Tag: professionaldevelopment

Check-in on 101 goals

So we’re officially a little over halfway through 2019, which means that there are 815 days left in this challenge (as today is July 5th 2019). So I decided that I should probably do a check-in on the goals and see where I’m at with them. Updates are in bold.

The dates for my 101 goal challenges are:

So my original start and finish dates were:

Start Date: January 1 2018

Finish Date: September 28 2020

My new start and finish dates:

Start Date: January 1, 2019

Finish Date: September 28, 2021

Here are my 101 goals for the next 1001 days (random and non-grouped):

  1. Transition into a biotech or biopharma company as a research scientist
  2. Become fluent in Spanish
  3. Become fluent in German
  4. Learn to program (R and maybe python)
  5. Visit at least three new countries (0/3)
  6. Finish the various other e-course bundles that I bought (list out later)
  7. Move to a new(ish) city for #1
  8. Make it through at least 250 days of beachbody workouts (share on twitter?) (0/250) *Luckily it doesn’t have to be consecutive days (though I would like that)—I haven’t done a Beachbody workout in awhile (I also can’t remember how many I’d done before I hit my slump).
  9. Paint & frame at least one original painting (0/1)
  10. Finish the Dream Job Hack program
  11. Finish the Youtube for bosses course
  12. Finish the Youtube course creation for bosses course
  13. Launch a youtube channel
  14. Launch a online course
  15. Get blog traffic to 500+ views/day
  16. Publish 5-10 scientific blog posts (0/10)
  17. Practice more photography (1-2 posts a week) I’ve managed to stick with the photography challenge so far, so at least on the blog there have been new pictures post on a semi-constant basis (at least for the past three-four months).
  18. Get instagram followers to 800+
  19. Showcase crafts on blog (afghans, artwork, jewelry)
  20. Learn to make my own jewelry
  21. Re-pierce my ears
  22. Finish at least 200 personal/professional development books (and post reviews) (35/200) *So out of the 274 books I have on my book reading list for both personal and professional development (and this number is growing)—I’ve read 20 in 2018, and 15 so far in 2019—that means I only have another 238 books to read to finish the list (and that is only if I don’t add anymore books to the list).
  23. Interact more on Linkedin (actually network with connections) (at least 4 a week) (0/140)
  24. Reach at least 14,014,000 steps (0/14,014,000); though if I add in the steps from 2018—this could actually be closer to 20,000,000 steps (goal—19,124,000 by Sept 28 2021 (as of yesterday (07/04/19) 8,047,645/19,124,000).
  25. Visit at least one new national (or state) park (0/1)
  26. Visit at least one new national (or state) monument (0/1)
  27. 5 pushups on toes (0/5)
  28. 10 pushups on toes (0/10)
  29. Fly/land at least 3 new airports
  30. Visit one new city & state (US) (0/1; 0/1)
  31. Go to one or more scientific conferences (0/1)
  32. Go to a blogging conference (0/1)
  33. See the Northern Lights
  34. Present at a scientific conference (0/1)
  35. Post free monthly challenges in facebook groups
  36. Write (or start) a book
  37. Complete a 365 day photography challenge (137/365) I started the challenge a little late this year, or more accurately it took me awhile to build momentum to continue posting a daily picture.
  38. Learn to cross-stitch
  39. Reach 400+ followers on pintrest
  40. Reach 1000+ followers on twitter
  41. Publish at least two blog series (0/2)
  42. Mediate at least 5 minutes a day  (0/1001) This one has been an off and on success—there have been at least one or two weeks when I didn’t feel like meditating nightly, and therefore I didn’t—but I’m slowly getting back into the routine.
  43. No extra snacks at work (i.e. no hitting the coffee shop for cookies in the morning) This one is a work in progress, there are some days when I’m really good at not getting extra snacks at work, and there are other days when I cave and get chocolate.
  44. Declutter the movies in the house
  45. Create an editorial calendar for blog (0/33) Well I’m slowly starting to try creating editorial calendars, but have only been really good at posting certain topics (new/full moon goals & updates, monthly updates & photography challenge). This is something I still need to work on.
  46. Credit card debt down to less than $500 a month (and getting paid off monthly in full) This is almost happening—I do have my debt at a level that I can pay off monthly, though some bills get a little higher than planned.
  47. Monthly budget (plus list of monthly recurring charges on credit cards) (0/33) I’ve been doing this, though not listing the recurring charges on my credit cards.
