Tag: progressoverperfection

Mid-month updates, semi-reflections, & setting a direction for 2021 & beyond

So we’re now basically halfway through December—there are only sixteen days left in 2020.

Fingers are crossed that 2021 goes a lot smoother than 2020 did—though I know that I shouldn’t just sit back and expect things to work if I don’t’ put the work in as well.

I had big plans for the blog in 2020—I was going to be doing weekly posts on different personal/professional development courses that I was taking, I was going to restart the yearly photography challenge, and I was going to post at least one book review a month.

Needless to say—majority of that didn’t happen. In part because of the pandemic, and I was just too pissed, irritated, and frustrated at the world to be able to write anything coherent. Also because of my mood, I only really finished one e-course program (which I still need to write a review over)—I did several small ones but didn’t really take the greatest notes on them.

I read quite a bit—though most of it was fiction, but again didn’t really take any notes (or highlight anything) to be able to go back and write a book review. In terms of the photography challenge—I started it in September, managed probably a week and a half, was looking at the news a little too often—got pissed, frustrated, and irritated again at the world and quit posting pictures.

I’m hoping to change things back around come 2021—there are two vaccines now approved for emergency use in terms of dealing with the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, though I probably won’t be able to be in line for it until probably late summer or early fall (this means that I won’t be doing any major traveling until sometime in 2022). The US elections went the way I wanted (Biden & Harris won, and will be sworn in as the president and vice-president of the US on Jan 20 2021).

How am I planning on turning things around?

Setting up a fluid schedule that will allow me to move between different projects/subjects with a little more ease and not feel like I’m leaning too much in any particular direction.

Possibly having a weekly (or monthly) theme in terms of major blog posts. I will still be doing my new/full moon goals & reviews, plus my month in review. In addition if I start up the photography challenge again, it may just be the picture with a small blurb under it (I may or may not go to the lengths of trying to do heavy research on the topic—especially if I’ve posted pictures before—I may actually link back to the old posts).

Possibly trying to narrow down what I’m talking about (though currently this thought is giving me a small case of the hives). I’ve realized throughout 2020—I have to keep things varied, and I love to learn—I’m actually making several long lists of topics that I wouldn’t mind diving deep into, but I also need to figure out how to make those topics flow within the overall theme of the blog.

I will also be expanding on various pages, plus adding in other pages as well to the site. Since I notice that when I post pages, people may or may not realize that something has been added to the site—therefore within two to three days after pages are posted, I will post a quick blog update linking to said pages. Currently that will probably be within the bird section of the blog, and possibly the travel section as well.

I also realize that it will probably take awhile to build up a large following, since I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be posting on—it’s hard to answer the question of what will help others, when I’m not even sure what direction(s) I want to be taking the blog.

Suggestions are always welcomed—just remember that all comments are usually initially tagged as spam (depending on your IP address and email), and it is up to my sole discretion then if comments show up on posts or if I delete them.

No Comments Pandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Progress on personal & professional development goals: September in Review

So September is over, that means my birthday has come and gone—here is to starting the fourth decade of my life in self-isolation. There are only three months left in the year, and the coming month or so will be interesting—two full moons in October (last one on Halloween), then we ‘fall back’ time wise that night/early the next morning, and then the presidential election is just a few days later.

So I decided that I would try to ‘schedule’ the time that I’m either checking my email or on social media—that way I can hopefully get quite a few other things done as well—I think that the schedule will work (though some days will be better than others). Now I’m thinking that I may also need to ‘schedule’ my time outside—as I realize that once I sit down outside, I’m more likely to stay outdoors for the rest of the day (though like today I have brought my laptop outside to work on).

The US still hasn’t gotten the virus under control—when I published ‘August in Review’ I noted that the US had over 6.2 million cases and now the US is a little over 7.4 million cases (that is an increase in over 1.2 million cases in a month). With elections just a little over a month away, it will be interesting to see how it turns out—I’m hoping the way I want, that way the virus can be brought under control and then travel may be possible by sometime late 2021 or early 2022. I’m still planning on at least (hopefully) one mental health trip somewhere.

