Category: Month in Review

Making progress on professional development, & fitness goals.

So August is over, that means there is now less than three weeks before my birthday, barely three weeks before fall, a little over 2 months until the election, and only four months left in 2020. I’ve been joking that I’m not acknowledging this year—so in theory I won’t be turning 40, but having my 2nd 39th birthday.

I feel like I’ve been slightly more productive during the second half of the year so far—mainly in terms of pushing play and getting in a daily workout. Nutrition hasn’t been on point (and yes I know, that in terms of weight loss—one should focus heavily on nutrition instead of exercise), but I’m doing a little better every week (usually). I’ve realized what one of the major things I need to work on—finding balance between being well informed on what is going on in the world, and constantly scanning social media and the news. One thing I’m going to be looking into this coming month are web apps that block access to certain sites for a specific amount of time (say 8am to noon)—that way I can hopefully focus on other personal and professional development tasks and not just scroll through the internet.

The US still hasn’t gotten the virus under control—when I published ‘July in Review’ I noted that the US had over 4.7 million cases and now the US is a little over 6.2 million cases (that is an increase in over 1.5 million cases in a month). I’m hoping that the election goes the way I want it to go, and therefore travel may be possible by the end of 2021 (I’m currently debating on whether I want to spend a week in the UK or traveling through Northern Europe—Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark).

So as we head into the last few months of 2020, I should look back on the goals that I set for August and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for August included:

At least 155,000 steps (again breaking it down to roughly 5K/Day)

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 55-85)

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Week/ and hopefully a no-spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program (or at least modules 4 & 5)

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

And finally,

Answer the question: “Who do I want to become over the next 5 to 20 years?”

So how did I do with each one?

At least 155,000 steps (again breaking it down to roughly 5K/Day)

I managed to get in almost 186,000 steps (I ended the month at 185,860) and I was not quite 3K above the steps for July. Hopefully with cooler weather coming, I can get out and walk in the early morning, or even during the day with the pup. I haven’t done a long walk around Boomer Lake since early February (so about a month before everyone realized how serious the virus was actually going to be)—but once late fall, early winter hits I may be able to be out at the park walking (maybe with my smaller digital camera or without) and enjoying some time in nature—though I would also like to see some of the migrating birds this fall/winter.

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 55-85)

I’ve been continuing with morning meltdown 100—only did one double day early in the month. The dogs had played a little too rough, so I kept an eye on Chaos that day—but did both workouts (melt-con and re-vibe) the next day to keep on track. I really like this program; right now my only complaint is that there aren’t worksheets for tracking the weights (so you can see if you need to or have gone heavier than previous workouts). So I’m thinking that I will probably be designing a set of tracking sheets for the next time (or possibly the third time, as there were a couple of workouts that I didn’t write down the exercises on).

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

One of the books that I read this month was a short book (actually the author called it a booklet) on blogging. The title is “How to write great blog posts that engage readers” by Steve Scott.

            Now I’ve had this e-booklet for a little over two years (though I just had to add it to the long personal/professional development reading list), before I actually got around to reading it. The reason—I have a habit of buying and downloading numerous books a month, and not removing books I’ve read from the device. So books that have been bought (but not read) have a habit of being at the very bottom of the list usually (or close to it). I’m now trying to get in the habit of removing read personal/professional development books—that way the only books that I’d be scrolling through are either the numerous fiction books/series that I have and any unread personal/professional development books.

            I liked this book because it gave a suggestion that one should aim at having a minimum of 8 posts a month. Two of the posts are larger articles, and the other six are smaller articles. I’m thinking of adopting this mindset, but also varying month to month what each type (large & small) articles would be over—since I’m also keeping the blog “multi-facet”—in other words I’m sticking with probably two (maybe three) niches: lifestyle, personal/professional development, and hobbies.

I started a couple of other books, but hadn’t finished any of them by the end of the month. At times I couldn’t get in the mind frame for reading personal/professional development.

No Spend Days/No Spend Week/ and hopefully a no-spend month

I’ve managed to have several no spend days that almost stretched into a full no spend week—but I have yet to work up to an actual no-spend month (that is a HUGE goal for September, and hopefully October as well).

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program (or at least modules 4 & 5)

I managed to get through all of module 4 and about 80% of module 5. I think that there are two videos left before taking the quiz for module 5, and then I would have the sixth and final module for the Data Science Syndicate. I think that I might enjoy doing data science, though I need to download python (the data analysis program, and not a snake) and start working with it before I could say one way or the other on this particular job path.

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

This was something that I fell behind on doing this month—I managed to get through another quarter of the data science syndicate program, but didn’t really work on any other e-courses (or not enough to have finished a course). I did write out all the courses that I have bought over the past few years so that I can keep better track of what I’ve completed and what I still need to work on. One of my issues has been trying to mentally switch gears and sit in front of the computer and listen to someone talk for awhile and then do what ever little work is assigned for that video or section. I’ve also realized that I can work on whatever course I want—it doesn’t always have to be a professional development course—if I want to spend the afternoon learning how to read tarot cards better, I can.

And finally,

Answer the question: “Who do I want to become over the next 5 to 20 years?”

The answer to this question will actually be posted as a separate blog post—currently my answer is going on two pages and I still feel like I haven’t answered the question in full detail.

Goals for September will include:

At least 150,000 steps (This breaks down to 5K/day; depending on how the number of virus cases goes, I will probably slowly start increasing the daily goal.)

Finishing up Morning Meltdown 100 (I only have 15 days left), and then starting a duel calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4 (once I draft the calendar I’ll share it)

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/leading to hopefully a no spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program, install python and start learning how to use it

Finish at least 3 other e-courses

While reminding myself: “Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

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Month in Review: July 2020

So July has come and gone—which means there are only five months left in 2020. As I’ve stated before—2020 hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to go so far, and the next five months probably still won’t totally go the way I would like to go, but I have to keep reminding myself—the only reactions I can control are my own—so it’s now into month five of self-isolation, I go.

While some parts of the world seem to be getting the virus under control—the US isn’t one of them. Our numbers are still climbing (over 4.7 million confirmed cases and over 157K dead), and we’re still more or less on a “global timeout”. This means that any and all travel that I had planned is delayed for at least another year (which means the earliest—August 2021), if not longer. While I don’t mind delaying travel—I am getting a little tired of self-isolation (though I will continue to do so as long as necessary).

This means that any type of interviews (informational and job-related) will be done via online applications, which also means numerous other things need to be taken into consideration and dealt with—such as making sure that the sound and everything works well (microphone over using the computer), creating a neutral backdrop for the office area of my bedroom, and whatever else I will be needing to add to the list. But for now, it is time for a brief reflection on the goals that I had set for July and how I did with each one of them.

So what were the goals for July? The goals for July included:

At least 155,000 steps (since I’ve made a tracker for the journal, it is easy enough to write down the numbers at the end of the day)

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 24-54)

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/and hopefully no spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

And finally,

Continue working on devising a goal list and breaking it down, plus working on various different ways to translate those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas I want to focus on: the blog, personal/professional development, fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 155,000 steps (since I’ve made a tracker for the journal, it is easy enough to write down the numbers at the end of the day)

In terms of steps—I managed to get to a total of 182,969 steps for the month of July. There were seven days that I finished below the 5,000-step goal—which is why I was about 20K below the final total that I managed for June. But at least I managed to move around enough that I got about 25K extra steps during July (and some of the days that I was short—the days were hot and humid and I didn’t feel like moving around that much).

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 24-54)

I have been continuing with Morning Meltdown 100, and finished days 24 to 54. While I measured at the end of phase 2 (which was July 17th), I’m not going to measure again until the end of the program (which will be on Sept 15th). The reason—water retention and bloating can cause numbers to be off.