  48. Learn to give mani/pedi and give myself one a month (0/33) This one is off the list—because I have yet to do it, and while I might in the future I don’t see me doing it quite yet.
  49. Get a new sewing machine and make a new quilt for bed. This one is on hold until I move and then I’ll be buying a new sewing machine.
  50. Make my new moon & full moon goals (0/66) I’ve been keeping up with this one. Though I may not hit all the goals for both the new moon & the full moon—I’m at least putting my intentions out there for the universe to hear.
  51. Buy a new couch and chair for my living room. This one and #s 52-54 are dependent on success with #1 & #7
  52. Buy a new dresser for my bedroom
  53. Buy a new mattress & box-spring for my bed
  54. Buy a new TV & stand for living room
  55. Reorganize my storage unit
  56. Buy fabric & foam and make new cushions for rocking chair
  57. Create a posting schedule (editorial calendar) for facebook pages (0/66) I’m behind on this.
  58. Generate at least three months of memes for facebook pages (0/3)
  59. Create posting schedule (editorial calendar) for instagram (0/33) Behind on this.
  60. Learn to use photoshop for memes & posts
  61. Make a 30-day Zumba schedule & stick with it (0/30) Haven’t done this yet.
  62. Visit one or more new zoos (0/1)
  63. Visit one or more new aquariums (0/1)
  64. Make a top 10 favorite author list (for different genera; romance, fantasy/sci-fi, mystery/thriller, non-fiction) for blog
  65. Write and share at least two posts on linkedin every two months (0/32) Behind on this as well.
  66. Ask for endorsements from 6 well known connections on linkedin (0/6) Behind on this well.
  67. Endorse 3 to 5 people on linkedin every four months (0/40) Behind on this.
  68. Renew professional memberships (0/6) Need to do this soon.
  69. Get into the “best shape” of my life. This is one of the things I’m going to try to focus on more, and maybe should be moved higher in the list.
  70. Finish reading books on scientific writing (review and post) (0/7)
  71. Take a multivitamin & supplements daily (0/1001). There have been several days (going on to a week) that I’ve missed taking my multivitamin & supplements.
  72. Design a logo for my blog/website
  73. Finish 3 hidden object games without using hints, or the strategy guide
  74. Go to a author-reader conference and meet authors
  75. Write in journal daily (0/1001). There have been several weeks that I didn’t do this (mainly due to my current mood—even though I know when I’m feeling down or in a funk that is actually a good time to journal).
  76. Complete my book of Sudoku puzzles (minus the ones crossed out)
  77. Drink 70 oz of water a day (0/1001). There have been quite a few days when this hasn’t happened.
  78. Color in two coloring books (0/2) (pictures on blog/instagram)
  79. Knit another afghan (diamond pattern) This has been started, and hopefully will be finished this coming winter.
  80. Watch all the episodes of Hawaii 5-0
  81. Go to at least 2 professional networking events (0/2)
  82. Update Linkedin profile (0/2)
  83. Watch all the episodes of Grimm
  84. Design a science based board game
  85. Hold a two minute plank (on forearms)
  86. Hold a 90 second plank (full)
  87. Go at least one weekend a month without social media (0/33) This hasn’t happened yet, though with the way the world is going I might start doing it.
  88. Create (and update) a vision board. I’ve created and updated a digital vision board, and will probably try to update it at least every two to three months.
  89. Create my own altar (wiccan/pagan)
  90. Learn basic sign language
  91. Create job searching/networking editorial calendar (0/12)
  92. Get an additional external hard drive to back up the laptop & external DVD drive for installing printer program on laptop
  93. Create my own coffee table photography book
  94. Touch base with friends that I haven’t talked to lately
  95. Savings up another 20K (0/20K)
  96. Get at least three plants and keep them alive (0/3)
  97. Stretch daily (0/1001)
  98. Watch all the episodes of The Librarians
  99. Watch all the episodes of Once Upon A Time
  100. Get Fit with Jessi to 1000+ likes
  101. Get BecomingJessi to 1000+ likes

I’ve only removed one goal from the list—giving myself a mani/pedi monthly. I’ve never been the type to fuss with their nails (though I know with job searching, I do need to start taking better care of my nails, and this does include painting them every so often). I’ve realized that I have fallen behind on some of the daily goals (taking my multivitamins, drinking a certain amount of water a day, and writing in my journal every day)—but at least I do start back up, even if it tampers off, and then starts again.

