Tag: JuneinReview

June in Review

So June has come and gone—which means that we’re halfway though 2020. Sufficient to say—2020 hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to go so far, and the next six 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 into month four of self-isolation (though I did go vote yesterday and most people had masks on, and things were set up for social distancing so I’m not totally freaking about the November elections), I go.

So there are quite a few countries that have decided to slowly reopen in hopes of seeing tourists show up to help their economies—the sad thing is, since the US has been doing such a dismal attempt at containing the virus (the US is currently a little over 2.7 million total cases; and the state I’m in is currently a little over 14K; plus the town is a little over 340 cases—we were only 22 cases at the end of May), most of Europe has said that no one from the US is allowed in currently. I don’t blame them in the least—this is a nasty little virus (that attacks more than just your respiratory tract), and no one wants to have to go through a second lockdown (though the US should—we probably won’t until we get a competent person in the White House). Therefore that means that any type of international travel I had planned is still on hold until sometime in 2021 (plus I’m a little upset with one of the airlines that has decided that they’re going to quit doing social distancing—it should be lives over profit, and not the other way around).

The summer heat is now officially here—so I’m probably going to be spending more time indoors (I can deal with temps in the 90s-100s—I just really can’t stand when you add in the humidity and the heat index goes into the upper 100s), so hopefully I will be getting quite a bit more done over the next few months or so.

So as we head into the second half of the year (and can it please go a little easier than the first half—no more pandemics, at least until we have the current one under control), it is time to look at the goals I set for June, see how I did with each of them and then set some goals for July.

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

1) Moving more (workouts, being outside, walks, marching in place, chores, and other things). I’m not going to set a step goal (as I’m not sure why my fitbit isn’t syncing and I’m currently not in the mood to get a new one), but will be trying to ensure that I’m moving around a good portion of the day.

2) Daily workouts—I’m thinking of bouncing between several different programs right now (Morning Meltdown 100, LIIFT4, Country Heat, and Yoga Booty Ballet) to keep my interest going.

3) Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

4) Personal/Professional Development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

5) Money log/weekly check-ins/No Spend Days—trying to work up to no spend weeks and have a bare minimum spend month

6) 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 of them?

1) Moving more (workouts, being outside, walks, marching in place, chores, and other things). I’m not going to set a step goal (as I’m not sure why my fitbit isn’t syncing and I’m currently not in the mood to get a new one), but will be trying to ensure that I’m moving around a good portion of the day.

So I know that I stated that I wasn’t going to set a step goal—this was due to the fact that neither my phone or my computer is syncing my fitbit zip and I haven’t felt like getting a new fitbit (the zip still works fine). But I did decide to set a mini-step goal—150,000 steps. This meant that I was aiming at only about 5,000 steps a day, which during self-isolation should be totally doable. I made a tracker in my journal that looked like a little road, spread out over two pages. Each dot (since it’s a dot journal) equaled 1,000 steps and I made note of both the daily total and then the running total. The total amount of steps for June was 202,542—there was only one day that I was below the 5K-minimum. So this is probably how I’m going to keep track of my steps—will stick with 5K/day for awhile and then slowly start increasing it back up towards 10-14K/day.

2) Daily workouts—I’m thinking of bouncing between several different programs right now (Morning Meltdown 100, LIIFT4, Country Heat, and Yoga Booty Ballet) to keep my interest going.

June BeachbodyonDemand Workout Tracker

I managed to workout every single day during June—the first week of the month was doing different programs, and then on the 8th I recommitted to doing Morning Meltdown 100, which will take me through to September 15th.

3) Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

I managed to finish reading two non-fiction books over the course of the month. It probably should have been at least one or two more than that—but then I got into re-reading other books and never got back to finish some of the other non-fiction books that I started. The two non-fiction books that I finished were:

“Find what you were born for: discover your inborn skills, forge your own path and live the life you want; Maximize your self-confidence” by Zoe McKey

This book talks about unearthing what could be your strong innate abilities (these abilities are divided into nine different categories). The nine categories are: linguistic and verbal intelligence (you’re good with words), logic/mathematical intelligence (you’re good with numbers and solving logic problems), visual/spatial intelligence (you’re good with pictures), body movement intelligence (you’re good at sports), musical intelligence (you’re good at music and rhythm—you can play at least one musical instrument or you can sing), interpersonal intelligence (you’re good with people and communication), intrapersonal intelligence (you’re good at analyzing things), naturalist intelligence (you’re good at understanding the natural world), and existential intelligence (you’re good at understanding the supernatural world).

The book goes into each one, and shares the key characteristics of each type—technically if you match more than four of the traits, you’re “gifted” in that area. Luckily we can all excel in more than one area. For example as I was reading the book I realized that my main areas included logic/mathematical intelligence because I enjoy solving mysteries, I can solve logic problems, I’m usually good at (and enjoy) math, I’ve always been interested in scientific discoveries and experiments (I mean I should—I have my damn PhD), and I’m both an abstract thinker and I wonder how things work at times.

