Category: no spend challenges

August: Month in Review

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

There is only a month left in the third quarter of the year, and while that is scary, depressing, and slightly invigorating—I’ve realized that is just how time goes now—in an instant. Though there is still the fourth quarter of the year, and I’m thinking that is where some of the change is going to take place, and the seeds for change in 2020 will be planted.

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

The goals for August included:

At least 434,000 steps

Continuing with the photography challenge

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

Working on my “reboot break”

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each one?

At least 434,000 steps

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

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

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

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

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

Working on my “reboot break”

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

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

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

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

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

                        Home for lunch

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                    Workout

                                    Feed the animals

                                    Dinner and evening routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore the goals for September will include:

At least 420,000 steps

Continue with the photography challenge

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

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

Read 3 non-fiction books

Continue working on the reboot/pause plan

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

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

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

No Comments Lifestyle ChallengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Check-in on 101 goals

So we’re officially a little over halfway through 2019, which means that there are 815 days left in this challenge (as today is July 5th 2019). So I decided that I should probably do a check-in on the goals and see where I’m at with them. Updates are in bold.

The dates for my 101 goal challenges are:

So my original start and finish dates were:

Start Date: January 1 2018

Finish Date: September 28 2020

My new start and finish dates:

Start Date: January 1, 2019

Finish Date: September 28, 2021

Here are my 101 goals for the next 1001 days (random and non-grouped):

