Tag: selfcare

Harnessing time & project management to focus on personal & professional growth

So Thursday night marked the first full moon of 2024. We’re now twenty-seven days into the new year, and I’m ready for it be over. I know I should give it ‘more time’…but there is the ongoing genocide in Gaza (yes, the ICJ ruled…their ruling amounted to a ceasefire [stop any & all genocidal activities]…but Israel is ignoring it [as expected])…and I have a bad feeling things are going spiral out of control soon…and this is going to explode into the third world war.

Plus…there is that new variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus floating around as well…

Last year, I didn’t post any new or full moon goals for the first half of the year (depression and so forth)..and I’ve made it a goal to try to be better this year…even if I’m a day or more late in posting the goals (or reviews). 

What are some questions to reflect on during the first few days of the full moon? According to “Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland:

Have I been too self-centered, egotistical, or proud?

Have I been treating the people around me like minions?

Have I been arrogant, vain, pushy, or pompous?

Have I been expressing myself creatively enough?

Have I shown myself enough self-love?

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

  1. Let’s see…there is still the SARS-CoV2 virus running around (technically we’re in the ‘epidemic’ stage and not pandemic stage)…there is a genocide being carried out live in Gaza…and we’re heading into possibly the most heated/volatile presidential campaign season (even worse than either 2016 or 2020). Since I’m still working on building a freelance business, I don’t think I’ve been self-centered or egotistical about things. I’m proud that I haven’t totally lost my sanity or have had any type of major mental breakdowns. I won’t say that it has been a walk in the park—I’m still struggling with a few things, but I’m surviving.
  2. Nope, I haven’t been treating the people around me like minions. I live at home with my father currently—there are no minions here. Though the animals would say that I’m their minion.
  3. Again, nope I haven’t been arrogant, vain, pushy, or pompous. This is also because again—I haven’t really been out of the house for quite a while. Last year, I just started meeting a friend for lunch monthly again. Though I’m sure that those I’ve blocked on various social media sites might argue this. 
  4. Well, this is something I’m working on. Currently I’m working on a afghan and I’m about a little over a third done with it. I also have a needlepoint project I could pick back up, doodling, drawing, coloring, painting, and numerous other craft projects to do in my evening spare time. I would like to get up to Boomer with my camera at some point…but since I’m really a fair weather girl..that will still be a couple of weeks before that happens (and then will probably be the first time in over a year since I took my camera up there).
  5. The answer to this is almost me shrugging my shoulders…as in I’m not sure. From fall of 2021 though this year has been a goddamn rollercoaster…and I’ve never been a fan of them. So, I probably am not showing myself enough self-love and/or self-care. It is something I’m going to be trying to get better at as I navigate 2024 (with fingers and toes crossed that a world war isn’t going to suddenly erupt). So, yeah—I still need to work on improving my health: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social. 

With focusing on self-care/love, this will include doing intentional movements (anything from lifting weights, to walking, to cardio and yoga), meditating at night, doing a oracle/tarot card reading, starting to listening to podcasts again, reading, and just trying to figure out what works for me.

Looking at my chart—the Leo full moon is going through my 10th house, which is also my career zone. So, with it going through my career zone—the past couple of years have been spent trying to figure out what it is I want to do with the second half of my life…both personally and professionally.

I’ve decided that I’m going to be focusing on freelance (and possibly remote work) with science/health/medical communications/education, in addition to also adding in some history/social sciences and current events. As well as figuring out how to monetize the creative/hobby blog (link to a different site for selling crafts? Go to craft fairs and/or farmer markets? The possibilities are possibly endless.

The combination of the two—will allow me to combine my core values: learning/knowledge, imagination/originality, growth/evolution, communication & community, simplicity & insightful; with my strengths: learner, intellection, input, achiever, deliberative, creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking. In addition the combination of these paths (freelance work in different fields and creative craft work) will also allow me to embrace my multipotentialite personality.

So what are my goals for the Leo Full Moon? They include:

  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. 

Life isn’t so much about finding balance…but finding equilibrium between areas of life—sometimes we do need to push a little harder in the career…but then we need to fall back and spend more time doing things that replenish us and allows us to ‘refill’ our internal cup. This has actually been one of my biggest stumbling blocks—finding the equilibrium between things…as well as finally admitting that I was on the wrong career path.

Will I get all goals accomplished? Well, I am starting a couple of days late (because, as usually I’m running behind schedule on things)…and technically half the goals are continuous (three and four), while the first two goals are more fluid…so I’ll aim to get them accomplished…and I’ll check back in next month (with the update) and we shall see…

What are some of your Leo goals?

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Procrastination…derails majority of December’s progress

My apologies for ‘disappearing’ last month…my other laptop more or less died on me…and I was sulking and scared to see if I could pull anything off the backup hard drive. Needless to say–I’m going to strive to be better (or more consistent) in posting here, and on other sites as well.

So we’re officially in 2023…today is New Year’s Day–and I’m aiming to see the silver lining daily.

That means we have a new ‘blank slate’ for writing our life story…we have 365-days to progress towards our goals or potentially wallow in our comfort zone…personally I’m aiming towards making significant progress towards my goals this year.

The last third of 2022 was not an easy time…and it’s going to be bleeding over into the start of 2023…

The ongoing family medical issue is still ongoing…and currently we’re having to look into long-term skilled nursing facilities…with the small hope that she’ll recover enough there to be able to come home at some point this year.

