Category: Level 10 Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Another attempt on 101 goals in 1001-days, with 44 things to do before turning 44

I’ve tried several time since 2018 in doing a 101 goals in 1001-day challenge. I’ve even tried to expand it to 100+ goals in 2002-days. My problem has always been the same: I make the list, and then I only occasionally look at it again to see how I’m doing in terms of the goals—and some of the goals never seemed to feel like ‘mine’. They felt like goals I should put down because they’re ones that ‘society’ deems acceptable.

Last year I also tried to a ’43 things to do before turning 43’ list of goals. The problem: I made that list/goal idea during a really rough time—my mother was still in the hospital, and I thought making a ‘smaller’ list of goals and a ‘tighter’ window would result in the goals being accomplished.

I did manage to accomplish about 44% of the goals that I set last year—as I counted even semi-accomplished (or started) goals in the ‘check’ category. Ones I did start or attempt were considered ‘not done’.

So, I’m three weeks and a few days late in posting this particular post—it is a combination of a new 101 goals in 1001 days list, and a ’44 things to do before turning 44’ goal list.

What’s the difference: I’ve actually picked a handful of 101 goals to try to get accomplished (or at least a good head start on) by my birthday next year. In addition, there are several additional goals at the end of the list that are on my ‘44 things to do’ list that aren’t on (or fit with) the 101 goals in 1001 days.

So what is what? The long list is basically the 101 goals that I’m aiming to accomplish in 1001 days. Items that are bolded are from the 44 things to do before turning 44 list. I’ve determined that I’m going to be having ‘scheduled’ updates—every two months for the 44 things before 44 list, and every 100 days for the 101-goals (plus yearly updates around my birthday).

The areas that I’m focusing on for both lists: career/professional growth; personal growth (including areas of health/wellness, spirituality, and personal finances); and crafts/hobbies (tied with career). Why these areas? Because, they’re the ones that if I focus on will also have the most impact in other areas of life (such as social life, friends/family, contributions/donations and physical environment).

So what are the goals? They include:

