Category: career

Check-in on the 100+ goal challenge. 300 Days in, progress is slow but steady

So, it is time for my 3rd check-in on my latest attempt on my take of the 101 goals challenge. If you haven’t heard of this challenge, it goes something like this–you make a list of 101 things that you would like to get accomplished in 1001-days. You then should periodically check-in with your list to see how you’re doing with the various goals on the list. I’ve tried to do the 101 goals in 1001-days several times, but usually ended up quitting after a few months (mainly due to forgetting to check-in with my list on a fairly consistent basis).

I decided to modify the challenge to where I have a longer list of things I’d like to get accomplished, and I basically doubled the time frame (so instead of 1001-days or 2.7 years, I’m trying 2002-days or roughly 5.5 years). I decided to double the time frame mainly because of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic is still going on, and therefore quite a few of my goals are actually on ‘hold’ until I feel like it is safe to travel again.

While I got my vaccine in early April (the Johnson’s & Johnson’s 1 & done shot), I decided that I’m still going to shelter in place through the summer and into the fall–I’m curious to see what type of ‘spikes’ the US will be seeing this summer/fall due to summer vacation and travel starting to pick up again. In addition I’m still working on figuring out what my ‘new’ normal is going to be looking like.

So, now it is time to look at the goals and see how I’m progressing in the different areas.

Professional development and career:  On-going

            1. Transition into an industry position (probably remote/online or freelancing at this point to start); there will be several posts on this goal

            2. Learn a programming language (python or R—ties in with #6)—going to go with python to begin with.

            3. Finish various e-courses that I’ve bought, but in particular:

                        4. Clinical Research Coalition—only have a little over one module left for this program (I think it’s like 13 videos and two tests).

                        5. Medical Writers Organization—need to finish the writing/editing assignments

                        6. Data Scientist Syndicate—Finished September 3rd 2020

                        7. Project Management Consortium

                        8. Management Consulting Firm

                        9. Intellectual Property Pack

                        10. Regulatory Affairs Council

                        11. All other courses—see additional lists in the journal.

                                    Decided that to make things a little easier—I will have a list of courses that I would like to finish in 2021, and if I manage to finish all of those, then I will go back to the major lists in the journal.

            12. More interacting on Linkedin—Hard to score these, I’m doing the best with #13; though I have started doing my own posts—mainly photographs and quotes; need to start working more on the other 2 (especially the giving/asking for recommendations).

                        13. Sharing articles from various biotech pages, and other science pages

                                    Managing to do this at least two to five days a week.

                        14. Commenting on posts

                                    Trying to get better at this.

                        15. Giving/Asking for recommendations—need to start doing

                        16. Start writing my own posts

                                    I’m slowly dipping my toe into the world of LinkedIn publishing, but usually by posting a picture or a motivational quote to begin will. My two best posts have been the comfort/stretch/risk/die diagram posts. The first one had 1,934 views, 36 reactions, and 12 comments over a two month period, while the second post has had 7,602 views, 46 reactions, and 27 comments over the past 4 days. I will be posting the updated comfort diagram possibly tomorrow here on the blog as well.

            17. Creating monthly/weekly/daily calendars for above goals—trying to get better at the editorial or to-do-list calendars.

            18. Renew professional memberships—Need to pick just one or two currently to renew; can’t do all at once.

Both Personal and Professional Development—still working on all of these

            19. Become fluent in Spanish—Started to use the app Mondly for refreshing my Spanish, though I haven’t been that active with the app for the past month or so. Need to try to spend at least 30-45 minutes 5 days a week on this.

            20. Become fluent in German

            21. Become proficient in French, Norwegian, or Swedish

22. Read at least 300 personal/professional development books; this will include books from my previous attempts at 1001-day challenges as well. I have over 300 books on the list, and I would like to get through at least 100 of them before I keep adding to the list.

This is actually going to be reformatted and the number slightly lowered. I’ve decided to go with say reading ~30-40 non-fiction books a year. With counting previous years in to the running total I’ve read: 2018-2020 (73, though I considered 12 of them to be “reference” on a topic). I’ve also finished 7 books so far in 2021).

This means that to reach the 300 total I need to read another 220 books over 1702 days.

While I decided to try to not add any new books to the list–I probably have added in another five to ten books over the past two months or so.

            23. Finish the books on scientific writing

            24. Start building up a portfolio of work (writing/data analysis/plus other ideas)

            25. Develop a daily writing habit (tied with several goals below)

            26. Write a letter to my future self

Personal development and hobbies—started a few, but need to also start in on others as well

            27. Paint and frame at least one original painting

            28. More photographyWith the weather warming up, I’m hoping to do at least a weekly walk up at Boomer Lake (weather permitting); and updating/adding pages

                        29. 365-Day Challenge (aim for 365 different pictures)—have started this challenge again, though it isn’t going at a consecutive 365 days.

                        30. Update photography pages on blog

                                    I’ve been adding pages to the bird tab on the website, and have been aiming to add at least one new species page a week (with pictures). The other pages added would be information on the bird order and bird family (with pictures as well).

            31. Make my own jewelry

            32. Learn to cross-stitch—Started doing this the other day. I’ve realized it will take practice and time to be able to do this decently, but it is something new to concentrate on

            33. Get a new sewing machine—On hold; seems getting a sewing machine there is a 50/50 risk that the machine will have problems winding the bobbin

                        34. Make a new quilt (or this may wait until I move)

                        35. Make a set of drapes for the bedroom (for backdrop for any zoom calls)

            36. Start a new afghan (write a post on finishing the other)—need to figure out how to patch the other afghans. I’m slowly patching the other two afghans that Chaos chewed holes in. One is basically patched (though I need to sew the patch on a little better), and then I need to knit the patches for the second one.

            37. Show case crafts on blog (possibly a weekly update?)

            38. Start writing a book

            39. Learn Photoshop

            40. Write in journal daily (answer questions/prompts from journaling books and free thought); this has been an on and off endeavor. There are some days/weeks I’m good at writing daily, and then I may go a week or longer without writing in it.

            41. Create my own coffee-table photography book

            42. Learn basic sign language

            43. Start a virtual book club

Finances—still working on these, since I’m taking time off there isn’t a steady paycheck coming in yet.

            44. Create monthly budgets—currently this is just paying off the bills.

            45. Credit card debts down and hopefully paid off monthly—some are high, but that is due to buying a couple of personal/professional development courses that were rather expensive.

            46. Declutter the house (way of earning extra cash)

            47. Savings account up another 20K (hopefully)—this will be tied in with #44, #46, and any other ways of trying to earn a little extra cash.

            48. Talk with financial person about short-term investment possibilities

            49. Continue doing the small surveys as a way of earning a little extra cash

            50. Finish the various financial e-courses, and decide when/how to start investing

Fitness & Health—On going

            51. Get into the best shape of my life

            52. Multivitamin and supplements daily; I’ve only forgotten to take my multivitamin and supplements every so often.

            53. Manage to make it through the following Beachbody workouts

                                    54. Morning Meltdown 100)—Finished my 1st round 9/15/2020

                                    55. Yoga Booty Ballet—Abs & Butt ~3/4 of program completed by 11/14/2020

                                    56. 10 Rounds—1st round finished on 12/26/2020

                                    57. Barre Blend—Starting on 2/8/2021; only managed to do half the program before moving on to another one mainly due to the lunges and just not really feeling the program. Hoping to fit the last four weeks in this year between other programs.

