Category: Month in Review

September: Month in Review (a few days late)

Well September is officially over, and there are only 92 days left in the year. I’m also a day or two late in posting this as well. As I’m writing this I realize that my birthday has come and gone, and I am currently looking down my last year of my thirties. I also realized that I fell short on most of my goals for September.

We’re officially started 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.

September goals were basically the same goals that I’ve had for the past few months, including the goal of working on my “reboot break” plan.

The goals for September included:

At least 420,000 steps

Continue with the photography challenge

Determine some type of workout routine (hopefully more than just walking)

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

Read 3 non-fiction books

Continue working on the reboot/pause plan

Try to set up a monthly calendar (getting organize) for various things

Continue reading on various industry websites and sharing interesting articles via linkedin/twitter. Plus notes for weekly recap on the blog

So how did I do with each one?

At least 420,000 steps

            So I at least managed to surpass my step goal for the month of September (and only had a few days that I was within 1500-2000 steps of my daily goal). My total number of steps for September ended up being 467,751 steps (almost 50K above my goal), and it brings my current yearly step total to: 4,047,300 steps. I’m well on my way of reaching my goal of 5 million steps by the end of the year.

Continue with the photography challenge

            I ended the month with another hiatus (and probably will start October with one as well). It isn’t that I’m not enjoying the challenge—because I am, but because I feel like I’m in a posting rut (the same topic—though the animal might be in a different pose, since pictures were taken on different days). So this is something that I’m going to be working on over the next few months.

Determine some type of workout routine (hopefully more than just walking)

            Well I stuck with mainly walking for the month—though there was a day or two at the beginning of the month that I did LIIFT4. I have created a hybrid calendar with LIIFT4, Country Heat, and Yoga Booty Ballet that I will hopefully be following for the rest of the year. I’m being smart and starting slightly light on the weights (instead of doing heavy right away), and may double up on the Country Heat & Yoga Booty Ballet on the weekends (Wednesday may be an automatic rest day, since there are quite a few chores that I have to take care of once I get home from work).

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

            This didn’t happen. I think that I might have managed a day or two here and there in terms of no spending on campus. One thing about quitting my job come November—I’ll be saving quite a bit of money, since I won’t be buying chocolate and/or coffee on a daily basis.

Read 3 non-fiction books

            I finished reading the “introduction” book in a self-development series (and am almost through with the second book; and the only other one I bought). The title of the book I finished is:

                        “Simplify your pursuit of success: Six simple steps to success” by Michal Stawicki

Continue working on the reboot/pause plan

            I’m still working on this plan. I have an idea of how the first two weeks may go—mainly getting my storage unit in order and enjoying the start of the holiday season (Thanksgiving). Since I’m also in the process of trying to rework my transition plan, and plans for traveling are slightly on hold (until I can figure out what will be either a mental health break and/or a combination work/enjoyment trips).

Try to set up a monthly calendar (getting organize) for various things

            This one is also a work in progress, as I haven’t found a planner calendar that I actually like (in other words one that is large enough for me to write multiple things for a single day), I’m in the process of trying to create my own monthly calendars where I can have multiple things written—or at least referenced back to on different days.

Continue reading on various industry websites and sharing interesting articles via linkedin/twitter. Plus notes for weekly recap on the blog

            I managed this for a while at the beginning of the month, but fell behind schedule towards the middle/end of the month. Though I didn’t take any notes to do a recap post on the blog.

So I fell short on basically ninety percent of my goals for September—but that ten percent success rate is what is keeping me going—Progress over perfection. I know that I’m not perfect, that I’m going to give in to my anxiety now and then, that I’m going to fall back on my fiction reading to help deal with my mood swings (and lets not talk about the current state of the world); but I am doing a little each day that helps me get a little closer to some of the goals that I’ve had set for quite a while.

Therefore the goals for October will include:

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)

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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August: Month in Review

Well August is officially over, and there are only 122 days left in the year. I’m also a day late in posting this as well. As I’m writing this I realize that my birthday is now in less than three weeks, and then I will be looking down my last year of my thirties. I also realized that I fell short on some of the goals for August.

There is only a month left in the third quarter of the year, and while that is scary, depressing, and slightly invigorating—I’ve realized that is just how time goes now—in an instant. Though there is still 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.

August goals were basically the same goals that I’ve had for the past few months, including the goal of working on my “reboot break” plan.

The goals for August included:

At least 434,000 steps

Continuing with the photography challenge

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

Working on my “reboot break”

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

Get back into a workout schedule (either a full program or a hybrid program between two different programs).

Work on creating more content for the blog (and potentially posts for linkedin).

Work on getting in a routine of reading business & scientific articles.

So how did I do with each one?

At least 434,000 steps

            I was down less than 9,000 steps for the month of August—my final total was 425,266 steps. This was mainly due to the hot temperatures on the weekends, and me not getting my steps in on those days (plus one or two days during the week, when I fell short as well). Though for the year I’m at 3,579,549 steps, which means that to get to 5 million—I only need to aim for a little over 11,500 steps a day. So, I think it is safe to say that I’m going to make the goal of 5 million steps. It is nice to see that by the time I take my reboot break, I don’t necessarily have to aim for 14,000 steps a day (though I probably will—just so I’m not constantly sitting on my butt).

Continuing with the photography challenge

            I took a week off from the photography challenge this month. This was partially due to the heat and not having done a walk for a week or two (therefore I felt like I was running low on photographs to share), and partially due to my mood—I just wasn’t in a good mind space that week.

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

            I managed to finish one book this month and it was “The Self-Care Prescription: Powerful solutions to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and increase well-being” by Robyn Gobin.

            One thing that I have realized is that while having a kindle is nice—all your books are at your fingertips, at the same time it can be detrimental if you bounce between books a lot (like I do at times). There are numerous books that I’ve started to read in terms of personal/professional development and then I decided I wanted to read something else. So now I’m actually going to go back to some of those books and start from the beginning, as it’s been at least six weeks (if not longer) since I read anything from that particular book.

Working on my “reboot break”

            I have an idea of how the first few weeks will go—as those are the weeks that I’m going to dedicate to getting my storage unit in order and starting to try to get rid of things (either selling or donating).

