Tag: dayatatime

New Moon Goals in Review: Update on the Aries goals

So the moon will be moving into Taurus this weekend (as a new moon), and we are somehow in May and the year is flying by. We’re a third of the way thorough the second quarter of the year, and that means it’s time to look back on the goals that I set for the month of April (in terms of the new moon).

So my small list of things to focus on during the Aries new moon included the following:

            Making a 12-month plan. This is going to encompass both personal and professional area of my life.

            Recommit to a workout program

            Work on my eating habits (I do know that quite a bit of my bad habits stem from both stress and poor sleeping). Notice I didn’t say diet—but habits. I’m trying to work on basically having things in moderation and working on serving sizes.

            Read a book on positive thinking (I’m pretty sure that I have one or two on my large to-be-read e-pile; but I’ll look at amazon and see what I either have or I will purchase a book or two).

            Then finally, continue to try to mediate nightly. I’ve realized lately that my mind still races a little too much when I do try to mediate and I call it quits after about two minutes. Also I’ve realized that my racing thoughts have also made it a little difficult to do an accurate and decent tarot/oracle card reading—I may need to meditate for a few minutes before attempting to do a reading.

So how did I do with each one?

The 12 month plan is somewhat made, and will be continuously revised throughout the year. I’ve realized that I overthink things, then try to make numerous lists to help with the overthinking and that just puts me in the middle of a massive week long anxiety/stress attack. I’ve also realized that when it comes to deciding on my career—I need to start looking towards different companies—I can’t keep saying that I’m going to be a research scientist in “X” years or months if I don’t have an idea of where I would like to work.

I managed to make it a week with a workout program last month. Part of the issue was that another dog in the house (and one who likes it if everyone is in the same area at the same time), and I wasn’t always certain how the wifi/internet were going to be holding up. I am going to start back with a program (though it may be going between different DVD workouts if possible—our wifi/internet service can be spotty at best lately).

My eating habits are slowly getting better—though I spent way to much money again on campus this month, and I bought way to much sweets. The weight is slowly going down (I did weigh myself and I am down compared to the beginning of the year; but I’m still at one of my heaviest at the same time). I do know that I need to start eating more veggies during the day (when I managed to drink my shakeology daily I was getting a good amounts of veggies in that), and it probably wouldn’t hurt to eat a little more fruit either during the day.

The one book that I finished reading this month could be slightly on positive thinking—it was actually on how nice it can be to slowly declutter your life and realize how few things one actually needs to survive. This is something that I’ve slowly been starting to do, and it does take time and constant evaluation of things to ask yourself if you really need to spend money on “X”, “Y”, or “Z” and if you need the thirty or forty different t-shirts you have hanging in your closet.

In terms of meditating nightly—this is something that I am still working on daily. Some days are better than others in terms of being able to quiet my mind. I know that isn’t the total point of meditating, and that I should just be able to acknowledge my thoughts and let them pass—but sometimes I’ve found that I sleep just a little better if I can try to quiet my mind before bed. So there are times when I’m then meditating again after reading before falling asleep.

All in all, I think that I may actually have a plan (more or less) in place for trying to get things accomplished over the next coming year. I’ve realized that every April/May/June I fall into a mild bout of anxiety/depression and while I can usually pull myself out of it—it also has a habit of potentially causing other problems (namely not working out and eating too much junk food). I’ve also realized that I need to do the search for companies to work for on a smaller scale (so that I can keep my anxiety under control), and have decided that I’m going to aim for three to six at a time—have several documents/pages of notes on them so that if I get to the point of interviews I know what I’m talking about.

No Comments Fitness ChallengesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

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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52 week challenge update (based on the book: 52 small changes 1 year to happier, healthier you by Brett Blumenthal)

So the summer is starting to wind down (I mean July is over in a week), I’ve realized that in terms of doing the 52-week challenge, I’ve become rather static in trying to add in a new challenge every other week or when I feel like I can take on a new one. Since the start of the year I’ve been doing well with probably about five out of the first six challenges. I’m going to stick with these for probably another month or so before trying to add in any more (mainly because I’m still slightly struggling with one or two of them). So how have I been doing in terms of each challenge?

In terms of the sleep challenge—I do have a daily wake up time (though the weekend is about a half hour later than the weekday wake time), and I’m trying to go to bed more or less around 10 PM every night. This should equate to almost 8 hours of sleep Sun-Thurs and a little over 8 hours Fri & Sat nights. Though in truth, during the week it can range from barely 7 hours to almost 8 hours—it all depends on how much tossing & turning I do each night. Now I’m trying various things to help me sleep through the night—I have the room cool (sometimes it feels a little too cool), I use calming lotions, and I’m starting to meditate at night as well (to help quiet my thoughts). I know that stress can play havoc with one’s sleeping schedule (so I’m trying to adopt the mindset of a day at a time and that everything will work out in the end).

