Category: professional development

Sagittarius Full Moon Goals–a Review

So I’m actually getting my review of last month’s full moon goals posted in a timely fashion–will have to see if I manage to get Capricorn’s goals posted in a timely fashion.

So the year is halfway over, and the next full moon will be happening sometime this weekend (depending on where you live). So there is only six months left in 2020 (hopefully time will speed up a little), and that means pretty soon it will be time to look over goals, and readjust moving forward to ensure that I reach the long-term goals on time. But before I start thinking on future goals, or even the Capricorn full moon, I should look back on the goals that I set for the Sagittarius full moon.

So what were my goals for the Sagittarius full moon, and how did I do with each one?

The goals included:

            1) Continue to have no-spend days (and stretch those into no-spend weeks and then months). Having to pay off bills, or having standing monthly deliveries, and preorders won’t count against the no-spend challenge. If I do buy something, it will have to meet one of the following criteria:

                        It is for personal/professional development (book or e-course)

            I managed to meet a goal, and I bought (book, CD, movie, hidden objects game) as a reward

            It was something that is needed (say face mask) and it will support a non-profit organization

            2) Continue trying to develop a schedule for the day/week and an all-encompassing editorial calendar (personal/professional development, fitness/health/mental health/crafts, and various other things)

             3) Continue working through various e-courses and trying to figure out what it is exactly I want to do with my life.

In terms of my Sagittarius goals:

I did manage to minimize the spending over the month of June—there were only 8 days that I spent money, and for the most part it met two of the three criteria: personal/professional e-courses, and face masks (that supported a wildlife non-profit organization). There were other books that I bought for enjoyment, but for the most part—I stuck with the shopping criteria. The main goal for July will be to have a no-spend month (or at least limit it to one or two days towards the end of the month).

In terms of trying to develop a schedule for the day/week—the only thing that I managed to be consistent with is my workout, and that was usually between 8 and 9:15 in the morning (no later than 10). The rest of the day was usually up in the air—this is something that I’m going to have to get better at, especially if I’m thinking of going into business for myself as a freelance writer/data analyst/photographer. So this is something that I’m still working on over the next few weeks/months.

In terms of working through e-courses, I have managed to finish a couple of small e-courses:

            Productivity strategies for success (on skillshare)

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

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

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

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

Also I’m a little over halfway through with the Data Science Syndicate program through the Cheeky Scientist Association.

I realized earlier this month, that I had been working through various material too quickly and not really stopping and trying to process what I was learning. My mentality was finish “A” to start in on “B” and that way next week I could move on to “C” and “D”—and while that can work if you know which direction you’re going in—I’m still trying to figure that out as well. So I’ve decided that I’m going to slow down a little and actually work through various assignments within the various e-courses and see if that helps me decide on the direction that I want to be going in.

So I probably managed to get about 60% of the goals met during the Sagittarius full moon. In addition to the goals that I will be setting for the Capricorn full moon, I’m also going to be working on my time management. Having better control of my day, and getting more things done will be critical if I’m actually serious about trying to start up a freelance business (writing, photography, data analysis, or something else).

But I also am remembering: Progress over Perfection

No Comments AstrologycareerfinancesFull Moon Goalsmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPandemic2020professional developmentReflections

May in Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) Read at least two non-fiction books

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

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

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

So how did I do with each goal?

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

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

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

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

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

Read at least two non-fiction books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The goals for June will include the following:

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

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

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

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

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

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

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

No Comments Book ReviewsBookscareerfinancesfitnessHealthMonth in ReviewPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

March in Review, a few days late

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

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

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

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

So what were the goals for March?

The goals for March included:

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

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

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

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

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

So how did I do with each one?

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

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

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

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

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

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

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

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore the goals for April are going to included:

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

Reading at least two non-fiction books

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

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

Money log/Weekly-check in/No Spend days

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

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

No Comments careerfinancesfitnessHealthMonth in ReviewPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Heading into week 3 of self-quarantining during the SARS-CoV2 pandemic

So we’re now entering week three of the self-quarantine period, and this self-quarantining may last until the end of April, the end of May or it could even go longer. That is the problem with a novel pathogen—we don’t know that much about it. Everyone is hoping that when warmer weather comes it will get rid of the virus. Only problem with that scenario—the southern hemisphere (which is in their summer months) has also been hit by the virus (with some countries having over 4K cases).