  1. Start my freelance science/health/medical communications business
  2. Transition to a remote science/health/medical communications position
  3. Monetize blogs and set up an Etsy store for the crafts and so-forth
  4. Launch a YouTube channel
  5. Launch a podcast
  6. Increase blog/website(s) traffic (aim for 500+ views/day)
  7. Social media following of 500+ across different channels
  8. Launch at least one online course
  9. Hit 10K (and then 12.5K, 15K, 20+K) followers on LinkedIn
  10. Go to at least one scientific conference
  11. Present at least one scientific conference
  12. Renew professional memberships (ASBMB, ASCB; at least once)
  13. More interaction on LinkedIn
  14. Go to at least two professional networking events
  15. Attend at least one blogging conference
  16. Attend at least one author-reader conference
  17. Develop a passive income stream
  18. Complete at least 18 different e-courses
    • Finish at least two CSA advanced programs
    • Finish at least four Udemy courses
    • Finish at least six Skillshare courses
  19. Read at leaet 100 different nonfiction/historical fiction books
    • Read at least 44 nonfiction/historical books before Sept 20, 2024
  20. Become fluent in Spanish
  21. Become fluent in German
  22. Become proficient in French, Norwegian, or Swedish
    • Learn to say hello and thank you in ten different languages
  23. Complete at least one 365-day photography challenge
  24. Editorial calendars, to-be accomplished lists for both blogs and various social media accounts
  25. Learn python coding
  26. Create a physical vision board and update it regularly
    • Based on my vision/definition of success
  27. Learn basic sign language
  28. Get out of debt
  29. Increase my savings account 500x
  30. Increase my retirement account 500x
  31. No spend challenges
  32. Finish at least one personal finance book and e-course
  33. Get into the best shape of my life
    • Learn about body confidence
    • Create a happiness plan
  34. Daily mediation (work up to twice a day)
  35. Stretch daily
  36. Hold a 90-second plank
  37. Develop (and stick with) a consistent exercise schedule
  38. Make a candle (or two, or three, or more)
  39. Make some mosaic art & resin art
  40. Make some soap
  41. Make some tie-dye clothes/accessories
  42. Draw/doodle, color, and frame a original drawing
  43. Draw/doodle, paint, and frame a original piece of art
  44. Sew something I’d wear
  45. Start my own jewelry line
  46. Make a memorial quilt
  47. Start another afghan (or make some scarfs to donate)
  48. Upload/update photography pages (namely bird pages) on creative/hobby blog
  49. Complete at least another six cross-stitch projects
  50. Create my own coffee-table photography book
  51. Create my own calendar using my nature photographs
  52. Create at least one piece of wood-burnt art
  53. Monthly new & full moon goals
  54. Daily oracle card drawings
  55. Create my own Wicca/pagan altar & update throughout the seasons
  56. See a coral reef
  57. Tour a vineyard
  58. See the Northern Lights
  59. Go to a Renaissance Festival
  60. Visit at least three countries
  61. Visit at least one ‘new’ national and/or state park
  62. Visit at least one ‘new’ national and/or state monument
  63. Visit at least one ‘new’ zoo
  64. Visit at least one ‘new’ aquarium
  65. Visit at least one ‘new’ state
  66. Visit at least one ‘new’ city
  67. Fly out and/or land at three ‘new’ airports
  68. Make fresh pasta
  69. Learn to make sushi
  70. Learn glass etching
  71. Get a haircut and highlights (light purple, blue, and/or green)
  72. Various top ten author/book series lists (creative blog)
  73. Keep at least three plants alive
  74. Start a succulent garden in a pot
  75. Design a science-based board game
  76. Declutter and downsize
  77. Create a minimal wardrobe
  78. Swim with whale sharks
  79. Put in at least one flower garden around the house
  80. Become better informed in regards to politics
  81. Become better informed in regards to economics
  82. Pick a non-science topic and develop ‘niche’ knowledge on it
  83. Research 30 prominent women throughout history
  84. Write a minimum of 101 mini-book reviews
  85. Write a minimum of 100 blurbs/reviews on different research papers/topics
  86. Start a junk journal
  87. Listen to a different podcast everyday (30-120 day challenge)
  88. Yoga for a minimum of 30 days
  89. 30+ days of iPhone photography
  90. 30+ days of doodling
    • Create a coloring book from various (uncolored) doodles/drawings
  91. 30-days of coloring in coloring books
  92. Solo dance parties (minimum of four to five songs)
  93. 30-days of making rubbings of interesting surfaces and textures (leaves, flowers, tree bark, so forth)
  94. Film progress of one (or more) 30-day challenge
  95. Learn a new country (or fact) a day
  96. Do a Sudoku or crossword puzzle daily
  97. Jumping jack/squat challenge
  98. Watch a different TedTalk each day (30-120 day challenge); plus a 100-200 word summary
  99. Create my own cookbook
  100. Ten minutes on the exercise bike (work up to a 5+ mile bike ride)
  101. 30+ days of mind-maps

The last few things from the 44 things to do before turning 44 list:

Complete at least five 30-day challenges (some of which are listed above)

Read at least two ‘new’ banned books

Read at least two ‘new’ classic books

Read at least one ‘new’ trilogy (or longer) series

Finish creating a inspiring work/craft area

Write a letter to my future self (again)

So that is my combined 101 goals and 44 things list…technically could call it a 107 goals in 1001 days…but splitting things up may help me actually complete more of the goals. In terms of updating the lists: I’ll be updating my progress on the bolded items every 60 days (basically the 20th of every other month) and the first update will be Nov 20 2023. In terms of the 101 goals–updates will be every 100 days, with yearly updates on my birthday (so there will a 365 day and 730 day update in addition to all the other updates). The first update for the 101 goals will be Dec 30 2023.

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Recapping day one to five of Instagram Challenge

So I decided earlier this week that I was going to do a 120-day oracle card challenge on Instagram. This challenge has two objectives: ensuring that I’m posting something daily, and locating my online ‘tribe’. While I realize that oracle card readings may not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, I’ve found them to be a great starting point for reflecting on various things.

Since I have several different oracle decks (actually I have thirteen), I decided that I would use a different one every ten days, in addition to possibly extending the challenge longer (130 days would allow me to use each deck once, but extending it to 578 days would allow me to draw each card once).

While I’m sharing the cards daily on Instagram, I decided that I would do a summary of them on the blog every five to ten days (ensuring at least one to two posts per oracle deck, to begin with).