                                    58. Insanity Max 30

                                    59. LIIFT4 (have already done this program once); 2nd round finished 11/14/2020

                                    60. 22-Minute Hard Corps

                                    61. T20

                                    62. Insanity

                                    63. Insanity: Asylum 1

                                    64. Insanity: Asylum 2

                                    65. 4 weeks of Prep

                                    66. 6 weeks of the work

                                    67. T25 (have already done this program once)

                                    68. Brazil Butt Lift

                                    69. 21-Day Fix (Already done this program once)—Started to do the ‘LIVE’ version, though may go ahead and start the third round of LIIFT4 next week instead of finishing this program.

                                    70. 21-Day Fix Extreme (Already done this program once)

                                    71. Country Heat (already done this program once)

                                    72. CIZE—Did this program during March and finished it the first week of April. Enjoyed it even if I have two left feet and couldn’t keep up with the cast

                                    73. Muscle Burns Fat—First round finished 1/17/2021

                                    74. Muscle Burns Fat Advanced—First round done on 2/7/2021

                                    75. Let’s Get Up! —Shawn T’s new one; hopefully out fall 2021

                                    76. 9 week control freak off the wall (technically with just dumbbells)

                                    77. Shawn Week

                                    78. 80-Day Obsession

                                    79. Brazil Butt Lift: Carnivale

                                    80. Shift Shop: Proving Grounds

                                    81. P90

                                    82. Core de Force

            83. Manage 5 push-ups on my toes (practicing and managing 5-8 on my knees)

            84. Manage 10 push-ups on my toes

            85.  Hold a two-minute forearm plank

            86.  Hold a 90 second plank

            87.  Meditate nightly—though sometimes it is only for a minute or two. Trying to increase the timing.

            88.  60-80 oz of water a day; this has been more likely 40-60 oz of water daily and sometimes up to 80 oz

            89.  Stretch daily; I do try to stretch nightly, and in the mornings before getting out of bed.

            90. Get at least 10,010,000 steps (breaks down to 5K/day)—on my way; I’ve managed to hit all month goals (and surpass slightly).

Blog and Social Media–Ongoing

            91.  Finish YouTube for bosses course

            92.  Finish YouTube course creation for bosses course

            93.  Finish blog to biz course

            94.  Launch a YouTube channel

            95. Launch an online course

            96. Get blog traffic to 500+ views a day

            97. Rebrand myself (?)

            98. Get Instagram followers to constant 800+

            99. Get pintrest followers to constant 400+

            100. Get twitter followers to constant 1000+

            101. Publish at least two blog series

            102.  Editorial calendars (monthly/weekly/daily)

                        103. Blog

                        104. Instagram

                        105. Facebook pages

                        106. Twitter

                        107. Pintrest

            108. Get becomingJessi (or new name if I change) to 1000+ likes/follows

            109. Various top 10 author lists

            110. Various top 10 book series lists

            111. Launch a podcast

Spirituality–Ongoing

            112. Full/New Moon Goals

            113. Create my own altar (wicca/pagan)—This has been accomplished somewhat, as the current altar is on a bookshelf, so it looks fairly crowded.

            114. Weekly (or daily) tarot/oracle card readings—Have been managing to do this (more or less), though I haven’t shared any of the readings on social media yet.

            115. 15 minutes outdoors in the morning (coffee only) weather permitting; probably on hold now until spring—fall/winter mornings are usually somewhere between the 30s and 50s (if it’s closer to the higher end—maybe).

Others–ongoing

            116. Keep at least 3 plants alive

            117. Design a science based board game

            118. Create and update digital vision board

            119. Reorganize my storage unit

            120. Put in at least one flower garden around the house (backyard, and/or front yard)

            121. Help put up partial privacy fence in backyard

            122. Start downsizing clothes and creating different “minimum” wardrobes (work/professional/casual; home/casual/working out)

            123. Develop at least 30 different 30-day challenges. I’ve lowered the number of days for this challenge, but some of the challenges will include:

                        One challenge will be 30 days of iPhone Photography.

            124. Start downsizing rest of my things./ as well—would like to probably be able to live comfortably in a smallish size apartment (or house) wherever I move for the next job.

Goals on hold due to the global coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak (either because they require traveling, going into a large store, and/or being around large groups of people):

            125. Re-pierce my ears

126. Go to at least 1 scientific conference

                        127. Present at a scientific conference

            128. Go to at least 2 professional networking events

            129. Move to a new (or maybe not new) city for job

            130. Visit at least 3 new countries

            131. Visit at least one new national and/or state park

            132. Visit at least one new national and/or state monument

            133. Visit at least one new zoo

            134. Visit at least one new aquarium

            135. Fly out and/or land at 3 new (to me) airports

            136. Visit at least one new city

            137. Visit at least one new state

            138. See the northern lights

            139. Attend at least one blogging conference

            140. Attend at least one author-reader conference

            141. Swim with whale sharks

            142. Parasailing

Once I move:

            143. Get fabric and foam and make new cushions for chairs

            144. New couch & chair for living room

            145. New dresser for bedroom

            146. New mattress & box spring for bed and/or a new bed set

            147. New TV & stand

            148. New desk/craft workstation

So I added in another couple of advanced Cheeky courses under the professional development area (and that isn’t even all the advanced Cheeky courses–I have another nine on my list in my notebook), not to mention all the other professional development courses that I’ve bought over the past few years.

Currently my main goals for professional development is to create (or at least start planning) a career that allows for me to make use of my strengths, is potentially remote/online/freelancing, but also would allow me to work ‘in-house’ as well from time to time. I also realize that I haven’t been making as much progress with the various courses (both personal and professional) that I would like, an dwill be working on ways to correct this issue moving forward.

As I write this post, I realize that I really do need to start developing some type of calendar for posts, as I’ve stated that I’m going to write posts (views on different job paths and book reviews), but that is as far as I’ve gotten with certain items–so yet again, problem acknowledged and will be working on correcting this issue as well moving forward.

At the beginning of the year I set up a bingo card of different workout programs that I would like to complete over the next two years, and had set a goal of trying to complete nine of them this year (2021). I’ve realized that I may or may not reach that particular goal–reason, I would rather repeat programs that I enjoyed doing instead of trying to force my way through other programs. I will probably give each program a week or so of time, but if I haven’t gotten into by then I’ll move on to another one. Programs that will probably be repeated: LIIFT4, Morning Meltdown 100, 10 Rounds, and possibly Let’s Get Up (haven’t done this one yet, but like the trainer). Programs that may not be totally completed: Insanity, Insanity Asylum 1 & 2, and possibly Insanity: Max 30; the reason is that these are mainly cardio and at times I get bored with a cardio only (or cardio-heavy) program.

In terms of the direction for my career transition, I’m still leaning in the direction of freelance/remote/online work, with the possibility of some onsite positions as well. Trying to do both (working for myself and a company) would allow me to have interactions with others on a somewhat consistent basis, but also allow me to have a steady second stream of income as well (just in case another pesky pandemic comes along and shuts things down again). I’m also leaning to the more multi-directional approach (such as writing, data analysis, project and/or product management just to name a few ideas), as it appeals to both my mixed-styled multipontialite personality, and my strengths (learner, intellection, input, achiever, and ideation).

This means at some point this year (probably closer to fall/winter), I will be changing the name of the blog/site to encompass both aspects of life (personal hobbies and development and the professional development and services offered). I have a couple of ideas bouncing around for a new name and I may post a poll on either Facebook or LinkedIn (or possibly both) to gauge others opinions on the new names.

I’m slowly developing a hybrid editorial/to-be accomplished calendar/list, but still am swinging between being overly ambitious in what I would like to get accomplished for the month, and then falling into analysis/paralysis and not getting anything accomplished for a week or so.

