Category: professional development

Six months down…six months to go…June Goals in Review

So, we’re in July—which means we’re halfway through 2022. When we think about how much ‘time’ is left in the year, we can look at it as: six months; or 184 days; roughly 26.3 weeks; or 4,416 hours.

Whoever is playing with the voodoo doll for the year—please put it down…

The year isn’t mellowing at all…and seems to be trying to spiral downhill faster and faster each month…

The supreme court overturned Roe v Wade towards the end of June…stating that the states should be allowed to dictate a women’s health…FYI: there is the separation of church and state (not to mention freedom of religion) within the Constitution for a damn reason.

Thanks to six jackasses on the court (all of which should be impeached for lying under oath—opinion on Roe v Wade is usually asked during their confirmation hearings and at least five stated it was law) I have to add another layer to the job search (figuring out which companies are going to support women’s right to choose).

Needless to say—the anxiety has been acting up royally.

Now it is easier to get a damn assault rifle than it is for a woman to get life saving medical care.

It’s time to end the filibuster, expand the court, and enact term limits for both the Supreme Court and Congress.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘May in Review’ on June 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 85.9 million cases and now as of July 1st —we have reached just a little over 89.3 million cases (an increase of a about 3.4 million cases). Numbers are going back up—in part to the different variants of the omicron sub-strain of the SARS-CoV2 virus.

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

As I alluded to last month, I’m going to focus on my strengths and values moving forward this summer: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths).

So before setting goals for July (and possibly the rest of the year), its time to look back at the goals I set for June and see how I did with each of them. The goals for June included:

  1. At least 130-150,000 steps
  2. At least one weekly walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day
  3. Finish two non-fiction books that I’ve started
  4. Read at least two-to-five fiction books (having at least one mini-book review written and published)
  5. Recommit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least twelve days)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  7. Craft time (aim to work on Rolex’s memorial tapestry)
  8. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development e-course (aim to finish LinkedIn Unlocked)
  9. Writing, writing, and more writing

So how did I do with each of them?

130-150,000 steps:

I managed to get a little over 144,000 steps in for the month…144,303 steps to be exact. I managed to be somewhere in between the minimum and maximum in terms of steps—I would have been able to hit and surpass the goal if the weather had been slightly cooler (I only managed two walks up at Boomer this past month).

At least one weekly walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day:

I managed two walks up at Boomer this past month. We’re in summer—which means that our daily temperatures are ranging somewhere in the 90s to 100s. The two mornings that I managed were two days that we had ‘cold’ fronts moving through the state.

I’m still working on trying to ensure that I’m doing five to ten minutes a day of intentional movement…it’s difficult to get in, when you have a 100 pound dog sprawled across your bedroom floor a good portion of the day. Both Boozer and Chaos basically are my ‘shadows’ for majority of the day…workouts might be ‘returning’ in the evenings when everyone else is home and I can ‘lock’ the dogs out of the room for thirty minutes or so.

Finish two (of the many) non-fiction books I’ve started to read. I managed to read:

  1. The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times by Adrienne Mayor
  2. UNLIKE A BOSS: Positive Leadership Skills You Wish Your Manager Had by Alexander N. Andrews

Read at least two-to-five fiction books (having at least one mini book review written and published). I managed to read:

‘Re-reads’ included the entire Gansett Island series (currently at 24 books) by Marie Force–the 25th book is scheduled to be released on July 19th; and I also read the Buchanan/Renard/MacKenna family series (currently at 13 books) by Julie Garwood, as the 14th book is also due to be released on July 19th.