To start the challenge, I decided to use the Enchanted Map oracle deck by Colette Baron-Reid. I like the stories that one can draw from the cards.

The first card that I drew to start the challenge was ‘Into the Unknown’ (card number seven, in the upright position).

This was a fitting card to start the challenge with as I’ve been slowly thinking of stepping into the unknown of changing careers. I’ve spent the past year and a half doing a large amount of personal and professional reflections, and while I don’t have the path totally planned out—I do have an idea (or two) of where I would like to start. Part of any path is knowing that you have a learning curve to deal with, but at the same time one needs to figure out how to move into the new ‘arena’ even if you’re at a ‘disadvantage’ compared to others.

It is also a reminder that growth comes by stepping out of our comfort zones and into the unknown.

The second card that was drawn for the challenge was the ‘One-Ring Circus’ (card number fifteen, in the upright position).

This card reminds us that we’re capable and competent in any endeavor that we pursue—as long as we put in the work. Self-reliance is key, as we’re the only ones who can forage our paths, others may ‘walk’ with us, but we have to do the work. For me this is also a reminder that I need to become a more ‘active’ learner—actually starting to put various things into practice instead of just reading/watching and moving on to the next book or e-course.

I’m slowly becoming better at setting (and meeting) my own deadlines for projects. My biggest ‘problem’ actually is that I get overly ambitious about the project and bite off more than I can chew initially. These two aspects (setting and meeting deadlines) will be essential as I move towards my career transition (especially so I won’t be feeling overwhelmed and able to juggle more than one project at a time).

The third card drawn was ‘Heal the Ouch’ (card number thirty eight, in the upright position).

Did you know the phrase let ‘bygones be bygones’ originated in the 15th century?

This card is a reminder that forgiveness is the healer of the soul and sooths the heart and mind as well. It also brought to mind the Buddhist saying, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

This is something that I’m working on—releasing past angers, irritations, and feelings of not good enough, not dedicated enough, or not driven enough. I’ve realized that by allowing myself to either compare myself to others (or allow others to do so), has been one of the key reasons why I’ve been ‘stuck’ and afraid to step into the virtual world as a science communicator, educator, and advocate (even though that is my training and background).

I know that not everyone will agree with my posts, comments, or tone of writing—and that is fine, I need to be true to myself so that I can find my ‘tribe’ both in the virtual and real worlds.

The fourth card drawn was ‘Metamorphosis’ (card number twenty-five in the upright position).

This card is a reminder that nothing in life really stays the same and that to become the best version of ourselves—we need to change. Change is also at times painful and scary (especially when it seems like we’re the only ones going through the process).

As mentioned previously–I’ve been thinking of a career change for several years now, and only decided right before 2020 to take time off to really try to figure out what I wanted to do with my life—the long hours in lab and at the bench no longer appealed to me.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve been reflecting on what type of ‘change’ I could do—a total change in direction, or a hybrid change (bench work part-time and something else part time). The ‘loss’ has been the realizing that the childhood dream of my own marine biology research lab wasn’t going to happen, the ‘pain’ is realizing that I’m going to be trying to step out in an arena with others who have been doing it longer. But the ‘growth’ is there, I just have to take the baby steps away from the lab dreams and start focusing them on a different area of life.

Today’s card is the ‘Spark’ (card number thirty four and in the upright position).

The spark is here to remind us that if we’re feeling the spark of creativity to go ahead and move forward with the idea, or if we want to start a new job—now is the time to search and apply.

It has taken awhile for me to be able to find or see the ‘spark’ of creativity—I’d thought it had be totally extinguished as I kept trying to make a go of a career in academia. But it hadn’t been extinguished; it was just not burning as brightly as it could have been. It is slowly starting to burn brighter. What is my creative idea/job that I’m trying to move forward? Figuring out how to blend science education/communication/advocacy together with a personal development/hobbies/spirituality blog.

It’s been suggested that I do two blogs—but I know that if I try to do that one of them will flounder and fail. Not because I don’t have ideas for both—but because I know that I’d focus on one more than the other (as I’ve been prone to do—focusing on something and ignoring everything else). The plan—slowly start adding in more science posts to the blog, and keep reworking things until I find the right ‘mix’ of the two areas.

