Tag: JulyinReview

Month in Review: July 2020

So July has come and gone—which means there are only five months left in 2020. As I’ve stated before—2020 hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to go so far, and the next five months probably still won’t totally go the way I would like to go, but I have to keep reminding myself—the only reactions I can control are my own—so it’s now into month five of self-isolation, I go.

While some parts of the world seem to be getting the virus under control—the US isn’t one of them. Our numbers are still climbing (over 4.7 million confirmed cases and over 157K dead), and we’re still more or less on a “global timeout”. This means that any and all travel that I had planned is delayed for at least another year (which means the earliest—August 2021), if not longer. While I don’t mind delaying travel—I am getting a little tired of self-isolation (though I will continue to do so as long as necessary).

This means that any type of interviews (informational and job-related) will be done via online applications, which also means numerous other things need to be taken into consideration and dealt with—such as making sure that the sound and everything works well (microphone over using the computer), creating a neutral backdrop for the office area of my bedroom, and whatever else I will be needing to add to the list. But for now, it is time for a brief reflection on the goals that I had set for July and how I did with each one of them.

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

At least 155,000 steps (since I’ve made a tracker for the journal, it is easy enough to write down the numbers at the end of the day)

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 24-54)

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/and hopefully no spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

And finally,

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

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 155,000 steps (since I’ve made a tracker for the journal, it is easy enough to write down the numbers at the end of the day)

In terms of steps—I managed to get to a total of 182,969 steps for the month of July. There were seven days that I finished below the 5,000-step goal—which is why I was about 20K below the final total that I managed for June. But at least I managed to move around enough that I got about 25K extra steps during July (and some of the days that I was short—the days were hot and humid and I didn’t feel like moving around that much).

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 24-54)

I have been continuing with Morning Meltdown 100, and finished days 24 to 54. While I measured at the end of phase 2 (which was July 17th), I’m not going to measure again until the end of the program (which will be on Sept 15th). The reason—water retention and bloating can cause numbers to be off.

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

During the month of July I managed to read (or finish reading) the following books:

“How to be an imperfectionist: The new way to self-acceptance, fearless living, and freedom from perfectionism” by Stephen Guise

“Hello Fears: Crush your comfort zone and become who you’re meant to be” by Michelle Poler

“Better than Before: What I learned about making and breaking habits-to sleep more, quit sugar, procrastinate less, and generally build a happier life” by Gretchen Rubin

All three of the books would fall under the personal development category (though it is very difficult to try to separate personal and professional development—they are two sides of the same coin). They all dealt with similar topics—our comfort zones, and trying to push past the “fear zone” to get into our learning/growth zones. While I know that I haven’t stated much on the books, that’s because it’s on the August to-do list of writing a short review on each one to post to both the blog and amazon.

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/and hopefully no spend month

I’m getting better at having no spend days/weeks—but I’m not quite up to a full no-spend month. During July I still spent money during the month—the money was spent on books, masks, and I had hoped on a sewing machine (I’m actually probably be demanding my money back on this one—as the order was placed almost 3 weeks ago, and all of my messages have been ignored).

I’m hoping that during August, I can manage not to spend money on books, or other things. Depending on how I progress through various e-courses during August, I may purchase other e-courses to continue my learning (but this is only currently a possibility).

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program

This hasn’t happened yet. I started module four of the program and made it about halfway through. I had decided that I’d been pushing too fast through various programs and that it would probably be more beneficial if I slowed down and actually took the time to review and think on the information I was learning, instead of just powering through to be able to check it off my to-do list.

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

Like, the data science syndicate program—this also didn’t happen. In part to wanting to be able to think on the information I was learning, but also due to the fact that most afternoons, I would go and sit outside and read—instead of being inside and working on something else.

And finally,

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

This is slowly coming together—I managed to find my old bulletin board—so I can also have my to-do lists tack up, instead of needing to look in the journal to see what I had planned for the day/week. Though I will also be using the journal as well. The main thing I’ve realized—I need to figure out the answer to the following question: “Who do I want to become over the next five to twenty years?” Once I can answer this question in great detail—I’ll have a better idea of what goals and the breakdown of said goals I need to focus on.

