Tag: goals

Reading..goal-setting..choosing my words: Review of Cancer Full Moon

Okay…we’re going to be heading into the first full moon of 2024 tonight (and I’m behind schedule as usual)…which means that before looking ahead to the Leo Full Moon, I need to look back at the goals I had set for the Cancer full moon. 

It’s 2024…and we’re sliding down a slope towards a regional conflict that could morph into a global conflict. The issues are within West Asia (Gaza, the occupied West Bank and the genocide Israel is carrying out). I’ve managed one update here on the blog…hoping to do it at least twice a month, and once I start doing more research on other conflicts, having a weekly update.

But this post is to look at the goals I’d set for the Cancer Full Moon last month and how I did with each of them. The goals that I’d set included:

  1. Determine the four top goals for 2024 and come up wiht a good tracking system
  2. Determine my words (or phrase) for 2024
  3. Nightly oracle card drawings and mediation
  4. Draft a three-to-five year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/bi-weekly goals)
  5. Finish at least one more non-fiction book
  6. Work through part of a personal/professional growth course.

So how did I do with the goals?

Determine the four top goals for 2024…and come up wiht a good tracking system

The four TOP goals for 2024 are:

  1. Getting the freelance business(es) launched. This will also include a YouTube chnnel, possible podcast (by the end of the year), figuring out how to monetize the creative blog, and possibly an Etsy store (or other site) for selling crafts.
  2. Getting the debt down
  3. Continuing to heal my relationship with food and movement
  4. Continuing working on hitting goals from my 44 things before 44 goal list, and 1001 goals in 1001 days.

I’m still working on developing a good tracking system for the goals.

Determining my words (or phrase) for 2024:

The words: growth, challenge, compassion, curiosity, and creativity.

Why these words? Well 2024 is going to be a challenging year (in more than one way)—which will mean I will be growing, I’m naturally creative and curious—so they will help me navigate the challenging year and determine the best ways to ‘grow’, and compassion is needed to help heal the world.

I haven’t thought of a phrase yet…though it may just be the hashtags: #WTF and #WTH considering the state of the world.

Nightly oracle card drawings and meditation:

Yes, I’ve been doing nightly oracle card drawings (they’re daily on Thursday—as they’re part of my Thoughtful Thursday series on LinkedIn), and I usually am able to manage a couple minutes mediating.

Drafting a three-to-five year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/bi-weekly goals)

This is still a work in progress. Why? Well…we’re still watching a genocide being live-streamed. The occupying force that is committing the genocide is looking to go after other neighbors, and I’m seriously concerned that this is going to spiral into WWIII…so as I continue to work on drafting my ‘long-term’ plan…I may cut the time down to two-to-three years…which could very well be how long humanity has left…

Finish at least one more non-fiction book:

I’d actually finished three non-fiction books during the past month:

  1. Body Positive Power: Because Life is Already Happening & You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live It by Megan Jayne Crabbe
  2. Flying Snakes & Griffin Claws: and other classical myths, historical oddities, and scientific curiousities by Adrienne Mayor
  3. Letters to a Starseed by Rebecca Campbell

Currently I’m bouncing back and forth between the following non-fiction books:

  1. Healthy at Every Size by Linda Bacon, PhD (53% done)
  2. The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017 by Rashid Khalidi (26% done)
  3. Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution by Cat Bohannon (basically just started ~3% done)
  4. American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodward (basically just started ~4% done)
  5. They Call Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl’s Fight for Freedom by Ahed Tamini & Dean Takruri (~10% read)
  6. Gaza in Crisis: A Reflection on the US-Israeli War on the Palestinians by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe (55% done)
  7. White Women: Everything you already know about your own racism and how to be better by Regina Jackson & Saira Rao (72% done)

There are about another 500 that are waiting to be started…I have a habit of buying books before finish about a third of the ones I already own.

Working through part of a personal/professional growth course

Earlier this month I watched an short art history course on Udemy: Gods and Kings: The Art History of Mesopotamia and Arabia.

It was a very short course—only about an hour long; which is one of two things I had against the course. I felt like the instructor could have done more on each of the topics; in addition—there should have been some type of ‘discalimer’ stating that you should take her prehistory art history course before taking this one. I found it slightly distracting that she kept referring back to ‘previous’ lectures—which in actuality would be a ‘previous course’.

But other than those two things—it was a good course for being only about an hour long, and trying to cram thousands of years of art history into that period (especially for the two regions covered). I’d like to see an more extensive course offered for the art history of the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain).

In conclusion:

So…I think I managed to meet most of the goals (long-term planning is always an ongoing process…especially when witnessing an genocide & the lack of compassion that majority of the world is showing). I also know that I’m running behind by about a day or so in posting things to this blog…and I’m woefully behind on posting to the science/health/medical blog…

One e-course was completed…I have a goal of trying to complete at least eighteen different e-courses before June of 2026; and I’d technically like to complete about a third of those before my birthday in September. One of the things I’m going to be doing is (especially since I’ve bought SO many e-courses over the past few years on different sites) to focus on courses that will help me launch my businesses this year.

I also have a goal of reading at least 100 non-fiction books by June of 2026–and I also have the goal of trying to read 44 of those before my birthday. I’ve managed to read ten (between Sept of 2023 and today)…so to reach the goal by my birthday–only 33 more books; and I’m pretty certain I’ll make the 100 books by June 2026–since I’m a tenth of the way there already.

