So I’m still trying to find balance between reading different personal and professional development books, with other books. So far this month I’ve managed to finish a book that I think falls into both categories: “Small Talk: An Introvert’s Guide to Small Talk—Talk to Anyone & Be Instantly Likeable (How to small talk, Talk to anyone, Lasting relationship, People Skills) by Gary Allman.
I bought this book for a couple of reasons: 1) the title caught my attention, and I figured that as an introvert, it wouldn’t hurt to see what an “introvert’s guide to small talk” looked liked; and 2) this is an area that I know I need to work on. I know for a fact that some people either think I’m extremely shy or standoffish—and I will admit to being shy, but for the most part I have trouble striking up conversations with other people, but once I’m past that problem—I can almost be considered too talkative.
The book really focuses on overall communication, not just small talk. The author mentions the fact that you should also be caring about your appearance (whether its on a date, or a job interview); that you should be on time (even a little early—but not too early), do your research (if it’s a job interview or networking event), and be mindful of your body language. Another thing the author mentions is not to be staring at your phone all the time. So how am I doing in these areas: dressing, timing, doing research, being mindful of my body language and staying off my phone? Read More
So one of the books that I just finished reading was “Find Your Passion: 25 Questions you must ask yourself” by Henri Juttila. This is a book that I considered to fit in both the personal and professional development areas. One reason is that, trying to figure out what type of industry position that I want—I’ve been told to figure out what I’m passionate about science wise and go from there. I’ve also been told to try to go outside my comfort zone, and go for the job that I really want. The only problem with both of those suggestions, is that I’m not sure what I’m absolutely passionate about science wise, and I’m not absolutely sure what position outside of research I really want either. So I’m slowly going through different books (some have these exercises, and some don’t) to try to get a firmer grasp on what I’m passionate about (science wise) and what type of job outside of research I’d be happy in. This is a book that I highly recommend. While it is a short read, if you take the time to answer the questions as you go through it, or come back to them as I’m doing–you will probably be surprised about what you learn about yourself. So there are going to be several posts over the next few weeks that might seem slightly rambling, but they are all around a central theme: “What am I passionate about within science, and what other jobs does that relate to outside of research”.
So I thought that I’d give an updated reading list for my 101+ Goal challenge. These books include personal and professional development books, autobiographies, and then other books of interest (science or otherwise). Some of the books are short reads, mainly because they revolve around answering a series of questions (see # 32 and #111), these could even become a series of blog posts on their own (depending on when I get finished answering the questions). While I’ve finished several of them so far (look for the bold lines), I haven’t finished writing all the book reviews to post on the blog yet. But the new goal is to now finish at least 112 books before September 28 2020.
1. Black Hole Focus by Isaiah Hankel 2. Rewire Your Habits: Establish Goals, Evolve your habits, & improve your relationships, health and finances and free time by Zoe McKey 3. Minimalist Money Makeover by Michelle Moore 4. The No Spend Challenge Guide: How to stop spending money impulsively, pay off debt fast, and make your finances fit your dreams by Jen Smith 5. Minimalist Living: Declutter your home, schedule, and digital life for simple living (and discover why less is more) by Aston Sanderson 6. Self Talk: How to train your brain to turn negative thinking into positive thinking & practice self love by Aston Sanderson
7. Tame Your Emotions by Zoe McKey
8.The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
9. The happiness advantage by Shawn Achor
10. Am I making myself clear by Cornelia Dean
11. Escape the ivory tower by Nancy Baron
12. Kiss that Frog by Brian Tracy and Christina Tracy Stein 13. The Science of Intelligent Achievement by Isaiah Hankel
14.Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Berstein
15. Judgement Detox by Gabrielle Berstein
16. Science Blogging: The Essential Guide. Edited by Christie Wilcox, Bethany Brookshire & Jason G. Goldman
17. Hiding in the bathroom by Morra Aarons-Mele
18. The Little book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
19. Introvert Survival Tactics by Patrick King
20. T is for Transformation by Shawn T
21. Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss
22. The Scientist’s Guide to Writing by Stephen Heard
23. Write Science in Plain English by Anne Green
24. The Science Writer’s Handbook edited by Thomas Hayden & Michelle Nijhuis
25. A Field Guide for Science Writers Edited by Deborah Blum, Mary Knudson, and Robin Henig
26. 7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey
27. The confidence code by Katty Kat & Claire Shipman
28. You 2.0 by Ayodeja Awosika
29. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
30. The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobensteine
31. Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher 32. Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself by Henri Junttila
33. I thought it was just me (but it wasn’t) by Brene Brown
34.What color is your parachute? 2018: A practical manual for job hunters & career changers by Richard N. Bolles
35. Manage your day to day: build your routine, find your focus, & Sharpen your creative mind. Edited by Jocelyn Glei
36. Raise your vibration by Kyle Gray
37. Sugar Free: 8 weeks to freedom from sugar and carb addiction by Karen Thomson Read More
So what is a vision board? Vision boards (or dream boards) are boards that can help you clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus on either a specific life goal or an overall change. This is where you display images and sayings that represent what you want to be, do, or have in your life.