  1. Transition into a biotech or biopharma company as a research scientist
  2. Become fluent in Spanish
  3. Become fluent in German
  4. Learn to program (R and maybe python)
  5. Visit at least three new countries (0/3)
  6. Finish the various other e-course bundles that I bought (list out later)
  7. Move to a new(ish) city for #1
  8. Make it through at least 250 days of beachbody workouts (share on twitter?) (0/250) *Luckily it doesn’t have to be consecutive days (though I would like that)—I haven’t done a Beachbody workout in awhile (I also can’t remember how many I’d done before I hit my slump).
  9. Paint & frame at least one original painting (0/1)
  10. Finish the Dream Job Hack program
  11. Finish the Youtube for bosses course
  12. Finish the Youtube course creation for bosses course
  13. Launch a youtube channel
  14. Launch a online course
  15. Get blog traffic to 500+ views/day
  16. Publish 5-10 scientific blog posts (0/10)
  17. Practice more photography (1-2 posts a week) I’ve managed to stick with the photography challenge so far, so at least on the blog there have been new pictures post on a semi-constant basis (at least for the past three-four months).
  18. Get instagram followers to 800+
  19. Showcase crafts on blog (afghans, artwork, jewelry)
  20. Learn to make my own jewelry
  21. Re-pierce my ears
  22. Finish at least 200 personal/professional development books (and post reviews) (35/200) *So out of the 274 books I have on my book reading list for both personal and professional development (and this number is growing)—I’ve read 20 in 2018, and 15 so far in 2019—that means I only have another 238 books to read to finish the list (and that is only if I don’t add anymore books to the list).
  23. Interact more on Linkedin (actually network with connections) (at least 4 a week) (0/140)
  24. Reach at least 14,014,000 steps (0/14,014,000); though if I add in the steps from 2018—this could actually be closer to 20,000,000 steps (goal—19,124,000 by Sept 28 2021 (as of yesterday (07/04/19) 8,047,645/19,124,000).
  25. Visit at least one new national (or state) park (0/1)
  26. Visit at least one new national (or state) monument (0/1)
  27. 5 pushups on toes (0/5)
  28. 10 pushups on toes (0/10)
  29. Fly/land at least 3 new airports
  30. Visit one new city & state (US) (0/1; 0/1)
  31. Go to one or more scientific conferences (0/1)
  32. Go to a blogging conference (0/1)
  33. See the Northern Lights
  34. Present at a scientific conference (0/1)
  35. Post free monthly challenges in facebook groups
  36. Write (or start) a book
  37. Complete a 365 day photography challenge (137/365) I started the challenge a little late this year, or more accurately it took me awhile to build momentum to continue posting a daily picture.
  38. Learn to cross-stitch
  39. Reach 400+ followers on pintrest
  40. Reach 1000+ followers on twitter
  41. Publish at least two blog series (0/2)
  42. Mediate at least 5 minutes a day  (0/1001) This one has been an off and on success—there have been at least one or two weeks when I didn’t feel like meditating nightly, and therefore I didn’t—but I’m slowly getting back into the routine.
  43. No extra snacks at work (i.e. no hitting the coffee shop for cookies in the morning) This one is a work in progress, there are some days when I’m really good at not getting extra snacks at work, and there are other days when I cave and get chocolate.
  44. Declutter the movies in the house
  45. Create an editorial calendar for blog (0/33) Well I’m slowly starting to try creating editorial calendars, but have only been really good at posting certain topics (new/full moon goals & updates, monthly updates & photography challenge). This is something I still need to work on.
  46. Credit card debt down to less than $500 a month (and getting paid off monthly in full) This is almost happening—I do have my debt at a level that I can pay off monthly, though some bills get a little higher than planned.
  47. Monthly budget (plus list of monthly recurring charges on credit cards) (0/33) I’ve been doing this, though not listing the recurring charges on my credit cards.
  48. Learn to give mani/pedi and give myself one a month (0/33) This one is off the list—because I have yet to do it, and while I might in the future I don’t see me doing it quite yet.
  49. Get a new sewing machine and make a new quilt for bed. This one is on hold until I move and then I’ll be buying a new sewing machine.
  50. Make my new moon & full moon goals (0/66) I’ve been keeping up with this one. Though I may not hit all the goals for both the new moon & the full moon—I’m at least putting my intentions out there for the universe to hear.
  51. Buy a new couch and chair for my living room. This one and #s 52-54 are dependent on success with #1 & #7
  52. Buy a new dresser for my bedroom
  53. Buy a new mattress & box-spring for my bed
  54. Buy a new TV & stand for living room
  55. Reorganize my storage unit
  56. Buy fabric & foam and make new cushions for rocking chair
  57. Create a posting schedule (editorial calendar) for facebook pages (0/66) I’m behind on this.
  58. Generate at least three months of memes for facebook pages (0/3)
  59. Create posting schedule (editorial calendar) for instagram (0/33) Behind on this.
  60. Learn to use photoshop for memes & posts
  61. Make a 30-day Zumba schedule & stick with it (0/30) Haven’t done this yet.
  62. Visit one or more new zoos (0/1)
  63. Visit one or more new aquariums (0/1)
  64. Make a top 10 favorite author list (for different genera; romance, fantasy/sci-fi, mystery/thriller, non-fiction) for blog
  65. Write and share at least two posts on linkedin every two months (0/32) Behind on this as well.
  66. Ask for endorsements from 6 well known connections on linkedin (0/6) Behind on this well.
  67. Endorse 3 to 5 people on linkedin every four months (0/40) Behind on this.
  68. Renew professional memberships (0/6) Need to do this soon.
  69. Get into the “best shape” of my life. This is one of the things I’m going to try to focus on more, and maybe should be moved higher in the list.
  70. Finish reading books on scientific writing (review and post) (0/7)
  71. Take a multivitamin & supplements daily (0/1001). There have been several days (going on to a week) that I’ve missed taking my multivitamin & supplements.
  72. Design a logo for my blog/website
  73. Finish 3 hidden object games without using hints, or the strategy guide
  74. Go to a author-reader conference and meet authors
  75. Write in journal daily (0/1001). There have been several weeks that I didn’t do this (mainly due to my current mood—even though I know when I’m feeling down or in a funk that is actually a good time to journal).
  76. Complete my book of Sudoku puzzles (minus the ones crossed out)
  77. Drink 70 oz of water a day (0/1001). There have been quite a few days when this hasn’t happened.
  78. Color in two coloring books (0/2) (pictures on blog/instagram)
  79. Knit another afghan (diamond pattern) This has been started, and hopefully will be finished this coming winter.
  80. Watch all the episodes of Hawaii 5-0
  81. Go to at least 2 professional networking events (0/2)
  82. Update Linkedin profile (0/2)
  83. Watch all the episodes of Grimm
  84. Design a science based board game
  85. Hold a two minute plank (on forearms)
  86. Hold a 90 second plank (full)
  87. Go at least one weekend a month without social media (0/33) This hasn’t happened yet, though with the way the world is going I might start doing it.
  88. Create (and update) a vision board. I’ve created and updated a digital vision board, and will probably try to update it at least every two to three months.
  89. Create my own altar (wiccan/pagan)
  90. Learn basic sign language
  91. Create job searching/networking editorial calendar (0/12)
  92. Get an additional external hard drive to back up the laptop & external DVD drive for installing printer program on laptop
  93. Create my own coffee table photography book
  94. Touch base with friends that I haven’t talked to lately
  95. Savings up another 20K (0/20K)
  96. Get at least three plants and keep them alive (0/3)
  97. Stretch daily (0/1001)
  98. Watch all the episodes of The Librarians
  99. Watch all the episodes of Once Upon A Time
  100. Get Fit with Jessi to 1000+ likes
  101. Get BecomingJessi to 1000+ likes