I’m pretty certain I’ve closed the career chapter(s)/section on working in higher education, and actually have ‘written’ a short story within my life story on reasons why I don’t think I’d be a good fit within industry…so I am slowly working on writing that next section of my life.

What goal from the December Cancer Full Moon are you proud to have accomplished?

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Review of Pisces Goals: Procrastination Habits Acknowledged & Progress on Projects

So the moon will be entering its full moon for September tomorrow night, which means I should look back at the goals that I set for the August Super Blue Moon (since it had two). This also means that we’re basically down to the last quarter of 2023.

So what goals did I make for the Pisces Super Blue Moon? They included:

  1. Troubleshooting my weekly ‘schedule’—making notes of what blocks of periods work, what doesn’t work; am I trying to cram too much stuff in on any particular day; are there days that may be better served as ‘brainstorming’/‘learning’ days?
  2. Spend at least fifteen to thirty minutes a day on some type of craft project
  3. Working on both blogs—getting the second blog up and ‘running’ (having the home page & about me pages written, and having the ‘blog’ portion live with at least one post by the end of September); working on editorial calendars, and so forth.
  4. Work through at least part of one personal/professional e-course.

So how did I do with each of them?

Troubleshooting my weekly schedule:

I had hopes that I would be done ‘troubleshooting’ my weekly schedule this week and could commit to a schedule come October. Well—what I’ve found is that my evening block is best spent doing crafts and relaxing, and I’d rather flip and move around times for doing chores and cooking instead of blocking those off in the late afternoon.

I also think that on Wednesdays, I will be dedicating more time to brainstorming and/or e-courses in addition to the chores for the day. I also need to get better at actually doing things on the weekends. Usually I’ve managed to get about sixty percent of things I want done during the week done…goal for the last quarter is to get that percentage up to eighty percent.

Spending at least fifteen minutes to a half hour on crafts:

I’m starting to spend more time in the evenings working on my large needlepoint project (and hopefully will have it done by Thanksgiving weekend if not by Halloween). One thing I’d realized over the past week, is that unless I’m doing crafts (and taking progress photos) there isn’t a lot of new photographs to share (since I was going to try to do a 365-day photography challenge). But that is something again to work on during the fourth quarter of the year.

Working on both blogs:

Well, I have the second blog/website (the science/health/medical) up and ‘running’. Basically other than the blog and portfolio pages, the rest are all visible. I had planned on getting a blog post up last week, but stuff happened (we unexpectedly lost one of our cats) and that blog post never happened. But it is on the schedule for October. 

I have also posted at least four times to this blog, while I had a bigger goal in mind (say weekly)—I’ll take being at least consistent in being sporadic in posting. Again, becoming more consistent is on the schedule for October.

Working through another e-course:

I worked through/watched ‘The Ten Steps for Getting Your Point Across in Writing’ on Udemy. The main thing I got from this course—I don’t spend enough time on the planning and editing stages of writing. That will change (especially for the science/health/medical site) moving forward.

Progress is being made in terms of both time and project management. The fourth goal (which was the only ‘yes/no’ in terms of total completion) was completed, and progress on the other three were made. Scheduling (or time blocking) is the aspect of time/project management that I need to get better at during the next few months. 

I know that I switch things up at the last minute because I feel I will either get bored or not get the task completed to my ‘liking’ (aka fear of failure and my inner critic is rearing it’s ugly head again). How will I work with my inner critic? Well, I could offer it an unlimited supply of cookies and brownies…which means focusing more on baking than content creation. So—maybe (at least every so often). Basically, I need to dedicate a good chunk of time to the planning stage of projects (outlines, determining what style(s) of communication I can get out of said outline; and then making (and sticking) with a reasonable deadline schedule). This means that to begin with I may only have a blog post monthly on the new site, and once I get enough outlines/mind maps made it could move to biweekly, and then weekly.

It is better to start at a slow jog, than to try to sprint my way to a ‘finish’ line that may or may not be the one for me.

The two phrases I need to keep in mind as I move forward with various endeavors: ‘progress over perfection’ and ‘done is better than perfect, because perfect never gets done’.

As the moon moves into Aries, it is time to take a look at things and figure out where I’ve been stalling in goals…and that is the subject of the next Full Moon Goals post.

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Back to Goal Setting by the Moon: Goals for Aquarius Full Moon

So, yesterday, the moon entered the first full moon cycle of August (August 1st)—and is moving through the Aquarius constellation…and I’m a day late in posting.

This marks the first time back at doing goals via the moon since the beginning of the year. I (unintentionally) took a six month break due to various family issues (possible additional post this weekend).

As the moon makes it’s first transition through Aquarius—there are twenty-nine days left in the month, and then four months afterwards left in 2023…and I’m so ready to be done with this year (and actually the decade).

The moon is going to be transitioning through Aquarius, and if one looks at the book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland there are a series of questions that one reflect on during the next few days:

Have I been pragmatic to the point of losing the romance of life?

Have I been living too much in my head and not enough in my heart?

Have I been trying to do things my way, just for the sake of it?

Have I been trying to hard to befriend people, and for the wrong reasons?

Have I allowed myself to move forward this month?

