Category: New Moon Goals

Focusing on LORR for the Cancer New Moon: Learning, Oracle Cards, Reading & Research

So the moon will be transitioning through the Cancer constellation tonight—marking the seventh new moon of the year…and we’re slowly entering the second half of 2024. I have no idea how the rest of this year is going to go…there is the presidential election coming up in the US (in Nov), the ongoing genocide in Gaza, and numerous other conflicts going on around the world…it’s just a matter of time before something blows into a regional (and then possibly a global) conflict.

I still need to kinda reflect back on the past six months…I did my June reflections earlier this week…but haven’t really sat down to reflect on the first half of the year…I know that I’m behind on a few ‘yearly’ goals…so either I need to modify those goals…or just punt them down the road to the 2025 BINGO card.

But, back to the Cancer New Moon—if one looks to the book ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland, there are various things that one can focus on during the Cancer new moon. They include:

  1. Family time (checking in with relatives)
  2. Banishing insecurity
  3. Get in touch with your caring nurturing side
  4. Review your goals
  5. Take a hot bath

Three out of the five things seem straightforward (family time, reviewing goals, and taking a hot bath). Since the family medical issue is over…I haven’t really been in touch with many family members via social media…I should probably reach out and chat (via messenger), since our paths really don’t cross that much and travel is still currently not in the cards (at least until the cat passes). I have plenty of family time with my immediate family (since I still live at home and we see my younger brother quite frequently now that he is back in town).

I actually don’t take that many hot bathes anymore…and probably wouldn’t be doing any currently—since we’re in the middle of a heat dome/pocket/high humidity—I just want cooler weather period. The other two items (banishing insecurity and getting in touch with your caring and nurturing side) may not seem so straightforward, and may actually require more work to begin with.

How I picture these two areas:

In terms of getting in touch with your caring and nurturing side—basically this means that you’re going to try a little harder this month in terms of self-care. You’re going to try to rephrase negative self-talk into more positive self-talk, you’re going to take time to focus on your breath, and you are going to be more gentle and understanding with yourself.

In terms of trying to banish insecurity—this means being honest with yourself in terms of different areas of your life. Do you feel insecure in an area? Fearful? Or are you being overly possessive of things? The best work is to try to identify and work at getting rid of barriers in different areas of life (if possible).

If one also looks to see what house the moon is moving through, it will give you a few other things to also take into perspective. For me, the moon is moving through my ninth house (or my big picture zone). This is all about adventure, travel, and personal development.

Currently travel is still on hold. Why? Well, in part due to my cat’s age & the fact that she requires two different liquid meds (and one you have to make up—dissolving the antibiotic in water), and it isn’t fun for one person to try to give her the meds (did that—didn’t enjoy it, & neither did she). I’d love to ‘travel’—but I need to get the debt down, and I’d like for the world not to be a raging shit-show…so I’ll stick to ‘virtual’ travels currently (google meet-ups/zoom meet-ups, and the likes). As I mentioned a couple of years ago: we live in a digital world, so there are others ways of ‘traveling’—reading, communicating with others (email, online meetings, phone calls), and writing (creative, poetry, and journaling). So what are some of the things that one can do in regards to their ninth house?

Items include:

  1. Find a way to explore the world
  2. Read those books you know you should be reading
  3. Do a personal growth (development) course
  4. Manifest a new spiritual teacher
  5. Think about what you have faith in–and what you don’t
  6. Make a cyber pal on the other side of the world

Personal growth…an area that I can both excel in and suck at all at the same time. My biggest ‘hurdle’ is trying to get too much done during the day/week—aka throwing everything on the calendar & not spreading things out like I really should…another reason why I find it difficult at times trying to develop a personal/professional growth plan.

So what goals can I set during the Cancer new moon that will allow me to fit various aspects from above onto the calendar?

  1. Research the following countries: Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Rwanda, Finland, Tunisia, Romania & Uruguay. At least have some basic research done, and find a couple of interesting facts to possibly ‘intwine’ into a story idea I’ve been slowly expanding
  2. Reading—finish at least two of the many nonfiction/historical fiction books I’ve started over the past several weeks/months.
  3. In terms of learning—work through at least one e-course on either Udemy, or watch at least two short e-courses on SkillShare
  4. In terms of spirituality—continue doing a daily oracle card drawing & sharing them on the oracle card instagram channel I created

I could probably try to set a goal for networking/making a cyber pal; or having something I write published…and I should make those goals—but I’m not going to this time around. I think that four goals (in addition to all the things on the plate & various other to-do lists) is enough for this new moon period…also keeping it at these four, will also hopefully keep the anxiety in check. Though trying to do research on seven countries in just a few weeks could also be pushing it…but I did note—that the bare minimum is to find a few interesting facts that could be intertwined with a story that I’m mind-mapping/outlining currently.

I’m still in the slow process of developing plans…that include personal/professional growth (have to figure out the milestones), launching a couple of online businesses, plus continue healing my relationship with food & movement…while trying to stay sane in a world that has leaders that really don’t give a damn about the average everyday citizen…either here (unless it’s to court one’s vote) or elsewhere in the world (again unless it’s to court one’s vote).

Therefore…I’m also promising myself that I’m going to quit trying to fit a mold…I quit trying to fit the mold of higher ed research/support years ago (got tired of long hours for poor pay), now I’m going to embrace who I am…and give a middle finger to the ‘mold’ that society thinks I should fit into, while focusing on progress…and possibly trying to ‘torch’ perfectionism in the process.

What is one of your Cancer goals?

Namaste

No Comments AstrologycareerNew Moon Goalsoracle cardsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Improving in terms of time & project management

Introduction and Gemini Goals:

So, the moon is going to be transitioning through the Cancer constellation tomorrow…marking the seventh new moon of the year. Somehow we’ve made it through the first half of 2024 without things totally blowing up into a global conflict…I wonder how long that luck will last. But that is a topic for a totally different post. Before looking ahead to the Cancer new moon, I need to look back at the goals I set for the Gemini new moon & see how I did with each of them.

Gemini Goals:

  1. Continue to fine-tune my personal/professional growth plan (focusing on career [writing], health/wellness, finances [fine tune that plan], spirituality, hobbies/crafts, and personal space)
  2. Update the personal/professional growth game (remove a few items and/or expand others—micropaleontology is on hold currently)
  3. Continue to clean/organize/declutter the bedroom & house…in order to get the storage unit cleared out by early fall
  4. Continue with my daily intentional movements and nightly meditations/sitting quietly moments
  5. And…read, read, and read some more. I’m actually nine nonfiction/historical fiction books away from my goal of reading 44 nonfiction/historical fiction before my birthday. So—try to read three more during the month of June

So, how did I do with each of them?

