Tag: health

Check-in on 101 goals

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

The dates for my 101 goal challenges are:

So my original start and finish dates were:

Start Date: January 1 2018

Finish Date: September 28 2020

My new start and finish dates:

Start Date: January 1, 2019

Finish Date: September 28, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

New Moon Goals in Review

So we’ve entered the last new moon phase yesterday, and I’ve decided that now would be a good time to reflect back on the different new moon goals that I’ve tried to set through out2018. One thing that I noticed is that I missed March (when I had the flu)—so that means I managed to do eleven out of twelve new moons this year (not bad for the first time trying to coordinate my life with the ebb and flow of the moon).

My goals varied a little month to month (depending on what constellation the moon was traveling through and therefore what house it was going through as well). So what were some of the goals that I had this year (and I’m only mentioning a goal once—even though most of these showed up more often than that through the year)?

I can probably divide up my goals into the following categories:

Personal, Professional,Finances, Spiritual, and Other.

Personal goals:

Starting to lose weight.

Working out daily

Getting my nutrition back on track.

Drink 60-70oz of water a day

 Try to read (or finish) one personal/professional development book a week.

Get through one short personal/professional development course.

Determine what my “personal”brand is

Professional goals:

Starting to add value and network more online (namely on Linkedin).

Working on my transition plan.

Work through the web development courses.

Narrow down my top choices for industry positions.

Start reading more in both the business and scientific worlds.

 Work through the data programming e-courses that I bought.

Determine what my professional “brand” is

 Determine the professional lifestyle that I want

Narrow down the biotech hubs I’d be willing to relocate to

Financial goals:

Thinking about investing some money into a short term CD (leaving a good chunk in the savings account).

Making monthly budgets.

Limiting purchases on campus to no more than three days a week.

Looking into ways of trying to increase my retirement account (without severely depleting my savings account or taking a big chunk out of my paycheck).

Keeping a monthly money log

Spiritual goals:

Mediate at least three days/nights a week.

Remember that disagreements happen, and that it is okay to remove people from certain aspects of one’s life.

Start doing daily (or evening) tarot card readings for myself again.

Other goals:

Having benchmarks set in terms of the number of hits/visitors to the blog for the month.

Start trying to get my Beachbody business up and running.

Starting to reorganize/clean bedroom, storage unit, and bathroom.

New overall 12-month plan.

Science blog posts/pages

So how would I summarize the progress that I made with my numerous different New Moon goals?  So I’ve managed to start losing weight and getting things back on track slowly in terms of nutrition and fitness. While I’ve only really finished one program this year (LIIFT4), I’ve managed to keep the weight on a more or less downwards trend. Nutrition could be better (the last two and half months has been rough and has seen me fallback on some bad habits), but all I’m really trying to do is be slightly better than yesterday. I’ve also been fairly good at getting my water in daily (though there are some days when I don’t quite hit the minimum goal).

I’m trying to get back into a routine of meditating nightly—though this is something that I find difficult to do when I’m traveling (either by myself or with other people & sharing a room). I’m hoping if I can get back into the nightly routine I can figure out how to make it work when I’m on the road.

I’ve made a small dent in my personal/professional development book list (though I think I’ve added more books to the list than I’ve finished so far this year). I am going to try to aim for finishing one book every seven to ten days (especially since I have a habit of going between two and four different personal/professional books at a time).

In terms of doing the different e-courses; this is a on-going struggle at times since it is all computer based. Also depending on the course, at times I find it difficult to pay attention to the voice of the instructor. But this is something that I’m going to work at getting better at over the next year.

In terms of my financial goals—I’m pretty good at trying to set budgets, and had a small track record going of not purchasing anything on campus (but fell out of that routine do to how terrible October had gone and I haven’t gotten back in the groove of things for that challenge). The monthly money logs vary (sometime I’m decent at keeping one, and other times I totally forget about doing it). I really should try to make an appointment with some financial person to talk about how to try to get either some savings invested in a short term CD and/or how to slowly start adding more to my retirement account.

In terms of the professional goals for the year—I’m still working on everything. I’m probably going at a slower rate than other people—but I’ve been burnt a couple of times already and I want to make sure that I’m on the correct path. I think that the areas that I need to try to spend the most on right now are: networking (adding value to connections), and trying to figure out what my “brand” is (both personal and professional). Though I have realized that I like sharing different science articles that span different areas of science, because I enjoy learning different things. That was one of the major issues I have with different aspects of science—how you’re suppose to become an “expert” in one or two areas and almost ignore everything else that is going on. I think I might just stick with being a more“generalist” with interest in say five or six different areas than trying to become “expert”.