Therefore, it is extremely important that we all more or less stay in the house for the foreseeable future. I’ve realized that my only problem during this time period is actually getting things done—I have plenty of things to do, and I will probably cycle through things so that I don’t get overly bored with any particular item/project.

So what did I manage to get accomplished last week while staying at home?

~ Cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of things from my bedroom (which also serves as my exercise room, my office, and my zen space)

            This task has been started; I had ordered a small bookcase and shelving unit—only to realize that I needed an additional shelving unit. That will be coming in hopefully mid-month (as it isn’t considered an essential item). While I’m waiting for that to show (to house the last few books/workout DVDs), I’m still going to try to rearrange things to have a dedicated meditation spot.

            So it is safe to say that his particular task is going to be an ongoing task for the next few weeks.

Filing my taxes—yes, there has been an extension, but if you’re going to get money back—why wait longer than you already have?

            I mailed these off on Tuesday last week. Hopefully within six-to-eight weeks I should have both tax returns in my checking account.

~ Organizing all my digital photos—getting rid of the really blurry ones, and then creating folders for all the others. I’m thinking that since most of my pictures are of different birds—I’m going to aim at keeping fifty to seventy-five photos (per year). For the trips I’ve taken—I’ll only get rid of the really blurry photographs.

            This task has been started. Truthfully, I didn’t realize how many pictures I have on my computer (I think the amount of space/memory for them is somewhere in the ballpark of 95Gb—so I think that some of the pictures will be getting deleted).

Continue working on my afghan

            Once I plan/write out the last portion of the afghan so that I can keep track of the rows, I will be finishing it up over the next couple of weeks.

~ Continue with a daily workout schedule (I’m back on doing Morning Meltdown 100 after a two day break).

            I’m continuing with Morning Meltdown 100—and trying not to take that many days off (so far it’s been three days off—the 20th, 21st, and 27th). Hopefully should be finishing this program early June.

~ Continue trying to brainstorm ideas for the blog, and continue journaling in general

            This is something that will also be an ongoing task.

~ Reading

            This is something that will also be an ongoing task.

~ Working through various e-courses that I’ve bought

            This is something that will also be an ongoing task.

Ask two or three people what they think my top five skills are

            So I’ve asked several people what they thought my top skills are, and while is helping me fill in a few blanks in terms of what I possibly want to do with my life—there are also other questions I should put out there and ask people what they think.

Try to actually then make a daily schedule that I will hopefully keep with so that I can start getting quite a bit more accomplished each day

            Again, this is something that I’m finding a little difficult to do—mainly because the weather is getting nice, and I would rather be sitting outside than being inside on the computer.

            This is something that I’m going to need to work on still over the next couple of weeks.

Finally continue working on trying to figure out what I want to do with my life

            This is something that I’m still working on. I’m trying to figure out what type of things I wouldn’t mind doing on a daily basis (more or less), plus looking to see if there are any types of videos of the numerous different industry jobs.

So that was a recap of what I managed to get accomplished last week. This week I’m going to focus on more or less the same areas (cleaning/decluttering, personal/professional development, health/fitness, and craft time). With that being said, I’m going to be doing the following:

Cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of things from my bedroom (which also serves as my exercise room, my office, and my zen space)

Organizing all my digital photos—getting rid of the really blurry ones, and then creating folders for all the others. I’m thinking that since most of my pictures are of different birds—I’m going to aim at keeping fifty to seventy-five photos (per year). For the trips I’ve taken—I’ll only get rid of the really blurry photographs.

Continue working on my afghan

Continue with a daily workout schedule (I’m back on doing Morning Meltdown 100 after a two day break).

Continue trying to brainstorm ideas for the blog, and continue journaling in general

Reading

Working through various e-courses that I’ve bought

Post a question on either Facebook or Linkedin asking people what is the one word they would use to describe me and why—to help me figure out what my personal/professional brand is.