Fine-tune my personal/professional growth plan (~40%):

I’m still in the process of fine-tuning this plan—the reason, I’m still trying to throw everything onto the calendar…I need to narrow the focus for awhile on certain aspects, knowing that they’d be touching other aspects of things I also want to be working on.

Update the personal/professional growth game (100% completed):

I updated the game, to where I removed one board and condensed things down within the other game board. I also ‘rolled’ the dice last month & will be giving an update on that first play on the game towards the end of July—as each ‘turn’/‘play’ lasts six weeks, and covers at least three ‘topics’ (e-courses, reading, research, or whatever).

The newly ‘updated’ personal/professional growth board game.

Continue to clean/organize/declutter the bedroom & house (~70%):

This is an ongoing project. While I have my storage unit about halfway cleared out—I need to spend a little more time cleaning/organizing/decluttering the bedroom. I’ve realized that I may need to donate or sell an afghan or two—because do I really need half a dozen? Probably not..but I think that’s how many I have currently…I’ll be putting quite a few of them under the bed in a storage bag.

I also need to go through my business casual/professional clothes and decide which tops I really want to keep, and which ones can be donated. Probably wouldn’t hurt to donate the business suit that I’ve ‘outgrown’…though I like the color…but I can always buy another one if needed.

Daily intentional movements & nightly meditations (probably somewhere around 50%):

I’ve been trying to sit quietly at night prior to journalling…but with how hot its been lately…usually I just journal quickly to be able to turn off the lights & hopefully cool the room off a little to be able to sleep. The daily intentional movement is still hit & miss…I’m ‘moving’ around daily, but for the most part it’s doing things around the house throughout the day—there hasn’t been many ‘concentrated’ blocks of movement (to really get the heart rate going)…and this is something that I’m still trying to ‘correct’.

Read, read, & read (100% complete):

I actually finished five books during the month of June (which covered not only the new moon phase, but the full moon phase as well). The books I finished reading during June were:

  1. Ocean Life in the Times of Dinosaurs by Nathalia Bardet, Alexandra Houssaye, Stephane Jouve, & Peggy Vincent
  2. The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: An Asteroid, Extinction, and the Beginning of Our World by Riley Black
  3. The Quest & the Qalandar: Experiences of Sufism by Waqar Faiz
  4. Patrice Lumumba, Ahead of His Time (Political Leadership in Africa #1) by Didier Mumbata
  5. Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We can Help Dismantle it by Jessie Daniels

I’m now six books away from the goal of reading 44 non-fiction/historical fiction books before my birthday. I can now technically state I’m going to try to just read two books during July, August, & Sept…but I’ll probably keep to the current goal of trying to read at least three non-fiction/historical fiction books a month.

Conclusions/Final Thoughts on the Gemini New Moon Goals:

Five goals for the Gemini new moon…two were more on the planning side of things (updating the personal/professional game & fine-tuning a personal/professional growth plan)—and I manage to get at least one completely done. One goal was reading—which I usually always manage to complete. The cleaning/organizing/decluttering—is always ongoing, because I didn’t realize exactly how bad of a packrat I was turning into, nor how much random stuff I’d brought to and from Boston—nor did I realize how much random stuff we had around the house that needs to be donated/recycled/discarded.

The intentional movement goal is a rough one to hit—especially when its hot & humid constantly, which zaps one’s energy/motivation (at least it does that to me). While I’m working on improving my relationship with food & movement (in other words working at getting healthy, but not necessarily ‘shrinking’ my body), I may put a new battery into the scale & just see what that number is currently at…because while ‘healing’ the relationship with food & movement is something to strive for…at times it helps to see a ‘number’ from time to time.

Progress…baby steps forward, sometimes a step or two backwards. But—progress isn’t suppose to be perfect, nor is it always a linear path. At times it spirals and while you feel like you’re back at the beginning…you’re actually further along on your journey that you realize, you’ve ‘circled’ back to something to hopefully learn a little more of the ‘lesson’ that the universe has set before you…and once you’ve gotten the message/lesson…you move even further forward in this journey of life.

How did you do with your Gemini new moon goals?

No Comments AstrologycareerfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

Time to redraw the board game & update the plans

So, the moon is going to be transitioning through the Gemini constellation tonight—marking the sixth new moon for the year, and the only new moon for June. The past few years have had me in a yo-yo when it comes to consistently setting goals via the moon cycles. I didn’t set any Gemini new moon goals in 2020 or 2023, but did set them in 2021 and 2022. As I mentioned in an earlier post—a goal is to consistently post the goals via the moon cycles this year…since I missed like over half the year last year.

So what are some of the things that one can focus on during the Gemini new moon? They include:

  1. Think about how you communicate with others
  2. Meditate
  3. Socialize more
  4. See your siblings
  5. Read more

I’m not really a social butterfly…nor am I an extrovert. I barely consider myself to be an ambivert (I’m like 99.9% introvert, and 0.1% ambivert/extrovert). Since various strains of the SARS-CoV2 virus are still floating around (and I have extremely limited funds)—I’ll still be doing most of my ‘socializing’ online. 

I see my younger brother quite frequently (he lives in town), but the older sibling is still out in CA, though we did see them last year when they came for a brief visit. Again—extremely limited funds, so I won’t be doing any type of traveling currently (plus there are the animals to think about as well).

I love to read…so reading more isn’t a problem, and I’m still working on getting back into a mediation routine at night. Yes, I’ll think about (and work at improving) how I’m communicating with others.

But then I should also look to see what house the new Gemini moon is moving through as well. So the new moon in Gemini is also moving through my eighth house, or my “sex and shared finances”. This zone can also be referred to as the money & relationship zone (or at least that is how I think of it). So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the eighth house?

  1. Pay off a loan (or take one out)
  2. Open a savings account and make your first deposit
  3. Cancel a credit card you know you can’t afford
  4. Ask for a pay raise (but really only if you believe you might get it)
  5. Refinance your mortgage
  6. Talk dirty to your partner
  7. Try a sexual position for the first time

Okay…still not in the market for a relationship. Not that I need to share my reasons, but: 1—still in a epidemic/pandemic due to the virus (and I’m not interested in meeting anti-vaxxers); 2) I’m still a work in progress; 3) family obligations; and finally 4) I don’t have the energy or time to even think about entering the dating scene & finding someone. 

While humans are social creatures…I feel like I was the medicine woman/hermit/‘witch’ living out in the woods…at the edge of the community—still close enough to ‘belong’ but far enough out to have space, peace, and quiet. I’m really that odd duckling—I don’t mind being unattached, childless, or single.