So if I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers would be as followed:

  1. According to vocabulary.com a pragmatic person is someone who is sensible, grounded, and practical. I could (and have) answered the question in terms of relationships…where I’ve stated that I’m not in the mood to try to mingle and date—I’m actually quite content being a single female. In terms of life in general—I have been striving to be more mindful in my days—looking for the various silver linings each day. 
  2. I ended up totally burnt out on life due to being overly analytical and trying to make a career for myself in research…I’m good at research—but learned that I do best when I can vary what I’m researching and able to constantly challenge myself.  Therefore I’m trying to listen to my inner voice/heart more often and focus on things that make me feel good, energized, and rejuvenated. It also means looking for things that I enjoy doing in terms of fitness, and foods that I actually enjoy eating in terms of nutrition. I’m also focusing on daily craft time as well. 
  3. No two paths are the same…even when borrowing ideas from someone—you usually inject a little bit of yourself into the project, making it your own. Last year I stated that I was starting to get serious about freelance/remote/contract work in science/health comms—and I am, now that the huge drawn-out family medical drama came to an end in May (still working on finding my new normal though)…so I will probably be implementing ideas from various sources, but putting my own spin on them. So—it will be a mix of ‘my way’ and ‘help from others’.
  4. I haven’t been very active in terms of networking the past seven or eight months—therefore I don’t think I’ve been trying to befriend people for the wrong reasons. Networking and connecting (or following) is about learning about others, finding common ground, and figuring out how I can be of service to others. Hopefully over the next few months, I start (again) at pushing myself out of my comfort zone and set up more virtual water/coffee chats.
  5. Well, since this particular full moon falls at the beginning of the month—I can safely say that so far, no I haven’t pushed myself forward during the month of August. In regards to last month—I’d pushed myself slightly…and I will be working at pushing myself a little more each month as I strive to make progress on numerous fronts. 

Aquarius is also moving through my 4th house or my home and family zone. This is the time when one should try to find a balance between one’s personal life and one’s career. 

The past year has been anything but smooth. Early August 2022 saw the start of a family medial issue that lasted until May of this year…an ending of which I’m still struggling through to find my new normal. The SARS-CoV2 virus is still running around, and it’s thought that this coming winter is going to be a bad one in terms of the flu, RSV, and SARS-CoV2—meaning I’ll probably be back to self-isolating and obsessively washing my hands.

I’m going to be focusing on self-compassion this month, as I realize that I’ll probably try to over-plan what I want to get accomplished during the two period between the full and new moons (or the four weeks between the two August full moon periods). I’m going to be striving for harmony more than balance…

My open-ended (in terms of time) goal for the Aquarius full moon is working on my time and project management skills. This will be done by finding time each day for crafts, intentional movement, and making progress on various projects—and knowing that I did my best each day.

While that is a totally ‘open-ended’ goal, some specific mini-goals are:

  1. Finish reading: It’s Okay that You’re Not Okay by Megan Devine & Oracle Cards 101 by Sunny Johnson
  2. Unplug for at least 90% of one (or more) weekends (knowing that I will possibly give in and check social media on the phone)..
  3. Start creating content for both blogs and various other social media sites as well.
  4. Continue working on my very large abstract needlepoint project

As I move forward with my career transition, I know that some (probably most) companies won’t like the idea of an employee building a freelance business on the side…though I’m sure that it is more common than I think…remote work starting out may be the way to go—though I’m not sure how I feel about someone dictating my daily schedule again…therefore I do need to put a lot of time and focus in to developing the two sites in regards to freelance work.

This blog/website is going to be dedicated to crafts, photography, travel, reading, and personal/professional growth. The second blog/website is going to be dedicated more to science/health communications (possibly adding in medical comms again within a year or two—need to move past the trauma of this year a little more).

Time and project management are always going to be works in progress (especially when one is tired, bored, or any other potentially ‘negative’ emotion)…but baby steps (even a shuffle back and forth) are still progress—as long as you’re moving forward.

So, I’ll leave you with the reminder that perfection is a myth, and inquire what are some of your favorite time and project management tools or tricks?

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November in Review: planning and looking ahead to 2023 & beyond

So, we’re in December…that means there are only 31 days, roughly four and half weeks, or 744 hours left in 2022. That means, I now really need to get serious about planning out things for 2023…because it will be here before we know it (or are possibly willing to accept it).

I’m still feeling massively tired and burnt out on life, and while I would love for the year (and decade) to be over—I’m also not ready for the good-byes that will go along with them.

I’d hoped that November would be a little mellower than the past three months—and it was, and at the same time it wasn’t; if possible it was an even tie for September in terms of being a mess.

Still dealing with the ongoing family medical issue—and the outcome is still up in the air. Then there is the fun of elderly animals…probably having to put one cat and dog down within the next few months (cat due to health issues, that I currently can’t afford to treat; and the dog due to old age and pain).

The only cool thing I can say about the news is Mauna Loa erupting this week. It’s been well over a decade since I’ve been to the big island of Hawai’i—and when I went, I only visited Kilauea (since it was within the main part of the Volcano National Park).

While I wouldn’t want to be living on a island with an active volcano—I think it’d be cool to see it erupt (from a safe distance)—cause while I did see Kilauea erupt—it wasn’t as cool looking as pictures have been lately for Mauna Loa or even when Kilauea erupted a few years ago.

Still staying off the news for the most part—mainly because of my current mental health state. Though if everyone would just grab a snickers bar and take like a three-month timeout, I think that would help things settle down.

