Tag: personaldevelopment

One month into the 333 clothing challenge

So I’m trying to do the 333-project for April through June, and I’ve realized a couple of things so far:

I currently have over forty short-sleeve and sleeveless shirts. I also can’t totally put away the longer sleeve shirts, as there are still some cool days (though I could just wear a sweatshirt hoodie over a short-sleeve shirt), and I also don’t have enough hangers for my clothes. This is the one that is irritating—I actually bought a set of hangers last year, and it was a batch of 50 hangers, and I’ve taken a couple from my parents closet and that is in addition to the two dozen or so other hangers I have. Takeaway—I have too many shirts (since I’m not even counting the sweaters that I put into the dresser drawers or the clothes that I have in my storage unit).

I do cycle through the t-shirts, though I wear some of them more often than others. So far it hasn’t gotten warm enough to move to the totally sleeveless shirts (which I will probably do during summer (with a light jacket left at work for those chilly days). I’m finding this slightly funny to realize that I have a lot of clothes, as I’ve never considered myself a fashion person—I buy what I want, and I wear what I want. I just never really noticed how often I’d buy something that I would only wear maybe three or four times before it got lost in the closet.

I’ve also realized that since I’ve gained weight back after the purchase of certain shirts—they don’t fit as nicely as they once did. This means that I should probably spend an evening (or morning) trying on all my shirts and any that I don’t like the look and feel of—I donate or try to sell. I’ve realized that once I lose weight again—I can buy new shirts to replace the ones that will become hopefully too baggy to wear. But wearing shirts that aren’t comfortable isn’t doing much for my mental health either. Therefore hopefully by mid-May I can get the number of t-shirts down from over forty to hopefully twenty-five (a decrease of at least fifteen t-shirts).

The major goal of this challenge is to downsize the amount of clothes that I own to a degree (there are still the clothes in storage—which are being used as packing material and therefore I have to wait until I move to be able to go through those).

So the goal for the coming weekend is to go through my shirts and try on each and every one—and the ones that I don’t like how they fit, put them in a box to either donate or to sell and make a little bit of money.

No Comments Lifestyle ChallengesPersonal Development Challenges

The moon is moving through Taurus: New Moon Goals for May.

So the moon is transitioning through Taurus today, as it marks its new phase. We’re a third of the way through the year, and somehow time seems to crawl by during the week and then zoom by on the weekends.

So what are some of the things that one can focus on during the Taurus new moon? Looking at “Moonlogy: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland:

            Making a financial plan.

            Love yourself.

                        Make a list of your values and ask yourself if you’re living your life in a way that allows you to honor those values. If the answer is no—figure out a new plan to allow yourself to honor those values.

            Be sensual. Ask yourself “What would make my life better?”

            Character check. Ask yourself “Am I being too stubborn or too lazy?”

            Persevere—remember that there is more to life than racing head, there is also the journey that should be enjoyed as well (or as much as possible). Slow and steady will win the day.

So the new moon in Taurus is also moving through my seventh house, or my “love zone”. This zone can also be referred to as the relationship zone as well. So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the seventh house?

            Go through old love letters and get rid of at least some of them.

            If you’re single and feeling brave, try online dating.

            Ask your parents about their ideas on how to make love (aka a relationship) work.

            Recommit to your partner.

            If you hurt a past lover, admit you were wrong & apologize to them.

            Make a list of the qualities you look for in a partner.

            If you’re already attached, play matchmaker for a friend.

So looking at these two lists, I can honestly say that right now I’m going to focus on the financial/personal aspects of the Taurus new moon. I don’t have the time or energy to put into the dating scene and finding someone. In terms of relationships and being with someone—I seem to be one of the odd ones that doesn’t mind being alone and unattached. I also know that I have other things to work out on my own before even attempting to stick my toes into the dating pool.

So my goals for the Taurus new moon include:

            Making a financial plan. I’ve realized that I’m not getting any younger, and that there are still things that I either want to do (travel more for leisure) or will need to be doing (moving for a new job) that will require having a decent amount of money saved and/or invested.