So, that covers the first five days of the challenge. Each card, while randomly drawn has been the exact card that I needed that day. They’ve been reminding me to listen to my inner voice (no matter how quiet it is)–I just need to be able to sit quietly and turn inward. I also need to trust both in myself and this journey that I’m on–that I not only will ‘survive’ but thrive as I make my way down the ‘unknown’ road of online entrepreneurship.

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2020 Update on my Level-10 Life. Reflections & future plans.

All right, I realize that I haven’t posted a level-10 check-in since July of last year. I did do a level-10 check-in in December 2019, May 2020, and then this most recent one—beginning of September 2020; but two of those three were only in the journal.

So, just a quick reminder of what a Level-10 life check-in is:

There are 10 areas of life: family & friends, personal development, spirituality, finances, career (and I also include professional development here as well), social life, fun & recreation, giving & contribution, physical environment, and then finally health & fitness.

You then rank each area on a scale of 1-to-10, quickly and without thinking too hard on each one. Then you can compare your most recent Level-10 to the previous one and see how (or if) each area changed. Then depending on how you score them, and the change you can set up goals for each for the coming cycle.

Instead of doing three months, I stretched it into four months this year—because it’s 2020. Usually areas have been either staying constant, or just going up or down a little.

Though, with this check-in there were two areas that had slightly higher ups and downs.

Those two areas were finances, and the physical environment. My ‘happiness/appreciation’ of my finances went down 1.5—due largely to my impulsive e-book buying (and therefore a slightly larger than normal amazon bill). My ‘happiness/appreciation’ of my physical environment went up 1.5—due mainly to me keeping things better organized than I have in the past.

So what are my goals for the last four months of 2020? These goals are going to encompass basically seven out of the ten areas—leaving out family/friends, giving/contributions & social life. Not that I don’t care about those two—but 1) we’re still currently in a pandemic, so if I want to socialize with people, it will have to be online (or a minimum of 12 feet apart); 2) I try to keep in semi-touch with family/friends via social media; 3) there may be things to be donated or given away—just not sure on that particular point.

1) Finish the following workout programs:

            Morning Meltdown 100—I should be finishing my first round of the program on 9/15/2020

            Yoga Booty Ballet & LIIFT4—I should finish this combo by 11/15/2020 (marking the first finish for Yoga Booty Ballet-Abs & Butt Makeover & the 2nd time through LIIFT4)

            10 Rounds—I should then finish this program by Christmas (and it will be my first round of this program).

            I will then start either Muscle Burns Fat & then Muscle Burns Fat Advance or another round of 21-Day Fix and 21-Day Fix Extreme (either of these will then carry me into 2021).

2) Finish the following professional development courses:

            Data Science Syndicate (finish by the end of September; only 1 ½ modules left; actually finished this on 9/3/2020).

            Medical Writers Organization (by the end of October)

            Management Consultant Firm (by the end of November)

            Project Management Consortium (by the end of December)

3) Start learning python (tied with #4 and #2)

4) Finish at least 6 other short e-courses

5) Read at least 8 personal/professional developments books and write short reviews

6) Daily mediation and tarot/oracle card readings (bi-weekly or monthly oracle card review on blog)

7) Learn a new hobby (try my hand at cross-stitching). Also get more yarn and start another afghan possibly.

8) Determine way(s) of earning extra money (or free-lancing options)

9) Start building up a varied portfolio for looking into free-lancing/remote/on-line job options.

10) Go to the storage unit and start repacking boxes that need it, plus maybe start seeing what I don’t need.

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Level 10 life check-in

July marks the start of the second half of the year, and the start of the third quarter. That also means that it is time to take a look at my level 10 life, and see what changes have occurred since April (when I did my last level 10 life check-in).

Level 10 life check-in. Starting the third quarter of the year.

In case you haven’t heard of Level 10 life, basically what it is–you take ten different areas of your life (friends & family, personal development, spirituality, finances, social life, career, fun & recreation, giving & contributions, physical environment, and finally health & fitness) and you rate them on a scale of 1 to 10.

When you rate them, you’re not suppose to spend a lot of time thinking about it–you rate them as how are they are–not how you would like them to be.

