Tag: selfawareness

Morning routines–check…Now time to fine-tune the afternoon schedules

Introduction/recap:

Okay…once I get this month’s review posted…I’ll have managed three months this year—and will have covered the second quarter of 2024 (I totally lagged behind in trying to do it for the first three months this year). As I’d mentioned in the ‘intro’ to May in Review—I basically ignored most of 2023 (I think I did January), and it took awhile for me to decide to restart the series. 

Doing these monthly posts is one of the ways I’m trying to keep myself accountable towards different goals, in addition to doing a weekly series in a Facebook group. As I mentioned—I probably won’t be hitting anywhere close to 100% on all the goals…in part due to the fact that I usually set out to try to achieve like 10-12 different ‘large’ tasks…and I’m still in the process of developing a fluid schedule for the day. I’ve gotten a decent fluid schedule down for part of the morning…now it’s time to fine tune that and start developing the fluid afternoon schedule. 

I almost have a morning schedule that ‘sticks’: getting on Mondly for say 20-30 minutes to learn a foreign language, then do my morning update on Gaza (post to my instagram channel), then do an oracle card drawing (posting to the oracle card channel), then do a science news brief for LinkedIn. Its after getting those four things done, that my schedule starts to semi-fall apart.

I’m going to be keeping to a list of about twelve goals for the next few months…only because I’ve only been getting about 2/3 of them done (at least fifty percent) at a time. I’m hoping that keeping things ‘similar’ month to month—they’ll become habits, and then I can start adding/stacking other goals in.

Goals that I’d set for June:

  1. Reading at least three non-fiction books
  2. Reading at least four fiction books
  3. Completing at least one (if not two) 30-day challenges
  4. Making time & making use of the intentional movement board game
  5. Launch the YouTube channel (outline & intro video)
  6. Aim for two blurbs on science, health, or medical papers
  7. Watch/work through at least three e-courses
  8. 30-minutes at least 4x/week on Mondly
  9. Posting consistently to the oracle card channel
  10. Post to each blog at least twice
  11. Finish the outlines for the three big creative research projects
    • Interviews with dinosaurs & other extinct animals
    • Interviews with toxic & venomous animals
    • Interviews with various ancient civilizations (this could be upwards of three to five different mini proejcts)
  12. Work on the needlepoint project
  13. Check in with this list at least every other day to ensure that I’m making progress

So how did I do with each of those main goals?

Reading at least three non-fiction books (100% completed):

I finished the following nonfiction books:

  1. Ocean Life in the Times of Dinosaurs by Nathalia Bardet, Alexandra Houssave, Stephane Jouve, & Peggy Vincent
  2. The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: An Asteroid, Extinction, and the Beginning of Our World by Riley Black
  3. The Quest & the Qalandar: Experiences of Sufism by Waqar Faiz
  4. Patrice Lumumba, Ahead of His Time (Political Leadership in Africa #1) by Didier Mumbata
  5. Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We can Help Dismantle it by Jessie Daniels

Five books that spanned a diversity of topics: the Mesozoic era, religion, politics, and culture. I’d mentioned previously that I’m working at becoming a better global citizen–which includes reading books on people that I’d never heard of before (I didn’t realize that the US gave ‘aid’ in getting rid of the first prime minister of the Congo–Patrice Lumumba), and topics that are ‘difficult’ to read on (aka white supremacy & women’s (specifically white woman’s) both intentional & unintentional parts in upholding those ‘aspects’ of society.

Currently I’m six books away from my goal of reading 44 nonfiction (or historical fiction) books before my 44th birthday (which is in September). Something tells me that I’ll finish ‘above’ the goal of 44 books…and that means I should totally ‘reach’ and finish ‘above’ the goal of 100 books by June 18, 2026.

Reading at least four fiction books (100%+ completed):

I probably spent a little too much time reading fiction books this month. I read well over four fiction books during June. The books I read included:

  1. Forbidden King (Magnolia Falls #3) by Laura Pavlov
  2. California Waves (The Davenports #2) by Bella Andre & Nicky Arden
  3. Fragile Sanctuary (Sparrow Falls #1) by Catherine Cowles
  4. Forbidden Hearts (Whitlock Family #1) by Corinne Michaels
  5. Broken Dreams (Whitlock Family #2) by Corinne Michaels
  6. Tempting Promises (Whitlock Family #3) by Corinne Michaels
  7. Forgotten Desires (Whitlock Family #4) by Corinne Michaels
  8. Come Back for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #1) by Corinne Michaels
  9. Fight for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #2) by Corinne Michaels
  10. The One for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #3) by Corinne Michaels
  11. Stay for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #4) by Corinne Michaels
  12. Return to Us (Willow Creek Valley #1) by Corinne Michaels
  13. Could Have Been Us (Willow Creek Valley #2) by Corinne Michaels
  14. A Chance for Us (Willow Creek Valley #4) by Corinne Michaels
  15. Destined for Me (Come Back to Me/Say You’ll Stay Crossover) by Corinne Michaels
  16. The Sweet Spot (Playing to Win #4) by Bella Matthews
  17. Dragon of Her Dreams (Dragon Knights #20) by Bianca D’Arc

Needless to say…I was reading a lot this past month…which could possibly explain why I didn’t get as much e-courses completed…also I binged read a couple of series by Corinne Michaels that were semi intertwined. 

Complete at least one 30-day challenge (100%)

Well…I’ve completed a 30-day challenge…it was another Sudoku challenge. Maybe next month I’ll remember that I’d stated it would be a jumping jack/squat challenge, along with possibly watching a different TedTalk each day.

Make time for intentional movement (possibly somewhere between 5-10%)

Still gotta get better at setting aside time for intentional movement. The only days where time is ‘set aside’ are on Wednesdays…and those are my ‘chore’ days. So—I need to actually try to ‘schedule’ in time during the other days of the week for some type of intentional movement.

YouTube Channel (outline & intro video) (still somewhere around 5%):

I still have the mind map of topics…that I need to chose from, then mind-map from that topic to determine the ‘subtopics’ that I’d be researching/talking about. One thing I realized—I don’t necessarily have to be ‘on screen’ (since currently my niche is science/health/med education—I’d be doing ‘voice over’ explaining the slides). This might go a little faster since I don’t have to try to ‘record’ myself (other than a possible introduction video to the entire channel)

Blurbs on science, health, medical papers (still around 5%)

Currently this is still sitting at roughly five percent…basically, I still have the extreme rough draft of the blurb on the sea dragon genome paper that I need to edit down to a decent length. I don’t know why I haven’t sat down to edit it yet…other than allowing the inner critic & imposter syndrome to ‘grab the reins’ on this writing project series. When I drew my yearly BINGO card, I’d decided that I was going to try to get back into a habit of reading at least one ‘research’ paper a week on different topics, & then write a blurb/review on it & post it…that was suppose to be 52 writing projects this year (because I also stated within my 101 goals—I have the goal to write a minimum of 100 blurbs/reviews by June 18 2026)…needless to say—I’m behind on this ‘project’. 

Watch/work through at least another three e-courses (about 50% completed):

I mentioned above that I read a lot of fiction books this month…and a lot of the time spent reading could have been spent working through e-courses.

Currently I’ve finished an introduction to statistics course on Udemy. This was a decent intro course on stats…there were a few problems within the course & of course ‘quizzes’ at the end of different sections. I rated it four out of five stars—mainly because one of the videos was actually a ‘repeat’, and it had been mentioned like two years ago, and the creator hadn’t gotten around to ‘correcting’ it yet.

I’m about half way through another ‘stats’ course (Statistics and data literacy for non-statisticians). Currently I’ve rated the course at a three out of five stars…mainly because there haven’t been ‘problems’ to work through…there didn’t seem to be an ‘intro’ video (introducing the content creator & content)…and I’m not sure how much I’m actually getting out of the course. I’m not sure if I’ll be finishing this one up this afternoon or not…if I don’t finish it today, I’ll have it finished by tomorrow (July 1st) afternoon.

30 minutes at least four times a week on Mondly (90%):

I started using Mondly again on the 3rd of the month; and other than the first two days of the month & the 16th, I’ve been on the site, somewhere between 20-40 minutes a day learning Arabic.

I went back and did the daily lesson for the 16th (along then with that weekly quiz) today after I finished today’s daily lesson. With ‘missing’ three days this month—I managed to start learning a foreign language & logged in to the site 90% of the time this month. 

Posting consistently to the oracle card channel (90%):

Again, I started posting to the oracle card channel ‘consistently’ on the 3rd. So, in an similar answer to the above foreign language—other than the first two days of the month & the 16th, I’ve been posting oracle cards & their messages to the oracle card channel daily (usually shortly after I do the Gaza morning update on my other instagram channel).