So in terms of things one can do for the eighth house: 

I currently have a savings account (with a little bit of money in it), which I’m going to be working on trying to increase the babalce

Working at paying off credit cards and then possibly canceling one (or two)

Nope..not taking out a loan

Don’t own the house…and the parents already have the mortgage paid off

No pay raise (at least until I start landing clients or find a remote position)

Still not in a relationship…so the last two items aren’t even on my radar.

Therefore, goals are really going to be focused on the personal/professional growth aspect of things, and my goals for the Gemini new moon will include:

  1. Continue to fine-tune my personal/professional growth plan (focusing on career [writing], health/wellness, finances [fine tune that plan], spirituality, hobbies/crafts, and personal space). 
  2. Update the personal/professional growth game (remove a few items and/or expand others—micropaleontology is on hold currently)
  3. Continue to clean/organize/declutter the bedroom & house…in order to get the storage unit cleared out by early fall.
  4. Continue with my daily intentional movements and nightly meditations/sitting quietly moments.
  5. And…read, read, and read some more. I’m actually nine nonfiction/historical fiction books away from my goal of reading 44 nonfiction/historical fiction before my birthday. So—try to read three more during the month of June.

I mentioned this previously on LinkedIn (in my numerous ‘reintroduction posts), but I’ve been spending the past few years trying to reconnect with strengths & values:

Strengths: Learner, Intellection, Input, Achiever, and Deliberative (my top five Clifton Strengths)

Values: Knowledge/Learning, Creativity/Curiosity/Imagination, Authenticity/Self-respect, Spirituality/Inner Harmony, and Growth/Evolution/Transformation

I’ve realized over the past few years—that I had the tendency to ‘sacrifice’ or ‘down-play’ strengths/values to either not make waves or to stay in the background (I’m not really an attention seeker). But now—I’m making sure that those strengths and values are front and center for any and every decision I make going forward in terms of personal/professional development, career trajectory, and just overall happiness.

Some things will be ‘semi’ down-played (aka how much/often I talk about Gaza on say LinkedIn)—but that is only due to not wanting to have my account restricted again (like it had been earlier this year).  The focus on the personal/professional growth plan will be a little more ‘time-consuming’ as I need to be clear—but at the same time ensure that I’m not trying to cram too much stuff into a short period of time (like I’ve been known to do…which then results in me tossing out the plan…instead of going back to ‘refine’ it). Also, with the current status of the world..I need to focus on more ‘short-term’ goals than really long-term…since who knows what the hell will be happening throughout the rest of this year.

This is why, that as I’m also ‘restarting’ my monthly accountability posts—a lot of the ‘goals’ seem to be repetitive..I’m trying to turn the goals into habits (writing, fitness, and so forth). Progress is slow…but it’s getting better, especially since I’ve figured that spending time learning a foreign language & posting to the oracle card Instagram channel needs to happen in the morning (and I put them around doing the morning Gaza update—one before, & one after); and so far it seems to be working this week.

What goals are you repetitive with?

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflections

Decluttering is ongoing, time to break down the other goals

So, we’re going to be entering the sixth new moon cycle later this week. That means that before looking ahead to the Gemini new moon, I need to look back at the goals that I’d set for the Taurus new moon. I know that I probably didn’t hit the goals 100% of the time…May is no longer a ‘joyful’ month…come to think of it—very few months are now. There have been a lot of pet losses over the years, plus mom’s death last year that has dwindled the number of months that technically aren’t a ‘mourning’ anniversary (basically only January, March, July, August, November, and December—haven’t lost any pets).

As I mentioned last month within my Taurus new moon goals—things aren’t settling down in regards to various global conflicts…so it probably is now only a matter of time before something flares & blows into a regional and/or global conflict.

Getting back into setting goals either via the moon cycles & even just ‘monthly’ has been a challenge…some days/months are better than others. But that’s progress—willing to get up, dust myself off, and attempt to set (and hopefully reach the goals) day after day…with just a few minor tweaks to the schedules. 

Anyway what were the goals that I set for the Taurus new moon? They included:

  1. Making a financial plan
  2. Working on improving/expanding my rough draft of a personal/professional growth plan
  3. Mind-maps/outlines, and trying to create editorial calendars
  4. Cleaning up/out the bedroom closet

So how did i do with each of them?

Making a financial plan:

I have a very rough draft of a financial plan drawn up. I know what a couple of my long-term goals are (getting out of debt, launching the freelance businesses, and such)—I just need to make easier, shorter term goals that I can start working towards.

The reason why it’s such a rough draft: I have a laundry list of questions that I need to look into/answer in terms of launching both freelance businesses and/or trying to sell things online (especially if I’m serious about trying to sell digital coloring books and such). Also, I need to fine-tune what type of ‘work’ I’m going to offer (specifically via the science, health, medical comms/education website).

Improving/expanding the personal/professional growth plan(s):

I have the rough draft of this plan—focusing on writing (professional), learning SEO (professional), possibly learning more data analysis (again professional), along with the areas of spirituality, crafts/hobbies, health/wellness & physical space (personal). Finances are ‘separate’ in their own plan (see above).

Again…it’s a matter of trying to develop or write out sound ‘short-term’ goals that aren’t super packed (i.e. trying to do a three months of stuff in two weeks), but also not super drawn out (i.e. having a goal that I could accomplish within two or three days but stating it would take a month).

Time & project management—that is I need to focus on. 

Trying to get mind-maps and such done; working on setting up editorial calendars

A basic calendar has been set up—and I’m actually doing better having things ‘added’ to my content creation tracker…than having them written out on a calendar. Still need to flesh out an outline or two, and then work on a mind-map to expand a short story (or two…or three).

Continuing to clean out my closet

This one is progressing well. I actually need to move everything off the floor of my closet (aka out of the closet) so I can tear up the really moldy & gross carpet. When my parents put down wood flooring after I moved out—they didn’t touch the closet…so it’s really old carpet that has been soaked several times over the decades whenever the water heater decided to spew its guts.

I also plan on moving a few pieces of small furniture (shelving units basically) into it so I can try to store more stuff (namely craft supplies and what not) within the closet, and free up some space on the small book cases that I have throughout my room.

Conclusions:

Okay…I’ve made headway into the brainstorming/mind-mapping/planning stages for those three goals (financial plan, personal/professional growth plan, & various projects), and am working on the closet. While I had things ‘organized’ earlier this week…I need to move things out so that I can rip out the carpet (that is actually on the agenda for this afternoon and/or also tomorrow), which means my bedroom becomes slightly ‘cluttered’ again. Though I think I should be able to put the box of fabric under the bed for the time being. 