I started doing this last year (when I first read about it), and I will admit that there really hasn’t been any huge changes in any given area. I’m lucky if I can get things up to a five or a six. There are some areas that have held constant at around a five (namely family and friends), and my lowest has been at a one (social life).

My long term goal is to try to get things up to a seven or an eight, and I’d prefer if I could also maybe get my social life up to a four or a five. Every area needs work, as this check-in has shown that things have slipped backwards just a little compared to my April check-in.

While I could try to focus on little things for all ten different areas, I’m thinking that I’m going to try to focus on just three or four areas. Therefore my goals will be:

In terms of personal development: Continue reading different non-fiction books and working through different e-courses.

In terms of spirituality: Meditating daily, and doing a daily tarot/oracle card reading (even if I don’t share them right away).

In terms of career: Working on my “reboot break”, my transition plan, and trying to network more.

In terms of health and fitness: Trying to get back into a workout routine (either doing a program all the way through, or creating my own hybrid calendar).

I think that these are the basically the three big areas I need to focus: health (physical and mental), career (figuring out the next step), and just working on becoming the best me possible. Once I have these headed in the proper direction, everything else should also head in the proper direction.

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Level 10 update & photography challenge day 42

Well we’re almost through the first quarter of the year. Tomorrow is both Monday and the start of April–which means April Fool’s Day. I think there is a universal joke being played on us–that is almost an unfair way of starting the week. But since the quarter is almost over, it’s time to do a quick check-in on life via the Level 10 criteria.

Level 10 Life Update: Starting the second quarter of 2019

So there has been little change in basically all areas–either things stayed steady or they went up or down a little. Things almost balanced out in terms of what when up and down–though I think I’m +0.5 in the positive direction in terms of changes.

I still don’t have much of a social life–and currently I’m perfectly fine with that. I know that it could help in terms of networking–but at the end of a busy day at work or a busy week–I don’t want to go back out and deal with interacting with people. So right now most networking is done on-line. I’m planning on doing in-person/live networking, but that will be in a few months (once I have a little more vacation time earned) and I can do a duel networking/mental health break.

I’m hoping to get more things done in terms of my job transition plan, and moving towards getting an industry position (more on this later), and I’m also probably going to be starting a new beachbody program tomorrow (as long as the wireless and internet behave in the evenings–streaming workouts aren’t fun if they keep crashing in the middle). So what are some of my 2nd quarter goals for April through June:

  1. Getting in touch with friends and family via email/social media
  2. Continue reading different personal development books and doing different short challenges (more on this later).
  3. Continuing to try to mediate daily and do my daily tarot/oracle card readings
  4. Different savings challenges
  5. Work on my industry transition plan and network
  6. Lunch with friends on the weekends
  7. More time for crafts
  8. Donate clothes (mainly t-shirts) at the end of the 333 challenge
  9. Repack boxes in storage unit (make room for other boxes from home).
  10. Hopefully do Transformation 20 (new ShawnT workout from Beachbody) and then the hybrid Transformation 20/LIIFT4 program.

I almost consider the first part of the year as still a “planning” period. Now that we’re well into the year–it’s time to get stuff done. More lists will be made (and possibly shared), so that things can be checked off and as a way to make sure that I’m actually moving forward and not just spinning in circles.

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Photography Challenge Day 1: Level 10 Life update

So besides updating my 101 goals for the next 1001 days (and hopefully looking at them more often), I also updated my Level 10 life.

So yesterday I sat down and drew out where I thought everything was sitting in the 10 different areas of life: friends & family, personal development, spirituality, finances, career, social life, fun & recreation, giving & contribution, physical environment, and then finally health & fitness.

As usual things were going up and down in numerous areas. The only one that really stayed the same was my social life at basically 1. I realize that I have no social life, and currently I’m perfectly fine with that, though I know that getting out could help with the networking–I just really don’t have the energy to do it right now. I’m sure that it will change once I move to a new city and meet new people.

So what are some things that I can try to do over the next three months to try to bring the numbers up?