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

During the month of July I managed to read (or finish reading) the following books:

“How to be an imperfectionist: The new way to self-acceptance, fearless living, and freedom from perfectionism” by Stephen Guise

“Hello Fears: Crush your comfort zone and become who you’re meant to be” by Michelle Poler

“Better than Before: What I learned about making and breaking habits-to sleep more, quit sugar, procrastinate less, and generally build a happier life” by Gretchen Rubin

All three of the books would fall under the personal development category (though it is very difficult to try to separate personal and professional development—they are two sides of the same coin). They all dealt with similar topics—our comfort zones, and trying to push past the “fear zone” to get into our learning/growth zones. While I know that I haven’t stated much on the books, that’s because it’s on the August to-do list of writing a short review on each one to post to both the blog and amazon.

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/and hopefully no spend month

I’m getting better at having no spend days/weeks—but I’m not quite up to a full no-spend month. During July I still spent money during the month—the money was spent on books, masks, and I had hoped on a sewing machine (I’m actually probably be demanding my money back on this one—as the order was placed almost 3 weeks ago, and all of my messages have been ignored).

I’m hoping that during August, I can manage not to spend money on books, or other things. Depending on how I progress through various e-courses during August, I may purchase other e-courses to continue my learning (but this is only currently a possibility).

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program

This hasn’t happened yet. I started module four of the program and made it about halfway through. I had decided that I’d been pushing too fast through various programs and that it would probably be more beneficial if I slowed down and actually took the time to review and think on the information I was learning, instead of just powering through to be able to check it off my to-do list.

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

Like, the data science syndicate program—this also didn’t happen. In part to wanting to be able to think on the information I was learning, but also due to the fact that most afternoons, I would go and sit outside and read—instead of being inside and working on something else.

And finally,

Continue working on devising a goal list and breaking it down, plus working on various different ways to translate those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas I want to focus on: the blog, personal/professional development, fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

This is slowly coming together—I managed to find my old bulletin board—so I can also have my to-do lists tack up, instead of needing to look in the journal to see what I had planned for the day/week. Though I will also be using the journal as well. The main thing I’ve realized—I need to figure out the answer to the following question: “Who do I want to become over the next five to twenty years?” Once I can answer this question in great detail—I’ll have a better idea of what goals and the breakdown of said goals I need to focus on.

So I managed to get about half of the goals accomplished for July (the steps, the workout, the reading, and going 80% of the month not spending more money). I’ve also realized that one reason why certain goals (e-courses/certification programs and sometimes the non-fiction reading) aren’t always met—I haven’t quite figured out the end goal. In other words, I think once I can determine the answer to the question: “Who do I want to become over the next 5 to 20 years?”—Some of these goals will become easier to accomplish.

Therefore, the goals for August will include:

At least 155,000 steps (again breaking it down to roughly 5K/Day)

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 55-85)

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Week/ and hopefully a no-spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program (or at least modules 4 & 5)

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

And finally,

Answer the question: “Who do I want to become over the next 5 to 20 years?” The answer to this question will help me to continue working on my long term goal list, figuring out how to break it down to short-term goals, and finally translating those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas that I’m trying to focus on: personal/professional development, career transition, fitness & health/mental health/crafts, and the blog.

While reminding myself: “Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

No Comments BookscareerfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle ChallengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

June in Review

So June has come and gone—which means that we’re halfway though 2020. Sufficient to say—2020 hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to go so far, and the next six months probably still won’t totally go the way I would like to go, but I have to keep reminding myself—the only reactions I can control are my own—so it’s into month four of self-isolation (though I did go vote yesterday and most people had masks on, and things were set up for social distancing so I’m not totally freaking about the November elections), I go.

So there are quite a few countries that have decided to slowly reopen in hopes of seeing tourists show up to help their economies—the sad thing is, since the US has been doing such a dismal attempt at containing the virus (the US is currently a little over 2.7 million total cases; and the state I’m in is currently a little over 14K; plus the town is a little over 340 cases—we were only 22 cases at the end of May), most of Europe has said that no one from the US is allowed in currently. I don’t blame them in the least—this is a nasty little virus (that attacks more than just your respiratory tract), and no one wants to have to go through a second lockdown (though the US should—we probably won’t until we get a competent person in the White House). Therefore that means that any type of international travel I had planned is still on hold until sometime in 2021 (plus I’m a little upset with one of the airlines that has decided that they’re going to quit doing social distancing—it should be lives over profit, and not the other way around).

The summer heat is now officially here—so I’m probably going to be spending more time indoors (I can deal with temps in the 90s-100s—I just really can’t stand when you add in the humidity and the heat index goes into the upper 100s), so hopefully I will be getting quite a bit more done over the next few months or so.

So as we head into the second half of the year (and can it please go a little easier than the first half—no more pandemics, at least until we have the current one under control), it is time to look at the goals I set for June, see how I did with each of them and then set some goals for July.

So what were the goals for June? The goals for June included:

1) Moving more (workouts, being outside, walks, marching in place, chores, and other things). I’m not going to set a step goal (as I’m not sure why my fitbit isn’t syncing and I’m currently not in the mood to get a new one), but will be trying to ensure that I’m moving around a good portion of the day.

2) Daily workouts—I’m thinking of bouncing between several different programs right now (Morning Meltdown 100, LIIFT4, Country Heat, and Yoga Booty Ballet) to keep my interest going.

3) Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

4) Personal/Professional Development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

5) Money log/weekly check-ins/No Spend Days—trying to work up to no spend weeks and have a bare minimum spend month

6) Continue working on devising a goal list and breaking it down, plus working on various different ways to translate those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas I want to focus on: the blog, personal/professional development, fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

So how did I do with each of them?

1) Moving more (workouts, being outside, walks, marching in place, chores, and other things). I’m not going to set a step goal (as I’m not sure why my fitbit isn’t syncing and I’m currently not in the mood to get a new one), but will be trying to ensure that I’m moving around a good portion of the day.

So I know that I stated that I wasn’t going to set a step goal—this was due to the fact that neither my phone or my computer is syncing my fitbit zip and I haven’t felt like getting a new fitbit (the zip still works fine). But I did decide to set a mini-step goal—150,000 steps. This meant that I was aiming at only about 5,000 steps a day, which during self-isolation should be totally doable. I made a tracker in my journal that looked like a little road, spread out over two pages. Each dot (since it’s a dot journal) equaled 1,000 steps and I made note of both the daily total and then the running total. The total amount of steps for June was 202,542—there was only one day that I was below the 5K-minimum. So this is probably how I’m going to keep track of my steps—will stick with 5K/day for awhile and then slowly start increasing it back up towards 10-14K/day.

2) Daily workouts—I’m thinking of bouncing between several different programs right now (Morning Meltdown 100, LIIFT4, Country Heat, and Yoga Booty Ballet) to keep my interest going.

June BeachbodyonDemand Workout Tracker

I managed to workout every single day during June—the first week of the month was doing different programs, and then on the 8th I recommitted to doing Morning Meltdown 100, which will take me through to September 15th.

3) Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

I managed to finish reading two non-fiction books over the course of the month. It probably should have been at least one or two more than that—but then I got into re-reading other books and never got back to finish some of the other non-fiction books that I started. The two non-fiction books that I finished were:

“Find what you were born for: discover your inborn skills, forge your own path and live the life you want; Maximize your self-confidence” by Zoe McKey

This book talks about unearthing what could be your strong innate abilities (these abilities are divided into nine different categories). The nine categories are: linguistic and verbal intelligence (you’re good with words), logic/mathematical intelligence (you’re good with numbers and solving logic problems), visual/spatial intelligence (you’re good with pictures), body movement intelligence (you’re good at sports), musical intelligence (you’re good at music and rhythm—you can play at least one musical instrument or you can sing), interpersonal intelligence (you’re good with people and communication), intrapersonal intelligence (you’re good at analyzing things), naturalist intelligence (you’re good at understanding the natural world), and existential intelligence (you’re good at understanding the supernatural world).