            As I had posted earlier, I’m thinking that the first week (and it will probably be the week of Thanksgiving) will look a little like this:

                        Get up, have a cup of coffee (or tea), and feed the dogs

                        Go for a morning walk at Boomer Lake (morning zen time and photography time)

                        Breakfast, shower (probably), then to the storage unit to rearrange and/or repack boxes

                        Home for lunch

                        Computer time: **Make use of apps that allow blocking of certain sites for a certain time frame (remove social media temptation—mainly facebook & instagram).

                                    At least one e-course (I have numerous ones bought covering a wide range of topics)

                                    Read/share at least two articles from a biotech/biopharma news site on Linkedin and twitter

                                    Spend at least forty minutes responding to messages and/or sending out connection requests on linkedin

                                    Spend at least thirty minutes reading through other people’s posts on linkedin, and hopefully commenting on at least two or three of them.

                                    Read for an hour (personal/professional development) and journal for an hour (answering questions from personal/professional development book)

                                    Workout

                                    Feed the animals

                                    Dinner and evening routine

            Then after getting my storage unit in order, and other things taken care of I can use that time for other things (such as craft time, or more reading/journaling time). This is one thing I’m hoping to improve upon during my reboot break—time management and spending time doing things that I enjoy and things I need to do.

            I’ve realized that I’m not aiming for “balance” per say—just having the ability to say today is a day that I need more “me” time or today is a day that will be heavy workwise, therefore after work this is going to be my recharge plan. It has taken me almost thirty-nine years to realize that I really never have had that type of “balance”—I go all out one way or the other, and therefore it isn’t surprising that I’m basically burnt out on life.

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

            I think I managed about one day a week of not spending money on campus. I’ve gotten into the bad habit again of going to the student union at lunch and grabbing candy (my excuse is that it’s a walk to help me get in my steps). Hopefully other than a few scheduled purchases (such as pre-ordered books, one lunch out with friends, and one order from Amazon), I can avoid spending money this month.

            I don’t see spending money as bad—but considering what I’m currently buying (namely candy)—I think that I should try to cut back on that spending. Now if I end up buying some fruit or veggies to snack on while on campus—I will make note, but still try to avoid “careless” spending (i.e. spending money on things that I could very well bring from home).

Get back into a workout schedule (either a full program or a hybrid program between two different programs).

            This is one thing that I’m struggling with currently. There have been new “hours” required at work (they’re not really new, but they’re very concrete—can’t leave until basically 5 pm on the dot), which has messed up my evening routine and I have yet to get into the groove of a new one. Hopefully this is something that I can get straightened out over the next few months.

Work on creating more content for the blog (and potentially posts for linkedin).

            Well, other than the photography challenge (and I took a week off from that), and a few other posts—I didn’t get that much content created for the blog, and none that would be shared via linkedin.

            I realize that sharing things via linkedin, they’ll be more of the scientific posts (and I don’t have that many of those done), plus I haven’t decided on the niche/area I would like to focus on. Though to be truthful, for the blog I can be a little more of a jack-of-all-trades, but they would need a central theme.

Work on getting in a routine of reading business & scientific articles.

            I have read several articles on biotech/biopharma business pages, and even shared them on linkedin and twitter. It isn’t totally consistent—but it is a start. I’m still trying to figure out my niche, as everything/one has said that it is better to be an expert than a jack-of-all-trades (which is what I currently consider myself).

            This is currently one of the problems I’m having with my transition plan—trying to narrow down what it is I want to do with my life. One thing I’ve realized over the years—once I master a skill, I start to get bored. Therefore I’m going to need to choose an area, where I will be challenged consistently, and that could even mean working my way up the ladder—more responsibility, more challenges. Or, I may need to look towards smaller companies, where I may wear more than one “hat” in terms of responsibilities.

Therefore the goals for September will include:

At least 420,000 steps

Continue with the photography challenge

Determine some type of workout routine (hopefully more than just walking)

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

Read 3 non-fiction books

Continue working on the reboot/pause plan

Try to set up a monthly calendar (getting organize) for various things

Continue reading on various industry websites and sharing interesting articles via linkedin/twitter. Plus notes for weekly recap on the blog

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.

No Comments Lifestyle ChallengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

July: Month in Review (a few days late). Now there are five months left in 2019.

Well July is officially over, and there are only 151 days left in the year. I’m also about three days late in posting this as well. As I’m writing this I realize that my birthday is in about seven weeks (give or take a day or two), and then I will be looking down my last year of my thirties. I think I’ve been a little better at my goals for July, though there are areas that I still need to focus on (namely reading industry website new articles and scientific articles).

There are only two months left in the third quarter of the year, and while that is scary, depressing, and slightly invigorating—I’ve realized that is just how time goes now—in an instant.

July goals were basically the same goals that I’ve had for the past few months, including the goal of working on my “reboot break” plan.

The goals for July included:

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

Continuing with the photography challenge (maybe introduce weekly themes)

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

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

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

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

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

Work on my “reboot break” plan

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

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

So how did I do with each goal?

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

So I managed to meet and slightly surpass the 434,000-step goal. I managed to get 450,489 steps during the month of July. I was actually thinking that I’d be slightly below my goal step this month, considering how hot it had been for awhile, and the fact that there were several days that I didn’t get all my steps in; in fact there were eleven days that I was below 14,000 (some days just by a few hundred, other days by a few thousand). But this also means that I’m on track for my yearly step goal as well. So far of the year I’ve managed to get 3,154,283 steps. That means I’m well on the way of reaching the end of the year goal of 5 million steps hopefully (as long as I don’t sit on my rear too much on the weekends and I try to ensure that I reach at least 14K Monday-Friday).

Continuing with the photography challenge (maybe introduce weekly themes)

I’ve managed to keep with the photography challenge, and I’ve introduced a theme once or twice during the month. Currently I’m doing more wildlife/nature so I’ve realized that I’m going to have repetition on themes/images. Though I am trying not to post the same type (for example if I post on a particular bird more than once—I’ll try to have it flying and then hopefully sitting in a tree) more than once or twice (max). Currently with the weather, it’s too warm at lunch to take a walk and try my hand at doing architecture photography on campus (this is a maybe for the fall once the temperatures cool down a little).

