Tag: monthinreview

April in Review

Well we’re now a third of the way through the year—and I’m pretty sure we can all agree 2020 isn’t going the way any of us thought it would. While the world is still in the grips of the global pandemic, things are shifting to more remote/online—though at some point we will hopefully be able to transition back to a in-person society. The numbers of coronaviruses are still climbing around the world (worldwide the total number is over 3 million, and the US has over 1 million cases). Travel is still frowned upon (especially for leisure), which means that any trips that I had been thinking of taking this year are on hold for at least another year.

April came and went, and I realized that I spent a good portion of the month in a pretty bad mood on and off. I realized that most of my bad mood was being caused by looking at the news and seeing the daily total for the coronavirus. I’m now trying to figure out how to balance staying informed about the news and world, but at the same time keeping my mood more leveled. This isn’t to say that I’m not going to have bad days (because I am—I’m human), but I want to try to limit them, and at the same time figure out the best methods for working through moods so that I can become productive again with things.

I’ve realized over the month while looking back at some strength assessments, that I’ve been letting certain thoughts/feelings control how I’ve been going about doing things. I made a post quite a while ago about acknowledging that I’m stuck in the “fear zone”—which is the zone between your comfort zone and your learning zone. The three main aspects of the fear zone are: 1) being affected by the opinion of others; 2) a lack of self-confidence (since you’re trying to branch out from your comfort zone), and then 3) finding excuses (because you don’t want to look like an “idiot/fool” if you make a mistake with learning something new). I’ve realized that I’m still allowing all three of these aspects affect how I’m dealing with both the pandemic and trying to figure out my transition into industry.

I also realized that I’m going to have to be better adapted at doing online networking sessions (I missed both last month, due to forgetting about the time change, and not totally having my resume updated). It is true, that we are our own worse enemies, and while I’ve acknowledged everything that I do to sabotage myself, I have yet to figure out ways of working around those self-sabotaging methods (something to work on during May).

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

1) At least 300,000 steps (should try to aim for ~10,000 steps/day)

2) Reading at least two non-fiction books

3) Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

4) Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin

5) Money log/Weekly-check in/No Spend days

6) Work on developing an editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Also still try to determine the best direction(s) for the blog to in for the rest of this year and beyond.

So how did I do with each goal?

1) At least 300,000 steps (should try to aim for ~10,000 steps/day)

            Well I have no idea how many steps I actually managed last month. While I had noticed that my fitbit was flashing that it had a low battery—it was still keeping track of my steps, but since I never synced it with the online platform—any steps after April 5th have been lost.

            I would say that I’ve probably managed to get roughly 150,000 steps. This is half of what I was aiming for, but with the fact that there was the shelter in place order for the month of April—not a bad number of steps.

            Hopefully now, I will remember to put a fresh battery in my zip so that I can keep track of the steps I’ve taken over the month of May (starting probably on the 2nd).

2) Reading at least two non-fiction books

            This is something that I feel a little behind on—I’ve started several books, but they have been more on the contemplation side (so there are questions and exercises that you are suppose to work through as you read the book), and at times I haven’t been totally up to doing that much soul searching and work. Therefore I didn’t finish a non-fiction book during the month of April.

3) Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

            Well, I feel short on this one as well this month. Once my mood started to slide, I started with the excuses and basically stopped working out for the month of April (I did try to do a yoga booty ballet workout at the end of the month).

            I really have no other excuse other than I wasn’t in the mood to do a workout—though I know that if I pushed play, I probably would have been in a better mood (and probably would have slept a little better as well).

4) Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin

            This was something that I did a little better with in comparison to other goals for April. The biggest development (for both personal and professional) were more mental breakthroughs—realizing that I was still sloshing through the fear zone, and still feeling fairly burnt out from the previous decade of work.

            The next month or so (since I will still be spending it in isolation (I don’t believe the numbers are down enough for states to actually start opening, and won’t be surprised by a spike in cases over the coming weeks), I will be diving deeper into my personal and professional development.

5) Money log/Weekly-check in/No Spend days

            This is something that I haven’t been keeping up with—while it wouldn’t seem that I’ve spent a lot of money over the month (self-isolation was the agenda for April), I did spend quite a bit more than I should have on Amazon (mainly on that silly match-3 game (homescapes)). So again, this is something to aim for during May—limited spending and working up to no-spend-weeks.

6) Work on developing an editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Also still try to determine the best direction(s) for the blog to in for the rest of this year and beyond.

            Well, I wrote down ideas of what I wanted to try to get accomplished, but I didn’t put it into a calendar format. I’ve realized that one problem is that I try to plan out way to much for a single day (an issue I discovered when trying to keep an bullet journal going), and then I got irritated with myself and quit doing it.

            So I’m going to try to implement a couple of different ideas into one:

                        Start with figuring out my long-term goals (this ties back in with personal and professional development)

                        Break those down into say 3, 5, and 1- year goals

                        Break the 3-year goals down into 1, 2, and 3-year

                        Break the yearly goals down into monthly goals

                        Break the monthly goals down into weekly

                        Finally break the weekly down into daily.

            In addition, I’m only going to try to focus on 1 or 2 areas at a time for say 3-months, and then switch up one (or both) of the areas. That way I don’t get overwhelmed with everything that I would like to accomplish, and at the same time I don’t get burnt out on focusing on just one or two areas.