While I’m happy that 2022 is over…it could have left on a slightly nicer note—we had to deal with a flat tire on our way home yesterday from visiting family in the hospital. Yet another little expense we weren’t expecting for early January. 

I’m working at looking for silver linings daily…cause life still has me feeling massively burnt out—and I know that it’s also part psychological…

I’m hoping that by the end of the year—I have a better grasp on my mental health…though I won’t be surprised if at some point I do get diagnosed with moderate cases of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘November in Review’ on December 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 100.6 million cases and now as of January 1st —we have reached just a little over 102.5 million cases (an increase of not quite 2 million cases). So, numbers are going up slightly…but that probably is due to the holidays and everyone traveling.

So—please, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get boosted when needed.

I’m boosted, but still wearing a mask if going into stores—because I haven’t gotten my flu shot yet…

Still trying to keep the mental health on an even keel—therefore, I’m still trying to lean more into my strengths and values: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths).

So before setting goals for January, it’s time to look back at the goals I set for December and see how I did with each of them. The goals for December included:

  1. 120-155K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge
  6. Meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Get the second blog up and going
  9. Work through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing
  11. Setting up goals/ ‘master’ plan for 2023-2028

So how did I do with each of them?

120-155K steps:

I barely managed to hit the minimum goal–but I did and slightly surpassed it at 121,549 total steps for December.

Partial walk at Boomer Lake and five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement each day:

No walks at Boomer last month, and while I in theory had five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement I still haven’t gotten around to writing down what those intentional movements were (just going by the ‘active’ minutes on the fitness watch).

Finish at least one non-fiction book:

Nope…partially read several non-fiction books, but haven’t finished any of them yet.

Read at least two-to-four fiction books:

Managed to read four and they were:

  1. Billionaire Unclaimed: Chase (The Billionaire’s Obsession #18) by J.S. Scott
  2. State of Shock (First Family #4) by Marie Force
  3. Only Mine (Honey Mountain #5) by Laura Pavlov
  4. Tor’s Solstice Surprise (Dragon Knights novella) by Bianca D’Arc

Still need to write min book reviews for these plus The Path to You (Wilder Brothers #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Commit to the no spend challenge:

Only managed to do barely half the month in terms of no-spend days. Due to the ongoing family medical issue—I’ve fallen back into the bad habit of spending money on things that (at times) I don’t really need.

Meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings

I’ve more or less managed to meditate and/or sit quietly each night…managed daily gratitude journal entries, and did daily oracle card drawings (might not have written them down though).

Craft time:

Finished the second abstract needlepoint project:

Second abstract needlepoint project finished off with buttons.

Slowly starting a third needlepoint project as well.

Get the second blog up and running

Nope…once again–one of the bigger goals for January

Work through at least one module of a personal/professional development course:

Nope…didn’t work through any modules of any course this past month

Writing, writing, and writing:

Did do some writing…though once the other computer started to act up–the writing and research kinda fell by the wayside…so I need to get back into the habit yet again.

Setting up goals/’master’ plan for 2023-2028

I’m slowly setting up the goals for 2023 (BINGO card style) and am working on the ‘master’ plan for the year and beyond. I know that my new normal is probably going to consist of a family member being in an assisted living facility now (though hopefully within a few months if they make enough progress they may be able to come home)…which means I can focus more on moving my life forward instead of being in a slight limbo of not knowing what is going on.

So, a little progress was made during December…and I feel like I’m already ten miles behind on what I need to be doing for 2023. At least I have the master tracking sheets for January set up (managed to finish those this morning)…and I have a couple of ideas of how to continue to make progress on time/project management as I head into 2023.

Goals are going to be in the BINGO card format—I’m also going to be copying those BINGO cards into my weekly/daily journal planner—so that I can actually reference back to them more than just once a month (or year).

In addition, I’ve removed the Facebook app from the phone (as one way of helping to save money—since that is one of paths of my book buying splurges), and will be deleting the Farmville 2 app from the kindle again (started playing that again mid-month and spent a little too much money on it)…or just play it slowly.

In addition I’m going to attempt to re-download and make use of the self-control app (blocking myself from Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and various other sites during the day)—hopefully it will work on the newer computer (for some reason it stopped working on the older one several months ago).

So, what does that mean for January and 2023 in general??

Well, hopefully I’ll be cutting down on the amount of debt I have (aiming to go at least 27 or 28 days of each month without spending any money)…goal is to have the debt down somewhere between a quarter and three-fourths by Dec 31st.

It also means that I’ve gotten serious about research/writing/content creation and am posting/publishing on multiple sites on a fairly consistent basis.

So what are the goals going to be for January?? Well, the major goals are going to be:

  1. 120-155K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake and at least five-to-ten minutes of intentional movmemnet each day (starting to also keep track of what that intentional movement is)
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Write at least three mini book reviews
  6. Commit to the no-spend days/no-spend weeks/limited spending challenge (aim for at least 25 days; goal being 28-29)
  7. Meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  8. Craft time
  9. Get the second blog up and running
  10. Work through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  11. Writing, writing, and writing
  12. Finishing the ‘master’ plan for 2023-2028

These goals are probably going to be staying the same throughout the year…the step goal will change monthly (going up and down)…and once I have my ‘master’ plan for the next few years drafted—the final goal will change or possibly disappear.

