Tag: AprilInReview

April in Review

Well we’re now a third of the way through the year—and I’m pretty sure we can all agree 2020 isn’t going the way any of us thought it would. While the world is still in the grips of the global pandemic, things are shifting to more remote/online—though at some point we will hopefully be able to transition back to a in-person society. The numbers of coronaviruses are still climbing around the world (worldwide the total number is over 3 million, and the US has over 1 million cases). Travel is still frowned upon (especially for leisure), which means that any trips that I had been thinking of taking this year are on hold for at least another year.

April came and went, and I realized that I spent a good portion of the month in a pretty bad mood on and off. I realized that most of my bad mood was being caused by looking at the news and seeing the daily total for the coronavirus. I’m now trying to figure out how to balance staying informed about the news and world, but at the same time keeping my mood more leveled. This isn’t to say that I’m not going to have bad days (because I am—I’m human), but I want to try to limit them, and at the same time figure out the best methods for working through moods so that I can become productive again with things.

I’ve realized over the month while looking back at some strength assessments, that I’ve been letting certain thoughts/feelings control how I’ve been going about doing things. I made a post quite a while ago about acknowledging that I’m stuck in the “fear zone”—which is the zone between your comfort zone and your learning zone. The three main aspects of the fear zone are: 1) being affected by the opinion of others; 2) a lack of self-confidence (since you’re trying to branch out from your comfort zone), and then 3) finding excuses (because you don’t want to look like an “idiot/fool” if you make a mistake with learning something new). I’ve realized that I’m still allowing all three of these aspects affect how I’m dealing with both the pandemic and trying to figure out my transition into industry.

I also realized that I’m going to have to be better adapted at doing online networking sessions (I missed both last month, due to forgetting about the time change, and not totally having my resume updated). It is true, that we are our own worse enemies, and while I’ve acknowledged everything that I do to sabotage myself, I have yet to figure out ways of working around those self-sabotaging methods (something to work on during May).

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

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

2) Reading at least two non-fiction books

3) Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

4) 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

5) Money log/Weekly-check in/No Spend days

6) 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.

So how did I do with each goal?

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

            Well I have no idea how many steps I actually managed last month. While I had noticed that my fitbit was flashing that it had a low battery—it was still keeping track of my steps, but since I never synced it with the online platform—any steps after April 5th have been lost.

            I would say that I’ve probably managed to get roughly 150,000 steps. This is half of what I was aiming for, but with the fact that there was the shelter in place order for the month of April—not a bad number of steps.

            Hopefully now, I will remember to put a fresh battery in my zip so that I can keep track of the steps I’ve taken over the month of May (starting probably on the 2nd).

2) Reading at least two non-fiction books

            This is something that I feel a little behind on—I’ve started several books, but they have been more on the contemplation side (so there are questions and exercises that you are suppose to work through as you read the book), and at times I haven’t been totally up to doing that much soul searching and work. Therefore I didn’t finish a non-fiction book during the month of April.

3) Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

            Well, I feel short on this one as well this month. Once my mood started to slide, I started with the excuses and basically stopped working out for the month of April (I did try to do a yoga booty ballet workout at the end of the month).

            I really have no other excuse other than I wasn’t in the mood to do a workout—though I know that if I pushed play, I probably would have been in a better mood (and probably would have slept a little better as well).

4) 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

            This was something that I did a little better with in comparison to other goals for April. The biggest development (for both personal and professional) were more mental breakthroughs—realizing that I was still sloshing through the fear zone, and still feeling fairly burnt out from the previous decade of work.

            The next month or so (since I will still be spending it in isolation (I don’t believe the numbers are down enough for states to actually start opening, and won’t be surprised by a spike in cases over the coming weeks), I will be diving deeper into my personal and professional development.

5) Money log/Weekly-check in/No Spend days

            This is something that I haven’t been keeping up with—while it wouldn’t seem that I’ve spent a lot of money over the month (self-isolation was the agenda for April), I did spend quite a bit more than I should have on Amazon (mainly on that silly match-3 game (homescapes)). So again, this is something to aim for during May—limited spending and working up to no-spend-weeks.

6) 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.

            Well, I wrote down ideas of what I wanted to try to get accomplished, but I didn’t put it into a calendar format. I’ve realized that one problem is that I try to plan out way to much for a single day (an issue I discovered when trying to keep an bullet journal going), and then I got irritated with myself and quit doing it.

            So I’m going to try to implement a couple of different ideas into one:

                        Start with figuring out my long-term goals (this ties back in with personal and professional development)

                        Break those down into say 3, 5, and 1- year goals

                        Break the 3-year goals down into 1, 2, and 3-year

                        Break the yearly goals down into monthly goals

                        Break the monthly goals down into weekly

                        Finally break the weekly down into daily.

            In addition, I’m only going to try to focus on 1 or 2 areas at a time for say 3-months, and then switch up one (or both) of the areas. That way I don’t get overwhelmed with everything that I would like to accomplish, and at the same time I don’t get burnt out on focusing on just one or two areas.

So I wasn’t really focused and willing to put in the work during April—and that is truthfully totally okay during times like this (pandemic and worldwide uncertainty). But I also know that I need to slowly start getting back on track and working towards various goals (lists such as the 101 goals will be getting updated to reflect current global issues). The main thing is that I need to figure out what I want out of life, and then devise different ways of meeting those goals.

I also have to keep reminding myself that there is no such thing as perfection (as everyone has a different view of it), but there is progress. Progress this month was 1) realizing that I’m still in the “fear zone”, 2) my tolerance level for stupidity is at an all time low, and 3) it is still okay not knowing what I want to do with my life—I have the time, and resources to figure it out, therefore I’m on my own time clock and not someone elses.

The goals for May will include:

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.

Read at least two non-fiction books

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

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.

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

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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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