Try to actually then make a daily schedule that I will hopefully keep with so that I can start getting quite a bit more accomplished each day

Finally continue working on trying to figure out what I want to do with my life

I will then end with a few reminders: It’s okay not to be super productive during this time; Progress over Perfection; and also in our rush to return to normal, let’s use this time to consider which parts of normal we really want to rush back to.

No Comments fitnessHealthodds and endsPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Aries New Moon Goals

So I’m a couple of days late with posting my goals for the Aries new moon. This is in part to the craziness that we’re dealing with now (the novel coronavirus pandemic; where the total numbers in the US have topped 100K), and as I’ve told several people—my two goals are to 1) not catch the virus; and 2) get through the insanity with my sanity intact. That said—posts are probably going to be sporadic again for the next couple of months.

So the moon moved through the Aries constellation earlier this week, and with it started a new astrological calendar (as Aries is the first zodiac sign)—therefore in a way we can try to start things over again, or start anew depending on your views.

So what are some things that one can work on during the Aries new moon (and actually in general since a good portion of the world is still under quarantine)?

Those things include:

            Taking action on dreams and plans.

            Make a 12-month plan

            Be courageous in moving towards achieving your goals.

            Have some fun

            Focus on you

Then if one looks to see what house Aries is passing through—for me it’s passing through my 6th house or my daily work and health zone. So for me that means I actually should sit down and try to develop a daily schedule that will allow me to focus on both aspects of my life currently: fitness/health and personal/professional development (and job searching).

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

            Recommit to some type of exercise program

            Think about (correct if need be) your eating habits

            Help someone out this month           

            Talk to your boss about any work concerns you might have

            Read a book on positive thinking

            Eat healthy lunches or dinners for one month—no exceptions

            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). This is again one of the areas (namely the nutrition; though working on my transition plan is still high on the list as well). I am happy to say that I’ve been sticking with a workout program (I’ve only missed three days out of the last five weeks—two days last week and today).

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

            Making a 12-month plan. I tried last year and probably went too far into detail in some areas and totally overwhelmed myself.

            Continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 (should finish it up in early June)

            Work on my eating habits (try to start getting a few more servings of fruits and veggies in)

            Read a book on positive thinking (or at least on positive psychology)

            Continue to meditate nightly

And as the insanity continues to run wildly around—remember: Progress, not Perfection

No Comments AstrologycareerfitnessHealthNew Moon GoalsPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional development

Is there a reboot button or a return button for 2020?

So entering week 2 of the self-quarantine period due to the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus. Though truthfully, I’ve only been out of the house probably a total of a dozen times or so since early December (and only seven of those times were purposefully around other people)—the other six (or more) have been walks at Boomer, and I’ve only nodded, smiled, or said hello to people.

I’ve realized that while I don’t mind staying around the house (and I didn’t realize how close to being totally burnt out at work I was until I started my reboot break), I truthfully don’t like being told I have too—but I’m going to, because I would like the pandemic to be brought under control.

So what are some of the things that I’m going to be doing during this up coming week?

Cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of things from my bedroom (which also serves as my exercise room, my office, and my zen space)

Filing my taxes—yes there has been an extension, but if you’re going to get money back—why wait longer than you already have?

Organizing all my digital photos—getting rid of the really blurry ones, and then creating folders for all the others. I’m thinking that since most of my pictures are of different birds—I’m going to aim at keeping fifty to seventy-five photos (per year). For the trips I’ve taken—I’ll only get rid of the really blurry photographs.

Continue working on my afghan

Continue with a daily workout schedule (I’m back on doing Morning Meltdown 100 after a two day break).

Continue trying to brainstorm ideas for the blog, and continue journaling in general

Reading

Working through various e-courses that I’ve bought

Ask two or three people what they think my top five skills are

Try to actually then make a daily schedule that I will hopefully keep with so that I can start getting quite a bit more accomplished each day

Finally continue working on trying to figure out what I want to do with my life

Also remember that while it is a pain to be “stuck” in the house now–if we all do our part, the time required will go quickly. If people continue to ignore the request–the time will continue to drag on.