            Continue working on my transition plan—since I know at least one or two of the cities that I’m willing to relocate to (Boston, and maybe Washington DC, Chicago, or St. Louis) now I need to start looking for say three to four companies within each area that I think I could work for and start trying to network for informational interviews.

            Try and finish the following two books: “Next Gen PhD: A Guide to Career Paths in Science” by Melanie V Sinche and “Reboot Your Life: Energize your career and lie by taking a break” by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearge, Rita Foley and Jaye Smith.

            Box (or bag) up the t-shirts that no longer fit well for donation (or selling online).

            Get back into a workout routine (go between weight training and cardio).

The goals might seem a little repetitive, and it may seem to others that I’m not making progress between months/years—but slow and steady is the way to go and not everything is publically shared.

No Comments AstrologyfinancesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

New Moon Goals in Review: Update on the Aries goals

So the moon will be moving into Taurus this weekend (as a new moon), and we are somehow in May and the year is flying by. We’re a third of the way thorough the second quarter of the year, and that means it’s time to look back on the goals that I set for the month of April (in terms of the new moon).

So my small list of things to focus on during the Aries new moon included the following:

            Making a 12-month plan. This is going to encompass both personal and professional area of my life.

            Recommit to a workout program

            Work on my eating habits (I do know that quite a bit of my bad habits stem from both stress and poor sleeping). Notice I didn’t say diet—but habits. I’m trying to work on basically having things in moderation and working on serving sizes.

            Read a book on positive thinking (I’m pretty sure that I have one or two on my large to-be-read e-pile; but I’ll look at amazon and see what I either have or I will purchase a book or two).

            Then finally, continue to try to mediate nightly. I’ve realized lately that my mind still races a little too much when I do try to mediate and I call it quits after about two minutes. Also I’ve realized that my racing thoughts have also made it a little difficult to do an accurate and decent tarot/oracle card reading—I may need to meditate for a few minutes before attempting to do a reading.

So how did I do with each one?

The 12 month plan is somewhat made, and will be continuously revised throughout the year. I’ve realized that I overthink things, then try to make numerous lists to help with the overthinking and that just puts me in the middle of a massive week long anxiety/stress attack. I’ve also realized that when it comes to deciding on my career—I need to start looking towards different companies—I can’t keep saying that I’m going to be a research scientist in “X” years or months if I don’t have an idea of where I would like to work.

I managed to make it a week with a workout program last month. Part of the issue was that another dog in the house (and one who likes it if everyone is in the same area at the same time), and I wasn’t always certain how the wifi/internet were going to be holding up. I am going to start back with a program (though it may be going between different DVD workouts if possible—our wifi/internet service can be spotty at best lately).

My eating habits are slowly getting better—though I spent way to much money again on campus this month, and I bought way to much sweets. The weight is slowly going down (I did weigh myself and I am down compared to the beginning of the year; but I’m still at one of my heaviest at the same time). I do know that I need to start eating more veggies during the day (when I managed to drink my shakeology daily I was getting a good amounts of veggies in that), and it probably wouldn’t hurt to eat a little more fruit either during the day.

The one book that I finished reading this month could be slightly on positive thinking—it was actually on how nice it can be to slowly declutter your life and realize how few things one actually needs to survive. This is something that I’ve slowly been starting to do, and it does take time and constant evaluation of things to ask yourself if you really need to spend money on “X”, “Y”, or “Z” and if you need the thirty or forty different t-shirts you have hanging in your closet.

In terms of meditating nightly—this is something that I am still working on daily. Some days are better than others in terms of being able to quiet my mind. I know that isn’t the total point of meditating, and that I should just be able to acknowledge my thoughts and let them pass—but sometimes I’ve found that I sleep just a little better if I can try to quiet my mind before bed. So there are times when I’m then meditating again after reading before falling asleep.