Usually when people do vision boards, they may make one for the coming year, or they may make a five or ten year goal one—where they may switch out images or sayings that no longer resonate with their vision with different images or sayings.
I have to admit that I have always been curious about doing vision boards (and I think I may have done one or two in school [but they were called something else]), but at the same time I wanted to know more about the process before getting started (this is where my slight OCD comes into play). So one of the books that I finished back in February was “The Complete Guide to Vision Boards: The Ultimate Starter Kit to Get Wildly Clear & Create the Life of Your Dreams” by Christine Kane.
This book covered a lot of different areas of creating a vision board—from the type of vision board you can create, to the supplies that you should have on hand, to the type of questions that you should be asking yourself before getting started. This book opened my eyes to the fact that there is more to creating a vision board than gluing pictures and words onto a pieces of cardboard—you have to have an idea of the direction you are heading (even if its—I need a change), before getting started. I know that I still have quite a bit to learn on this topic (even if it is a fairly straight forward topic), because I don’t want to start manifesting the wrong goals or changes and then having to start back over from scratch (i.e. I don’t want to take a job that may or may not work out—only to find out it isn’t going to work out and I’m either potentially unemployed again and/or having to move back home).
So, now on to a goal met.
One of my goals on my 101+ goal list was to make a vision board. And there were various reasons behind that goal.
So, in one or two of the groups I belong to on Facebook have suggested at one time or another that we should make a vision/dream board at least yearly (for one of the groups—the other had the suggestion to be more long term in thinking). So I’ve spent the past couple of weeks answering different personal and professional development type questions and actually trying to figure out both what I wanted in life long term, and where I saw myself in a few years.
I decided that this first vision board was going to be digital (mainly because I’m hoping to move within a year, and I don’t want to be packing up anything more than what I already am going to be having to). The second reason for doing the digital form is that I can see it daily if I have it as the background on my laptop. This will remind me of what I want to accomplish in my life, and that in order to accomplish it—I need to keep working towards it (no matter how slow that progress may feel).
So within my vision board, I’m reminding myself that there are several areas that I know I want to change—I want to get into the best shape of my life (and also have a successful beachbody business—but I need to start working on that [actually following a program and nutrition plan (this is more or less—it won’t be a 100% because I don’t do that much of the shopping and right now I hate meal prepping) to make sure that I can both “walk the walk and talk the talk” in terms of what beachbody has to offer. By getting into the best shape of my life—I could probably manage a hike at the Grand Canyon or going to the Incan ruins in Peru (which right now I know I’m no where near ready for). I want to travel (leisure mostly, but occasionally for business), and I want to be a leader in industry as well. Plus a few other things that I have on the board as well (balance life, crafts, time for pets, and owning either my own small house or maybe a condo).
Looking at the board daily, will push me to make sure that I’m making progress towards all of these goals (especially the fitness and transitioning into an industry position), and will serve as a reminder—that it’s time for me to quit being a bystander in my own life, and take control of where I’m headed.
So I realized that this past weekend, I should have also posted an update on how I think I’m doing in life via of the Level 10 life. I had decided that I would do a new Level 10 life graph every three months and then after I drew it out, compare it to the previous one. So below is my most current level 10 life.
So within the ten different areas, there were several that I felt really hadn’t changed that much: (1) Family & friends–I managed to get together with a friend for lunch in March, but not in January or February; and I haven’t started trying to send postcards or letters to my niece yet either; though I have been trying to keep in touch more via facebook or if we’re connected on linkedin, on linkedin. (2) Personal development–while I’ve managed to finish reading quite a few books so far this year, I haven’t found a program that I like yet for learning a foreign language; and I’ve fallen short on the planning and writing in the journal. (6) I still have zero social life, and truthfully until I figure out the next job move I think I’m going to keep it that way (though I may meet up with people for a walk around Boomer on the weekends). (10) Health & fitness–I haven’t been able to fully commit to a workout program yet this year, and have fallen into a bad routine of not doing a workout in the evenings once I get home.