I started using the time management app Self Control to limit the amount of time that I’m spending on social media and other pages, and it has helped (when I remember to turn the app on). As I look ahead to trying to balance various aspects of things I will possibly try to organize my ‘professional/work’ hours to where I’m doing research on topics say Monday & Tuesday, writing the rough drafts and finding images on Wednesday, editing on Thursday, and then publishing on Fridays. This will possibly be the type of schedule I take once I’m really trying to showcase various professional services (such as writing, data analysis or project management projects). I will still be publishing more frequently on the personal/professional development aspects and hobbies (photography, book reviews, course reviews, goals and so forth).

I can say that I am making forward progress, no matter how slow it looks. I’ve found that slow (and the sometimes back-and-forth bounce from comfortable to slightly uncomfortable) is the best, as it usually allows me to notice when my inner critic/imposter syndrome tries to derail me from reaching various goals.

Over the next 100 days, I plan on focusing more on various personal/professional development courses, writing book reviews, course reviews, reading, crafting, and continuing on my health and fitness journey.

No Comments 101 GoalsBooksbullet journalcareerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualitytravelUpdates

Taurus New Moon Goals: making career, financial, & life plans

So the moon will be transitioning through the Taurus constellation today–bringing us to our fifth new moon for the year. Somehow we’re a little over a third of the way through 2021, it seems that time just crawled by last year and now is speeding up to ‘catch’ up (if that makes any sense).

While writing the post, I realized that I didn’t set any goals last year for the Taurus new moon. I spent most of April and May of 2020 in an angry haze at how the world was dealing with the emerging SARS-CoV2 pandemic. Since I wasn’t in a good place mentally last year–I spent more time ‘lurking’ than ‘engaging’ and offline whenever possible. Things are slowly starting to look up though (and I know it depends on the criteria–and currently my criteria is that there are component people in the White House that are actually listening to the scientists, and we’re no longer seeing over 100K new cases a day in the US).

Looking to the book ‘Moonology’, there are several things that one can focus on during the Taurus new moon and they include:

  1. Making a financial plan
  2. Checking in with yourself and seeing if you’re living your life in a way that allows you to honor your values. Values may change over time, so it is important to take the time every so often and ask yourself ‘what are your values’
  3. Be sensual; ask yourself “what would make my life better?”
  4. Character check; ask yourself “am I being too stubborn or too lazy?”
  5. Persevere–remember that life is more than just an ‘end goal’, one should also be enjoying the journey to reaching any goals set.

So if I were to look at my core values for 2021, they include: Vitality; Creativity/Curiosity; Spirituality/Inner Harmony/Peace; and Transformation/Evolution/Growth

I am trying to live my life in a way that is allowing me to honor my health and fitness (vitality), find the inner harmony/peace that is difficult to maintain when dealing with high levels of anxiety, and grow/evolve as a scientific industry professional/potential online entrepreneur, while maintaining my creativity and curiosity in the world around me.

In addition, the new moon in Taurus is also moving through my seventh house, or my ‘love zone’. This zone can also be referred to as the relationship zone as well. So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to their seventh house?

  1. Go through old love letters and get rid of at least some of them.
  2. If you’re single and feeling brave, try online dating.
  3. Ask your parents about their ideas on how to make love (aka a relationship) work.
  4. Recommit to your partner
  5. If you hurt a past lover, admit you were wrong and apologize to them
  6. Make a list of the qualities you look for in a partner
  7. If you’re already attached, play matchmaker for a friend

Since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, I’m going to focus more on the financial/personal development aspects of things. While most would say that it isn’t good to totally ignore the current house–I’m not ignoring it per say–I’m just not putting all my focus on it.

Yes, there is online dating, but that isn’t something that I want to focus on right now. That isn’t to say that I’m ‘afraid’ of online dating–I just don’t want to weed through the incompatible to find someone who may be compatible. As I stated on my 2019 Taurus new moon goals–I seem to be one of the odd ones that doesn’t mind being alone and unattached, plus I know that I still have other things to work out on my own before even attempting to stick my toes into the dating pool.

Therefore my goals for the Taurus new moon will include:

  1. Making a financial plan. I’ve been on a reboot break for a little over a year, and really should start thinking of ideas on how to start replenishing the savings account.
  2. Continue investigating the different potential directions that I’ve come up with in terms of transitioning away from academia.
  3. Try and finish the following books: Career Rehab: Rebuild Your Personal Brand and Rethink the Way You Work by Kanika Tolver; Creativity Rules: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World by Tina Seelig; and Percolate: Let Your Best Self Filter Through by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guanino
  4. Continue going through clothes and boxing (or bagging) up the clothes that no longer fit well for donation (or selling online)
  5. Continue with daily intentional movements and meditation.

While the goals seem to be on a repetitive loop from year to year–there is progress that is being made, but the steps are so small they may not be noticeable to the stranger’s eye. When I started this blog almost four years ago, it was with the intention of self-accountability on this journey of rediscovery–so while other may not notice the progress, trust me when I say that progress has been made.

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerfinancesHealthmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Review of Aries New Moon Goals: All that is left is to flesh out the plans

So it’s almost time for May’s new moon–it should be moving through the Taurus constellation over the next day or two (tomorrow marks the new moon for the US). The pandemic is still going strong (especially in India, which is suffering from its second wave). When I wrote the original Aries new moon goal post last month, I mentioned that the number of cases globally were just over 137 million, and within the US just under 32 million total cases. Now–globally there are over 159 million cases, and the US is just under 33.5 million cases. While some areas are getting things under control–we’re still a long ways away from a ‘new’ normal.

But back to the moon transitions–before looking ahead to the Taurus new moon, it is time to look back and reflect on the goals that I set during the Aries new moon and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for the Aries new moon included:

  1. Making a new 12-month plan.
  2. Start with Country Heat and transition to 21-Day Fix Live in terms of fitness
  3. Try to start incorporating more fruits into my day and then more veggies
  4. Read a book on positive thinking
  5. Continue to meditate nightly

So how did I do with each of them?

  1. In terms of the 12-month plan–I have a very rough draft that I’m still trying to flesh out in terms of quarterly/monthly/weekly/daily goals.
  2. In terms of fitness, I did about a week of Country Heat and then moved to 21-Day Fix Live. At the same time I was doing an intentional movement challenge of moving at least five minutes everyday. Therefore, keeping to that mindset my daily movement may or may not be a workout–it may be yard work, a walk, housework, or something to that extent.
  3. I’ve gotten a couple of books on intuitive eating that I’ve been looking through as I try to improve my relationship with food. I’ve realized that I like fruits a lot more than I do veggies. This makes cooking at times interesting since I don’t like to re-heat and eat most veggies.
  4. Nope, I didn’t read any books on positive thinking or psychology.
  5. Meditation is almost becoming a habit, especially in the evenings. While I’ve tried to also meditate in the mornings–that habit hasn’t stuck, so I think I’ll stick with the evenings.

So I set five goals for the Aries new moon (and actually one is almost a monthly addition to help me keep the habit going), and I managed to meet four of the five (so 80% completed) goals. The reading is something that always depends on my mood and whether or not I can get into the book, which is why I usually end up re-reading certain series constantly.

The health and nutrition is an ongoing journey. I realized quite a few months ago that I needed to change my relationship with food, get off the diet bandwagon, and ditch the mindset of counting calories, restrictive eating, and strictly follow a workout schedule. Currently I’m mending my relationship with food (realizing that I’m not eating enough protein, fruits, or veggies), and starting to think of intentional movement instead of daily workouts.

The 12-month plan has always been difficult–because that would mean that I picked a direction to go in (and then constantly dealt with the ‘fear’ that it may not be the direction I ‘really’ want to be going in). Currently I’m going to focus on online work (freelance/remote/contract) in the realms of writing, data analysis, project management, photography, and possibly consulting and tutoring/teaching.