So as we head into the last quarter of 2020, I should look back on the goals that I set for September and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for September included:

At least 150,000 steps (This breaks down to 5K/day)

Finishing up Morning Meltdown 100 (I only have 15 days left), and then starting a duel calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/leading to hopefully a no spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program, install python and start learning how to use it

Finish at least 3 other e-courses

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 150,000 steps—I managed to meet and surpass my step goal; I managed to get a total of 202,386 steps in for the month. Unfortunately, the number of viral cases kept going up for the month (we went from ~952 cases at the beginning of the month to over 1900 cases as of the 30th). Therefore when I do decide to walk at Boomer Lake, it will have to be during the week (when hopefully everyone is at work), and isn’t a full walk around the lake (depending on what time I leave in the morning).

Finishing Morning Meltdown 100 and starting a combo of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4—So I finished up Morning Meltdown 100 mid-month, and then started on my combo calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4. This combo calendar will now take me through mid-November. I’m tracking change by how heavier I’m going in the weights, am I doing less modifications, and do I feel better/sleep better.

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books: I managed to finish the following:

“Careergasm: Find your way to feel good work; bullshit free advice to help you get after it” by Sara Vermunt

            One of the things that I really liked about this book was the reminder that at times we need to think back on the things we enjoyed as a child to help find a clue to what we may actually really enjoy doing as an adult. I actually have several different ideas now swimming around in my head on things I could try to do and/or directions I could possibly take the blog/site, or even just other pages I could add to the site.

No spend days/no spend weeks/leading to hopefully a no spend month—this is something that I’m still working on—large goal again for October.

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program, install python, and start learning how to use it—I finished the data science syndicate program on the 3rd of the month. While I have installed python on my computer, I haven’t yet started any course that will teach me how to use the program yet.

Finish at least 3 other e-courses

I re-watched one skillshare short course—“The writer’s toolkit: 6 steps to a successful writing habit”. This was an okay short course—basically talking about creating an area that is solely for writing, determining what you’re going to be writing on, having a routine in place, and also reminding us to read books that we enjoy—if you don’t enjoy reading a certain genera of literature it’s no fun.

I had also started watching the skillshare course—“Writing and Blogging with Passion: Create a Flexible Editorial Plan and Calendar”. In addition I’ve also been working through an affiliate blogging short course program as well. One thing I’ve realized with some of the courses—I will have to do a lot of brainstorming to fit the blog to their suggestions, since I’ve decided to stay somewhat multi-facet in topics that I’m covering.

So I’m slowly making more progress on various goals—the biggest thing that I need to get control over is my time management. There is enough time in the day to accomplish everything I want—it may mean though that I don’t spend forty minutes aimlessly scrolling through social media or checking my email every five minutes. Once I have that under control, and remember that I’m the only one that can walk my path I will be on my way to achieving my goals—though they may look different four months down the road compared to today. That is fine—that is evolution, learning, and realizing that in four months I may not be the same person that I am today.

Goals for October will include:

At least 155,000 steps (breakdown to 5K/day; daily step goal may go up, but again that depends on the daily number of virus cases in town)

Continuing with the combo calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books

No spend days/no spend weeks/no spend month

Finish the Medical Writers Organization

Complete at least one other e-course that deals with python

Then complete at least two other short e-courses

While reminding myself: “Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

No Comments Bookscareercomputersfitnessmoney saving challengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

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

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

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

The goals for January included:

At least 434,000 steps

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

Working out daily (Barre Blend starting January 6)

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

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days

So how did I do with each goal?