The ‘new’ books that I read this past month included:

  1. Montgomery Bites (Anthology & Cookbook) by Carrie Ann Ryan & Suzanne Johnson (book review written)
  2. Forever with Me (Everhart Brothers #4) by Claudia Burgoa
  3. Can’t Help Love (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #2) by Claudia Burgoa
  4. Hidden Waters (Tatter & Torn #3) by Catherine Cowles
  5. Inked Temptations (Montgomery Ink: Fort Collins #5) by Carrie Ann Ryan (Book review coming early July)

Recommit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least 12 days)

I decided last month that the new ‘goal’ was to be a little better than the month before. The ‘minimal’ goal for June was set at 12 days of no spending and I managed 16…so slightly over half the month…and that will be the goal for July…at least 16 days of no spending…

Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings:

Well, since summer has made it’s presence known—the time outdoors has been regulated at times to the evening when I take the dogs out, or earlier in the day.

Thanks to various things this month—I need to get back into mediation/sitting quietly, writing in the journal, and doing daily oracle card drawings.

I’ve found that as long as I do a few stretches before bed, I sleep somewhat decently—no stretches, and that is when I toss and turn.

Craft time (work on Rolex’s memorial tapestry):

I created one needlepoint tapestry this month. I decided that before working on Rolex’s memorial tapestry (since it will rather complex), I would do a couple of smaller pieces to get the hang of working with the cotton fabric.

The first one I completed was a flower:

Cotton tapestry #1–freestyle drawn flower…

I still need to work on tying off the fabric and the different types of stitches…but not bad for the first time working with the cotton fabric.

Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development e-course (aim to finish LinkedIn Unlocked)

I managed to finish the LinkedIn Unlocked course (I just need to go back through and make a list of the various action items). It was a really good course that highlighted a couple features of LinkedIn I was unaware of—but am slowly starting to use more often (especially the ‘build your resume’ feature).

Writing, writing, and more writing:

I managed to get some writing done this past month—I’ve been posting on LinkedIn some graphics and slowly introducing the molecular cloning series as posts (I’m also through the ‘planning stage’ of the experiment).

I’m in the planning stages for various projects for the blog and other sites—as I’ve realized that I really need to figure things out, get a portfolio together, and start seriously job hunting…

So how did I do overall: I would say that I managed to meet eighty percent of the goals that I set for June. The reading goal was at 100%, as was the craft goal (different tapestry—but it was finished), the rest were somewhere between sixty and eighty percent and it all averaged out to eighty percent.

July goals will be almost identical, though I know that I won’t be spending huge amounts of time outside, and I’ll be lucky to get a single walk in up at Boomer (so I’m not really going to aim for weekly walks).

We’re entering the second half of the year, and the third quarter. Its time to reset, refocus, and commit to various long term goals: getting a remote position (or starting a freelance business), getting into the best shape of my life, and focusing on my strengths and values: learner, intellection, input, achiever, deliberative; knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, and evolution/transformation.

So what will be my ‘repetitive’ goals for July? They will include:

  1. At least 135-155,000 steps
  2. At least one walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books (having at least one mini book review written and published)
  5. Recommit to the no spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least 16 days)
  6. Time outdoors (probably briefly in the evenings), mediation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drwings
  7. Craft time (work on a needlepoint project and/or create some jewelry)
  8. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course (looking at possibly either seven best ways to get paid as a writer and/or the sorthcourse on podcasting)
  9. Writing, writing, and more writing

These are goals that align with various strengths/values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, and evolution/growth.

I recreated a new bingo card for the second half of the year, and will be creating a bingo card for the third quarter and then for July (some of these goals will be finding their way to that bingo card). I’ll also be working on the multi-prong personal/professional development plan that I originally tried to put together last month (and ended up having an anxiety attack over).

I mentioned to a couple of people that my biggest ‘problem’ is that I’m overzealous and try to cram months worth of ideas/goals into a shorter time period, and then allow my inner critic/imposter syndrome to drag me back into the comfort zone when I ‘fail’ to achieve a goal in say five days when in reality it would take five weeks to achieve the goal.

I also will be trying to decide on a new web addy for the blog/website, as I still want to have a multi-facet site (the ‘professional’ communication side and the ‘personal’ hobby/creative/reflective side)…and everything is up for renewal this coming month.