I also realize that I have quite a bit of work to do in order to step in (and stand out in) those arenas–but I’m at least slowly edging out of the shadows and into specific areas–baby steps are still progress.

I’ve decided that I’m going to be ‘bouncing’ around in the realm of progress, and ‘floating’ in the area of imperfect, but doable work.

How have you manage to overcome analysis-paralysis to set (and meet) a long-term goal?

No Comments AstrologycareerfitnessHealthNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Review of April Goals: Cyclic trend in goal completion

Well, we’re a third of the way through the year–four months down and eight to go. While the number of people getting vaccinated is either going up or holding steady, new cases of SARS-CoV2 are also on the rise in certain parts of the world (namely India). Therefore, this lady is still going to be self-isolating for quite a few more months, even though I did manage to get my vaccine at the beginning of the month (I got the J&J vaccine, so 1 shot and done).

In terms of various news stories–the cop, who was filmed with his knee on the neck of George Floyd was found guilty on all three counts of murder. His sentencing is in another two months or so (and I personally hope it is life without parole). There are so many problems in this country that have their roots sunk deep in racism, and how a portion of cops act towards non-whites is a huge part of that problem. Then there is the whole other topic of gun control (which I’m not going to touch here, at least right now).

I like the fact that we have a new administration that actually listens to and promotes science. While there are still a few hots pots within the country, we’re slowly getting the virus under control. When I published ‘March in Review’, I noted that the US was a little over 31.1 million cases, and now the US is at a little over 33.1 million cases (so it was an increase of basically 2 million cases for the month, slight increase but compared to numbers from last year–nothing really major). I think the slight uptick in cases was probably due to various spring breaks and small regional ‘outbreaks’.

Before looking ahead to May (with the plans of becoming slightly more productive and organized), I should look at the goals that I set for April and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for April 2021 included:

At least 130-150,000 steps; this will hopefully include at least 1 walk at Boomer Lake and several shorter walks with Chaos with the weather hopefully getting nicer

Getting a new pedometer

Finish up CIZE and then move on to 21-Day Fix Live

Read (or finish) 3 non-fiction books

Read 3 fiction books

Finish up the Clinical Research Coalition program, MWO assignments, and at least the 1st module of the Regulatory Affairs Council

No spend days/No spend weeks/Limited Spending Month

Time outdoors and meditation/sitting quietly

Craft time (jewelry design)

Finish (or start) at least 2 other e-courses

Manage at least 30-45 minutes a day learning Spanish

So how did I do with each of them?

At least 130-150,000 steps: I managed to meet and surpass the goal of 150,000 steps. I actually managed to get in 187,411 steps–this included 2 full walks at Boomer Lake, a partial walk at Boomer Lake, and probably half a dozen walks or so with Chaos throughout the neighborhood.

Get a new pedometer: I got a new pedometer that also acts as a watch during the day. I decided that I didn’t need to sleep with it on (as one of the features is sleep tracking), as I usually sleep better without knowing how often I toss and turn

Finish up CIZE and then move on to 21-Day Fix Live: I finished up CIZE (more or less), and while I have started 21-Day Fix Live, I’ve also been walking and doing things outside as well, so there are days that aren’t ‘tracked’ via the Beachbody workout platform, since they no longer have an option for adding in non-Beachbody workouts.

Read (or finish) 3 non-fiction books: While I’ve been reading, I haven’t actually finished any of the three that I started as I’m also trying to work through the various exercises within the books as well. The books that I’m currently reading are:

‘Design Your Life: How to build a well-lived, joyful life’ by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

‘Career Rehab: Rebuild Your Personal Brand and Rethink the Way You Work’ by Kanika Tolver

‘Reivention Road Map’ by Liz Ryan

Read 3 fiction books: I have manage to read quite a few books this month (though I have yet to write any book reviews). The books I read were:

My One Night (On My Own #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan

State of Affairs (First Family #1) by Marie Force

I also re-read the entire Fatal series by Marie Force as well before State of Affairs was released (there were 16 full length books and two novellas in the series).

I also read the first two books of the ‘Steeles at Silver Island’ series by Melissa Foster.

Finish up the Clinical Research Coalition program, work on the MWO assignments, and start in on the Regulatory Affairs Council program (three of the advanced Cheeky Scientist programs): Well, none of this happened this month.

No spend days/No spend weeks/Limited spending month: I did okay for the first three-fourths of the month, there were book splurges towards the end of the month. More on this in the next installment of my limited spending challenge updates.

Time outdoors and meditation/sitting quietly: Weather was nice, so there was more time outdoors, and I have been meditating most nights as well.

Craft time (jewelry design–try to make 1 necklace/bracelet set): Nope, the only crafts I did this month was a little photography and the addictive color by number pictures on the kindle app

Finish (or start) at least two other e-courses: Well, since I didn’t complete any of the cheeky courses, this didn’t happen either.

Manage at least 30-45 minutes a day refreshing Spanish: I think I managed a day or two of Spanish this past month.

So in terms of meeting my goals for April–I think I am more or less at an even fifty percent. I managed to meet half the goals, while not getting close on the other half of the goals. Part of the problem is the nice weather–I want to be outside, so I go outside but I usually don’t take anything out with me to work on–then I get upset with myself at the end of the day when ‘nothing’ has really been accomplished.

Another problem–is just the mindless scrolling through both the internet and social media. Therefore, I’m going to start making use of the one ‘time management’ application (Self Control) that I downloaded earlier in the year, but have yet to activate it. While I have done my ‘May brain dump’, I’m also going to be putting thing on a weekly ‘to-be-accomplished’ list with a set of due-dates for various stages of work (research/rough draft/editing/posting and publication). This will hopefully allow me to get more posts and pages up on the blog, and possibly some posts for LinkedIn as well.

I’m also giving myself grace, as I realize that everything is cyclic, and while some months may be extremely productive, the next month (or two) may not be that productive, but things can always swing back towards productive with a little bit of focus.

Therefore, the goals for May 2021 will include:

At least 135-155,000 steps; since the weather will be getting warmer, hopefully there will be at least a weekly walk at Boomer Lake, and possibly half a dozen or so with Chaos through the neighborhood

Finish up 21-Day Fix Live and then start 21-Day Fix Extreme Live

Finish reading the 3 non-fiction books listed above

Read 3 fiction books

Finish the Clinical Research Coalition program, the MWO assignments, and the first 2 modules (at least) of the Regulatory Affairs Council program

No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month

Time outdoors and meditation/sitting quietly

Craft time

Finish (or start) at least two other e-courses

Manage at least 30-45 minutes of Spanish at least 5 days a week

Activate the time management app: Self Control

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

In addition to remembering: Growth, Creativity, Curiosity, Happiness, and Prosperity were the words I chose for 2021.

No Comments careerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

‘New Astrological Year’: Aries New Moon Goals

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been dealing with the SARS-CoV2 viral pandemic for over a year now. The number of cases globally are over 137 million, and within the US we’re going to be hitting 32 million total cases tomorrow (April 13). Looking back at the post from last year–I can say that I managed to meet the top goals that I set at the outbreak of the pandemic (even though we’re still not totally out of it)–I managed not to catch the virus (and actually managed to get the J&J vaccine shot last week), and I have more or less managed to keep my sanity intact over the past year (now need to work on improving time and project management).

I’ve been trying to be better at posting this year than I was last year–I started the photography challenge again last week, and will probably be posting day 3 tomorrow (though in theory it should more like day eight). But enough about that–the moon is going through it’s fourth new phase either last night or tonight (depending on where you live), and it marks the ‘start’ of new astrological calendar.

So what are some things that one can work on during the Aries new moon?

They include:

Taking action on dreams and plans.