The book goes into each one, and shares the key characteristics of each type—technically if you match more than four of the traits, you’re “gifted” in that area. Luckily we can all excel in more than one area. For example as I was reading the book I realized that my main areas included logic/mathematical intelligence because I enjoy solving mysteries, I can solve logic problems, I’m usually good at (and enjoy) math, I’ve always been interested in scientific discoveries and experiments (I mean I should—I have my damn PhD), and I’m both an abstract thinker and I wonder how things work at times.

I also have good visual/spatial intelligence because I’m good at putting puzzles together, I enjoy art and photography, I can study with charts and pictures, I’m probably one of the few people who can still read a traditional road map (event though I don’t drive), and I consider myself decent at doodling.

I matched two to three key points in one or two other areas:

Naturalistic intelligence, as I have a broad knowledge of nature, I feel the best when I can get outdoors, and I prefer nature to the cities (though due to driving anxiety, I will acknowledge the fact that I will be needing to live in cities that have a decent public transportation system).

Intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence, as I’m unique, have an analytical mindset, a good listener, have good problem-solving skills, and I’m also a private person.

Areas that I’m not quite as good at: musical intelligence—I did play an musical instrument (flute) through most of my public school years (6th through 10th), but I was basically tone deaf, couldn’t afford lessons, and the teachers weren’t into really helping me learn how to play—they were in it for the ones who could understand the music and/or afford the private lessons outside of class. Then there is body-movement intelligence—I’m not good at sports, and I dance like I have two left feet. I’m working on improving my linguistic and verbal intelligence.

Since I now know areas that I’m good in, okay in, bad in, and need to improve in—I think I will be able to slowly start developing a new master plan for various areas of life (career, fitness/health, personal/professional development, and crafts).

I would rate the book at probably a four out of five stars—mainly because it doesn’t give that many ideas on how to improve various areas.

The second book I finished was “Mind Mapping: Improve Memory, Concentration, Communication, Organization, Creativity, and Time Management” by Kam Knight

This book was going a little more in-depth on the different ways one can use mind mapping in day-to-day life. This is actually something that I’m going to be trying to do more of over the next few weeks/months as one thing I have been struggling with are content ideas for the blog.

I would also give this book a four and a half star rating—great content, and ideas for using something basic in day-to-day life.

4) Personal/Professional Development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

In terms of personal and professional development I managed to get a bit accomplished during the month of June—most importantly realizing that it shouldn’t be a race to see how many small e-courses I could get finished, but rather I should be slowing down and actually reflecting on the various assignments from each course.

I’m about half way through with a advance course within the Cheeky Scientist Association (Data Science Syndicate), and while I’ve finished one or two others I will probably go back and look at the questions after each module and try to reflect on them again as I’m still working on determining my industry transition path.

I’ve also finished several small e-courses as well (usually on SkillShare or SkillSuccess), and those courses were:

            Productivity strategies for success (on skillshare)

            Writer’s toolkit: 6 steps to a successful writing habit (skillshare)

            Work It Daily: Professional Strength Assessment (course offered by work it daily)

            Project Organization (A to-do list that works) (on SkillShare)

            Discover Your Dream Job: Find Your True Meaning (on SkillSuccess)

I managed to learn a little from each one—namely 1) have my own definition of success (it differs for everyone), 2) everyone has their own ways of getting organized; and 3) it’s hard to get organized when you still have no idea of what your long term goals are.

I haven’t really been listening to podcasts lately—mainly because either 1) I’m listening to a ‘lecture’ on one of the e-courses, or 2) I haven’t felt like finding the I-buds for the phone. Though I am going to try to do better during the next few months and listen hopefully at least one podcast a week (working up to one podcast a day). I am also going to try to spend more time on linkedin and reading more business/industry related news as well.

5) Money log/weekly check-ins/No Spend Days—trying to work up to no spend weeks and have a bare minimum spend month

Okay, so I haven’t been doing weekly blog check-ins in terms of no spend days—but I did have a nice page in the journal that I used for keeping track of no-spend days. Overall, I managed basically three weeks of no spending. Money was only spent during eight days last month on something (either an new e-course, or books, or both). The plan now is that July will hopefully be a totally no spend month (not counting setting up bills, and any pre-ordered books).

6) Continue working on devising a goal list and breaking it down, plus working on various different ways to translate those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas I want to focus on: the blog, personal/professional development, fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

So this goal is still a work in progress—namely in trying to figure out matrix for measuring certain goals (health/fitness related) that isn’t relying on the scale. Also I’ve realized that instead of trying to play around with different matrixes I’d been going with the first one I set up years ago—which in part relays on the scale for a measurement. So moving forward I need to figure out the long term goals (which for at least health/fitness should be pretty damn easy—getting into the best shape of my life and being outdoors more), and then figuring out how to break all the goals down into smaller steps.

So what will the goals for July include?

At least 155,000 steps (since I’ve made a tracker for the journal, it is easy enough to write down the numbers at the end of the day)

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 24-54)

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/and hopefully no spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

And finally,

Continue working on devising a goal list and breaking it down, plus working on various different ways to translate those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas I want to focus on: the blog, personal/professional development, fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

Then remember: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

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May in Review

So May is over, and there is now 27 days left in the first half of 2020 (since I’m a couple of days late in posting). We’re still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic (numbers are now well over 6 million world wide and over 1.8 million in the US—the global number has doubled in the past month, which means we’re still not near the point where we start going down hill), and everything is still going to hell in a hand basket. Countries are trying to come up with ways of dealing with the coronavirus, but still allowing tourism to start up again—while I applaud their efforts, I’m personally going to wait until it’s obvious that the numbers are going down and there is a possibility of a working vaccine on the horizon before I start thinking of traveling.

May has come and went, and while I was starting to get into a routine (a little late in the month—but better late than never), my mood is starting to slip again. The reason for my mood starting to bounce around the negative again is fairly simple—it is a combination of ignorance, male privilege, and white supremacy. So there was another murder of an African American male, which was caught on video. It took over a day for the murderer (who is now an ex-cop) to be arrested, but not before protests started popping up over the country. Now I don’t have a problem with the protests—I think that the African American population in this country has good reasons for protesting (just like the Native Americans)—it is the other side that I’m having problems with. It has been shown that various white supremacy groups in the country are supporting the people agitating the situation. The cops aren’t helping matters either—as there have been videos showing cop cars driving into protesters, pepper spraying protesters, and so forth. It’s clear that racism is still a huge problem in the United States, and will stay as a problem until we manage to fix several of the underlying problems: white privilege (I know that I’m guilty of this—I’m able to turn off the news and in theory not worry about most things as I’m a white heterosexual female (though I still need to stay alert and hyper-vigilant when I’m out and about on my own, so that I don’t become a statistic for sexual assault, rape, or some other crime), white supremacy, and male toxicity.

These issues have always been present in society—though usually at a level that overall people have shrugged it off—but for the past couple of years they’ve been growing and now we’re not shrugging it off. While there is no such thing as an ideal world (unless we want to talk science fiction and robots)—we need to get to a point that we can communicate with each other and not have things break down and lead to violence. People shouldn’t have to be worried about leaving their homes and wondering if they’re going to be pulled over, or whatever based on their skin tone—we all share the same damn genetic code and it is only the order of those four nucleotides (A, T, G, and C) that result in the differences of our physical appearances and other traits. There is no superior race (again—we share the same genetic code), and there is nothing within that code that codes for ethnicity. White male privilege has been a problem for a couple of millenniums and it’s time for another reminder—we all have to share the planet—there is no planet B, and if we destroy the planet—everyone dies. Money, social standings, and other artificial markings of society won’t save anyone if there is no clean air to breath or clean water to drink.