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

I’ve managed to do one or two workouts this month (that weren’t just walking around campus getting my steps in). Part of my problem, is that I try to do them at the end of the day (since I’m not a morning person, and I barely give myself enough time as it is to get out of the house for work)—and I’m usually hot, tired, and sweaty. I also don’t want to be putting shoes and socks back on either (I go to work, and then come home in sandals).

So this is something I’m still working on—I have all the programs at my fingertips; I just need to push myself to do it every day.

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

I’ve managed to finish the following:

            “Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and organize to make more room for happiness” by Gretchen Rubin

            “Pause: Harness the life-changing power of giving yourself a break” by Rachael O’Meara

Both of the books had to do with areas that I’m wanting to focus on in the coming months: paring down on my stuff, declutter and getting rid of things. This is because I’m going to be moving somewhere next year, and I don’t want to end up in a small apartment surrounded by a whole bunch of stuff that I may never use or wear.

The second book has to deal with my “reboot break” as this author gave the time period a different name—a pause. So it has some other questions/exercises that I need to also start working through.

I’ve realized that is one thing I do—I will read a personal/professional development book all the way through and then go back and answer the questions and do the exercises. This is mainly due to when and/or where I’m reading at the time.

In terms of my reading challenge (at least 100 personal and/or professional development books) for the 101 challenges in 1001 days: For 2019 I’ve read 17 books so far (which is roughly 2 ½ books a month). In 2018 I read 20 books off the list. The list initially started with about 70-80 books, and has ballooned out to so far 283 books in total. So in total I’ve read 37/283 (or about 13% of the list).

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

I’ve been able to go a little over a week without spending any money on campus this month. This was due in part to the weather—when it’s in the triple digits, I didn’t feel like heading to the student union to get chocolate (especially since it was going to be semi-melted by the time I got back to the office). Since I’m aiming to do my reboot break/pause at the end of the year—I’m going to be trying to avoid going to the union for candy, but if I do—it will go on the debit card instead of the credit card.

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

I’ve been a little more active on linkedin and some of the groups on facebook. I’ve posted my plans for doing my reboot break, and got good/positive feedback. I know that I need to be more active, and will be working on this over the next few months.

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

I haven’t worked on any of the e-courses, but looking back at my transition plan I’ve realized that the big problem is that I have never named a company (or companies) that I want to work for—all I stated was that I would be a research scientist in a company by 2021. I’ve also realized that I did the same thing with my 101 goals—I state the job title (more or less) and that it would be in industry—not naming a company though. So this is something I need to work on—determining where I want to end up.

Work on my “reboot break” plan

So I’ve been working on my reboot break—it will start at the latest right around Thanksgiving (or it could start a month or two earlier—depends on when I give my two months notice). I’ve more or less planned out the first two or three weeks (mainly getting my storage unit in order and start getting rid of things) of the break. I have some ideas on how to blend travel for both mental health and networking, but I need to flesh them out and then start looking at the financial side of things.

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

I’ve looked at different articles, but I didn’t take any notes for a weekly recap blog post. It isn’t that I’m not finding the articles interesting, but when I try to skim through an article when I have a small window of say five minutes between doing things—I don’t necessarily write anything down on them. So, this is still an area that I need to work on—building my business acumen.

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

Again, this is something that I didn’t really do fully—I’ve read the abstract or title of numerous articles (I get a weekly emails from several journals), but I haven’t clicked on the link(s) to actually read the article in full.  Again, this is something that I need to work on—getting back in the routine of reading scientific articles.

So, other than the scientific/business readings I was able to more or less meet my goals (or at least 2/3 of a goal). I think with deciding to take a reboot break, I’ve cut down on some of my stress (probably about a third of it), and since I know where other stress is coming from, once I figure out a good coping mechanism (that doesn’t involve chocolate) I will be in a much more better place mentally.

Therefore, it is time to look towards the rest of the month of August and determine what I am going to focus on, therefore:

Goals for August will include:

At least 434,000 steps

Continuing with the photography challenge

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

Working on my “reboot break”

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

Get back into a workout schedule (either a full program or a hybrid program between two different programs).

Work on creating more content for the blog (and potentially posts for linkedin).

Work on getting in a routine of reading business & scientific articles.

Basically, sticking with my motto: Progress over perfection. Everything takes time, but you have to be willing to put the time in–I know I haven’t put the time in for certain things (reading business/scientific articles is at the top of the list)–but I’ve acknowledge where I need to start making changes. That’s the first step in the right direction: acknowledging shortfalls and then working on a plan to correct them. So that is growth for the month.

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June in Review

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

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

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

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Working on planning my “reboot break”

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each goal?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

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

Working on planning my “reboot break”

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

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

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

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore the goals for July are going to include:

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

Continuing with the photography challenge (maybe introduce weekly themes)

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

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

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

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

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

Work on my “reboot break” plan

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

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

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

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Month in Review: May

So we’re officially entered June, and within a blink of an eye—the year will be half over. May has been helpful slightly in that I’ve realized that I need to do a “reboot break” some time soon. One of the books I finished reading this month was “Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break” by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith. It showed me that sometimes “quitting” something is the best thing to do, in order to figure out what it is you really want to do. So sometime between now and November (when my job contract is up), I’ll be starting my reboot break (more on this in additional posts).

But while I’ve realized that I need to take a “reboot break”, the things I realized over the course of April still hold true: 1) I still have no idea of what I want to do job wise (though I have a couple of ideas). I also realize that this statement can be taken literally, and it isn’t meant to be—all I mean is that I haven’t decided which direction I want to go as a “specialist” and which direction I want to go as a “generalist”. 2) I still have yet to find a good balance between things—I seem to be either all in or barely in at all; and 3) I really need to work on getting the anxiety and stress under control.

But as we head into the final month of the second quarter, it is time to reflect back on the goals that I set for May. Again, as I’ve mentioned previously—the goals are going to be staying the same (more or less)—that way I can continue trying to reach them monthly, and once they become an habit—then I can switch them up.