Making a 12-month plan

Be courageous in moving towards achieving your goals

Have some fun

Focus on yourself

Then one should look to see what house Aries is passing through to gain a little more prospective about the coming weeks. For me it is passing through my 6th house or my daily work and health zone. So for me this means that I should be trying to develop that daily schedule that allows me to focus on the top priorities in my life right now: personal/professional development, health (mental/spiritual/physical), and of course working on my transition plan (tied in with personal/professional development).

So if one looks back at the book ‘Moonology’, there are lists of things that one can pick from that are associated with each sign in each house–so for me when Aries goes through my 6th house I can pick and chose from the following:

Recommit to some type of exercise program

Think about (correct if need be) your eating habits

Help someone out this month

Talk to your boss about any work concerns you might have

Read a book on positive thinking

Eat healthy lunches or dinners for one month (no exceptions)

Learn to meditate

So I’m starting to find it a little uncanny at times how accurate the moon transitions are through the houses (especially when I know there are certain things I should be focusing on). While there are things that are listed and are considered ‘mainstream’ (such as correcting eating habits or eating healthier)–I’m actually working on developing a better relationship with food, and starting to listen to my body more. I’ve been sticking with a workout routine (at least platform wise) and by that I actually mean that I’m aiming at moving my body for at least five to fifteen minutes a day–doing a workout, chores, walking, gardening, or whatever; unless I feel like I’m in need of a rest day.

So what are the things that I’m going to try to focus on over the next few weeks?

Making a 12-month plan. I have my ‘focal points’ (more on these in another post)–now I just need to flesh things out to a yearly plan (with monthly/weekly and possibly daily goals)

Start with Country Heat and once the arm isn’t as sore transition to 21-Day Fix Live

Work on incorporating more fruits into my day and then slowly work on the veggies

Read one of the books I’ve bought on positive thinking (or at least on positive psychology)

Continue with my evening meditation routines.

And while the insanity of the world is slowly starting to come under control, I’m still going to focus on: Progress over Perfection.

No Comments AstrologycareerfinancesfitnessHealthNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Time to reflect, organize, and plan: Libra Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be transitioning through the Libra constellation today–marking the third full moon of the year and the first super moon of the year as well. We’ve made it through the time change with relative ease (though most schools did have spring break last week, so we’re going to have to see how the numbers in terms of new SARS-CoV2 cases go), but maybe just maybe everything may be headed in the right direction.

I noticed that last year I had mentioned that I was going to try to get a good picture of the full moon (but use the really long lens and tripod), but hadn’t done it yet–so maybe this year? With the moon being full tonight and hopefully a fairly clear sky I’m thinking about it–will just have to see if I still feel up to it after taking the dogs out.

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

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 1-5, my answers would be as followed:

  1. Since we’re still semi in the middle of the pandemic and I’m still self-isolating at home–no I haven’t been overly concerned with appearances. I’ve basically spent the past year living in workout clothes. I do realize that once I really start trying to figure out my life and needing to network/interview and things like that, then yes I will need to be semi-concerned about my appearance.
  2. I would have to say that no I’m not currently neglecting my own needs. I have realized that I can become hyper-focused on certain aspects of life (say career/job) and neglect other aspects of my life (such as fitness and hobbies), but currently I would have to say that I’m working on striking a balance within my life.
  3. I would almost have to say that it depends on the situation. I’ve realized that career wise I’ve been just ‘floating’ along without any clear ‘map’ of where I was wanting to go–and that was one of the major reasons why I resigned and have taken time to really figure out what it is I want to be doing with my life. I don’t think I’ve been gullible or easily influenced–it was more of not deciding for myself and just going with the flow.
  4. Well–do fictional characters count? Okay, seriously I don’t think I’ve been living my life through other people. We all have our own unique paths and sometime we can end up going down someone else’s path for a while before we realize that it isn’t the path for us. I think that is what I’d been doing–going down the academic path, even though I knew (deep down) that it wasn’t the path I really wanted to be on. Now that I know that I don’t want to be on the academic path, I’m slowly figuring out what path I want to be on.
  5. This depends on the aspect of ‘life’ we’re talking about. Adding things that make me smile and I find beautiful? I do, but at the same time I realize that if I add something into the room, I should also remove one thing that isn’t bring me joy or making me smile (I’m also trying to work my way towards my own definition of minimalism). 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, look to see what is working, what is not working, and putting together a plan to fix things that may not be quite right.

So the 12th house this year is coming at a time when the world is still slowly making head ways into dealing with the pandemic. Looking back to last year when we had the Libra full moon–there were just a little over 1.5 million cases worldwide, now basically a year later (give or take a month), there are over 127 million cases (with basically still 22 million ‘active’ cases and almost 2.8 million lives lost). There are vaccines available now (3 within the US), and I should hopefully be able to schedule my appointment for my first shot sometime within the next month. In a way, it is still good timing for the 12th house–time to focus on myself and my future. I’ve slowly been making head ways in this area–and that is the speed I’ve found works best for me-slow; any faster and I either end up having an anxiety attack or losing interest in what I’m doing.

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

Working on my focal points (idea is from the book ‘The Renaissance Soul: How to make your passions your life–a creative and practical guide’ by Margaret Lobensteine). Either will make them a little more specific or at least also have my ‘whys’ on the bulletin board as well.

Create the ‘April brain-dump’ page; basically get all the ideas and thoughts for the month of April onto paper. This will allow me to see pages/posts that I would like to create and give some direction for the month.

Continue working through various personal and professional development courses. Probably wouldn’t hurt to develop at least a rough draft of a personal/professional development plan.

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

No Comments careerfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Did the brain-dump, meditation, & slowly figuring other things out

So we’re going to be heading into the third full moon of the year tomorrow. The moon will be entering the Libra constellation, and it will also be the first super moon of the year.

But before I can look ahead to the Libra full moon, I need to look back at the goals that I set for the Virgo full moon and see how I did with each of them.

So what were my goals for the Virgo full moon? They included:

Meditating nightly, and hopefully catching and re-framing negative thoughts into more positive thoughts.

Trying to do a monthly ‘brain-dump’–getting all ideas out of my head on what I would like to get accomplished during hte month (for example-March), and then selecting ideas from the list to put on my weekly to-be accomplished list. Have it such that it is a mix of various things instead of focusing solely on one area.

Continue working on the transition plan–try to figure out which industry positions are of interest and start trying to network again.

So how did I do with each of them?

In terms of nightly meditations–I’ve been doing really well with these. I’ve found that right now the best combination is that I have my ‘noise maker’ going, the lights off, and candles lit. I can usually quiet my mind for a few minutes.

Re-framing the thoughts is always going to be an ongoing battle. I’ve realized that most of the time, the negative thoughts have become ‘background’ noise in my head and I usually have ‘tuned-it out’ aka I don’t realize what I’m thinking. I’m now trying to tie emotions to thoughts and when I start feeling anxious I then try to tune in to the thoughts.

I managed to do a ‘monthly brain dump’ for March at the end of February. It has been helpful in terms of ideas for blog posts (or at least reminding myself of recurring posts), blog/website pages or both. While there is one section of the brain dump that hasn’t had items marked out–I did make a massive list of ideas, with the understanding that I probably wasn’t going to be able to cover everything on the list. Some ideas/topics may make it onto the ‘monthly brain dump’ for April.

So in terms of the transition plan–this is still currently a work in progress, and since I’m not sure if I’m going to stick with trying to be remote/freelance/online or possible a mix of online and in-person I haven’t started networking more yet. Though I’m leaning more and more towards the idea of something that can be semi-location independent and it has flexible hours so that I can also focus on me.

I’ve decided that those are going to be two of the most important aspects of moving forward—the location and the ability to semi-control my schedule. Since I’ve acknowledge that I have a terrible habit of prioritizing one aspect of life over others, I’m slowly starting to bring that back into a balance—and I don’t want to lose that balance.

