken care of and magically be where I want in the job I want.

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

I glance through the websites once this month. Since I’ve become my own worse enemy currently (as in not knowing exactly what I want to do with my life and dealing with major anxiety), I’ve fallen down on this as well. I do find it interesting to see what is going on in terms of the business side of science, but I’m also feeling like I’m looking through a foggy window. I need to figure out how to defog and keep the window clear and maybe I will be able to get more into the business side of science.

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

This hasn’t happened—I don’t feel like trying to read a scientific paper at work and since I see it as “work” currently—I’m not going to be doing it at home in the evenings or weekends. I think part of my problem is that I’m almost right at the burnout stage, and I need to take a step back from things and try to rediscover my love for science again.

So the goals that I fell short on (basically not meeting) were the goals associated with basically professional development/moving my career forward. I know that this is something that I need to work on—as I’m the only one that can move my career forward. The main thing I need to work on is deciding which direction(s) I want to possibly go in, career wise.

I’m going to try to set up a calendar/to-do list and then break that down to a weekly/daily to-do list and see if that helps with the anxiety and stress of figuring out my life. I’m also going to have to decide when to start the reboot break and see how that goes (not sure how certain people are going to feel about it; and while their thoughts shouldn’t matter in the long run—I don’t like negative confrontations with people).

Therefore the goals for July are going to include:

At least 434,000 steps (14k/day)

Continuing with the photography challenge (maybe introduce weekly themes)

Schedule my workouts (cardio alternating with weight training). Decide on a reward system.

Read (or finish) at least 3 non-fiction books

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

Be more active on linkedin and in various groups on both linkedin and facebook

Personal and professional development (e-courses, transition plan, and other stuff)

Work on my “reboot break” plan

Read more on various industry websites (FiercePharma, FierceBiotech, BioSpace) and make notes for a weekly recap blog post

Try to read at least one scientific article this month and write a summary for a blog/science post

And then remember—little steps are all that are needed to move forward. It counts as progress as long as one is making small steps forward in different areas. Not doing anything is what is harmful, progress over perfection is what is needed and what should be strived for.

No Comments HealthMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Review of Scorpio Full Moon Goals

So tomorrow, the moon moves into it’s full moon phase for June. We’re a little over halfway through the month, and there are only two weeks left before we’re through the first half of the year. Therefore it’s time to look back on the goals that I set during the May full moon, and see which ones I managed to work into my schedule and which ones I forgot about.

The goals for the May Scorpio full moon included:

            Getting back on track with my fitness and nutrition.

            Working on my transition and “reboot break” plans.

            Trying to meditate and do a daily tarot/oracle card reading.

In terms of the fitness and nutrition goal—I’m trying to make sure that I hit (and hopefully surpass) my step goal at least five out of seven days. I’m also trying to do at least one walk around Boomer Lake on the weekend (depending on the weather). I’ve realized that my mental health isn’t the greatest right now—when I fall into my depression funks, I’m never to the point of hurting myself—I just get to the point where I don’t care about things (working out and eating properly usually tanks first).

Therefore I’m happy to note that I have managed to probably lose about 2-4 pounds over the last month (I’m not sure of the exact number since I don’t weigh myself constantly—I’m just stepping on the scale currently to actually figure out how much the puppy is gaining weekly). I’m also cutting back on the sweets that I get on campus (last week I only went and got them one day, and the week before that it was only two days—so I’m slowly cutting back on that as well).

In terms of my transition and “reboot break” plans—the reboot break will be happening before the end of the year (especially since I now realize how close to complete burnout I’m getting), and may actually happen before the end of summer. I know people will scratch their heads at the idea of quitting a job without another lined up (especially since that means that you don’t get unemployment—but I think it will work out better this way—I’m not on someone else’s timeframe for finding a new job). My only potential worry is that my parents may charge rent (and how much).