All in all, I think that I may actually have a plan (more or less) in place for trying to get things accomplished over the next coming year. I’ve realized that every April/May/June I fall into a mild bout of anxiety/depression and while I can usually pull myself out of it—it also has a habit of potentially causing other problems (namely not working out and eating too much junk food). I’ve also realized that I need to do the search for companies to work for on a smaller scale (so that I can keep my anxiety under control), and have decided that I’m going to aim for three to six at a time—have several documents/pages of notes on them so that if I get to the point of interviews I know what I’m talking about.

No Comments Fitness ChallengesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

April in Review: we’re a third of the way through the year.

So we’re officially through with a third of the year. Spring is here in full force, and summer is around the corner. I’ve realized several things over the past couple of weeks in terms of how I go about doing my personal and professional development: 1) I still have no idea of what I want to do job wise (though I have a couple of ideas). I also realize that this statement can be taken literally, and it isn’t meant to be—all I mean is that I haven’t decided which direction I want to go as a “specialist” and which direction I want to go as a “generalist”. 2) I still have yet to find a good balance between things—I seem to be either all in or barely in at all; and 3) I really need to work on getting the anxiety and stress under control.

But as we now move into the second “third” of the year (or the second month of the second quarter), it is also time to reflect back on the goals that I set for April. As I’ve mentioned previously—the goals are going to be staying the same (more or less)—that way I can continue trying to reach them monthly, and once they become an habit—then I can switch them up.

So the goals for April included:

At least 434,000 steps (breaks down to 14K/day).

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Being more active on linkedin

Working out daily (hopefully starting transformation: 20 or another round of LIIFT4)—or at least on a consistent basis. I’m not going to push myself if I know I’m not feeling well—so there has to be balance.

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

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 one?

At least 434,000 steps (breaks down to 14K/day).

           I managed to reach the step goal, even with having about five or six days were I was under the target of 14K/day. I just realized that the April goal step should have been 420,000 steps (as there are only 30 days in April). With it being 434,000—it came to roughly 14,467 steps a day. The final step total for the month of April was 444,566 steps. This brings me to a yearly total of 1,773,704 steps. As long as I can reach at least 15K steps Monday-Friday I should be good at reaching the yearly goal of 5 million steps. I’ve realized that if I don’t do a walk all the around Boomer Lake on the weekend I usually don’t get in all my steps on the weekend (I just haven’t been in the mood to march in place in the evenings to a movie lately).

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

            Finished: The Year of Less: How I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy by Cait Flanders

I’ve started several other books and made headway with each of them, but since several also have “exercises” associated with them—I’m not done with them yet. Though I’m thinking that the answers to some of these “exercises” may become blog posts in the near future.

Continuing with the photography challenge

            I’ve managed to keep up with the photography challenge, though what I’ve been doing is the following—taking walks on the weekend and practicing my photography and getting enough pictures that I can post something new every day. Some days I do take new pictures with my phone, but for the most part it’s being based off of my weekend walks and older pictures that I haven’t shared on the blog or social media.

Being more active on linkedin

            I’m slowly starting to be more active on linkedin. This is something that I had been good at doing for awhile, and then I took a break and now I need to get back on board of being more active. I know what needs to be done (sharing articles, commenting, and connecting)—I just really need to schedule in the time to do so (block it out and make a commitment to doing “X” amount of work/time per day on the site).

Working out daily (hopefully starting transformation: 20 or another round of LIIFT4)—or at least on a consistent basis. I’m not going to push myself if I know I’m not feeling well—so there has to be balance.

            I managed about two weeks of working out on a somewhat consistent basis earlier in the month. I’ve also found that for some reason beachbody’s online workout platform is now “scheduling” workout times, even though they are dates I didn’t log in. One minor issue has been the Internet connections at home—it’s hard to stream a workout when you worry if the Internet is going to behave for the thirty or forty minutes you’re wanting to workout. I may have to go between trying to stream and then doing workouts via DVDs.

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

            I managed to go at least three days a week without buying things on campus for the most part. I’ve realized that when my stress and anxiety levels get high, while I will go take a walk—I’ll walk to the student union and then buy some chocolate. One thing I’ve managed this month is to almost determine what some of my triggers are for spending money: with the top three being: I’m tired, stressed, or my anxiety has ramped up to where I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack and I want chocolate.