Therefore I don’t want a job that is going to require me commuting more than say 45-60 minutes per direction (that’s saying I’m willing to lose 1.5-2 hours a day or 7.5-10 hours a week commuting), and one that I can safely leave work at work (even when I decide to go solo—I’m going to ‘create’ an home office where work will stop at 5:30 every day).

As I had mentioned in a Linkedin post last week: I’m focusing on figuring out the direction (or possibly directions) to go in that will allow me to continuously learn, be challenged, have fun, but also have flexible hours and be semi-location independent.

While that may not sound like I made progress on the transition plan—I actually have—in starting to define what type of professional lifestyle I want and now I need to start figuring out (besides scientific writer, data analyst, and possibly project manager) what industry positions would be a good for my desired professional lifestyle.

Progress is being made and I’m slowly starting to stretch the comfort zone. Using my strengths and values as guiding points I may actually semi-figure out what I’m doing with the second half of my life.

No Comments careerFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

Reflections and stretching the comfort zone: personal & professional development

Since the weather was un-condusive to being outside for long periods of time last month (I know that it is still winter–but the temps were well below normal for both the time of year and location), I did quite a bit of self-reflection.

More or less mid-month, I had a conference call with one of my coaches, and then she taksed me with the assignment of filling in/out my own comfort/stretch/risk/die diagram.

She gave me the task, when after talking it became obvious that I was floundering due to my inner critic/imposter syndrome getting the better of me–almost daily.

I actually like this diagram/thinking model better than other ones that label the outer three zones as: fear/learning/growth. The reason–it lacks the word fear. With this diagram–you can continuously dip your toes into the something new, and slowly stretch your comfort zone to include them.

So, now moving forward I’m going to use this model of thinking instead of the other.

The purpose of drawing the diagram and filling in the areas allows one to see where they stand at any particular point on different areas. I decided to do a combination of personal and professional development for my diagram.

My comfort/stretch/risk/die diagram

In addition to having it a mix of personal and professional development, I decided that I would also list some of my various strengths around the edge as well. My strengths include: learner, intellection, input, achiever, deliberative/ideation/arranger (via Clifton Strengths Assessment), curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking (via VIA Character Assessment). This way as I slowly start moving into the stretch zone, I can also make sure that my strengths are guiding me.

So the professional comfort zone was pretty simple to fill in–it really only consisted of three things: research at the bench, being in academia, and trying to find a research (bench) position in industry.

Then when it came to my personal comfort zone–those were basically all hobbies.

Heading into the outer portions is where the self-reflection comes in, plus knowing that as I did things within one area (say the stretch zone), it would become part of the previous zone (comfort zone), and things can and will always be added.

The stretch zone is a mix of personal and professional development tasks. The professional development tasks lean more towards learning about different possible industry directions (such as clinical research, regulatory affairs, and project management) and certain skills (such as programming and technical/scientific writing).

I’ve listed various hobbies, in addition to working on improving my mental and spiritual health within the stretch zone as well.

The risk zone includes things like having a functional part-time (or three-quarter times) side business established, starting a podcast, and branching out in my writing.

The ‘die’ zone includes things like traveling abroad frequently, giving a talk (or talks) at a conference or other large venue, and going all in on working (100%) for myself.

Just filling in that diagram was enough for the inner critic/imposter syndrome to drage me back into my comfort zone for a day or two. Hell, it took me almost two days to respond to a comment on the post in a group because of my inner critic.

In addition to that assignment, I took it a slight step further and generated a list of topics that I would enjoy writing and/or learning about on a continuous basis. I’ve seen/heard it so many times that one should look at the books they’re currently reading, their purchase histories, their hobbies, and their educational background.

My current list of topics to explore

When I looked at mine, I came up with a list that ranges from science (with various subtopics), history (again with various subtopics), anthropology, and other ‘school subjects’ to bird watching, reading, photography, cooking, spirituality, and numerous different crafts.

When asked if this helped me break out of the ‘I seem to be stuck’ mode–the answer was yes, because it reminded me that I enjoy doing research. It also reminded me that research doesn’t have to be done at the bench–it can also be done in books and via computers.

I told my coach that I was going to start looking at things as ‘research projects/papers’–do a survey of the surface, figure out what interests me, and then deep dive into the topic for awhile.

Truthfully this has been one of my biggest sticking points–trying to just choose one or two directions for a possible career change. I’ve realized over the past year that since graduating high school the things I enjoyed the most were: 1) undergrad–since there was such a large variety of classes one could take. It did take me awhile to get finished, but I was paying my own way–therefore I took classes I needed for the major in addition to classes that were of interest; 2) my first staff position (though there were some troublesome coworkers)–the main focus was helping with undergraduate research, so I had to have at least a brief understanding of the different projects that were going on in the department.

While I’ve been edging into the stretch zone (I have a blog up and running, and I’ve been getting better at evening meditations), I will still find myself being pulled back into the comfort zone (hence why I haven’t figured out the best posting schedule for the blog) before I edge back into the stretch zone.

Even with having a list of topics to start choosing from (knowing that I could add, and go more in depth with certain topics)–my inner critic/imposter syndrome managed to drag my ass back into my comfort zone for basically another week. The problem–I had too many ideas to choose from and I couldn’t decide between starting a history post/section, adding to the science section, or maybe focusing on book reviews.

The solution–I decided I would try to do a monthly ‘brain-dump’ of ideas and then pick a handful each week to work on.

March ‘Brain-Dump’

Doing this allowed me to still have a ‘choice’ of what I could research and write about—but from a pared down list. It is similar to how I decided to go about my non fiction reading and e-courses that I wanted to finish for the year.

The initial large list had sent me into ‘analysis-paralysis’, where the smaller list makes it easier for me to do things.

While it is a large list, I’m also comfortable with the fact that I many not cover or get to every topic on the list. The science (and history) topics are going to require a more in-depth outline and research time compared to the bird pages and blog posts.

Do things this way, will hopefully allow me to start stretching the comfort zone, moving the ‘risk’ to ‘stretch’ and contemplate on what other topics/ideas/things could be added to the ‘risk’ or ‘die’ zones.

I’m also going to be doing updates on the diagrams–probably in either three or four month increments, which means the first update will somewhere between mid-May to mid-June.

No Comments careerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Recapping Leo Full Moon Goals: health, craft, & spiritual goals

So we’re going to be heading into the second full moon of 2021 this weekend. That means that before I look ahead to the next full moon, I need to take a look back at the goals that I set for the Leo full moon and see how I did with them.

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

Continuing with my fitness schedule–to finish up with Muscle Burns Fat Advance and then move on to Barre Blend.

Write down the current ideas I have for going freelance/independent/remote work in addition to also seeing what other industry direction is of interest. Plus figure out other ways of earning a little extra money

Spend time working on crafts (start trying to learn cross-stitching, patch up the afghans, doodle, make jewelry, color, and if the weather warms up–photography time up at Boomer Lake)

Meditate, tarot/oracle card readings, and finally setting up my altar for doing card readings

So how did I do with each one?

I finished up Muscle Burns Fat Advance on Feb 7th and started in with Barre Blend on the 8th. Barre Blend is an eight-week program that I will be finishing up by the beginning of April. I actually tried to do the program last year when it first came out but I wasn’t a) in the right mindset, and b) hadn’t figured out the best time of day for working out. Now I have the time of day more or less figured out (I try to ensure that i have my workout done by no later than 10am), and the mindset is getting there.

Barre Blend isn’t going to be my favorite Beachbody program–but I told myself that I needed to give it an honest try and complete the program. There will be a review of it come early April when I finish my first (and possibly only) round.