Time and project management skills are actually daily skills that we need to use and hone…because if we don’t…we start to procrastinate, work on the ‘easy’ goals, and realize that we aren’t progressing as far (or as quickly) as we’d like. Am I making progress…yes…in part because I’ve realized that certain things need to be scheduled around my morning Gaza update…I’ve started a ‘new schedule’ this week—and so far, I’m three for three in terms of the other two ‘goals’ that I put on opposite sides of the morning Gaza update.

Can I continue the trend? We, shall see…

Am I still getting bogged down in the planning stage? Kinda..I’m now trying to have ‘six’ things on a list per day…and if I finish all of them…I can go back to the master list and pick one or two things to work on. Do I need to create a ‘master’ list of projects…yes…because my brain in overflowing with ideas for stories, blog posts, infographics, and such.

Baby-steps. Spiral paths. Two steps forward, and one step back. Progress—it is never perfect, it is never linear…and it is often more messy than one thinks. With the current status of the world—I’m aiming for messy progress…I’m aiming to continue to unlearn (and relearn), to become a better global citizen, and to do my part in trying to dismantle various toxic parts of society.

With that said—how did you do with your Taurus goals? 

No Comments AstrologycareerCraftsLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Comments BookscareerCraftsfinancesfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthLevel 10 LifeLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesodds and endsoracle cardsPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

Taurus Goals: Focusing (mostly) on the finances and debt

So the moon is going to be transitioning through the Taurus constellation either tonight or possibly last night—depending on where one is in the world. This marks the fifth new moon of the year…and May is not quite a third of the way over. 

Things aren’t settling down anytime soon in regards to various global conflicts…I just hope that there are enough civilians screaming for a ceasefire that the problem in Gaza doesn’t turn into world war three….though thanks to the occupiers—there is that slim possibility, since they’re trying to ‘renegotiate’ a ceasefire agreement (they didn’t like the one that Hamas agreed to).

Anyway…when it comes to trying to set goals via the moon cycles, or even just ‘monthly’ goals—it’s been a work in progress. I didn’t do the months in review last year (after January or possibly Feb), and I didn’t do most of the new or full moon goals for a good six or seven months. One goal this year is to try to get back into doing different types of accountability posts—whether it’s making goals and reviewing them prior to the next phase of the moon, or reviewing them on a monthly basis (just restarted that series last week, when I ‘reviewed’ things for April).

Two years ago I asked if things were starting to turn around? In part there was still the pandemic raging…we do have vaccines & booster shots for that now…but thanks to greed ass corporations and such—sometime those that need them the most can’t afford them (as not every insurance plan will cover them). Besides that—there are numerous global conflicts going on—the Russia-Ukraine conflict is in it’s third year, there is the ongoing genocide in Gaza, genocides in the Congo, Sudan, and numerous other places around the world…so I don’t think things are turning around quickly enough.

Looking to the book ‘Moonology’, there are several things that one can focus on during the Taurus new moon, and they include:

  1. Make a financial plan
  2. Love yourself
    • Make a list of your values and ask yourself if you’re living your life in a way that allows you to honor those values. If the answer is no—figure out a new plan to allow yourself to honor those values.
  3. Be sensual. Ask yourself “What would make my life better?”
  4. Character check. Ask yourself “Am I being too stubborn or too lazy?”
  5. Persevere—remember that there is more to life than racing head, there is also the journey that should be enjoyed as well (or as much as possible). Slow and steady will win the day.

In addition, the new moon in Taurus is also moving through my seventh house, or my “love zone”. This zone can also be referred to as the relationship zone as well. So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the seventh house? They include:

  1. Go through old love letters and get rid of at least some of them.
  2. If you’re single and feeling brave, try online dating.
  3. Ask your parents about their ideas on how to make love (aka a relationship) work.
  4. Recommit to your partner.
  5. If you hurt a past lover, admit you were wrong & apologize to them.
  6. Make a list of the qualities you look for in a partner.
  7. If you’re already attached, play matchmaker for a friend.

Well…I’ll probably be skipping all things related to my seventh house this year. I’m not in the mood to try online (or even in person) dating. I don’t have any love letters to sort through. My mother is dead…and my father isn’t really one to offer ‘relationship’ advice. I may make a list of qualities that I’d like in a partner—top being they’re against genocides.

Three years ago I wrote this in terms of how I felt about ‘dating’: Yes—there is online dating, but that isn’t something I want to be focusing on right now, instead I’m going to focus on improving myself and then worry about possible dating issues. Also, I don’t have the time or energy to put into the dating scene and finding someone. In terms of relationships and being with someone—I seem to be one of the odd ones that doesn’t mind being alone and unattached. I also know that I still have other things to work out on my own before even attempting to stick my toes into the dating pool.

So, if I’m going to more or less ignore my seventh house, what are some of the goals I could set for the Taurus new moon? Well, they’ll include:

  1. Making a financial plan. The savings account has more or less dwindled down to nothing, and I need to get quite a bit of shit paid off still…and I’d like to be able to start building my savings (and possibly even retirement) accounts back up again if possible. 
  2. Work on improving the rough draft of my personal/professional growth plan (which would incorporate the above financial plan)—in addition to ensure that goals within that plan are aligned with my values (see above about ‘loving yourself’ aka making sure you’re living in line with your values).
  3. Get a several mind-maps/outlines and such finished over the next few weeks and setting up different ‘editorial’ calendars for the two different blogs and various social media channels.
  4. Continue to clean out my closet so that I can make room for various things as I continue to also try to clean out my storage unit.

Three goals that are focusing on brainstorming/mind-mapping/planning and one that is focused on working towards my vision/version of minimalism. 

Sometimes I get bogged down with the planning stage of things (I try to put too much on the calendar for a particular day or week)—that’s why I’m also adding in the brainstorming/mind-mapping and notes. Hopefully it will help ‘break’ down the planning stage to where I actually only put the bare minimum of things on the calendar—and then have a list of things I can ‘add in’ once other things are checked off and finished.

Baby-steps. Spiral paths. Two steps forward, and one step back. Progress—it is never perfect, it is never linear…and it is often more messy than one thinks. With the current status of the world—I’m aiming for messy progress…I’m aiming to continue to unlearn (and relearn), to become a better global citizen, and to do my part in trying to dismantle various toxic parts of society.

With that said—what is one of your Taurus goals? 

No Comments AstrologycareerNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Exhausted…by the world…but striving to become a better person

So the moon is going to be moving through the Taurus constellation midweek, marking the fifth new moon of the year. I did managed to see part of the solar eclipse last month during the Aries new moon—but didn’t have the proper filters on the phone to be able to get a picture.