So I wasn’t really focused and willing to put in the work during April—and that is truthfully totally okay during times like this (pandemic and worldwide uncertainty). But I also know that I need to slowly start getting back on track and working towards various goals (lists such as the 101 goals will be getting updated to reflect current global issues). The main thing is that I need to figure out what I want out of life, and then devise different ways of meeting those goals.

I also have to keep reminding myself that there is no such thing as perfection (as everyone has a different view of it), but there is progress. Progress this month was 1) realizing that I’m still in the “fear zone”, 2) my tolerance level for stupidity is at an all time low, and 3) it is still okay not knowing what I want to do with my life—I have the time, and resources to figure it out, therefore I’m on my own time clock and not someone elses.

The goals for May will include:

Moving more (exercise, yard work, walks)—if I can’t get the battery replaced in my fitbit, I will have to order a new one (as my other fitbit is also on it’s last legs as well—only holds ~20% of it’s charge for claiming it is “dead”). Therefore I’m not sure when I will be getting around to keeping score of my steps, and since that is up in the air—I’m not really going to set a step goal for May.

            Exercise daily (included in the above moving more goal). I will probably restart Morning Meltdown 100—and that will take through the summer and into August.

            Since we will still probably be self isolating most of the summer, I have a couple of ideas for the yards to help add color to the yard and also attract birds, bees, and butterflies.

Read at least two non-fiction books

Personal/Professional Development—listen to podcasts, work through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

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

Start devising goal list to break it down and work on various different ways to translate those goals into a editorial calendar for the different areas—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

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

No Comments Month in ReviewPandemic2020Reflections

March in Review, a few days late

Well we’re now a quarter of the way through the year (and I’m a few days late in posting)—and I’m pretty sure we can all agree that either we need to restart 2019 (because the end spilled over into 2020), or lets just skip to 2021 (maybe 2022). The novel coronavirus-SARS-CoV-2 has become a global pandemic, with travel basically shut down around the world. The US is now the current epicenter for the pandemic (we’re over 200K cases and climbing). So any travel I had planned for this year isn’t going to be happening—in fact there are a lot of things that I had planned that either aren’t going to be happening, or I’m going to fall short on—these include the yearly step goal (5 million), and possibly transitioning into industry (hiring is slightly down, plus I’m still not a hundred percent certain which direction I want to be going in).

Luckily, things are transitioning online—so the once networking event I was thinking about going to in Boston later in April—it is online, so I can hopefully attend from the comfort of my own room. So we will have to see how things are going to go (I’ve already missed one online networking event—I forgot about it and streamed a workout instead).

            I’m still trying to figure out what exactly I want to be doing with my life—I’ve realized one reason why I’m leery of trying to be an “expert” in a certain topic—I enjoy learning, and if I feel like I’ve learned all there is for the topic, I tend to lose interest and move on to something else.

                        I do this a lot with movies—there is only a small number of movies that I’m willing to watch more than once (and that is usually as I’m doing something else at the same time and I use the movie as background noise). The funny thing is I don’t do this with books—I can re-read a series over and over again, and usually not get bored by it (it probably also helps to have a couple of hundred (or more) books on the kindle).

So what were the goals for March?

The goals for March included:

At least 465,000 steps (breaks down to 15,000 steps/day)—this is to get back on track to hit the 5 million steps goal by the end of the year.

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

Money log/Weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—actually try to have a bare-minimum spend month (again blog post coming later this week, early next week)

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Determine the best direction(s) for the blog to go in for 2020 and beyond.

So how did I do with each one?

At least 465,000 steps (breaks down to 15,000 steps/day)—this is to get back on track to hit the 5 million steps goal by the end of the year.

            This goal I fell way short of—I only managed to get a little over 130,000 (130,709 to be exact). Walks are still permitted during the “shelter-at-home/shelter-in-place” period—but everyone seems to be doing those. While I can keep six feet away from people, others are still out in groups and I just don’t trust that someone isn’t going to cough (and not into their forearm). So I had only been hitting about 5K steps a day. My yearly total is down as well (it is at 693,486 for the three months; when it should be somewhere between 900,000 (at 10K/day) and 1,260,000 (at 14K/day); this means that I should be doing almost 16,000 steps a day to get to 5 million by the end of the year—or 11K a day to get to the base minimum of ~3,660,000 steps.

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

            I did manage to read at least two books, and they were the following:

Never too busy to cure clutter: simplify your life one minute at a time. More than 365 tips to make room for what’s truly important by Erin Rooney Dola

Leave your mark: land your dream job, kill it in your career, and rock social media by Aliza Licht and Donna Karan

I also started a couple of other books, but am also trying to work through the exercises as I’m reading them, so they will hopefully be finished during April.

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

I’m sticking with Morning Meltdown 100—and should hopefully be finished it with in early June. There have been a couple of days where I didn’t do a workout, but have only allowed that to stretch to two days and no more.

This is helping me control my stress and anxiety somewhat—I know that I should also be focusing on my nutrition during this time as well, but currently between working out and having chocolate they’re both helping me keep my calm.

Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

I’ve been listening to podcasts quite frequently (usually when I’m working on crafts or trying to write). One that I was listening to the other day really resonated with me as it had briefly mentioned the book/concept YouMap—which I had read last year (and worked through numerous exercises). The concept of the book is to look at four different areas and then determine what works best for you that encompasses those things. They mainly talked about the strengths aspect—and that really is my sticking point—my top strengths are Learner, Intellection, Input, Achieve, and Deliberative (or Ideation). I need to figure out what direction/focus to go in that will allow me to use these strengths, while at the same time trying to improve others.