The reboot break is needed, especially since I’m been thinking about just packing some clothes, my laptop, camera, e-book reader, phone, & chargers and flying off somewhere without really letting anyone know about the plans. I’ve never taken the time before to try and really focus on what I want to do with my life—I’ve just gone (for the most part) a straight path of public school to college (undergraduate degree to graduate degree) to work (academic post-doc to academic post-doc to staff position 1 to staff position 2). I love science, but I really need to figure out what I want to do in relation to both science and my other passions as well.

In terms of meditating daily and also doing a daily tarot/oracle card reading—I’ve been probably an even fifty to sixty percent of the time. I know where the inconsistency in regards to this goal is coming from—my blah mood. I usually can meditate nightly, but doing the card reading is something that I just can’t force myself to do (and I’ve also realized that I’ve lost several followers on instagram because of it as well). I’m hoping to get back into the grove of doing nightly readings (I don’t do them in the morning—mainly because I don’t want to get up any earlier than what I’m already doing), and posting them to social media.

So it wasn’t one hundred percent on the goals this past month—but at least I was making slow forward progression with each one. I know where I need to try to focus first—my mental and physical health (and if you are struggling—know that you aren’t alone, and if you need to see professional help—please do so (personally I’m stubborn and not really one to talk about their feelings and thoughts with others)). I know that when I get those two aspects of my life back on steady ground, everything else should hopefully also start falling into place.

Pretty soon it’s going to be time for me to step out of my comfort zone in order to figure out what I want to do with my life. As much as I want time to slow down, I know that it isn’t going to—which means I need to start actually trying to live my life for myself, and not staying in the shadow of others.

No Comments AstrologyfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Review of Taurus New Moon Goals

So the moon is transitioning into Gemini tomorrow, as it marks its new phase. We have entered the last month of the second quarter of the year. Somehow June is a month that both crawls and speeds by at the same time. Now it’s time to look back on the goals that I set for the Taurus New Moon.

My list of things to try to focus on during the Taurus new moon included the following:

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

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each goal?

In terms of making a financial plan—I have a decent amount in my savings. I’m leery of putting money (other than what my employer does for my retirement account) into the stock market, due to the current political climate. What I need to do is look into a short-term investment (CD or bonds) and decide how much to invest into something like that. I want to be comfortable whenever I retire (not super rich, but not struggling either), and that means I need to find the time to focus on that in the coming months as well.

In terms of the two books: “Next Gen PhD” and “Reboot Your Life”—I finished both of them (though I do need to go back and finish some of the exercises in each one. But by finishing “Reboot Your Life”, I’ve realized that I’m in dire need of a “reboot break”, and that one will be occurring at some point this year (possibly before my current job contract is up).

Working on my transition plan—this is going to be getting melded in with my “reboot break”. I’ve realized that currently I don’t have the time or the energy to focus on doing the job search/transition correctly. I know I will need to travel (in part to show that I am willing to relocate, and also to network), but I need to be strategic in where and when; currently I have no idea on the companies that I would like to possibly work for. This makes it difficult to strategically network for informational interviews. So I need to get my mental and physical health back on track, and then the job search/transition should fall into place.

The getting back into a workout routine and de-cluttering my clothes (and other possessions) are also going to be getting melded in with my “reboot break”. I’ve let stress and irritation from work overwhelm me to the point that I’m close to hitting either my low or just a point where I don’t really care anymore about certain things.

So the Taurus new moon period wasn’t the greatest in terms of reaching my goals—though I did finish two books and came to the conclusion that a break is needed (how long of a break—that is still undecided). I’m sure that there are people who will be shaking their heads saying that it doesn’t sound like anything has changed—but little baby steps (or even crawling) is better than nothing—it means I haven’t totally given up. Anxiety is a bitch to deal with, and my has been at a record level the past couple of months—so I’m happy with the little progress I’ve made and the fact that I’ve admitted to myself, that stopping to take care of myself for awhile probably isn’t that bad of an idea.

The moon will be in Gemini tomorrow, and that will be time to set some new intentions and goals for the beginning of June. The biggest intention is going to be to continue moving forward, no matter how slow it seems to others.

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Weekend Reflections: where I’m at in terms of my new twelve month plans.