For June I used the Guides of the Hidden Realm oracle deck by Colette Baron-Reid. Next month I’ll be choosing a different deck (possibly The Ancient Stones Oracle deck by Rebecca Campbell that also came out last month). Each month will be a ‘different’ deck, and I think I have at least twelve different oracle decks (along with five different tarot card decks) that I’ll just ‘cycle’ through them.

Post to each blog at least twice (100%):

I did manage to post to each blog at least twice. In terms of the science/health/medical blog—I posted twice earlier this month on two different science related ‘random’ holidays (World Environment & World Oceans days). I’m still posting more often on the creative blog (at least weekly with the weekly summary of the hellish events happening within Gaza & the West Bank).  I really need to decide if I want to ‘pause’ the medical series and start a different one (one that might actually see me posting to the blog on a more consistent basis).

Finish the outlines for the various creative research projects (~5% completed):

This is sitting around 5% completed. I have the ‘basic’ outline for the different dinosaur interviews…but didn’t modify it for other extinct animals; nor did I modify it for toxic & venomous animals.

In terms of the different ancient civilizations—I need to decide how may ‘different’ people I’m going to interview—is it going to be ‘gods & goddesses’, leaders, craftsmen, or everyday people? Hopefully I’ll get more of this project completed over the next few months. I’d really like to have some of these ‘short stories’ published on different sites by mid-September.

Work on the needlepoint project (100%)

Yes. I’ve been consistently working on the needlepoint project & hopefully will have it finished sometime in July. Will it be in time for the 300-day checkin of my 101 goals? Or the 5th checkin for my 44 goals before turning 44? Maybe…but I should have it done by the end of July (or extremely early August) at the latest.

I usually take weekly update pictures on the needlepoint project to share with a friend. But I think the monthly one really shows the progress…I’m even impressed with how much I managed to get done last month. This is working at least twenty minutes (upward of two hours) a day on the project.

“Checking in on the list” (Not really a goal):

I mean there are only a few goals that I haven’t really progressed far on (the science/health/medical paper blurbs, the YouTube channel, intentional movement & getting more of the different creative projects written). Then there are others that I had no trouble completing (reading & working on the needlepoint project). I think what I need to do is have the afternoons structured a little better than what I’ve been doing…possibly try to focus on research/writing from say 2:30 to 4 three to four times a week—instead of waiting until then to try to do a e-course or something.

Conclusions for June:

So I technically set twelve goals for June (the last one was really just a reminder to myself to check the list every so often). I managed to get at least fifty percent (upwards of stating 100% progress) on two-thirds of the goals…so I did well with eight of the twelve goals. The four that I fell behind on—have been the four that I’ve been ‘stalled’ on since I restarted this monthly accountability series.

I think the only one of those four that will be ‘modified’ will be the one for the YouTube channel—I need to finish fine-tuning the outline & decide the format that I’m going to be working with (videos with voice-over, or will I be ‘on screen’ in the videos). The other three I just need to actually ‘fit’ into the daily schedule (whether at a particular time, or just pick a project for the week).

Goals for July:

  1. Read at least three nonfiction books
  2. Read at least four fiction books
  3. Complete at least one more 30-day challenge (and not just a Sudoku challenge)
  4. Set up the intentional movement plan
  5. Polish the outline for the YouTube channel & decide on the format
  6. At least one blurb on a science, health, or medical paper
  7. Work through at least three e-courses
  8. At least 25 minutes each morning on Mondly
  9. Post to each blog at least twice
  10. Post consistently to the oracle card channel
  11. Finish the mindmaps/outlines for different projects
  12. Continue working on the needlepoint project (possibly finish?)

Final Thoughts/Reflections:

Twelve goals…and basically the same (more or less) goals that I had set for June. I’ve ‘modified’ the YouTube channel goal & intentional movement goals, as well as stating I’m aiming for writing a single blurb on a science/health/medical paper for the other blog. The other goals are more or less what I’ve done for the past few months. Will I remember to do an additional challenge (along with the Sudoku)? Hopefully…I do have in the daily schedule to doodle in the early afternoon before attempting to do any learning/virtual chats.

Instead of ‘rewriting/rewording’ things—this is what I wrote at the end of May/beginning of June in terms of the goals I’m probably going to be ‘repeating’ for awhile:

The rest of the things…will require that I work on silencing the inner critic/imposter syndrome on a daily basis. I know what I want to do with my life—not only help improve how various topics are communicated to the public…but education overall…in addition to finding a way to make a partial living as an crafter/artist—as I’m starting to think about branching out and teaching myself other crafts—crochet (I knew how to do this years ago), making jewelry (I’ve got enough beads & charms), resin, mosaics, and wood-burning. I don’t need to make millions…I just need to make enough to ensure that my bills are paid, I have a roof over my head, and food on my table. Travel really isn’t even that big of a necessity currently (mainly due to the state of the world).

I want to become a better global citizen…which means decolonizing my mind and ‘relearning’ things about various parts of the world. It means learning an language (or two)—as English isn’t spoken everywhere. It means figuring out how to live with less…so to help cut back on the demand/need for vital elements that are fueling genocides and conflicts throughout the African continent. 

Progress…good, and done is better than ‘perfect, and never published’…because perfectionism is a myth…a myth of white supremacy that I’m going to jump up and down on until it’s grounded back into dust. What is one thing you’ll do to help break down the barriers around the world? 

No Comments BookscareerCraftsfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesoracle cardsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

Energy & focus…I guess I may be a morning person after all

So the moon will be transitioning through the Capricorn constellation tomorrow…marking the sixth full moon of the year…we’re a little over two-thirds of the way through June, and have just pasted the longest day of the year…so we’re now heading towards the shortest day of the year. While I like the longer days…I like the cooler temps of fall & winter over the hot temps of summer. So..before looking ahead to the Capricorn full moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Sagittarius full moon and see how I did with each of them. 

What were the goals for the Sagittarius full moon? Well, they included:

  1. Plan for June…content editorial calendar—pick different colored pens/markers for the different projects/channels that I’ll have going. June BINGO card; June brain dump.
  2. Develop a ‘fluid’ schedule…blocks of 40-75 minutes of work followed by blocks of 30 minutes for ‘breaks’ (which could include getting some intentional movement in).
  3. Continuing with my content creation challenge (including tracking)
  4. Update my personal/professional growth game and then roll the dice to see what the next set of adventures are.

So how did I do with each of them?

Planning for June (I’ll say about 98% done):

I got my June BINGO card made, did my June brain dump, and drew the basic calendar. While I had picked colors out for different ‘channels’ (creative blog, science blog, and various social media channels)—I’ve found that I don’t necessarily grab the correct color when I’m trying to do my weekly to-do lists. So..that is something that I need to work on. 

Developing a ‘fluid’ schedule (~95% completed):

Well…I’ve developed a schedule that seems to work in the morning—for the most part. I’ve decided to put things I’d been doing fairly well (morning updates on Gaza & trying to post a science/health news blurb) between tasks that always seem to have fallen off the to-do list. 

This is working well in the mornings—I’m now doing about 20-30 minutes of Mondly (learning Arabic) before doing my morning Gaza update; then I do an oracle card reading (and share that on the oracle card Instagram channel I started), then I do the morning science/health news blurb.

I’m still working on developing an ‘fluid’ schedule for the afternoon (research, chores, fitness, and so forth), as I usually end up scrolling through various social media channels while attempting to do research on the side for different projects.

Content creation & tracking (~95% completed):

So instead of having a list of different content I want to ‘create’, I decided that I would see how much content I could create from June to December this year. I have a spreadsheet created, and every day I go in and log what type of content I’ve created & where said content is published. 

I’ve been diligent in doing daily updates on Gaza & the West Bank on Instagram (especially since I was restricted from posting to LinkedIn for about six weeks), and have been working on my latest large needlepoint project as well. 

I know I need to start creating more science/health/medical related content..as that blog/website is a little ‘sparse’ in terms of content getting published.

One major goal of this challenge is to see what my ‘go-to’ content creation is (currently it’s mainly writing and ‘publishing’ to Instagram daily), and branching out to other types of content (infographics, posters, slide decks, ‘articles’, short stories, and such).

Updating the personal/professional growth game & starting another round (100% complete):

Okay—I redrew the game. I decided to remove one of the boards & condensed down everything else to fit in on the first board. Earlier this week—I posted my update to the game & the fact that I was starting another round.

My personal/professional growth board game. Approximately 80 odd squares of ideas/topics to learn about & content to create & share

The top three things I’ll be focusing on (along with everything else on my to-do lists) are reading (aiming to finish at least three nonfiction books and/or four fiction books), working through an e-course (or three; as I stated I was going to try to do at least three e-courses [giving myself about two weeks per course]), getting the next two blog posts up on the science/health/medical blog (dealing with exocrine & endocrine glands & the cancers that can develop within each of them). The fourth item was a tie between unplugging for the night & content creation.