I’m actually thinking of restarting both the 90-day content creation/research challenge as well as restarting the 101 goals in 1001-day challenge (I’ve tried this one several times; latest was doubling the time frame to 2002 days).

The goal of restarting both is to be a little more focused on things (at least in terms of the large number of goals).

I truthfully don’t think a single month has gone ‘smoothly’ so far this year…I’m just trying to roll with the tide and punches…

I deleted the one game from the kindle again, and once I feel like I’m on ‘auto-buy’ again, I’ll save things on the computer, shutdown the computer and go outside for a few minutes (minus all electronics).

How are you handling the stress that is 2022?

Namaste….

No Comments BookscareerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Cancer New Moon Goals: Utilizing the 90-day Content Research Project & Reading

So the moon will be transitioning through the Cancer constellation tonight—marking the sixth new moon of the year; and somehow there are only two more days left in June, and then 2022 is halfway over.

That means I should be spending a good chunk of the next few days, reflecting on the past six months, the goals I’d set and whether or not I’ve reached them…and whether or not I’d be reaching them by the end of 2022. As of Friday, there will only be 184 days left in 2022…

If one looks to the book ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland, there are various things that one can focus on during the Cancer new moon. They include:

  1. Family time (checking in with relatives)
  2. Banishing insecurity
  3. Get in touch with your caring nurturing side
  4. Review your goals
  5. Take a hot bath

Three out of the five things seem straightforward (family time, reviewing goals, and taking a hot bath). I probably should try to get in touch with various family members (at least through social media), since our paths really don’t cross that much and travel is still currently out of the question (at least for me). I have plenty of family time with my immediate family (since I still live at home and we see my younger brother quite frequently now that he is back in town).

The other two items (banishing insecurity and getting in touch with your caring and nurturing side) may not seem so straightforward, and may actually require more work to begin with.

Since I like what I wrote last year, I thought I’d ‘recycle’ my thoughts on banishing insecurity and getting in touch with ones caring nurturing side.

How I picture these areas:

Caring and nurturing side:

In terms of getting in touch with your caring and nurturing side—basically this means that you’re going to try a little harder this month in terms of self-care. You’re going to try to rephrase negative self-talk into more positive self-talk, you’re going to take time to focus on your breath, and you are going to be more gentle and understanding with yourself.

Banishing Insecurity:

In terms of trying to banish insecurity—this means being honest with yourself in terms of different areas of your life. Do you feel insecure in an area? Fearful? Or are you being overly possessive of things? The best work is to try to identify and work at getting rid of barriers in different areas of life (if possible).

Where do I feel ‘insecure’?

  1. Oral communications (talking in front of people)
  2. Written communications (sharing my writing)

How to work through the ‘insecurities’?

  1. Setting up more coffee/water zoom and/or Google chats
  2. Starting a podcast (or just recording myself talking about various things)
  3. Figure out where I can ‘publish’ different styles of writing (and then work on those projects)

If one also looks to see what house the moon is moving through, it will give you a few other things to also take into perspective. For me, the moon is moving through my ninth house (or my big picture zone). This is all about adventure, travel, and personal development.

While a lot of people will say we’re in the epidemic stage of the virus—I’m still calling it a pandemic, and will still be doing mostly ‘virtual’ traveling (Google meet-ups, zoom meet-ups and so forth). As I mentioned last year: we live in a digital world, so there are others ways of ‘traveling’—reading, communicating with others (email, online meetings, phone calls), and writing (creative, poetry, and journaling). So what are some of the things that one can do in regards to their ninth house?

  1. Find a way to explore the world
  2. Read those books you know you should be reading
  3. Do a personal development course
  4. Manifest a new spiritual teacher
  5. Think about what you have faith in–and what you don’t
  6. Make a cyber pal on the other side of the world
  7. Have something you’ve written published

So it seems fitting that the universe is pushing personal development again—I was just talking with a couple of people about this and how I have a bad habit of trying to throw everything on the calendar to do all within a week—instead of spreading out the tasks. I’m still working on ‘slowing down’ and processing what I’ve learned and also figuring out how to share it with the world.