No Comments fitnessPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentRebootBreakReflections

Virgo Full Moon Goals

So the moon should be hitting its full stage by Monday night as it enters the Virgo constellation. That is making this week a really fun week in the US—we’re starting it by setting the clocks an hour ahead, then the full moon, and we end it with Friday the 13th. If I were a superstitious sort—I’d be planning on staying in bed all week. J

If you’re one who tries to understand how your mood changes or is affected by the moon—the Virgo full moon usually has people feeling finicky and anxious. Personally—I don’t need any extra anxiety in my life; I manifest plenty on my own. Though no matter what sign I go with (star, rising, or moon)—all three are able to handle the Virgo energy.

So what are some questions that one can ask during this full moon?

Have I been too picky, pedantic, or critical of myself or anyone else?

            Have I been humble to the point of underrating myself?

            Have I been of service to others enough this month?

            Have I been worrying and complaining too much, and thus attracting negativity?

            Have I paid enough attention to the details that I need to this month?

So if I were to number the above questions 1 to 5, my answers would look like this:

  1. I don’t think that I’ve been too picky, pedantic, or critical of others currently (though I have harbored critical thoughts of the world—but with the current political, health, and environmental issues going on—that isn’t too surprising). I will admit that I possibly have been a little too critical of myself lately—but it has allowed me to notice (and admit) certain habits and mindsets that really aren’t beneficial to me currently. Those habits and mindsets will slowly be getting corrected over the next couple of weeks.
  2. I probably have been a little too humble when it comes to thinking of what type of transferable skills I have for moving into an industry position. I’ve never really been one to toot my own horn on anything—as I really don’t like drawing attention to myself. But I do know that if I want to get a job in industry and then make it up the ladder—I will have to start tooting my own horn, as there isn’t anyone else who will do it for me.
  3. I’ve been helping out around the house a little more, and depending on how things go (namely how bad the coronavirus spreads over the next few months), I might try to volunteer at the library or find a part-time job or internship somewhere learning something new, but at the same being of help to others.
  4. I’m actually trying not to worry too much about things that I can’t control. I’m trying to catch any negative thoughts that I have and then slowly rephrase them in a more positive manner.
  5. So this one thing that I noticed that I’ve been doing—focusing too much attention on a certain task to the determent of everything else I had on my daily to-do list. Currently, it has been too much time trying to find companies and people to reach out to at those companies, and ignoring spending time on crafts, and meditation at night. This is something that I’m going to start correcting this week—to where I only spend thirty minutes to an hour at a time focused on anything related to my transition into industry, and then spend “X” amount of time doing something else (knitting, drawing, journaling/reading, walking the dog, going for a walk to practice my photography).

So one other thing people should look at is what house the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Virgo full moon also correlates to my 11th house or my friend zone. This is the time to try to focus on the other people in your life, and is also a good month for networking as well (so the universe is still trying to help nudge me along the path to a job in industry).

            Networking is something I have been trying to do more of over the past few weeks (there are actually a couple of webinars I need to go back, watch again, and take more notes on how to effectively network), and something that I need to keep doing basically until I decide what day/year I’m going to retire from whatever job I have—and then I will probably still be networking, just not as extensively.

So what are some things that I can and work on during the next month?

            Meditating nightly, and trying to reframe all negative thoughts to more positive thoughts.

            Setting up the best time schedule to where I’m spending time on different areas of my life (personal & professional development, health/fitness, crafts, spirituality) instead of being narrowly focused on one area.

            Have good notes for reaching out and networking more effectively.

Also remembering: Progress and not Perfection; Don’t fear failure, fear being in the exact same spot next year; and work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.

No Comments AstrologyfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Leo Full Moon Goals: A Review

So in a day or two there will be another full moon—this time it will be going through the Virgo constellation. This means that I need to reflect back on the goals that I set for the last full moon and had aimed to work on during the month of February. In addition acknowledging my current mindset and coming up with ideas on how to switch it to being a more productive mindset.

So what were my goals for the Leo Full Moon?

  1. Getting back into a workout routine
  2. Working on my transition plan for moving into industry from academia
  3. Spend time working on crafts (knitting, photography, and doodling)
  4. Meditate, tarot/oracle readings—getting back on track with my spirituality.