  1. Get in touch with friends/family via email, facebook, linkedin.
  2. Continue reading personal development books & getting through at least one personal development course that I’ve bought.
  3. Mediate about 5 minutes a night and do daily tarot card readings
  4. Savings challenges and limiting what I’m buying on campus.
  5. Working on my transition plan and networking
  6. Meeting up with friends for lunch (or walking around Boomer Lake) and/or trying to make it to a Cheeky meetup.
  7. Schedule time for crafts
  8. Go through clothes to possibly donate
  9. Repack boxes in storage unit & straighten up my bedroom
  10. Start either another round of LIIFT4 or try to do InsanityMax30 again.
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Level 10 Life Update: Going into the last quarter of 2018

Well this is another post that is almost a week late. I had decided at the beginning of the year that I was going to go about goals and tracking them several different ways. One of the ways is my month in review posts, and the list of goals within each month. For the most part they don’t really change, and they’re focused on just a few areas (career, health and fitness, and a slight mix of other areas). The second way I’ve been trying to do things is looking at my life from the perspective of a Level 10 life. Basically, this breaks life down into ten different areas, and then you rate those areas on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest). After rating the different areas, you can then make a goal for each one that you want to work on improving.

Level 10 Life, as of October 2018

So for the most part, there was little change between this analysis of my Level 10 life and the one I did at the beginning of July. Though I did have upward progression in a few areas:

I’ve gotten back into trying to do a daily tarot card reading, which is helping me tune into listening to the universe and my gut a little more. I’m also getting back into try to mediate at least 5 minute each night (sometimes I can quiet my mind and sometimes I can’t). So I bumped the rating for spirituality up from a 3.5 to a 5.

I’ve also managed to put a little more money into the savings account (so I bumped this up from a four to a five for finances), and while the savings may take a small hit since I’m going to be trying to plan a trip out east for later this month, it is sitting at a comfortable spot currently.

I also managed to finish LIIFT4 (which is the first fitness program in probably a year that I’ve finished), and have also managed to limit the amount of sweets that I’ve been getting on campus (though the past few days I did buy some chocolate). I therefore raised the rating for my health and fitness from a 2.5 to a 5.

The other areas really didn’t change all that much from the analysis in July to the analysis this morning.

So my goals for the last quarter of the year include:

(Family and Friends): Getting in touch with friends via social media; and maybe trying to meet up with friends back east.

(Personal Development): Continue with my reading challenge, and commit to either re-learning a foreign language and/or learning a programming language.

(Spirituality): Continue with trying to mediate at least 5 minutes a night, my daily tarot card reading, and build my altar.

(Fiances): Continue with savings challenges, and try to schedule an appointment with a financial consultant to talk about investments

(Career): Work on my transition plan, network, and try to make it to at least one professional networking event out of state.

(Social Life): Meet up with friends for lunch, or walks, and/or also try to make it a Cheeky Scientist Meet-up

(Fun & Recreation): Work on my crafts a little more: including more photography, knitting, jewelry making, and free hand drawing.

(Giving and Contributions): Go through clothes to see what I can donate

(Physical Environment): Continue straightening up the bedroom (it always looks like a tornado has gone through it by the weekend) and work on repacking boxes in my storage unit.

(Health and Fitness): Continue with the hybrid workout calendar: LIIFT4 mixed with InsanityMax30 (and maybe 22 Minute Hard Corps); and making sure that I’m also practicing mindful eating.

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Level 10 quarterly update

So as you know I decided to switch things up this year and try different ways of doing my goals–so instead of setting a long list of resolutions at the beginning of the year, I decided I’d try two different things: 101 goals in 1001 days (though I’ve gone beyond the 101 goals) and looking at my life from a level 10 perspective.

Basically with the level 10 life, you take 10 areas of your life and you rank them from 0 to 10 (0 being totally unhappy and 10 being totally happy with the way things are turning out). Then depending on how you ranked everything, you can set a goal (or two) to work on in each area to try to bring that number up higher the next time you do an level 10 assessment.

So I’ve been trying to do the level 10 assessment quarterly (every three months). So this would be my second assessment of how I’m doing based on the goals I set at the end of March (it’s hard to believe that we’re already half way through the year).

So I actually went and bought a new journal for the second half of the year–and it is one that is actually recommended more for the bullet journal process, as it’s a dot journal. there aren’t any actual lines in the journal—just rows of dots. So this time the graphs don’t line up perfectly with the titles underneath, but hey–it’s my first time I’ll get better with practice.