Money log/Weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—actually try to have a bare-minimum spend month (again blog post coming later this week, early next week)

Well this didn’t go quite as I had planned. I will be trying to repeat this challenge come April (and possibly May as well). There will be a blog post coming to update on how I did for this challenge in the coming days.

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Determine the best direction(s) for the blog to go in for 2020 and beyond.

So, this is still a work in progress. The only calendar that I’m semi sticking with is the workout calendar for morning meltdown 100 (and I’m off a couple of days on that). I think that my main problem is trying to fit everything into a day, instead of trying to figure out how to stagger the work (something to work on over the next few weeks as we’re still self-quarantining).

So I did well on a few things, and fell short on others. I wasn’t too shocked when the virus was actually declared a pandemic—I was hoping for a better response from the US (but again, not shocked at the poor response considering who is sitting in the White House). I would say that I’m going to buckle down and get all sorts of things accomplished during April, but I’ll be honest—there might be a decent size list, but I’m only going to be aiming at hitting 75 to 85% of the goals (which is better than not setting any goals for the coming month).

Therefore the goals for April are going to included:

At least 300,000 steps (should try to aim for ~10,000 steps/day)

Reading at least two non-fiction books

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin

Money log/Weekly-check in/No Spend days

Work on developing an editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Also still try to determine the best direction(s) for the blog to in for the rest of this year and beyond.

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

No Comments careerfinancesfitnessHealthMonth in ReviewPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

February in Review

Well the leap month is over, and we’re a sixth of the way through 2020. I actually would like time to speed up for once—this year isn’t going the way I was hoping, and therefore I almost want it to be 2021. I had decided that during my “reboot break” I was going to take at least one trip for fun/relaxation and then at least one trip for networking/work stuff. Well, it is looking like it will possibly be just networking/job related trips for the foreseeable future—why? Because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus—SARS-CoV-2, which has been spreading around the globe since December of last year. I’m not to keen on getting on a plane for an extended period of time with other people, plus there are now numerous travel restrictions to various countries. So I’m going to be keeping an eye on the virus and news and decide towards the end of March if I’m even going out to Boston in April.

I’m getting better at some aspects of the reboot break than others—but I’ve also gained some insight into those areas as well (there will probably be another blog post on this topic at some point in March). But it has been a little over two months since I started the break, and while I haven’t made as much progress on the health and fitness—I think I’m making enough that it’s time to start really trying to work other areas of life also into the day-to-day habits/goals/things to work on.

But first, it is time to look at the goals that I set for February and see how I did with each of them:

The goals for February included:

At least 413,000 steps (a little over the 14,230 steps/day—but it is a nice round number)

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

Working out daily (alternating between Barre Blend, LIIFT4, and possibly Morning Meltdown 100)

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, networking, and interacting more on linkedin)
Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days—work up to no spend weeks

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health—determine the direction(s) that the blog is going to be going in for 2020 and beyond

And for February the phrases: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

So how did I do with each one of them?

At least 413,000 steps (a little over the 14,230 steps/day—but it is a nice round number)

            This is something that I’ve been bad at doing—getting my daily steps in. I probably only reached about fifty percent on the step goal for the month (208,873 steps). Part of the problem—it was a little too cold/rainy/wet for doing daily walks and practicing my photography. Yes, I could have done the walks and listened to podcasts, but I didn’t. So if I’m going to try to reach my 5 million steps by the end of the year, I’m now going to have to aim for basically 14,943 steps a day—or just round it up to basically 15,000 steps a day for the rest of the year. I’m even behind on just trying to get to 3,660,000 steps. So anyway you look at it—I need to start getting off my butt and moving around more.

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

I finished reading “The 12 week year: get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months” by Brian P Moran and Michael Lennington. I’m actually going to try to implement a 12-week year, possibly starting in April (I need to try to get things planned out a little better before hand).

I also finished “Permission Granted: Be who you were made to be and let go of the rest” by Melissa Camara Wilkins.

While it’s only been two books both January and February—at least I’m being steady on the number of books. I’m thinking that I should keep the number of books read to be between two to three—if it’s more great, but it should be a minimum of two books.

Working out daily (alternating between Barre Blend, LIIFT4, and possibly Morning Meltdown 100)

            This has been off and on for most of the month—though I have been consistent this last week with starting Morning Meltdown 100—so I’m probably going to continue with that one and see afterwards on doing either Barre Blend or another round of LIIFT4. The new goal will be finishing Morning Meltdown 100—which if I do just one workout a day (which is how I’m going to probably do things), I’ll be finishing it beginning of June.

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, networking, and interacting more on linkedin)

Okay I’m getting a little better on this one—joined an accountability group within the cheeky scientist association, and am focusing on things a little more. I’m trying to post at least one to two articles a day (taking usually Sunday off) from various science/business news sites. I’m also reaching out to various people at different companies that I would like to possibly work at—just to find out a little more about the companies (namely the culture, day-to-day activities, and balance). So that is slowly moving along. I’m listening to podcasts at night, while looking at companies and so forth. Haven’t worked through that many e-courses, but that is hopefully going to change some in the coming months.