So that is why my mood started to slide back towards being in a bad mood and not caring about various things—society as a whole is pissing me off again. I have hope that we’re going to come through the latest struggles as stronger society, and that better screening methods are put in place to keep bullies, white supremacists, and other toxic individuals out of positions of authority and power. While I know that there are good cops out there—they need to start standing up to the ones that aren’t—until they do that it is extremely hard to see any of them in the good light.

So as I head into June, it is time to both look back at the goals I had set for May and see how I did with each one of them, and then set the goals for June.

So what were the goals for May? The goals for May included:

1) Moving more (exercise, yard work, walks)—if I can’t get the battery replaced in my fitbit, I will have to order a new one (as my other fitbit is also on it’s last legs as well—only holds ~20% of it’s charge for claiming it is “dead”). Therefore I’m not sure when I will be getting around to keeping score of my steps, and since that is up in the air—I’m not really going to set a step goal for May.

            Exercise daily (included in the above moving more goal). I will probably restart Morning Meltdown 100—and that will take through the summer and into August.

            Since we will still probably be self isolating most of the summer, I have a couple of ideas for the yards to help add color to the yard and also attract birds, bees, and butterflies.

2) Read at least two non-fiction books

3) Personal/Professional Development—listen to podcasts, work through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

4) Money log/weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—try to work up to no spend weeks, and have a bare minimum spend month

5) Start devising goal list to break it down and work on various different ways to translate those goals into a editorial calendar for the different areas—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

So how did I do with each goal?

1). Moving more (exercise, yard work, walks)—if I can’t get the battery replaced in my fitbit, I will have to order a new one (as my other fitbit is also on it’s last legs as well—only holds ~20% of it’s charge for claiming it is “dead”). Therefore I’m not sure when I will be getting around to keeping score of my steps, and since that is up in the air—I’m not really going to set a step goal for May.

            Exercise daily (included in the above moving more goal). I will probably restart Morning Meltdown 100—and that will take through the summer and into August.

            Since we will still probably be self isolating most of the summer, I have a couple of ideas for the yards to help add color to the yard and also attract birds, bees, and butterflies.

So the above goal had several sub-goals as well. So I think I managed to do okay for the most part—I had between 4,000 and 11,000 steps a day. The total number of steps right now is difficult to determine since I didn’t sync my fitbit daily (and currently the site is claiming it’s too busy to sync). So if I had to guess—I managed about 150,000 steps (not to bad for still self-isolating). Daily workouts weren’t that consistent as I am still trying to figure out the best time of day for me to do my workouts. I’m probably going to be working out in the mornings (and will probably have to ensure that the pups aren’t in the room—they make doing any type of floor exercise difficult).

I’m slowly working on the yards—since we haven’t put up the partial privacy fence yet, the back flower gardens are currently on hold.

Read at least two non-fiction books

I managed to finish two books this month: “Mind Maps: Quicker Notes, Better Memory, and Improved Learning” by Kam Knight.

I bought this and another book on mind mapping after listening to a short video on how it could help in job searching and things like that. It actually isn’t that new of a concept to me—I’ve called it bubble mapping in the past, and have used it previously in school (namely when trying to write a short story and needed to brainstorm ideas). It is something I’m going to try to implement moving forward—though I will admit to slight OCD and needing to remember that the mind maps don’t have to be perfect—they just need to get the main ideas/thoughts down.

The second book I finished was “Brand You! To Land your dream job: A step by step guide to find a great job, get hired, and jumpstart your career” by Diane Huth.

The book had quite a few good points, and I need to go back through it and make a list of things that I haven’t been really focusing on so that I can keep track of them in the future. There were also a couple of points that I disagreed with as well: potentially having to have two facebook pages: one personal and semi-private and then a public one for your professional brand. I have a hard enough time trying to remember to post occasionally on the facebook pages I have for both the blog and then my fitness page—I don’t want to add in a third (or fourth) page that I’m not to remember to post on. Truthfully I don’t have anything to hide on my facebook page—I am a liberal, a scientist, and someone who likes to poke fun at things. My facebook page is there for me to keep in touch with friends and family—my best advice to future employers, if you don’t like what you see on my page, don’t send a friend request.

Another thing that I disagree with was the section on how women show dress (including makeup and accessories)—I don’t mind dark suits, but I’m going to pair them with a bright top—that’s just how I am. Also in terms of jewelry—I hardly wear it (too many years of working at the bench); if I’m going to paint my nails—it will be a color that I like (that strikes somewhat of a balance for what is “accepted” nail color). Also when I smile—I seldom show my teeth—I look a little too weird smiling like that. I understand the point of view that the book was written, but I also know that all things can be tweeked to fit each person’s unique personality.

Personal/Professional Development—listen to podcasts, work through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

I may try to start listening to podcasts when I’m writing or possibly doing yard work (haven’t listened to many because the front of my iPhone is cracked and I’m trying to use it as little as possible—so listening to the podcasts requires being near my laptop, and having iTunes behave). I worked through some modules of various e-courses and managed to finish one or two little ones (though I may re-watch them later—as one was on developing editorial calendars). Though I still need to work on doing more on linkedin.

Money log/weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—try to work up to no spend weeks, and have a bare minimum spend month

This didn’t happen this month—something to work on over the next few months.

Start devising goal list to break it down and work on various different ways to translate those goals into a editorial calendar for the different areas—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

This is also something that I’m very slow on developing and even at times stalling out on—and there are several reasons for this:

            We’re in the middle of a pandemic, so I can’t really say that if I get “X” amount of stuff done I can treat myself with a trip somewhere.

            I realize that I have way to much stuff as it is—so it seems silly to say that if I lose “X” pounds (or inches) I can reward myself with something new.

Therefore I’m still trying to figure out both the goals and what the possible “rewards” are going to be for the different areas (blog, personal/professional development fitness/health/mental health/crafts) that I want to focus on.

One thing I have realized though—the blog is going to be a blend of different things so that I can focus on both my strengths while also trying to improve some of my “weaker” areas.

The goals for June will include the following:

Moving more (workouts, being outside, walks, marching in place, chores, and other things). I’m not going to set a step goal (as I’m not sure why my fitbit isn’t syncing and I’m currently not in the mood to get a new one), but will be trying to ensure that I’m moving around a good portion of the day.

Daily workouts—I’m thinking of bouncing between several different programs right now (Morning Meltdown 100, LIIFT4, Country Heat, and Yoga Booty Ballet) to keep my interest going.

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

Personal/Professional Development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

Money log/weekly check-ins/No Spend Days—trying to work up to no spend weeks and have a bare minimum spend month

Continue working on devising a goal list and breaking it down, plus working on various different ways to translate those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas I want to focus on: the blog, personal/professional development, fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

Then remember: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

No Comments Book ReviewsBookscareerfinancesfitnessHealthMonth in ReviewPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

April in Review

Well we’re now a third of the way through the year—and I’m pretty sure we can all agree 2020 isn’t going the way any of us thought it would. While the world is still in the grips of the global pandemic, things are shifting to more remote/online—though at some point we will hopefully be able to transition back to a in-person society. The numbers of coronaviruses are still climbing around the world (worldwide the total number is over 3 million, and the US has over 1 million cases). Travel is still frowned upon (especially for leisure), which means that any trips that I had been thinking of taking this year are on hold for at least another year.

April came and went, and I realized that I spent a good portion of the month in a pretty bad mood on and off. I realized that most of my bad mood was being caused by looking at the news and seeing the daily total for the coronavirus. I’m now trying to figure out how to balance staying informed about the news and world, but at the same time keeping my mood more leveled. This isn’t to say that I’m not going to have bad days (because I am—I’m human), but I want to try to limit them, and at the same time figure out the best methods for working through moods so that I can become productive again with things.