By this time next year, I won’t be surprised if I’m diagnosed with moderate cases of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Elections were earlier this month, and hopefully Democrats can hold their slim majority in the senate, and knock heads together in the house to get things done. Sorry if that seems ‘violent’—I’m tired of seeing mass shootings in the news, and basic human rights being attacked basically every damn day.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘October in Review’ on November 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 99.3 million cases and now as of December 1st —we have reached just a little over 100.6 million cases (an increase of a little over 1.3 million cases). So, numbers are staying ‘steady’—though I’d like to see the number actually start going down again. But there are the various omicron subs-strains running amok.

So—please, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get boosted when needed.

I finally got around to getting my booster shot this past month—and other than a sore arm (for about four days), I didn’t have any other side effect of getting the booster. Flu shot is on semi-hold, only because it looks like I potentially have to schedule a doctor’s appointment to get it—and I don’t want to do that right now.

Still trying to keep the mental health on an even keel—therefore, I’m still trying to lean more into my strengths and values: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths).

So before setting goals for December, its time to look back at the goals I set for November and see how I did with each of them. The goals for November included:

  1. 120-150K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finishing at least one of the many non-fiction books that I’ve started
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least 22 days)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily oracle card drawings, daily gratitude journal entries
  7. Craft time
  8. Work through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  9. Getting the second blog up and running
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So how did I do with each of them?

120-150K steps:

I fell short of my minimum step goal of 120,000 steps. I managed to get 116,503 steps this past month. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts throughout the years—I’m an extremely fair weather person, so in order to be outside doing some type of workout I need it to be ‘just right’. We’re heading into winter, though with climate change, the temperatures have been doing a yoyo the past few weeks.

At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement each day:

There was no walk at Boomer Lake during November. The reason—having to play ‘phone tag’ with medical staff in regards to the on-going family medical issue. I probably could have done a brief walk up there—but I did other chores instead.

I know I’ve probably moved around at least five minutes a day—but I have yet to write down what the intentional movements have been. (Need to get better at this)

Finish at least one non-fiction book:

I finally managed to finish reading INNERCISE: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power by John Assaraf. I just need to go back and do some of the exercises within the book (especially those that revolve around setting goals, and putting together routines).

Read at least two-to-four fiction books:

There were six new fiction books read during November, and six re-reads:

The new books:

  1. Someone to Hold (Wild Widows #2) by Marie Force
  2. Always Mine (Honey Mountain #1) by Laura Pavlov
  3. Ever Mine (Honey Mountain #2) by Laura Pavlov
  4. Make You Mine (Honey Mountain #3) by Laura Pavlov
  5. Simply Mine (Honey Mountain #4) by Laura Pavlov
  6. The Path to You (Wilder Brothers #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan

The re-reads included:

  1. Alpha Turned by K.B. Alan
  2. Protect & Defend by Francesca Hawley
  3. Hot & Badgered (Honey Badger Chronicles #1) by Shelly Laurenston
  4. In a Badgered Way (Honey Badger Chronicles #2) by Shelly Laurenston
  5. Badger to the Bone (Honey Badger Chronicles #3) by Shelly Laurenston
  6. Breaking Badger (Honey Badger Chronicles #4) by Shelly Laurenston

No spend challenges:

Well, I did okay with the no spend challenge—managed 17 days (so a little over half the month)…spending money unfortunately is my coping mechanism for stressful situations (and the past several months has been a roller coaster of stress)…but I’m going to work on improving this both in December and then in 2023.

Meditation/sitting quietly, oracle cards, gratitude (aka mental/spiritual health):

Time outdoors is again becoming limited to basically evenings (and when I need to fill bird feeders) due to it being winter.

Meditation and sitting quietly at night (or actually anytime during the day) is something I’ve been fairly good at doing.

I’ve also been on top of doing daily oracle card drawings (I think there may have been one day I didn’t—but I’d done a double the day before), and doing daily gratitude journal entries.

Craft time:

I finished the one abstract science cross-stitch project, and had decided to use buttons to tie off the fabric in the back.

Latest abstract cross-stitch project

I’m currently working on a second abstract cross-stitch project and should be done with that one hopefully before the end of the year.

Working through part of a personal/professional e-course:

I’ve started watching the e-course: Master Business Writing & Editing on Udemy. I’ve watched the first three videos (so about 15 minutes of the three hour course). It looks to be a good course—so, aiming to finish this plus the 15 errors in scientific writing & how to fix them (an two hour course) during December.

Getting the second blog/website up and running:

One of the bigger goals for December

Writing, writing, and writing:

While I’ve gotten quite a bit of writing done during November (kept up with the three ‘series’ that I do on LinkedIn each week; plus the various posts on the creative blog), there is room for improvement.

I know that I need to get the second blog up and running—plus I need to decide on the various social media platforms for each blog, and get a tentative content calendar planned and actually stick with it…goal for December and 2023.

So, other than not getting any work done on the new blog/website—I managed a little on all other goals (while totally meeting at least the reading goals). As I’d mentioned in my #thoughtfulthursday post on LinkedIn today—I’ve been allowing myself to fall into the pits of ‘fear of failure’ and ‘fear of opinions of others’ this year—which has sidetracked, and sidelined my progress on numerous fronts.

Taking today out of the equation—there are thirty days left in the month. I know that I probably won’t be super productive this month (holidays and the on-going family medical drama), but I need to start setting things up so that I can hit the ground running in the New Year.