As the year is winding down, it is time to start trying to develop a new plan for the New Year (and do more realistic breakdowns for the month/week/day), and aim for 2019 to be a much better year than 2018.

No Comments fitnessHealthmoney saving challengesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

September in Review

We’re now entering the last quarter of the year; and I’ve realized that I’m almost a week late in posting my summary of how September went. So there is only 92 days left in the year (and when this gets posted—basically only like 85 or 86 days left in the year). I had hopes that by this time, I would have been further along in some areas (like networking and the job search), but I’m not—and I realize that in part that is due to my own mental issues (anxiety being the number one issue), and that I need to just make a master plan and slowly work towards that goal. I’ve also realized that I didn’t post that much last month–my apologies; things have been crazy lately and in the evenings I realize that I tended to either try to do things for my transition plan or just veg out on the computer–going to try to be better and more diligent in how I spend on my time on the computer this last quarter of the year (so there might be even more posts coming–who knows 🙂 ).

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LIIFT4 Update: End of Week 4

So today was leg day with LIIFT4 (since I missed doing it yesterday). But since it was week four–that means that it was all HIIT exercises. There were only four exercises, but three rounds of each with decreasing times, then a double burnout round, and then three rounds of ab work. We’ll see if I can get out of bed tomorrow or not.

Glance at the weights over the past four weeks

I’m really enjoying this program, and will probably do a second round (though not right away). I know that I’m getting stronger (I mean why else would I have gone ahead and ordered a set of twenty pound dumbbells?), though the scale isn’t changing dramatically. But in all honesty–I don’t want the scale to dramatically change as that means there is the good chance of me gaining the weight back (which I’ve done–and it’s not fun trying to convince your body to let the fat go the second time).

I’m going to start measuring my successes by other means–lifting heavier, actually being able to do some of the moves (I still can’t do a decent reverse lunge, and lets not even talk tricep pushups), and just feeling better about myself.

Four weeks to go with program, and then it will be on to doing a second (or maybe I should say a first full complete) round of Shift Shop–it’s only three weeks, and then possibly on to doing a round of Insanity Max30. I’ve realized with the past week–pushing play does help to get rid of the headache, and if I’m honest–I’m sure the next few months are going to be prime for me developing constant headaches.

But I have remembered how I enjoy to lift weights–so I will be cycling back to the programs that have the weights, and between them ones that have more cardio and resistant training (using body weight but no actual weights).

No Comments fitnessHealth

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

June in Review

Well the weather is definitely on the warmer side of things now. June is over, and that means 2018 is also halfway over. The second half of the year starts, and the third quarter of the year starts as well. I made note last month, on how I needed to get better at time management so that I didn’t feel overwhelmed everyday—sufficient to say that is still something that I need to work on. I’ve also realized that I really have no tolerance for the high humidity of summer; I remember throughout both my undergrad and grad years I wouldn’t blink twice at biking when there was a heat index in the low 100s—I’d bike a little slower, but I’d still ride my bike. Now I step outside and I almost immediately feel sick to my stomach—so there are other things I need to work on as well this second half the year. So there will also be a couple of posts that are showing where I’m at in terms of my 101+ goal list, and how I’m feeling with my Level 10 life. But for now lets look back on June.

So my goals for June included:

At least 435,000 steps (adding in about 500 steps a day to make up for the deficiency from May)

Shakeology daily (breakfast or dinner)

Reading (finishing) at least 4 non-fiction books & writing the reviews

Finishing up the reviews for the other books

Packing my lunch daily

Walking around Boomer Lake at least once on the weekend (early morning)

Getting through the first month of InsantiyMax30 (its an 8 week program)

Networking and adding value to my online connections

Keeping a money log & having at least two consecutive non-spend days

Finish up the project management e-bundle course that I bought

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Vision boards (A mini review of a book and a goal met).

So what is a vision board? Vision boards (or dream boards) are boards that can help you clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus on either a specific life goal or an overall change. This is where you display images and sayings that represent what you want to be, do, or have in your life.

Usually when people do vision boards, they may make one for the coming year, or they may make a five or ten year goal one—where they may switch out images or sayings that no longer resonate with their vision with different images or sayings.

I have to admit that I have always been curious about doing vision boards (and I think I may have done one or two in school [but they were called something else]), but at the same time I wanted to know more about the process before getting started (this is where my slight OCD comes into play). So one of the books that I finished back in February was “The Complete Guide to Vision Boards: The Ultimate Starter Kit to Get Wildly Clear & Create the Life of Your Dreams” by Christine Kane.