In terms of work ideas: currently I’m leaning towards writing, data analysis, project management, photography, and possibly tutoring (or online teaching). I’m also still looking at other positions as well (clinical data analysis, educational consulting, and possibly going back to the bench). Though there will be more on this in upcoming blog post.

I started to teach myself cross-stitching this past month. It is something that is going to take time–mainly in terms of trying to get the design sketched onto the fabric. I’m currently working on my ‘trial’ or hit-and-miss piece right now. This is where I try to sketch different things (such as numbers or words) onto the fabric and try to then fill in with colored thread. I also did a little iPhone photography as well over the past month, though most of the craft time was doing color by number on the kindle. The weather never did really warm up to be able to get up to Boomer Lake–the one really nice day we had this week, the ground was so muddy that I didn’t feel like dealing with walking through it up at the lake. I realized that I’m going on almost a little over two months since I took at a walk at Boomer Lake.

My evening routine lately had been doing an oracle card reading followed by a couple minutes of meditation. I then decided to try to meditate by candlelight, and have been able to do almost five+ minutes of meditation. This usually means though that if I do a card reading, I usually forget to sketch it out in the journal. What I’m going to start doing is drawing a card (or three) in the morning and have them near my meditation mat so that I can meditate on the message again in the evening.

I have created an altar of sorts–but it is on a low shelf, and therefore still not in the best location for doing a card reading. I will probably just move certain items (such as stones or rocks) back and forth from where I meditate at night (and will be doing the card readings in the morning) and the shelf/altar.

I actually managed to meet the minimum of each goal during the past full moon. I feel like I’m on a more even footing in terms of working out–I don’t freak out if I have to move a rest day around, and I know that if I actually take the weekend for rest I will still be able to push play come Monday. I’m slowly working my way out of my comfort zone (more on this hopefully in another post this weekend or early next week). I’m also slowly branching out in terms of crafts (though I do need to commit to working on different crafts daily), and I’m spending more time also focusing on my spiritual and mental health as well.

All in all, a good start to 2021–a year that I stated was going to be focusing growth, creativity, and curiosity leading to happiness and prosperity.

No Comments AstrologycareerCraftsfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

200 days into the ~150 goals in 2002 day challenge

So as I mentioned last fall I decided that I was going to ‘restart’ and expand the time frame of my 100+ goal challenge. The new challenge started on July 19, 2020 and I planned for it to run through January 10, 2026 (basically 2002 days–double the normal 1001 day time).

So I’ve been updating this list on-and-off since the first update back in October. One of the things I decided to remove were all of the TV shows that I thought I’d be binge-watching. The reason–currently I don’t feel like sitting down and watching multiple seasons of any TV show. While I may decide to watch an episode or two (or maybe a season)–I just don’t see myself sitting down and binge watching like a total of 20+ seasons of shows over even a five year period.

Then, there is still the pandemic going on–which means that my travel plans (and any plans that requires me to be around other people) are still on hold, and I’m still sheltering in place. While two vaccines have been approved for emergency use (with three more in the middle of phase 3 clinical trials), I probably won’t be eligible for the vaccine until late summer or early fall. Therefore I’m still going to be sheltering in place (and wearing a mask when I do go out and about) probably until August or September of this year. This gives me plenty of time to still try to figure out what my ‘new normal’ is going to be looking like.

So my first check-in on this challenge was in October, and the blog title was ‘check-in on the 150+ goal challenge‘. This was where I first started editing out some of the goals that I didn’t feel were fitting my current projections of what I was wanting to do with my life.

So if you want, you can click on the above link, go read that post and see where the changes have occurred.

Note–some goals aren’t numbered as they’re considered a ‘sub-goal’ of the goal above. But in total (numbered and unnumbered) I do have almost 150 goals on the list.

So how have all the goals been progressing?