So the goals for May included:

At least 434,000 steps (again breaking down to 14K/day)

Continue with the photography challenge

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

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

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

So how did I do with each one?

At least 434,000 steps (again breaking down to 14K/day)

            I managed to surpass my goal of at least 434,000 steps (even though there were several days that I was below both 14K and at times 5K). My final step total for the month was 466,661 steps. This brings my yearly total to 2,240,365 steps.  In terms of my yearly goal of 5 million steps, I’m 2,759,635 steps away and there are still 201 days left in the year. That means I only need 13,730 steps per day for the rest of the year to reach 5 million.

            In terms of my 1001-day goal of reaching 14,014,000 steps that I had originally set last year (which would end approximately Sept 28 2020)—I’m at 7,519,336 steps. There are ~472 days left in my first 1001-day challenge. I’m 6,494,664 steps away (which breaks down to again 13,760 steps a day to reach the goal). So I’m good on this goal as well.

Continue with the photography challenge

            I had to post a couple of days together (or several on the same day) due to the wifi being down in the evening at home. I had to post four days worth over two days (instead of doing three at once—I did two on Friday, and then two on Saturday morning). I’ve managed to keep up with the challenge (even with having to do catch-up posts). This only happened twice in the month (one long post for days 80-82; and then for the end of the month and beginning of June).

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

            I will admit that other than walking and trying to get my steps in daily I haven’t been doing a real workout program for the month of May. This is one of the things that has really made me stop and look at how far I’ve let both my mental and physical health slide the past couple of months.

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

I actually managed to finish four books this month, and I’ve written a book review for one of those books (“Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break”). The one by Devin Thorp was okay—since I don’t have kids, own a house, or and things like that, there were several chapters that didn’t pertain to my life.

The two that were basically career/networking guides just helped to remind me that I do need to try to spend more time networking and figuring out what I want to do with life (there are still questions in one of the books that I need to go back and continue working through).

So the full titles and authors of the books that I finished reading during May were:

925 ideas to help you save money, get out of debt, and retire a millionaire by Devin Thorp

Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith

Next Gen PhD: A Guide to Career Paths in Science by Melanie V Sinche

Navigating the path to industry: A hiring managers advice to academics looking for a job in industry by M.R. Nelson

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

            I managed to go maybe two days a week without spending money on campus this month. I’ve realized that part of my problem is that I turn to sweets to help deal with irritations at work (also it’s one of my excuses for getting my steps in). I’m hoping that I will do better during the month of June (especially if I figure out how to “forget” my wallet at home a few days a week).

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

            This is something that is up and down throughout the month. Mentally I feel drained in the evenings and weekends—therefore I focus on things that help me mentally regroup before the next week. Interacting on linkedin right now isn’t one of those things. Again—I know where my problem is, I just need to figure out the best method for starting to deal with it in a way that isn’t going to backfire on me in long run.

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

            I’m slowly working on things—but since I’ve realized I need a “reboot break” I’m trying to figure out how to fit that into the whole plan as well. I want to mentally recharge and find my footing again—but at the same time I don’t want to be wasting time that I could be spending on job searching either.

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

            Have totally forgotten about doing this during the month—my bad. Need to get the pages to almost pop up as my home pages to remind me to scroll through things and start “acting” like an adult.

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

            I’ve read the abstract of several different papers over the month—but that has been as far as I’ve gotten on this one. It’s hard to do, when you’ve realized how close to total burnout you’ve gotten.

So the major thing I managed to accomplish this month was realizing that I really need to take time for myself—get my health (mental and physical) back on track, take care of a few other things, and then also focus on my job search. While I know that there are people who will disagree with me—currently I’d rather not have a job and be able to sleep well at night, then have a job, sleep miserably, and not enjoy what I’m having to spend 40 hours a week doing. I’m also 39 and just realizing that it’s time to sit and really try to figure out what I want to do with the second half of my life (though I’m sure I’ll live past 78).

Therefore the goals for June include:

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Working on planning my “reboot break”

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

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

I’ve added in one additional goal—but I think that could be the goal that really gets me to focus more on the others in the second half of the year. Because I need to keep reminding myself—that every day is a new start, and when taking everything into account, we only live once. I’ve put work and being in a lab center in my life longer than I should have–now I need to pull it back and see what else could benefit with being the center of my life for awhile.

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April in Review: we’re a third of the way through the year.

So we’re officially through with a third of the year. Spring is here in full force, and summer is around the corner. I’ve realized several things over the past couple of weeks in terms of how I go about doing my personal and professional development: 1) I still have no idea of what I want to do job wise (though I have a couple of ideas). I also realize that this statement can be taken literally, and it isn’t meant to be—all I mean is that I haven’t decided which direction I want to go as a “specialist” and which direction I want to go as a “generalist”. 2) I still have yet to find a good balance between things—I seem to be either all in or barely in at all; and 3) I really need to work on getting the anxiety and stress under control.

But as we now move into the second “third” of the year (or the second month of the second quarter), it is also time to reflect back on the goals that I set for April. As I’ve mentioned previously—the goals are going to be staying the same (more or less)—that way I can continue trying to reach them monthly, and once they become an habit—then I can switch them up.

So the goals for April included:

At least 434,000 steps (breaks down to 14K/day).

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Being more active on linkedin

Working out daily (hopefully starting transformation: 20 or another round of LIIFT4)—or at least on a consistent basis. I’m not going to push myself if I know I’m not feeling well—so there has to be balance.

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each one?

At least 434,000 steps (breaks down to 14K/day).

           I managed to reach the step goal, even with having about five or six days were I was under the target of 14K/day. I just realized that the April goal step should have been 420,000 steps (as there are only 30 days in April). With it being 434,000—it came to roughly 14,467 steps a day. The final step total for the month of April was 444,566 steps. This brings me to a yearly total of 1,773,704 steps. As long as I can reach at least 15K steps Monday-Friday I should be good at reaching the yearly goal of 5 million steps. I’ve realized that if I don’t do a walk all the around Boomer Lake on the weekend I usually don’t get in all my steps on the weekend (I just haven’t been in the mood to march in place in the evenings to a movie lately).