I’ve only removed one goal from the list—giving myself a mani/pedi monthly. I’ve never been the type to fuss with their nails (though I know with job searching, I do need to start taking better care of my nails, and this does include painting them every so often). I’ve realized that I have fallen behind on some of the daily goals (taking my multivitamins, drinking a certain amount of water a day, and writing in my journal every day)—but at least I do start back up, even if it tampers off, and then starts again.

I also know that there are goals that I haven’t started on, and others that require another goal to be accomplished before they are looked at. I know where I need to try to focus for the next few months (personal care—mental and physical health, and slowly figuring out my career objectives), and once these are on track, I think the others will follow suit.

No Comments 101 GoalsBooksCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthjob searchingLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspiritualitytravel

A review of Gemini New Moon Goals

So we’re halfway through the year, and the moon will be transitioning into the Cancer constellation today and tomorrow and starting a new moon phase. July is going to be an interesting month, as there will be two new moons—today (which was also a total solar eclipse—but one you had to be in South America to see), and then again on the 31st.

So it is time again to look back on the few goals that I set for the Gemini new moon phase and determine how I did with each one, and what I can do to continue striving for improvement in those areas.

So my goals for the Gemini new moon include:

            I’m going to put making a financial plan back on the list. I’ve realized that I’m not getting any younger, and that there are still things that I either want to do (travel more for leisure) or will need to be doing (moving for a new job) that will require having a decent amount of money saved and/or invested.

            Try to get back into meditating nightly (I got out of the habit last month, and I need to try to get back into it again).

            Read at least three more non-fiction books (out of the large list that I have going).

So how did I do with the goals?

In terms of making a financial plan—I’m trying to put about half a paycheck into the savings (which accounts for about 1 paycheck a month), though sometimes it isn’t quite that much. I know that I need to speak with a financial consultant about my meager retirement account (especially what to do about it when I leave my current job), and also how to go about getting it a little higher.

I’ve realized that I don’t need to be making seven figures a year to be happy—I’m pretty sure that I’ll be happy with a nice low six figure income that covers my monthly bills (and it may include a mortgage for an small house or an condo), and still leave me enough to save/invest and even travel.

I’m trying to get into the habit that less is actually more (especially when it comes to certain things like clothes, movies, and similar things). So one long-term goal is to get my belongings down to where I could live comfortably in a small apartment.

I still need to make a better long term financial plan, one that will hopefully account for one move, travel, and living in a decent size city.

In terms of meditating nightly—I probably managed it about eighty percent of the time. There were just a few evenings, where I was running behind on doing things and decided just to chill and read for a while before bed instead of meditating for a few minutes and then reading before bed. It does help my sleep at times when I do meditate—so a goal for July will be to hopefully meditate before bed every night.