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days—work up to no spend weeks

            This is something that I was so-so on. I managed several no-spend days, but since I really didn’t have a February money log set up in the journal—I didn’t really keep track of the days when I did buy an e-book, or needed to order something from Amazon. Again, this is something that I’m going to be working on in the coming months—I’m actually thinking of a bare-minimum spend March challenge (blog post coming later this week possibly).

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health—determine the direction(s) that the blog is going to be going in for 2020 and beyond 

I’ve realized the reasons why this task (making editorial calendars) is so damn difficult for me: 1) I usually have either too many ideas bouncing around in my head (and I don’t always write them down), 2) I can’t think of anything to write on, 3) I can’t decide on the picture that I want to share in a photography challenge, and 4) I’m still haven’t totally decided on the direction(s) that the blog is going to be going in for 2020 and beyond. I mean right now it is a combo personal/professional development, travel, crafts, health/fitness, and just about anything else that catches my fancy—so basically a lifestyle blog (and I’m not even sure what type of lifestyle). Though I may keep in that general direction while I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life going forward.

I have been able to keep the phrase “Progress over Perfection” front and center while I’ve been doing things this month. The phrase “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year” is a little harder to keep front and center—because right now I’m stuck in the middle of the fear zone, though I’m moving out of it very slowly.

So moving into March (which is the last month of the first quarter of 2020), the goals will include:

At least 465,000 steps (breaks down to 15,000 steps/day)—this is to get back on track to hit the 5 million steps goal by the end of the year.

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

Working out daily—continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 on BOD

Personal/Professional development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, work via the accountability group, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

Money log/Weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—actually try to have a bare-minimum spend month (again blog post coming later this week, early next week)

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health. Determine the best direction(s) for the blog to go in for 2020 and beyond.

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

No Comments careerfitnessjob searchingMonth in ReviewPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentRebootBreak

January 2020 in review: Start of a new year and a new decade

Well January is over, and we survived the month—and I’m like three days late in posting my monthly review. It’s a sad time when the phrase WW3 is trending on social media by the third day of the month. I haven’t been regular in posting to the site—I haven’t started the photography challenge (but I started it late last year as well), and when it comes to creating content—I realized that I have about five or six different drafts of things in regards to my career transition.

It has been not quite two months (which will be next Friday) since I’ve started my “reboot break”—and I think I’m still in the progress of trying to get my health and fitness under control.  We’ve had a couple of “snow” days this month, and I think I’ve managed to make a couple of walks around Boomer Lake.

The goals for January included:

At least 434,000 steps

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

Working out daily (Barre Blend starting January 6)

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through e-courses, working through other course bundles bought)

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 434,000 steps—I fell behind on this goal this month. I think that there have only been about five or six days that I actually hit (or surpassed) the daily step goal of 14,000 steps. I managed to get a little over 230,000 steps; so I managed a little over 50% of the monthly steps.

I need to try to kick it up a notch or two for the rest of the year, if I’m going to hit my yearly goal of 5 million steps (so to hit that goal, I’ll need to kick it up to a little over 14K a day (~14,230/day).

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

I managed to finish (in total) two books this month. Though in truth, the first book was actually started at the end of 2019, and finished within the first few days of 2020.

So the two books that I’ve finished:

            Like She Owns the Place by Cara Alwill Leyba

            Choose Your Best Life by Gary Williams

The book that I’m currently reading and will finish in February:

            The 12 week year: get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months, by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington.

Working out daily (Barre Blend starting January 6)

It has taken me a little longer to try to get into some type of workout routine. One thing is that I’m going to be doing the workout probably in the evenings—the puppy (Chaos) would rather get me to play than just lie there and sleep while I’m doing my workout.

I restarted the program at the end of the month. I’ve decided that I’m going to be doing my own calendar and that is going to be going between a couple of different programs—Barre Blend, LIIFT4, and possible Morning Meltdown 100. I’m thinking that going between two or three different programs is going to be the best way for me to get back into a routine.

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through e-courses, working through other course bundles bought)

So I have been listening to podcasts most nights (there have been a few nights that I haven’t listened to them). The two main podcasts have been the Team Beachbody Coach Call-replay and Onward Creatives.

The first podcast is just listening in to the different Monday morning wakeup calls with Beachbody and various coaches each week. I’m still working on getting back on track with my fitness and health, so listening to the podcast is a way of keeping a toe in the whole “coaching” business—since Beachbody does have the disclaimer that they don’t guarantee any monetary gain for anyone as a coach. Currently I’m bouncing around with the idea of possibly quitting coaching (that while I do have a handful of “clients”, they aren’t really ordering, and therefore I don’t have that much to “lose”).

The second podcast is one that focuses on being in business for your self—as they say bridging the gap between being creative and the business side. I enjoy listening to the podcast, even if I’m not going into business for myself quite yet. I’ve been getting some ideas and just enjoy listening to someone else’s perspective on things.

I’ve also slowly been trying to work through various e-courses, but haven’t quite figured out the best method/order for working through the courses—do I alternate between personal and professional courses or do I try to alternate between topics within one of the areas? So this is something that I’m going to be working on during the early part of February so that I can plan things out for the next few months.

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days

I managed for about half the month to keep a log of money spent, and managed about half the month in weekly check-ins as well. In terms of no spend days I think I had probably about fifteen to twenty days. A goal going forward is that other than a few choice spending days, pre-ordered books, and bills I don’t spend any money for the month. I’m thinking that this may be more in March than in February due to the fact that I’m going to be taking Chaos in for a check-up at the vet’s and I’m not sure how much it is going to be running. Though I may try to make February a low spend month as well.