Everything else has either gone up or down in terms of how I saw them at the beginning of the year. (3) Spirituality has gone down a little, mainly because I haven’t been keeping up with meditation, and I haven’t been doing my yoga either. I have managed to start doing new & full moon goals, and the different spirituality books that I bought are still on the list to be read (it will just take a little time to get to them, when there is like 90 books in total still to be read. (4) Finances have gone up a little, due to getting the credit card debt down, and getting a little more into the savings account. I still haven’t put any into a CD yet, but there could still be time for that. (5) Career happiness has gone down a little, mainly because I’ve realized that I could potentially be unemployed again less than eight months, and I really need to get on the ball with trying to transition into an industry position. (7) Fun & Recreation has gone up a little–I’m trying my hand at making jewelry & I’m starting to work on a new afghan. I know I need to do more of things that aren’t science/work related and that is also where my photography challenge is coming into play as well. (8) Giving & contribution has gone up a little–I donated a big bag of clothes (and it did only a small dent in my current wardrobe), and still have monthly donations to the Sierra Club and one or two other nature organizations. (9) Physical environment has gone up a little, with having straightened up my desk area, donating clothes, and just getting rid of things that I don’t need anymore has made my bedroom not seem as small.
So what are my goals??? Well, there is the picture below for the quarter, or what I would like to have accomplished by June.
But more specifically a goal for each area will be:
(1) Touch base with at least two friends or family members I haven’t talked to in awhile each month.
(2) Find a decently priced program for learning a foreign language and start refreshing my Spanish or German.
(3) Mediate for at least five minutes every day (and I’m already a few days behind on this one).
(4) Continue with my savings challenge (basically see how many no spend days I can have and try to work up to both a no spend week and then maybe a no spend month).
(5) Continue trying to add value to my connections and determine the industry position and company (or companies) that I would like to work for. Then try to set up some informational interviews.
(6) Continue trying to meet up with friends on the weekend.
(7) Continue working on different craft projects (afghan, jewelry making, photography)
(8) Donate clothes that I don’t wear all that often.
(9) Straighten up my storage unit and start moving other things into it.
(10) Workout 6 days a week (BOD or DVD), measure at the end of the month. First try to get through Yoga Booty Ballet by mid-May.
So I’ve realized that with having caught the flu last month and then another week or so getting over the flu, I’m basically back at square one in terms of certain challenges.
For example—this past weekend was the first time I had the alarm set for the weekend in about three weeks, and I actually reset it to where it’s an hour later than when I get up during the week (earlier I had it at forty five minutes). I’m hoping that if I can start getting up “early” on the weekends again, I can get quite a bit of stuff crossed off the agenda lists for the day. This past weekend, it gave me my alone time in the morning before others got up, but it didn’t help in trying to get organized in the whole job hunting/networking maze I need to get started on.
I’ve also realized that I’m including all liquids in terms of my 70oz (this includes the almond milk and both things of tea [morning and night]) instead of counting those as my extra beyond 70oz of water. So this is a problem, to where I think this is one reason why I get a little temperamental at work in the afternoons—I’m slightly dehydrated. That is one drawback about being in research—you can’t have drinks in the lab (mainly because there are people worried that you might accidently poison yourself), so the drinks have to be kept in an office area or common eating area outside of the lab space. This can be problematic when you super busy and you don’t have time to step into the common area to get a drink of water when you want one. So this is something else I’m trying to get back on track with as well.
Now for the update on off the couch challenge—I’m still not that active on the weekends, though now that spring weather is here (more or less), I will be doing some gardening and yard work—so in theory I won’t be totally sitting on my butt during the day. I’ve also realized that when it comes to the job search, I should also take into account the fact that some jobs may be more sitting and staring at a computer screen than others. Basically, if I move away from research (where I could be standing at the bench for awhile [or sitting on a tall chair]), most of the jobs are probably going to be sitting jobs for most of the day. Which means I will have to be creative in figuring out ways to get my steps in.