So basically I’m holding steady in each area (with minor 0.5 variations in both directions with several of the areas). Right now my social life has the lowest setting, but that is due in part to being an total introvert and not really wanting to go out to bars with friends; and the fact that I’m quite content not really having a social life. Yes this is something that I know I need to work on, but being totally honest–it is probably going to happen after I move again for the new job.

As I stated in the quote that I placed on the page: “Strive for progress, not perfection”.

So most of my goals for the level 10 life are what I had at the end of the first quarter. Though I can say that I am going to start working on organizing my storage unit this month–maybe by working on that I can kick start several other areas as well. Sometimes our biggest blockade in where we are wanting to go is us–sometimes we just have to get out of our own way (at least mentally) and just trust in the universe that we are going to end up where we need to be.

So maybe–just maybe this quarter I will get a few of them edging a little higher or at least have put a big enough push to get the momentum needed to start going in the proper direction.

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Update on Level 10 Life: Photography challenge day 11

So I realized that this past weekend, I should have also posted an update on how I think I’m doing in life via of the Level 10 life.  I had decided that I would do a new Level 10 life graph every three months and then after I drew it out, compare it to the previous one. So below is my most current level 10 life.

Current Level 10 life

So within the ten different areas, there were several that I felt really hadn’t changed that much: (1) Family & friends–I managed to get together with a friend for lunch in March, but not in January or February; and I haven’t started trying to send postcards or letters to my niece yet either; though I have been trying to keep in touch more via facebook or if we’re connected on linkedin, on linkedin. (2) Personal development–while I’ve managed to finish reading quite a few books so far this year, I haven’t found a program that I like yet for learning a foreign language; and I’ve fallen short on the planning and writing in the journal. (6) I still have zero social life, and truthfully until I figure out the next job move I think I’m going to keep it that way (though I may meet up with people for a walk around Boomer on the weekends). (10) Health & fitness–I haven’t been able to fully commit to a workout program yet this year, and have fallen into a bad routine of not doing a workout in the evenings once I get home.

Everything else has either gone up or down in terms of how I saw them at the beginning of the year. (3) Spirituality has gone down a little, mainly because I haven’t been keeping up with meditation, and I haven’t been doing my yoga either. I have managed to start doing new & full moon goals, and the different spirituality books that I bought are still on the list to be read (it will just take a little time to get to them, when there is like 90 books in total still to be read. (4) Finances have gone up a little, due to getting the credit card debt down, and getting a little more into the savings account. I still haven’t put any into a CD yet, but there could still be time for that. (5) Career happiness has gone down a little, mainly because I’ve realized that I could potentially be unemployed again less than eight months, and I really need to get on the ball with trying to transition into an industry position. (7) Fun & Recreation has gone up a little–I’m trying my hand at making jewelry & I’m starting to work on a new afghan. I know I need to do more of things that aren’t science/work related and that is also where my photography challenge is coming into play as well. (8) Giving & contribution has gone up a little–I donated a big bag of clothes (and it did only a small dent in my current wardrobe), and still have monthly donations to the Sierra Club and one or two other nature organizations. (9) Physical environment has gone up a little, with having straightened up my desk area, donating clothes, and just getting rid of things that I don’t need anymore has made my bedroom not seem as small.

So what are my goals??? Well, there is the picture below for the quarter, or what I would like to have accomplished by June.

Level 10 goals for the second quarter

But more specifically a goal for each area will be:

(1) Touch base with at least two friends or family members I haven’t talked to in awhile each month.

(2) Find a decently priced program for learning a foreign language and start refreshing my Spanish or German.

(3) Mediate for at least five minutes every day (and I’m already a few days behind on this one).

(4) Continue with my savings challenge (basically see how many no spend days I can have and try to work up to both a no spend week and then maybe a no spend month).

(5) Continue trying to add value to my connections and determine the industry position and company (or companies) that I would like to work for. Then try to set up some informational interviews.

(6) Continue trying to meet up with friends on the weekend.

(7) Continue working on different craft projects (afghan, jewelry making, photography)

(8) Donate clothes that I don’t wear all that often.

(9) Straighten up my storage unit and start moving other things into it.

(10) Workout 6 days a week (BOD or DVD), measure at the end of the month. First try to get through Yoga Booty Ballet by mid-May.

 

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