But before looking ahead to the Taurus new moon, I should look back at the goals that I made for the Aries new moon and see how I did with each of them. So what goals did I set for the Aries new moon? Well, they included:

  1. Make a draft of a 13-to-15 month plan
  2. Start using the intentional board-game that I drew last month
  3. Start having yogurt & fruit for breakfast, more veggies throughout the day/week; change up what I’m eating
  4. Read at least one of the books i have on ‘positive’ mindset
  5. Mediate nightly

So how did I do with each of them?

Draft of a 13-to-15 month plan:

I have several long-term goals written out: getting the freelance businesses up, getting debt down, getting the storage unit emptied (and my bedroom turned back into a mini studio apartment), and so forth. 

Turning those (plus the few others) into an combo plan has been a little harder than I initially thought. Mainly—trying to turn a long-term value driven goal into smaller ‘objectives’ (with their key results). Doing monthly moon-phased goals usually works well (for the most part). So I’d say that I have this goal about 50% done.

Making use of the intentional board-game that I drew

While I printed off a tracking sheet for using weights…I still haven’t fully made use of the board-game yet. Mainly because I don’t schedule in the time…and allow everything and anything push intentional movement to the bottom of the list.

Yogurt with fruit for breakfast:

Yes, I’ve had yogurt with fruit for breakfast a few more times during the week. Breakfast has always been one of the meals that is ‘rushed’…so I can try to get the day started…so I can get things off the to-do list…so that I can ‘relax’ after dinner and unwind. 

Obviously this is still something that I need to work on…as I’m still working to heal my relationship with food (working at removing various terms like ‘diet’, ‘serving size’, and so forth from my mental vocabulary).

Read at least one book on ‘positive’ mindsets:

I recently finished: “B*tch don’t kill my vibe: how to stop worrying, end negative thinking, cultivate positive thoughts & start living your best life (self help with a little sass) by Reese Owens.

When you’ve been bullied throughout your childhood (mainly at school)…negative thoughts are an almost guarantee when you’re older. I’ve been slowly working on trying to ‘catch’ the negative thoughts and work at ‘rephrasing’ them in a more ‘positive’ light.  But at the same time…it is literally impossible to be happy/positive all the time. Also trying to ‘maintain’ positivity/happiness all the time…only helps to uphold ‘white supremacy’…something that really needs to be fucking dismantled in the world today.

Meditating nightly:

I’ve been able to ‘sit’ quietly for a few minutes every night. I need to get back to the ‘guided’ meditations to try to go a little longer than just three or four minutes. But considering the state of the world..I’m happy that I’m able to sit ‘quietly’ for just a few minutes every night.

Conclusions and thoughts:

With the exception of trying to become better at doing daily intentional movements—I at least started every goal I’d set for the Aries new moon. One thing I’ve realized—is that I’m getting ‘tired, worn down, frustrated, add in just about any other ‘negative’ emotion’—due to the hypocrisy of the western world. 

Why in the hell is everyone okay with the genocide that is going on in Gaza? Like really—why? Why is there silence on the on-going genocide-within-a-genocide—where the Palestinian Christians are also being targeted? Did you know their (Palestinian Christian) population has fallen by over 3% since this current genocide started in Oct? 

I’m realizing that I’ve been ‘silently and slightly blindly’ complicit in things over the past few decades…and by that I mean due to trying to figure out my own life that I’d ‘tuned out’ global politics and things happening around the world…that is white privilege being able to do that…and I while I acknowledge & ‘own’ that privilege…I’m trying to release that privilege as well.

People seem fine with the fact that a foreign country is carrying out a genocide with American tax dollars…yep folks—those taxes we pay are funding this genocide—with the total approval of the US government (with a few minor exceptions within the house of representatives).

The ‘timer’ already went off and the occupiers have started to invade Rafah (the technically ‘last safe’ zone within Gaza)…now it’s a matter of time before this turns into a regional and then a global war. One that could have been avoided…but for some reason various politicians (along with military leaders & all their blind followers) have avoided ending…while they may say they don’t want a ‘war’…they truthfully don’t care…because their children, grandchildren, and children of those they know won’t be the ones fighting & dying in it…that they’ll leave to their ‘blind followers’.

If that above paragraph offended you…sit with those feelings…and realize that is how a huge percentage of the globe has felt since the occupiers started their latest attack on Gaza…killing men, women & children with total lack of empathy, compassion, or caring.

I’m going to try to continue to be productive throughout the day…trying to figure out my life…and the direction I want it to go in…one thought now is how can I become at least 85% self-sufficient (i.e. how to ensure that I’m not spending that much money on companies that are backing genocidal maniacs)? I know putting in a veggie garden is one way to do that…unfortunately we missed the peak planting season for quite a few veggies & fruits…but I can plan for next spring—write down the best times and so forth for planting lettuce, cabbage (probably purple), onions (would like to plant some red/purples along with the ‘normal’), carrots,  and then the usual tomatoes and peppers. 

As I’d mentioned previously (in several different posts—maybe?) one huge goal is to turn my bedroom into a mini studio apartment & to clean out the storage unit…possibly clean out the garage and attic while I’m at it…there is so much stuff that we don’t need (or use) that can be donated to habitat for humanity, sold/traded, or whatever…but it’s time to really figure out what my particular vision of minimalism/maximize—or maybe it should be called moderation??

I’m now going to try to look ahead to the Taurus new moon, and see what goals I can set for those few weeks. I’d love to wake up tomorrow (the morning of the new moon) to hear that countries have forced the occupiers into accepting the ceasefire agreement & that various political & military leaders have been arrested and are on their way to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes.

But…for now—happy, safe, loving thoughts, vibes, and prayers sent to everyone in the world that needs them—especially those with Gaza, the Congo, Sudan, along the Lebanon border, within Syria, Yemen, and any other place that is being targeted by people who want to exploit not only the resources but the people as well.

Namaste…

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerCurrent EventsNew Moon GoalsReflectionsWorld Events

New moon, solar eclipse & time to ‘look’ to the future

So the Aries new moon is today, and it also marks a total solar eclipse that can actually be seen in parts of the US.  Stillwater, unfortunately is suppose to be totally cloudy during those few hours this afternoon…but who knows the cloud cover could burn off a little bit at some point & I can grab my solar viewing glasses and go out back to see if I can ‘see’ anything. 