**Disclaimer** I am not in the healthcare profession, if you are in need of medical (or mental) help—please see a licensed healthcare professional. The following are just my thoughts, feelings, and ways I think I can deal with my issues. Again—if you have issues, please see a licensed healthcare professional**.

Spent part of the weekend doing some serious reflection, and have come to the realization of several things:

            I need to get better at time management (especially on the weekends, when I really don’t have my day structured that much). I realize that I could have the traffic coming to the blog higher, if I actually got posts written and posted on a regular schedule—instead of the semi-regular, sporadic schedule I’ve been doing.

            Also having better time management, means that I could probably also be looking at different career tracks that are in the free-lancing and consulting areas (instead of looking for the just general nine-to-five jobs).

            I would also have the time to dedicate to crafts and other projects or things I want to get accomplished.

            I have also become my own worse enemy in terms of getting into the best shape of my life. I have allowed myself to use just about any excuse for not doing my workouts in the evenings, and before anyone comments that I could be doing them in the mornings—right now I’m barely getting my seven and a half hours of sleep, and therefore I’m not sacrificing that just to get a workout in first thing in the morning.

            This one is also tied into the time management need as well—there are only so many hours in the evening before heading to bed, that I probably could be making better use of them, then how I’ve been using them.

            I also need to find better ways of dealing with my stress and anxiety. I have found myself going to the little market on campus and buying several different sweets and candy bars (that will either last me the day, or a couple of days depending on my stress/anxiety levels).

            The stress and anxiety have been issues that I really should have been dealing with years ago. I have a pretty good idea where a lot of my anxiety issues (tests, driving, and to some extent social) have come from (childhood can suck at times), and the stress is due in part to internalizing how I feel instead of just letting it out (probably would have had more issues in school if I vocalized how I felt at times). So those two issues have probably lead to some health issues (indigestion and upset stomach) that I also need to find better ways of dealing with (then taking over the counter medications and trying to ignore them).

So how can I start to address and manage these issues (I won’t say overcome and get rid of—because I know that having that mindset can set me up for failure)?

In terms of time management—I need to ask myself what tasks/items am I doing (or can I be doing) that are (or can be considered) beneficial for the future me.

Also I probably should look into the different apps/web pages that allow you to block certain pages to help increase productivity (I know that I do spend way to much time on social media).

Also I should ask myself—what tasks am I doing during the day at work that are actually going to be helping me move forward (and not actually helping move someone else forward). This might be a little more problematic, as I’m sure that there are at least one or two people that won’t be happy if I start to figure out other things to do that I deem more important then they do. In other words—I really need to start working on my individualized development plan (or my reboot break/transition plan).

In terms of getting back on track in terms of fitness and nutrition—there are several things that I can do:

            Have my bedroom clean and the workout equipment off to the side. That way once I’m done with a few evening chores, I can put on my workout clothes, stream the workout program and get it done.

            Not compare myself to others. This has been a hard one for me (especially the last few years that I’ve gained the weight back and the negative mind set).

            If I need to take a walk at lunch (due to stress or anxiety), I will try to have my small digital camera on me so that I can practice my photography skills (instead of going to spend money on candy).

            Also when needed—take my journal and go for a walk; then find a quiet area where I can sit and reflect on what is potentially causing my anxiety or stress to occur. Sit and try to write for at least five to ten minutes and then head back to the lab. Hopefully this will help me get a handle on the stress and anxiety.

            Get back into the habit of trying to mediate for at least three to five minutes every night before reading.

            Try to pack my shakeology (and supplements) to take to work and have it as either part of lunch or a snack. This will help me work back up to having it as part of breakfast.

So I know what I need to do in order to get myself back on the correct trail—patch some things that weren’t working, and rework some other things. I’m now going to picture my journey moving forward in one of two ways: I’m hiking and I will need to look for things to help me on my way; or I’m on a boat at sea, and I need to find unique ways of patching little holes in the boat to ensure that I can make it to the next island/land formation.

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May Full Moon Goals: The actual Scorpio Full Moon

So today marks the full moon for May, and it is actually passing through the Scorpio constellation. So I guess that I will be doing a double Scorpio goal period (since that is how I treated last month).