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

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

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

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

So the two books that I’ve finished:

            Like She Owns the Place by Cara Alwill Leyba

            Choose Your Best Life by Gary Williams

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

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

Working out daily (Barre Blend starting January 6)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Money log/weekly-check ins/No spend days

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

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

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

The goals for February will include:

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

Reading at least 3 non-fiction books

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

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


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

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

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

No Comments careerfitnessHealthMonth in ReviewPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentRebootBreakReflections

Review of Aries Full Moon Goals

So the moon is going to be entering the second to last full moon phase for 2019 either tonight or tomorrow (depending on where one is at), so that means that it’s time to review the goals I had set for the Aries full moon. Somehow we’re a little over a third of the way through November (Friday will mark the halfway point of the month), and that means there are now less than fifty days left in the year—and I start my reboot break in two weeks.

But what were the goals that I had set for the Aries full moon?

            Working on my reboot break/transition plan. This may include working through some of the personal development courses or starting to read some of the personal development books (particularly the ones that have numerous journal prompts).

            Trying to back into meditating nightly—this has been an on and off endeavor the past couple of weeks. I know that when I manage to do it for at least a couple of minutes—I do sleep a little better at night.

            Not touching my phone after I turn off the lights and start reading (I have the light dimmed on the e-reader, but haven’t figured out how to dim the light on the phone). Try to be meditating by no later than nine, and reading no later than twenty after nine.

            Continue trying to plan out the next couple of months, and look into different programs that allow you to block certain apps/web pages to help increase my productivity and work on my time management skills.

And always remember: Progress over Perfection.

So how did I do with each goal?

In terms of my reboot break/transition plan—I’m working through a couple of different e-courses, and have realized in terms of planning things out—I prefer pen and paper over trying to do it digitally. I have a couple of brand new journals and I’ve decided that I’m going to set it up as a semi bullet journal—there will be to-do lists, but I’m also to write down two to four journal prompts (or self reflection questions) each night for me to think about and answer in the morning. In addition the to-do lists will be fairly short, but plenty of room for journaling and self-reflection.

Once I start working on e-courses that may actually require more room for note taking, I have several notebooks that I have bought for just that purpose—and I have sticky notes and tape so I can even semi-color code the pages to keep the various courses straight.

I’ve also realized with my transition plan—it has been almost an abstract idea—I want to get out of academia, but other than that, I haven’t made anything absolute. I need to get my possible career list down to three or four from the seven or eight it is currently at, and then I need to determine the type of company I want to work for and go from there—I just can’t state that I want to be a research scientist in industry by 2022—I need to be able to state that I want to be market communications specialist for ginkgo bioworks by 2022 (as an example).

In terms of trying to get back into meditating at night daily, I only missed one or two nights during the past few weeks and that was usually due to either the time change (which was last week and I’m still not adjusted one hundred percent), or something else irritated me and I decided just to read instead. But I am getting better at sitting (or lying) and focusing on my breathing for a couple minutes at time—continued practice and it will become even a better habit.

I only looked at my phone once or twice after going to bed during the past month (and one of those times was actually last night). The few times that I’ve done it was mainly to check to see what the temperature was either falling to or to sync my fitbit before heading off to bed (since I may not always remember to try to sync it before lights are turned off). But I am more adapt at just not getting on the phone after lights have been totally turned off, and I think I’m starting to sleep a little better because of it.

In terms of trying to plan out the next couple of months—I have a rough idea of what I want to get accomplished, but I haven’t written it all down on paper yet. This is due in part to the fact that I try to plan everything out—but I’ve realized that I need to focus on just a few areas—list the major (and long term) goals, and then break those down to monthly, weekly, and then daily goals. I also shouldn’t be making all the goals super complex either—true I’m not positive which direction I’m going in terms of my career transition, so I should have a mini list for each and as I narrow down the direction(s) those lists can grow.