That means measuring things in the bedroom and rearranging furniture—to hopefully create an ‘office’ space that I actually feel comfortable working in, in addition to creating a portable working space in the living/dining room area (elderly dog likes to be in the same room—and has trouble navigating areas that lack area rugs).

It means getting in the different bullet journals and getting the tracking sheets set up for at least the first several months (besides the ones I did for 2022, introduce some new ones for 2023).

It will mean actually taking the time each day (morning and night) to plan and then reflect on how I did each day. It will also mean creating content calendars and trying to stick with them.

I’ll be spending some time during the next month or so deciding on what other social media channels I want to be active on for each blog…some might overlap (Instagram, Medium, and possibly having a Facebook page for each of them), but others will be specific for one or the other.

Therefore, I’ll still be working on improving my time and project management skills as well throughout the month of December.

The goals then for December will include:

  1. 120-155K steps
  2. Partial walk at Boomer Lake, and intentional movements daily
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Commit to the no-spend challenges
  5. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  6. Mental/spiritual health (meditation, daily oracle card drawings, daily gratitude journal entries)
  7. Craft time
  8. Get the second blog up and running
  9. Work through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing
  11. Set up the ‘master’ goal list for 2023; and start the ‘master’ blueprint plan for 2023-2028

The December goals are basically the same as what I’ve set for September, October, and November—with the addition of setting up the ‘master’ goals or plan for 2023 to 2028. What I need to do in terms of that ‘goal’ is start with the five year goals, and work my way backwards. That way hopefully each year I’ll be working towards those ‘larger’ and loftier goals.

As I mentioned the only goal that I didn’t really touch was getting the second blog/website up and running. I have an idea of what I want to write for my about me page (helps that I got my functional resume finished), and hopefully will have at least one blog post in addition to various pages ‘live’ by New Years Eve.

All I can try to do is devise a schedule/plan that will hopefully be able to bear the brunt of whatever happens during 2023…that will be a large focus this coming month.

Becoming more consistent will really let me lean into my strengths and values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/growth, and intellection.

In addition—they all give me great practice at time and project management as I’m aiming for at least 85% overall completion (I’m fully acknowledging that I may not hit the step goal, and that I may also not have that much time outside—but I can work towards all the other ones).

Time/project management goes hand in hand with consistency and productivity. I’m going to be making more use of airtable (for content/project management—it’s a calendar and spreadsheet in one space), an old fashion timer, and pen/paper to manage my time and projects.

Curious to know what is your favorite time, project, or productivity tracker/manager?

Namaste….

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Reflecting on 2022, planning for 2023: Sagittarius New Moon Goals

So the moon entered the Sagittarius constellation yesterday, marking the eleventh new moon for 2022. That means there is a week left in November (today is Thanksgiving), and then it’s December…and then 2023.

The SARS-CoV2 virus isn’t going to be going away…it is here to stay (unfortunately)—but there are vaccines, and booster shots—so folks, go get your vaccine (or booster), try to continue practicing social distancing where you can—and wear a damn mask in the store, it’s also flu season.

So what are some of the things that one can do during the time of Sagittarius new moon?

Looking at the book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, you can:

  1. Get away–travel
  2. Study
  3. Search for meaning
  4. Laugh
  5. Be grateful

Well, I’m slowly starting to research/plan a trip for sometime in either mid-to-late 2023 or 2024. Since the SARS-CoV2 virus isn’t going away—I’ll just wear my mask when traveling…

In terms of ‘searching for meaning’—I’m viewing that as figuring out what I want to be doing with my life and where I would like to be in say fifteen to twenty years. This is a slow work in progress…hopefully making a little headway this coming week.

I’m starting to ‘study’ again—I have numerous different e-courses that I need to be working through. I just need to buy a couple of notebooks—I’m ‘old-fashion’ and I learn better when I actually writing things down.

With the moon entering into Sagittarius, this is also my second house or the “cash, property, and values” zone. I’m totally not in the holiday mood this year—I mean today is ‘turkey’ day, and then we’re just over a month from Christmas…and I’m in a totally bah-humbug type of mood currently.

This year has currently been a year of ‘whiplash’ with various things going on—and I’m heading back towards burnout. I’m realizing this and will be putting together a plan to hopefully stop the backwards slide in its ‘tracks’.

One thing I’m aiming for in 2023—starting to live a much more minimalistic life. I have three boxes of shirts (so far) that I need to donate, numerous DVDs to sell back, and crafts to create/gift/sell. Anyway, back to the second house—the cash, property, and value zone.

So some of the things that you can do during this time include (again, according to “Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles”):

  1. Start a savings account
  2. Pay your bills, taxes, debt, etc
  3. Hire an accountant if it’s all too much
  4. Showcase your talents
  5. Get a neck and shoulder massage
  6. Invest in an expensive neck cream

My savings account is there—just not as ‘large’ as I would like (but hey—I’ve been on a reboot break for the past few years and surviving off of it), and I’m working on getting the bills/debt paid off. There is still no reason to hire an accountant—since I’m still currently unemployed.

In terms of ‘showcasing’ my talents—I’m in the process of starting the second blog/website (dedicated to science/medical/health education/communications), in addition to brainstorming ideas on how to showcase the various crafts that I’ve been working on as well.