I am getting better at making sure that I’m getting enough water during the day. I guess that is one nice thing about the hot Oklahoma summers—they make you thirsty. I know that I usually fill my mug 3 times with water during the day—that is equal to drinking about 60oz of water. I put 8oz of water in my morning shake (along with 8oz of unsweetened almond milk). I then have 20oz of tea in the morning and then usually another 12oz of tea in the evening. Depending on my workout I usually have about 16oz of water during that. So I think currently I’m on track for making sure that I’m drinking about half my weight in liquids.

I’ve decided that weather permitting (not raining or snowing) I’m going to be taking morning walks on the weekend up at Boomer Lake and practicing my photography skills. I had bought a new camera back in May before heading to New Mexico on vacation (I wanted a nice one to take pictures at Carlsbad Caverns—though I’d used my cell phone for most of them). But with the new lens that I got recently, I can get some really nice pictures now of the area birds. Which has me thinking of numerous other posts that I can work on for the photography page of the website. I’m also doing a workout (LIIFT4), plus trying to make sure that I’m moving around a good amount of the time at work (trying to get at least 250 steps an hour).

The fourth challenge in the 52-week challenge is keeping a food journal. Now this is something that I’ve been doing on and off for quite a while (though at times it’s been digital where I’ve logged what I’ve eaten into a website for them to calculate my macros for me). The only thing that I don’t necessarily do all the time is put down how much of each food I’m eating and the calories from that (because that is hard to do when you’re eating out or ordering take out from a restaurant). The author also suggests that you rank you appetite before and after each meal (trying to stay between 1 and 4—never getting down to a 0 or up to a 5). Another suggestion is that you also make note of your physical and emotional state before, during, and after each meal as well to help determine the difference between when you’re really hungry and when you’re just emotionally eating. That’s something that I don’t do, usually because I’m making note of what I’ve eaten after the fact (with the exception usually of lunch time—and that’s when I journal for the first time during the day usually).

So I may make a little chart to keep track of my hunger (before and after meals), and my moods. That way I can jot down a color or a number and then later go and put them into the chart—and then I can reflect back on why I felt that way. I know in the mornings I’m usually tired and wanting to crawl back into bed, but I’m at the kitchen table drinking my morning shake. I could be starving by the time lunch comes around (it all depends on whether or not I was able to grab a morning snack or not).

So out the first six challenges, the one that I’m probably struggling with the most right now is the fifth one: seeing the glass as half full. This is the one of trying to keep an positive attitude. It isn’t like I’m a negative person or have an negative attitude all the time, but right now I’d say that is how I’m reacting to the world. I mean if you’ve looked at the current geopolitical landscape we could be a sneeze away from some big international crisis. That’s another reason why I’ve been slow in my job search, because I’m being pessimistic on whether or not the world is even going to be revolving next year. (So yeah–I need to work on this one).

I’m also getting pretty good at making sure that I take my multivitamin and other supplements (such as my allergy medication, additional calcium, an couple of omega-three-six-nines and then some cranberry supplements for the bladder). I’m keeping track by checking off each day, and then on the weekend filling the pill container back up for the week (easier than trying to remember which pills to take or carrying all those bottles around in the backpack).

So in summary—I’ve acknowledged that I’m struggling with trying to keep a more positive outlook on life. I also need to add in additional trackers with my bullet journal (hunger levels and moods), and just try to remember to drink at least two mugs of water during the day at work and then another two bottles of water once I get home (and during my workout) to ensure that I get my water in. I know that I need to try work on these six (some more than others) before going on to other challenges. Once I don’t stress over these challenges, then it will be on to the next block. One nice thing about these types of challenges—they’re at your pace, and you can go as slow as needed to make sure that they’re going to stick.

No Comments fitnessHealthPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional development

Living with HME (a silent and rare disorder)

So as I mentioned in a previous post, I was going to start sharing more of both my personal and professional development (to a degree).

One of the topics that I’ve touched on here and there on the blog is fitness. I’ve reviewed a program from Beachbody (Shift Shop), have shared one or two shakeology recipes, and mentioned how much I enjoy the programs.

Getting into the “best shape of my life” is both on my 101+ goal list, and just a basic goal in general. I’m not aiming at getting down to a size 2 or 0 (that isn’t in my bone structure), but just getting to a point where I’m happy with what I see in the mirror (so a size 8 or 10 [maybe a size 6] is what I’m aiming at).

So, where is this going you may ask? If we crossed paths on the streets, or if we’d gone to school together, you wouldn’t know just by looking that I’m dealing with a silent and rare disorder that affects 1 out about 75,000 people in the Western world. This disorder is one of the many reasons for my frustrations during public school years, and one reason why I never tried to participate in any type of team sports. It is also why I prefer doing workouts in the privacy of my own home. Read More

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