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)

            So this is something I started working on—at least trying to narrow down the cities (I decided to start here and see what the average rent cost for a 1bed/bath apartment would be)—and I gave myself an anxiety attack. I then realized that part of the problem is that I still am undecided in what I want to do—but I’m now thinking of a way to merge both a “specialist” direction with a “generalist” direction. This way hopefully can try to get the best of both sides.

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 have read an article or two from the websites (and I’m also starting to include in biospace as well), but I haven’t been taking notes. One thing I’m going to start doing is trying to share the articles that I find interesting on different social media sites (including linkedin and twitter) and try to build my “professional” brand this way as well.

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

            This one has been a no go this month—mainly because I couldn’t decide on a topic for the month in terms of the type of scientific paper(s) I would be starting to read. This goes hand in hand with main issue of the job search—knowing that I should aim to be a “specialist” but wanting to stay a “generalist” so that I don’t lose my enjoyment of science.

So I’ve managed to make some headway in terms of some of the monthly goals. Reading is a little slow (only because some of the books again have “exercises” and I’m actually trying to work through them as I read the book; and I also go back and forth between several books and then my fiction books as well). I’ve realized where some of the mental blocks are in terms of the job search/transition are also coming from and I’m going to try to work on “dismantling” those blocks over the next few months as well.

Therefore the goals for May are going to include:

At least 434,000 steps (again breaking down to 14K/day)

Continue with the photography challenge

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

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

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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.

The goals are more or less the same for May as they were for April–but that is because I’m still working on being a little better than I was yesterday. For the most part the step goal should be in the bag (though I know from experience that if I let myself slide too much I won’t reach the year end goal). The reading goal is always slowly moving forward (one problem with bouncing book to book). The others are ones that I need to figure out the best method of “attack” so that I don’t work myself into an anxiety or stress induced anxiety attack.

No Comments Month in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional development

April Full Moon Goals.

So the full moon was this past Friday (April 19th), and technically it was back within the Libra constellation (making it the second Libra full moon)—but since I’m a couple of days late in getting my post in, I’m going to address it like it is the Scorpio full moon (as Scorpio would be the next constellation that the moon would move through). It might not be a totally full moon, but full enough for my purposes of trying to figure out my life.

So if I were to look at the book “Moonlogy: Working with the magic of the lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, for questions that one should be asking themselves during this time the questions would include:

Have I been jealous, vengeful, suspicious, or otherwise behaved toxically?

Have I been living out of fear rather than joy?

Have I been brooding and dark: focusing on the negative rather than the positive?

Have I been cruel or cunning?

Am I having the sex I need to feel good about myself? (Of course, some people need no sex at all!)

If I were to number the questions one to five, my answers would be:

  1. No, I don’t think that I’ve been behaving toxically. I know that at times I have what are probably toxic thoughts—but in the current day with the current global political arena that isn’t all that surprising. I do try to limit those thoughts and reframe them at times when I realize that I’m having non-pleasant thoughts.
  2. This is a hard one to say—I probably have been living out of fear rather than joy, in that I haven’t quit my current job (which has absolutely no room for growth, and is a dead end position) and I’m probably overthinking things in terms of trying to find my next position.
  3. This one goes slightly hand in hand with the previous question—I probably have been focusing a little more on the negative rather than the positive (especially in terms of trying to job search, network, and figure out my life).
  4. No I haven’t been cruel or cunning—that takes too much work and effort. Currently I’m more apathetic and at times I really don’t care too much about what is going on—I just try to get through the day without losing my temper or my cool.
  5. As the second statement says—Some people need no sex at all to feel good about themselves. I’m in that boat currently—I have no time for a relationship (especially since I’m planning on leaving the state & I really don’t have the time to try to do a long distance relationship), and I’m not really the type for just having random hookups.