So I’ve managed more self-reflection than anything this past month. I really can be (and have been) my own worse enemy when it comes to things. I blame part of it on the scientist in me that wants a detailed plan of action before starting anything—that has probably been one of my biggest hang-ups over the past year or so—trying to figure out the detailed plan of action before acting. Now I’ve decided that I’m going to do a reboot break, and while some things are semi-planned out—I don’t have them set out on paper yet. That is going to be the something I work on over the next few weekends—planning out the journal/notebook(s) that is going to see me through my reboot break and job transition.

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

A review of August’s Aquarius Full Moon Goals

So the moon is going to be transitioning into Pisces either last night (which makes it a full moon on Friday the 13th) or tonight—but it all depends on where you are in the world. So September is almost halfway over, and in a week or so I’ll be staring down my last year of my thirties.

But for now, it means looking back at the goals that I set during the Aquarius full moon, and seeing how I did with each of them.

My goals for the Aquarius Full Moon included:

            Evening meditations

            Getting back into a workout routine

            Working on my reboot break and transition plans

So how did I do with each of them?

I’ve been okay at doing my evening meditations, even if it is only for two or three minutes, though there might have been a night or two that I skipped my meditations. I’m slowly being able to focus more on my breathing than the thoughts racing through my mind. Though I’m still working on the length of time I spend meditating—there are some nights where I can’t seem to focus and that’s okay. Still working on trying to find the quiet spot at work that I can go, sit and just be for a while (without anyone really knowing where I am, but at the same time not leaving campus). So this is still a minor work in progress.

Currently my workout routine has been mainly walking either on campus during the week, or walking around Boomer Lake on the weekends (the temperatures are finally decent in the mornings for a walk). I still want to get back into a resistance/cardio routine, but so far haven’t figure out the best timing with only about an hour and half between getting off of work, getting home, doing chores and then dinner time. After dinner, I have my evening routine before winding down before bed. So—yes I know that there are twenty-four hours in the day, and that I should easily be able to carve out thirty to forty minutes for a workout—I just haven’t figure out that time period/point yet.

In terms of my reboot break, it should be starting in roughly ten weeks—this is the approximate time in which my current job contract ends. Ending a job (without another set up) right before the holidays may seem strange and crazy—but that is exactly what I need to do. I need to mainly focus on myself and things that will help me go forward, and while I could probably gain a little more expertise in my current position (by taking on more responsibilities), there are no promotions or career movements within the position.

The first week of the reboot break will be semi-relaxing (mainly towards the end—which is the holidays), but at the beginning I’m going to try to get some of my storage unit in order (start repacking boxes that are falling apart), and seeing what I can maybe get rid of or sell. At the same time, I’m going to try to start paring back on the belongings I have at my parents’ place—that way when I do find a job, it won’t take that long to move the other belongings to storage unit (and that way easier to get on the moving truck).

After getting things in order, that is when I plan on devoting more time to personal/professional development and my transition plan. I have ideas of what I would possibly like to do outside of academia—I have a list of different skills for each of those areas, and have actually started to highlight what I think are the skills I should possibly try to start learning on my own.

The biggest thing though is going to be starting to network and be more active on linkedin, and figuring out where I would like to live and work (biotech hubs), and go from there. I’m hoping that by mid-December I’ll have at least three different ideas down on paths I would like to possibly take—and then I’ll have to start working my way on the three paths and see where they lead me in 2020.

So small steps were made with all three goals this past month. I’m thinking that I might start trying to track things in a journal again, but limit what I have listed daily. That way instead of trying to tackle four or five different areas everyday I can focus on one or two, and then the next day a different set. This will help curtail both the boredom that at times arises, and also the anxiety of trying to get too many things done in a very short period of time.

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Virgo New Moon Goals

So yesterday (or today, depending on where you live) the moon transitioned into its new phase and into the Virgo constellation. So there are now basically four months left in the year—tomorrow is September 1st—that means there are 122 days left in the year.

So this time of year is special—it’s Virgo season, and that is my star sign (as my rising sign is Scorpio and my moon sign is Pisces). It also makes sense that we all have three signs—as we’re rarely fit all traits of just one sign. Virgos are known to be neat, cleaning constantly, and have everything in their place. I’m semi-neat, rarely have things in their place, and clean when I need to (either when things are on my nerves or I’m bored).