I also know that there are goals that I haven’t started on, and others that require another goal to be accomplished before they are looked at. I know where I need to try to focus for the next few months (personal care—mental and physical health, and slowly figuring out my career objectives), and once these are on track, I think the others will follow suit.

No Comments 101 GoalsBooksCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthjob searchingLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspiritualitytravel

Level 10 life check-in

July marks the start of the second half of the year, and the start of the third quarter. That also means that it is time to take a look at my level 10 life, and see what changes have occurred since April (when I did my last level 10 life check-in).

Level 10 life check-in. Starting the third quarter of the year.

In case you haven’t heard of Level 10 life, basically what it is–you take ten different areas of your life (friends & family, personal development, spirituality, finances, social life, career, fun & recreation, giving & contributions, physical environment, and finally health & fitness) and you rate them on a scale of 1 to 10.

When you rate them, you’re not suppose to spend a lot of time thinking about it–you rate them as how are they are–not how you would like them to be.

I started doing this last year (when I first read about it), and I will admit that there really hasn’t been any huge changes in any given area. I’m lucky if I can get things up to a five or a six. There are some areas that have held constant at around a five (namely family and friends), and my lowest has been at a one (social life).

My long term goal is to try to get things up to a seven or an eight, and I’d prefer if I could also maybe get my social life up to a four or a five. Every area needs work, as this check-in has shown that things have slipped backwards just a little compared to my April check-in.

While I could try to focus on little things for all ten different areas, I’m thinking that I’m going to try to focus on just three or four areas. Therefore my goals will be:

In terms of personal development: Continue reading different non-fiction books and working through different e-courses.

In terms of spirituality: Meditating daily, and doing a daily tarot/oracle card reading (even if I don’t share them right away).

In terms of career: Working on my “reboot break”, my transition plan, and trying to network more.

In terms of health and fitness: Trying to get back into a workout routine (either doing a program all the way through, or creating my own hybrid calendar).

I think that these are the basically the three big areas I need to focus: health (physical and mental), career (figuring out the next step), and just working on becoming the best me possible. Once I have these headed in the proper direction, everything else should also head in the proper direction.

No Comments bullet journalLevel 10 LifePersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspirituality

June in Review

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

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

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

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Working on planning my “reboot break”

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each goal?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

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

Working on planning my “reboot break”

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

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

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

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore the goals for July are going to include:

At least 434,000 steps (14k/day)

Continuing with the photography challenge (maybe introduce weekly themes)

Schedule my workouts (cardio alternating with weight training). Decide on a reward system.

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

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

Be more active on linkedin and in various groups on both linkedin and facebook

Personal and professional development (e-courses, transition plan, and other stuff)

Work on my “reboot break” plan

Read more on various industry websites (FiercePharma, FierceBiotech, BioSpace) and make notes for a weekly recap blog post

Try to read at least one scientific article this month and write a summary for a blog/science post

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

No Comments HealthMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Realizations and reflections

Well today’s post is going to be somewhat brief, and I will have a catch-up photography challenge post tomorrow. I just realized that over the past two months (and probably longer than that), my posts have been almost all photography posts, with a few others sporadically posted throughout the month.

When I started this blog almost two years ago, I had figured it would be a way of keeping myself accountable in two different areas–personal and professional development (as I job searched), and also a way of sharing different interests (photography, fitness, books, and so forth). One thing I haven’t gotten the hang of totally yet is sitting down and trying to write numerous different posts ahead of time and then scheduling when I would post them on line.

I’ve been better this year at doing my bi-monthly moon goal posts, and my month in review–but that is still only about five additional posts added in to my photography challenge. The photography challenge is also starting to become difficult, because I feel like I’m almost taking the same pictures every week. At least I know where I can start making small daily changes.

I’ve also realized that I’m falling into an almost predictable mood swing pattern–I work on different areas and feel good about myself one month, and then the next I fall prey to that nasty inner voice that has me questioning everything I did the month before. It takes me a week or two to silence the inner critic, but then I have to build back the momentum that I lost–and then I repeat the cycle. I’ve realized that to break this cycle–I need to work on countering the inner critic voice (work on getting out of my own way), and also doing more journaling and getting the thoughts to paper and acknowledging the emotions (instead of ignoring them).