In terms of reading (or finishing) at least three non-fiction books—I managed to finish one. The one I finished was related to finances and was called “The Latte Factor: Why You don’t have to be rich to live rich” by David Bach and John David Mann.

It’s a book that shows you how to focus on what you’re spending your money on—that way if you know what you’re spending money on, you have ideas of where you can start saving money. A book review will be coming in the next few weeks.

Over the past year, I’ve been keeping track (more or less) of how I spend money and I know where I splurge. My goals now are to 1) figure out a better way of dealing with stress (that doesn’t involve buying candy), and 2) reminding myself that I should work through several of the different little e-courses that I’ve bought over the past two years before I buy any more.

Reading has always been a pastime of mine—now I just need to figure out a way to incorporate more non-fiction books into the reading mix (lately I’ve been going with fiction as a escape tool against reality).

While I did okay on my mental and financial goals during the Gemini new moon period, I’ve realized they’re things that I should be constantly working on, so I’m going to try to focus on my mental and financial health during the next new moon period.

No Comments HealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Development

June in Review

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

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

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

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Working on planning my “reboot break”

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each goal?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

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

Working on planning my “reboot break”

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

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

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

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore the goals for July are going to include:

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

Continuing with the photography challenge (maybe introduce weekly themes)

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

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

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

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

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

Work on my “reboot break” plan

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

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

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

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Sagittarius Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be transitioning into the Sagittarius constellation today, and entering it’s full moon phase as well. This marks the approximate halfway mark for the month (though it is a few days off), and come the end of the week—we’ll be hitting the summer solstice (aka the longest day of the year). Somehow we’ve almost made it halfway through 2019.

So once again one can turn to “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland to see what questions one can ask themselves during the Sagittarius full moon.

Have I been too flippant, or carefree to the point of being careless, irresponsible even?

Have I been letting myself down by allowing myself to get distracted and bored?

Have I been overconfident to the point of arrogance, or too preachy?

Have I been a commitment-phobe, to my own detriment?

Have I been seeing the bigger picture?

If I number the questions 1-5, I think that currently my answers would be the following:

  1. I don’t think I’ve been either flippant or carefree lately—because if I had been, my anxiety wouldn’t nearly be as high as it currently is. While I’m not happy with my current job (and probably would be willing to quit at the drop of a pin), I still strive to do my best at what I was hired to do. There are numerous other issues at play in terms of my nine-to-five job and the only thing I really have control over is my reactions. Yes, there are a few things that I should probably have brought up sooner—but when you’re told money is tight (numerous times and without even mentioning things), you try to make things work and do so in ways that others don’t realize that there are problems (not the best way of handling things—but that is how I’m currently handling things).
  2. Yes, I have been letting myself down by allowing myself to be distracted both by my nine-to-five job (I don’t feel comfortable trying to figure out my life when I’m on the clock), and the fact that when I do get home at night—all I want to do is unwind and recharge so I can do the whole show again the next day. I know that I need to step outside of my comfort zone to figure out what I want to do with my life—but I need to do it in a way that won’t send me into a full-blown anxiety/stress attack.
  3. I don’t think that I’ve been overconfident about anything lately. If nothing else, I’ve allowed myself to slide into the depth of negative thinking about quite a few things lately.
  4. This question could go in so many different directions—but I’ll look at it from the aspects of both my personal health (physical and mental) and career. In answer to the question in both regards, is yes I have been a commitment-phobe and it has been to my own detriment. I know that I need to work on myself and I have to make the time for it (no one else will), but due to feeling totally blah, and down in the dumps in regards to my current nine-to-five job—I don’t have the energy to do so at the end of the day. This is something that I need to work on over the next few months.
  5. Have I been seeing the bigger picture? I honestly don’t know how to answer this—as I’m not sure what the bigger picture should look like yet. I thought I knew years ago, what my bigger picture was—but that wasn’t what I should be doing and I feel like I’m staring through a unfocused camera lens at my new bigger picture. I don’t know if I just need to focus, and zoom out—or if I should focus, and slowly start zooming in.