The tight transition between the constellations of Libra and Scorpio also has this particular moon moving into my first house—or my image zone. This is the time when one should also reflect on one’s personal and professional lives as well. So again this moon transition is happening at a good time for me—as this is something that I really do need to focus on—myself. I realize that at times I jump to help a little too often, and I don’t necessarily put myself first at time when I should be putting myself first. So goals for this full moon period are going to include:

            Getting my fitness and nutrition routine back on track (I’m in the habit of doing workouts for a week and then going back to only walking for a week or so—this is a routine that I need to break), but also remember that I only need to try to be better than yesterday—progress over perfection.

            Continue working on my transition plan (try to finish reading “Next Gen PhD” by Melanie Sinche) and really figure out both the types of positions and then possibly the companies that I would like to work for (which will be about five steps ahead of where I was last year).

            Find and practice happiness daily (look for the uniqueness in each day and try not to complain about the things that are out of my control—control how I react to something instead of just reacting to something).

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

A Review: Libra Full Moon Goals

So the next full moon happened yesterday (April 19), and technically is the second Libra Full moon, transitioning quickly into Scorpio. So both my review and my new full moon goals are going to be a couple of days late in posting. In terms of the next full moon goal post—I’m probably going to go with Scorpio goals, as the moon will have transitioned into the Scorpio constellation by the time I get to posting that entry. But for now lets look back at the goals I’d set for the Libra Full moon and see how I did with each one of them.

The goals for the Libra Full Moon included:

            Rereading and modifying my transition plan as needed.

            Continue making the lists/goals for the set of job titles that I’ve initially chosen so that I can narrow it down to say three to four (out of the seven).

            Rework my fitness/nutrition plan/goals and make another long-term list (including rewards for hitting certain benchmarks).

So how did I do with each one?

I’m still going through and modifying my transition plan—I’ve realized that one area that I haven’t been clear on is the exact type of position (or companies) I want and that I’d want to work for. It’s difficult to move forward in the transition if I’m not sure where I want to end up. So I’m also reading some other books to help in the self-assessment and self-reflection to help narrow down some ideas of what I would like to do.

I am making lists and goals of what I should be doing (and trying to make a weekly post on how I’ve done with everything that I said I wanted to get accomplished that week). I am probably going to be reworking the lists and goals as I work through other questionnaires and really try to get a good idea of what I want to be doing with my life.

In terms of the nutrition/fitness goals—I’ve reworked this as well, and I am going to be trying to make a weekly (or biweekly) update on the blog on how I’ve done the previous week in terms of the mini goals that I’ve set.

So far in terms of the last two goals—I only managed to do one update last week for the fitness/nutrition and then my finance goals. I will probably try to do what is turning out to be a biweekly update on the job transition/career goals and then my other personal development goals. There won’t be an update this week for the fitness goals as all I managed to get done is really walking this week (though I have managed to surpass my step goal for the week).

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmenttransition plan

Starting to re-plan different areas of my life

So one of the goals that I set during the Aries new moon last week was to start working on a new 12 month plan for different areas of my life. I’ve picked two main areas, with two sub-areas in each of those areas. The two main areas are personal and professional development.

Within personal development I’m going to try to focus on health (both physical and mental) and nutrition; though I can also include spirituality, social and emotional health as well. In terms of professional development I’m going to focus on transitioning from academia to industry, and then my finances as well (though this could be within both spheres).

So currently I have the larger picture for most of these written down–the smaller steps may change from month to month depending on how the previous month went, and how things are going day to day.

The 12 month plan for my finances include: Getting my savings account up another ~10-15K (knowing that if I do get a job & moving will take a good chunk out of the savings account). Look to invest a modest amount into a short-term CD (or other low risk investment account). Save at least $500 a paycheck (which is currently ~42% of a biweekly paycheck).

The 12 month plan for fitness & nutrition include: not setting a number goal (i.e. not putting down a certain weight), but using increasing non-scale victories as goals and measurements. I would also like to be hiking and/or camping somewhere next year that would require me to be in better physical condition than my current physical condition. Also I will be watching my sweet tooth and portions (I refuse to get on the organic/gluten free bus).

The 12 month plan for the rest of my personal development includes becoming a better version of myself. This will encompass silencing the negative storytelling that I constantly do, learning to control and manage my anxiety, and just own the fact that I am a pagan and don’t follow the major belief systems of the western world.