So I managed to get about half of the goals accomplished for July (the steps, the workout, the reading, and going 80% of the month not spending more money). I’ve also realized that one reason why certain goals (e-courses/certification programs and sometimes the non-fiction reading) aren’t always met—I haven’t quite figured out the end goal. In other words, I think once I can determine the answer to the question: “Who do I want to become over the next 5 to 20 years?”—Some of these goals will become easier to accomplish.

Therefore, the goals for August will include:

At least 155,000 steps (again breaking it down to roughly 5K/Day)

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 55-85)

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Week/ and hopefully a no-spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program (or at least modules 4 & 5)

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

And finally,

Answer the question: “Who do I want to become over the next 5 to 20 years?” The answer to this question will help me to continue working on my long term goal list, figuring out how to break it down to short-term goals, and finally translating those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas that I’m trying to focus on: personal/professional development, career transition, fitness & health/mental health/crafts, and the blog.

While reminding myself: “Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

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July: Month in Review (a few days late). Now there are five months left in 2019.

Well July is officially over, and there are only 151 days left in the year. I’m also about three days late in posting this as well. As I’m writing this I realize that my birthday is in about seven weeks (give or take a day or two), and then I will be looking down my last year of my thirties. I think I’ve been a little better at my goals for July, though there are areas that I still need to focus on (namely reading industry website new articles and scientific articles).

There are only two months left in the third quarter of the year, and while that is scary, depressing, and slightly invigorating—I’ve realized that is just how time goes now—in an instant.

July goals were basically the same goals that I’ve had for the past few months, including the goal of working on my “reboot break” plan.

The goals for July included:

At least 434,000 steps (14k/day)

Continuing with the photography challenge (maybe introduce weekly themes)

Schedule my workouts (cardio alternating with weight training). Decide on a reward system.

Read (or finish) at least 3 non-fiction books

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

Be more active on linkedin and in various groups on both linkedin and facebook

Personal and professional development (e-courses, transition plan, and other stuff)

Work on my “reboot break” plan

Read more on various industry websites (FiercePharma, FierceBiotech, BioSpace) and make notes for a weekly recap blog post

Try to read at least one scientific article this month and write a summary for a blog/science post

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 434,000 steps (14k/day)

So I managed to meet and slightly surpass the 434,000-step goal. I managed to get 450,489 steps during the month of July. I was actually thinking that I’d be slightly below my goal step this month, considering how hot it had been for awhile, and the fact that there were several days that I didn’t get all my steps in; in fact there were eleven days that I was below 14,000 (some days just by a few hundred, other days by a few thousand). But this also means that I’m on track for my yearly step goal as well. So far of the year I’ve managed to get 3,154,283 steps. That means I’m well on the way of reaching the end of the year goal of 5 million steps hopefully (as long as I don’t sit on my rear too much on the weekends and I try to ensure that I reach at least 14K Monday-Friday).

Continuing with the photography challenge (maybe introduce weekly themes)

I’ve managed to keep with the photography challenge, and I’ve introduced a theme once or twice during the month. Currently I’m doing more wildlife/nature so I’ve realized that I’m going to have repetition on themes/images. Though I am trying not to post the same type (for example if I post on a particular bird more than once—I’ll try to have it flying and then hopefully sitting in a tree) more than once or twice (max). Currently with the weather, it’s too warm at lunch to take a walk and try my hand at doing architecture photography on campus (this is a maybe for the fall once the temperatures cool down a little).

Schedule my workouts (cardio alternating with weight training). Decide on a reward system.

I’ve managed to do one or two workouts this month (that weren’t just walking around campus getting my steps in). Part of my problem, is that I try to do them at the end of the day (since I’m not a morning person, and I barely give myself enough time as it is to get out of the house for work)—and I’m usually hot, tired, and sweaty. I also don’t want to be putting shoes and socks back on either (I go to work, and then come home in sandals).

So this is something I’m still working on—I have all the programs at my fingertips; I just need to push myself to do it every day.

Read (or finish) at least 3 non-fiction books

I’ve managed to finish the following:

            “Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and organize to make more room for happiness” by Gretchen Rubin

            “Pause: Harness the life-changing power of giving yourself a break” by Rachael O’Meara

Both of the books had to do with areas that I’m wanting to focus on in the coming months: paring down on my stuff, declutter and getting rid of things. This is because I’m going to be moving somewhere next year, and I don’t want to end up in a small apartment surrounded by a whole bunch of stuff that I may never use or wear.