As we head into the second half of 2019, I realize that I’m going to have to make some big decisions about certain things (like when exactly am I going to be doing my “reboot break”), and that while I can’t see all the stairs in front of me–I need to take those first few steps and actually get myself unstuck in order to start really moving forward.

No Comments odds and endsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Photography Challenge Day 127: Monday motivation, a day late

So yesterday’s photography challenge winner was the following statement:

Good advice, and something I need reminding of.

Staying curious is almost suppose to be second nature to those who go into a science field. You never get the full answer to a question–or if you do, it also comes with raising another question. I’ve always enjoyed learning–but with staying in school for so long, I got burnt out and am now just rekindling my joy of learning and curiosity.

I actually needed to save the post and come back to it, in order to finish it. I’ve realized over the past few months that one of the things that is hindering my “staying curious” mentality is fear—fear of the unknown.

I’m not someone who usually jumps before they look. I like to try to have things mostly planned out (though allowing a little room for the spur of the moment), but I try to make sure that the “i”s are dotted and the “t”s are crossed.

This is the big block in my job transition–fear of the unknown. I have so many different thoughts racing through my head in terms of this, that it becomes overwhelming and I feel like I don’t know what I want to do with my life (other than find a good paying job that will hopefully quiet a few of the thoughts).

I realize that change is a part of life, and while we can plan and control parts of it–there is a lot of it that we can’t control. I know that I can control the next stage of my life, though it will also be realizing that I need to welcome the unknown, and know that with it I will continue to grow as a individual.

No Comments motivational tipsPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentQuotes

Sagittarius Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be transitioning into the Sagittarius constellation today, and entering it’s full moon phase as well. This marks the approximate halfway mark for the month (though it is a few days off), and come the end of the week—we’ll be hitting the summer solstice (aka the longest day of the year). Somehow we’ve almost made it halfway through 2019.

So once again one can turn to “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland to see what questions one can ask themselves during the Sagittarius full moon.

Have I been too flippant, or carefree to the point of being careless, irresponsible even?

Have I been letting myself down by allowing myself to get distracted and bored?

Have I been overconfident to the point of arrogance, or too preachy?

Have I been a commitment-phobe, to my own detriment?

Have I been seeing the bigger picture?

If I number the questions 1-5, I think that currently my answers would be the following:

  1. I don’t think I’ve been either flippant or carefree lately—because if I had been, my anxiety wouldn’t nearly be as high as it currently is. While I’m not happy with my current job (and probably would be willing to quit at the drop of a pin), I still strive to do my best at what I was hired to do. There are numerous other issues at play in terms of my nine-to-five job and the only thing I really have control over is my reactions. Yes, there are a few things that I should probably have brought up sooner—but when you’re told money is tight (numerous times and without even mentioning things), you try to make things work and do so in ways that others don’t realize that there are problems (not the best way of handling things—but that is how I’m currently handling things).
  2. Yes, I have been letting myself down by allowing myself to be distracted both by my nine-to-five job (I don’t feel comfortable trying to figure out my life when I’m on the clock), and the fact that when I do get home at night—all I want to do is unwind and recharge so I can do the whole show again the next day. I know that I need to step outside of my comfort zone to figure out what I want to do with my life—but I need to do it in a way that won’t send me into a full-blown anxiety/stress attack.
  3. I don’t think that I’ve been overconfident about anything lately. If nothing else, I’ve allowed myself to slide into the depth of negative thinking about quite a few things lately.
  4. This question could go in so many different directions—but I’ll look at it from the aspects of both my personal health (physical and mental) and career. In answer to the question in both regards, is yes I have been a commitment-phobe and it has been to my own detriment. I know that I need to work on myself and I have to make the time for it (no one else will), but due to feeling totally blah, and down in the dumps in regards to my current nine-to-five job—I don’t have the energy to do so at the end of the day. This is something that I need to work on over the next few months.
  5. Have I been seeing the bigger picture? I honestly don’t know how to answer this—as I’m not sure what the bigger picture should look like yet. I thought I knew years ago, what my bigger picture was—but that wasn’t what I should be doing and I feel like I’m staring through a unfocused camera lens at my new bigger picture. I don’t know if I just need to focus, and zoom out—or if I should focus, and slowly start zooming in.