In terms of my 12 month plan for transitioning into an non-academic job I’ve realized that one thing that has held me up is trying to determine the company I would like to work for. There are so many different companies out there, that at times looking at them I feel like I’m in a candy store. So that is the number one thing I need to do–decide what type of company, and where I want to work. I know that people say you need to have multiple applications going, and I understand that–but I also realize that I need to be very strategic in how I’m going to be doing it (so there will probably be several more long posts on this subject).

Plus also in terms of my transition plan–I need to be able to answer the question–where do I see myself in five or ten years. I know that I’m capable of learning new techniques and skills fairly quickly, but I first need to get over the fear of being lectured on potentially doing something wrong (this goes back to other issues–and will probably be touched upon in another post).

But for now–I’ve decided that there are areas that need work and improvement. By sharing here on the blog I’m also giving myself some accountability–there will probably be either weekly updates or biweekly updates on the different areas that I’m working on. Change is good, change is constant, and it is time to get off the merry-go-round and start figuring out the next chapter of my life.

No Comments fitnessHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Aries New Moon Goals: “Starting a new zodiac year”

So the moon is moving through Aries today (as a new moon), and this also marks the start of a new astrological calendar (as Aries is the first sign in astrology). We have started the second quarter of the year, and now is a time to reflect on the past quarter and decide to change things up if things haven’t been working.

So what are some of the things that one can do during the Aries new moon period?

            Take action on your dreams.

            Make a 12-month plan.

            Be courageous.

            Have some fun.

            Focus on yourself.

Then if I look to see what house/zone Aries is moving through as well—it is going through my sixth house: or the daily work and health zone. So this is also the time to focus on my daily work and health routines. This is the time to look at my current routines and make any changes necessary to ensure that I’m going in a more healthy direction (in both terms of work and personal health/fitness).

So what are some of the things that one can do during this time to help improve their sixth house?

            Recommit to some type of exercise program (either going to the gym or doing something on your own).

            Think about your eating habits.

            Help someone out this month.

            Talk to your boss about any work concerns you might have.

            Read a book on positive thinking.

            Eat healthy lunches or dinners for one month—no exceptions.

            Learn to meditate.

I do think that it’s a little uncanny how accurate it is that as the moon is transitioning, currently it hit on my sixth house. This is one area (namely more the daily health than daily work—though that is also an area that needs focus) that I really do need to try to focus more on, as I have let my fitness routines fall by the wayside the past six weeks or so.

So my small list of things to focus on during this new moon period will be the following:

            Making a 12-month plan. This is going to encompass both personal and professional area of my life.

            Recommit to a workout program

            Work on my eating habits (I do know that quite a bit of my bad habits stem from both stress and poor sleeping). Notice I didn’t say diet—but habits. I’m trying to work on basically having things in moderation and working on serving sizes.

            Read a book on positive thinking (I’m pretty sure that I have one or two on my large to-be-read e-pile; but I’ll look at amazon and see what I either have or I will purchase a book or two).

            Then finally, continue to try to mediate nightly. I’ve realized lately that my mind still races a little too much when I do try to mediate and I call it quits after about two minutes. Also I’ve realized that my racing thoughts have also made it a little difficult to do a accurate and decent tarot/oracle card reading—I may need to meditate for a few minutes before attempting to do a reading.

No Comments AstrologyNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

March: A month in Review

Well the first quarter of the year has come and gone. Some things have gotten accomplished, but I’ve fallen short on quite a few other things. One thing I despise about March is the start of day light savings time—where we set the clocks a head an hour. We don’t gain or lose anything other than a little bit of our charming personalities. For the most part I can adapt pretty quickly, except I usually end of snacking a little more, and it takes me a little longer to get back into a workout routine. Plus it’s still flu season (luckily I got my flu shot last fall, so I only had a very mild case this past week). As we head into the second quarter of the year, it’s time to look back on the goals for March and see how I managed with each one.