  1. Transition into an industry position. Currently thinking of either remote/contract or possibly freelance to start (mainly due to the pandemic). But also thinking of possibly doing freelance and then also finding a ‘in-house’ position doing something slightly different.
  2. Learn a programming language (python or R–ties in with #6). I have downloaded a python program, and will be starting to work through some of the e-courses that I bought that deals with python.
  3. Finish various e-courses that I’ve bought, but in particular:
  4. Clinical Research Coalition (Advanced Cheeky Scientist Program)–started watching the videos in this program recently.
  5. Medical Writers Organization (another advanced Cheeky Scientist Program)–need to finish the writing and editing assignments
  6. Data Science Syndicate (another advanced Cheeky Scientist program)–finished this on September 3rd 2020.
  7. Program Management Consortium (another advanced Cheeky Scientist program)
  8. Management Consulting Firm (yet another advanced Cheeky Scientist program)
  9. All other courses–see additional lists in the journal. Decided to make things a little easier–I have a list of courses that I would like to finish in 2021, and if I manage to finish all of those, then I will go back to the master lists in the journal.
  10. More interacting on LinkedIn. This section is hard to score. I’m doing the best with the first one, and trying to improve on the second and fourth ones.
    • Sharing articles from various biotech pages, and other science pages. I usually manage to share at least two to four articles a week from the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News site.
    • Commenting on posts. Trying to get better at this
    • Giving/Asking for recommendations–need to start doing this
    • Start writing my own posts. I’m slowly trying this, but have started by trying to share photographs and/or inspirational quotes to begin with. I also need to work on the frequency of posts as well.
  11. Creating monthly/weekly/daily calendars for above goals. This is something that I’m still working on. I’ve realized that while calendars are good, I also like the flexibility of deciding what or when to post. Mental block that needs to be worked on.
  12. Renewing professional memberships. I need to decide on which association I will be renewing first, as I had mentioned in a previous post I currently don’t have enough money to renew all of them at once.
  13. Become fluent in Spanish
  14. Become fluent in German
  15. Become proficient in French, Norwegian, or Swedish
  16. Read at least 300 personal/professional development books. This is also including books from my previous attempts at 1001-day challenges as well. I have over 300 books on the list (actually probably closer to 400), and I would like to get through at least half of them before adding any new ones to the list. In addition I’m reformatting the goal slightly and aiming for at least 30-40 non-fiction books a year (so the total number may only be 90-120 instead of 300). Counting in the books read during the previous attempts (2018-2020) I’ve already read 73 books (though I considered 12 of them to be ‘reference’ books on a topic). I’ve also finished 3 books this year. That means in theory to reach 300 books, I need to read another 224 books over the next 1802 days.
  17. Finish the books on scientific writing (tied in with #16)
  18. Start building a portfolio of work (writing/data analysis/other ideas)–may mean either another website, renaming this one and reformatting what I have posted.
  19. Develop a daily writing habit–I usually manage to write in my journal a little every day. Sometimes it is just to make note of the workout I did, or card spread for the evening.
  20. Write a letter to my future self
  21. Paint and frame at least one original painting
  22. More photography–haven’t done as much as I would like so far for 2021, mainly due to the temperatures and not getting outside as often. But I have been updating/adding pages to the bird section
  23. 365-Day Photography Challenge (aim for 365 different pictures). I have a couple of ideas for this, just need to fine-tune one or two of them and hopefully will be starting this challenge again within the next few months.
  24. Updating photography pages on blog. I’ve been adding pages to the bird tab on the website, with the goal of hopefully one new species page a week (with pictures), in addition to pages for the bird order & family. I will also start adding in other pages under the photography and travel tabs throughout the spring as well.
  25. Make my own jewelry
  26. Learn to cross-stitch–I started doing this the other day. It will be something that takes practice at to be good at. I do enjoy doing it and will try to practice at least every other day.
  27. Get a new sewing machine–on hold. Possibly once I move and am willing to take the risk that I’m getting a machine with a defective bobbin winder.
  28. Make a new quilt for my bed–on hold (see #27 for reason)
  29. Make a set of drapes for the bedroom (mainly for backdrop for zoom calls)–again on hold (see #27 for reason)
  30. Start a new afghan (after mending other two and writing a blog post on it)
  31. Showcase crafts on blog–need to have some crafts actually either started or completed
  32. Start writing a book–I have an idea or two for this
  33. Learn Photoshop
  34. Write in journal daily (answering questions/prompts from various books & free thought). Have been doing this–though sometimes it is just noting that I did my morning workout.
  35. Create my own coffee-table photography book
  36. Learn basic sign language
  37. Start a virtual book club–question though is, would it be non-fiction or fiction?
  38. Create monthly budges–currently this is just paying off the bills
  39. Credit card debt down & hopefully paid off monthly–some are still a little high (due in part to impulsive book buying and investing in myself (a couple of courses were rather expensive)
  40. Declutter the house (way of earning extra cash)–need to place a couple of declutter orders over the next few weeks
  41. Savings account up another 20K (hopefully)–this is tied with a few of the other finance goals. In truth the goal should be trying to get my savings to where it was before I started my reboot break
  42. Talk with financial personal about short-term investment possibilities
  43. Continue doing small surveys as a way of earning a little extra cash
  44. Finish the various financial e-courses, and then decide when/how to start investing
  45. Get into the best shape of my life
  46. Multivitamin & supplements daily–I think I’ve only missed a few days here and there
  47. Make it through the following Beachbody programs (at least once):
    • Morning Meltdown 100–First round was finished on 9/15/2020
    • Yoga Booty Ballet (Abs & Butt Series)–~3/4 of program completed by 11/14/2020
    • 10 Rounds–1st Round completed on 12/26/2020
    • Barre Blend–Will be starting this on Monday 2/8/2021
    • Insanity Max:30
    • LIIFT4–2nd round finished on 11/14/2020
    • 22-Minute Hard Corps
    • T20
    • Insanity
    • Insanity: Asylum 1
    • Insanity: Asylum 2
    • 4 weeks of Prep
    • 6 weeks of the Work
    • T25 (have already done this program once)
    • Brazil Butt Lift
    • 21-Day Fix (already done once; 2nd time will be the ‘live’ version)
    • 21-Day Fix Extreme (already done once; 2nd time will be the live version)
    • Country Heat (already done once)
    • CIZE
    • Muscle Burns Fat–First round completed 1/17/2021
    • Muscle Burns Fat Advanced–First round will be completed 2/7/2021
    • Let’s Get Up–Shawn T’s new one
    • 9-week control freak (dumb bell option)
    • Shawn Week
    • 80 Day Obsession
    • Brazil Butt Lift: Carnival
    • Shift Shop: Proving Grounds
    • P90
    • Core de Force
  48. Manage 5 push-ups on my toes (I’ve been practicing & managing between 4-10 on my knees)
  49. Manage 10 push-ups on my toes
  50. Hold a 2 minute forearm plank
  51. Hold a 90 second plank
  52. Meditate nightly–have been doing, though sometimes its only been for a minute or two
  53. 60-80 oz of water daily–getting close though some days its probably between 40-50
  54. Stretch daily
  55. Get at least 10,010,000 steps (breaks down to 5K/day)–on my way to meeting this, as I usually manage to meet monthly goals
  56. Finish YouTube for bosses course
  57. Finish YouTube course creation for bosses course
  58. Finish blog to biz course
  59. Launch a YouTube channel
  60. Launch a online course
  61. Get blog traffic to 500+ views a day
  62. Rebrand myself & website (?)
  63. Get instagram followers to constant 800+
  64. Get pintrest followers to constant 400+
  65. Get twitter followers to constant 1000+
  66. Publish at least two blog series
  67. Editorial calendars (monthly/weekly/daily)
    • Blog
    • Instagram
    • Facebook page
    • Twitter
    • Pintrest
  68. Get becomingJessi (or new name if I change) to 1000+ likes/follows on Facebook
  69. Various top 10 author lists
  70. Various top 10 book series lists
  71. Launch a podcast
  72. Launch a etsy store
  73. Full & New Moon Goals
  74. Create my wiccan/pagan altar
  75. Daily oracle card readings
  76. 15 minutes outdoors in the morning (coffee only)–weather permitting; basically start in spring
  77. Keep at least 3 plants alive
  78. Design a science based board game
  79. Create and update a digital vision board
  80. Reorganize my storage unit
  81. Put in at least 1 flower garden around the house
  82. Help put up a partial privacy fence in backyard
  83. Start downsizing number of clothes I own & creating both different ‘minimum’ wardrobes (work/professional/casual; home/casual/working out) & dressing for my now body
  84. Start downsizing the rest of my things as well–would like to be able to live comfortably in a smallish size house (or apartment)
  85. Develop at least 10 different 100-day challenges–will include 100 days of iPhone photography and 100 days of doodling
  86. Re-pierce my ears
  87. Go to at least 1 scientific conference & present at a scientific conference
  88. Go to at least 2 professional networking events
  89. Move to a new (or maybe not new) city for job
  90. Visit at least 3 new (to me) countries
  91. Visit at least one new (to me) national and/or state park
  92. Visit at least one new (to me) national and/or state monument
  93. Visit at least one new (to me) zoo
  94. Visit at least one new (to me) aquarium
  95. Fly out and/or land at 3 new (to me) airports
  96. Visit at least one new (to me) city
  97. Visit at least one new (to me) state
  98. See the northern lights
  99. Attend at least one blogging conference
  100. Attend at least one author-reader conference
  101. Swim with whale sharks
  102. Parasailing
  103. Buy fabric and foam and make new cushions for chairs
  104. New couch and chair(s) for living room
  105. New dresser for bedroom
  106. New mattress & box spring for bed and/or new bed set
  107. New TV & stand
  108. New desk/craft workstation
  109. New dining table

So while I removed one program from my professional development goals–I added another in it’s place. I also made a list of courses to work through for the year, instead of trying to debate between courses and never getting any done. I’ve already watched three of the small courses from Skillshare during January.

I’ve also realized that I’m behind on writing quite a few posts (such as my thoughts on the Data Science program offered by the Cheeky Scientist Association, and several book reviews). I’m also hopefully going to be done with the Medical Writing Organization program this month (once I block out enough time to work through the various writing and editing assignments).

I’m doing well with the fitness/health goals. I made a bingo card for the next two years (2021-2023) with different programs (1st, 2nd, or 3rd rounds) on it. I made it a goal to make it through 9 programs this year (which includes doing the 2nd or 3rd round of a couple of programs), and then hopefully 7 programs next year.

As I mentioned previously–I’m leaning heavily in the direction of going freelance/online/remote for work. Now I’m thinking on what type of combination of things I want to be doing (such as writing, data analysis, project management, or data entry), and then also stick with something in the personal development/hobby realm as well. The dual, multiple focused combination actually appeals to my mixed-styled multipontialite personality.

This then raises the next question of either changing the name of the blog/site, and possibly archiving older posts, or keeping this as my personal blog and then starting another site from scratch. I need to inquire with various people on their opinion (change name/archive/delete or keep and start a second one from scratch).

I’m also still working on developing an editorial calendar/to-be accomplished list that works for me. Besides swinging between two extremes: trying to cram way too much stuff into a day or not getting anything done, I am also still working my way out burnout (more on this in a later post).

So I am making decent progress with some goals, and need to start working on others. The main thing I need to remember: “Progress over Perfection” and to start embracing the learner and intellection parts of my personality again.

Next check-in will be coming in mid-May.

Have you tried a 101 goal in 1001 days? How did it go?

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