So I managed to get started this year with various areas, I made strides in certain areas (managing to read two and a half books, working out the last week of the month, and starting to keep track of what I’m spending my money on), but there were also areas that I fell short on—namely getting my steps in. So there is areas for improvement, and areas that I can add to or build off of.

And for January the phrase: “Progress over Perfection”—so I did mange to embody this phrase for the month of January.

The goals for February will include:

At least 413,000 steps (a little over the 14,230 steps/day—but it is a nice round number)

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

Working out daily (alternating between Barre Blend, LIIFT4, and possibly Morning Meltdown 100)

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses and other course bundles, networking, and interacting more on linkedin)


Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days—work up to no spend weeks

Work on editorial calendar(s)—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health—determine the direction(s) that the blog is going to be going in for 2020 and beyond

And for February the phrases: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

No Comments careerfitnessHealthMonth in ReviewPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentRebootBreakReflections

Month in Review: December 2019

Well December, the year, and the decade are all officially over. I also realized that I forgot to post my November in review last month (December was a little crazy with the start of my reboot break, and trying to get into a new groove), in addition I don’t think I posted my new moon review or goals for the new moon at the end of the month.

So I’m not going to beat myself up over the fact that I was lagging in posts for the last couple of weeks/months. If you check out my earlier post (Happy Holidays and updates), I actually talk about the main reason for this. Hopefully this is something that I can conquer during 2020. But for now since we’re officially in a new month and decade, it’s time to look back at the goals that I set for December of 2019 and see how I did with each one.

The goals for December included:

At least 434,000 steps

Reading three non-fiction books

Money log/weekly check-in

Back into some type of workout routine

Working on my reboot break plan & transition plan (revamping this one)

No Spend days

Personal and professional development (listening to either podcasts and/or working through e-courses).

So how did I do with each one?

At least 434,000 steps

            I was below on my step goal last month. This was in part to the fact that I knew that I had already reached my yearly goal of 5 million by the second day of the month—the rest of the steps of the month were basically bonus steps. Also I adopted a puppy on the 19th, the weather turned colder and therefore I didn’t really do any daily walks for the second half of the month (more or less). My step total for December was 341,618 (which is still above the minimum step total of 310,000—10K/day).  This brought my yearly total to 5,351,200 steps (which was not quite 72,300 steps above what I managed in 2018). So I think I will stick with trying to make a yearly goal of 5 million steps.

Reading three non-fiction books

            I managed to read two non-fiction books (and about half way through a third by midnight on the 31st). The two books were:

                        Girl Code: Unlocking the secrets to success, sanity, and happiness for the female entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba

                        Girl on Fire: How to Choose Yourself, Burn the Rule Book, and Blzae Your Own Trail in Life and Business by Cara Alwill Leyba

I enjoyed reading both books, and hopefully will be getting to writing reviews for both of them to post on both the blog and amazon in the coming weeks.

Money log/weekly check-in

            This was something that I fell short on again. While I kept my purchases down for the most part (it was the season of Christmas after all), I didn’t keep a log of what all I bought when.  So this is something else that I will need to continuously work on going into 2020.

Back into some type of workout routine

            Nope, this didn’t happen during December. I’m going to break out of my ‘uncomfortable’ comfort zone in 2020 and get back into a workout routine (I actually bought early access to Barre Blend and will be starting that on Monday). One thing with the current books I’ve been reading—I am my own worse enemy and I need to come to an agreement with my subconscious so that I can quit sabotaging all my plans and goals going into 2020 and beyond.

Working on my reboot break plan & transition plan (revamping this one)

            So I managed to plan out at least my workout routine for the first few months of my reboot break (namely Jan-March). In terms of everything else—those are still in limbo (in terms of both the type of jobs I want to target and everything that goes along with them). But this is a goal for January—to have a rough draft by the end of the month so that I can have a semi-permanent draft by the end of February. Notice I said semi-permanent—I realize that plans and ideas can change, and therefore the plans and ideas that I currently have in place need to be fluid enough that they can change as needed as I pivot on my path.

No Spend days

            I think there were several no spends days in December—unfortunately I only made note of the first three (as those happened before I got the puppy—and everything else fell by the wayside for a week or so). This is something that I’m hoping to accomplish throughout my reboot break—several no spend days that accumulate into a no spend week (or weeks) and then no spend month (other than the automatic payments of bills).

Personal and professional development (listening to either podcasts and/or working through e-courses).

             I listened to several episodes of the onward creatives podcast over the last week of the month, and started to work through several different e-courses as well.  One thing I’ve noticed is that one really shouldn’t try to distinguish personal development from professional development (they are two sides of the same coin—you). While I managed to get several things accomplished during 2019—there are still numerous things left on the list, and the list is going to be revamped going into 2020. I’m also going to remember that doing personal development can help in job searching (the professional side) and doing professional development (learning a new skill) can also aid the personal side (things to talk about with others).

So going into 2020 I’m going to be focused on four words and two main phrases:

The four words are “grow”, “change”, “achieve”, and “succeed”; my phrases for 2020 are going to be “progress over perfection” and “evaluate the people in your life; then promote, demote, or terminate. You’re the CEO of your life”.

It’s time to take back control of my life (instead of just bouncing along), and figure out what I want to do with the second half of my life, where I would like to be, and most importantly—who I am.