So what are some things that one can do during the Virgo new moon?

            Take an inventory of your life. Figure out what is working and what isn’t—and then figure out what needs to change for the things that aren’t working.

            Be of service—help out more at work (if able), do the little things that can help make someone else’s day a little more bearable.

            Be healthy—see what is and isn’t working in your health and fitness routines and figure out what to fix—i.e. what new habits to start working on.

            Avoid nitpicking—this is where the motto Progress over perfection really comes into play.

            Get organized—pay bills, figure out the monthly schedule (workout, eating, whatever)—things that can make life a little more bearable going forward.

The moon is also moving through my 11th house—or my friend zone. So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to friends and hopes and dreams?

            Sign up for an evening class in something you’ve always wanted to do.

            Ask your friends to introduce you to friends of theirs you’ve never met.

            Wish on a star every night for a month.

            Introduce a childhood pal to a friend from your life now.

            Say ‘Hi’ to someone you see nearly every day but never speak to.

            Thank your best friend for being there for you.

So it’s nice that this house is pushing me to focus a little on my social life (as I really don’t have one), and humans are social creatures by nature. Though currently I don’t have a lot of energy to focus on this portion of my life—I go to work, I go home, I go to work, I go home—this is really all the energy I have during the day/week. Though I will meet up with a college friend for lunch once a month (if both of our schedules allow it).

So again looking at these two lists, my goals for the Virgo New Moon period will include the following:

  1. Taking an inventory of my life—work on scheduling my reboot break, and other things
  2. Try to get back into a workout routine (probably Country Heat)
  3. Get organized (try to set up various calendars in regards to exercise, working on the blog, networking, job searching, and so forth).

All the while remembering: Progress over Perfection

No Comments fitnessNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

July’s second new moon: goals for the Leo New Moon

So the moon is making its transition into Leo (either today or tomorrow depending on where you live). The transition today will make it the second new moon in July (and a super black moon at that). This also means that the month is over, and there are only five months left in the year. I’m getting better at not asking where the time is going, and I’m trying to get better at time management.

So what are some of things that one can do during the Leo New Moon?

            Show off—celebrate life.

            Flirt.

            Be creative.

            Love thyself—self-love, work on confidence, and leadership skills.

            Spoil thyself.

These are all good for being within the Leo constellation, but one should also look to see what house/zone the moon & Leo are progressing through as well. For me, that means that Leo is going through my 10th house, or my career zone. This is about my career & reputation (professional brand).

So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the career zone?

            Speak to your boss about how you’re doing.

            Help a colleague out of a rut.

            Check that you’ve not become status mad.

            Start a new business as close to the new moon as you can.

            Apply for new jobs with confidence.

            When you’ve earned it, take the credit.

            Plot your next best career move.

I finding it reassuring that the career zone and new moon are falling within this period again this year. It seems like the universe is nudging me to leave my current position—when I need something ordered for my job, the item is on backorder for months (and now there are two items). Last year, it was a computer issue—this year it is a technical issue. I am currently plotting my next move—it’s going to be a reboot break/pause. This way I can figure out what the hell I want to do with the second half of my life (as I’m looking at entering the last year of my thirties pretty soon).

So looking at these two lists, my goals for the Leo New Moon will include the following:

  1. Continue planning/outlining my reboot break/pause time.
  2. In part with #1—plan at least one trip (either total mental break or a combination mental break/networking/job searching).
  3. Work on creating more content for the blog and getting back into creative writing.
  4. Continuing with the photography challenge
  5. Work on my daily meditation practice (try to get back to meditating 5-10 minutes a night).

As always my current motto is: Progress over perfection. Right now slow is the pace I need to be going, as I try to focus on both my health and moving my career forward.

No Comments job searchingLifestyle ChallengesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development