I know where my ‘distractions’ are…and all I need to do now is develop a plan/schedule for working around them (since a big part of my ‘distractions’ are reading and/or playing various games on the kindle).

2023 is going to be the year of success, progress, and change…every little step forward is a step towards those dreams.

Therefore I will also be leaning more into my strengths and values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/growth, and intellection.

They’ll be giving me ample practice at time and project management–and these also go hand in hand with consistency and productivity.

In addition the words I’m choosing for 2023 will also include: Change, Strength, Health, Self-care, and purpose.

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Scorpio New Moon Goals: emphasis on personal/professional development

So the moon is going to be transitioning through it’s new phase tonight, and moving through the Scorpio constellation. It was also a partial eclipse today as well. That means there are only six days left in October, and then sixty-one days left in 2022.

Looking back at what I wrote the past two years for the Scorpio new moon (in terms of SARS-CoV2 cases):

2020—the world had over 54 million cases, the US was topping 11 million, and there were over 1.3 million dead.

2021—the world had almost 248.5 million cases, the US was almost at 47 million cases, and there were over 5 million dead.

2022—the world has almost 632.8 million cases, the US has over 99 million cases, and there are over 6.5 million dead.

I don’t know if we’re ever really going to be out of the pandemic/epidemic roller-coaster for this virus—but that is a post in and of itself.

So, what can one do during the Scorpio new moon? Well according to ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland, you can:

  1. Get sexy
  2. Invest wisely
  3. Make inner peace
  4. B-r-e-a-t-h-e
  5. Drop grudges

In terms of the above items—the only one that I’m uncomfortable trying to do—is the first. Though, it can also refer to doing something to boost your self-confidence—which is how I’m going to be looking at it.

This moon is also moving through my first house or my image zone (how one presents themselves to the world). While the Aries new moon is the start of the zodiac calendar—when the new moon passes through your first house, it can also seem as the start of a “new year” (we can have a “new start” twice a year if necessary).

So what are some things that one can do in reference to their first house during this time? They can:

  1. Surprise friends with the ‘new you’
  2. Throw out all your old make-up and start again
  3. Get married or meet someone new
  4. Good time to move
  5. Splurge on something in a vibrant color
  6. Have a facial
  7. Get your sight checked

Looking at the above list—there are a few things that can still be automatically crossed off—throwing out make-up (currently I don’t wear any make-up, since I really haven’t left the house in like two years, and currently all the chats I’ve been doing have been virtual); getting married or meeting someone new (with the various things that are going on right now—literally don’t have the time for this); getting a facial (can do it at home for a fraction of the cost); and moving (on-hold for quite awhile currently).

I’d love to surprise people with the ‘new me’—I just have to figure out who she is—though I know this can be a simple as getting a new hairstyle.

So what are the two to five things I’m going to try to focus on for the Scorpio New Moon? Well, they are:

  1. Working on healing my relationship with food and movement. This includes having random dance parties in the living room on a 15-minute break between task, or getting out of the house with my dog for a quick 20-minute walk through the neighborhood
  2. Work on getting the second website up and going (focusing on science/medical/health communications), in addition to also focusing on trying to get a remote communications position as well
  3. Start working through various finance e-courses that I’ve bought over the years
  4. Continue to unplug at night (putting the computer to ‘sleep’ by 8pm)
  5. Continue figuring out my personal/professional brand

All in all—focus on progress and not perfection. All of the goals are ‘open-ended’—including the e-course goal (mainly because I’ve forgotten the exact number of finance related courses I’ve bought over the past three or four years).

That means—even if I only manage a few days (or even a just a week) focusing on each one—that is progress, baby steps forward is progress—and that is what I’m aiming for—the slow steady progress that would result in finishing a marathon.

Though there are some that are more ‘internal’ work than other–such as figuring out the personal/professional brand, and healing my relationship with food and movement.

But we’re also getting into cooler weather–which means hot chocolate, apple pies, apple cider, and all things fall. This is one of my favorite seasons–if we could just somehow take the cooler temps of spring and fall and meld them with the longer days of summer I’d be extremely happy.

Curious to know: what is one of your favorite things about fall?

No Comments AstrologyfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPersonal Development Challengesprofessional developmentReflections

Progress…Not Perfection: Review of Libra New Moon Goals

So we’re heading towards the next new moon—which means there is a week left in October, and then only sixty-one days left in 2022. The end of this year is going to be turbid, up-and-down, and I just need to figure out the time blocks that will work best for research/note-taking, writing/editing, reading, crafts, and everything else in life.

But before I fall down that rabbit-hole, I should look back at the goals I set for the Libra new moon and see how I did with each of them—before looking ahead to the Scorpio New Moon.

So what were the goals that I set for the Libra new moon? Well, they included:

  1. Unplug at night
  2. Continue working at both regaining my identity and developing my personal/professional brand
  3. Facing a fear–specifically work at getting my freelance/remote/contract science/medical/health communications/consulting business up and running

So how did I do with each of them?

Unplug at night:

I managed to do this one fairly consistently. There were some nights that I didn’t ‘unplug’ right at eight, and then there were other nights that I unplugged earlier than eight.