The goals for January 2020 will be the following:

At least 434,000 steps

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

Working out daily (Barre Blend starting January 6)

Personal/Professional development (listening to podcasts, working through e-courses, working through other course bundles bought)

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days

And for January the phrase: “Progress over Perfection”

No Comments BooksMonth in ReviewPersonal Developmentprofessional development

October in Review

Well October is officially over, and there are only 61 days left in the year. As I’m writing this I realize that my reboot break is going to be starting in a few weeks, and that I’m a month into my last year of my thirties—so I should really try to figure out what the hell I’m doing with the second half of my life. In addition I realized that I only met one goal (in total) for the month of October.

We’re officially a third of the way through the fourth quarter of the year, and I’m thinking that is where some of the change is going to take place, and the seeds for change in 2020 will be planted.

I didn’t really change my October goals that much, so they were basically the same goals that I’ve had for the past few months, including the goal of working on my “reboot break” plan.

October was a difficult month in general—as it marked the one-year anniversary of losing both Chewi and Piranha.  

The goals for October included:

At least 434,000 steps

Photography challenge (if there has to be a recap session to make up for a few days—oh, well—I’m only human)

Read at least 2 non-fiction books

Continue working on my reboot break & start reworking my transition plan

Aim for one week no spend

Continue working out (hybrid LIIFT4/Country Heat/Yoga Booty Ballet)

Set up the monthly calendar (can start with November as a trial run)

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 434,000 steps

            This was basically the only goal that I was able to reach this month, even with a few days below the target of 14,000 steps. I managed to get 487,754 of steps, which was 53,754 over the goal of 434,000 steps. This has me at a yearly total so far of 4,535,054 and that means to reach exactly 5 million steps, I only need to reach 7,623 per day for the rest of the year. This is nice to know that I can have several days that I don’t reach my total—but even with the reboot break coming up—if I walk around Boomer Lake every day, that will get me to at least 10,000 steps. So unless it is raining or snowing—I’m going to be getting a daily walk in on my reboot break.

Photography challenge (if there has to be a recap session to make up for a few days—oh, well—I’m only human)

            Well this didn’t really happen. I have been taking pictures on the weekend—but currently the area of my photography shots is Boomer Lake. I feel like I’m sharing the same theme over and over again—though they’re all slightly different. So I’m in the process of trying to develop a nice long list of photography topics, so that I can start the challenge over once more. Though this time around I did make it a little over 200 days before falling behind.

Read at least 2 non-fiction books

            I don’t think that I managed to finish any non-fiction book this month. One thing that I’ve noticed is that there are numerous books that I’ve started at some point, but then started reading another and never went back and actually finished. So, therefore moving forward I’m not going to jump between books—but pick one and finish it before going to the next non-fiction book. I will probably go between that non-fiction book and my fiction books.

Continue working on my reboot break & start reworking my transition plan

            I’m slowly working on both plans, and actually made a little headway this month by “naming” one of my biggest hurdles—movement paralysis. The first week of my reboot break is probably going to be spent just relaxing and decompressing, especially since it is also going to be a holiday week (Thanksgiving). The major work is going to start during the first week of December.

            I have several different areas/titles that sound interesting picked out—I just need to fully determine what type of professional lifestyle I want, and which would fit it the best. I know that I will need to make a choice and therefore a plan of action for the early part of 2020—but hopefully I can narrow down the choices before than and not feel totally overwhelmed.

Aim for one week no spend

            This didn’t happen—I spent money on campus more or less daily during the month of October. The only good thing is that towards the end of the month it may have only been once a day. I figured that once I’m on my reboot break, that will be the easiest time to curb the spending—I won’t be on campus, and I’m going to more or less shut down the WiFi connection on the kindle (with exceptions)—that way I will save money two ways—no buying snacks on campus daily, and no mindlessly buying e-books on the kindle.

Continue working out (hybrid LIIFT4/Country Heat/Yoga Booty Ballet)

            Well I managed to start the hybrid calendar, but that has been about it. I’ve realized that even though I’ve had a couple of months to figure out the getting home after 5 schedule—I still haven’t; I get home, do the few chores and then I sit and relax for awhile. If I was prompt—I would then change into my workout clothes and get my workout done before dinner, but that isn’t what I end up doing—I sit and relax until dinner. Then after dinner I have my evening routine (and I don’t like working out on an semi-full stomach either—I’d rather workout on a semi-empty stomach), and I have so far only fit in stretching and meditation.

            So this is a workout calendar that I’m hopefully going to follow much better once I start on my reboot break (I really won’t have any excuses not to follow it).

Set up the monthly calendar (can start with November as a trial run)

            Well, this semi-happened—at least workout wise, but I haven’t followed it that well. I’m going to be setting up another calendar, hopefully this weekend for the rest of November (as I’d only be missing one or two days) that I will hopefully then follow. I’ve realized that when it comes to trying to figure out my life—I need to do in such a way that the anxiety and depression don’t realize that I’m trying to move out of the do nothing zone and into the positive and constructive zone.

So not that much progress on most of the goals for the month of October—though admitting that there were problems is progress in and of its self. There are two months left in 2019, and there can still be quite a bit of progress in those last sixty-one days—I just have to play mind games with myself.

So what are my goals for November going to be?