Last year I didn’t write anything about the Aries new moon…I actually didn’t write much of anything for like a good six or seven months (while 2020 wasn’t the greatest year; 2021-to [almost the present] has sucked), and getting back into a writing routine and both ‘niching’ (in terms of the science, health & medical blog) and semi-niching here has been at times a struggle. But it is a struggle I’m willing to work with—as I’m focused on getting these two freelance/creative businesses up and running.

Okay…now back to the Aries new moon. There are numerous things that one can do during this period. One ‘series’ of things reflects on the Aries new moon itself, and those things include:

  1. Take actions on dreams & plans
  2. Make a 12-month plan
  3. Be courageous in moving towards achieving your goals
  4. Have some fun
  5. Focus on you

You might be asking why one would think of making a 12-month plan in April? Well, that’s because Aries is the start of a new ‘astrological’ year/calendar—especially in terms of the ‘new’ moon. So, this is a time of reflection and planning…figuring out what goals one really wants to achieve (that match up to ones’ inner values) and figuring out how to go about and achieving them.

The second thing is to look to see what ‘house’ the Aries new moon is passing through (there are twelve houses, and the particular house for each new & full moon differs for everyone based on your astrological signs. Mine are Vigo (star), Scorpio (rising), and Pisces (moon). I usually make use of my rising sign (Scorpio) to determine which house the different moons are moving through. So for me—this Aries new moon is passing through my 6th house, or my daily work & health zone.  This means—figuring out the fluid daily/weekly schedule that will allow me to focus on the things I want: personal/professional growth, launching a freelance career, health/wellness, crafts/hobbies, and so forth.

One thing I’ve been doing the past few weeks is combining time ‘theming’ (trying to give each day a particular theme—or each morning/afternoon different themes: such as communications, administrative work, research, writing/editing, and so forth) with time blocking (setting aside say 90 minutes to do research/write/edit or do some personal/professional growth work [e-courses, Mondly, or listening to a podcast or TedTalk]). While also making use of apps that block access to social media sites (so I don’t give into the temptation of ‘doom scrolling’ when I should be doing something else).

So what are some of the things that one can do during this time to improve things in their sixth house?

  1. Recommit to some type of exercise program
  2. Think about (correct if need be) your eating habits
  3. Help someone out this month
  4. Talk to your boss about any work concerns you might have
  5. Read a book on positive thinking
  6. Eat healthy lunches or dinners for a month–no exceptions
  7. Learn to meditate

So I always find it a little uncanny at times how accurate the moons transition is through the houses (especially when I know there are certain things I should be focusing on). While there are things that listed that are ‘mainstream’ (such as correcting eating habits or eating healthier)—I’m working on developing a better relationship with food, and am starting to listen to my body more. I’m also going to be moving to a more intentional movement ‘calendar’—to where I’m doing something daily for at least five to fifteen minutes each day.

So which things am I going to try to focus on over the next few weeks?

  1. Make a 12-month (or possibly longer) plan. This will be a mix of different goal setting methods (value-driven goals, OKR [objectives & key results], and using the new & full moon phases of the moon) but written as a ‘personal/professional growth development plan’.
  2. Start using the intentional movement board game I drew out last month. I just need to write the rules, draw up some tracking sheets & figure out what my ‘rewards’ will be as well
  3. Read one of the books I have on positive thinking/mindset
  4. Continue to meditate nightly

Three years ago, I ended my Aries New Moon goals with the assumption that world’s insanity levels were going to hopefully start ‘decreasing’ and things would mellow. Oh, how I miss those rose-tinted glasses that I was metaphorically wearing. The world is going to hell in a hand-basket at an alarming clip..and I think there is a clock somewhere counting down until someone decides to launch an damn nuclear weapon at someone else.

Can various governments please wake up and start sanctioning the occupiers? Like yesterday? Because—again, if they aren’t brought under control, this will spiral into a regional (and then possibly a global) conflict—and do you really want to fight someone else’s war of hate & greed (or have your children or grandchildren fight it)?

Happy, safe, loving, thoughts, vibes and prayers sent to everyone in the world that needs them—particularly within Ukraine, Gaza, the Congo, Sudan, and other sites of war and genocide.

Namaste…

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerHealthmoney saving challengesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspirituality

First quarter is done…onwards into the second quarter of 2024

So, the moon is going to be heading into it’s latest new moon phase this coming Monday, April 8—also marking a solar eclipse at the same time. There is a chance that Stillwater will at least have a partial eclipse during the early afternoon—so I’ve ordered some eclipse glasses to hopefully observe the eclipse this year (if I remember to head outside around the correct time—and it isn’t overcast—which it is currently forecasted as). But before looking ahead to the Aries new moon, it’s time to look back at the goals that I’d set for the Pisces new moon and see how I did with each of the goals.

The goals that I included for the Pisces new moon included:

  1. Continuing to work on the afghan
  2. Determine which ‘goals’ from the 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days will be added to the second quarter BINGO card and/or just listed out in the journal
  3. Brainstorm ideas for an intentional movement board game (include resistance training, yoga, cardio, dancing, walking and so forth).
  4. Start brainstorming different ideas (creative writing projects & science/health/med topics) to then expand via mind-mapping.
  5. Work on setting up an ‘dedicated’ Wiccan/pagan altar that doesn’t become a catchall for craft supplies (namely threads for needlepoint projects).

So how did I do with each of these goals?

Working on the afghan:

Well I’m a little over 60% done with the afghan. Last week I had to knit a small piece to finish up the third large column (somehow it was a little too short—not sure how that happened), and last night I started working on the first of the four border pieces. I’m hoping to have the afghan totally finished by the end of the month…though it could be possibly mid-May before I’m totally done with it. The below pictures highlight the afghan…once it’s totally complete, I’ll place it on a larger bed to be able to get a good picture of it.

The ‘main’ portion of my latest afghan, which is a flame motif (which is extremely difficult to currently see). Once finished this afghan will probably fit nicely on a queen size bed.

Selecting ‘goals’ from the combined ’44 things to do before turning 44’ and 101 goals in 1001-days to work on during this second quarter of 2024:

Below are the selected goals that I’m focusing on during the second quarter of 2024, along with possibly other goals once some of these have been completed:

  1. Create a vision board based on my definition(s) of success
  2. Launch a YouTube channel
  3. Complete at least two (or more) 30-day challenges
  4. Read at least another eight-to-twelve nonfiction books
  5. Read another ‘banned’ book and at least one ‘classic’
  6. Finish the afghan
  7. Finish at least one small needlepoint project
  8. Draw/doodle & paint an original piece of art
  9. Create a workout plan
  10. Write a letter to my future self
  11. Finish at least another four-to-six Udemy courses
  12. Finish at least another five-to-seven Skillshare courses

Plus there are other things I can attempt to work into my schedule—like figuring out how to create a calendar (then figure out do I offer it just online or what); crafts, and then there is a bunch of other things that I just need to become better disciplined at doing (like creating and publishing all the different bird pages) things.