So what are a few goals that I can set during this time?

  1. ‘Explore the world’–do research over different countries, geographical landmarks, historical landmarks, (items from my ’90-day content challenge creation project
  2. Reading–finish the follow books: ‘Unlike a Boss: Positive People Leadership Skills You Wish Your Manager Had by Alexander ANdrews; A Short History of Humanity: A New Hisotry of Old Europe by Johannes Krause & Thomas Trappe; and Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology by M.J. Benton
  3. Start (and hopefully finish) at least one personal/professional development course
  4. Start participating in the 100 days of coding challenge that starts July 1st (and runs through Oct 8)
  5. Work on getting back into my evening oracle card drawings and sitting quietly

I originally had the courses listed out (and will copy them out into a journal)–but I also developed a major anxiety attack (I’d say an EF4) due to at first putting too many courses down and thinking I could finish them all within a two-to-four week period (I mean I could if I didn’t take any time to reflect and try to implement what I had ‘learned’).

In addition I will also try to be working on developing my personal/professional development plan (and not try to throw everything onto it and assume that I can accomplish everything in the quickest amount of time).

Overall, the biggest goals for this period will be writing, self-reflection, and pushing myself a little more each day to get out of my comfort zone. Staying within the comfort zone won’t help me get a remote position or start a freelance business—all it will do is keep me within the lab…it’s time to start breaking out…

And always remember: Progress over perfection.

What is one of your Cancer goals?

Namaste…

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerCraftsfinancesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Anxiety strikes again…but managed to edge into the stretch zone: Gemini Goals in Review

The moon will be transitioning through the Cancer constellation tomorrow (or maybe tonight—depending on where you are in the world), which means its time to look back at the goals I set for the Gemini new moon and see how I did with each of them.

So, what were my Gemini New Moon goals? They included:

  1. The creation of a multi-prong personal/professional development plans (including health/fitness, finances, spirituality, career, and hobbies/crafts), as I’m confident in the direction I want to pivot in, and I’m not getting any younger. This will also tie in with my personal/professional development game (creating different types of content based on the ‘square’ I landed on).
  2. Continue with my daily intentional movements and nightly meditations/sitting quietly moments.
  3. Start getting out of my comfort zone and interacting more on different sites (LinkedIn for example). I’m great at ‘lurking’, but need to start trying to interact and comment on what others post; and possibly start trying to do more ‘zoom coffee chats’
  4. As always—reading, reading, and more reading.

So how did I do with each of them?

In terms of the personal/professional development plan:

I started creating my multi-prong personal/professional development plan…and had an anxiety attack.

A day or so later, I realized what I did ‘wrong’—I basically was throwing everything down onto paper (again)…

So how am I getting around that problem (of throwing everything onto paper)?

I’m making a list of goals (initially without dates attached), and then will be breaking those down into action items or smaller goals…I know everyone states you need to have a ‘deadline’ in order to meet the goal—well when I try to set a deadline…it gives me anxiety (because I either set it too soon or so far into the future that I forget about it).

In terms of daily intentional movement and nightly mediations/sitting quietly moments

Summer is here…and I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes and saying…’Uh, yeah it’s June’…well—it also means that I’m indoors more often than not these days due to high temperatures and moderate humidity (which makes it even hotter)…

Therefore, my intentional movements/exercise routines have been somewhat nonexistent lately…Still trying to help the other two dogs develop a ‘normal’ routine after we lost Rolex last month, which means that it is difficult to do a workout in the bedroom, when there is a 100 pound dog sprawled on the floor.

I need to get back to trying to sit quietly in the evenings…the past few days I haven’t mainly because I’ve been in a really irritable mood…

In terms of getting out of my comfort zone:

I am slowly getting out of my comfort zone and interacting more on LinkedIn…I’ve been participating in different social Saturday threads, and growing my network. I’ve been posting daily (usually trying to post three-to-four times a day), and interacting with other people’s posts.