I also have good visual/spatial intelligence because I’m good at putting puzzles together, I enjoy art and photography, I can study with charts and pictures, I’m probably one of the few people who can still read a traditional road map (event though I don’t drive), and I consider myself decent at doodling.

I matched two to three key points in one or two other areas:

Naturalistic intelligence, as I have a broad knowledge of nature, I feel the best when I can get outdoors, and I prefer nature to the cities (though due to driving anxiety, I will acknowledge the fact that I will be needing to live in cities that have a decent public transportation system).

Intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence, as I’m unique, have an analytical mindset, a good listener, have good problem-solving skills, and I’m also a private person.

Areas that I’m not quite as good at: musical intelligence—I did play an musical instrument (flute) through most of my public school years (6th through 10th), but I was basically tone deaf, couldn’t afford lessons, and the teachers weren’t into really helping me learn how to play—they were in it for the ones who could understand the music and/or afford the private lessons outside of class. Then there is body-movement intelligence—I’m not good at sports, and I dance like I have two left feet. I’m working on improving my linguistic and verbal intelligence.

Since I now know areas that I’m good in, okay in, bad in, and need to improve in—I think I will be able to slowly start developing a new master plan for various areas of life (career, fitness/health, personal/professional development, and crafts).

I would rate the book at probably a four out of five stars—mainly because it doesn’t give that many ideas on how to improve various areas.

The second book I finished was “Mind Mapping: Improve Memory, Concentration, Communication, Organization, Creativity, and Time Management” by Kam Knight

This book was going a little more in-depth on the different ways one can use mind mapping in day-to-day life. This is actually something that I’m going to be trying to do more of over the next few weeks/months as one thing I have been struggling with are content ideas for the blog.

I would also give this book a four and a half star rating—great content, and ideas for using something basic in day-to-day life.

4) Personal/Professional Development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

In terms of personal and professional development I managed to get a bit accomplished during the month of June—most importantly realizing that it shouldn’t be a race to see how many small e-courses I could get finished, but rather I should be slowing down and actually reflecting on the various assignments from each course.

I’m about half way through with a advance course within the Cheeky Scientist Association (Data Science Syndicate), and while I’ve finished one or two others I will probably go back and look at the questions after each module and try to reflect on them again as I’m still working on determining my industry transition path.

I’ve also finished several small e-courses as well (usually on SkillShare or SkillSuccess), and those courses were:

            Productivity strategies for success (on skillshare)

            Writer’s toolkit: 6 steps to a successful writing habit (skillshare)

            Work It Daily: Professional Strength Assessment (course offered by work it daily)

            Project Organization (A to-do list that works) (on SkillShare)

            Discover Your Dream Job: Find Your True Meaning (on SkillSuccess)

I managed to learn a little from each one—namely 1) have my own definition of success (it differs for everyone), 2) everyone has their own ways of getting organized; and 3) it’s hard to get organized when you still have no idea of what your long term goals are.

I haven’t really been listening to podcasts lately—mainly because either 1) I’m listening to a ‘lecture’ on one of the e-courses, or 2) I haven’t felt like finding the I-buds for the phone. Though I am going to try to do better during the next few months and listen hopefully at least one podcast a week (working up to one podcast a day). I am also going to try to spend more time on linkedin and reading more business/industry related news as well.

5) Money log/weekly check-ins/No Spend Days—trying to work up to no spend weeks and have a bare minimum spend month

Okay, so I haven’t been doing weekly blog check-ins in terms of no spend days—but I did have a nice page in the journal that I used for keeping track of no-spend days. Overall, I managed basically three weeks of no spending. Money was only spent during eight days last month on something (either an new e-course, or books, or both). The plan now is that July will hopefully be a totally no spend month (not counting setting up bills, and any pre-ordered books).

6) 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 this goal is still a work in progress—namely in trying to figure out matrix for measuring certain goals (health/fitness related) that isn’t relying on the scale. Also I’ve realized that instead of trying to play around with different matrixes I’d been going with the first one I set up years ago—which in part relays on the scale for a measurement. So moving forward I need to figure out the long term goals (which for at least health/fitness should be pretty damn easy—getting into the best shape of my life and being outdoors more), and then figuring out how to break all the goals down into smaller steps.

So what will the goals for July include?

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.

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

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June in Review

So we’re officially halfway through the year now—that means there is only six months (or 184 days) left in the year. That means that sooner or later, I’m going to have to really start pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone in order to make any real significant changes. One major realization I’ve had this month, is that I keep falling into an almost cyclic habit of being on target with goals one month, and then falling short and/or not doing about half of work the following month.

June seems to have been the month where I managed to only hit probably about a third of my goals for the month. I need to draw out or plan some of the goals and actually look at them on a calendar (or a weekly/daily to-do list) and see if that helps me manage to move forward on some of the goals.

June goals were basically the same goals that I’ve had for the past few months, though I’ve added in the goal of working on my “reboot break” plan. The goals for June included:

At least 420,000 steps (14K/day)

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Working on planning my “reboot break”

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

Start back on a workout schedule (potentially alternating between weight training & cardio).