Conclusions:

Four items…that were focusing on planning, content creation, and time/project management. I did fairly well with all of them (minus the inability currently to use different colored pens for writing on the calendars; and having a ‘fluid’ schedule for the afternoon).  Currently I seem to have more ‘energy’/focus in the mornings for certain projects (mainly learning, sharing news, and doing my oracle card drawing/sharing), and the afternoons find me allowing my mind to wander & I start to procrastinate & put projects off.

So…

I know that I need to develop a fluid schedule for the afternoon, possibly have different colored pens out for the to-be accomplished lists (or at least have master lists written in different colors), & realize that I don’t have to be pushing full throttle everyday. I’m working at acknowledging the phrase that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be…I also know that while the phrase is ‘true’…one also needs to put in the work in order to build the future that they want. Therefore, I need to ‘fine-tune’ the daily fluid schedules—in order to ensure that projects are actually moving forward & I’m not just focusing on ‘fluff’ items (the small things that allow me to check more things off the to-be accomplished lists).

Progress is being made…it may not be quick…it may not be totally linear—but that is the path of the universe…non-linear, spiral, folding back on itself to show that while one may not have totally learned the ‘lesson’—you’re further along in your journey than you were when you first came upon the ‘lesson’.

How did you do with your Sagittarius goals? What was one key takeaway message you found?

Namaste…

No Comments AstrologycareerFull Moon GoalsLifestyle ChallengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

Check-in time on the 44 goals before 44…take four

4th check-in on my ’44 goals before turning 44’ project; & realizing that I’m four months away from my 44th birthday. It’s been a seesaw in terms of productivity…some days I’m productive…other days I’m sitting in procrastination corner. If it were a perfect world & I was totally on top of my game—I’d be two-thirds of the way through the list (having 29 or 30 goals checked off).

It isn’t a perfect world though…I have gotten several goals accomplished, and there are others that are either halfway done or I consider on-going goals (so can’t consider them ‘completed’ until my birthday).

So what goals are completed? Halfway? On-going, or just not started yet? Images for the drawings, paintings, and needlepoint projects are after the list.

Well here are the 44 goals that I wrote out on the evening of my 43rd birthday last year:

  1. Starting my freelance science, health, medical communications business. In progress–I have the website, and I’m slowly getting blog posts up. I’m still in the progress of creating a portfolio to have on the site as well to highlight the types of communication pieces I would enjoy creating for customers. The site: jessicamatts(dot)com
  2. Transition into a remote science/health/medical comms position. Need to have a portfolio (possibly) and need to start looking to see what companies are hiring remote comms workers. I really don’t want to have an hybrid or in-person job.
  3. Launching a YouTube channel. I have a YouTube channel…I just need to ‘rename/rebrand’ it, and figure out what the hell I’m going to talk about on it (whether it’s a mix of science and things or strictly a science/health/medical channel).
  4. Launch a podcast. Need to launch the YouTube channel first…so I’m not sure if this will happen before my birthday or not.
  5. Complete at least ten different Udemy courses: I’ve watched three; a minimum of seven more
    • Gods and Kings: The Art History of Mesopotamia & Arabia
    • Beginners guide to SEO for medical writers
    • Writing an Effective & Successful Business Plan
  6. Complete at least twelve different Skillshare courses: I’ve watched seven; a minimum of five more to go
    • Creating Your Dream Career: Uncovering & Apply Your Creative Strengths
    • Productivity Habits that Stick, Using Time Theming
    • Goal Setting for Creatives: play to your strengths & tap into flow
    • The Art of Setting Goals: Create Your Roadmap to Success
    • Creative business plan for artists: creative a thriving business
    • Creative journaling: getting started
    • Growing your creativity
  7. Read at least 44 non-fiction/historical fiction books: I’m a little over 2/3 of the way done with this one. I’ve read 30 & only have 14 more to go.
    • Monarchs of the Sea (The extraordinary 500-million year history of cephalopods) by Danna Staaf
    • Conquering your burnout: an actionable guide to overcome burnout by Veronica Llorca-Smith
    • Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to being happy, confident and you in a looks-obsessed world by Anuschka Rees
    • Unfuck your brain: Using science to get over anxiety, depression, anger, freakouts, & triggers by Faith Harper
    • Things no one will tell fat girls: A handbook for unapologetic living by Jes Baker
    • Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • Body Positive Power: Because life is already happening and you don’t need flat abs to live it by Megan Jayne Crabbe
    • Flying Snakes & Griffin Claws: and other classical myths, historical oddities, and scientific curiosities by Adrienne Mayor
    • Letters to a Starseed by Rebecca Campbell
    • White Women: everything you already know about your own racism & how to be better by Regina Jackson & Saira Rao
    • Healthy at Every Size: The surprising truth about your weight by Linda Bacon, PhD
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive approach to living a good life by Mark Manson
    • I’m Not Yelling: A Black Woman’s Guide to Navigating the Workplace by Elizabeth Leiba
    • Pantesdrunk by Misha Rantanen
    • Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World by Eve Rodsky
    • Bust Your Fears (Rebel Diva #4): Three tools to help conquer fear by Tikiri Herath
    • Top 10 Most Interesting Dinosaurs by Daniel Boszo
    • What if it does work out: How a side hustle can change your life by Susie Moore
    • 50 Dinosaur Tales: And 108 More Discoveries from the Golden Age of Dinos by Sabrina Ricci with Garret Kruger
    • Waking up in the Winter: In Search of What Really matters at midlife by Cheryl Richardson
    • Becoming What you are: A concise guide to awakening the light within by Two Workers
    • B*tch don’t kill my vibe: How to stop worrying, end negative thinking, cultivate positive thoughts, & start living your best life (self help with a little sass) by Reese Owens
    • Pagan Portals: Sekhmet: Lady of Flame, Eye of Ra by Olivia Church
    • Pagan Portals: Isis: Great of Magic, She of 10,000 Names by Olivia Church
    • Things You Might Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza by Mosab Abu Toha
    • Just Tell Me What I Want: How to Find Your Purpose When You Have No Idea What it is by Sara Kravitz
    • Headstrong: 52 women who changed science & the world by Rachel Swaby
    • Just do the damn thing: how to sit your @ss down long enough to exert willpower, develop self discipline, stop procrastination, increase productivity…sh!t done (Self help with a little sass) by Reese Owens
    • Authentic: How to be yourself & Why it Matters by Stephen Joseph
  8. Become fluent in Spanish. I need to stick with a daily time to get onto Mondly to work on this and #9 as well
  9. Become proficient in Arabic. See above
  10. Learn to say hello in ten different languages. See #8
  11. Learn to say thank you in ten different languages. See #8
  12. Complete a 365-day photography challenge. Nope. Need to create a ‘schedule’/outline and add this to my 45 things before 45 list
  13. Monthly editorial calendars, weekly/daily to-do lists. This is an ongoing goal, and one I’ve been improving with over the past two or three months compared to the first few months last year.
  14. What is my definition of success? Finished:
    • Being curious, constantly learning, creative, present, productive & aware that not everyday is going to be rainbows & unicorns…sometimes they’re going to be thunderstorms & disasters.
    • Success is more than money, influence & power. It’s being a member of the global community, helping to improve society in whatever small way(s) I’m able to.
    • It’s being comfortable with what I have, doing what I can with what I have, while striving to be a little better tomorrow than I was today. I’m only in “competition” with the me I was yesterday.
  15. Create a vision board based on that definition. Still collecting ‘images/words/phrases’ to place on the vision board.
  16. Learn basic sign language. I think I bought an e-course on this topic.
  17. Get debt down by a quarter to half (based on where it is now). Not sure how well I’m doing..since I’m still in the planning stages of my businesses
  18. Continue getting into the best shape of my life. I do need to figure out what some metrics will be to aim for (heavy lifting or something…because currently its a little too vague still)
  19. Learning about body confidence. Ongoing–have read several book on the subject (see above)
  20. Create a happiness plan. Need to set this up during the next two months
  21. Daily mediation on-going
  22. Stretch daily on-going
  23. Hold a 90-second plank. Need to get on this one
  24. Develop & stick with a consistent exercise schedule. On the agenda for the week.
  25. Make some mosaic art
  26. Make some resin art. Semi-completed. I made a small ‘container’
  27. Draw/doodle, color & frame an original drawing. Completed. See below for the pictures
  28. Draw/doodle, paint & frame original drawings. Completed. Again, see below for the pictures
  29. Start making jewelry. Semi-started. Attempted to make an resin pendant
  30. Complete at least another six cross-stitch projects. In progress-I have one finished, and am currently working on a second large one. Not sure if I’ll get four smaller ones done or not before my birthday.
  31. Create my own calendar using my nature photographs. Debating on whether to do a 2025 or try to make a planner for 2026 with my own photographs
  32. Create at least one piece of wood-burnt art. Haven’t tried yet. I have the kit…just haven’t worked up the nerve to try yet.
  33. Monthly full & new moon goals. I’ve only missed Oct 2023 full moon posting. This is on-going
  34. Daily oracle card drawings. This is on-going. I need to determine the best time to actually also post them to the oracel card channel that I started on instagram
  35. Learn to make sushi. I have a sushi making ‘kit’ and cookbook in my amazon cart to order.
  36. Get a haircut. Since there is starting to be a spike in SARS-CoV2 cases again…not sure if this will happen before my birthday or not.
  37. Create a coloring book from various (uncolored) doodles/drawings. I just need to retake a bunch of photographs (to ensure that that pictures are ‘centered’) so kinda in progress
  38. Complete a Sudoku or crossword puzzle daily (a minimum of 60-day challenge). Currently about two-thirds of the way through the 60-day Sudoku challenge…may have also hit that mark (not sure if I started that on March 20 or not). Almost finished
  39. Complete at least five 30-day challenges. So far have completed at least 30 days of the Sudoku challenge. on-going.
  40. Read at least two ‘new’ (to me) banned books. Halfway done:
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  41. Read at least two ‘new’ (to me) classics
  42. Read at least one ‘new’ trilogy (or longer) series. Finished. Have read at least five to seven this year.
    • Lost & Found series by Catherine Cowles (five books–series is done)
    • Cottonwood Cove series by Laura Pavlov (five books–series is done)
    • Lakeshore U by L.A. Cotton (four books, not sure if there are more yet)
    • Kincaid Brothers by Kaylee Ryan (six books, plus another two to finish)
    • Playing to Win by Bella Matthews (three books, plus one more to finish)
    • The Defiant Kings by Bella Matthews (five books–series is done)
    • The Kings of Kroydon Hills by Bella Matthews (four books–series is done)
  43. Finish creating an inspiring work/crafts area
  44. Write a letter to my future self (again). Wrote one for me to read/open on either 12/31/2025 or 01/01/2026