I actually started a new cross-stitch project a couple of weeks ago–and when I unplug at night, this is what I’ve been working on:

Latest cross-stitch project

The cross-stitch project is turning out to be an abstract microbiology project…or just a bunch of shapes. Should hopefully have it finished in a couple of weeks.

Regaining my identity and developing my personal/professional brand:

This dual ‘project’ is still in the early ‘stages’.

I know who I’m ‘not’—I not the bench scientist anymore, I’m not the person counting calories, containers, or the person who’d mentally beat herself up if she didn’t push play on a workout.

I’m a science/medical/health communicator who is still looking for her group of people.

I’m that multipotentialite individual that needs to have at least two projects going to be happy—but at the same time I’m that anxious individual who is worried that she isn’t giving full attention to anyone project.

I’m working on giving myself grace and catching the negative stories that I tell myself—and also reminding myself that life currently is going every which way—so it’s perfectly fine that I’m not getting in a huge workout—if I can manage at least 4k steps a day—I’ll be happy.

So–yeah, now it is a matter of still trying to define my ‘brand’ and then merge everything into something ‘cohesive’.

Facing a fear:

Fear: getting my freelance science/medical/health communications/consulting business up and running.

Status: Ongoing.

I’m still working on getting the website up and functioning (it is ‘live’—just currently as a skeleton website). I’m figuring out the direction of possibly niching (cancer biology) in terms of the portfolio, while contemplating keeping the ‘blog’ portion more eclectic (different science/medical/health topics).

I’m also working on the always dreaded editorial calendar for both blogs and LinkedIn (because that is part of my online portfolio after all)—which would mean actually looking at something other than my to-do list—as I told someone the other day, I’m more of a paper and pen kind of person in terms of organization—I can use the computer versions—I just don’t like them.

So, all in all it was a good Libra ‘season’—all of the goals were ‘open-ended’, and all were focused on during the past few weeks. While it is nice at times having a cut and dry goal (something that can easily be stamped as ‘finished’)—having the open-ended goals also give you that daily sense of accomplishment and knowing that you’re slowly turning things into a habit (like unplugging from the computer at night).

Therefore—there has been ‘progress over perfection’. Could I have gotten more accomplished? Probably—but I’m granting myself grace and acceptance with acknowledging my inner critic/imposter syndrome did come out to play for awhile this past month—but I’m slowly making that forward progress.

These goals aren’t just going to be fading away—while they may not be ‘front-and-center’ as we move into the next new moon—they’ll still be around.

One big goal for the last two months—getting the website up and running, and hopefully landing either that remote communications position or possibly my first one or two freelance clients.

How are you moving towards accomplishing that one really large ‘fearful’ goal?

No Comments AstrologycareerLifestyle ChallengesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Time/Project Management: Center to the the Pisces goals of the Hunters Moon

So the moon will be entering its latest full moon stage this weekend…and can also be referred to as the Hunters Moon—as it’s the full moon closest to the fall equinox (Sept 22). Since it should be transitioning through the Pisces constellation this weekend—it means that we’re a third of the way through September…

So if I looked to the book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, I’d see that there are five questions that one can ask themselves during this time:

Have I been dreamy to the point of not getting enough done and making silly errors?

Have I been overly sensitive and too easily hurt?

Have I been acting like a martyr? Or too easily led?

Have I been meditating every day, and if not, why not?

Have I been in touch with my intuitive side? Following my dreams and hunches?

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

  1. I would have to say that I haven’t been too dreamy lately…too distracted, upset, semi-depressed, and totally irritated with the world? Yes, I have allowed myself to be ‘distracted’ from things and not get enough done (especially since I have a huge to-be accomplished list that I need to write out and start tackling).
  2. The past month has been difficult, so I may be a little more sensitive than usual (and I do admit to losing my temper), and am trying to find a nice balance in dealing with certain people.
  3. Nope
  4. With the use of the app soothing pod, I’ve been able to meditate for anywhere from two minutes to over ten, every night for the past two months.
  5. As I mentioned last year—I’m trying to get better at this—I’m good at being in touch with my ‘analytical’ side, but had spent years ‘ignoring’ my intuitive side. I’m trying to get better at tuning in to my intuitive side/gut. I am slowly trying to follow my dream of having a more ‘independent’ career away from the bench. I’m leaning more and more in the direction of freelance/remote/contract writing (science/medical/health) with the possibility of data analysis or project management style career. I’ve decided this route—because I want something that can be location independent, and also allow me some time independence and project independence as well.

So in addition to the self-reflection questions, one should also check to see what house or zone the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Pisces full moon is moving through my 5th house (according to my rising sign), which is also known as the “kids, romance, and creativity zone”.

I’m still semi self-isolating—I am now starting to occasionally meeting a friend for lunch, trying to get a walk in at Boomer, and visiting a family member in the hospital. I do plan on getting my booster shot hopefully within the next couple of weeks (the new Pfizer one has just been approved).

I’ve realized that when (and if) I move—it will have to be to an area where renting a small one (possibly two) bedroom house won’t be super expensive—the reason, my dog. Chaos is not an apartment dog, nor will he ever become one…I will need a place that has a decent backyard for him to run around in.

Only ‘kids’ I’m currently around are the furry variety (two dogs and three cats), as my niece is out in CA (though they may come for a visit next month), and if I meet up with one friend for lunch—we can do it during the week, so her daughter is in school.