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

            Finished: The Year of Less: How I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy by Cait Flanders

I’ve started several other books and made headway with each of them, but since several also have “exercises” associated with them—I’m not done with them yet. Though I’m thinking that the answers to some of these “exercises” may become blog posts in the near future.

Continuing with the photography challenge

            I’ve managed to keep up with the photography challenge, though what I’ve been doing is the following—taking walks on the weekend and practicing my photography and getting enough pictures that I can post something new every day. Some days I do take new pictures with my phone, but for the most part it’s being based off of my weekend walks and older pictures that I haven’t shared on the blog or social media.

Being more active on linkedin

            I’m slowly starting to be more active on linkedin. This is something that I had been good at doing for awhile, and then I took a break and now I need to get back on board of being more active. I know what needs to be done (sharing articles, commenting, and connecting)—I just really need to schedule in the time to do so (block it out and make a commitment to doing “X” amount of work/time per day on the site).

Working out daily (hopefully starting transformation: 20 or another round of LIIFT4)—or at least on a consistent basis. I’m not going to push myself if I know I’m not feeling well—so there has to be balance.

            I managed about two weeks of working out on a somewhat consistent basis earlier in the month. I’ve also found that for some reason beachbody’s online workout platform is now “scheduling” workout times, even though they are dates I didn’t log in. One minor issue has been the Internet connections at home—it’s hard to stream a workout when you worry if the Internet is going to behave for the thirty or forty minutes you’re wanting to workout. I may have to go between trying to stream and then doing workouts via DVDs.

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

            I managed to go at least three days a week without buying things on campus for the most part. I’ve realized that when my stress and anxiety levels get high, while I will go take a walk—I’ll walk to the student union and then buy some chocolate. One thing I’ve managed this month is to almost determine what some of my triggers are for spending money: with the top three being: I’m tired, stressed, or my anxiety has ramped up to where I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack and I want chocolate.

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

            So this is something I started working on—at least trying to narrow down the cities (I decided to start here and see what the average rent cost for a 1bed/bath apartment would be)—and I gave myself an anxiety attack. I then realized that part of the problem is that I still am undecided in what I want to do—but I’m now thinking of a way to merge both a “specialist” direction with a “generalist” direction. This way hopefully can try to get the best of both sides.

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

            I have read an article or two from the websites (and I’m also starting to include in biospace as well), but I haven’t been taking notes. One thing I’m going to start doing is trying to share the articles that I find interesting on different social media sites (including linkedin and twitter) and try to build my “professional” brand this way as well.

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

            This one has been a no go this month—mainly because I couldn’t decide on a topic for the month in terms of the type of scientific paper(s) I would be starting to read. This goes hand in hand with main issue of the job search—knowing that I should aim to be a “specialist” but wanting to stay a “generalist” so that I don’t lose my enjoyment of science.

So I’ve managed to make some headway in terms of some of the monthly goals. Reading is a little slow (only because some of the books again have “exercises” and I’m actually trying to work through them as I read the book; and I also go back and forth between several books and then my fiction books as well). I’ve realized where some of the mental blocks are in terms of the job search/transition are also coming from and I’m going to try to work on “dismantling” those blocks over the next few months as well.

Therefore the goals for May are going to include:

At least 434,000 steps (again breaking down to 14K/day)

Continue with the photography challenge

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

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

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

The goals are more or less the same for May as they were for April–but that is because I’m still working on being a little better than I was yesterday. For the most part the step goal should be in the bag (though I know from experience that if I let myself slide too much I won’t reach the year end goal). The reading goal is always slowly moving forward (one problem with bouncing book to book). The others are ones that I need to figure out the best method of “attack” so that I don’t work myself into an anxiety or stress induced anxiety attack.

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March: A month in Review

Well the first quarter of the year has come and gone. Some things have gotten accomplished, but I’ve fallen short on quite a few other things. One thing I despise about March is the start of day light savings time—where we set the clocks a head an hour. We don’t gain or lose anything other than a little bit of our charming personalities. For the most part I can adapt pretty quickly, except I usually end of snacking a little more, and it takes me a little longer to get back into a workout routine. Plus it’s still flu season (luckily I got my flu shot last fall, so I only had a very mild case this past week). As we head into the second quarter of the year, it’s time to look back on the goals for March and see how I managed with each one.

The goals for the month included:

At least 434,000 steps (again this breaks down to a minimum of 14K/day), though I would like to maybe aim for 475,000 steps (which would break down to a little over 15K a day).

Continue with the photography challenge

Workout daily (continue to alternate between weight training & cardio)

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

Try to get at least one more science post up on the blog (maybe two if possible)

Aim for a week of no spending (keep a money log)

Continue interacting on linkedin

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

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

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 434,000 steps (again this breaks down to a minimum of 14K/day), though I would like to maybe aim for 475,000 steps (which would break down to a little over 15K a day). Well I’ve at least made it to the 434,000 steps for the month. There have been several days that I’ve decided should be rest days—so I usually end up with less than 5K steps. I did manage to get to a total of 464,960 (I was just a little over 10K shy of the 475,000 goal). This brings me to a total of 1,329,138 and I’m still on track for both the goal of five million by the end of the year, and my ~14-20 million by the end of 1001 days challenge.

Continue with the photography challenge. So far so good, I’ve managed to keep up with the challenge. I’m alternating between newer pictures and older ones that I haven’t shared. Right now the photography challenge is mainly on the blog, and then shared on either twitter or pintrest (depending on the post).

Daily workout (continue to alternate between weight training & cardio).  This really didn’t happen this month. In between trying to readapt to day light savings time and just life in general—I managed to make sure that I was walking daily, but that was about it. April will be when I get back on track. I’m actually thinking of maybe trying to start transformation 20 come April 1st (it’s the new ShawnT workout from Beachbody that should be available to everyone).

Read (or finish) at least three non-fiction books. I managed to only finish one book this month and that was: “Choose the life you want: The mindful way to happiness” by Taj Ben-Shahar. With day light saving time starting, and coming down with a mild case of the flu—I fell back into a routine of re-reading some of my go to series (also there were a couple of new books out in two series, so I needed to remember what had happen so I could read those books). I have one or two other books that I’m about 70% of the way through, but didn’t manage to get them finished this month.