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 420,000 steps (14K/day)

I managed to go above the minimum number of steps for the month, even though there were several days that I again fell below my goal of 14,000. My final total for the month was 463,429, which also means for the year I’m at 2,703,794. I’m on my way to hitting my yearly goal of five million steps, as long as I manage to hit at least 12,500 steps a day.

Striving to met my step goal has been one of the things that does keep me going—while it isn’t as calorie-consuming as some of the workouts, it is one workout I’ve managed to keep up with this year.

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

I only managed to finish reading one book in it’s entirety, and that was “The Latte Factor: Why you don’t have to be rich to live rich” by David Bach and John David Mann. I have several other books that I’m probably about a quarter to half way through reading, but I’ve spent more of the month re-reading other books that allow me to “escape reality” for awhile.

This has been one of my minor problems—I can finish reading several non-fiction books in a month, and then the following month, I may not even start one or if I do I may not finish it. I’m going to try to go back to where when I’m going between both fiction and non-fiction reading (this does help—I read personal/professional development for 30-45 minutes a day and then I go and read something that is more “escapism” for the evening.

Continuing with the photography challenge

I have managed to more or less keep up with the photography challenge. Though I did have to do a “catch-up” post at the end of the month. There were several days where I either couldn’t decide on a picture to share or I couldn’t figure out what to write with the picture I was thinking of sharing. One thing I’m going to try to do over the next couple of months is have a theme for a week within the photography challenge and see if that also helps to spark more creativity with the challenge.

Working on planning my “reboot break”

I’ve done a little work on my reboot break. I have acknowledged that I need one, and that it will probably be at least six to eight months (maybe a little less, maybe a little more). I want to get rid of quite of bit of my stuff—I don’t need all the clothes that I have, and I probably don’t need the majority of the movies either. While I don’t want to totally get rid of everything—I want to get rid of enough that I could comfortably live in a five hundred square foot apartment without feeling claustrophobic (like I did in Boston—only because I had way to much junk in a small confined area).

I also want to take the time to work on “me”—getting my physical, mental, and spiritual health back on the right path. Currently I’m feeling so burnt out, the only things I’m trying to do are my daily steps, hopefully meditating at least three nights a week, and cutting back on the sweets. I know that if I make the time I can get back on the right path and hopefully once I’m feeling better—everything else will fall into place as well.

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

While I didn’t go a full two weeks without spending money on campus, I did manage to limit the amount of spending to only about 1 day a week. Though there was a full week of no spending on campus in there as well. I’ve realized that buying chocolate is only a temporary fix for the problem (and that includes the walk as well), and that I need to try to figure out better ways of dealing with stress.

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

I’ve interacted a little on linkedin this month, but nowhere near the level I need to be at in terms of networking to set up informational interviews. Part of the problem is that I’m still not sure what I want to be doing, and I don’t want to be wasting other people’s time in setting up an interview if I’m not at least sixty-five percent confident that is a path I want to be going down.

I do need to get back in the habit of sharing articles on linkedin and commenting on posts. I think this is something else that could probably use a little more structured time schedule in dealing with.

Start back on a workout schedule (potentially alternating between weight training & cardio).

My workout routine this month has been walking (more or less). I know that I should be doing a workout program, but by the end of the day I don’t really feel like doing one and I’m not going to be getting up any earlier than what I already am for work. Come July, I will hopefully restart an program and stick with it—start with a mini reward system for doing the work until it becomes second nature again.

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

It seems that I basically took the month of June off from doing anything related to moving my career forward. I did buy some e-courses that were discounted, so now I have more things to work through. I want to work through the various e-courses and other programs that I have, but at the same time I just want a magic wand that I can wave and have all my problems taken care of and magically be where I want in the job I want.

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

I glance through the websites once this month. Since I’ve become my own worse enemy currently (as in not knowing exactly what I want to do with my life and dealing with major anxiety), I’ve fallen down on this as well. I do find it interesting to see what is going on in terms of the business side of science, but I’m also feeling like I’m looking through a foggy window. I need to figure out how to defog and keep the window clear and maybe I will be able to get more into the business side of science.

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

This hasn’t happened—I don’t feel like trying to read a scientific paper at work and since I see it as “work” currently—I’m not going to be doing it at home in the evenings or weekends. I think part of my problem is that I’m almost right at the burnout stage, and I need to take a step back from things and try to rediscover my love for science again.

So the goals that I fell short on (basically not meeting) were the goals associated with basically professional development/moving my career forward. I know that this is something that I need to work on—as I’m the only one that can move my career forward. The main thing I need to work on is deciding which direction(s) I want to possibly go in, career wise.

I’m going to try to set up a calendar/to-do list and then break that down to a weekly/daily to-do list and see if that helps with the anxiety and stress of figuring out my life. I’m also going to have to decide when to start the reboot break and see how that goes (not sure how certain people are going to feel about it; and while their thoughts shouldn’t matter in the long run—I don’t like negative confrontations with people).

Therefore the goals for July are going to include:

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

And then remember—little steps are all that are needed to move forward. It counts as progress as long as one is making small steps forward in different areas. Not doing anything is what is harmful, progress over perfection is what is needed and what should be strived for.

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