So how did I do with each one goal?

In terms of getting back into a workout routine—I’m happy to say that today I finished day fourteen of Morning Meltdown 100—which is a hundred day workout program that launched on Beachbody-on-demand late last year.

I think that this is going to be the program that helps get me out of my depression/funk that I’ve been in for quite a while. I truthfully didn’t think I was that depressed last year, but looking at the stats on the total number of workouts I’ve done over the past not quite two years—yeah, I barely worked out (at least using Beachbody-on-demand).

My goal is to continue with Morning Meltdown 100, and the program will see me through until the beginning of June.

In terms of working on my transition plan for moving into industry from academia—it is slow going. I actually joined an accountability group to help an extra little push, and while it is uncomfortable at times trying to push out of my fear zone and into my learning zone—I’m slowly getting there. While I’m going to be going at my pace, I know have ideas on how to connect to others, adding value, inquiring on informational interviews, and so forth.

In terms of working on crafts—I managed only a couple of walks up at Boomer for doing some nature photography, and I’ve done a little backyard birding as well. I’m actually going to schedule in more time for crafts over the next couple of weeks.

This was something that I really didn’t do that well on—I really haven’t meditated nightly, and I’ve only done one or two oracle/tarot card readings over the past month. Again, this is something that I’m going to schedule more time for over the next few weeks.

One thing I’ve noticed over the past few weeks is that I’ve fallen back into the mindset of focusing on just one thing and ignoring everything else. That one thing I’d been focusing on is building my job search spreadsheet—so I’ve been spending literally days looking at companies on linkedin, glassdoor, their own websites to determine which companies I wanted to add to the list. I would take breaks for eating, an occasional walk at Boomer Lake, or just go sit outside in the backyard and watch the birds.

This isn’t a beneficial mindset to be moving forward with—but it is the automatic response of how I handled school from public up through getting my graduate degree and to an extent how I handled all the jobs since graduating (to an extent). But I’ve decided that mindset needs an overhaul—so I’m going to actually try to plan out my days somewhat. They’re going to be fluid in terms of the fact I’m not always certain when I’m going to do a walk at Boomer Lake or when I’m going to take my pup for his walk through the neighborhoods.

So while I seemed to be only about fifty-fifty on hitting the goals—I made a lot more forward movement on mental health side—so for fourteen straight days of exercising, and admitting that the current mindset needs to change and will start implementing those changes over the next few days/weeks.

I’ve also been reminding myself of this quote on a basically daily basis: “Progress over Perfection”

No Comments fitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

February in Review

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

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

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

The goals for February included:

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

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each one of them?

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

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

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

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

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

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

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

No Comments careerfitnessjob searchingMonth in ReviewPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentRebootBreak

Pisces New Moon Goals and acknowledging fears

So I’m a few days late in posting—but over the weekend the moon moved through it’s second new moon transition for the year and it was through the Pisces constellation. I’ve realized one thing so far on my reboot break—I’m falling into the old habit of concentrating on one thing to the determent of everything else. While I did need to decompress after my job ended—I barely did anything else. I know that I need to start listening to my inner voice—but I’m truthfully finding that more difficult than I thought. This is due in part to letting all the other voices (you know the ones—your parents, family, teachers, bosses, even close friends) have more of a say in your life than you do.

So what does that have to do with the Pisces new moon and making goals? Pisces is about-facing both your dreams and your fears—and this is something that truthfully I haven’t been good at in recent years (facing either of them). It is hard to try to rewrite a dream, when you realize that the one you’ve held on to for years isn’t going to come about (say becoming a professor and having a marine biology/molecular biology/developmental biology research project going), and having to figure out what else you can do with your life.