One thing I’m still working on—is setting up more ‘coffee/water’ Zoom or Google chats.

In terms of reading:

Reading is never a ‘problem’—except when it comes to reading non-fiction. While I have a ‘huge’ to-be read digital pile of nonfiction books, and I fully admit to bouncing between books (fiction and nonfiction)—some are easier to read than others…

The ones I find easiest to read: are on topics I find of interest (anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, and so forth), ones that aren’t ‘badgering’ or ‘harping’ on things that you ‘have to change’ to be successful, and ones that are written in a more conversational manner.

Does this mean I’ve bought books I might not finish reading…. yep, though I may try to finish them—it may just take several months (if not years) to get through them.

Take home message: read what you enjoy, and when reading for personal/professional development—don’t be hard on yourself if it takes longer to read one of those books than it does to read a fiction book.

So, I managed to meet probably about seventy percent of my goals (reading, interacting more on LinkedIn, sitting quietly, and starting the personal/professional development plan).

Have things been perfect? Nope…not even close, the anxiety levels have been hovering around a EF2 level (tornado level 2) while at times peaking at a EF5 level (which was last Friday).

I’m trying to get better at controlling how I react to situations…such as Friday when the supreme court overturned Roe v. Wade allowing states to decide on whether or not abortion is legal—which FYI: it’s the woman’s choice (and it isn’t an ‘easy’ choice for anyone to make)…abortion care = women’s health care =basic human rights. But that is a rant for another day…

Tomorrow is another new moon—which means another chance to look at an area of life and try to set some goals, and also realize that it’s time to figure out how to become a little more active in politics (without actually running for office)…

Namaste…

No Comments AstrologycareerNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Focusing on the career: updating social pages, writing, and research

So the moon will be transitioning through the Sagittarius constellation tonight—marking the sixth full moon of the year; and we’re almost half way through June.

The Sagittarius moon is known for giving off ‘fun energy’, and while that is nice going into the summer months, and while I could say I’m hoping that it won’t lead to a spike in cases–we’re already spiking again due to the various omicron variants…so I’ll be spending the time reflecting and working towards either the transition to a remote communications position or starting a freelance business.

Sagittarius Reflection Questions from the Book: Moonology: Working with Magic of Lunar Cycles by Yasmin Boland

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

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

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

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

Have I been seeing the bigger picture?

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

My Answers/(Yours of course will be different):

  1. In terms of finances, yes I have probably been a little too ‘carefree’ lately. I’ve realized that the past nine-to-ten months I’ve reverted to spending money when I’m stressed/anxious/depressed—and since we lost Rolex last month (due to a relapse of hemolytic anemia); Russia is still invading Ukraine (and probably won’t stop there); and it just seems the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. Now I’m aiming to just be at least 1-5 days better than the previous month in terms of ‘no-spending’.
  2. Yes, I have been allowing myself to get distracted (I won’t really say bored, but more of a ‘fear of failure’/’imposter syndrome’) more often lately. I’m actually going to be drafting writing ideas on this topic. I do allow myself to get distracted; though since starting the content development challenge and participating in #socialsaturday on LinkedIn—I haven’t been quite as ‘bored’. Still working on time and project management.
  3. Nope, I have not been overconfident to the point of arrogance or being too preachy.
  4. I liked last years answer, so I’m going to ‘recycle’ it. This answer again depends on which aspect of life we’re talking about. Am I being a commitment-phobe to myself (i.e. not doing my workouts, eating well, and so forth)? Or a commitment-phobe to someone else? If we’re talking to about the first (myself)—then yes, I have been a commitment-phobe to my own detriment. I’m working on getting better at it though. If we’re talking about being a commitment-phobe to someone else—nope (can’t be a commitment phobe if you aren’t in a relationship, and I’m currently not in a relationship).
  5. Which bigger picture are we talking? Trying to figure out my life in say five to twenty years? The current societal picture? The global picture? The current global/societal picture sucks…There is an illegal war going on (only because the aggressor has nukes and no one wants them going off—but what happens when they turn their eyes to other countries?), we’re still dealing with the SARS-CoV2 pandemic (don’t care if people are allowed to travel—the virus hasn’t disappeared), and we’re also dealing with the gun violence epidemic as well as numerous other issues. If the global society can’t stop the illegal war—it could very well erupt into the third world war. I’m seriously wondering now if we’re going to be able to survive as a society and be ‘recognized’ as society in say fifteen to twenty years.