The questions that I would need to be answering are the same ones that I answered last month, but I think that my answers now are actually slightly different from what I had written last month.

So looking at the book “Moonlogy: Working with the magic of the lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, for questions that one should be asking themselves during this time the questions would include:

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 or cunning?

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

If I were to number the questions one to five, my answers would be:

  1. This depends on what how one defines toxic—towards other people or toward oneself. I don’t think that I’ve been acting toxically towards other people—I try to be polite and cordial at work and at home (yes, I probably have unfriendly thoughts towards others, but I try not to act on them). Have I been acting toxically towards myself—I’d have to say unfortunately yes I have been. I know that I should be eating better and working out more, but I haven’t been and I’ve been allowing myself to use really lame things as excuses for both bad behaviors.
  2. Depending on how you would define both terms—but yes, I have been living out of fear rather than joy quite often. I know that I should probably just quit my job so that I have more time to focus on job searching (namely networking and figuring out the exact path that I want to pursue), but I haven’t since most people usually try to have the replacement job lined up before they quit their current one.
  3. With the way the world is currently going, it is sometimes hard not to dwell on the negative. I do try to look for the positive daily, though sometimes this is hard to do (especially when one is in a job that is less than fulfilling).
  4. No I haven’t been cruel or cunning—that takes too much work and effort. Currently I’m more apathetic and at times I really don’t care too much about what is going on—I just try to get through the day without losing my temper or my cool. This answer hasn’t changed at all from last month.
  5. As the second statement says—Some people need no sex at all to feel good about themselves. I’m in that boat currently—I have no time for a relationship (especially since I’m planning on leaving the state & I really don’t have the time to try to do a long distance relationship), and I’m not really the type for just having random hookups. Again, this answer hasn’t changed from last month either.

So this month marks the moon moving into Scorpio, and actually moving into my first house as well—this is our image zone. This is where one can reflect on both one’s personal and professional lives, and determine if there are things that could be worked on and changed. Getting to go through this zone “twice” is helpful, as I need the reminder that I should be trying to put myself first every so often, and that there really aren’t that many people looking out for my best interests (job wise and personal life wise).

So goals for this full moon period are going to be slightly similar to the ones from last month and include:

            Getting my fitness and nutrition routine back on track (I haven’t done a full week’s worth of workouts in over a month, and I need to start cutting back on the sweets, this will also help me save money as well), but also remember that I only need to try to be better than yesterday—progress over perfection. Hopefully I can figure out better ways of handling stress than buying sweets on campus, and since the cable/wifi problem has been fixed I should be able to stream my workouts in the evenings.

            Professionally I need to continue working on both my professional transition plan, and my “reboot break” plan. I’m also going to try to finish reading “The Renaissance Soul: How to make your passions your life” by Margaret Lobensteine & “Designing Your Life: How to build a well-lived joyful life” by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans. Having finished reading “Reboot Your Life: Energize your career & life by taking a break” by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearge, Rita Foley, & Jaye Smith I’ve realized that taking a break is needed and needs to happen before the end of the calendar year.

            Continue trying to work on a daily meditation and tarot/oracle card reading. I’ve noticed that these do help with trying to wind down at the end of the day, and I sometimes sleep better after having done them.

So the goals are similar, but a little different from last month—sometimes the major difference is just acknowledging that we are in a self-destruction loop and trying to step off that track just a little to readjust ourselves and get back to the healthier habits.

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon GoalsHealthmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional development

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

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

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

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

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

So my goals for fitness and nutrition this week were:

            Set up a new workout schedule for the week.

            No sweets at work.

            Hitting my step goal daily.

So how did I do with each one?

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

Monday—LIIFT4: Chest & Triceps

Tuesday—LIIFT4: Back & Biceps

Wednesday—Country Heat: Country Swing

Thursday—LIIFT4: Shoulders

Friday—LIIFT4: Legs

Saturday—Country Heat: Giddy Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My goals for this week were:

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

No spending money at work.

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

So how did I do with each one?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transfer about half a paycheck to the savings account.