Try to get at least one more science post up on the blog (maybe two if possible). I have several ideas for different science posts for the science page of the blog (and even a couple of blog posts), but that is as far as I’ve gotten for those. One issue is again my poor illustration skills and the fact that I want them to look good.  So the posts may just be “wordy” to begin with, and then once I’m comfortable with not perfect illustrations I’ll start to add in some illustrations.

Aim for a week of no spending (keep a money log). I did manage to have a week of no spending—it was the very first week of the month. I’m hoping to do better in April and actually maybe have a month of no spending. The money log only lasted about the first two weeks of the month, and then I kept saying I’d add in things after work—but I never did. Again this is a work in progress.

Continue interacting on linkedin—this is something that didn’t really happen this month. I think it was a combination of not getting decent sleep, allergies, and just feeling blah in general that I more or less stayed off linkedin last month. This is something that I need to be doing (interacting—not staying off of) more of, and hopefully will be doing better with come the second quarter of the year.

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta).  I’ve made some progress on this—I have several pages of notes on the types of positions that could be of interest, and things I should be doing to help narrow down the positions from seven to maybe four (or at least ranked a little better than what I currently have). In terms of the different e-courses that I’ve bought (or saved) I’ve managed to only get through one or two (and they don’t necessarily have anything to do with transitioning to an industry position).

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read). Truthfully I can’t remember if I read anything on either website this month. I may have during the first week of the month, but if I did—I forgot to take notes.

So I’ve been up and down on the goals for March—but truthfully with the time change and then battling the crud—I’m not surprised. I’ve also realized that there are several things on my 101-goal list that I haven’t been consistent with either the first quarter of the year. But that is the nice thing about life—you can realize something isn’t working perfectly and then start slowly readjusting things so that you’re hopefully hitting the goal at least 80% of the time for the month.

So as we head into the second quarter of the year, my goals for April will include:

At least 434,000 steps (breaks down to 14K/day).

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Being more active on linkedin

Working out daily (hopefully starting transformation: 20 or another round of LIIFT4)—or at least on a consistent basis. I’m not going to push myself if I know I’m not feeling well—so there has to be balance.

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

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

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

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

The goals are pretty much the same–which is good. If I can stick with them for a couple more months, they should almost be a habit and then I can start in with some new goals.

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February in Review

Well, February weather has been as crazy as January weather. There have been two ice days, and then an early close & late opening for work. Then it looks like March is going to start with a winter bang as well this coming weekend (maybe, but we’ll have to see—at times the weather people aren’t the greatest at predicting how the storm is going to be moving). We’re a sixth of the way through the year, and again it’s time to reflect back on the goals that were set for February, and see how I did with each, how I could improve, and then set some goals for the coming month.

So I decided that to start the year, I was going to start a little slower in terms of goals (not have quite as many as I’d been having) to see if I could get at least 80% on each of them. So what did my goals for January include?

They were:

At least 392,000 steps (again this breaks down to at least 14K/day; and will keep me on track for my other step goals).

Continue trying to interact more on linkedin.

Read at least one article on fiercepharma or fiercebiotech each day (maybe make notes for a small weekly recap blog post).

Continue with the photography challenge

Continue working through various e-courses/groups and the transition plan (pick specific cities, and have an idea of what my superpower trifecta is).

Continue trying to workout daily.

Aim for a week of no spend days (start money log)

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

Start really trying to work on science posts for the blog (and potentially on linkedin as well).

Figure out the best way (still) of trying to have my shakeology daily.

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 392,000 steps (again this breaks down to at least 14K/day; and will keep me on track for my other step goals).

            I managed to get 386,629 steps this month. I fell short of my goal (by just a little over 5K), but I’ve noticed that the weekends, and any days off of work I’m still having trouble motivating myself to get my steps in. Hopefully as the weather gets nicer, and the sun come up a little earlier—I can get my steps in on the weekends (walking up at Boomer Lake), and there should also be fewer days off of work (weather related) until I decide to take a mini vacation/networking trip somewhere.

Continue trying to interact more on linkedin.

So this is a little slow going—I do scroll through linkedin daily (usually), and I am trying to add value to connections. I know that there are several different ways of adding value on linkedin—it is something that just takes quite a bit of time, especially when you have a large network.

Read at least one article on fiercepharma or fiercebiotech each day (maybe make notes for a small weekly recap blog post).

            I managed to read at least one article a week, which is a start to making it to reading an article an day. I have taken some notes for a blog post, but I haven’t polished any of them up to where they could be actually published as a blog post (so something to continue working on).

Continue with the photography challenge

            I’ve restarted the challenge at least twice this month. One issue has mainly been trying to find something that strikes my fancy in terms of taking the photography. I hope that as the weather gets nicer, I will be outside more and that there will be times when the mood strikes me in terms of taking photos. So far my restart last week is still going, I have decided that if necessary I can use older pictures that I’ve taken (and hopefully not shared on the blog), that way they’re still “new” in a way.

Continue working through various e-courses/groups and the transition plan (pick specific cities, and have an idea of what my superpower trifecta is).

            This is still a work in progress (as usual). I think I’ve managed to figure out the professional lifestyle that I want to have, and am still looking at different cities (though I know that Boston will probably be on the list). I’m also still working through the different e-courses, and group work at a slow pace. In terms of the e-courses I think that some of the shorter ones that I’d manage to finish last year, I may go back through and do again (plus take better notes so that I can do a small blog post on the subject).

            In terms of my superpower trifecta, I’m still trying to figure out what the third point is (I have a general idea of the first two), so I’m two-thirds of the way there on this aspect.

Continue trying to workout daily.

            So I’m still bouncing between workouts and trying to figure out what to do each evening. Though during the last week of the month, I decided that I’d make note of the different weight training exercises and start doing different ones on my own (making my own “program” as it was) and on other days doing cardio. In terms of the cardio I’m still going between different Beachbody workouts that I have on DVD (since I don’t always want to turn on the laptop right away to get to the online workouts).