I just realized that my answers are pretty close to what I had written during the last Sagittarius full moon—at least I realize that I’m stuck in certain areas, and that pretty soon I’m going to have to make a drastic change in order for things to start moving forward again.

I should also take a look at the house that the Sagittarius full moon is moving through—and it would be my second house (or the cash, property, and values zone). So this zone refers to both your money and property, but also your values (feelings, ideals, and how you feel about yourself). This is the time to reflect and be aware of your self-esteem (do you feel good or bad about yourself), as it’s thought, “your self-esteem will affect how much cash you attract”.

In addition, the full moon period is also the time to start figuring out what isn’t working anymore and start moving away from it (releasing it from your life), and also realizing that there is going to be a slight tug-of-war going on as well.

Looking at both (the moon and the house)—I see that I need to strive to find the balance between both speaking up for myself (and possibly going to far) and staying in a job for the money and quitting (to work on figuring out what I want to do with my life).

So the goals for this period are going to include:

            Setting up July’s budget.

Scheduling a time to talk with the TIAA representative about my retirement account (and what to do with it when I leave my current position)—it depends on the times that are available.

            Working on my “reboot break” plan. I realize that I need to “reboot” myself before I can properly focus on working on my transition from academia to industry.

            Focusing on writing more content for the blog, and working on myself (yoga and meditation to begin with).

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon Goalsmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Review of Taurus New Moon Goals

So the moon is transitioning into Gemini tomorrow, as it marks its new phase. We have entered the last month of the second quarter of the year. Somehow June is a month that both crawls and speeds by at the same time. Now it’s time to look back on the goals that I set for the Taurus New Moon.

My list of things to try to focus on during the Taurus new moon included the following:

            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).

So how did I do with each goal?

In terms of making a financial plan—I have a decent amount in my savings. I’m leery of putting money (other than what my employer does for my retirement account) into the stock market, due to the current political climate. What I need to do is look into a short-term investment (CD or bonds) and decide how much to invest into something like that. I want to be comfortable whenever I retire (not super rich, but not struggling either), and that means I need to find the time to focus on that in the coming months as well.

In terms of the two books: “Next Gen PhD” and “Reboot Your Life”—I finished both of them (though I do need to go back and finish some of the exercises in each one. But by finishing “Reboot Your Life”, I’ve realized that I’m in dire need of a “reboot break”, and that one will be occurring at some point this year (possibly before my current job contract is up).

Working on my transition plan—this is going to be getting melded in with my “reboot break”. I’ve realized that currently I don’t have the time or the energy to focus on doing the job search/transition correctly. I know I will need to travel (in part to show that I am willing to relocate, and also to network), but I need to be strategic in where and when; currently I have no idea on the companies that I would like to possibly work for. This makes it difficult to strategically network for informational interviews. So I need to get my mental and physical health back on track, and then the job search/transition should fall into place.

The getting back into a workout routine and de-cluttering my clothes (and other possessions) are also going to be getting melded in with my “reboot break”. I’ve let stress and irritation from work overwhelm me to the point that I’m close to hitting either my low or just a point where I don’t really care anymore about certain things.

So the Taurus new moon period wasn’t the greatest in terms of reaching my goals—though I did finish two books and came to the conclusion that a break is needed (how long of a break—that is still undecided). I’m sure that there are people who will be shaking their heads saying that it doesn’t sound like anything has changed—but little baby steps (or even crawling) is better than nothing—it means I haven’t totally given up. Anxiety is a bitch to deal with, and my has been at a record level the past couple of months—so I’m happy with the little progress I’ve made and the fact that I’ve admitted to myself, that stopping to take care of myself for awhile probably isn’t that bad of an idea.

The moon will be in Gemini tomorrow, and that will be time to set some new intentions and goals for the beginning of June. The biggest intention is going to be to continue moving forward, no matter how slow it seems to others.

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Month in Review: May

So we’re officially entered June, and within a blink of an eye—the year will be half over. May has been helpful slightly in that I’ve realized that I need to do a “reboot break” some time soon. One of the books I finished reading this month was “Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break” by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith. It showed me that sometimes “quitting” something is the best thing to do, in order to figure out what it is you really want to do. So sometime between now and November (when my job contract is up), I’ll be starting my reboot break (more on this in additional posts).