I just realized that my answers are pretty close to what I had written during the last Sagittarius full moon—at least I realize that I’m stuck in certain areas, and that pretty soon I’m going to have to make a drastic change in order for things to start moving forward again.

I should also take a look at the house that the Sagittarius full moon is moving through—and it would be my second house (or the cash, property, and values zone). So this zone refers to both your money and property, but also your values (feelings, ideals, and how you feel about yourself). This is the time to reflect and be aware of your self-esteem (do you feel good or bad about yourself), as it’s thought, “your self-esteem will affect how much cash you attract”.

In addition, the full moon period is also the time to start figuring out what isn’t working anymore and start moving away from it (releasing it from your life), and also realizing that there is going to be a slight tug-of-war going on as well.

Looking at both (the moon and the house)—I see that I need to strive to find the balance between both speaking up for myself (and possibly going to far) and staying in a job for the money and quitting (to work on figuring out what I want to do with my life).

So the goals for this period are going to include:

            Setting up July’s budget.

Scheduling a time to talk with the TIAA representative about my retirement account (and what to do with it when I leave my current position)—it depends on the times that are available.

            Working on my “reboot break” plan. I realize that I need to “reboot” myself before I can properly focus on working on my transition from academia to industry.

            Focusing on writing more content for the blog, and working on myself (yoga and meditation to begin with).

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May Full Moon Goals: The actual Scorpio Full Moon

So today marks the full moon for May, and it is actually passing through the Scorpio constellation. So I guess that I will be doing a double Scorpio goal period (since that is how I treated last month).

The questions that I would need to be answering are the same ones that I answered last month, but I think that my answers now are actually slightly different from what I had written last month.

So looking at the book “Moonlogy: Working with the magic of the lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, for questions that one should be asking themselves during this time the questions would include:

Have I been jealous, vengeful, suspicious, or otherwise behaved toxically?

Have I been living out of fear rather than joy?

Have I been brooding and dark: focusing on the negative rather than the positive?

Have I been cruel or cunning?

Am I having the sex I need to feel good about myself? (Of course, some people need no sex at all!)

If I were to number the questions one to five, my answers would be:

  1. This depends on what how one defines toxic—towards other people or toward oneself. I don’t think that I’ve been acting toxically towards other people—I try to be polite and cordial at work and at home (yes, I probably have unfriendly thoughts towards others, but I try not to act on them). Have I been acting toxically towards myself—I’d have to say unfortunately yes I have been. I know that I should be eating better and working out more, but I haven’t been and I’ve been allowing myself to use really lame things as excuses for both bad behaviors.
  2. Depending on how you would define both terms—but yes, I have been living out of fear rather than joy quite often. I know that I should probably just quit my job so that I have more time to focus on job searching (namely networking and figuring out the exact path that I want to pursue), but I haven’t since most people usually try to have the replacement job lined up before they quit their current one.
  3. With the way the world is currently going, it is sometimes hard not to dwell on the negative. I do try to look for the positive daily, though sometimes this is hard to do (especially when one is in a job that is less than fulfilling).
  4. No I haven’t been cruel or cunning—that takes too much work and effort. Currently I’m more apathetic and at times I really don’t care too much about what is going on—I just try to get through the day without losing my temper or my cool. This answer hasn’t changed at all from last month.
  5. As the second statement says—Some people need no sex at all to feel good about themselves. I’m in that boat currently—I have no time for a relationship (especially since I’m planning on leaving the state & I really don’t have the time to try to do a long distance relationship), and I’m not really the type for just having random hookups. Again, this answer hasn’t changed from last month either.

So this month marks the moon moving into Scorpio, and actually moving into my first house as well—this is our image zone. This is where one can reflect on both one’s personal and professional lives, and determine if there are things that could be worked on and changed. Getting to go through this zone “twice” is helpful, as I need the reminder that I should be trying to put myself first every so often, and that there really aren’t that many people looking out for my best interests (job wise and personal life wise).