I need to try to start scheduling more time for crafts (cross-stitching, jewelry design/creation, and even photography), as I really haven’t been doing as much as I was either earlier in the year or this time last year.

The comfort zone when it comes to crafts has included photography, knitting, reading, quilting/sewing (when I have a working sewing machine), and now cross-stitching. Hopefully over the next few months I can also add jewelry design/creation and maybe even mosaic design/creation to the list as well.

So what are my goals going to be for the Pisces Full Moon?

  1. Work on developing a ‘workable’ schedule for the day/week/month. I know that part of my problem is that I’m consistent in being inconsistent. If I really want to make freelance work—I need to improve my time/project management skills.
  2.  Make sure that I’m making time for crafts/hobbies and not just falling back into the ‘bad routine’ of work, work, and more work.
  3. Continue working on both blogs (coming up with editorial calendars, getting the copy written for various pages on both, and making sure that I have at least four to five blog posts written for the science/medical/health communications blog).
  4. Work through at least part of one personal/professional e-course.

Four goals, and while only one (the last) will actually have a ‘yes/no’ in terms of completion—the rest can also be considered on-going/continuous goals—but if one doesn’t start them…one can in theory never continue them…

Bits and pieces from previous chapters of our lives usually find their way into our current chapters that we’re trying to write…the bits and pieces from my previous chapters unfortunately right now include: imposter syndrome, inner critic, negative self-talk, and feelings of inadequacy.

I know that I can work through all of those feelings, and will be doing so—but also just acknowledging them is a huge step in the right direction of self-care/self-acceptance, and healing.

Therefore, I’m also going to keep the following quote at the forefront: ‘progress over perfection’, and knowing that I’m slowly starting the next chapter of my life (as I’m done re-reading the last one), in addition to limiting the influence of others in terms of what I decide to do with my future.

Question time: what are some of your favorite crafts?

No Comments AstrologyBooksbullet journalcareerCraftsFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Review of Leo New Moon Goals: Progress on time/project management goals

So the moon is going to be making its transition into the Virgo constellation over the next day or so—which will mark the eighth new moon of the year. But before I can look ahead to the Virgo new moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Leo new moon and see how I did with each of them.

August isn’t panning out to be the greatest month (more about next week in my ‘August in Review’ post), but I’ll be completely honest in saying that it will be a ‘miracle’ if I actually managed to get all the goals accomplished for the Leo new moon.

So what were my goals for the Leo new moon? They included:

  1. Continue developing my self-care/self-love routine. This includes: meditation, time outdoors, journaling, stretching, and getting back inot weight training
  2. Create an editorial calendar for the blog and possibly even LinkedIn to help streamline projects and have an idea of waht I’m talking about on different platforms
  3. Create my August BINGO card for goals
  4. Continue working on filling out the job search spreadsheet

So how did I do with each of them?

Self-care/Self-love:

Developing a self-care routine will always be an ongoing process. I’ve gotten better at evening meditations, and temps are starting to cool off—so it’s not that bad sitting outside for a while in the afternoon/evenings.

I do journal daily…even if it’s just a few brief notes about how the day went. Still trying to figure out the best timing for getting back into weight training.

Editorial calendars:

I created an editorial calendar for both the original blog and LinkedIn…but then life happened (more on that next week)…and I haven’t been posting (or even writing) as much as I originally planned.

August BINGO card:

I created an August BINGO card…I may not get a ‘BINGO’…but there are several goals that will be getting the stamp of completed…

August BINGO Card

Job Search:

I haven’t even really looked at my job search spreadsheet this month (again—August hasn’t turned out the way I was planning it).

I would say that I managed probably about half to two-thirds of the goals for the Leo new moon. I’m currently striving for just a little forward progress each day, knowing that it can be considered compound progress when I look back at what I’d been trying to accomplish.

Did I put my head in the sand this past month…no—and it wasn’t for lack of wanting, but because I needed to be the adult.

We’re going to be heading into the Virgo new moon—which is my star sign (rising is Scorpio, and moon is Pisces)…so maybe things will be going a little better as I move closer to my birthday…

How did you do in terms of reaching your Leo goals?

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Leo goals: organization, goal-setting, self-care, in addition to reading & writing

Looking at past posts—I didn’t set any goals during the Leo new moon in 2020 (not surprising considering we were still in the beginning stages of the pandemic), and I did set some goals last year. The moon will be moving through the Leo constellation either tonight (or possibly last night-depending on where you are in the world), marking the seventh new moon. There are also only 156 days left in 2022…that means I really need to focus on certain goals…

But, what are some of things that one can do during the Leo New Moon? If we look to ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland—we’ll find suggestions such as:

  1. Show off–celebrate life.
  2. Flirt
  3. Be creative
  4. Love thyself–self-love, work on confidence, and leadership goals
  5. Spoil thyself

So there are two things I won’t be doing (mainly because we’re still within the pandemic, and I’m trying to figure out my life)—and those are showing off and flirting.

I will work on self-love, my confidence, and leadership skills while being creative and spoiling myself (within reason).

Working on my confidence may be as easy as publishing more on LinkedIn (posts/articles), or even trying to do a video introduction to the Facebook page for the blog/website or something like that.

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? They include:

  1. Speak to your boss about how you’re doing
  2. Help a colleague out of a rut
  3. Check that you’re not become status mad
  4. Start a new business as close to the new moon as you can
  5. Apply for new jobs with confidence
  6. When you’re earned it, take the credit
  7. Plan your next best career move

So, we get to focus on our career zone twice a year (whenever the moon moves through our tenth house—which it does twice—new and full moon). This is fitting that the Leo new moon is happening right now, though since I’ve been on a reboot/career break fro the past two years there is one thing that I really can’t do, and that is speaking to my boss about how I’m doing (unless I want to talk to myself), I can try to help ‘colleagues’ out of ruts—as anyone who is job-searching is truthfully a colleague.

Plot my best career move—I’m looking for remote positions within science/medical/health communications (writing or marketing), while also being open to remote data analyst positions (that don’t require a vast knowledge of coding).

New business—I’m working on updating the blog/website (will probably be changing the url within a few weeks) to showcase both my creative and analytical sides. Having a freelance business up and running full time—is my long-term goal.

Apply for jobs with confidence—I’m slowly getting there. I almost have my LinkedIn profile optimized for writing (or data analysis), and I’m working on that ever-dreaded resume. In addition, I’ve been slowly working on creating a portfolio—I have a decent chunk of the molecular cloning project written up, and have outlines for two other ‘basic’ science series almost fleshed up, in addition to working on an outline for several oncology topics.

The writing won’t be the only part of the ‘new business’; I’m also going to do some crafts, photography, and other things as well. The look and organization of the blog therefore change over the coming months.

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

  1. Continue developing my self-care/self-love routine. This will include meditation time, time outdoors, journaling, stretching, and getting back into weight traning.
  2. Create an editorial calendar for the blog and possibly even LinkedIn to help streamline projects and have an idea of waht I’m talking about different platforms. Also should think of creating an editorial calendar for Instagram as well. In addition to finish editing some pages on the blog.
  3. Create my August BINGO card for goals
  4. Continue working on filling out the job search spreadsheet.

Above all else: progress over perfection, and remembering the following words: growth, creativity, and curiosity.

So what is one of your Leo goals?

Namaste.

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Content Development and an anxiety attack: Scorpio Full Moon Goals in Review

So we’re a day away from June’s full moon, which means it’s time for me to look at the goals I set for the May Scorpio full moon and see how I did with each of them.

One thing I can say—I need to get back into the habit of writing these goals out on paper as well…since I may (or may not) look at back at either this document or the blog post. I noticed that I’ve gotten into the mindset of just checking things off a list—not really stopping to either contemplate what I did/or need to continue doing, or celebrating small wins.

Also—the last half of May was rough—the full moon was roughly a week or so before we lost Rolex (who suffered a relapse of her hemolytic anemia), and I’ve had more off days since…

Anyway, what were the goals that I set for the Scorpio full moon? They included:

  1. Continuing working on my 90-day content challenge plan (goal is to do some type of research/writing daily in addition to hopefully working on a craft project as well)
  2. Finish setting up my 12-month plan, and start a rough draft for my personal/professional development plan
  3. Continue to try to mediate daily/nightly

So how did I do with each of them?

90-Day Content Challenge:

I’m doing pretty well…I think I may have only missed a day or two over the past two weeks.

The biggest win though: I’m not just sitting around and playing on the kindle all afternoon…I’m actually either researching something of interest or trying to be more activ eon LinkedIn (but that’s another post entirely).

I’m reenergizing my interest in diverse topics: geography, anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, history, and various sciences…in addition to trying to come up with different ways of sharing what I’ve learned.

I’m talking about possibly coming up with lectures (such as dominant/recessive/semi-dominant trait inheritance–genetics based off the research for the snow goose), infographics and other graphics (molecular cloning series), posters (geography and various other subjects), and so forth…

The best part of it–is that I’m embracing my learner, intellection, creativity, and curiosity strengths and values…

Working on the 12-month plan and rough draft of a personal/professional development plan

Can we say anxiety attack….

I mean I shouldn’t freak out over trying to ‘breakdown’ a handful of goals into ‘smaller’ steps…but I did (and regularly do) freak out…

The heart starts racing, my stomach becomes extremely upset, and my pulse races…

I simply put the notebook up, grabbed my needlepoint project and finished it…

Needlepoint tapestry of a flower (red petals, orange center, green stem and leaves)
First attempt at needlepoint with cotton fabric

While I was working on the project, I realized what my problems were with trying to work on the 12-month plan and personal/professional development plan: imposter syndrmoe, fear of failure, and that pesky little pest–perfection.

Why am I freaking out over a 12-month plan that is combined with a personal/professional development plan?? The simple reason: with the current state of global affairs—nothing is guaranteed. Everyone wants things that are ‘safe’ and ‘reliable’—and that spikes the imposter syndrome and fear of failure.

So, needless to say—I’m still tackling the 12-month plan and development of a personal/professional development plan.

Daily/Nightly Meditation:

Currently I’m referring to it as ‘sitting quietly’ and can usually manage a couple of minutes at night.

I still need to reorganize the area of the bedroom that I want to use as my ‘mediation’ spot—and remember to pick up the pillows/blankets or whatever I’m sitting on so there are no ‘pet accidents’ on them.