I’ve realized over the month while looking back at some strength assessments, that I’ve been letting certain thoughts/feelings control how I’ve been going about doing things. I made a post quite a while ago about acknowledging that I’m stuck in the “fear zone”—which is the zone between your comfort zone and your learning zone. The three main aspects of the fear zone are: 1) being affected by the opinion of others; 2) a lack of self-confidence (since you’re trying to branch out from your comfort zone), and then 3) finding excuses (because you don’t want to look like an “idiot/fool” if you make a mistake with learning something new). I’ve realized that I’m still allowing all three of these aspects affect how I’m dealing with both the pandemic and trying to figure out my transition into industry.

I also realized that I’m going to have to be better adapted at doing online networking sessions (I missed both last month, due to forgetting about the time change, and not totally having my resume updated). It is true, that we are our own worse enemies, and while I’ve acknowledged everything that I do to sabotage myself, I have yet to figure out ways of working around those self-sabotaging methods (something to work on during May).

So what were the goals for April? The goals for April included:

1) At least 300,000 steps (should try to aim for ~10,000 steps/day)

2) Reading at least two non-fiction books

3) Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

4) Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin

5) Money log/Weekly-check in/No Spend days

6) Work on developing an editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Also still try to determine the best direction(s) for the blog to in for the rest of this year and beyond.

So how did I do with each goal?

1) At least 300,000 steps (should try to aim for ~10,000 steps/day)

            Well I have no idea how many steps I actually managed last month. While I had noticed that my fitbit was flashing that it had a low battery—it was still keeping track of my steps, but since I never synced it with the online platform—any steps after April 5th have been lost.

            I would say that I’ve probably managed to get roughly 150,000 steps. This is half of what I was aiming for, but with the fact that there was the shelter in place order for the month of April—not a bad number of steps.

            Hopefully now, I will remember to put a fresh battery in my zip so that I can keep track of the steps I’ve taken over the month of May (starting probably on the 2nd).

2) Reading at least two non-fiction books

            This is something that I feel a little behind on—I’ve started several books, but they have been more on the contemplation side (so there are questions and exercises that you are suppose to work through as you read the book), and at times I haven’t been totally up to doing that much soul searching and work. Therefore I didn’t finish a non-fiction book during the month of April.

3) Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

            Well, I feel short on this one as well this month. Once my mood started to slide, I started with the excuses and basically stopped working out for the month of April (I did try to do a yoga booty ballet workout at the end of the month).

            I really have no other excuse other than I wasn’t in the mood to do a workout—though I know that if I pushed play, I probably would have been in a better mood (and probably would have slept a little better as well).

4) Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin

            This was something that I did a little better with in comparison to other goals for April. The biggest development (for both personal and professional) were more mental breakthroughs—realizing that I was still sloshing through the fear zone, and still feeling fairly burnt out from the previous decade of work.

            The next month or so (since I will still be spending it in isolation (I don’t believe the numbers are down enough for states to actually start opening, and won’t be surprised by a spike in cases over the coming weeks), I will be diving deeper into my personal and professional development.

5) Money log/Weekly-check in/No Spend days

            This is something that I haven’t been keeping up with—while it wouldn’t seem that I’ve spent a lot of money over the month (self-isolation was the agenda for April), I did spend quite a bit more than I should have on Amazon (mainly on that silly match-3 game (homescapes)). So again, this is something to aim for during May—limited spending and working up to no-spend-weeks.

6) Work on developing an editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Also still try to determine the best direction(s) for the blog to in for the rest of this year and beyond.

            Well, I wrote down ideas of what I wanted to try to get accomplished, but I didn’t put it into a calendar format. I’ve realized that one problem is that I try to plan out way to much for a single day (an issue I discovered when trying to keep an bullet journal going), and then I got irritated with myself and quit doing it.

            So I’m going to try to implement a couple of different ideas into one:

                        Start with figuring out my long-term goals (this ties back in with personal and professional development)

                        Break those down into say 3, 5, and 1- year goals

                        Break the 3-year goals down into 1, 2, and 3-year

                        Break the yearly goals down into monthly goals

                        Break the monthly goals down into weekly

                        Finally break the weekly down into daily.

            In addition, I’m only going to try to focus on 1 or 2 areas at a time for say 3-months, and then switch up one (or both) of the areas. That way I don’t get overwhelmed with everything that I would like to accomplish, and at the same time I don’t get burnt out on focusing on just one or two areas.

So I wasn’t really focused and willing to put in the work during April—and that is truthfully totally okay during times like this (pandemic and worldwide uncertainty). But I also know that I need to slowly start getting back on track and working towards various goals (lists such as the 101 goals will be getting updated to reflect current global issues). The main thing is that I need to figure out what I want out of life, and then devise different ways of meeting those goals.

I also have to keep reminding myself that there is no such thing as perfection (as everyone has a different view of it), but there is progress. Progress this month was 1) realizing that I’m still in the “fear zone”, 2) my tolerance level for stupidity is at an all time low, and 3) it is still okay not knowing what I want to do with my life—I have the time, and resources to figure it out, therefore I’m on my own time clock and not someone elses.

The goals for May will include:

Moving more (exercise, yard work, walks)—if I can’t get the battery replaced in my fitbit, I will have to order a new one (as my other fitbit is also on it’s last legs as well—only holds ~20% of it’s charge for claiming it is “dead”). Therefore I’m not sure when I will be getting around to keeping score of my steps, and since that is up in the air—I’m not really going to set a step goal for May.

            Exercise daily (included in the above moving more goal). I will probably restart Morning Meltdown 100—and that will take through the summer and into August.

            Since we will still probably be self isolating most of the summer, I have a couple of ideas for the yards to help add color to the yard and also attract birds, bees, and butterflies.

Read at least two non-fiction books

Personal/Professional Development—listen to podcasts, work through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

Money log/weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—try to work up to no spend weeks, and have a bare minimum spend month

Start devising goal list to break it down and work on various different ways to translate those goals into a editorial calendar for the different areas—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

And continue to remember: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

No Comments Month in ReviewPandemic2020Reflections

March in Review, a few days late

Well we’re now a quarter of the way through the year (and I’m a few days late in posting)—and I’m pretty sure we can all agree that either we need to restart 2019 (because the end spilled over into 2020), or lets just skip to 2021 (maybe 2022). The novel coronavirus-SARS-CoV-2 has become a global pandemic, with travel basically shut down around the world. The US is now the current epicenter for the pandemic (we’re over 200K cases and climbing). So any travel I had planned for this year isn’t going to be happening—in fact there are a lot of things that I had planned that either aren’t going to be happening, or I’m going to fall short on—these include the yearly step goal (5 million), and possibly transitioning into industry (hiring is slightly down, plus I’m still not a hundred percent certain which direction I want to be going in).

Luckily, things are transitioning online—so the once networking event I was thinking about going to in Boston later in April—it is online, so I can hopefully attend from the comfort of my own room. So we will have to see how things are going to go (I’ve already missed one online networking event—I forgot about it and streamed a workout instead).

            I’m still trying to figure out what exactly I want to be doing with my life—I’ve realized one reason why I’m leery of trying to be an “expert” in a certain topic—I enjoy learning, and if I feel like I’ve learned all there is for the topic, I tend to lose interest and move on to something else.

                        I do this a lot with movies—there is only a small number of movies that I’m willing to watch more than once (and that is usually as I’m doing something else at the same time and I use the movie as background noise). The funny thing is I don’t do this with books—I can re-read a series over and over again, and usually not get bored by it (it probably also helps to have a couple of hundred (or more) books on the kindle).

So what were the goals for March?

The goals for March included:

At least 465,000 steps (breaks down to 15,000 steps/day)—this is to get back on track to hit the 5 million steps goal by the end of the year.