What Zone/House is Sagittarius traveling through (for me)?

In addition to the fact that the moon has entered into Sagittarius, at least for me it has moved into my second house (or the cash, property, and values zone). This full moon brings about feelings of one’s financial security and stability, and self worth.

It means that we’re suppose to find a balance between various aspects of life—are we tired of working for others and wanting to strike out on our own—now would be the time to start planning it, have we been neglecting ourselves and focusing on others??

This zone is popping up at a time when I need to really start ‘job searching’ and finish reformatting the blog/website. While I know I can probably find a job on campus if I really need one—I’d prefer to have a remote communications job or possibly one or two freelance clients and starting my own business.

In addition, I’m going to look into different ways of earning small amounts of cash (taking surveys, selling DVDs back, possibly sell photography prints or homemade jewelry).

So, while I’m still going to treat this time as a period of self-reflection, I’m also going to be doing other things that I need to do to really get the job search up and going….

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

  1. Finish updating my LinkedIn profile…While I’ve ‘technically’ have taken a career break the past two years—I’ve also been trying my hand at blogging and content creation…so I have to decide how to put that in…plus figure out the ‘transferable skill’ title for previous jobs…fun times….
  2. Create a functional resume template for science/medical communication jobs…
  3. Finish updating the few pages on the website that I haven’t updated, start doing some serious SEO research for the site, writing, and so forth…
  4. Continue with my 90-day content creation challenge
  5. And if I have time: roll the dice and see what the next adventure (or adventures) will be in terms of personal and professional development.

I’m working on ‘closing’ the previous chapters of my life (at least in terms of career) and write the next one as a ‘blockbuster’ chapter…

What is one of your Sagittarius goals?

Namaste…

No Comments AstrologycareerFull Moon Goalsjob searchingPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

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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An unplanned rant, hit two goals, plus planning for the future: May Goals in Review

So, we’re entering June—that means there are only seven months left in 2022.

I’d mentioned last month how I’d hoped that things would start to ‘mellow’ and ‘level out’—they haven’t. May wasn’t a great month—if it were possible to ‘erase’ months from the calendar, I’ve already picked the four months I want to do away with: February, April, May, and October.

Seems random doesn’t it? Well all four months have something in common: they’re months that we’ve lost dogs.

February 2018, we lost Spelunkers to cancer.

April 2015, we lost Speedbump to old age.

October 2018, we lost Piranha to old age, and Chewi to a combination of old age and cancer.

Then, this past month (May 2022) we lost Rolex to hemolytic anemia.

It was thought that her hemolytic anemia had been brought on by the allergy shot she had gotten last fall. Since she’d been on medication for over seven months and slowly being weaned with (what was thought to be no complications), everyone had their fingers crossed.

Unfortunately, her allergies acted up (we didn’t notice her licking and chewing on her leg), she gave herself a sore—which kicked in the immune system, which also triggered the immune cells against her blood cells. We had thought we’d caught it in time, but due to various issues, she didn’t beat this relapse. So I hope you’re enjoying yourself at the rainbow bridge, and watching over us.

The world is still going to hell in a hand-basket—Russia is still waging their illegal war in Ukraine, the SARS-CoV2 virus is still running around, and then there is the gun violence.

There were two mass shootings last month within a week and a half of each other. The ‘first’ was up in Buffalo, where ten people were gunned down in a supermarket—because of the color of their skin.

The ‘second’ one was just last week—and 21 people were killed: two teachers and 19 kids; plus 17 others were wounded.