So I can say I probably accomplished fifty percent of the tasks—I’m working on the content creation challenge, and managing a few minutes of sitting quietly…true it should be closer to two-thirds (since I only set three goals)—but the ‘sitting quietly’ doesn’t totally ‘quiet’ my mind…though I’ve found that if I skip it—my sleep suffers…so there is that to look into…

I told myself at the beginning of the year—aim for continual progress. It’s a bumpy and windy road—some days (hell, if I’m totally honest—weeks or months) that I don’t feel like I’m progress and my inner critic/imposter syndrome is running the show…but there are the days when I feel like I’ve managed to make decent strides on moving forwards…its all in how you view things…

So how are you viewing your progress??

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Planning, planning, and more planning: Libra Full Moon Goals

Nothing like realizing your computer is acting up several hours too late. While I ‘saved’ the draft of this post—it didn’t actually ‘save’. So, lets see if I can remember what I had wrote last night…or, the post could be slightly better (or slightly worse) than I’d originally planned.

So the moon will be transitioning through the Libra constellation today—marking the fourth full moon of the year.

Currently it is hard to tell which direction we’re moving in with regards to the SARS-CoV2 virus. Yes, there are vaccines for everyone over the age of five (and boosters for those over the age of 12—though Pfizer has put in for emergency filing for boosters for children), and hopefully soon there will be the boosters for six months to four-year olds. But, there is the second omicron variant starting to make its way to the ‘top’—so we’ll have to see how things go.

Nothing is heading in the right direction in terms of the world (and I’m going to leave it at that for now). I’d mentioned for the past few years that I’ve wanted to try to get a good picture of the full moon using the longer lens and tripod. Well, I think the tripod is a little too short—since I have to sit behind it (instead of just leaning over slightly), so there probably won’t be any pictures of a full moon for a while.

So looking to the book ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland here are the top five questions that one may meditate/think on during this time are:

Have I been too concerned with appearances in general?

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

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

Have I been living my life through someone else?

Have I spent enough time beautifying my life?

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

  1. I’ve never been one to be overly concerned with appearances even before the pandemic struck. I know that certain situations require you to dress a certain way (job interviews, career fairs, and so forth)—but I’m not going to stress and worry if people like how I’m dressed. I’d prefer to be comfortable in my clothes and appearance.
  2. I would say that I’m not thinking too much about others to the point I’m neglecting my own needs. Though, I would say that I’m perhaps being a little too hyper-focused on certain areas that I’m neglecting other areas.
  3. So, last year I talked about how I felt I’d just been ‘floating’ along with no clear ‘map/direction’ in my career. I don’t think this was due to being ‘easily influenced, gullible, or being unable to decide for myself’. I think it was due to not knowing what other options there were and not knowing how to position myself for those roles. I know have an idea of the direction I want to go in, and I’m starting to draw the map as I move forward.
  4. Well—do fictional characters count? Okay, seriously I don’t think I’ve been living my life through other people. True, I haven’t been traveling much (so I’ve been looking at pictures of different places that other people post)—but we’re still dealing with the pandemic, and therefore I don’t plan on traveling too much for the foreseeable future. We may follow the paths of others, and we either add our own unique stamp to the path, or realize we’re on the wrong path and forage a new one. I’ve jumped off the academic path, and am now foraging a path towards industry or freelance work.
  5. While I don’t put much thought into what others think of my life, I am trying to make changes—changes that will help improve my mental health. It has been shown that having too much clutter can be distracting and lead to anxiety and stress—and I’ll admit that from time to time I can become a ‘pack-rat’. So this is something I’m working on changing, and also working on developing my own definition of ‘minimalism’ (figuring out what I don’t need a lot of, and what I like having a lot of). Right now I’m thinking more of working outside in the yards and trying to improve on the flower gardens (or at least what use to be the flower gardens).

One can also look to see what house the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Libra full moon is moving through my 12th house, or my secrets zone. This is the time to actually take some time for one self—meditate, practice yoga, and just work to find some balance.

So the 12th house this year is coming at a time when the world is slowly going to hell in a hand basket. There is still the pandemic raging, and the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Russia issues ‘warnings’ to various other countries, and probably numerous other travesties that aren’t being covered by the news. I no longer try to keep up with the numbers (except monthly), since people can do in-home testing and they may (or may not) report themselves to the local health department if they test positive. Since booster shots are now available for the three main vaccines, I will be making an appointment over the next few weeks to go and get mine (a little added protection against the two omicron strains).

For me, the Libra full moon and the twelfth house means a time to focus on my plans for the future, and my self in the present.

So my list of goals for the Libra full moon will include:

  1. Finish ‘fleshing’ out my twelve-month plan that I started under the Aries new moon (focusing on career/professional development, health/wellness, personal development/finances/spirituality, and hobbies/crafts). Will be a continuation of expanding my focal points from last year (the main idea from the book ‘The Renaissance Soul: How to make your passions your life—a creative and practical guide’ by Margaret Lobensteine).
  2. Create the ‘May brain-dump’ page; basically try to get all ideas and thoughts for the month of May onto paper. This will allow me to see pages/posts that I would like to create and give some direction to the month (possibly also convert it into the start of an editorial calendar).
  3. Develop a rough draft of a personal/professional development plan (ties in with the finishing of my ‘twelve-month plan’).
  4. Get back into my evening meditations, and possibly start doing some light yoga as well.
  5. Start working through my to-do list for ensuring the transition to a remote writing position and/or starting my own freelance business.