The three pictures that I drew and colored with either colored pencils or markers.

Two of the four paintings that I’ve done. I did two watercolors & two acrylics (one of each for two different sizes–the 9×12 seen here & then 8×10).

The finished needlepoint project on the left & the progress of the other large one on the right.

But, since it isn’t a perfect world—I’ve ‘completed’ a few goals: doodling/drawing, coloring & framing at least one original drawing (I did three); doodling/drawing, painting & framing at least one original piece of art (I’ve done four); reading at least one ‘new’ trilogy (I’ve read at least two—truthfully probably closer to five now), determining what my definition of success is (still need to make the vision board), and writing a letter to my future self.

That’s five goals finished…and technically there are three others that are halfway finished (reading at least two banned books, doing at least a two-month challenge of attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle each morning & creating some resin art). This means I’ve accomplished almost 11.5% of my goals (and if I add in the three halfway completed goals—I’m a little over 18.2% of the way). 

Several of the goals are ongoing goals—meaning I won’t consider them ‘finished’ until I hit my birthday (there are seven which accounts for almost 16% of the goals). So—that means there are 30 to 31 goals that I should still aim at trying to finish over the next four months). Though in all honesty I probably won’t become fluent in Spanish or proficient in Arabic in four months…these goals will possibly also be added to my 45 goals before 45 list, along with the new 365-day photography challenge.

In terms of reading goals: I’ve finished one (reading at least one ‘new’ trilogy or longer series; I think I have like five to seven actually listed above), I’m halfway done with another (reading at least two ‘new’ banned books), and I’m almost two-thirds of the way through the nonfiction/historical fiction challenge (I’ve read 30 books, which means only 14 more to go). I still need to read another ‘new’ banned book & two ‘new’ classics.

In terms of the continuously learning (aka e-courses), I increased the total number of courses for both Udemy & Skillshare—I’m now stating I will finish at least ten Udemy courses (I’ve done three—so I’m also a third of the way there); and I will finish at least twelve Skillshare courses (I’ve done seven—so I’m a little over halfway done ‘watching’ these courses).

Progress is measured in the baby-steps forward, the tasks being checked off the list—and an new goal list is being brainstormed to come into being on the eve of my 44th birthday. I’ll check in later (possibly next week) with the goal list that I’m aiming to accomplish before July 20.

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Brain-dumps & goals lists (check)–now on to the long-term objectives

So the moon will be going through it’s next full moon stage at the beginning of next week-which means it’s time to look at the goals I’d set for the Virgo full moon, before planning for the Libra full moon.

So what were the goals that I’d set for the Virgo full moon? Well, they included:

  1. Get back into the practice of doing ‘monthly brain dumps’ and using things from the list as ideas for blog posts, infographics and so forth. 
  2. Working on that two-to-five year plan. Brainstorming (hopefully) reasonable milestones to aim for
  3. Make a list (from both my 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days) that I want to accomplish during the second quarter of 2024.
  4. Develop a rough draft of a fluid weekly schedule…leading to hopefully a workable fluid schedule by May.

So how did I do with each of them?

Monthly brain dump:

Well–I’m getting back into the habit. I made a brain-dump for March and actually managed to get a decent number of things checked off/accomplished, including:

  1. I posted the review to Last First Kiss on Amazon on the fourth…and they accepted it rather quickly (which was a nice surprise for a Monday).
  2. I’ve been keeping up with running the ‘accountability’ series within a Facebook group (posting the initial one on a Monday & then check-ins on Wed & Fri)
  3. I’ve been doing daily updates on Gaza on my Instagram channel (still debating on whether to start a ‘separate’ channel or not on this)
  4. I’ve found two new recipes to try this month
  5. I’ve done two e-courses
  6. I’m slowly getting back into getting on Mondly for learning a foreign language
  7. I’ve sent off two boxes of used DVDs & books…managed to hit about a quarter of my goal of earning a minimum of $100 this month selling stuff back.
  8. I finished two non-fiction books by the 20th (which meant I’d read/finished six books between 1/20 & 3/20)
  9. I set up the BINGO cards for both the second quarter of 2024 & for April
  10. Did my 3rd check-in on my 44 things to accomplish before turning 44
  11. I did my new & full moon goals this month
  12. I should hopefully have the third panel of the afghan completed by the end of the upcoming week

Working on the two-to-five year plan:

This currently is one of those ‘constantly’ in progress goals. I’m currently in the process of brainstorming ideas for not only objectives (short term goals) but ‘milestones’ as well. As I’d mentioned within my rough draft of a two-to-five year plan—I usually freak out trying to figure out how to break down the big ‘vision’ goal into smaller ‘sub-vision’ goals. It’s a work in progress, and maybe having watched the one course on how to write an business plan—I can at least get the big ‘vision’ goal down into smaller/yearly ‘sub-vision’ goals.

List of things from both the 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days to put on the second quarter BINGO card:

I’ve gotten this accomplished. What’s being added to the second quarter BINGO card (and partially to the April BINGO card) includes:

  1. Creating a vision board based on my definition(s) of success
  2. Launching a YouTube channel
  3. Completing three 30-day challenges
  4. Reading at least another 8-12 nonfiction books
  5. Reading another ‘banned’ book and at least one ‘new’ classic book
  6. Finishing at least one small needlepoint project
  7. Finishing the afghan project
  8. Drawing/doodling & painting an original piece of art
  9. Creating a workout plan
  10. Writing a letter to my future self (again)
  11. Completing at least 4 more Udemy courses & at least 5 more Skillshare courses
  12. At least 30 minutes 3x/week on Mondly learning a foreign language
  13. Start at least one new Instagram channel (possibly for the oracle cards)
  14. A minimum of 12 mini book reviews (for the creative blog)
  15. A minimum of 10 ‘blurbs/reviews’ of different science papers (for the science/health/medical blog)

These are in addition to the ‘normal’ goals that I have on it:

  1. Daily oracle card drawings
  2. Water before coffee
  3. Daily craft time
  4. Daily gratitude journal entries
  5. Daily intentional movements
  6. Daily mediation
  7. No spend challenges
  8. Time & project management
  9. Read at least nine fiction books (breaks down to at least three a month)

Develop a ‘rough’ fluid weekly schedule:

I’ve realized that at times my biggest distractions are getting back onto social media and semi-doom scrolling…so I need to ‘block’ myself from at least Facebook majority of the day. I’m not going to ‘block’ myself from Instagram…as I haven’t bookmarked the ‘help’ page yet for LI ticket submissions.