Also since I have so much computer work to get through—I do need to do it almost one video at a time, get up and move around and then do the next one. I also need to kick myself into gear and just do a workout in the evenings when I get home (whether I feel like doing one or not—I don’t feel like always having to buy new jeans in a slightly larger size).
So in summary—I’ve acknowledged that I’ve slipped backwards on the first three challenges of the 52-week challenge. I’m also acknowledging that I need to make progress on all three of them before adding any other challenge to mix. In addition I’ve also realized that I need to just keep making baby steps in the forward direction—if I have an off day, I need to make sure that I’m not letting that slide into an off week, then an off month and so on.
Baby steps can lead to success–one just has to keep moving in that direction. Everyone is on their own journey that will lead them to their destination. My destination may not be the same as yours, and that is okay. One just has to remember that everyone is different and unique.
Decided to start the week off with a little motivational quote/picture. I got a set of cards called the Motto of the Day a few months ago in a calmbox shipment. There are fifty plus motivational sayings, and I’m going to go through each one on a Monday–pick out the one that speaks the most to me, and then share it here on the blog.
So today I picked the quote “Keep Moving Forward”. I did this intentionally as I need to keep reminding myself that I need to keep moving in a forward direction in both personal (health and fitness) and professional (looking for the new position) areas of my life. Basically I know what I need to be doing in both areas–working out and watching what I’m eating (personal) and then starting to really try to network more (adding value to current connections and continuing to connect) to be able to set up informational interviews that will hopefully lead to a position in industry. I also know that I really need to narrow down what exactly I want to do in industry and go at it from that direction as well.
By reminding myself that I need to keep moving forward, it will hopefully start to help ease the anxiety that is creeping up when I realize that the time is ticking down on my current position and I really should try to have something set up before it ticks down to zero. Also the reminder is that nothing can change yesterday, so I need to keep moving forward and try to be a little better at various things then I was yesterday.
Well March ended yesterday, and it also brought about the blue moon (or the second full moon of the month). The moon has traveled through the Virgo constellation and has now entered the Libra constellation. Going with my rising sign, this means the moon has now entered my 12th house, or the secret zone.
Basically, this is the time that is best spent on reflecting on oneself. So for example, I should spend the time during the next two weeks to reflect on why I want to transition into industry from academia, also I need to reflect on why I’ve allowed my health and fitness routines to fall by the wayside and why I’ve fallen back into bad habits.
So my goals for period of the Libra full moon (which is about two weeks) is to sit and take a good look at myself (both personally & professionally) and journal on the two main topics: my desire to change my career path, and then my regression on my health and fitness routine.
I know that in order for things to change, I first have to identify the areas that are in need of change, and to do that I need to sit and reflect back on everything in my life up to this point.
So the first full moon in March was traveling through the Virgo constellation, and I decided that I was going to stick with my rising sign, therefore this moon was traveling through my eleventh house (or my friend zone). So I had stated that I was going to start (1) networking more [both adding more value to my current network and work on expanding it as well]; (2) try to get together with local friends for either lunch or walking around Boomer Lake on the weekend at least once; and then (3) reconnect with friends on facebook that I haven’t talked to in awhile to see what is new with them.
Well I managed only a little bit of what I wanted to accomplish this full moon (again I will blame it on having the flu). I did manage to meet up with a friend for lunch this month (though a couple of weeks later than originally planned), I networked a little more (not to the degree that I needed, but it was a start), and also talked to a friend or two via facebook. I’ve realized that I need to push myself a little more on the whole talking to other people outside of work time. While I am more than willing to stay at home all the time, when I’m not at work, that doesn’t do much for social interactions (which is something that I need to work on). Therefore I’m going to continue trying to work on the friend zone (even when the moon has moved into a different house).
So we’re officially a third of the way through the year, and I would like to know where the time went. March seemed to speed by, and it didn’t help catching the flu (type B) at the beginning of the month, and therefore was either sick or recovering from the flu for about half the month. So I realize that I didn’t do that well with the goals that I set for the month (no one really wants to be trying to get in their steps when they have a fever and chills)—but I did make some type of progress on each goal.
So the goals for March included:
At least 434,000 steps
Having my shakeology daily for breakfast
Read at least three non-fiction books
Pack my lunch daily
Exercise 6 days a week (minimum doing the squat challenge)
Have at least 1 no spend day and try to work up to a no spend week
Keep a money log
Finish at least one online program/class/course and get half way through at least one or two more courses. Read More