Aim for a week of no spend days (start money log)

            I’ve managed to have at least two to three days of not spending any money on campus. Sometimes the best way to do this would to actually be leaving my wallet at home (that way there is literally no way for me to spend money (unless I want to charge something to my bursar account)).

Read (or finish) at least three non-fiction books.

So I managed to finish at least four books this month, and I realized that the four books that I finished all had basically one central theme: a month at a time. Two of the books dealt with discussing a bad habit a day and what you could do to improve and break that bad habit. The other two books were books with numerous different types of challenges in them (again with the theme of completing a challenge a month).  Some of the challenges are covered in both challenge books (and can be considered the goals of some of the challenges of the two productivity books), and the titles of the books are:

The 30-Day Productivity Plan: Break the 30 Bad Habits that are sabotaging your time management one day at a time by Damon Zahariades

The 30-Day Productivity Plan Volume II: 30 More Bad Habits that are sabotaging your time management & how to overcome them one day at a time by Damon Zahariades

The Big book of 30-Day Challenges: 60 Habit Forming Programs to live an Infinitely Better Life by Rosanna Casper

The 30-Day Challenge Book: 500 Ideas to Inspire your life by Clare Hudson.

Start really trying to work on science posts for the blog (and potentially on linkedin as well).

            I managed to get at least one new science post/page posted this month on the blog. It was the introduction to the central dogma of biology. It was very basic in explanation and scope. I’m hoping over the next few months to get at least one post/page a week done. Some of the figure will be done using chembiodraw (which helps in trying to draw the more complex aspects of biology [such as DNA and RNA structures]), but there will also be several figures that I will attempt to draw by hand and then add on to using either photoshop or potentially within powerpoint as well.

Figure out the best way (still) of trying to have my shakeology daily

            Since the weather is still cool, having my shake daily is still an issue. I’ve become more accustom to having something more solid for breakfast both during the week and on the weekend. The shakeology is looking like it will probably be more of a snack, though I’d have to then figure out if it would be better as a snack in the morning or in the afternoon. But this is something that hopefully I can slowly start easing back into come March.

Goals for March will include:

At least 434,000 steps (again this breaks down to a minimum of 14K/day), though I would like to maybe aim for 475,000 steps (which would break down to a little over 15K a day).

Continue with the photography challenge

Workout daily (continue to alternate between weight training & cardio)

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

Try to get at least one more science post up on the blog (maybe two if possible)

Aim for a week of no spending (keep a money log)

Continue interacting on linkedin

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

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

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Month in Review: January 2019

So we’re off and running into 2019. January has come and gone. The weather has been interesting this month—within the first four days there was a snow/ice storm (did get out of work a little early, and then the next day started a little later)—so can’t wait to see how the weather is going to behave for the rest of the year.

So I decided that to start the year, I was going to start a little slower in terms of goals (not have quite as many as I’d been having) to see if I could get at least 80% on each of them. So what did my goals for January include?

They were:

At least 434,000 steps (this will be breaking down to the minimum of 14K/day), so that I can be on track for reaching 5 million steps again by New Year’s Eve.

Starting to interact more on Linkedin.

Restarting the photography challenge (may or may not be same picture on the blog and other social pages).

Working through different e-courses and on the transition plan (making notes and posting updates on the blog).

Working on different science posts for the blog.

Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books (aiming to read at least 10% of a book a day—lovely thing with the kindle as it tells you the % of the book you’ve read; would make it approximately 3 new books a month).

Workout daily (either restart a beachbody program or start a hybrid program), alternating resistance training with cardio (and hopefully a walk on the weekend along with yoga).

Figure out how to ensure that I’m having my shakeology daily.

So how did I do with each of them?

  1. Step goal of 434,000: I managed to surpass the step goal this month. I got in 477,549 steps (and this was with four days being below average; three of which were below 5K). A little closer to reaching 500K in a month, but still a little short. But I’m on track for both the yearly goal (of 5 million) and my 1001-day goal (of either 14,014,000 or 19,124,000 steps).
  • Interacting more on Linkedin: This one is a little slow going. I’m liking posts, and sharing posts every so often, but I have yet to write an post or leave a detailed comment on someone’s post.
  • Restarting the photography challenge: This one has been difficult, mainly due to my cell phone acting up (during the week, that is usually how I take my pictures). So the challenge got restarted again on the 7th (though I did post on the 1st, and then several pictures over the weekend of the 5th & 6th to try to make up for not having a daily picture posted from the 2nd to the 4th).

I restarted the challenge again this week (starting on the 28th), and did a double post on 30th (since I had trouble trying to load any of the pages on the blog on the 29th). So we shall see how long I make it this year.

  • Working through the different e-courses and on the transition plan: I’ve managed to work through one e-course (which was more of a refresher on job searching), and did one or two little linkedin “courses”. In terms of my transition plan, I’ve come up with several things that I’d like to avoid doing, slowly figuring out my “professional lifestyle” and I have an idea about which biotech hubs I’d be willing to move to for a job.
  • Working on different science posts: I’m slowly working on this, as I’ve realized what my two major hang-ups are: 1) trying to draw what I want to relate (structures of DNA & RNA for example), and then 2) making sure that I’m not using a huge amount of scientific jargon. I want to write scientific posts that can be understood by someone who doesn’t have the scientific background.
  • Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books: So I managed to finish reading the following books, and have also decided to color code them differently in my master list to differentiate between the books that I finished last year (in red) and the ones I will have finished this year (in green); though I also have one in purple (this is more of a reference book):

Move Your Æ Ash: Know, Grow, & Show Your Career Value by Paul Carney

Anti Goals: Find Success by Knowing what to avoid by Kevin Wagonfoot

Power Up Your Self Talk: 6 Simple Habits to Stop Beating Yourself Up and Reclaim Your Life by Michal Stawicki

Anti-Debt: A guide to personal finance, getting out debt and building a money plan for our life by Kevin Wagonfoot

Though I’ve only written one book review so far: Anti-Goals: Find Success by Knowing What to Avoid by Kevin Wagonfoot

  • Daily workout: I’ve managed to at least get my steps in 27 out of 31 days (which means that my fitbit registered at least 25 minutes of walking). I’ve also done numerous workouts—it may not have been daily though. So this is still something I’m going to be working on (see my other post on trying to finish at least 250 different Beachbody workouts).
  • Trying to figure out the best way to have my shakeology daily. This has been a total washout—I haven’t had shakeology at all this month. I’m considering cancelling my supplements for shakeology (as I have about 2 months worth to still go through). Mornings right now are too chilly for having a shake before leaving the house, and I’ve gotten spoiled having it mixed with almond milk instead of water and blended (instead shaken in a cup). So yeah—I’m still trying to figure out the best way of having my daily dose of shakeology.