Complete Guide to Vision Boards by Christine Kane. Image (c) Amazon.com

This book covered a lot of different areas of creating a vision board—from the type of vision board you can create, to the supplies that you should have on hand, to the type of questions that you should be asking yourself before getting started. This book opened my eyes to the fact that there is more to creating a vision board than gluing pictures and words onto a pieces of cardboard—you have to have an idea of the direction you are heading (even if its—I need a change), before getting started. I know that I still have quite a bit to learn on this topic (even if it is a fairly straight forward topic), because I don’t want to start manifesting the wrong goals or changes and then having to start back over from scratch (i.e. I don’t want to take a job that may or may not work out—only to find out it isn’t going to work out and I’m either potentially unemployed again and/or having to move back home).

So, now on to a goal met.

One of my goals on my 101+ goal list was to make a vision board. And there were various reasons behind that goal.

So, in one or two of the groups I belong to on Facebook have suggested at one time or another that we should make a vision/dream board at least yearly (for one of the groups—the other had the suggestion to be more long term in thinking). So I’ve spent the past couple of weeks answering different personal and professional development type questions and actually trying to figure out both what I wanted in life long term, and where I saw myself in a few years.

I decided that this first vision board was going to be digital (mainly because I’m hoping to move within a year, and I don’t want to be packing up anything more than what I already am going to be having to). The second reason for doing the digital form is that I can see it daily if I have it as the background on my laptop. This will remind me of what I want to accomplish in my life, and that in order to accomplish it—I need to keep working towards it (no matter how slow that progress may feel).

                             My Vision Board

So within my vision board, I’m reminding myself that there are several areas that I know I want to change—I want to get into the best shape of my life (and also have a successful beachbody business—but I need to start working on that [actually following a program and nutrition plan (this is more or less—it won’t be a 100% because I don’t do that much of the shopping and right now I hate meal prepping) to make sure that I can both “walk the walk and talk the talk” in terms of what beachbody has to offer. By getting into the best shape of my life—I could probably manage a hike at the Grand Canyon or going to the Incan ruins in Peru (which right now I know I’m no where near ready for). I want to travel (leisure mostly, but occasionally for business), and I want to be a leader in industry as well. Plus a few other things that I have on the board as well (balance life, crafts, time for pets, and owning either my own small house or maybe a condo).

Looking at the board daily, will push me to make sure that I’m making progress towards all of these goals (especially the fitness and transitioning into an industry position), and will serve as a reminder—that it’s time for me to quit being a bystander in my own life, and take control of where I’m headed.

No Comments 101 GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentvision boards

Update on the 52 week challenges.

So I’ve realized that with having caught the flu last month and then another week or so getting over the flu, I’m basically back at square one in terms of certain challenges.

For example—this past weekend was the first time I had the alarm set for the weekend in about three weeks, and I actually reset it to where it’s an hour later than when I get up during the week (earlier I had it at forty five minutes). I’m hoping that if I can start getting up “early” on the weekends again, I can get quite a bit of stuff crossed off the agenda lists for the day. This past weekend, it gave me my alone time in the morning before others got up, but it didn’t help in trying to get organized in the whole job hunting/networking maze I need to get started on.

I’ve also realized that I’m including all liquids in terms of my 70oz (this includes the almond milk and both things of tea [morning and night]) instead of counting those as my extra beyond 70oz of water. So this is a problem, to where I think this is one reason why I get a little temperamental at work in the afternoons—I’m slightly dehydrated. That is one drawback about being in research—you can’t have drinks in the lab (mainly because there are people worried that you might accidently poison yourself), so the drinks have to be kept in an office area or common eating area outside of the lab space. This can be problematic when you super busy and you don’t have time to step into the common area to get a drink of water when you want one. So this is something else I’m trying to get back on track with as well.

Now for the update on off the couch challenge—I’m still not that active on the weekends, though now that spring weather is here (more or less), I will be doing some gardening and yard work—so in theory I won’t be totally sitting on my butt during the day. I’ve also realized that when it comes to the job search, I should also take into account the fact that some jobs may be more sitting and staring at a computer screen than others. Basically, if I move away from research (where I could be standing at the bench for awhile [or sitting on a tall chair]), most of the jobs are probably going to be sitting jobs for most of the day. Which means I will have to be creative in figuring out ways to get my steps in.

Also since I have so much computer work to get through—I do need to do it almost one video at a time, get up and move around and then do the next one. I also need to kick myself into gear and just do a workout in the evenings when I get home (whether I feel like doing one or not—I don’t feel like always having to buy new jeans in a slightly larger size).