Plus there were three shootings today: one at a high school in LA (students wounded), outside a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania (one injured), and one in Tulsa OK at a hospital (four were killed plus the gunman). Not to mention that there had been another shooting in a small town outside of Tulsa earlier this week.

I know that people state that one shouldn’t be ‘political’ when trying to job search, start a freelance business, and so forth—but enough.

If people want to disagree—fine. If people don’t want to work with me—fine. If somehow these views result in not getting a job interview or offer—fine.

I know that people will say—‘but the Second Amendment’…

What is the wording of the Second Amendment?

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

So, while it does refer to the right of individuals being able to own guns—it also states its main goal: a well-regulated militia (national guard) for the security of the state.

The amendment was needed because of the disconnection between individuals while they were drafting the constitution and debating over it—some didn’t like the idea of the government having that much ‘military’ control, while others thought it shouldn’t matter, since everyone had some type of ‘arms’ at home.

I truthfully don’t have any problem with responsible gun owners—those that have gone through the background checks, keep the weapons and ammunition locked up (separately), and so forth.

My problem—the ability for those who obviously have severe mental health issues to be able to buy weapons and ammunition and no one really blinks twice at it.

My problem—the toxic culture we live with day-to-day, that makes it ‘taboo’ for people to talk about mental health issues.

My problem—is that there are organizations and people who would rather keep lining their pockets with money, than try to resolve a pandemic that has been raging for decades.

My problem—the toxic patriarchy culture where rich, old, white men are afraid of the future—so they fan the flames of hate and misogamy to try to stay in power.

There is a good percentage of the American population that wants sensible gun laws; that want universal background checks, and the age limit raised for the purchase of weapons.

Why won’t Congress do anything? The pockets of many are being lined by the businesses that would ‘lose’ some money if those changes were put into place.

So, here is a solution: vote out every NRA-backed Congress member, plus any NRA-backed state politicians, and vote in those who support the Second Amendment—but who also support common sense gun laws, and universal health care (especially mental health).

So—please, lets have a civil discussion about universal health care (including mental health), universal background checks, closing loopholes, and ensuring that weapons don’t end up in the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

So, that was my unintentional rant on gun violence in the United States. I know that it will take quite a while before anything worthwhile happens—but we need universal healthcare (including mental health) in this country, we need universal background checks, and ways of keeping weapons out of the hands of those that could do severe harm.

In terms of the total number of cases of the SARS-CoV2 virus within the US, when I published ‘April in Review’ on May 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 83.0 million cases and now as of May 1st —we have reached just a little over 85.9 million cases (an increase of a about 2.9 million cases). Numbers are going back up—in part to the different variants of the omicron sub-strain of the SARS-CoV2 virus.

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

As I alluded to last month, I’m going to focus on my strengths and values moving forward this summer: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths).

Before trying to set my goals for June, I should look back at the goals I set for May and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for May included:

  1. At least 130-155,000 steps
  2. Starting to lift weights, do some cardio, yoga, walking, and so forth
  3. Read at least two non-fiction books
  4. Read at least two-to-five fiction books (also have written at least two mini book reviews)
  5. No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development e-course
  9. Writing, writing, and more writing

So how did I do with each of them?

At least 130-155,000 steps; I managed to actually surpass my goal step. I managed 188,937 steps for the month of May. This was in large part due to weekly walks at Boomer Lake—I think I only ‘missed’ one week walking at the lake.

In terms of the intentional movements: well, I managed weekly walks (for the most part) and since it’s summertime—it means mowing the yard at least every other week.

Since we lost Rolex, the other two dogs spend a good chunk of the day in my room with me—and I haven’t had the heart to ‘kick’ them out so that I can do a thirty-to-forty minute workout (yet).

For the non-fiction books, I’m currently reading the following:

The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times by Adrienne Mayor

INNERCISE: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power by John Assaraf

I’m a little over a third of the way through each of them.

