Category: Month in Review

March in Review

 

So we’re officially a third of the way through the year, and I would like to know where the time went. March seemed to speed by, and it didn’t help catching the flu (type B) at the beginning of the month, and therefore was either sick or recovering from the flu for about half the month. So I realize that I didn’t do that well with the goals that I set for the month (no one really wants to be trying to get in their steps when they have a fever and chills)—but I did make some type of progress on each goal.

So the goals for March included:

At least 434,000 steps

Having my shakeology daily for breakfast

Read at least three non-fiction books

Pack my lunch daily

Exercise 6 days a week (minimum doing the squat challenge)

Continue networking

Have at least 1 no spend day and try to work up to a no spend week

Keep a money log

Finish at least one online program/class/course and get half way through at least one or two more courses. Read More

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February in Review

So another month has come and gone (seriously, can we slow down just a little). I realized that I wouldn’t mind having a time-turner necklace like Hermione had in the third Harry Potter book, or like the amulet that Dr. Strange wears occasionally.

So I again set a series of goals for the month that ranged from health and fitness to career to personal development. Those goals were:

 

Getting at least 392,000 steps

Having Shakeology for breakfast daily

Reading at least another three non-fiction books

Exercising six days a week

Packing my lunch for work daily

Measuring at the end of the month

Having at least one no-spend day (and seeing if I can work up to a no-spend week)

Start networking (adding value to connections I already have) more

Start working through the various modules and courses that I’ve bought to start broadening my horizons.

So how did I do for each one

Steps:

So the goal for the month was 392,000 steps, which would break down to 14,000 steps a day. I managed to achieve 427,733 steps (and this includes the fact that there were basically three days that I didn’t even manage to hit 10,000 steps. So the goal for the year to date (Jan & Feb) was 826,000 steps (again breaks down to 14,000 steps a day), and I’ve managed to get 889,265 steps to date. So I should be hitting the first million step mark within the next ten days.

Shakeology

So I managed to more or less have a healthy breakfast (either shakeology, scrambled eggs, or oatmeal) every day this month. I had to add in the other options of healthy breakfast, when I realized that there had been error in my shakeology order (I managed to get it cleared up, but had to stretch my low number of packets until the next order had arrived). So now that issue has been taken care of I should be able to do shakeology for breakfast daily, without any problems.

Packing my lunch for work:

Other than the 1st (when I finished up a chicken wrap that I had bought the day before for lunch), I’ve managed to pack my lunch everyday this month. Nutrition is still my biggest area where I’m struggling—mainly in making sure that I’m not buying large cookies or going for another cup of coffee (or actually a latte or mocha both of which are high in added sugar) in the mornings when I get to work. So I’ve also had very few no-spend days (mainly the weekends, though there were one or two days at work when I was too busy to stop for an additional snack). Read More

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January in Review

Well we are now headed into 2018; January flew by with barely a glance. It seems like yesterday was at least mid-month, and not the last day of the month. As I sit here typing this post, I realize that I haven’t totally gotten out of the rut/funk that I’ve been in for the past few months (or if I’m totally honest the past two/three years). So how am I going to try to get out of that routine/rut and start one that is more productive?

To answer that question, I need to look back honestly on what my January goals were, and how I did in terms of completing/hitting them.

So what were my initial goals for starting out the New Year strong?

A minimum of 434,000 steps;

Shakeology for breakfast (or a snack) daily;

Read at least three non-fiction books;

Network with at least four people per week;

Pack my lunch for work;

Exercise daily;

No impulsive e-book buys;

Keep a money log;

And measure at the beginning and end of the month.

These didn’t include other goals that I placed into my weekly habit tracker (including making sure that I take my vitamins, drinking enough water, and trying to meditate for hopefully five minutes every night).

These initial goals weren’t any more or less ambitious than ones I’ve tried to do in the past, so how did I do with each one? Read More

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Reflecting back on 2017

Warning….. Long Post Ahead:

Reflecting back on 2017

Well the year is basically over as I write this (it’s 9:20pm on New Years Eve), and I’m going to post early so I don’t forget, as I may head to bed early and sleeping through the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018.

It has been a roller-coaster type of year—we’ve managed to survive the first year of having an inept elderly (probably having onset dementia or Alzheimer’s) thieving jackass in the highest office in the land ( I am trying to keep my political comments to a minimal on this site, since I know that there will be numerous people who have difference of opinion). I’ve also switched jobs (while it isn’t the exact dream job—it is learning how to run new instrumentation and working on the soft skills that are needed for getting into an industry position), started this blog, took my first trans-Atlantic trip to London on my own, have networked like crazy, and started to spend more time on personal and professional development.