This week I’ve tried the idea of time theming…where I put a particular ‘theme’ to a day. The theme is suppose to help me ‘focus’ by the fact that most tasks for the day should be around the ‘theme’. What I’ve learned—I need to do more of a morning & afternoon theme than a particular full day theme. Especially since I’m still not fully certain of when I have the most focused attention/energy. 

I know that most people (and there is research to back this) state that we’re most focused the first couple of hours in the morning…and I’m semi-focused during the morning. I think that I’m the most focused at night when I’m working on crafts…which means that I possibly should be thinking of trying to get more ‘crafts’ made so I can launch a online craft store (via Etsy or some other site).

Next week I’m going to try to blend ‘theming’ in with time blocks. I’ve also realized that I kinda like semi-spontaneous during the day/week—and by that I mean moving projects around to days when I think I’ll actually make some progress towards getting them started/finished. Also next week will show me how well I can manage my day when I’m in charge of the animals for more than just ten or twelve hours.

Four goals. Two were ‘one-and-done’ (monthly brain dump & list from the combo 44 things/101 goals), and both were finished. The other two were more ‘fluid’ and semi-continuous goals. The weekly schedule needs to have decent breaks scattered throughout (not to mention a time for intentional movement). The two-to-five year plan…well I still need to fine-tune the goals & objective statements, not to mention figuring out what milestones to have for each sub-objective. But I made some progress on both of those goals…so it was a win for the Virgo full moon period.

As I mentioned in last month’s post—I want to try to combine different methods of goal setting and see if a blend of methods works better than a ‘single’ method. I’ve picked the following methods to try to blend: Value-based goal setting (are the goals I’m setting matching my values?), OKR (objective & key results), WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan) & goals based on the phase/constellation of the moon. Four methods, and truthfully the biggest ‘obstacles’ are going to be trying to determine the key results/outcomes that I can actually achieve within a set time frame (not too long or short of time).

Since we’re also entering the last week of March—it is also time to reflect back on the first quarter of the year—did you get everything accomplished that you wanted? Or are there still big goals that will now be stretching into the second quarter of the year?

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Virgo Goals: Focusing on time & project management skills

So the moon hit its full stage last night as it enters the Virgo constellation, and I’m a day late in posting my reflections & goals. But that’s the beauty of the moon—it stays ‘full’ or ‘new’ for a day or so past the ‘peak’. There are only four days left in Feb—as this year is a leap year. As I mentioned in yesterday’s update on the Leo full moon goals—the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and at times I fall short on hitting goals (due to sitting firmly within procrastination corner).

Looking back at things—I never set goals last year for the Virgo full moon…but that was because we were still in the middle of dealing with the family medical crisis, and I let a lot of things slide (like posting consistently to the blog). That is one thing I’m aiming on improving this year—posting to at least this blog at least four times a month (covering the new & full moon goals).

If you’re one who tries to understand how your mood changes or is affected by the moon—the Virgo full moon usually has people feeling finicky and anxious. Personally—I don’t need any extra anxiety in my life; I manifest plenty on my own. Though no matter what sign I go with (star, rising, or moon)—all three are able to handle the Virgo energy. 

Feeling even more finicky and anxious currently probably isn’t helping world matters, but I’m going to try to focus on what I can control (how I perceive and react to various things).

So what are some questions that one can ask during this full moon? If one looks to ‘Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland—these are the questions:

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 above questions 1 to 5, my answers would look like this:

  1. Since I haven’t really been around other people daily since 2019…I don’t think that I’ve been picky, pedantic, or critical of others. Unless, one wants to consider my daily updates on the situation within Gaza—then yes, I have been critical of A LOT OF PEOPLE..all strangers…all politicians…all individuals that are doing LITERALLY NOTHING TO STOP A GENOCIDE. So…I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be harboring critical (and at times disparaging) thoughts on various world leaders—look at the state of the world. In terms of how I see myself? Possibly, I do at times have the bad habit of letting my inner critic/imposter syndrome get the better of me quite frequently lately—and by allowing that, I’ve realized that I’m sitting firmly within procrastination corner, and need to move out into productivity central.
  2. This is a maybe, leaning towards a hard-yes. I’ve realized over the past few years, several ‘problems/issues’ I need to work on addressing. The first—stop being a people pleaser, start having firmer boundaries, learning to say no to things, and not be ‘agreeable’ just to avoid confrontations/conflicts. The second—speaking up for myself—this can be in terms of advocating for projects/work (not wanting to work on the same thing day-in and day-out), or standing up for my right to express my opinions on different platforms. The third—work on ‘speaking’ up on camera/video. I’d realized recently that I’m still letting a particular childhood ‘phobia/trauma’ dictate certain things…that ‘phobia/trauma’—being concerned/scared of others trying to ‘correct’  my speech (and how I say pronounce things). How do these ‘problems/issues’ equate to humbleness—I prefer being in the background and not center stage, and not ‘claiming’ the spotlight when one of my ideas or something I worked on gets spotlighted (letting others take the ‘fame’). Moving forward (either working for myself or into industry)—I need to start tooting my own horn and showing/highlighting my own worth.
  3. I’ve taken over majority of the household chores & half the cooking chores at home. Up until recently—I’d also been sharing a daily update on the situation in Gaza & the West Bank on different social media platforms—giving a voice to those that are being targeted for genocide, and helping to (hopefully) educate more people on what is happening. I say ‘up until recently’—because currently I’ve been restricted from my LinkedIn account, but am still posting those updates to Instagram & my personal Facebook page.  I’m working on my transition plan to either remote writing and/or freelance writing. I’ve discovered that two of my ‘whys’ for this change include wanting to help improve both science communication between the general public and scientists, and to help improve science education (possibly through the creation of online courses that can serve as supplemental study aids for students).
  4. Umm…the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. There is still the Russian invasion of Ukraine (entering like year two?), the genocide going on in Gaza, genocides happening within various African countries (the Congo & Sudan to name two), and other areas of the world. The SARS-CoV2 virus is still floating around as well…so have I been complaining—I’d say I’ve been more sharing news (with my opinions interspersed), and if that accounts for complaining—then yes. Has it attracted negativity? Yes…but there are always going to be people that don’t like things being pointed out to them—and I refuse to moderate what I write/share/post just to appease the emotions of total strangers. Therefore—I’m trying to focus on what is actually within my control (how I react to things), and am working on trying to catch and ‘rewrite’ the negative self-thoughts throughout the day. 
  5. Well, this month is almost over…and I’d say I’ve accomplished possibly a third of what I was aiming for—while making note of where I can strive to improve things. The biggest area that I need to work on: time & project management (aka getting out of procrastination corner and into productivity central). While I managed to watch an e-course this month, I have yet to watch any TedTalks or listen to many podcasts—two things I’m going work on improving moving forward. Creating an fluid weekly schedule, editorial calendar, and having access to all my social media channels—I will hopefully move slowly out of procrastination corner. 

 So one other thing people should look at is what house the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Virgo full moon also correlates to my 11th house or my friend zone. Therefore, the period of the Virgo full moon is a time to try to focus on the other people in your life, plus build up your personal and professional networks as well.

I’d been doing decently at networking on LinkedIn over the past few months—especially since I’d started speaking up on behalf of Gaza & Palestinians. Though, now (since my account has been restricted)—I need to figure out how to build that type of network off of LinkedIn, in other words—really start building out both blogs/websites, setting up an ‘craft’ store, creating newsletters and so forth.  

I’ve realized over the past few months—that while remote work would be nice (steady paycheck), it may not come to be—because of the fact that I’ve been speaking out on behalf of Gaza & Palestinians. Therefore—I do need to start focusing a little more on getting the freelance business(es) up and going by the summer. That also means figuring out how to reach-out/network with other freelancers (and just people in general) off of social media channels (since once your accounts are ‘restricted’—you do lose access to things).

So what can I work on during the next full moon period? Well, I can:

  1. Get back into the practice of doing ‘monthly brain dumps’ and using things from the list as ideas for blog posts, infographics and so forth
  2. Working on that two-to-five year plan. Brainstorming (hopefully) reasonable milestones to aim for
  3. Make a list (from both my 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days) that I want to accomplish during the second quarter of 2024
  4. Develop a rough draft of a fluid weekly schedule…leading to hopefully a workable fluid schedule by May.

Four goals for the Virgo full moon. Two could be considered ‘one-and-done’ goals—doing a monthly brain dump, and making a list of things I want to accomplish during the second quarter of the year. Though technically—the second goal could be a ‘one-and-done’, if I make the time to sit and contemplate what those milestones would be. One thing that I’ve realized over the past year or two—I’m old fashion in terms of keeping track of things—meaning, I like writing things down on paper and referencing back to them..though I also know that once various aspects of either getting a freelance business launched or landing a remote job, I will have to also make use of digital tracking systems.