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

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

No Comments 101 GoalsfitnessHealthPersonal Development

Starting to re-plan different areas of my life

So one of the goals that I set during the Aries new moon last week was to start working on a new 12 month plan for different areas of my life. I’ve picked two main areas, with two sub-areas in each of those areas. The two main areas are personal and professional development.

Within personal development I’m going to try to focus on health (both physical and mental) and nutrition; though I can also include spirituality, social and emotional health as well. In terms of professional development I’m going to focus on transitioning from academia to industry, and then my finances as well (though this could be within both spheres).

So currently I have the larger picture for most of these written down–the smaller steps may change from month to month depending on how the previous month went, and how things are going day to day.

The 12 month plan for my finances include: Getting my savings account up another ~10-15K (knowing that if I do get a job & moving will take a good chunk out of the savings account). Look to invest a modest amount into a short-term CD (or other low risk investment account). Save at least $500 a paycheck (which is currently ~42% of a biweekly paycheck).

The 12 month plan for fitness & nutrition include: not setting a number goal (i.e. not putting down a certain weight), but using increasing non-scale victories as goals and measurements. I would also like to be hiking and/or camping somewhere next year that would require me to be in better physical condition than my current physical condition. Also I will be watching my sweet tooth and portions (I refuse to get on the organic/gluten free bus).

The 12 month plan for the rest of my personal development includes becoming a better version of myself. This will encompass silencing the negative storytelling that I constantly do, learning to control and manage my anxiety, and just own the fact that I am a pagan and don’t follow the major belief systems of the western world.

In terms of my 12 month plan for transitioning into an non-academic job I’ve realized that one thing that has held me up is trying to determine the company I would like to work for. There are so many different companies out there, that at times looking at them I feel like I’m in a candy store. So that is the number one thing I need to do–decide what type of company, and where I want to work. I know that people say you need to have multiple applications going, and I understand that–but I also realize that I need to be very strategic in how I’m going to be doing it (so there will probably be several more long posts on this subject).

Plus also in terms of my transition plan–I need to be able to answer the question–where do I see myself in five or ten years. I know that I’m capable of learning new techniques and skills fairly quickly, but I first need to get over the fear of being lectured on potentially doing something wrong (this goes back to other issues–and will probably be touched upon in another post).

But for now–I’ve decided that there are areas that need work and improvement. By sharing here on the blog I’m also giving myself some accountability–there will probably be either weekly updates or biweekly updates on the different areas that I’m working on. Change is good, change is constant, and it is time to get off the merry-go-round and start figuring out the next chapter of my life.

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Oracle Card Reading: Photography Challenge Day 9

So I was having trouble deciding what to post for today’s photography challenge–it was overcast this morning so there was no sunrise picture, and cloudy all day so there wasn’t even a cloud picture to try to take at work. Therefore instead of randomly taking a picture of one of the animals, I decided that I’d share one of my oracle card readings instead.

Sunday night’s card spread.

This month I have been using the Sacred Rebels Oracle deck (this is the second deck that I got out in Salem last fall). I’m still getting use to the cards, as the messages take a little longer at times to figure out.

Last night’s spread brought the intertwining messages of trusting yourself (your inner voice and intuition), and then bringing your dreams into reality.

Right now I’m working towards trying to bring about the job transition from academia to industry. One of my trouble spots is networking (or figuring out how to add value to others), and that is something that I’m trying to work on this year.

I have numerous different craft/artistic ideas floating around in my head as well–these are other things that I need to make the time to work on. The final thing that I need to focus on is my health and fitness. This isn’t to get to some number on the scale–but to be able to do things–I’d like to hike to the Incan ruins in Peru, hike at the Grand Canyon, and do things like that. But in order to do those things–I have to be in a lot better shape than what I currently am–which is why I’m trying to go through various workout programs (doing them as a mesh-up) and trying to get my nutrition into moderation over any of those “diet” fads that are out there.

That is at least what the cards “said” to me…Their message to you may be different.

No Comments AstrologyfitnessHealthoracle cardsPersonal DevelopmentPhotography