One thing that I’ve realized—is that I really don’t have a set in stone (or even on paper) plan for either personal or professional development—I’ve been winging it the past few months. Hopefully by starting my bullet journal/normal journal I can start drafting both personal and professional development plans for 2018. One thing I tried to do more of is writing in my journal and starting to listen to different podcasts.

I’ve found several podcasts that have to do with wide range of topics from side businesses to health and fitness to trying to be pro-active in today’s political climate; in addition to listening to different TED talks (which are a little difficult—because when they’re recorded—they’re recorded live, which means if there are visual presentations—they aren’t included in the podcast, so I get to try to visual guess what the presenters are talking about). It will just take me a day to two to get through some of the longer podcasts, since the ride to work and everything is only about twenty minutes and most of the podcasts are longer than that).

I’ll probably be reviewing some of the podcasts this coming year here on the blog to give a taste of some of the personal development that I’m doing in addition to the books that I’ve been reading. I’ve also realized that I’m at least one book review behind schedule—I finished one book about two weeks ago, and haven’t finished writing the review (short for Amazon; and then expanded for here), but that is one the to-do list for the first week of January 2018. Read More

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November in review.

Okay, I’m a day or two behind on sitting down and evaluating the month. So November is over, and there are now less than thirty days left in the year. One big bright spot, is that I managed to get the DNA sequencing position at the DNA core facility at my alma mater. This is now letting me both expand my technical and transferrable skills to help me try to find that optimal job within industry.

Had to get a new fitbit this month, and therefore I’m not sure what my actual step total was (since there were a few days that I was relying on my iPhone for step tracking (and I may or may not have forgotten to put it in my back pocket once or twice). But I’m pretty sure I at least reached a little over 200,000 steps for the month. So I don’t think that I’ll be hitting 4+ million steps for the year. So I know that this is something that I need to work on next year—I do so well, and then I hit a low point and I allow the step goal to fall by the way side for a good portion of the year. I did manage to read a few more personal development books in November, these focused a little more on trying to manage money and getting out of debt. Read More

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Reflecting on October

Where did October go?? Halloween was such a chilly day yesterday, I was amazed that we even got any trick or treaters (though I do remember a few years growing up that were chilly as well). Only a few porch decorations went out this year, unlike years in the past. Hmmm… Maybe I should think more of a small house than a condo to buy, whenever I figure out where I’m going to be setting down. That way come Halloween I could decorate the porch like this:

The porch decorated for Halloween in 2009.

So looking over the goal list that I wrote at the end of September, I realize that I only really made it through of the goals for the month—and that was going to London.

London Bridge over the Thames River

I’m thinking that I’ll be starting the burped challenge over (though modify—that instead of a set number, the number will be based on the day of the month); so technically I still need to get in one burpee tonight before bed. Read More

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Reflecting back on September…….

Well tomorrow is yet another new month, the planet continues it orbit around the sun (though I’d swear some days are longer than others)—but where did the month go??? According to the calendar we’ve entered the fall season, which is my second favorite season (right behind spring). Hopefully the temperatures will start to agree and stay out of the 90s.

Sunset caught after getting of the T one night in Boston.

Though one thing this month I didn’t do was actually committing to a workout program—I just couldn’t find the mindset or the workout that appealed to me (Going to be working on this one for awhile). I’m thinking that I’ve probably gained a pound or two back this month—stress and worry can do that, especially when you have a sweet tooth that you let run wild.

I did make it through the monthly squat challenge—today was actually a combo day to get the last two days in (though I did managed some yesterday)—so yes I basically did 200 squats throughout the day today.

I again came close to my monthly step goal of 300,000. Again stress and worry had me sitting on my butt a couple of days (and I have realized that I tend to be more sedentary on the weekends), and I’m basically down two days (more or less). If I manage 12,000 steps/day for the rest of the year I may be able to break 4 million by Dec 31st.

It was also my birthday this month, which means that I’m yet another year older, but not any closer to figuring out what I want to do with my life. I’ve been doing both personal and professional development this month working on that question, and I’m not sure I’m any closer to figuring out the answer today than I was at the beginning of the month. Read More

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Reflections on August

Well there goes the month (it doesn’t seem like its been that long since June turned into July). It is a day of reflection on how the goals set for the month, how I did with them, and to plan for the coming seasons.

I basically made it through Shift Shop (I say basically because I had week 3 spread out basically over two and half weeks). I enjoyed the program, though when it comes to short programs, I do like a little more variety in the workouts (I have a love/hate relationship with Autumn’s 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme programs [also from beachbody]. This isn’t to say that I won’t do another round of the Shift Shop, because I will—just not right now. I’m thinking for September I want a little different pace so it will be a coin flip between Yoga Booty Ballet on BOD (beachbody on demand) and Country Heat (Autumn’s 30 day dance program). I enjoy both programs and both are a little more low impact than Shift Shop was. I also managed to lose four pounds this month as well—which is exciting since I wasn’t following the meal plan for Shift Shop, and I have been letting my sweet tooth have a little more control than what it should (maybe the weight lose is due to not having my caramel high rise latte every day at work??? Probably has a little something to do with it).