Fears have been a little easier to acknowledge—at least my two biggest ones (and actually those are anxiety based issues than actual fears)—one is talking, both in front of large groups of people, and then just one-on-one with someone new. Why do I have the fear/anxiety issue—I’m “afraid” that they (if it is one-on-one) or someone in the audience is going to correct either my sentence structure or the pronunciation of the word(s)—and this stems from childhood. When I was just starting kindergarten, we moved from Massachusetts to Oklahoma, where I was enrolled in a new kindergarten class. Then the following issues arose—my speech (I learned to talk out in Massachusetts, and had a northeastern accent—where I didn’t pronounce my “r”. Now this would have taken care of itself over the years as I settled into things and the school—but the teachers and others thought it would be better if I was put in speech therapy to speed up the process. So I spent most of my elementary school career having to have speech therapy two to three days a week just to learn how to pronounce a single letter of the alphabet. On top of that, my kindergarten teacher would always correct my speech, to a point that I didn’t feel comfortable talking. I thought was the point if someone was going to just repeat it anyway—so I started just writing out what I wanted to say, and it was either passed around to everyone or the teacher would read it out loud.

            So needless to say—I don’t have that many fond memories of being in public schools (from speech therapy to being bullied and ridiculed—I was very happy to graduate), and while I managed to work on the issue a little through college, it is still something that crops up from time to time as something I don’t like to do, but I know that I need to—so I’m going to be looking in finding different ways of coping with stress and anxiety of talking to others.

The other fear/anxiety that I have is actually being behind the wheel of a car—aka driving. I don’t mind being a passenger, for the most part I’ve gotten over the severe carsickness that I had as a child—it is now just a mild to moderate problem. Where did the anxiety of being behind the wheel come from? The answer simple answer is childhood—the more complex answer is an older sibling who decided it would be “cute” that when picking me up from the movies and driving home to remove their hands from the steering wheel and telling me either to steer the car, or that we’d swerve into the oncoming traffic. Looking back, I can see how they thought it would be “cute” and possibly instill wanting to be my own chaperone/driver in me, so that I would jump at the chance for signing up for drivers’ education, get my license, and never bug other people for a ride. But that isn’t what happened—instead it instilled a deep anxiety in me, that possibly someone is going to grab the wheel, or something will happen and I have no control over it. I’ve tried over the years to take lessons—but the fear is deep, and not something that one gets over quickly. So for now, I am more than willing to rely on public transportation, my bike, my feet, and occasionally asking someone for a ride somewhere. Also with the way the world is going—who knows how long vehicles are going to be around anyway.

So other than focus on your dreams and fears, what else can one focus on during the Pisces new moon?

            Following your hunches/intuition—now this is something that I need to work on, as I’ve ignored my own gut instincts too often over the past several years.

            Heal—focus on working though emotional or spiritual issues.

            “Surrender”—practice yoga, meditation—and open yourself to the possibilities of the universe.

In addition, Pisces is also moving through my 5th house—or my fun zone. So this is the area that is triggered by creativity, children, and romance. Now I’m good with the creativity portion—I don’t have kids (and I’m not around them all that much), and truthfully right now I’m not in the market for romance (especially since I’m still trying to figure out my life and where I want to be working/living within the next year).

So there are several different things that one can do during this sums up the 5th house (or fun zone):

            Taking up belly dancing.

            Making a toy for a child.

            Starting to date

            Going on a trip with your significant other

            Doing something creative (writing, painting, so forth)

            Do something that typifies your idea of fun

            Throw a party

So there are few things on the list that I can basically scratch off as not doing—starting to date, going on a trip with your significant other, making a toy for a child, and throwing a party. These are only crossed off the list because 1) I’m again not looking for a relationship, 2) I’d rather meet up with people for lunch or an afternoon walk than throw a party; and 3) I don’t have the accessories to make a toy for a child (as I would be leaning towards making stuff animals for children).

I’ve tried to belly dance in the past (had actually bought some workout DVDs), and I may actually try to find a free program to follow on-line. I found it fun and challenging (especially since I currently don’t have the coordination for it—not that I had the coordination in the past either).

So if I were to make goals for the next few weeks, they would be the following:

            Get back into a meditation routine—preferably at night, but may try morning as well.

            Start doodling again, and possibly turn one of the doodles into a cross-stitch pattern (and teach myself how to cross-stitch).

            Daily workout (Beachbody or possibly see if I can find a free online belly dancing workout)

But overall remember: Progress not Perfection

No Comments AstrologyHealthNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspirituality