Tag: planningfor2019

Update on the April Full Moon Goals

So the moon is going to be entering it’s latest full moon stage tomorrow, and actually should be within the Scorpio constellation. I will admit that this year has totally confused me on which constellation the moon is in and when, since there have been a couple of times that it seems to have transitioned quickly back into the same constellation it was in the previous month. So it looks like I’m going to have another chance on working on my goals for a Scorpio full moon, as that is the constellation that it will be going through tomorrow. That means that it’s time to look back on the first round of Scorpio goals and see how I did with each one.

So goals for this full moon period are going to include:

            Getting my fitness and nutrition back on track.

            Working on my transition plan.

            Practicing gratitude/happiness/keeping a positive outlook daily.

So how did I do with each one?

            In terms of fitness and nutrition—this didn’t really happen, though I am trying not to buy as many sweets on campus. Now that our wifi/internet is hopefully back to it’s normal speed and not disappearing at the drop of a dime I will hopefully try to get back into doing a workout daily.

                        I’ve realized that at times I get bored with the workout because I’ve done it before and then I lose interest in the entire program. I’m thinking that I’m going to have to push myself to get through a program and try to lift a little heavier each week (if possible) in certain exercises and see if that can help propel me through various programs.

                        In terms of nutrition, I need to figure out a better way of dealing with stress and irritation—currently it’s going to buy some type of sweet/candy that I know I don’t need but I usually eat it anyway (or I save it for the weekend at home). If I can avoid getting the sweets (and the extra coffee) in the morning/during the day—besides losing some weight I will also be saving some money.

            In terms of working on my transition plan, so far the only book that I’ve finished reading so far has been: “Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break” by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith. This book has shown me that its fine wanting to take a break from things, and that it’s even expected that people do that (I had no idea that companies like Google and Genetech actually support employees doing this).

                        So this is something that I’m seriously thinking of doing. I know that I have enough money saved (one nice thing about my current living arrangements), and that this is the perfect time for me to do so. Therefore sometime by the end of the year I’m going to embark on my own “reboot break”.

                        I’ve also joined another subgroup within a professional group I’m in—this one focusing on different aspects of scientific writing (but focused on non-academia areas). There are two other books that I’m currently reading (and hopefully will be finishing within the next full moon), and they are: “The Renaissance Soul: How to make your passions your life” by Margaret Loensteine and “Next Gen PhD” by Melanie Sinche.

Listening to a teambeachbody podcast this week (and currently I forget which April one it was), but one thing that stuck with me was—working the personal development that I need to be working on for myself and not what others think (or I think I should do to be like others). Listening to some of the podcasts have been reminding me that I really haven’t been working on me for me; and that is another reason why I’m leaning towards doing a “reboot break”.

Finally in terms of trying to practice happiness/gratitude daily—this is a hit and miss. I realize that the part of my day that I’m currently at times the unhappiest is when I’m at work. One reason is that we’re getting into the nicer weather and I don’t like being stuck indoors all day. I think that I’d almost prefer a job that had flexible hours/schedule to where I could work from both an office and then from home (or a park or somewhere I could take a break and get outdoors). I’m trying to find things to be happy/grateful for daily, and it boosts my mood for a while—but if others are in a bad mood that seems to spread around everyone and it’s hard to stay upbeat. So that is yet another nudge I need for taking a “reboot break” so that I can figure out what the next stage of my career is going to be.

Things were hit and miss this last month, and I’m not sure if it was just because the semester was winding down or if I was going through another small bout of depression (or both). Since we’re going to be cycling back through Scorpio, I will have the chance to modify the goals and figure out the best plan for moving forward again—since the moon in Scorpio will also mark the start of the full moon going through all my houses (from the first).

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon GoalsPersonal Development Challengestransition 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

March’s new moon: Pisces

So the moon will be heading into the Pisces constellation today, and before we know it we’ll be hitting the spring equinox, and then somehow March will be over. But it isn’t over yet (and I know I’m being slightly melodramatic—but it’s a day off of work due to winter weather J).

Also during this time there are planets realigning with each other, so there are some questions we can ask ourselves (questions are coming from Yasmin Boland’s email list):

Where do I need a major change in my life—am I willing to release the old to usher in a new way of life?

            I need a major change in terms of my career. My current job is a dead end position—there is no room for advancement and really no room to grow (yes I can learn to run some more instruments—but that is about it) and the pay isn’t that great either. Therefore I also need a major change in terms of where I’m living, as there isn’t that much biotech in Oklahoma.

Am I feeling inspired? And if not, what am I going to do about it?

            I am trying to tap into daily inspiration (mainly through journaling and just jotting down different things that come to mind). I am inspired to make major changes in my life, but at the same time I know that I have to go slow or I could end up having a complete and total meltdown (due to anxiety and stress).

Am I willing to work hard to make my dreams come true?

            I am willing to work hard to make the transition to industry. I know what I should be focusing on in terms of what I need to be doing—I just need to write out on paper, and make lists so that I have something to check off, that I’ve done.

So if we look at “Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are again several things that one can do during this time:

            Dream.

            Face your Fears.

            Get cosmic (read tarot, oracle, or archangel cards)

            Heal

            Surrender to the universe.

Well before I can start making lists of things, I also need to check to see what zone/house this Pisces new moon is moving into as well. This new moon is moving through my fifth house (also know as my fun zone). The basic message is to remember that life is a game (and one that we shouldn’t take seriously all the time [some of the time yes, we should take it seriously—but not all of it).

So if one looks back to the Moonology book, there are several suggestions for things that one can do during this time:

            Take up belly dancing.

            Make a toy for a child (your own or someone else’s)

            Take a lover.

            Take your lover on an adventure.

            Write a short story; paint a picture—anything that feels creative.

            Do something that typifies your idea of fun

So there are some things on the above list that right now just aren’t in the cards (namely having a romantic relationship—I’m still trying to figure out my life, and I don’t need to add any more complications to it currently). The messages from Pisces and the fifth house are also resonating with one of the books that I’m currently reading: “Choose the life you want: the mindful way to happiness” by Tal Ben-Shahar (and I’ll post a book review once I’m done).

But I am trying to remember that the life isn’t suppose to be all work and no play/enjoyment—but at times the semi-workaholic in me comes out and I forget about play/enjoyment for awhile before I put the breaks on and try to go back the other way.

So if I had to make a small list of things to try to focus on during the Pisces new moon they would be:

            Continue working on the transition plan—namely making sure that my linkedin page is good, and continue networking and adding value (plus start really trying to narrow down the companies and locations).

            Continue with my daily oracle card readings

            Work on my afghan or start making some jewelry

            Continue reading personal and professional development books.

No Comments AstrologyNew Moon Goals

Book Review: The 30-Day Productivity Plan Vol. II: 30 More bad habits that are sabotaging your time management & how to overcome them one day at a time! by Damon Zahariades

So to continue the theme from yesterday, today’s book review centers on the second volume of the 30-Day Productivity Plan: 30 more bad habits that are sabotaging your time management and how to overcome them one day at a time by Damon Zahariades.

The second volume continues in the same light as the first volume, it talks about another thirty bad habits that people may (or may not have), and then gives several tips on how to slowly start over coming the bad habits. The additional 30 bad habits that are included in this book are:

  1. Letting Clutter Accumulate in Your Life
  2. Being receptive to others’ negativity
  3. Allowing negative self talk to kill your momentum
  4. Overlooking weekly reviews
  5. Neglecting to unplug for extended periods of time
  6. Waking up late
  7. Responding immediately to email, texts, and voice mails
  8. Allowing yourself to be easily distracted
  9. Being emotionally dependent on others
  10.  Letting money stress consume you
  11.  Spending time with toxic people
  12.  Being satisfied with mediocre performances
  13.  Fearing failure
  14.  Fearing success
  15.  Neglecting to prioritize tasks, projects, and relationships
  16.  Taking too long to make a decision
  17.  Quitting bad habits cold turkey
  18.  Trying to make too many changes at once
  19.  Letting a lack of motivation prevent you from taking action
  20.  Refusing to commit to your goals
  21.  Seeking instant gratification
  22.  Constantly switching between tasks
  23.  Drowning yourself in information
  24.  Working without clearly defined goals
  25.  Waiting for the perfect time to act
  26.  Using unnecessary productivity apps
  27.  Trying to keep everything in your head
  28.  Letting nonessential tasks creep onto your daily to-do lists
  29.  Assigning too much gravity to email
  30.  Allowing yourself to get derailed from your goals

So if I had to list the number of bad habits from this book that I have, I would have to say that I’m guilty of the following: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9 (to a slight extent), 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, and 30. So it would seem that I have more of these bad habits (25 out of 30) compared to the first book, which was 21 out 30. So in total of basically 60 different habits that can limit one’s productivity I would say that I’m more or less guilty of 46 out of 60. Not good, but at least there are a few that I’m not guilty of doing.

So in terms of the twenty-five bad habits from book two, what in theory is my issue with each of the habits?

I will admit that I have way too much stuff (bad habit number one), but I am trying to slowly get rid of some of it. I am trying to go through and par down on things that I don’t need. This will take time, since most of my stuff is still in storage, but I’m going to try to par down what I have at my parents so that I’m not adding a large number of additional boxes to what is already in my storage unit.

In terms of negative energy, negative self talk, and being around toxic people—these are all things that I am trying to work on. I’m trying to limit the interactions with people who either have negative energy or are toxic—but it’s difficult when it’s people you work with. The negative self talk will take longer to deal with, as those thoughts are the extremely quiet ones that you don’t really hear and have to work harder at identifying so that you can start to correct them.

I am trying to do weekly reviews, but at the same time I will admit that I not really prioritizing tasks, projects, or relationships that well right now. These are two things that go hand in hand, if I can get better at doing one, I will probably get better at doing the second.

I do respond immediately to emails (at least work wise), but that is part of my job so it required, but at the same time I only get a small number of emails that requires an almost immediate response. Other emails I may respond too within a few hours. I respond to text messages as soon as I can (but if I’m busy it may be twenty or thirty minutes before I respond). In terms of voice mails, that is really only again at work, and I get only a few that I need to do that with.

I will admit that I allow myself to get distracted from certain tasks (and that is because I really haven’t developed a liking for that task or I consider to be a repetitive one). Mainly this is with cleaning, and at times working out, or trying to sit down and write.

I don’t consider myself to be overly emotionally dependent on other people. Everyone wants people to like them, and we also want to make sure that at times we have family support for certain things (such as career changes, moves, and so forth). So I have more or less reached a point, where if people don’t like me fine—I’m not rude, but at the same time I’m no longer hiding who I am (liberal, wicca/pagan/atheist, firm believer in science, and so forth). People can either take me for who I am or not, but I’m no longer going to lose sleep over it. Family approval is something we all strive for, and I think since I had to move back in with my parents, I’m probably striving for it a little more than normal just so that hopefully when I make the next move I don’t have to worry about moving back in with them.

Currently money is only a stress issue in terms of the following: 1) making sure that I have enough to cover a move to wherever my new job is, 2) making sure that I have enough to cover getting a lease on an apartment; and 3) making sure that I have that 6-12 month emergency fund saved up. At the same time I want to make sure that I also have money that I can travel if I want (and travel, especially international travel isn’t cheap). 

In terms of being satisfied with mediocre performances, fearing failure, and fearing success—yes I have issues with all of them. I’ve already had one job end on a bad note, which has made me probably a little too cautious in job searching (but it’s that once burned, twice shy attitude). Therefore I’ve allowed myself to become somewhat complacent and being satisfied with the status quo of my current situation (even though I’m not happy in my current position). In terms of fearing success—I think that is one reason why my weight loss journey has been so up and down, and why it has been hard for me at times to commit to a program—I know that I can be successful in it, but at the same time I’m worried about what close friends and family will say and act.

In terms of neglecting to prioritize tasks, projects, and relationships; taking too long to make a decision, and trying to make too many changes at once—yep, again.  I know that I’ve been taking too long in terms of trying to figure out the next job direction, and that I’ve also been neglecting to prioritize the tasks within job searching to make it a little easier to handle on the day to day basis. In terms of prioritizing projects—I have so many personal projects that I would like to start doing, that I usually look at everything and go “there is always tomorrow”. I’m trying to spend more time with friends, and getting in touch with ones that I haven’ talked to in awhile. Then in terms of trying to make too many changes at once—I’m guilty of this as well (namely in terms of fitness and nutrition). I will ideas of things that I would like to get better at (or start learning more on in terms of the business side of industry) that I get overwhelmed and I then neglect everything.

So, one thing that probably is hard for anyone to admit to is refusing to commit to your goals. The human mind is a wondrous thing, and there are parts of it that fear change, and if they can convince us that the path is foolish—we change directions and leave the goal. Also there is the problem of setting too many goals at once, and the problem of making goals that really aren’t for us, but we make them based on societal ideals and standards. For example, I had it as a goal over the years to take up jogging and then run a 5K—the only problem is that 1) I’ve never really been a jogger or a runner; and 2) it isn’t something that I’m not sure I’d enjoy (mainly because I’ve never tried to)—but I made it a goal, as it’s stated that jogging or running is one of the better ways of losing weight. Also the fear of committing to one’s goals can also be linked to the fear of both failure and success. So at times it’s easier to stay with the status quo than it is to try to do something that you may or may not be good at or enjoy.

Switching between tasks is another problem with today’s society—we’re expected to juggle everything all the time and that is the only way to get ahead in the world. I do try to limit doing that at work when ever possible (as I’ve learned that it’s better to wait until something is in a “waiting stage” (i.e. the reaction is going for a specific time period) before trying to do something else. Though at home I will admit to switching between things on a fairly regular basis. This is especially true when it comes to try to write something for the blog, or working on a book review. My mind will think of something else, and then I’ll put what I’m currently doing on hold and try to start something new.

We are in a world of massive information. As technology advances, and more and more information is available at the click of a button it can become easy to get swept away with all the information. Currently I only find it a problem in terms of job searching and trying to narrow down exactly what it is I possibly want to do within industry. I will admit that I am a very curious person by nature (I think that is one of the many reasons why I went into a science field for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees), so I can usually navigate the massive amounts of information fairly easily. Though when trying to figure out what it is I want to do life—that is where I find myself cast adrift in the massive amounts of information.

So to go along with some of the above issues—there is also the problem of working without clearly defined goals. I know that I want to transition into industry—but until I have at least one or two basic titles (or companies) chosen it will be difficult to figure out the best course of action. So this is something that I’ve been slowly trying to work on getting better at.

I’ve also realized that at times I have been trying to “wait for the perfect time” before doing something. While it is basic common sense to realize that the perfect time will really never fully materialize—it doesn’t stop the human race from waiting for it. This along with other issues is something that I’m going to be addressing this year, especially in terms of my industry transition.

So as far as the last three items (trying to keep everything in your head; letting nonessential tasks creep onto your daily to-do list & allowing yourself to get derailed from your goals), I’d have to say I’m guilty from time to time of trying to keep things in my head (especially when I was tracking what I was eating) and not writing it down right away. I do try to write things down as soon as possible for certain areas, but I need to work on trying to do that for everything. In terms of letting nonessential tasks to creep onto my daily to-do list, this is again occasionally (and only because at times I’ve forgotten to write a to-do for the next day before I leave). The biggest thing that I think I need to work on this year, is not allowing myself to get derailed from my goals. In that aspect, I know that I need to have a short list of goals, and an equal list of anti-goals (see my previous book review on Anti-goals: Find Success by Knowing what to Avoid by Kevin Wagonfoot).

Over all these are both extremely good books to read, if for no other reason to see how simple things that we do on a daily basis can impact your productivity both in your personal and professional life. The more we aim at being conscious of how we spend our days, and focusing on things that truly matter to us, we can find more enjoyment and pleasure in life. Work is a necessity, but at the same time so is enjoying life—because if we don’t enjoy it, we just struggle to get by. It’s time that each of us figures out what is best for ourselves (and family if necessary), and realize that we can only live life for ourselves and not for others. I highly recommend both books, as they have made me realize that there are still numerous things that I can strive to be better at, and that by working on certain things, it will also help me achieve my goals and dreams.

No Comments Book ReviewsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Virgo Full Moon Goals: February’s Super Snow Moon

Tonight’s moon is suppose to be the brightest for the year….

Well today marks the second full moon of the year, and technically the brightest one as well. Which figures, since as I’m writing this, the sky is overcast and there is suppose to be a winter storm coming into the state sometime today (which means that sky will probably be overcast tonight as well and I won’t be able to see the full moon). Today marks the second time this month that schools have closed due to winter weather (we already had an ice day earlier this month), but we will have to see what comes through today in terms of this winter storm.

So the moon will be (or has already) entered the Virgo constellation today. So if I look to Yasmin Boland’s book: “Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles”, I will find a series of five questions that one can reflect on during this time.  The questions for the Virgo full moon are:

            Have I been too picky, pedantic, or critical of myself or anyone else?

            Have I been humble to the point of underrating myself?

            Have I been of service to others enough this month?

            Have I been worrying and complaining too much, and thus attracting negativity?

            Have I paid enough attention to the details that I need to this month?

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

  1. I don’t think that I’ve been picky, pedantic, or critical of others or myself this month. And I will admit to learning the definition of a new word (pedantic—someone is showing off book learning or trivia, especially in a negative way) this month; which is funny since I’ve read (and re-read) this book numerous times and this is the first time that word popped out at me. I’m trying to keep the mindset that I do my best each day, and at the end of the day I let everything go and start fresh the next day. While this mindset is still a work in progress for me (especially when I’m at work & realize that if things aren’t close to perfect, I will get some criticism from my boss; and it isn’t always constructive).
  2. I probably have been at times a little too humble to where I’ve underrated myself and allowed others to take credit for things that I’ve done. This is something that again I’m trying to work on more (speaking up for myself and taking credit when due).
  3. Yes, I think I’ve been of service to others this month (as that is a key part of my 9-5 job). Though, I might not have been of service enough to others through the blog, but that is again something that I’m trying to work on being better at.
  4. Of the two traits that can attract negativity, I will admit to worrying too much, and at times complaining about things. The complaining usually is directed towards the current political atmosphere of the planet, and other then exercising my right to vote (and hope that it leads to beneficial change), I know that there is little I can do (I could try to get involved in politics, but I currently lack the disposition for it—I’d be calling too many people idiots to their faces in terms of those that don’t believe in basic science concepts (such as the world is round, climate change is real, GMOs are beneficial to the world, and vaccines don’t cause autism or other topics). So I know that I need to try to worry less about things (my main worry right now is trying to figure out the proper positions to try to transition into, where I would be moving, getting there (which includes figuring out the best way of acclimating an almost 10 year old cat to yet another new place). Also I know that I need to complain less about the current state of politics, but at the same time this one will be a very hard one to break.
  5. In terms of wondering if I paid enough attention to the details I need to this month, I would say I’ve been fifty-fifty in this area. I try to be mindful when I’m at work on my tasks (as I’ve been told numerous times that I need to watch what my hands are doing), so that in theory I don’t make that many mistakes (but I am human after all, and mistakes will be made). In terms of working on my transition plan, I’ve made a little more headway, though I still have quite a ways to go before I’m able to try to set up informational interviews. Then in terms of personal development & having a work/home balance I’m still working on this as well.

Asides being in the Virgo constellation, this is also my 11th house (according to my rising sign—which is Scorpio), and is also known as the friend zone. This is also the time to focus on putting a little more work into your social life and spending time with friends and family. This is also a time when one can try to put a little more work and effort into their networking schemes as well.

That is one thing that I know I need to work on—which is adding value to my numerous connections on the different social platforms I’m on (but especially linkedin, as that is a main one for trying to transition into industry). I know that I need to add value to relationships before I can inquire about having an informational interview to learn more about how they moved into their current position and how they like it.

So if I were to make another small goal list for the Virgo full moon, those goals would include the following:

            Networking more on linkedin (add value to current connections, and then also strategically expand my network as well).

            Getting together with local friends more often (either for lunch, coffee, or maybe walking around Boomer Lake).

            Reaching out to friends that I haven’t talked to in awhile and catch up either through email or instant messaging.

            Then also continue working on my transition plan and also trying to develop a balance between “free time” and everything else that I need to be doing.

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon Goals

Leo Full Moon Goals: A Review of January’s full moon

So we’re well into the year—tomorrow marks the second full moon (and depending on whom you listen to, it will either be back through the Leo constellation or entering the Virgo constellation). I’m going to go with the assumption that the moon is transitioning through each constellation during both the new moon and the full moon periods. That means that tomorrow, the moon should be entering the Virgo constellation.

So that means, that it is time to look back at the goals that were set for the Leo full moon period last month, and determine how I did with each goal.

So my goals for the last full moon were:

  1. Continue to try to workout daily
  2. Continue working on my transition plan. I more or less have part of my why down (why I’m in science and research in general)—I just need to work on why I want to leave academia for industry, figure out the companies, interact more on linkedin and so forth.
  3. Start working on some craft again (whether it’s photography, knitting, starting to make jewelry, or just coloring in a coloring book).
  4. Mediate nightly, and remember that if I keep putting one foot in front of the other, change will come—but I have to work towards the change and not wait for it to come to me.

So how did I do with each one?

In terms of working out daily, I have more or less managed this with the one or two rest days on the weekends. I haven’t totally gotten to where I do a different workout each day (I have realized that if I haven’t hit my step goal for the day, I’m going to put on a workout program that will allow me to almost hit the goal by the end of the workout (or surpass it)), and then I know that by bedtime I should have my steps in. I am going to try to start varying the workouts again (especially to get in more strength training), as I continue to try to be a little better than yesterday in terms of fitness.

In terms of my transition plan, I’ve realized that I have been letting indecision and fear of failure keep me spinning in circles. I have an idea of at least one biotech hub (mainly Boston) that I wouldn’t mind moving back to. I’m also thinking of possibly St. Louis or Indianapolis for the Midwest area, and then also possibly Washington DC. I know there are hubs on the west coast—but they’re about double the price of being in Boston or Washington DC—so I think I may stick east of the Rocky Mountains.

In terms of crafting, this is something that I’ve fallen behind on. I’ve been trying to do my daily photography challenge, but with cold weather and it barely getting light by the time I leave to catch the bus this has been difficult (since I decided that I shouldn’t just be posting pictures of the animals or tarot cards all the time [though yes I know that is basically my instagram posts right now]). I may try to continue working on my afghan as I would like to have that finished before I possibly move in the summer/fall/winter.

I have been trying to mediate nightly, though at times it may just be laying on the acupuncture mat for 3-5 minutes trying to clear my mind and relieve the tension in my back and shoulders before going to bed. There may gave only been one night this past month that I didn’t mediate, and that was due to be extremely sore my workout and I wasn’t sure if I could a) get down to the floor, and if I could get down b) I wasn’t sure I could get off the floor.

So out of the four goals, the only one that I really didn’t make a lot of progress on was the crafting goal. This will probably always be on the list (either on a full/new moon list or working it’s way back into a weekly habit tracker list), that way I can have a daily reminder that there should be a balance between life and work, and relaxing is actually something that is good for me.

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What I’ve learned from reading “Anti-Goals: Find Success by Knowing What to Avoid” by Kevin Wagonfoot

So I just finished reading “Anti-Goals: Find Success by Knowing What to Avoid” by Kevin Wagonfoot as part of my big push again into reading more personal/professional development books in 2019. This book struck several chords with me, and therefore I want to share with you.

So anti-goals are basically things that you want to avoid (and we’re talking things other than death, taxes, and getting sick—because really those are three things that no one can avoid forever). But the book also informs “you cannot know what you want, until you know exactly what it is you don’t want”.

That quote right there basically sums up my life for the past eight years for different areas of my life—namely in terms of work and health. I’ve been slightly struggling with my job search/transition because I don’t know exactly what I want to do—though I have some ideas of the type of jobs I don’t want to do (now I just need to narrow it down in terms of company culture to determine the companies that I don’t want to work for).

Another two line from the book that resonated with me were “You’re not going to know what you want until you taste it. You might not even know your own preferences yet, even if you’re 30+ years old”. All I have to say is—Yes, yes, yes—I have no idea of what all my own preferences are yet. Right now I’m still learning the things I want to avoid (mainly in terms of personalities of people to try to avoid being around).

Also there was the addition of phrases to avoid, which mainly leads to self-doubt, negative self-talk, and procrastination. Those phrases include: “I’ll start on it tomorrow”—I will admit guilt to using this phrase. I am now going to try to be better at starting projects on time (even if they’re something I rather not be doing). “We’ve never done it like that before”—if I’ve used this phrase it usually is in a lab setting and would be followed by ‘how is different from our current method’ or something similar. “I don’t know what to do”—I’ve only said this to myself when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack thinking about all the different possible job directions I could go and the ways I could get there. I will try to get better at not thinking (or saying out loud) as I work on transitioning into industry. The phrase that is suggested that you also avoid using is “this is in my way”. Now that particular phrase can be mentally thought when looking at anything or anyone; while I probably do mentally use the phrase—it is so subconsciously that I truthfully can’t remember the last time I thought it in a negative way against someone. I probably mentally say it around things at home or when looking at a calendar and wanting the next break.

So getting back to the setting of the anti-goals, you can pick as many different parts of your life to look at and list out the things you dislike and would like to avoid in each area, and then list ways that you could possibly avoid doing those things (while realizing that some anti-goals may still crop up in life and you will then just have to face them head on).

I then realized that this could almost blend in with the Level 10 life—here you always want to raise the level of different areas of your life, and with the anti-goals you want to avoid hitting zero. I think that they could almost be a balance of each other (in certain areas).

So if I were to list out different areas of life and the things I would like to avoid they would probably look something like this:

Work

            Continuously long work days.

            Working on the weekends

            Not getting paid what I’m worth

Finances

            Large amount of credit card debt

            Not enough in the retirement account

            Struggling to survive month to month

Health and Fitness

            Being overweight and out of shape

            Not getting good night sleep

Physical Environment

            Having more stuff than I need

            Feeling “cluttered and disorganized”

Friends & Family

            Losing touch and not staying connected

So my anti-goals would then be for each area:

Work:

            Position that would only require occasional long day (or weekend) but with compensation (days off in return)

            Move into a job sector that will pay people with high level of scientific training what they are worth

Finances:

            Avoid using credit cards when ever possible & keep the debt low enough to be paid off monthly

            Figure out different ways of being able to get more money into a retirement account (safe alternatives to the stock market)

            Have a job with a company that pays what you are worth, and also one that takes into account the cost of living in that particular city/area

            Being financial responsible and realizing that less is actually more.

Heath and fitness:

            Starting to workout at least three days a week.

            Aiming for at least 14,000 steps/day

            Cooking more at home, and trying to cook healthier versions of different meals

            Aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night

            Meditating before bed

            Not checking the news/social media before bed

            Not counting calories/macros & giving up the word “diet”

Physical environment

            Selling back movies that I haven’t watched in years (this should be fun, since I technically haven’t watched any of the movies in my storage unit in the past 6 years)

            Donating clothes that I don’t wear that often

            Start to realize that less is actually more and get rid of stuff that I don’t need (or really want)

            Set up a cleaning schedule and actually try to stick with it for once

Friends & Family

            Keeping in touch via social media (if I don’t have their telephone number or email address)

            Trying to get together for coffee, or a walk, or something sort of social event

            Actually accepting invitations to social events and then actually showing up to them.

            Let friends/family know when I’m in the area on vacation/work so that maybe can get together for coffee or dinner

All in all, this was a good book with some very good points (and the sad thing is—is that all the points were basic, common sense points that as a society we’ve seem to have lost connections to). I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to figure out why they’re stuck where they are in life, but also remember that change doesn’t happen over night and that like anything in life slow, sustainable progress is better than quick, fast changes that you might not be able to maintain over the years.

While the anti-goal list seems lofty and extensive-I’m not going to be doing all of them every day of the week. I may try to focus on one area one week, and then maybe another area the next week, while still incorporating some of the previous week. Small steps will still get you to the finish line–and life shouldn’t be a race, we will all get to our own finish lines at the correct time.

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Goals for the Cancer Full Moon

Well there is basically just a week and a half left in the year—yesterday was the winter solstice, and today is the last full moon of the year. I realized that I totally forgot to do my full moon goals last month, so there aren’t any reflections this year.

So the full moon today is within the Cancer constellation. Looking within “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are several questions that one can ask themselves during this time:

Have I been insecure, clingy, and no fun this month?

Have I been coming at what I want sideways instead of tackling it head-on?

Have I been sulky, moody, brooding, or manipulative?

Have I been secretive and possibly even a tad paranoid?

Have I had enough family time, or time with people who feel like family?

Well, if I numbered the questions 1-5, I think that my answers would be as follow:

  • Depending on what aspect of life one is talking about, I would have to say that I have been a little down (no fun) in terms of the fact that I haven’t gotten into the holiday spirit this year. I basically couldn’t think of anything that I wanted for Christmas (I basically gave an idea of a sweater or just cash), and trying to think of things for others as well. In terms of being insecure—I will admit that I do feel a little insecure in terms of my job transition/search. I haven’t been clingy at all at this time.
  • Yes, I have been coming at what I want sideways instead of tackling it head-on (job search/transition into industry).
  • I have been moody for the last two months (but losing two dogs within four days is a acceptable answer).
  • I don’t think that I’ve been secretive or paranoid.
  • I do have enough family time, though I do need to try to get together with friends more often that what I’ve been doing.

In addition to the above questions, the full moon in Cancer is also entering my ninth house (based on my rising sign). The ninth house is your “Big Picture” zone. Basically this is the time deal with things in terms of personal growth, professional growth, travel, religion and philosophy, and so forth.

This is the time (especially since the moon is following the winter solstice) to reflect back on the year and to plan for the future (surprise, it’s also about a week and a half before the new year).

So I think that my goals for the this full moon period will include:

  1. Do both a nightly tarot card reading and meditate nightly (even if it’s only two or three minutes).
  2. Update various goal posts (101 goals in 1001 days; Level 10 life)
  3. Start planning out my transition plan for the spring
  4. Read at least one more personal/professional development book
  5. Get through at least one more mini personal/professional development courses
  6. Renew at least two professional memberships

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