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

Money log/Weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—actually try to have a bare-minimum spend month (again blog post coming later this week, early next week)

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Determine the best direction(s) for the blog to go in for 2020 and beyond.

So how did I do with each one?

At least 465,000 steps (breaks down to 15,000 steps/day)—this is to get back on track to hit the 5 million steps goal by the end of the year.

            This goal I fell way short of—I only managed to get a little over 130,000 (130,709 to be exact). Walks are still permitted during the “shelter-at-home/shelter-in-place” period—but everyone seems to be doing those. While I can keep six feet away from people, others are still out in groups and I just don’t trust that someone isn’t going to cough (and not into their forearm). So I had only been hitting about 5K steps a day. My yearly total is down as well (it is at 693,486 for the three months; when it should be somewhere between 900,000 (at 10K/day) and 1,260,000 (at 14K/day); this means that I should be doing almost 16,000 steps a day to get to 5 million by the end of the year—or 11K a day to get to the base minimum of ~3,660,000 steps.

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

            I did manage to read at least two books, and they were the following:

Never too busy to cure clutter: simplify your life one minute at a time. More than 365 tips to make room for what’s truly important by Erin Rooney Dola

Leave your mark: land your dream job, kill it in your career, and rock social media by Aliza Licht and Donna Karan

I also started a couple of other books, but am also trying to work through the exercises as I’m reading them, so they will hopefully be finished during April.

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

I’m sticking with Morning Meltdown 100—and should hopefully be finished it with in early June. There have been a couple of days where I didn’t do a workout, but have only allowed that to stretch to two days and no more.

This is helping me control my stress and anxiety somewhat—I know that I should also be focusing on my nutrition during this time as well, but currently between working out and having chocolate they’re both helping me keep my calm.

Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

I’ve been listening to podcasts quite frequently (usually when I’m working on crafts or trying to write). One that I was listening to the other day really resonated with me as it had briefly mentioned the book/concept YouMap—which I had read last year (and worked through numerous exercises). The concept of the book is to look at four different areas and then determine what works best for you that encompasses those things. They mainly talked about the strengths aspect—and that really is my sticking point—my top strengths are Learner, Intellection, Input, Achieve, and Deliberative (or Ideation). I need to figure out what direction/focus to go in that will allow me to use these strengths, while at the same time trying to improve others.

Money log/Weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—actually try to have a bare-minimum spend month (again blog post coming later this week, early next week)

Well this didn’t go quite as I had planned. I will be trying to repeat this challenge come April (and possibly May as well). There will be a blog post coming to update on how I did for this challenge in the coming days.

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Determine the best direction(s) for the blog to go in for 2020 and beyond.

So, this is still a work in progress. The only calendar that I’m semi sticking with is the workout calendar for morning meltdown 100 (and I’m off a couple of days on that). I think that my main problem is trying to fit everything into a day, instead of trying to figure out how to stagger the work (something to work on over the next few weeks as we’re still self-quarantining).

So I did well on a few things, and fell short on others. I wasn’t too shocked when the virus was actually declared a pandemic—I was hoping for a better response from the US (but again, not shocked at the poor response considering who is sitting in the White House). I would say that I’m going to buckle down and get all sorts of things accomplished during April, but I’ll be honest—there might be a decent size list, but I’m only going to be aiming at hitting 75 to 85% of the goals (which is better than not setting any goals for the coming month).

Therefore the goals for April are going to included:

At least 300,000 steps (should try to aim for ~10,000 steps/day)

Reading at least two non-fiction books

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin

Money log/Weekly-check in/No Spend days

Work on developing an editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Also still try to determine the best direction(s) for the blog to in for the rest of this year and beyond.

Then remember: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

No Comments careerfinancesfitnessHealthMonth in ReviewPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

February in Review

Well the leap month is over, and we’re a sixth of the way through 2020. I actually would like time to speed up for once—this year isn’t going the way I was hoping, and therefore I almost want it to be 2021. I had decided that during my “reboot break” I was going to take at least one trip for fun/relaxation and then at least one trip for networking/work stuff. Well, it is looking like it will possibly be just networking/job related trips for the foreseeable future—why? Because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus—SARS-CoV-2, which has been spreading around the globe since December of last year. I’m not to keen on getting on a plane for an extended period of time with other people, plus there are now numerous travel restrictions to various countries. So I’m going to be keeping an eye on the virus and news and decide towards the end of March if I’m even going out to Boston in April.

I’m getting better at some aspects of the reboot break than others—but I’ve also gained some insight into those areas as well (there will probably be another blog post on this topic at some point in March). But it has been a little over two months since I started the break, and while I haven’t made as much progress on the health and fitness—I think I’m making enough that it’s time to start really trying to work other areas of life also into the day-to-day habits/goals/things to work on.

But first, it is time to look at the goals that I set for February and see how I did with each of them:

The goals for February included:

At least 413,000 steps (a little over the 14,230 steps/day—but it is a nice round number)

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

Working out daily (alternating between Barre Blend, LIIFT4, and possibly Morning Meltdown 100)

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, networking, and interacting more on linkedin)
Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days—work up to no spend weeks

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health—determine the direction(s) that the blog is going to be going in for 2020 and beyond

And for February the phrases: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

So how did I do with each one of them?

At least 413,000 steps (a little over the 14,230 steps/day—but it is a nice round number)

            This is something that I’ve been bad at doing—getting my daily steps in. I probably only reached about fifty percent on the step goal for the month (208,873 steps). Part of the problem—it was a little too cold/rainy/wet for doing daily walks and practicing my photography. Yes, I could have done the walks and listened to podcasts, but I didn’t. So if I’m going to try to reach my 5 million steps by the end of the year, I’m now going to have to aim for basically 14,943 steps a day—or just round it up to basically 15,000 steps a day for the rest of the year. I’m even behind on just trying to get to 3,660,000 steps. So anyway you look at it—I need to start getting off my butt and moving around more.

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

I finished reading “The 12 week year: get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months” by Brian P Moran and Michael Lennington. I’m actually going to try to implement a 12-week year, possibly starting in April (I need to try to get things planned out a little better before hand).

I also finished “Permission Granted: Be who you were made to be and let go of the rest” by Melissa Camara Wilkins.

While it’s only been two books both January and February—at least I’m being steady on the number of books. I’m thinking that I should keep the number of books read to be between two to three—if it’s more great, but it should be a minimum of two books.

Working out daily (alternating between Barre Blend, LIIFT4, and possibly Morning Meltdown 100)

            This has been off and on for most of the month—though I have been consistent this last week with starting Morning Meltdown 100—so I’m probably going to continue with that one and see afterwards on doing either Barre Blend or another round of LIIFT4. The new goal will be finishing Morning Meltdown 100—which if I do just one workout a day (which is how I’m going to probably do things), I’ll be finishing it beginning of June.

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, networking, and interacting more on linkedin)

Okay I’m getting a little better on this one—joined an accountability group within the cheeky scientist association, and am focusing on things a little more. I’m trying to post at least one to two articles a day (taking usually Sunday off) from various science/business news sites. I’m also reaching out to various people at different companies that I would like to possibly work at—just to find out a little more about the companies (namely the culture, day-to-day activities, and balance). So that is slowly moving along. I’m listening to podcasts at night, while looking at companies and so forth. Haven’t worked through that many e-courses, but that is hopefully going to change some in the coming months.

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days—work up to no spend weeks

            This is something that I was so-so on. I managed several no-spend days, but since I really didn’t have a February money log set up in the journal—I didn’t really keep track of the days when I did buy an e-book, or needed to order something from Amazon. Again, this is something that I’m going to be working on in the coming months—I’m actually thinking of a bare-minimum spend March challenge (blog post coming later this week possibly).