So goals for this full moon period are going to be slightly similar to the ones from last month and include:

            Getting my fitness and nutrition routine back on track (I haven’t done a full week’s worth of workouts in over a month, and I need to start cutting back on the sweets, this will also help me save money as well), but also remember that I only need to try to be better than yesterday—progress over perfection. Hopefully I can figure out better ways of handling stress than buying sweets on campus, and since the cable/wifi problem has been fixed I should be able to stream my workouts in the evenings.

            Professionally I need to continue working on both my professional transition plan, and my “reboot break” plan. I’m also going to try to finish reading “The Renaissance Soul: How to make your passions your life” by Margaret Lobensteine & “Designing Your Life: How to build a well-lived joyful life” by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans. Having finished reading “Reboot Your Life: Energize your career & life by taking a break” by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearge, Rita Foley, & Jaye Smith I’ve realized that taking a break is needed and needs to happen before the end of the calendar year.

            Continue trying to work on a daily meditation and tarot/oracle card reading. I’ve noticed that these do help with trying to wind down at the end of the day, and I sometimes sleep better after having done them.

So the goals are similar, but a little different from last month—sometimes the major difference is just acknowledging that we are in a self-destruction loop and trying to step off that track just a little to readjust ourselves and get back to the healthier habits.

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

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

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

So the goals for April included:

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Being more active on linkedin

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

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each one?

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

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

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

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

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

Being more active on linkedin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore the goals for May are going to include:

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

Continue with the photography challenge

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

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

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

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

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Photography Challenge Day 1: Level 10 Life update

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

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

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

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

  1. Get in touch with friends/family via email, facebook, linkedin.
  2. Continue reading personal development books & getting through at least one personal development course that I’ve bought.
  3. Mediate about 5 minutes a night and do daily tarot card readings
  4. Savings challenges and limiting what I’m buying on campus.
  5. Working on my transition plan and networking
  6. Meeting up with friends for lunch (or walking around Boomer Lake) and/or trying to make it to a Cheeky meetup.
  7. Schedule time for crafts
  8. Go through clothes to possibly donate
  9. Repack boxes in storage unit & straighten up my bedroom
  10. Start either another round of LIIFT4 or try to do InsanityMax30 again.
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How I did on my first attempt at (an almost full) no spend month

So the month of June is basically over—there’s only five days left. So if you remember that at the beginning of the month I’d decided that I was going to do was not spend any money during the month of June (other than some pre-planned items). One of those items was meeting a friend for lunch the following weekend, and a few e-books that I had already pre-ordered & coming out at some point during the month. Read More

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Money Saving Challenge

Other than meeting up with a friend for lunch sometime this month for lunch, and the few things that I purchased today, and the few books that I’ve got on pre-order, one goal now is not to spend any more money this month. That means that I pack my lunch for work (twenty days), not spending any money on the one main match three game that I have on my kindle (it’s funny—I deleted a few games that I was spending way to much money on from my kindle and then downloaded one that I’d deleted because I got stuck on a certain level—and now I’m back in the boat of spending money on the boosts for that game)—this game might get deleted for the month of June (and then re-downloaded come July). This also means that I will have to curb my habit of randomly buying e-books as well. There have been a number of personal/professional development books that I’ve bought over the past couple of weeks, which I need to add to my list of books to finish by Sept 28, 2020.

Trying to stick with a budget hasn’t been that bad—my problem has been trying to also stick with a money log. I can do about a day or two, and then I slowly quit writing down what I’ve bought and how I’ve paid for it. Hence, the money challenge this month—other than lunch with a friend, I’m going to aim for not spending any more money this month (and that lunch shouldn’t run more than $20 [including tip]). Then come July I’ll get back into also trying to keep a money log as well—maybe if I switch up how I’m doing my savings challenges I will actually keep track and stay on top of everything.

So, on June 30th I will post an update on whether or not I was able to stick with this challenge for the entire month (and if I failed, I’ll mention where that money went)—if I succeed I’ll pat myself on the back, maybe get an new e-book (if I also manage to write at least another four book reviews for the blog).

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