The rough draft weekly schedule has more to do with setting a ‘timer’ for say sixty to ninety minutes for working on a project (or doing research), then taking a ten to fifteen minute break before starting the next block of time. If I get a ‘task’ done quicker, I’ll stop the initial timer (make note in the planner how long task ‘x’ actually took), and set the break timer. In addition I need to find a productivity app that allows me to block access to social media for set periods of time as well (not sure if the self control app works on this laptop).

I’d mentioned two years ago that I’d been trying to work on an mind-map for a post/article where I was going to try to combine different methods of goal setting (SMART goals, the 12-week method, & setting goals by the phase of the moon)…and then something else caught my attention and I never got that particular project off the ground…this year will be the year that I get that article written and published (after coming up with a good tracking method and testing it out).

So..yeah–I’ll be spending most of the Virgo full moon trying to figure out the best ways of being more productive so that I can move out of procrastination corner and further into productivity central. Hopefully by focusing on what I can control, will also help in controlling the anxiety, stress, and to a point the mild depression that I fall into every so often.

I want to end by asking: what is one of your favorite ways of setting goals? Is it using the SMART method, the 12-week method, or by the phase of the moon? Also—how are you handling the extra anxiety of the Virgo moon this week?

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Time to work on getting out of procrastination corner

So, we’re going to be seeing the second full moon of 2024 this weekend. Which means before looking ahead to the Virgo full moon, I need to reflect back on the goals that I’d set for the Leo full moon—and that I’m going to be a day (or two) late in posting both of them. 

I know that I have probably only managed to achieve about half the goals that I’d set at the end of January. The reason…well, I’m currently sitting nice and semi-comfortable within ‘procrastination corner’. Where is procrastination corner, you ask. Well—it’s wherever you’re feeling extremely comfortable, and knowingly putting off tasks. The tasks that I’ve been pushing off…have centered lately on looking to the future. The world is still going to hell in a hand basket (with the ongoing & live-streaming genocide in Gaza; genocides in the Congo & Sudan; and elsewhere). So…yeah, it’s a little difficult right now to try to look to the future, when one isn’t sure if world is going to survive past May.

The world is going down the drain…the country isn’t in much better shape—this is going to be a hellish election year…and also the first one where I vote third-party. I refuse to support a president that is backing a genocide, and I refuse to vote for the orange anus. We’re 55 days into 2024…and there is 111 left…but can we fast-forward to 2028 please…and thank you.

So what were the goals that I’d set for the Leo full moon? They included:

  1. Develop not only an calendar for intentional movement (such as weight lifting, cardio & other stuff), but also a weekly schedule for working on different projects (such as morning updates on Gaza & the West Bank; my microbe series I want to get started; and other ‘random’ projects), as well as continuous learning (working through e-courses and listening to podcasts). 
  2. Continue working on my two-to-five year plan…with mini-goals/objectives
  3. Spend time in the evenings working on crafts (continue the afghan, or also work on the needlepoint project, doodle/draw, maybe try to make some jewelry).
  4. Evening oracle card reading and meditation time. 

So how did I do with each of them?

Developing a calendar & weekly schedule, (I’d say I managed about 10% of this goal):

I draw out a calendar monthly…as I’ve yet to find a physical planner that has an layout that I like. I’ve also realized—I’m “old-fashion”—I do better when I write things out by hand (hence drawing the calendar, making to-do lists, and so forth). I just haven’t created a calendar for doing intentional movement—the best I’ve managed is trying to get out into the backyard for about an hour or so & throwing the ball for the younger dog. I’m still working on developing a fluid weekly schedule. Also, I decided that instead of starting with my microbe series—I’m ‘relaunching’ the oncology series—it will be on the science, health/medical blog, possibly on Instagram, Facebook (have to decide if it will be on my personal page, or what), and then on LinkedIn (once I hopefully have been given access to my account again). I may try to start listening to podcasts at night when I’m working on craft projects.

Continuing to work on my two-to-five year plan, (I’d say that I managed maybe 5% of this goal):

Do I know what I would like to have accomplished within the next two-to-five years? Kinda…do I have those goals broken down into more manageable steps & milestones…nope, not yet. Again, I have fallen into procrastination corner—where I’ve been putting off things…and allowing my anxiety, stress, and depression to kinda dictate what I do during the day…something I’m trying to work on improving—it’s small steps each day, sometimes sliding backwards, sometimes crawling forward.

Evening Craft time, (I managed 100% of this goal):

I’ve been diligent with this goal. I’m not quite two-thirds of the way done with the current afghan project. I should be finished with the second large panel by next week, and by the end of next weekend, have it attached to the other portion of the afghan. The final panel, plus the two border pieces will be hopefully finished by sometime in April—with a completed afghan by early May (at the latest). I’m thinking of using it then as a ‘example’ of the type of afghan I can create & possibly sell (have color selections—like warm colors (red, orange, yellow, and variations of those two), cool colors (blue, greens, purples), and possibly ‘mixed’.

Prior to focusing on the afghan, I’d been working on my second large needlepoint project—which is currently on ‘hold’ until I get the afghan finished. Though I’m thinking of creating a few smaller ‘abstract’ pieces to use as ‘examples’ or possibly to sell (see what type of engagement I get with them).

Evening oracle card time & meditation time (check–100%, though I’m trying to ‘extend’ the meditation time):

I’ve been diligent with reading oracle cards in the evenings..though at times I look back to see if I’ve pulled the cards and then just reference back to those pages…so I should still sit with the cards and see if I feel like I’m getting a ‘different’ answer. 

Meditation time is usually a few minutes and tied in with pulling the oracle cards. 

Overall thoughts on the Leo full moon goals:

I wrote at the end of last month that life wasn’t so much about finding balance—but equilibrium between areas of life. Right now I feel like I have to spend more time doing things to replenish my inner cup due to the massive amount of negative news in the world. It seems that it takes more and more energy every day to read what is happening in Gaza & write something about it for LI and then put it into graphics for Instagram. I didn’t realize how deep the void of compassion & empathy was in the west until the genocide started in Gaza.

So…I managed a little over fifty percent in terms of completing the goals. I fully acknowledge that I’m sitting (quite comfortably) within procrastination corner currently and it is going to take a good amount of energy (and accountability) to move from that corner to being on the outskirts of productivity central. The two areas I need to work on—being more organized & productive during the day (getting back to writing out to-do lists, using a planner, and so forth), and being a little more optimistic about things (especially in regards to long-term goals).

I also acknowledge my privilege in terms of life right now…I’m a white, heterosexual female living within the US…technically I only have to ‘worry’ about: sexual assault and low pay (compared to white male counterparts) in comparison to women of color, and individuals with visible handicaps/disabilities. One of the things I’m working on this year is decolonizing my mind, and relearning (or learning for the first time) the history of places & people that might have been ‘polished’ (shall we say) when they were talked about within history books in the west.

I’m hoping therefore to also have more nonfiction book reviews up this year over topics that might make people uncomfortable–because they point out the hypocrisy of the west & at time our willingness to turn ‘blind eyes’ and ‘deaf ears’ to various problems, because they don’t affect us personally.

But to end on a lighter note–what is one goal that you accomplished during the Leo full moon?

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Reading..goal-setting..choosing my words: Review of Cancer Full Moon

Okay…we’re going to be heading into the first full moon of 2024 tonight (and I’m behind schedule as usual)…which means that before looking ahead to the Leo Full Moon, I need to look back at the goals I had set for the Cancer full moon. 

It’s 2024…and we’re sliding down a slope towards a regional conflict that could morph into a global conflict. The issues are within West Asia (Gaza, the occupied West Bank and the genocide Israel is carrying out). I’ve managed one update here on the blog…hoping to do it at least twice a month, and once I start doing more research on other conflicts, having a weekly update.

But this post is to look at the goals I’d set for the Cancer Full Moon last month and how I did with each of them. The goals that I’d set included:

  1. Determine the four top goals for 2024 and come up wiht a good tracking system
  2. Determine my words (or phrase) for 2024
  3. Nightly oracle card drawings and mediation
  4. Draft a three-to-five year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/bi-weekly goals)
  5. Finish at least one more non-fiction book
  6. Work through part of a personal/professional growth course.

So how did I do with the goals?

Determine the four top goals for 2024…and come up wiht a good tracking system

The four TOP goals for 2024 are:

  1. Getting the freelance business(es) launched. This will also include a YouTube chnnel, possible podcast (by the end of the year), figuring out how to monetize the creative blog, and possibly an Etsy store (or other site) for selling crafts.
  2. Getting the debt down
  3. Continuing to heal my relationship with food and movement
  4. Continuing working on hitting goals from my 44 things before 44 goal list, and 1001 goals in 1001 days.