I came close to my goal of 310,000 steps (basically 10,000/day) this month. The final tally will probably be about 306,000 by bed (so I manage to come pretty damn close). There were several off days this month—the half a week I had to recover from the bruised little toe, and then trying to get back into a routine of going into the lab to do work. I think coming to the conclusion that I need to move on, helped me to get past some of the problems yesterday and I managed to get a good number of steps in. I did have this big goal for the year of reaching 5 million steps for the year (which was basically a little over 14,000 steps/day); but when the mild bout of depression hit in early spring (due to a combination of not being happy on the job and the way this country was going), the daily steps went down and I fell behind on the goal—technically I’m a little over 2.6 million steps for the year (I’d basically have to do almost 20,000 steps/day for the rest of the year to get up to 5 million), so I may fall short of this yearly goal again.

I have been doing a lot of personal development reading for the month; I’ve finished:

Declutter your mind: how to stop worrying, relieve anxiety, and eliminate negative thinking by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

23 Anti-Procrastination Habits: How to stop being lazy and overcome your procrastination by S.J. Scott

52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal

I’m currently reading the following three books (the titles of two should explain why I’m reading multiple books):

Rise Sister Rise: A guide to unleashing the wise wild woman within by Rebecca Campbell

Self Discovery Questions: 155 Breakthrough Questions to Accelerate Massive Action by Barrie Davenport

The 52 week Life Passion Project: The Path to uncover your Life Passion by Barrie Davenport

All three are great books (I’m probably further along in Rise Sister Rise, because I’m only answering every few questions; which means I will need to go back and answer all the other questions that I read through [mentally answered], but actually write the answers out and see how they’ve potentially changed since I started the book).

I like Rise Sister Rise, mainly because it talks about spirituality in terms of connecting to nature, the planet, the four major elements, and the old ways. I’ve never really been a follower of the major western religions (though I have nothing against them—I just don’t agree with how they’re taught or how people cherry pick the parts they want to follow that go with how they act). I am glad that the founding fathers put in the freedom of religion and worship how one chooses into the Constitution as part of the First Amendment (okay, off my little history/religion box).

I’ve also decided that I need to learn how to program—so I bought a couple of e-course bundles, and will slowly start working my way through those as well over the next couple of months (so that I can add those to my CV as additional skills).

I’m slowly working on accepting and welcoming my anxiety to where I can function without the potential anxiety/panic attacks that could leave me feeling nauseous for a week or so. I’m also job searching still, but realize that for every job there are probably 50+ applications in addition to mine, and that many of them are also younger than I am as well (plus probably have a few more skills). So in the coming months, I will be heading to career fairs, to see what could be out there, plus get an idea from recruiters there if going back to school for an MBA would be feasible or not.

I do have a Skype interview coming up next week for a potential postdoc position in Florida. I’ve never been to Florida, so I think it would be interesting to go there—learn some more skills, but also try to keep the balance of work with having a life (I’d like to explore a little bit of the state [at least around where I could potentially be living], and may a little of the surround states).

I’ve also realized that it will take awhile to work on breaking old habits and incorporating new ones from some of the books I’ve read into my day to day life. It is hard at times trying to silence your inner critic, especially when you realize that you are your own worse enemy at times. I’ll be the first to admit that at times I can have an overactive imagination and probably dwell on the worse case scenario a lot of the times—these are things that I’m working with—I’m not going to try to quiet my imagination (but I will try to tone it down at times), and instead of dwelling on how things could go bad (after meetings, etc)—I will imagine that things went wonderful and everyone got something out if.

Another big thing I’ve done this past month–was that I launched this blog. Right now there aren’t many followers and that is perfectly fine as I’m learning as I go (as with anything in life). Some days will always be better than others, and I know that some days no one may visit, and other days numerous people may visit–its the cyclic nature of life.

September’s goals are going to be:
(1) At least 300,000 steps (10,000 steps/day)
(2) Make it through the 30 day squat challenge
(3) Make it through another round of Country Heat
(4) Finish Rise Sister Rise, write and post reviews
(5) Determine next book to work into personal development reading list
(6) Work on the programming course bundles
(7) Determine which job fairs/expos to potentially go to
(8)—Potential move????

So until the next post–remember that there is beauty and kindness all around us–if we only open both our eyes and our hearts to see it. Smile, laugh, live, and love.

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