But while I’ve realized that I need to take a “reboot break”, the things I realized over the course of April still hold true: 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 head into the final month of the second quarter, it is time to reflect back on the goals that I set for May. Again, 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 May included:

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.

So how did I do with each one?

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

            I managed to surpass my goal of at least 434,000 steps (even though there were several days that I was below both 14K and at times 5K). My final step total for the month was 466,661 steps. This brings my yearly total to 2,240,365 steps.  In terms of my yearly goal of 5 million steps, I’m 2,759,635 steps away and there are still 201 days left in the year. That means I only need 13,730 steps per day for the rest of the year to reach 5 million.

            In terms of my 1001-day goal of reaching 14,014,000 steps that I had originally set last year (which would end approximately Sept 28 2020)—I’m at 7,519,336 steps. There are ~472 days left in my first 1001-day challenge. I’m 6,494,664 steps away (which breaks down to again 13,760 steps a day to reach the goal). So I’m good on this goal as well.

Continue with the photography challenge

            I had to post a couple of days together (or several on the same day) due to the wifi being down in the evening at home. I had to post four days worth over two days (instead of doing three at once—I did two on Friday, and then two on Saturday morning). I’ve managed to keep up with the challenge (even with having to do catch-up posts). This only happened twice in the month (one long post for days 80-82; and then for the end of the month and beginning of June).

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

            I will admit that other than walking and trying to get my steps in daily I haven’t been doing a real workout program for the month of May. This is one of the things that has really made me stop and look at how far I’ve let both my mental and physical health slide the past couple of months.

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

I actually managed to finish four books this month, and I’ve written a book review for one of those books (“Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break”). The one by Devin Thorp was okay—since I don’t have kids, own a house, or and things like that, there were several chapters that didn’t pertain to my life.

The two that were basically career/networking guides just helped to remind me that I do need to try to spend more time networking and figuring out what I want to do with life (there are still questions in one of the books that I need to go back and continue working through).

So the full titles and authors of the books that I finished reading during May were:

925 ideas to help you save money, get out of debt, and retire a millionaire by Devin Thorp

Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith

Next Gen PhD: A Guide to Career Paths in Science by Melanie V Sinche

Navigating the path to industry: A hiring managers advice to academics looking for a job in industry by M.R. Nelson

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

            I managed to go maybe two days a week without spending money on campus this month. I’ve realized that part of my problem is that I turn to sweets to help deal with irritations at work (also it’s one of my excuses for getting my steps in). I’m hoping that I will do better during the month of June (especially if I figure out how to “forget” my wallet at home a few days a week).

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

            This is something that is up and down throughout the month. Mentally I feel drained in the evenings and weekends—therefore I focus on things that help me mentally regroup before the next week. Interacting on linkedin right now isn’t one of those things. Again—I know where my problem is, I just need to figure out the best method for starting to deal with it in a way that isn’t going to backfire on me in long run.

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’m slowly working on things—but since I’ve realized I need a “reboot break” I’m trying to figure out how to fit that into the whole plan as well. I want to mentally recharge and find my footing again—but at the same time I don’t want to be wasting time that I could be spending on job searching either.

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).

            Have totally forgotten about doing this during the month—my bad. Need to get the pages to almost pop up as my home pages to remind me to scroll through things and start “acting” like an adult.

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

            I’ve read the abstract of several different papers over the month—but that has been as far as I’ve gotten on this one. It’s hard to do, when you’ve realized how close to total burnout you’ve gotten.

So the major thing I managed to accomplish this month was realizing that I really need to take time for myself—get my health (mental and physical) back on track, take care of a few other things, and then also focus on my job search. While I know that there are people who will disagree with me—currently I’d rather not have a job and be able to sleep well at night, then have a job, sleep miserably, and not enjoy what I’m having to spend 40 hours a week doing. I’m also 39 and just realizing that it’s time to sit and really try to figure out what I want to do with the second half of my life (though I’m sure I’ll live past 78).

Therefore the goals for June include:

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

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

Continuing with the photography challenge

Working on planning my “reboot break”

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

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

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

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

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

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

I’ve added in one additional goal—but I think that could be the goal that really gets me to focus more on the others in the second half of the year. Because I need to keep reminding myself—that every day is a new start, and when taking everything into account, we only live once. I’ve put work and being in a lab center in my life longer than I should have–now I need to pull it back and see what else could benefit with being the center of my life for awhile.

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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.

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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.

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