  1. Develop a ‘fluid’ daily/weekly/monthly schedule for getting various things done
  2. Reflect on 2022 (to-date), and determine what went well, what didn’t go so well, and start planning for 2023 (and beyond)
  3. Put in the order for the numerous journals and notebooks needed for 2023
  4. Finish setting up the dedicated work station, craft station, and semi-dedicated meditation area in the bedroom

While I managed to accomplish numerous goals over the past few months—I also realize that my inner critic/imposter syndrome has also derailed me several times as well (not to mention life in general)…but I need to just keep reminding myself: ‘progress over perfection’. In addition to not taking to heart the negative opinions of others.

While 2022 hasn’t been going the way I wanted, hopefully the last week of November will be mellower than the previous months have been.

What are you doing to ensure that 2023 starts on the right foot?

No Comments Astrologybullet journalscareerfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Reading, writing, and planning: Aries Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be entering its next full moon cycle for the year probably tonight (at least for me). This means that we’re not quite a third of the way through October—but time does seem to be going a little quicker. I’m hoping that the last quarter of the year goes a little smoother…but I’m also not going to hold my breath on it either.

So what are some of the questions we can reflect on during this time?

Have I been hotheaded, selfish, or argumentative this month?

Have I been going too fast or been impulsive this month?

           

Have I been brash, blunt, or too competitive?

           

Have I ignored other people’s finer sensibilities?

           

Have I had enough fun?

So before answering the questions, I do need to point out that it is the beginning of the month, so I actually going to answer these questions based on 1) how I want to behave during the coming month, but also 2) how I behaved during the past couple of weeks. So as usually I’m going to number the questions 1 to 5 as I answer them.

  1. I would have to say no—I haven’t been hotheaded, selfish or argumentative this month (a couple months ago—yes I was slightly argumentative then). We’re still dealing with a family medical crisis that may or may not resolve the way we’d like it to—so I could be considered semi-selfish in just wanting the whole ordeal over one way or another.
  2. Considering the month I’m currently having and the past two months, I don’t think I’ve been overly impulsive this month nor do I think I’ve been going too fast (possibly going a tad too slow). I know what I need to do—but currently the other issue is taking majority of my concentration and I’m working on ensuring that I don’t impulsively spend too much money.
  3. No, I haven’t been brash, blunt or too competitive—this month. I was slightly brash and blunt a month or so ago—but that particular circumstance called for me being brash and blunt (and I’m still not going to apologize for it either). While I understand the need for competition (to ensure that the best person is hired)—I truthfully think that there probably is more than enough work for everyone who wants it—so I’m only going to try to be competitive with myself—and only the person I was yesterday.
  4. Well I would say this year it would depend on the situation and the people involved. While I do try to empathize with others—I’m also starting to draw my boundaries and stating what I will and won’t do in particular situations. I also realize that sometimes things can get a little tense and sometimes conversations may need to be put on hold.
  5. What is this word fun? While there are hopes that we’re moving from a ‘pandemic’ to an ‘epidemic’—we’re still stuck dealing with the damn SARS-CoV2 virus, and considering the past nine weeks (and counting)—I really haven’t had much fun, and am still working on ways of adding ‘enjoyment’ into my day-to-day routine.

Aries is moves through my sixth house (or my daily work and health zone). This house is where we can sit and reflect on who we are (both in terms of professional/work and personal/health) and decide to work on those aspects that we don’t like.

For the past two years I’d made various ‘commitments’ such as pushing play daily on streaming workouts or committing to intentional movements each day. Well, I canceled my Beachbody-on-demand (and technically my Beachbody) subscriptions this past month—for whatever reason, I’d prefer to pop in a DVD than trying to log into the website…the DVD player relies on power (and not being overly dusty), while streaming workout relies on power plus a good internet connection and the website not being down.

Therefore I’m still in the process of trying to develop a good mix of things I like to do (weight lifting, walking, hiking, and so forth) and making a ‘schedule’ that I can more or less stick with—because life has been throwing more lemons and limes at me than I can use for making various drinks and dishes.

I have a good idea of what I’m wanting to do career wise—it’s a matter now of making a schedule that will work with everything that is going on in life right now—plus I’m still dealing with the feeling of burnout (but not just in terms of career—currently its in terms of everything).

Since I’m pretty sure that this Aries full moon is going to be a very chaotic time, I’m going to limit the number of goals that I’m going to be setting. The goals for the Aries full moon will include:

  1. Write out a list of things I’d enjoy doing in terms of intentional movement (weight lifting, walking, cardio, yoga, and so forth)—and try to devise a schedule.
  2. Have at least two mini-book reviews written and posted on various sites
  3. Work through at least part of a personal/professional development course
  4. Continue reading (and possibly finishing) at least one non-fiction book that I’ve already started.

The motto for this quarter is ‘Progress over Perfection’

Four goals for the Aries full moon–and hopefully four goals that will get accomplished. I know that I have an extra one or two listed above–those are bonus goals…I’m trying to just remember to take things a day at a time, and even then–remember to take things an hour at a time, and if need be a minute at a time.

What personal/professional goal are you working towards this quarter?

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerfitnessFitness ChallengesFull Moon GoalsHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Looking ahead to the next revolution around the sun

So, yesterday was my birthday—and I’m now technically a full year into my fourth decade (even though I’ve kiddingly said that I’m celebrating my 39th birthday for the third time).

Last year I did a post shortly after my birthday on trying to answer the question of which hobbies, passions, and interests fall under the jack-of-all-trades umbrella, and which fall under the specialist umbrella. That posts evolved from a previous post (‘self-reflection, planning, and yet more self-reflection’).