The goals for the month included:

At least 434,000 steps (again this breaks down to a minimum of 14K/day), though I would like to maybe aim for 475,000 steps (which would break down to a little over 15K a day).

Continue with the photography challenge

Workout daily (continue to alternate between weight training & cardio)

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

Try to get at least one more science post up on the blog (maybe two if possible)

Aim for a week of no spending (keep a money log)

Continue interacting on linkedin

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).

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 434,000 steps (again this breaks down to a minimum of 14K/day), though I would like to maybe aim for 475,000 steps (which would break down to a little over 15K a day). Well I’ve at least made it to the 434,000 steps for the month. There have been several days that I’ve decided should be rest days—so I usually end up with less than 5K steps. I did manage to get to a total of 464,960 (I was just a little over 10K shy of the 475,000 goal). This brings me to a total of 1,329,138 and I’m still on track for both the goal of five million by the end of the year, and my ~14-20 million by the end of 1001 days challenge.

Continue with the photography challenge. So far so good, I’ve managed to keep up with the challenge. I’m alternating between newer pictures and older ones that I haven’t shared. Right now the photography challenge is mainly on the blog, and then shared on either twitter or pintrest (depending on the post).

Daily workout (continue to alternate between weight training & cardio).  This really didn’t happen this month. In between trying to readapt to day light savings time and just life in general—I managed to make sure that I was walking daily, but that was about it. April will be when I get back on track. I’m actually thinking of maybe trying to start transformation 20 come April 1st (it’s the new ShawnT workout from Beachbody that should be available to everyone).

Read (or finish) at least three non-fiction books. I managed to only finish one book this month and that was: “Choose the life you want: The mindful way to happiness” by Taj Ben-Shahar. With day light saving time starting, and coming down with a mild case of the flu—I fell back into a routine of re-reading some of my go to series (also there were a couple of new books out in two series, so I needed to remember what had happen so I could read those books). I have one or two other books that I’m about 70% of the way through, but didn’t manage to get them finished this month.

Try to get at least one more science post up on the blog (maybe two if possible). I have several ideas for different science posts for the science page of the blog (and even a couple of blog posts), but that is as far as I’ve gotten for those. One issue is again my poor illustration skills and the fact that I want them to look good.  So the posts may just be “wordy” to begin with, and then once I’m comfortable with not perfect illustrations I’ll start to add in some illustrations.

Aim for a week of no spending (keep a money log). I did manage to have a week of no spending—it was the very first week of the month. I’m hoping to do better in April and actually maybe have a month of no spending. The money log only lasted about the first two weeks of the month, and then I kept saying I’d add in things after work—but I never did. Again this is a work in progress.

Continue interacting on linkedin—this is something that didn’t really happen this month. I think it was a combination of not getting decent sleep, allergies, and just feeling blah in general that I more or less stayed off linkedin last month. This is something that I need to be doing (interacting—not staying off of) more of, and hopefully will be doing better with come the second quarter of the year.

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).  I’ve made some progress on this—I have several pages of notes on the types of positions that could be of interest, and things I should be doing to help narrow down the positions from seven to maybe four (or at least ranked a little better than what I currently have). In terms of the different e-courses that I’ve bought (or saved) I’ve managed to only get through one or two (and they don’t necessarily have anything to do with transitioning to an industry position).

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). Truthfully I can’t remember if I read anything on either website this month. I may have during the first week of the month, but if I did—I forgot to take notes.

So I’ve been up and down on the goals for March—but truthfully with the time change and then battling the crud—I’m not surprised. I’ve also realized that there are several things on my 101-goal list that I haven’t been consistent with either the first quarter of the year. But that is the nice thing about life—you can realize something isn’t working perfectly and then start slowly readjusting things so that you’re hopefully hitting the goal at least 80% of the time for the month.

So as we head into the second quarter of the year, my goals for April will include:

At least 434,000 steps (breaks down to 14K/day).

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Being more active on linkedin

Working out daily (hopefully starting transformation: 20 or another round of LIIFT4)—or at least on a consistent basis. I’m not going to push myself if I know I’m not feeling well—so there has to be balance.

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

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.

The goals are pretty much the same–which is good. If I can stick with them for a couple more months, they should almost be a habit and then I can start in with some new goals.

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Libra Full Moon Goals and wishing everyone a Happy Spring Equinox

So the next full moon is happening today (March 20), which is also the spring equinox.  It is the time to transition between seasons (winter to spring), though I’m sure that there will still be one or two snowstorms across the country during the next few weeks. So the moon is transitioning through Libra over the next few days, and as such there are several questions that one can ask themselves during this time (questions are taken from “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland). So depending on your sign that you associate most with (rising, star, or moon), this period may be easy on you or it could be difficult on you. For me personally, my rising sign is Scorpio, my star sign is Virgo, and my moon sign is Pisces—none of which usually have an easy time under the Libra full moons. So I won’t be too surprised if I have a hard couple of days this week.

The questions from the book are:

            Have I been too concerned with appearances in general?

            Have I been thinking too much about others and neglecting my own needs?

            Have I been too easily influenced, gullible, or unable to decide for myself?

            Have I been living my life through someone else?

            Have I spent enough time beautifying my life?

So if I were to number the questions 1-5, my answers would be as followed:

  1. I can confidently say that I have not been concerned with appearances in general lately (or really ever). I have always been one to dress for comfort and while I will try to look presentable when needed—I don’t go with the latest trends. I’m much more comfortable in jeans and sneakers than I am dressing up in dress clothes, and even then I will usually try to match the clothes with low heeled shoes as I don’t care for wearing high heels. I also don’t care for wearing makeup either (and probably other than needing to ensure that when I go on job interviews [and possibly even informational interviews] to remember to have my nails done, and may wear a light foundation).
  2. In terms of this one, I have been know at times to always try to be a team player and probably to the sacrifice of my own needs. This is something I’m trying to work on—striking a balance between helping others and putting myself first at times.
  3. I don’t think that I’m easily influenced or gullible. Unable to make decisions about certain things—yes, I have been know (and still do) overthink things to a point where I don’t make the decision (or just let someone else make the decision and follow along). I am trying to get better at this—especially with my job search and transition.
  4. Do book characters count? I know that there is more to life than just working—but I was brought up to have a strong work ethic and I know that at times becomes a problem for me trying to convince myself to take some time off. I realize that I need to figure out what I want out of life and start living the life I want—not the life that others think I should be living.
  5. I probably could do with more plants in my life. I am currently trying to slowly declutter what I own as I realize that most of the stuff probably won’t make me happy in thirty or forty years. I also know that when I move, I’ll be back in a decent size apartment—and I had way to much stuff living in Boston, and therefore I need to cut back on stuff (mainly movies and clothes).

The Libra constellation also coincides with my 12th house (according to my rising sign Scorpio), and is also known as the secrets zone. This is marks another time of reflection, where one can sit and think back on things during the past few months—what worked, what didn’t, and what corrections/fixes/changes can one do to help them move towards their goals.

            For me this means looking back on my transition plan, making notes of where I feel like I made progress, and where I could do more. I also know that I could go back through it and reread some of the questions and possibly expand or add additional insights to my answers. I know that I should update my digital vision board (I’m keeping it digital as it makes it easier to store and I can look at it on my computer daily). I should also look at how my fitness/nutrition journey is going and make notes on how I can improve on that portion of my life as well.

So my goal list of the Libra full moon period includes:

            Rereading and modifying my transition plan as needed.

            Continue making the lists/goals for the set of job titles that I’ve initially chosen so that I can narrow it down to say three to four (out of the seven).

            Rework my fitness/nutrition plan/goals and make another long-term list (including rewards for hitting certain benchmarks).

This is a short list—but that increases the chances of being able to accomplish all three goals over the next few weeks (in addition to goals set for the month of March, and then the new goals that will getting set for the month of April next weekend).

As the days start to get longer, that will hopefully mean more time outside doing things and at the same time hopefully more energy to get other things done as well.

Happy Spring Equinox to everyone, and enjoy the longer days outside and the nicer temperatures that will hopefully be accompanying the daylight.

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