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health—determine the direction(s) that the blog is going to be going in for 2020 and beyond 

I’ve realized the reasons why this task (making editorial calendars) is so damn difficult for me: 1) I usually have either too many ideas bouncing around in my head (and I don’t always write them down), 2) I can’t think of anything to write on, 3) I can’t decide on the picture that I want to share in a photography challenge, and 4) I’m still haven’t totally decided on the direction(s) that the blog is going to be going in for 2020 and beyond. I mean right now it is a combo personal/professional development, travel, crafts, health/fitness, and just about anything else that catches my fancy—so basically a lifestyle blog (and I’m not even sure what type of lifestyle). Though I may keep in that general direction while I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life going forward.

I have been able to keep the phrase “Progress over Perfection” front and center while I’ve been doing things this month. The phrase “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year” is a little harder to keep front and center—because right now I’m stuck in the middle of the fear zone, though I’m moving out of it very slowly.

So moving into March (which is the last month of the first quarter of 2020), the goals will include:

At least 465,000 steps (breaks down to 15,000 steps/day)—this is to get back on track to hit the 5 million steps goal by the end of the year.

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

Money log/Weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—actually try to have a bare-minimum spend month (again blog post coming later this week, early next week)

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Determine the best direction(s) for the blog to go in for 2020 and beyond.

Then remember: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

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January 2020 in review: Start of a new year and a new decade

Well January is over, and we survived the month—and I’m like three days late in posting my monthly review. It’s a sad time when the phrase WW3 is trending on social media by the third day of the month. I haven’t been regular in posting to the site—I haven’t started the photography challenge (but I started it late last year as well), and when it comes to creating content—I realized that I have about five or six different drafts of things in regards to my career transition.

It has been not quite two months (which will be next Friday) since I’ve started my “reboot break”—and I think I’m still in the progress of trying to get my health and fitness under control.  We’ve had a couple of “snow” days this month, and I think I’ve managed to make a couple of walks around Boomer Lake.

The goals for January included:

At least 434,000 steps

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

Working out daily (Barre Blend starting January 6)

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through e-courses, working through other course bundles bought)

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 434,000 steps—I fell behind on this goal this month. I think that there have only been about five or six days that I actually hit (or surpassed) the daily step goal of 14,000 steps. I managed to get a little over 230,000 steps; so I managed a little over 50% of the monthly steps.

I need to try to kick it up a notch or two for the rest of the year, if I’m going to hit my yearly goal of 5 million steps (so to hit that goal, I’ll need to kick it up to a little over 14K a day (~14,230/day).

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

I managed to finish (in total) two books this month. Though in truth, the first book was actually started at the end of 2019, and finished within the first few days of 2020.

So the two books that I’ve finished:

            Like She Owns the Place by Cara Alwill Leyba

            Choose Your Best Life by Gary Williams

The book that I’m currently reading and will finish in February:

            The 12 week year: get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months, by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington.

Working out daily (Barre Blend starting January 6)

It has taken me a little longer to try to get into some type of workout routine. One thing is that I’m going to be doing the workout probably in the evenings—the puppy (Chaos) would rather get me to play than just lie there and sleep while I’m doing my workout.

I restarted the program at the end of the month. I’ve decided that I’m going to be doing my own calendar and that is going to be going between a couple of different programs—Barre Blend, LIIFT4, and possible Morning Meltdown 100. I’m thinking that going between two or three different programs is going to be the best way for me to get back into a routine.

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through e-courses, working through other course bundles bought)

So I have been listening to podcasts most nights (there have been a few nights that I haven’t listened to them). The two main podcasts have been the Team Beachbody Coach Call-replay and Onward Creatives.

The first podcast is just listening in to the different Monday morning wakeup calls with Beachbody and various coaches each week. I’m still working on getting back on track with my fitness and health, so listening to the podcast is a way of keeping a toe in the whole “coaching” business—since Beachbody does have the disclaimer that they don’t guarantee any monetary gain for anyone as a coach. Currently I’m bouncing around with the idea of possibly quitting coaching (that while I do have a handful of “clients”, they aren’t really ordering, and therefore I don’t have that much to “lose”).

The second podcast is one that focuses on being in business for your self—as they say bridging the gap between being creative and the business side. I enjoy listening to the podcast, even if I’m not going into business for myself quite yet. I’ve been getting some ideas and just enjoy listening to someone else’s perspective on things.

I’ve also slowly been trying to work through various e-courses, but haven’t quite figured out the best method/order for working through the courses—do I alternate between personal and professional courses or do I try to alternate between topics within one of the areas? So this is something that I’m going to be working on during the early part of February so that I can plan things out for the next few months.

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days

I managed for about half the month to keep a log of money spent, and managed about half the month in weekly check-ins as well. In terms of no spend days I think I had probably about fifteen to twenty days. A goal going forward is that other than a few choice spending days, pre-ordered books, and bills I don’t spend any money for the month. I’m thinking that this may be more in March than in February due to the fact that I’m going to be taking Chaos in for a check-up at the vet’s and I’m not sure how much it is going to be running. Though I may try to make February a low spend month as well.

So I managed to get started this year with various areas, I made strides in certain areas (managing to read two and a half books, working out the last week of the month, and starting to keep track of what I’m spending my money on), but there were also areas that I fell short on—namely getting my steps in. So there is areas for improvement, and areas that I can add to or build off of.

And for January the phrase: “Progress over Perfection”—so I did mange to embody this phrase for the month of January.

The goals for February will include:

At least 413,000 steps (a little over the 14,230 steps/day—but it is a nice round number)

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

Working out daily (alternating between Barre Blend, LIIFT4, and possibly Morning Meltdown 100)

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, networking, and interacting more on linkedin)


Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days—work up to no spend weeks

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health—determine the direction(s) that the blog is going to be going in for 2020 and beyond

And for February the phrases: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

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Month in Review: December 2019

Well December, the year, and the decade are all officially over. I also realized that I forgot to post my November in review last month (December was a little crazy with the start of my reboot break, and trying to get into a new groove), in addition I don’t think I posted my new moon review or goals for the new moon at the end of the month.

So I’m not going to beat myself up over the fact that I was lagging in posts for the last couple of weeks/months. If you check out my earlier post (Happy Holidays and updates), I actually talk about the main reason for this. Hopefully this is something that I can conquer during 2020. But for now since we’re officially in a new month and decade, it’s time to look back at the goals that I set for December of 2019 and see how I did with each one.

The goals for December included:

At least 434,000 steps

Reading three non-fiction books

Money log/weekly check-in

Back into some type of workout routine

Working on my reboot break plan & transition plan (revamping this one)

No Spend days

Personal and professional development (listening to either podcasts and/or working through e-courses).

So how did I do with each one?

At least 434,000 steps

            I was below on my step goal last month. This was in part to the fact that I knew that I had already reached my yearly goal of 5 million by the second day of the month—the rest of the steps of the month were basically bonus steps. Also I adopted a puppy on the 19th, the weather turned colder and therefore I didn’t really do any daily walks for the second half of the month (more or less). My step total for December was 341,618 (which is still above the minimum step total of 310,000—10K/day).  This brought my yearly total to 5,351,200 steps (which was not quite 72,300 steps above what I managed in 2018). So I think I will stick with trying to make a yearly goal of 5 million steps.

Reading three non-fiction books

            I managed to read two non-fiction books (and about half way through a third by midnight on the 31st). The two books were:

                        Girl Code: Unlocking the secrets to success, sanity, and happiness for the female entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba

                        Girl on Fire: How to Choose Yourself, Burn the Rule Book, and Blzae Your Own Trail in Life and Business by Cara Alwill Leyba

I enjoyed reading both books, and hopefully will be getting to writing reviews for both of them to post on both the blog and amazon in the coming weeks.

Money log/weekly check-in

            This was something that I fell short on again. While I kept my purchases down for the most part (it was the season of Christmas after all), I didn’t keep a log of what all I bought when.  So this is something else that I will need to continuously work on going into 2020.