So I think I’m off to a good start this year (at least in terms of certain things). There are always going to be bumps or roadblocks in the road, and I just need to go over them or figure out a way around them. So now it’s time to try to set some goals for the next twenty-eight days in February.

February goals will include:

At least 392,000 steps (again this breaks down to at least 14K/day; and will keep me on track for my other step goals).

Continue trying to interact more on linkedin.

Read at least one article on fiercepharma or fiercebiotech each day (maybe make notes for a small weekly recap blog post).

Continue with the photography challenge

Continue working through various e-courses/groups and the transition plan (pick specific cities, and have an idea of what my superpower trifecta is).

Continue trying to workout daily.

Aim for a week of no spend days (start money log)

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

Start really trying to work on science posts for the blog (and potentially on linkedin as well).

Figure out the best way (still) of trying to have my shakeology daily.

Image of Goofy running: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/pc787erqi.htm

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December in Review

So 2018 has come to an end, and I wasn’t even the least bit sorry to see the year. I’m going to be do an post for the year in review, so right now I’m going to focus looking back at my goals for December.

So my goals for December included:

1) 434,000 steps (this is still basically 14K/day; technically I can do quite a bit less and still reach my 5 million goal by the end of the month. I’m going to try to keep as close as possible to 14k/day—just to see what my final yearly total will be and maybe adjust next year’s goal higher).

2) Shakeology daily (if I don’t have it for breakfast, I need to remember to pack it for a snack on campus).

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

4) Limit what I’m buying on campus (aim for at least 2 non-spend days a week [three would be great]), also start keeping a money log again on what I’m buying (and how I’m paying for it).

5) Make my hybrid workout calendar and sticking with it

6) Working through the different e-courses (and taking notes and writing small blog posts).

7) Working on the transition plan (again with blog posts).

8) Working on a editorial calendar for the blog (some of the other goals will be on that calendar as well).

9) Networking & adding value on linkedin.

10) Writing reviews of the books that I’ve finished (but haven’t reviewed yet):

Science of Intelligent Achievement by Isaiah Hankel

            Self Talk: How to train your brain to turn negative thinking into positive thinking & practice self love by Aston Sanderson

            Minimalist Living: Declutter your home, schedule, and digital life for simple living (and discover why less is more) by Aston Sanderson

            Rewire your Habits: Establish Goals, Evolve your habits, & improve your relationships, health, finances, and free time by Zoe McKey

            Thinking in Bets: making smart decisions when you don’t have all the facts by Annie Duke.

            What your clutter is trying to tell you: Uncover the message in the mess and reclaim your life by Kerri L. Richardson

            Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher

            Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

            CareerCode: Know Your Code, Find your Fit by Jan Lowe & Tracy Lungrin

            YouMap: Find Yourself, Blaze Your path, Show the world! By Kristin Sherry

11) Restart the photography challenge (which may or may not match on various social pages).

So how did I do with my goals for December?

In terms of my step goal (at least 434,000) I managed to get 392,346 steps (it was short for the goal—but truthfully I didn’t need that many to reach the yearly goal), and that got me over my yearly goal of 5 million by several thousand steps. I ended the year with 5,278,971 steps. This was the first year that I managed to hit the goal of 5 million steps (and I’ve set the goal for three years). So I think that I will be keeping this as a yearly goal going into 2019 as well (trying to hit 5 million steps).

This was not the month for daily shakeology. My morning allergies have just been almost extreme this month so I usually try to have something solid for breakfast, and since I don’t really like mixing shakeology with water I haven’t managed to figure out how to have it at work for a snack (hopefully I can figure it out for the new year).

I have only managed to finish the following non-fiction books:

            Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher

I started out the beginning of the month doing okay in terms of keeping a money log, and even managed to have a day where I didn’t buy any sweets on campus, but I didn’t managed to go more than a single day this month in terms of not spending money (and basically after the first week of the month, I fell behind on doing the money log as well).

I made my hybrid Beachbody workout calendar for December and actually even posted it to the blog—but other than the few first days I haven’t actually completed a workout this month (other than walking). So this is something I’m also going to need to get back on track with come the New Year.

I have made a little progress with the transition plan (namely trying to do some personal development and trying to determine what my strengths and weaknesses are and then I can start tailoring my transition plan to my strengths while trying to strengthen some of my weaknesses).

In terms of everything else that I also had on the goal list for December, I really didn’t hit that many of those goals either. In part I think that I just had too many varied things on the list, and I am still struggling with time management in the evenings (two things to work on in the New Year).

So goals for starting out 2019, what will they be?

At least 434,000 steps (this will be breaking down to the minimum of 14K/day), so that I can be on track for reaching 5 million steps again by New Year’s Eve.

Starting to interact more on Linkedin.

Restarting the photography challenge (may or may not be same picture on the blog and other social pages).

Working through different e-courses and on the transition plan (making notes and posting updates on the blog).

Working on different science posts for the blog.

Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books (aiming to read at least 10% of a book a day—lovely thing with the kindle as it tells you the % of the book you’ve read; would make it approximately 3 new books a month).

Workout daily (either restart a beachbody program or start a hybrid program), alternating resistance training with cardio (and hopefully a walk on the weekend along with yoga).

Figure out how to ensure that I’m having my shakeology daily (probably as a snack—though I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be down a day (as I didn’t have it today)).

And finally to remember to take things a day at a time and slowly but surely I’ll get a little better at time management and things will get done easier and quicker.


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