I’m still working on developing a good tracking system for the goals.

Determining my words (or phrase) for 2024:

The words: growth, challenge, compassion, curiosity, and creativity.

Why these words? Well 2024 is going to be a challenging year (in more than one way)—which will mean I will be growing, I’m naturally creative and curious—so they will help me navigate the challenging year and determine the best ways to ‘grow’, and compassion is needed to help heal the world.

I haven’t thought of a phrase yet…though it may just be the hashtags: #WTF and #WTH considering the state of the world.

Nightly oracle card drawings and meditation:

Yes, I’ve been doing nightly oracle card drawings (they’re daily on Thursday—as they’re part of my Thoughtful Thursday series on LinkedIn), and I usually am able to manage a couple minutes mediating.

Drafting a three-to-five year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/bi-weekly goals)

This is still a work in progress. Why? Well…we’re still watching a genocide being live-streamed. The occupying force that is committing the genocide is looking to go after other neighbors, and I’m seriously concerned that this is going to spiral into WWIII…so as I continue to work on drafting my ‘long-term’ plan…I may cut the time down to two-to-three years…which could very well be how long humanity has left…

Finish at least one more non-fiction book:

I’d actually finished three non-fiction books during the past month:

  1. Body Positive Power: Because Life is Already Happening & You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live It by Megan Jayne Crabbe
  2. Flying Snakes & Griffin Claws: and other classical myths, historical oddities, and scientific curiousities by Adrienne Mayor
  3. Letters to a Starseed by Rebecca Campbell

Currently I’m bouncing back and forth between the following non-fiction books:

  1. Healthy at Every Size by Linda Bacon, PhD (53% done)
  2. The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017 by Rashid Khalidi (26% done)
  3. Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution by Cat Bohannon (basically just started ~3% done)
  4. American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodward (basically just started ~4% done)
  5. They Call Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl’s Fight for Freedom by Ahed Tamini & Dean Takruri (~10% read)
  6. Gaza in Crisis: A Reflection on the US-Israeli War on the Palestinians by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe (55% done)
  7. White Women: Everything you already know about your own racism and how to be better by Regina Jackson & Saira Rao (72% done)

There are about another 500 that are waiting to be started…I have a habit of buying books before finish about a third of the ones I already own.

Working through part of a personal/professional growth course

Earlier this month I watched an short art history course on Udemy: Gods and Kings: The Art History of Mesopotamia and Arabia.

It was a very short course—only about an hour long; which is one of two things I had against the course. I felt like the instructor could have done more on each of the topics; in addition—there should have been some type of ‘discalimer’ stating that you should take her prehistory art history course before taking this one. I found it slightly distracting that she kept referring back to ‘previous’ lectures—which in actuality would be a ‘previous course’.

But other than those two things—it was a good course for being only about an hour long, and trying to cram thousands of years of art history into that period (especially for the two regions covered). I’d like to see an more extensive course offered for the art history of the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain).

In conclusion:

So…I think I managed to meet most of the goals (long-term planning is always an ongoing process…especially when witnessing an genocide & the lack of compassion that majority of the world is showing). I also know that I’m running behind by about a day or so in posting things to this blog…and I’m woefully behind on posting to the science/health/medical blog…

One e-course was completed…I have a goal of trying to complete at least eighteen different e-courses before June of 2026; and I’d technically like to complete about a third of those before my birthday in September. One of the things I’m going to be doing is (especially since I’ve bought SO many e-courses over the past few years on different sites) to focus on courses that will help me launch my businesses this year.

I also have a goal of reading at least 100 non-fiction books by June of 2026–and I also have the goal of trying to read 44 of those before my birthday. I’ve managed to read ten (between Sept of 2023 and today)…so to reach the goal by my birthday–only 33 more books; and I’m pretty certain I’ll make the 100 books by June 2026–since I’m a tenth of the way there already.

I’m pretty certain I’ve closed the career chapter(s)/section on working in higher education, and actually have ‘written’ a short story within my life story on reasons why I don’t think I’d be a good fit within industry…so I am slowly working on writing that next section of my life.

What goal from the December Cancer Full Moon are you proud to have accomplished?

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Major goals for 2024 determined…still need to flesh out other goals and content ideas

Alright…the moon should be heading into it’s next new moon phase tonight, and I’m slightly behind schedule already..it’s 2024, and the world is still going to hell at a decent clip…but that’s the topic for a weekend blog post. Before looking ahead to the Capricorn new moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Sagittarius new moon and see how I did with each of them.

So goals did I set for the Sagittarius new moon? Well, they included:

  1. Determining the goals for 2024 (possibly further?); Setting up the yearly BINGO card, the first quarter BINGO card, & January BINGO card. Possibly also reflect back on 2023 (so two [maybe three] goals in one?)
  2. Develop fluid plan(s) for: (1) getting the freelance science/health/med comms/edu business up and going; (2) determining how to monetize the craft/hobby/reflective blog; (3) getting debt down [and savings up]; and (4) transitioning to a more minimalistic lifestyle
  3. Content, content, and more content creation (or at least brain dumps, mind-maps, and brainstorming session)

So…basically brainstorming and some reflection and a little planning…how did I do?

Goals for 2024 and the first three BINGO cards:

This goal was accomplished–though I really didn’t reflect back on 2023; but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to or not (at least not that during the month of December)…

The big goals for 2024 will include:

  1. Getting the different freelance businesses up and running (both the science/health/med comms/edu plus figure out how to monetize the creative)
  2. Launch a podcast and/or YouTube channel (related to both freelance businesses)
  3. Getting the debt down
  4. Continue healing my relationship with food & movement (aka getting into the best shape of my life)
  5. Determine my definition of not only success but minimalism as well–and start living/embodying them.

I didn’t stretch any of them past this year…because the year is going to be a shit show in so many different ways. But I did get the three BINGO cards drawn.

Develop the fluid plans for different things:

Nope…I had four areas I wanted to develop at least a rough outline for in terms of hitting said ‘goal’ (launching freelance businesses, monetizing them, getting debt down, and transitioning to a more minimalistic lifestyle). But I didn’t get to them…because it took quite a bit of effort to make it through the month without giving into a screaming fit and throwing things around the house…This is something to work on during the first quarter this year.

Content, content, and more content creation:

Okay…I have ideas for things I want to do…but didn’t exactly create a whole lot of content over the past few weeks. In part—just trying to survive the holidays. While mom wasn’t home last year—she was at least still alive…this past year, she was dead and her urn is sitting on the mantle. Also, this past holiday season—there is an on-going genocide (streaming live from Gaza), and numerous other world conflicts…so, I was just focused with getting through the day without again having screaming fits and throwing things.

The way 2023 unfolded wasn’t even close to how I thought it would go…I wasn’t expecting my mother to pass, to lose two pets in a span of four days, adopt a puppy, lose another pet (on my birthday), and for the world to lose it’s collective mind.

Will 2024 go the way I want? Doubtful…somehow we’ve let the greedy, pushy, bullying, egocentric individuals get power and be in charge. I know that this fall the election is going to be extremely volatile….but if Trump is allowed on the ballot…that just means our judiciary system has failed us…neither ‘major’ candidate is actually a good choice..both are huge problems—both at home and abroad.

What we need—two more constitutional amendments—one that states term limits for Congress & the Supreme Court; and the second—an age ‘cap’—to where once you hit a certain age, you’re not allowed to run for any office…it’s time to get the dinosaurs out of the government (and I’m talking all three branches).

Then there is the matter of the genocide that is currently happening in Gaza (not to mention in the Congo, Sudan, and other places)…there are so many issues we need to address in relation to these genocides (white supremacy/colonization; need for various electronics—why do we let them come out with new ones constantly?; and just how we need to come together as a global society).

But those are topics for other posts…In regards to the goals I set back in December…I managed a third of them. Not great—but considering the month…it’s a win that I’ll take. Each new and full moon period is a time to aim at being a little better than the previous period. Sometime that happens, other times I stay the same, or slightly slide backwards. Progress is made though when I acknowledge that things didn’t go great—and continue on the path forward, regardless of how slow I may be progressing.

Progress…that is what we need…progress towards a better future…an healthier planet, and healthier global society.

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Time to reflect & plan for 2024 and beyond…Cancer Full Moon Goals

Tonight marks the last full moon of 2023, as the moon makes it’s way through the Cancer constellation…last year—it marked the first full moon; this year, it’s marking the last. It’s also considered the Cold Full Moon…which is extremely fitting—not only is it December…but considering current global events…it’s fitting.