Back into some type of workout routine

            Nope, this didn’t happen during December. I’m going to break out of my ‘uncomfortable’ comfort zone in 2020 and get back into a workout routine (I actually bought early access to Barre Blend and will be starting that on Monday). One thing with the current books I’ve been reading—I am my own worse enemy and I need to come to an agreement with my subconscious so that I can quit sabotaging all my plans and goals going into 2020 and beyond.

Working on my reboot break plan & transition plan (revamping this one)

            So I managed to plan out at least my workout routine for the first few months of my reboot break (namely Jan-March). In terms of everything else—those are still in limbo (in terms of both the type of jobs I want to target and everything that goes along with them). But this is a goal for January—to have a rough draft by the end of the month so that I can have a semi-permanent draft by the end of February. Notice I said semi-permanent—I realize that plans and ideas can change, and therefore the plans and ideas that I currently have in place need to be fluid enough that they can change as needed as I pivot on my path.

No Spend days

            I think there were several no spends days in December—unfortunately I only made note of the first three (as those happened before I got the puppy—and everything else fell by the wayside for a week or so). This is something that I’m hoping to accomplish throughout my reboot break—several no spend days that accumulate into a no spend week (or weeks) and then no spend month (other than the automatic payments of bills).

Personal and professional development (listening to either podcasts and/or working through e-courses).

             I listened to several episodes of the onward creatives podcast over the last week of the month, and started to work through several different e-courses as well.  One thing I’ve noticed is that one really shouldn’t try to distinguish personal development from professional development (they are two sides of the same coin—you). While I managed to get several things accomplished during 2019—there are still numerous things left on the list, and the list is going to be revamped going into 2020. I’m also going to remember that doing personal development can help in job searching (the professional side) and doing professional development (learning a new skill) can also aid the personal side (things to talk about with others).

So going into 2020 I’m going to be focused on four words and two main phrases:

The four words are “grow”, “change”, “achieve”, and “succeed”; my phrases for 2020 are going to be “progress over perfection” and “evaluate the people in your life; then promote, demote, or terminate. You’re the CEO of your life”.

It’s time to take back control of my life (instead of just bouncing along), and figure out what I want to do with the second half of my life, where I would like to be, and most importantly—who I am.

The goals for January 2020 will be the following:

At least 434,000 steps

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

Working out daily (Barre Blend starting January 6)

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through e-courses, working through other course bundles bought)

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days

And for January the phrase: “Progress over Perfection”

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October in Review

Well October is officially over, and there are only 61 days left in the year. As I’m writing this I realize that my reboot break is going to be starting in a few weeks, and that I’m a month into my last year of my thirties—so I should really try to figure out what the hell I’m doing with the second half of my life. In addition I realized that I only met one goal (in total) for the month of October.

We’re officially a third of the way through the fourth quarter of the year, and I’m thinking that is where some of the change is going to take place, and the seeds for change in 2020 will be planted.

I didn’t really change my October goals that much, so they were basically the same goals that I’ve had for the past few months, including the goal of working on my “reboot break” plan.

October was a difficult month in general—as it marked the one-year anniversary of losing both Chewi and Piranha.  

The goals for October included:

At least 434,000 steps

Photography challenge (if there has to be a recap session to make up for a few days—oh, well—I’m only human)

Read at least 2 non-fiction books

Continue working on my reboot break & start reworking my transition plan

Aim for one week no spend

Continue working out (hybrid LIIFT4/Country Heat/Yoga Booty Ballet)

Set up the monthly calendar (can start with November as a trial run)

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 434,000 steps

            This was basically the only goal that I was able to reach this month, even with a few days below the target of 14,000 steps. I managed to get 487,754 of steps, which was 53,754 over the goal of 434,000 steps. This has me at a yearly total so far of 4,535,054 and that means to reach exactly 5 million steps, I only need to reach 7,623 per day for the rest of the year. This is nice to know that I can have several days that I don’t reach my total—but even with the reboot break coming up—if I walk around Boomer Lake every day, that will get me to at least 10,000 steps. So unless it is raining or snowing—I’m going to be getting a daily walk in on my reboot break.

Photography challenge (if there has to be a recap session to make up for a few days—oh, well—I’m only human)

            Well this didn’t really happen. I have been taking pictures on the weekend—but currently the area of my photography shots is Boomer Lake. I feel like I’m sharing the same theme over and over again—though they’re all slightly different. So I’m in the process of trying to develop a nice long list of photography topics, so that I can start the challenge over once more. Though this time around I did make it a little over 200 days before falling behind.

Read at least 2 non-fiction books

            I don’t think that I managed to finish any non-fiction book this month. One thing that I’ve noticed is that there are numerous books that I’ve started at some point, but then started reading another and never went back and actually finished. So, therefore moving forward I’m not going to jump between books—but pick one and finish it before going to the next non-fiction book. I will probably go between that non-fiction book and my fiction books.

Continue working on my reboot break & start reworking my transition plan

            I’m slowly working on both plans, and actually made a little headway this month by “naming” one of my biggest hurdles—movement paralysis. The first week of my reboot break is probably going to be spent just relaxing and decompressing, especially since it is also going to be a holiday week (Thanksgiving). The major work is going to start during the first week of December.

            I have several different areas/titles that sound interesting picked out—I just need to fully determine what type of professional lifestyle I want, and which would fit it the best. I know that I will need to make a choice and therefore a plan of action for the early part of 2020—but hopefully I can narrow down the choices before than and not feel totally overwhelmed.

Aim for one week no spend

            This didn’t happen—I spent money on campus more or less daily during the month of October. The only good thing is that towards the end of the month it may have only been once a day. I figured that once I’m on my reboot break, that will be the easiest time to curb the spending—I won’t be on campus, and I’m going to more or less shut down the WiFi connection on the kindle (with exceptions)—that way I will save money two ways—no buying snacks on campus daily, and no mindlessly buying e-books on the kindle.

Continue working out (hybrid LIIFT4/Country Heat/Yoga Booty Ballet)

            Well I managed to start the hybrid calendar, but that has been about it. I’ve realized that even though I’ve had a couple of months to figure out the getting home after 5 schedule—I still haven’t; I get home, do the few chores and then I sit and relax for awhile. If I was prompt—I would then change into my workout clothes and get my workout done before dinner, but that isn’t what I end up doing—I sit and relax until dinner. Then after dinner I have my evening routine (and I don’t like working out on an semi-full stomach either—I’d rather workout on a semi-empty stomach), and I have so far only fit in stretching and meditation.

            So this is a workout calendar that I’m hopefully going to follow much better once I start on my reboot break (I really won’t have any excuses not to follow it).

Set up the monthly calendar (can start with November as a trial run)

            Well, this semi-happened—at least workout wise, but I haven’t followed it that well. I’m going to be setting up another calendar, hopefully this weekend for the rest of November (as I’d only be missing one or two days) that I will hopefully then follow. I’ve realized that when it comes to trying to figure out my life—I need to do in such a way that the anxiety and depression don’t realize that I’m trying to move out of the do nothing zone and into the positive and constructive zone.

So not that much progress on most of the goals for the month of October—though admitting that there were problems is progress in and of its self. There are two months left in 2019, and there can still be quite a bit of progress in those last sixty-one days—I just have to play mind games with myself.

So what are my goals for November going to be?

At least 420,000 steps

Making a nice long list of possible photography topics

Slowly start the hybrid LIIFT4/Country Heat/Yoga Booty Ballet workout calendar

Reading two non-fiction books

Making my November monthly calendar

Working on my reboot break plan & transition plan (revamping this one)

Keep reminding myself: Progress over perfection, and that I shouldn’t fear failure, but fear being in the same place next year as I am today.

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