At least 420,000 steps

Making a nice long list of possible photography topics

Slowly start the hybrid LIIFT4/Country Heat/Yoga Booty Ballet workout calendar

Reading two non-fiction books

Making my November monthly calendar

Working on my reboot break plan & transition plan (revamping this one)

Keep reminding myself: Progress over perfection, and that I shouldn’t fear failure, but fear being in the same place next year as I am today.

No Comments Lifestyle ChallengesMonth in ReviewPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentRebootBreak

September: Month in Review (a few days late)

Well September is officially over, and there are only 92 days left in the year. I’m also a day or two late in posting this as well. As I’m writing this I realize that my birthday has come and gone, and I am currently looking down my last year of my thirties. I also realized that I fell short on most of my goals for September.

We’re officially started the fourth quarter of the year, and I’m thinking that is where some of the change is going to take place, and the seeds for change in 2020 will be planted.

September 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 September included:

At least 420,000 steps

Continue with the photography challenge

Determine some type of workout routine (hopefully more than just walking)

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

Read 3 non-fiction books

Continue working on the reboot/pause plan

Try to set up a monthly calendar (getting organize) for various things

Continue reading on various industry websites and sharing interesting articles via linkedin/twitter. Plus notes for weekly recap on the blog

So how did I do with each one?

At least 420,000 steps

            So I at least managed to surpass my step goal for the month of September (and only had a few days that I was within 1500-2000 steps of my daily goal). My total number of steps for September ended up being 467,751 steps (almost 50K above my goal), and it brings my current yearly step total to: 4,047,300 steps. I’m well on my way of reaching my goal of 5 million steps by the end of the year.

Continue with the photography challenge

            I ended the month with another hiatus (and probably will start October with one as well). It isn’t that I’m not enjoying the challenge—because I am, but because I feel like I’m in a posting rut (the same topic—though the animal might be in a different pose, since pictures were taken on different days). So this is something that I’m going to be working on over the next few months.

Determine some type of workout routine (hopefully more than just walking)

            Well I stuck with mainly walking for the month—though there was a day or two at the beginning of the month that I did LIIFT4. I have created a hybrid calendar with LIIFT4, Country Heat, and Yoga Booty Ballet that I will hopefully be following for the rest of the year. I’m being smart and starting slightly light on the weights (instead of doing heavy right away), and may double up on the Country Heat & Yoga Booty Ballet on the weekends (Wednesday may be an automatic rest day, since there are quite a few chores that I have to take care of once I get home from work).

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

            This didn’t happen. I think that I might have managed a day or two here and there in terms of no spending on campus. One thing about quitting my job come November—I’ll be saving quite a bit of money, since I won’t be buying chocolate and/or coffee on a daily basis.

Read 3 non-fiction books

            I finished reading the “introduction” book in a self-development series (and am almost through with the second book; and the only other one I bought). The title of the book I finished is:

                        “Simplify your pursuit of success: Six simple steps to success” by Michal Stawicki

Continue working on the reboot/pause plan

            I’m still working on this plan. I have an idea of how the first two weeks may go—mainly getting my storage unit in order and enjoying the start of the holiday season (Thanksgiving). Since I’m also in the process of trying to rework my transition plan, and plans for traveling are slightly on hold (until I can figure out what will be either a mental health break and/or a combination work/enjoyment trips).

Try to set up a monthly calendar (getting organize) for various things

            This one is also a work in progress, as I haven’t found a planner calendar that I actually like (in other words one that is large enough for me to write multiple things for a single day), I’m in the process of trying to create my own monthly calendars where I can have multiple things written—or at least referenced back to on different days.

Continue reading on various industry websites and sharing interesting articles via linkedin/twitter. Plus notes for weekly recap on the blog

            I managed this for a while at the beginning of the month, but fell behind schedule towards the middle/end of the month. Though I didn’t take any notes to do a recap post on the blog.

So I fell short on basically ninety percent of my goals for September—but that ten percent success rate is what is keeping me going—Progress over perfection. I know that I’m not perfect, that I’m going to give in to my anxiety now and then, that I’m going to fall back on my fiction reading to help deal with my mood swings (and lets not talk about the current state of the world); but I am doing a little each day that helps me get a little closer to some of the goals that I’ve had set for quite a while.

Therefore the goals for October will include:

At least 434,000 steps

Photography challenge (if there has to be a recap session to make up for a few days—oh, well—I’m only human)

Read at least 2 non-fiction books

Continue working on my reboot break & start reworking my transition plan

Aim for one week no spend

Continue working out (hybrid LIIFT4/Country Heat/Yoga Booty Ballet)

Set up the monthly calendar (can start with November as a trial run)

Keep reminding myself: Progress over perfection, and that I shouldn’t fear failure, but fear being in the same place next year as I am today.

No Comments fitnessMonth in ReviewPersonal Developmentprofessional development

August: Month in Review

Well August is officially over, and there are only 122 days left in the year. I’m also a day late in posting this as well. As I’m writing this I realize that my birthday is now in less than three weeks, and then I will be looking down my last year of my thirties. I also realized that I fell short on some of the goals for August.

There is only a month 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. Though there is still the fourth quarter of the year, and I’m thinking that is where some of the change is going to take place, and the seeds for change in 2020 will be planted.

August 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 August included:

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.

So how did I do with each one?