So in summary—I’ve acknowledged that I’ve slipped backwards on the first three challenges of the 52-week challenge. I’m also acknowledging that I need to make progress on all three of them before adding any other challenge to mix. In addition I’ve also realized that I need to just keep making baby steps in the forward direction—if I have an off day, I need to make sure that I’m not letting that slide into an off week, then an off month and so on.

Baby steps can lead to success–one just has to keep moving in that direction. Everyone is on their own journey that will lead them to their destination. My destination may not be the same as yours, and that is okay. One just has to remember that everyone is different and unique.


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Update on week 2 of the personal development challenge: Getting enough sleep

Getting a good night sleep is something so essential that most of us aren’t getting enough of it. It’s said that adults need somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and that number varies then for babies, young children, and even teenagers. [Though personally, I think teenagers could survive on seven to nine hours of sleep as well. It’s simple—rules and structure—homework is done before say eight at night, their phone turned off [and taken away if needed]—buy them a good old fashion alarm clock to wake them in the morning; and if needed take away all power cords for any electronic that they could think of playing with—in other words bore them to bed].

Alarm clock

So the week two challenge is trying to make sure that I’m getting enough sleep (ideally seven to seven and a half hours) daily. I also realized that this challenge is going to take a little bit longer to get control of compared to the week one challenge (drinking enough water), so I decided to try to give myself a month (more or less) to at least get a grasp on my current sleep schedule and try to figure out how to get it on a schedule. Read More

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Week Two (or month one) of the 52 week challenge–Getting enough sleep

So I mentioned earlier how I was going back and redoing the 52 week challenge that was based off of the book 52 small changes: one year to a happier, healthier you by Brett Blumenthal.

Basically her book has 52 shortish chapters detailing a different type challenge for the week. These challenges cover areas such as diet and nutrition, fitness and prevention, mental well-being, and green living. While the title of book states 52 weeks (aka 1 year), the author notes “the amount of time required to make lasting change is highly individualistic and depends on the person, the change, and the circumstances.”

I have the first challenge pretty well under control. That particular challenge is to make sure that you are drinking enough water every day. My liquid intake usually is water, tea (caffeinated in the morning, and herbal at night), and almond milk.  Lately I will admit to grabbing a mocha on campus to get my caffeine in (also its been chilly and I didn’t feel like making a mug of tea before I left the house). So if I add in the tea to my water tally, I’m usually somewhere between 85 and over 100oz of water a day (my morning tea is usually a dilute [1 tea bag per 20oz] mug).

The second week challenge is going to be a little more difficult. The second week challenge is making sure you get enough sleep. The difficulty for me is going to be making sure that I’m getting roughly the same amount of sleep every night. So (to digress a little), back in November the battery to my fitbit zip died, and I couldn’t find the little piece of plastic you need to open the back and change the battery. So I decided that I would order an new one, except for the fact that they weren’t in stock. So I decided to upgrade and I got myself an fitbit alta. This new fitness tracker also monitors the amount of sleep I get every night as well.

This has helped me to slowly start tracking my sleeping patterns. The main one that sticks out is the fact that on the weekends I’m getting almost ten hours of sleep (going to bed at roughly the same time, but getting up almost three hours later), whereas during the week I’m lucky with seven (which is my goal).

I know that it is recommended that you go to bed and get up at the same time every day.  My only problem with that is I get up at quarter to six because I’m not really a morning person, and I need time to wake up before having to deal with people; and while that would give me quiet time in the morning on the weekend–I kind of like sleeping until almost nine in the morning.

One reason they suggest for that is due to the thought that sleeping in can make you even more tired (which I can agree with slightly–I have found myself yawning in the afternoon [and I know that there is no reason for it]).

So I’m going to treat this week two challenge as it is an monthly challenge, and here are the things I’m going to do to try to ensure that I start getting better night sleeps:

1. Look at the fitbit sleep data and try to see if there are any similar times that I’m tossing and turning (or awake), and can I determine why?

2. Make sure that I’m working out after work, but before dinner (this way it is a good four hours or so before bed).

3. Log all foods (especially afternoon & any evening snacks) to make sure that they aren’t messing with my sleep schedule.

4. Try to finish my evening decaf herbal tea hopefully by 8:30 at night; this is cutting it close to suggested cut-off time for liquids, but that is only because of the time I go to bed at night.

5. Finally, decide when to try to start going to bed & getting up at the time daily.

I know that the combination of all five of these things will help me get my sleep schedule straightened out, but I also know that the hardest one will be number five—I enjoy sleeping in on the weekends, and I also know that it will be a hard habit to break. That alone is why I’m figuring that this challenge will take me almost a month to ensure that I’m getting the same amount of sleep daily.

What are some of the things you do to try to make sure that you get a good night sleep?

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