I’d stated then that my two biggest struggles were imposter syndrome and being stuck in the ‘academic’ mindset of career progression (though industry does have clear career progressions—my ‘problem’ has been not knowing which direction to go in).

Recently I’ve been coming back to the possibility of freelance/remote/contract work where I could be doing writing, data analysis, project, and/or product management in addition to writing/blogging on personal/professional development topics as well.

The main reason why I’m leaning in that direction—we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, and I feel more comfortable with going in a direction that is semi-location independent and to a degree company-independent as well.

While at the same time, I want to create a ‘niche’ that will allow me to flow between topics that I feel fall into either the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ category or the ‘specialist’ category. In addition to allowing me to make use of my strengths: learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative/ideation/arranger.

So how am I going to do this?

Well, I’ve come up with three broad areas that will be added to the two ‘fun’ niches that I already have ‘pages/tabs’ for on the blog/website.

The three broad areas that I’m going to be adding will be:

  1. Health and Wellness
  2. Science Education and Communications (abbreviated Science Ed and Coms)
  3. Personal Development (may also include some aspects of professional development as well)

Since each area is extremely broad, I’ll be focusing on certain subtopics within each area (though the science education and communication may remain some broad—only because I find almost all science to be interesting). What those subtopics are–I’m still working on those lists, but my goal is to have three-to-five subtopics per broad area.

They will also have their own ‘tab’ on the website (serving as individual ‘portfolios’), and I’ve decided that the Health/Wellness tab is going to be the ‘renamed/worked’ Fitness tab; Science Ed and Coms will be the ‘renamed/worked’ All Things Science tab; and Personal Development will be the ‘renamed/worked’ Everything Else Bucket List tab.

The two ‘fun’ niches that I will be keeping on the blog (and that already have their own tabs/pages) will be travel and photography (which I’m going to be combining with the birds tab).

Having these five ‘niches’ or areas will allow me the flexibility I need to stay focused, productive, and happy. Science education and communication may also branch out to include social sciences and humanities at some point (as I also enjoy those topics as well).

Other crafts (such as cross-stitching, jewelry design/creation, knitting, and others) may show up from time to time under the personal development tab or possibly just as individual blog posts.

Looking back over the past year, I’ve realized that I have made progress in numerous areas (even if it has been minuscule), and as I continue forward on this freelance/remote/contract path I know that I will continue to improve in those areas. That being said, I’m still going to be working on the following areas:

  1. Time and project management (I have numerous writing projects in the pipeline, but haven’t really gotten anywhere with any of them)
  2. Brainstorming, researching, writing, editing, and publishing–on a schedule
  3. Publishing my writing (in more places than just the blog and LinkedIn)
  4. Different types of writing (though I’m actually doing this a little with the volunteer medical content writing position):
    • Creative/Fiction
    • Scientific
    • Non-fiction
  5. Reworking the blog/website to serve as one of my ‘portfolios’ (with another being my LinkedIn account) in terms of the different areas/niches I want to branch out into

So, I have the overall plan of trying to go freelance/remote/contract for writing/data analysis/project and/or product management. Now it is time to rework the blog/website (slowly, since I have had it going for a couple of years now), and then figure out the other little nuts and bolts of starting my own business.

So, for my next revolution around the sun–I’m going to focus on stepping out of my comfort zone more, write more, create more, and if the pandemic every gets under control–perhaps even travel more.

No Comments careerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

Level 10 update & photography challenge day 42

Well we’re almost through the first quarter of the year. Tomorrow is both Monday and the start of April–which means April Fool’s Day. I think there is a universal joke being played on us–that is almost an unfair way of starting the week. But since the quarter is almost over, it’s time to do a quick check-in on life via the Level 10 criteria.

Level 10 Life Update: Starting the second quarter of 2019

So there has been little change in basically all areas–either things stayed steady or they went up or down a little. Things almost balanced out in terms of what when up and down–though I think I’m +0.5 in the positive direction in terms of changes.

I still don’t have much of a social life–and currently I’m perfectly fine with that. I know that it could help in terms of networking–but at the end of a busy day at work or a busy week–I don’t want to go back out and deal with interacting with people. So right now most networking is done on-line. I’m planning on doing in-person/live networking, but that will be in a few months (once I have a little more vacation time earned) and I can do a duel networking/mental health break.

I’m hoping to get more things done in terms of my job transition plan, and moving towards getting an industry position (more on this later), and I’m also probably going to be starting a new beachbody program tomorrow (as long as the wireless and internet behave in the evenings–streaming workouts aren’t fun if they keep crashing in the middle). So what are some of my 2nd quarter goals for April through June:

  1. Getting in touch with friends and family via email/social media
  2. Continue reading different personal development books and doing different short challenges (more on this later).
  3. Continuing to try to mediate daily and do my daily tarot/oracle card readings
  4. Different savings challenges
  5. Work on my industry transition plan and network
  6. Lunch with friends on the weekends
  7. More time for crafts
  8. Donate clothes (mainly t-shirts) at the end of the 333 challenge
  9. Repack boxes in storage unit (make room for other boxes from home).
  10. Hopefully do Transformation 20 (new ShawnT workout from Beachbody) and then the hybrid Transformation 20/LIIFT4 program.

I almost consider the first part of the year as still a “planning” period. Now that we’re well into the year–it’s time to get stuff done. More lists will be made (and possibly shared), so that things can be checked off and as a way to make sure that I’m actually moving forward and not just spinning in circles.