While remembering: ‘Progress over Perfection’ and ‘you can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last chapter’.

What are your plans for the Libra full moon?

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Virgo Full Moon Goals: Mediation, brain-dumps, & networking

So the moon should be hitting its full stage tonight as it enters the Virgo constellation. So the full moon is five days past ‘setting the clocks ahead an hour’—which fell on Sunday the 13th. Hopefully it will be last time of having to change the clocks (the US senate did vote to keep the time change, will just have to see how the house votes and the wait for it be signed into law). There is only one Friday the 13th this year—and that is in May.

I’d mentioned earlier, that I’m going to be trying to be a little more ‘narrow’ in my focus for goals that I set during each new/full moon period (because in actuality—each only lasts about a week). Though it will probably take quite a bit of trial and error for me to ‘narrow’ down goals that can serve more as stepping-stones to the next milestone for that series of 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?

They include:

  1. Have I been too picky, pedantic, or critical of myself or anyone else?
  2. Have I been humble to the point of underrating myself?
  3. Have I been of service to others enough this month?
  4. Have I been worrying and complaining too much, and thus attracting negativity?
  5. Have I paid enough attention to the the details that I need to this month?

My answers to the questions are the following:

  1. I don’t think that I’ve been too picky, pedantic, or critical of others (I haven’t really been around anyone other than family for over three years now) currently (though I am harboring critical thoughts of various world leaders right now—but take a look at the current political, health, environmental, and all other issues plaguing the planet, and it shouldn’t be surprising that I’m irritated with various world leaders). In terms of how I see myself? I probably have been a little too pedantic and critical of myself lately. I’ve realized that I am still allowing my inner critic/imposter syndrome to get the better of me quite frequently. This is something that I’m trying to catch and slowly correct on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis.
  2. This is a maybe, leaning towards a hard-yes. I’ve realized over the past few years, that I have two ‘problems/issues’ that I need to work on address as I transition away from academia. The first ‘problem/issue’ is that I have a terrible habit of trying to be a people pleaser (taking on tasks I don’t want because I’ve been asked or told to; avoiding confrontations no matter what). The second ‘problem/issue’ is not speaking up or asking for more challenging work, once I become ‘bored’. I’m a fairly quick learner (at least in terms of technical techniques), and once I learn how to do something, I always have ‘okay, what’s next’ bouncing around in my head. How do these two ‘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 been doing more of the house chores, and taking on a little more of the cooking chores as well at home. 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. Well, if one isn’t worried about the current state of the world—please find some ‘neutral’ media sites and take a gander at what is going on. It is entering week four of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the SARS-CoV2 is still a pandemic (even if some countries are moving to a ‘endemic’ living), and we’re still trying to destroy the only place we have to live. 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 depends on the situation. If we’re talking about the overall details of what I would like to accomplish in a given month—no I haven’t been giving enough attention to the details. I’m working on getting back into the habit of doing a monthly ‘brain dump’ and then trying to create (and follow) an editorial calendar for the blog, possibly the Facebook page, and of course LinkedIn. If I can manage those two things—I should be spending time on all aspects of life, and not either zeroing in on one area or being so overwhelmed I’m not doing anything.

Another aspect of trying to set habits according the moon and its phases is to see 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 have realized that I haven’t been doing nearly as much networking as I need to since I’m looking to transition to a new role (either within a company or working for myself). The reason may seem silly to others—that while I have an good idea of the direction I want to go, but haven’t narrowed down the companies, I don’t want to waste ‘other peoples’ time’ with trying to set up informational interviews if I decide that company isn’t for me. Though I logically know that is how I’m suppose to find out if the company could be a good fit or not.

I know that I want to transition into a remote writing position, and also work on creating my own freelance business. While I know this is the direction I want to go in—I need to develop strategies for working with my inner critic/imposter syndrome to start stretching the comfort zone.

I will be starting up networking again (probably reworking the timeline I came up with this past weekend), but it may be a little slower than what other people are doing—but that’s fine as long as I’m moving forward and not either staying stagnant or moving backwards.

So what are some things that I can work on during the next full moon period?

  1. Finish setting up the ‘meditation’ area for nightly meditations
  2. Get back into the practice doing monthly ‘brain dumps’ and using that to gauge how narrowly focused or ‘well-rounded’ I’m being in both my thoughts and actions.
  3. Continue working on various Diamond group activities to help with the transition to either a remote writing position (and then slowly starting my own freelance wiritng business–side hustle to begin with).
  4. Finally, my last long-term goal is to continue looking into my cultural heritage and starting to strengthen my sisu.

Looking at these goals—only one can be considered a ‘one-and-done’, and that will be setting up the meditation area (though I’m planning on having the area ‘taken down’ when I’m not meditating to reduce risks of animal accidents).

The others three can be considered on-going goals/projects. But, I’ll be at least ‘starting’ each goal/project. I’m actually working on a mind-map for a post/article on trying to combine ‘traditional’ goal setting (SMART goals) with using the 12-week year method and trying to harness the power of the moon cycles (more on this as I make headway on the project).

How are you handling the extra anxiety of the Virgo moon??

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