Brainstorming ideas for an intentional movement board game:

I have a rough draft of a basic board game drawn out (see below):

Rough draft of an intentional movement board game
First draft of my intentional movement board game

What I need to do now is develop the ‘rules’ for the game, making tracking sheets (mainly for the weights), and finally just start ‘playing’ with the game. Reminder to self: put on tennis shoes & socks…most of these ‘intentional movement’ shouldn’t be done while wearing slippers.  

Brainstorm ideas for different projects (creative writing projects & science/health/med topics): 

I have several different ideas for creative writing projects. There is going to be an ‘dinosaur and other ‘ancient’ creatures’ piece. ‘Interviews’ with various goddesses & gods; and several other ideas. The only one that is semi-fleshed out (in terms of a rough draft of an outline is part of the dinosaur portion of that project)—all other ideas are just the ‘broad’ ideas currently.

I have at least three ‘large’ blog project ideas down on paper for the science, health, medical blog: oncology (which I’ve already started), a cell biology series, and then possibly going into metabolism & why certain supplements aren’t worth one’s time or money.

Setting up an ‘dedicated’ Wiccan/pagan altar

This is still a semi-work in progress goal. I have an area where I have several goddess statues and other crystals, but currently it’s a little ‘crowded’. A goal is to get a shelf near by that can hold the ‘overflow’ from the altar—basically have an ‘Wiccan/pagan’ corner of the room, where I can read oracle cards (either in the morning or the evening).

Conclusions:

So I’d set five goals for the Pisces new moon—two I’d considered to be ‘finish-able’ projects: working on the afghan & setting up the Wiccan/pagan altar, in addition to making the list of goals from the combined 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001-days. In terms of these three projects I’d say I managed about 75% (the goals are listed; the ‘dedicated’ Wiccan/pagan corner is coming along; and I should be finished with the afghan by the end of April or mid-May at the latest).

The brainstorming goals I wasn’t sure if I’d “finish” (aka get anything down onto paper) or not. The intentional movement game has been ‘brainstormed’—I just need to make the rules, tracking sheets & just start up a routine. The various writing projects have been brainstormed (kinda, more or less—at least in part for the science, health, medical blog). So I’d say I was 85% productive with the brainstorming sessions (I’m not making a total 100% since I didn’t really mind map that many of the projects further).

So—basically managed about 80% of the goals listed for the Pisces new moon. Do I know what ‘side-tracked’ some of the progress. Yes—in terms of the afghan, I was ‘dog-sitting’ for several nights, and had to switch up my craft project for those few nights—which put me behind schedule. But, I started working on the border pieces last night, and should possibly be done with the first border piece by the upcoming weekend.

Setting up the Wiccan/pagan corner is taking time—because I need to clean/purge at the same time—it’s not fun/easy when you’re trying to have a bedroom be multiple things: sleep space, work space, craft space, meditation/spiritual, and if possible workout/fitness space as well. 

I’ll take the 80% success rate for the Pisces new moon..and aim to hit at least 85-to-90% of the goals for the upcoming Aries New Moon (and total solar eclipse).  The other thing I’m going to keep reminding myself of: progress over perfection—since perfection is a myth, and everyone has a different idea of what it looks like.

What did you manage to get done during the Pisces new moon?

No Comments AstrologyCraftsNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Progress on the 44 things to do before turning 44 project

Okay…I realized last night as I was working on the latest update to this ‘project’–I never got around to posting the original 44 things to do before turning 44, nor either of the previous two updates. The original post, and both previous updates I think I posted to Instagram, and I think LinkedIn.

I’ve posted the third update to Instagram this morning, and until LinkedIn allows me back onto my account–obviously I can’t post it there. So I’m posting it here, and will probably post it over to Facebook this afternoon sometime. So, this ’44 things to do before turning 44′ is an update/continuation to the previous ‘birthday’ challenge (43 things to do before turning 43) and the ‘goals’ have been taken from the new 101 goals in 1001-days challenge that I’d also started back the day after my 43rd birthday.

Today marks the third update (March 20), and the half-way point between my birthdays. Now, if it was a perfect world–I’d be halfway done with the goals (in theory knocking out 22 goals in six months)…but it isn’t a perfect world, and I’ll admit that I’d fallen into procrastination canyon for awhile last fall. I’m slowly getting better at getting things done, and who knows I may actually get a decent number of the goals totally completed by my birthday in six months.

So what is on the 44 things to do before turning 44?

Well these goals include:

The daily oracle/tarot card readings are an ‘365-day’ challenge…so obviously I’m not going to be checking this one off until basically my birthday in six months. I have been consistent at doing an oracle card drawing daily, and am even thinking of starting an new Instagram account for sharing those ‘readings’.

I’m learning about body confidence (I’ve read several books on the subject–so check out the list a little further down the challenge list). I’ve got an idea for creating a consistent exercise routine (hopefully by the next check-in, I can say that I’ve managed at least 30-days of consistent intentional movement).

The daily mediation goal is another one that I won’t be ‘checking’ off until basically my birthday in six months. I have been sitting ‘quietly’ for a few minutes every evening, and am still working on trying to introducing some ‘quiet’ (aka meditative) time in the morning. Getting into the best shape of my life will slowly start happening once I’ve developed that intentional movement plan that I will (hopefully) be able to stick with.

I have an idea for the name of a YouTube channel, and ideas for what I would be wanting to talk about…I just need to ‘record’ a practice video and see how it looks/sounds before actually ‘launching’ the channel. Then hopefully by the end of the summer I will have ‘launched’ it as a podcast as well–or at least have a outline/schedule for launching it as a podcast.

Working on the happiness plan, and slowly working on getting the debt down (starting to keep track [more or less] of purchases and such).

Again, the stretching daily won’t be ‘checked’ off until my birthday–and I’ve been stretching in the morning & before bed. The monthly editorial calendars have been getting made (and more or less followed). The others are still works in progress.

Okay…something checked off: My definition of success.

I’m defining success as any of the following:

I have my credit card debt paid off…and have canceled a credit card…and the others are paid off monthly

I have started saving money again, and adding to my retirement account

My yearly earnings are in the upper five figure to low six figures

My stress levels have ‘leveled’ out

I’m committed to a fitness routine that I’ve tailored to my likes and dislikes…I’m in the progress of getting into the best shape of my life

I’m meditating twice a day

I’m spending time out in nature

I’m writing and researching things of interest

I have two successful blogs….two successful freelance businesses

I have a podcast…a YouTube channel…that I do for fun…and to educate and entertain others…earning money from them is secondary…

I have an online store for selling my crafts…

I’ve developed an “working relationship” with my ‘imposter syndrome/inner critic’…

I have developed and embraced my vision of minimalism…

I am staying up-to date on world events…

I have created numerous online courses that not only cover science topics, but history, social sciences, and current events.