No Comments Level 10 LifePersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional development

March’s new moon: Pisces

So the moon will be heading into the Pisces constellation today, and before we know it we’ll be hitting the spring equinox, and then somehow March will be over. But it isn’t over yet (and I know I’m being slightly melodramatic—but it’s a day off of work due to winter weather J).

Also during this time there are planets realigning with each other, so there are some questions we can ask ourselves (questions are coming from Yasmin Boland’s email list):

Where do I need a major change in my life—am I willing to release the old to usher in a new way of life?

            I need a major change in terms of my career. My current job is a dead end position—there is no room for advancement and really no room to grow (yes I can learn to run some more instruments—but that is about it) and the pay isn’t that great either. Therefore I also need a major change in terms of where I’m living, as there isn’t that much biotech in Oklahoma.

Am I feeling inspired? And if not, what am I going to do about it?

            I am trying to tap into daily inspiration (mainly through journaling and just jotting down different things that come to mind). I am inspired to make major changes in my life, but at the same time I know that I have to go slow or I could end up having a complete and total meltdown (due to anxiety and stress).

Am I willing to work hard to make my dreams come true?

            I am willing to work hard to make the transition to industry. I know what I should be focusing on in terms of what I need to be doing—I just need to write out on paper, and make lists so that I have something to check off, that I’ve done.

So if we look at “Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are again several things that one can do during this time:

            Dream.

            Face your Fears.

            Get cosmic (read tarot, oracle, or archangel cards)

            Heal

            Surrender to the universe.

Well before I can start making lists of things, I also need to check to see what zone/house this Pisces new moon is moving into as well. This new moon is moving through my fifth house (also know as my fun zone). The basic message is to remember that life is a game (and one that we shouldn’t take seriously all the time [some of the time yes, we should take it seriously—but not all of it).

So if one looks back to the Moonology book, there are several suggestions for things that one can do during this time:

            Take up belly dancing.

            Make a toy for a child (your own or someone else’s)

            Take a lover.

            Take your lover on an adventure.

            Write a short story; paint a picture—anything that feels creative.

            Do something that typifies your idea of fun

So there are some things on the above list that right now just aren’t in the cards (namely having a romantic relationship—I’m still trying to figure out my life, and I don’t need to add any more complications to it currently). The messages from Pisces and the fifth house are also resonating with one of the books that I’m currently reading: “Choose the life you want: the mindful way to happiness” by Tal Ben-Shahar (and I’ll post a book review once I’m done).

But I am trying to remember that the life isn’t suppose to be all work and no play/enjoyment—but at times the semi-workaholic in me comes out and I forget about play/enjoyment for awhile before I put the breaks on and try to go back the other way.

So if I had to make a small list of things to try to focus on during the Pisces new moon they would be:

            Continue working on the transition plan—namely making sure that my linkedin page is good, and continue networking and adding value (plus start really trying to narrow down the companies and locations).

            Continue with my daily oracle card readings

            Work on my afghan or start making some jewelry

            Continue reading personal and professional development books.

No Comments AstrologyNew Moon Goals

Aquarius New Moon Goals

So the moon is now going to be entering the Aquarius constellation, and the year is officially off and running. Somehow January has come and gone (though it seemed like a long month at times, it also seemed incredibly short as well). So the new moon is happening either on the 3rd or 4th of February (depending on where you live in the world).

Looking at “Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are again several things that one can do during this period:

            Detach ourselves from things that are no longer serving us.

            Be true to our selves.

            Be inventive.

            Be charitable.

            Be social.

Then I turn to see what zone (or house) the moon is moving into in regards to everything. Remember there are basically three ways to determine which house/zone the moon is in for any new/full moon: your star sign, your rising sign, and your moon sign. I usually go with my rising sign, which is Scorpio.

So this means that the moon is entering into my fourth house, or the home and family zone. So this can also be a time when one can spend cleaning (getting rid of things), possibly moving, and spending more time with family. So there are several suggestions from “Moonology” on what one can do during this time:

            Have a garage sale.

            Hug your parents.

            Sort out your photo albums/digital photo files.

            Invite friends over.

            Renovate or redecorate so you’re more comfortable at home.

            Sell your home and/or change locations, or even countries.

            Ask your grandparents about your family’s history.

So looking at the above list—I’d probably have to state that I don’t hug my parents all that often (we’re not the hugging type of family), and I don’t invite friends over often (mainly because everyone is busy and it’s easier to meet up somewhere else). Also it is now impossible to ask my grandparents about my family history as they are all deceased (though my grandfather did write a fairly detailed history probably five years or so before he passed away); I do have the letter he wrote me in high school, when I inquired about his memories of the Great Depression & serving in WWII (I might post that one of these days), and I think I also have my grandmother’s letter about growing up in the Great Depression in my storage unit). I do try to sort my digital pictures (the photo albums will have to wait until I move & I can get to them again).

So if I were to make a small list of things to try to get done this month in regards to both my fourth house (home & family) and also personal/professional development, the list will include:

            Selling back DVDs via decluttr (nice way to make a little bit of money).

            Continue working on my transition plan (getting my value list down to say five to seven, and then the daily steps that I should be taking to meet my goals).

            Reorganizing my closet & the overflowing amount of clothes (maybe set up an ebay account and sell some on there?)

I also have the goals that I’ve set for February, that compliment these goals but also are slightly different as well.

No Comments AstrologyNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development