We’re probably heading into 2024 being a less then an centimeter away from a regional conflict that may explode to a global conflict. I’m talking about the issues in West Asia (Gaza, the occupied West Bank, and the genocide that Israel is carrying out). I’ve been posting consistently on this over on LinkedIn and Facebook, and will probably start doing a weekly recap on the situation here starting next week…

But…that isn’t what this particular post is about. This post is about the Cancer Full Moon….

So, what are some questions that one can reflect on during this time? If one looks at the book: ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland, there are several questions, and they are:

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? Hmmm?

Have I been secretive and possibly even a tad paranoid?

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

Since the full moon falls towards the end of the month…I can answer based off of how I felt the month had gone. If I were to number the above questions one to five, I think that this year my answers would be:

  1. Well…there is a genocide being carried out in real time over in Gaza & the West Bank…so yeah, I probably haven’t been that ‘fun’ this month. Clingy—nope..I’ve never really been a clingy person in general. Do I feel insecure…yeah…and I know that it is due to my inner critic/imposter syndrome trying to derail me from fully launching a freelance science/health/medical comms business in addition to full time blogging on crafts/hobbies, and personal/professional growth.
  2. Probably…yeah…I have been coming at things sideways—especially in terms of setting up the freelance business(es).
  3. I don’t think I’ve been manipulative this year/month…have I been a little sulky—possibly, but again—there is a genocide being carried out in real time. Moody or brooding—again, genocide being carried out in real time, and I’m getting tired of how various politicians are listening more to their donors than to the population that they’re suppose to be serving…so yeah…I’ve been slightly sulky, moody, and brooding this past month.
  4. No I haven’t been paranoid…nor really secretive…I shared links to both blogs sometime last fall to my LinkedIn profile…though I haven’t been totally consistent to posting to the science one (I think there are two blog posts and I haven’t done one since October). I just need to develop some type of daily schedule that I can actually stick with in terms of content development and posting to various sites.
  5. There has been ample family time this year…and several get-together with various friends. While the pandemic has been down-graded to epidemic status..I’ll probably start wearing a mask when going into really inclosed spaces.

The main takeaway for the month–I need to work on my imposter syndrome/inner critic when it comes to my science/health/med writing. I’ve been able to more or less ‘silence’ it when it comes to writing about what is going on in Gaza and the West Bank…

The Cancer full moon is also passing through my 9th house (or my ‘Big Picture’ zone). This is the time to deal with issues relating to travel, study, and so forth. There are two questions that you can ask yourself in regards to the 9th house and the Cancer full moon, and they are:

Have you been fussing too much over the details of your latest problems or tasks?

Is your life and mind expanding or narrowing?

If I were to number the above questions one and two, my answers would be as followed:

  1. Yes, I have a gold medal in over-thinking and analysis-paralysis. Last year…it was overthinking things in regards to looking at job ads for remote work…this year it was dealing with grief, and then the world lost it’s mind in October (I’m talking the on-going genocide in Gaza)…therefore I haven’t been as ‘productive’ as I could have been this past month/year. 
  2. I’m working on making sure that my life and mind are expanding. I’ve bought several (probably closer to a dozen plus) books on the history of the Palestinian conflict, white supremacy (within the US) & various historical US incidents that weren’t taught when I was in school (the Tulsa race massacre, the Osage murders, and others),  and how the west has royally fucked up Africa (haven’t gotten to these books yet). I’m slowly working on stretching my comfort, bounce (I added this zone in), and stretch zones while shrinking my risk and die zones.

I’m getting back into history, social sciences, and current events…especially in terms of Gaza & Palestine…will be also expanding to include Yemen, Syria, Sudan, and the Congo as we move into the new year. Evenings are spent on crafts—currently working on a new afghan (this time as panels to stitch together and not a huge ass afghan that will bend the knitting needles). 

Since this full moon falls so close to the end of the year (we’re five days away from New Years Eve)…the goals are going to revolve around getting setup for 2024, so I can hopefully hit the ground running and be fairly productive (compared to 2023)…

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

  1. Determining the top four goals for 2024…and coming up with a good tracking system..
  2. Determining my words/phrase for 2024
  3. Nightly oracle card drawings and meditation
  4. Draft a three-to-five year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/bi-weekly goals)
  5. Finish at least one more non-fiction book
  6. Working through part (at least one module) of a personal/professional development course.

Half a dozen goals….but several are fairly ‘quick and easy’–such as determining my words/phrase for 2024…others are on-going goals–nightly oracle card drawings and meditation. Planning for next year, plus two-to-four years past–that will probably take the most time (in regards to breaking them down and coming up with a tracking system).

This year did not go anywhere close to what I thought it would…there has been deaths (my mother, plus three pets)…a chunk of the world loosing it’s collective mind and morals (I’m talking the ongoing genocide in Gaza)…and just general craziness…I hope that 2024 goes better…because I know it can also go a hell of a lot worse…

So…as we bask under the glow of the Cold Full Moon…I wish nothing but peace and prosperity to everyone…especially those going through hard times…and those suffering and struggling to just make it to tomorrow.

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Reflections, reading-list, and planning for 2024: Gemini Full Moon Goals

Okay…the moon should be transitioning into it’s last full moon phase of 2023 tomorrow night…which makes it roughly a full moon for Christmas. But before looking ahead to the next full moon (and the end of the year reflections), I need to look back at the goals I set for the Gemini full moon.

Things aren’t chilling out anywhere in the world…things in West Asia are still a stone-throw away from a regional/world war…so yeah, it’s going to be an extremely bumpy 2024…not thrilled…but…I’m alive…so I’ll figure out what the hell I’m doing for 2024 over the next few days…

Back to the review of the Gemini (Beaver Full Moon) goals. They included:

  1. Setting up for December 2023…and writing out the four big goals for 2024
  2. Continue reading the various non-fiction books I’ve started over the past few weeks
  3. Brain dumps, mind-maps, notes/ideas…aka. getting a list made for content ideads for 2024 and beyond

Okay…so how did I do with each goal?

Setting up for December 2023…and writing out the four big goals for 2024:

I’d set up a BINGO card for December, and wrote out what my top three goals were for the month:

  1. Finish planning out a possible YouTube and/or podcast ‘channel’
  2. Posting to each blog semi-consistently
  3. Working on various items from the 44 things before 44 and 101 goals in 1001 day lists

In terms of those three goals:

I’ve only managed to post to the creative blog somewhat consistently this month (I think it’s been the new moon goals/reviews, a book review, and then the full moon goals/reviews). I haven’t posted to the science one since October…

I’m still planning out the possible YouTube and podcast ‘channels’. I have an idea for the name of both…ideas for both…I just need to develop an workable calendar that won’t have me totally overwhelmed—I’m thinking that once I start it, aim for biweekly on the YouTube and monthly for the podcast (to start).

And I’ve been slowly working on the two goal lists…

In terms of the four big goals for 2024—I had written down four…but three of them are technically related…so I’m still working on this one…

Continue reading non-fiction books:

Since I published the November full moon goals, I’ve finished the following three non-fiction books:

  1. Things no one will tell fat girls: a handbook for unapologetic living by Jes Baker
  2. Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis
  3. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I’m also a quarter of the way through the following two books:

  1. Flying Snakes & Griffin Claws, and other classical myths, historical oddities, and scientific curiosities by Adrienne Mayor
  2. The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017 by Rashid Khalidi

Brain dumps, mind-maps, and notes/ideas:

Not so much was done with this goal…I have ideas—I just need to get them onto paper…ranked…and a schedule set (and one that I will actually follow). I wrote things daily…but it was posted mainly to LinkedIn and Facebook—my daily updates on the on-going genocide in Gaza and the crap that is also going on in the occupied West Bank.

So….

Two out of the three were semi-completed to totally completed. I got goals set for December, started setting up goals for 2024, and I have finished three non-fiction books so far. Hoping to possibly finish another one by next week…but we’ll have to see on that.

I’m striving for progress…and I’m making progress on certain fronts, while stalling/back-sliding on other fronts. This is something I’m hoping to change in 2024. I’ll still be talking about Gaza/West Bank/Palestine (in addition to starting to talk about Yemen, and various issues within Africa as well).

We’re a global society…we should be striving to help each other…not sit around while one group tries to wipe out another (just to have total access & control of land and various natural resources)—so there will be more social science/history/current event posts within the creative/hobby blog starting in 2024 as well..

So..while I look ahead to the next full moon—it will be moving through the Cancer constellation, and is also called the Cold Full Moon (which is totally fitting for it being at the end of December)…I will also be looking ahead to 2024…and brainstorming ideas on how to become a better global citizen (not to say I’ve been a bad one to date…but I know that there are areas I can improve on)…

So…what did you manage to accomplish during the Gemini full moon?

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