Basically…Success to me is being curious, constantly learning, creative, present, productive, and aware that not every day is going to be rainbows and unicorns…sometimes they’re thunderstorms and disasters…Success is more than money, influence, and power…it’s being a member of the global community, helping to improve society in whatever small way(s) I’m able to. It’s being comfortable with what I have, doing what I can with what I have, while striving to be a little better tomorrow than I was today. I’m only in ‘competition’ with the me I was yesterday.

The next step is to create a vision board based on the above statements.

I’m making progress on the non-fiction reading:

I’ve been averaging about five books every two months (so roughly two and a half books a month). While I’ve read more non-fiction books this time around compared to the list for the 43 before 43 challenge–I’m hoping to still ‘finish’ this challenge. That means I need to try to read at least one non-fiction book a week for the next six months. One thing I need to do–is to go back and write at least four to five mini-book reviews over various books that I’ve finished.

Okay two more things have been totally checked off, and I’m halfway done with the challenge of reading two banned books.

Both of the above series are romance series that are based around a group of siblings. The ‘Lost & Found’ series has aspects of suspense woven throughout all the books, while the ‘Cottonwood Cove’ series has various other ‘tropes’ (such as brother’s best-friend [though so does the ‘Lost & Found’], enemy-to-friends, and friends-to-lovers). I give both series five out of five stars, and am planning on going back and writing reviews for each of the series (haven’t decided if it will be five individual reviews or a combo-five reviews over the entire series).

The other goal checked off that page: Doodling/drawing, coloring & framing at least two original drawings. I decided that for this goal I was going to do large drawings/doodles instead of the smaller ones I’d been doing last spring/summer and early fall.

Here are the three that I’d completed last fall:

In addition last fall, I also finished up the first really large needlepoint project:

I’m currently working on a needlepoint project that is even larger than this one. Though I should possibly do a couple of small ones as well–just to make sure that I hit the goal of completing at least three needlepoint projects. I’m also thinking of launching an etsy store to sell abstract needlepoint projects, digital coloring books, downloadable prints of my colored doodles, and other crafts–so stay tuned to hear about when I decide to launch that project.

I may get several of the above goals finished over the next few days/weeks. I have numerous black and white doodles that I can use to create a coloring book. I just need to have really good pictures of them to upload into a program to then print off (or upload) as a pdf booklet. I’m thinking of possibly trying to complete the draw/doodle & paint goal this upcoming weekend along with starting to possibly play with some resin or make some charm bracelets & necklaces.

Okay. In terms of the photography challenge–I need to try to develop a plan–am I going to do various 30-day challenges, random times with the cell-phone camera or what. The last time I did a photography challenge was back in 2018/2019 and I managed about six to seven months before I called quits (mainly because I felt like I was constantly ‘repeating’ the subject matter).

In terms of new & full moon goals–I’ve only missed one so far, and that was setting full moon goals in Oct 2023. I wasn’t dealing with Oct very well (as that was the start of the ongoing genocide in Gaza), and the one thing that really fell by the wayside was the full moon goals at the end of the month.

I’ve finished three Udemy courses and two Skillshare courses so far:

I now have a couple of ideas of sites to use when trying to do SEO research for writing (both on this blog & the science, health, medical blog), and I have a better idea of what goes into a business plan.

I’ll be doing one of those exercises again that allows me to figure out my values at this stage of life, and then figure out how to combine those with my strengths to determine how to create my ‘dream career’. Time theming is something I’m attempting this week…and I’ve realized so far that I need to pair the ‘theming’ with other productivity ‘tools’ such as using a timer, logging out of social media sites, and so forth to ensure that I’m not getting overly distracted from what I’m wanting to get accomplished.

The final two goals:

The sudoku & crossword puzzle challenge is an way of keeping the brain active. I use to do the sudoku puzzle almost daily, but when things really started to go south late 2022…I quit doing them–now I’m going to try to get back into doing them. The crossword puzzles are just for fun, actually they both are. I don’t expect to ‘win’ at the sudoku puzzle every day–especially the harder levels towards the end of the week, and I’m pretty sure that I won’t be finishing every crossword puzzle either.

Learning basic sign language is another ‘refresher’ in a way. When I was younger I could sign the entire alphabet using sign language, but as with many things–since it wasn’t ‘related’ to school…I quit practicing and have forgotten most of what I’d learned. It similar with wanting to become fluent in Spanish–I took a year of Spanish in high school (my freshman year) before switching to German. I didn’t take any foreign languages in college–though, I did take a class that had a class trip to Honduras (so I brushed up on my Spanish a little). I want to become fluent in Spanish to where I could travel to Spain and hopefully not have to rely on a guidebook. I’m hoping to become proficient in Arabic…because why not?

But there you have it. If you’ve read this far (or scrolled) I’ve managed to complete 3 out of the 44 goals currently–that’s not quite 7% (it’s actually 6.8%) of the goals met. Some of the goals are just a matter of deciding that the evening craft time will be spent drawing, painting, playing with beads/charms, threads, or resin instead of knitting (which has been my major project for the past couple of weeks–trying to finish my latest afghan).

So what am I going to try to accomplish over the next two months?

I’m going to work on accomplishing the following:

  1. Create a vision board based on my definition(s) of success
  2. Launch a YouTube channel
  3. Complete at least two 30-day challenges
  4. Read at least another eight non-fiction books
  5. Read another ‘banned’ book & at least one ‘classic’
  6. Finish at least one small needlepoint project
  7. Draw/doodle & paint an original piece of art
  8. Create a workout plan
  9. Write a letter to my future self
  10. Complete another four Udemy courses
  11. Complete another five Skillshare courses

Have you ever made a list of goals based on how old you’re going to be the next year? If so–were you able to accomplish all the goals, or were there some goals that were left unaccomplished?

I’m hoping to put a little progress into all the goals–regardless of whether or not I land a remote position (I want to have at least applied to say half a dozen remote science/health/medical communications positions), as some goals are on-going (getting debt down, getting into the best shape of my life), while others can be marked as ‘done’ once the birthday rolls around (since they’re ‘on-going’ but only for this particular birthday year–currently).

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerCraftsfinancesfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesodds and endsoracle cardsPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentspiritualitytarot cardsUpdates