At least 434,000 steps

            I was down less than 9,000 steps for the month of August—my final total was 425,266 steps. This was mainly due to the hot temperatures on the weekends, and me not getting my steps in on those days (plus one or two days during the week, when I fell short as well). Though for the year I’m at 3,579,549 steps, which means that to get to 5 million—I only need to aim for a little over 11,500 steps a day. So, I think it is safe to say that I’m going to make the goal of 5 million steps. It is nice to see that by the time I take my reboot break, I don’t necessarily have to aim for 14,000 steps a day (though I probably will—just so I’m not constantly sitting on my butt).

Continuing with the photography challenge

            I took a week off from the photography challenge this month. This was partially due to the heat and not having done a walk for a week or two (therefore I felt like I was running low on photographs to share), and partially due to my mood—I just wasn’t in a good mind space that week.

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

            I managed to finish one book this month and it was “The Self-Care Prescription: Powerful solutions to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and increase well-being” by Robyn Gobin.

            One thing that I have realized is that while having a kindle is nice—all your books are at your fingertips, at the same time it can be detrimental if you bounce between books a lot (like I do at times). There are numerous books that I’ve started to read in terms of personal/professional development and then I decided I wanted to read something else. So now I’m actually going to go back to some of those books and start from the beginning, as it’s been at least six weeks (if not longer) since I read anything from that particular book.

Working on my “reboot break”

            I have an idea of how the first few weeks will go—as those are the weeks that I’m going to dedicate to getting my storage unit in order and starting to try to get rid of things (either selling or donating).

            As I had posted earlier, I’m thinking that the first week (and it will probably be the week of Thanksgiving) will look a little like this:

                        Get up, have a cup of coffee (or tea), and feed the dogs

                        Go for a morning walk at Boomer Lake (morning zen time and photography time)

                        Breakfast, shower (probably), then to the storage unit to rearrange and/or repack boxes

                        Home for lunch

                        Computer time: **Make use of apps that allow blocking of certain sites for a certain time frame (remove social media temptation—mainly facebook & instagram).

                                    At least one e-course (I have numerous ones bought covering a wide range of topics)

                                    Read/share at least two articles from a biotech/biopharma news site on Linkedin and twitter

                                    Spend at least forty minutes responding to messages and/or sending out connection requests on linkedin

                                    Spend at least thirty minutes reading through other people’s posts on linkedin, and hopefully commenting on at least two or three of them.

                                    Read for an hour (personal/professional development) and journal for an hour (answering questions from personal/professional development book)

                                    Workout

                                    Feed the animals

                                    Dinner and evening routine

            Then after getting my storage unit in order, and other things taken care of I can use that time for other things (such as craft time, or more reading/journaling time). This is one thing I’m hoping to improve upon during my reboot break—time management and spending time doing things that I enjoy and things I need to do.

            I’ve realized that I’m not aiming for “balance” per say—just having the ability to say today is a day that I need more “me” time or today is a day that will be heavy workwise, therefore after work this is going to be my recharge plan. It has taken me almost thirty-nine years to realize that I really never have had that type of “balance”—I go all out one way or the other, and therefore it isn’t surprising that I’m basically burnt out on life.

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

            I think I managed about one day a week of not spending money on campus. I’ve gotten into the bad habit again of going to the student union at lunch and grabbing candy (my excuse is that it’s a walk to help me get in my steps). Hopefully other than a few scheduled purchases (such as pre-ordered books, one lunch out with friends, and one order from Amazon), I can avoid spending money this month.

            I don’t see spending money as bad—but considering what I’m currently buying (namely candy)—I think that I should try to cut back on that spending. Now if I end up buying some fruit or veggies to snack on while on campus—I will make note, but still try to avoid “careless” spending (i.e. spending money on things that I could very well bring from home).

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

            This is one thing that I’m struggling with currently. There have been new “hours” required at work (they’re not really new, but they’re very concrete—can’t leave until basically 5 pm on the dot), which has messed up my evening routine and I have yet to get into the groove of a new one. Hopefully this is something that I can get straightened out over the next few months.

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

            Well, other than the photography challenge (and I took a week off from that), and a few other posts—I didn’t get that much content created for the blog, and none that would be shared via linkedin.

            I realize that sharing things via linkedin, they’ll be more of the scientific posts (and I don’t have that many of those done), plus I haven’t decided on the niche/area I would like to focus on. Though to be truthful, for the blog I can be a little more of a jack-of-all-trades, but they would need a central theme.

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

            I have read several articles on biotech/biopharma business pages, and even shared them on linkedin and twitter. It isn’t totally consistent—but it is a start. I’m still trying to figure out my niche, as everything/one has said that it is better to be an expert than a jack-of-all-trades (which is what I currently consider myself).

            This is currently one of the problems I’m having with my transition plan—trying to narrow down what it is I want to do with my life. One thing I’ve realized over the years—once I master a skill, I start to get bored. Therefore I’m going to need to choose an area, where I will be challenged consistently, and that could even mean working my way up the ladder—more responsibility, more challenges. Or, I may need to look towards smaller companies, where I may wear more than one “hat” in terms of responsibilities.

Therefore the goals for September will include:

At least 420,000 steps

Continue with the photography challenge

Determine some type of workout routine (hopefully more than just walking)

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

Read 3 non-fiction books

Continue working on the reboot/pause plan

Try to set up a monthly calendar (getting organize) for various things

Continue reading on various industry websites and sharing interesting articles via linkedin/twitter. Plus notes for weekly recap on the blog

Keep reminding myself: Progress over perfection, and that I shouldn’t fear failure, but fear being in the same place next year as I am today.

No Comments Lifestyle ChallengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

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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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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