The second book has to deal with my “reboot break” as this author gave the time period a different name—a pause. So it has some other questions/exercises that I need to also start working through.

I’ve realized that is one thing I do—I will read a personal/professional development book all the way through and then go back and answer the questions and do the exercises. This is mainly due to when and/or where I’m reading at the time.

In terms of my reading challenge (at least 100 personal and/or professional development books) for the 101 challenges in 1001 days: For 2019 I’ve read 17 books so far (which is roughly 2 ½ books a month). In 2018 I read 20 books off the list. The list initially started with about 70-80 books, and has ballooned out to so far 283 books in total. So in total I’ve read 37/283 (or about 13% of the list).

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

I’ve been able to go a little over a week without spending any money on campus this month. This was due in part to the weather—when it’s in the triple digits, I didn’t feel like heading to the student union to get chocolate (especially since it was going to be semi-melted by the time I got back to the office). Since I’m aiming to do my reboot break/pause at the end of the year—I’m going to be trying to avoid going to the union for candy, but if I do—it will go on the debit card instead of the credit card.

Be more active on linkedin and in various groups on both linkedin and facebook

I’ve been a little more active on linkedin and some of the groups on facebook. I’ve posted my plans for doing my reboot break, and got good/positive feedback. I know that I need to be more active, and will be working on this over the next few months.

Personal and professional development (e-courses, transition plan, and other stuff)

I haven’t worked on any of the e-courses, but looking back at my transition plan I’ve realized that the big problem is that I have never named a company (or companies) that I want to work for—all I stated was that I would be a research scientist in a company by 2021. I’ve also realized that I did the same thing with my 101 goals—I state the job title (more or less) and that it would be in industry—not naming a company though. So this is something I need to work on—determining where I want to end up.

Work on my “reboot break” plan

So I’ve been working on my reboot break—it will start at the latest right around Thanksgiving (or it could start a month or two earlier—depends on when I give my two months notice). I’ve more or less planned out the first two or three weeks (mainly getting my storage unit in order and start getting rid of things) of the break. I have some ideas on how to blend travel for both mental health and networking, but I need to flesh them out and then start looking at the financial side of things.

Read more on various industry websites (FiercePharma, FierceBiotech, BioSpace) and make notes for a weekly recap blog post

I’ve looked at different articles, but I didn’t take any notes for a weekly recap blog post. It isn’t that I’m not finding the articles interesting, but when I try to skim through an article when I have a small window of say five minutes between doing things—I don’t necessarily write anything down on them. So, this is still an area that I need to work on—building my business acumen.

Try to read at least one scientific article this month and write a summary for a blog/science post

Again, this is something that I didn’t really do fully—I’ve read the abstract or title of numerous articles (I get a weekly emails from several journals), but I haven’t clicked on the link(s) to actually read the article in full.  Again, this is something that I need to work on—getting back in the routine of reading scientific articles.

So, other than the scientific/business readings I was able to more or less meet my goals (or at least 2/3 of a goal). I think with deciding to take a reboot break, I’ve cut down on some of my stress (probably about a third of it), and since I know where other stress is coming from, once I figure out a good coping mechanism (that doesn’t involve chocolate) I will be in a much more better place mentally.

Therefore, it is time to look towards the rest of the month of August and determine what I am going to focus on, therefore:

Goals for August will include:

At least 434,000 steps

Continuing with the photography challenge

Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books

Working on my “reboot break”

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keeping a money log)

Get back into a workout schedule (either a full program or a hybrid program between two different programs).

Work on creating more content for the blog (and potentially posts for linkedin).

Work on getting in a routine of reading business & scientific articles.

Basically, sticking with my motto: Progress over perfection. Everything takes time, but you have to be willing to put the time in–I know I haven’t put the time in for certain things (reading business/scientific articles is at the top of the list)–but I’ve acknowledge where I need to start making changes. That’s the first step in the right direction: acknowledging shortfalls and then working on a plan to correct them. So that is growth for the month.

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