In terms of fiction books I’ve read the following:

Wildfire Griffin (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #1) by Zoe Chant

Wildfire Unicorn (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #2) by Zoe Chant

Wildfire Sea Dragon (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #3) by Zoe Chant

Wildfire Pegasus (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #4) by Zoe Chant

Wildfire Hellhound (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #5) by Zoe Chant

Wildfire Phoenix (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #6) by Zoe Chant

How Much I Want (Miami Nights #4) by Marie Force (book review written)

Etched in Honor (Aspen Pack #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan (book review written)

Faking the Game (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #1) by Claudia Buroga

There may have been several other fiction books read—but they were either repeats or I haven’t finished them yet.

In terms of the no spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending challenge–I managed about a third of the month without spending some money. I of course splurged on e-books, the silly game, essentials (dog treats and so forth), and craft supplies.

Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings:

Time outdoors was manageable for the most part this month (there were some rainy days where I only went out briefly at night with the dogs).

The meditation/sitting quietly is still a ‘work in progress’—mainly in terms of setting a area up that I wouldn’t have to ‘take down’ as soon as I was done meditating. I managed the daily gratitude journal entries for the most part (there may have been a day or two that I didn’t do it), and I managed about two-thirds of the month in terms of the daily oracle card drawings

In terms of craft time: I managed to get in at least a weekly photography session up at Boomer Lake, and once some more black thread comes in, I’ll be starting on Rolex’s memorial tapestry. So there has been craft time—just not a ‘daily’ chunk of time.

In terms of working through personal/professional development courses: I’m also done with the LinkedIn Unlocked course that I purchased at the end of April—I think I have like two and a half modules left of it.

In terms of writing, writing, and doing some more writing: since I decided to start a 90-day content creation/research challenge, I have been doing a little bit of writing daily.

I’m working on the ‘molecular cloning’ series, in addition to researching various other topics.

I’m trying to stay ‘true’ to my strengths and values, but at the same time not fall down the rabbit hole of ‘overthinking/analysis-paralysis, and constant research’.

So, I made progress with some goals (steps, and reading), while others are still slightly ‘stagnant’ (limited spending, intentional movement, and working through various e-courses) in progress.

While it would feel ‘better’ to blame others—I know that I ‘triggered’ this month (due to stress, anxiety, and depression), and instead of rationally working through the emotions—I spent money.

I can handle the emotions (even all three at once)—but when there are multiple ‘causes’—that is when I really spiral.

Two of the main causes this month: losing Rolex, and the two mass shootings. I could also mention that there are health issues with other family members that didn’t help the situation.

But, all I can do is put one foot in front of the other and try to do a little bit better than I did yesterday.

For example—I managed about a third of May without spending money—therefore the ‘minimal’ goal for June will be twelve days (or forty percent).

I was ‘reminded’ in one of the personal/professional development groups—that when it comes to writing, having an outline is essential (especially as one moves towards a communications role and/or freelancing)—and that isn’t something that I do often. Usually, I’ll start writing and then draft an outline from the notes (even though I know that isn’t the way one should usually go about writing).

So moving forward into the last month of the first half of the year, goals for June will include:

  1. At least 130-150,000 steps
  2. At least one weekly walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day
  3. Finish the two non-fiction books that I started
  4. Read at least two-to-five fiction books (and write at least one mini book review)
  5. Recommit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending month challenge (aiming for at least twelve days)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  7. Craft time (work on Rolex’s memorial tapestry)
  8. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development e-course (aim to finish LinkedIn Unlocked)
  9. And of course–writing, writing, and more writing

Are the goals redundant??  Yes—but (at least for me) that is how they become habits—repeating them over and over again.

But they’re also goals that align with strengths/values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, and evolution/growth.

What may change—how I go about achieving the goals–I’m going to spend the next couple of days also working on a multi-prong personal/professional development plan that will focus on career, finances, personal/professional development, spirituality, and hobbies/crafts.

I know what my biggest ‘sticking’ points are: being over zealous, trying to cram a months worth of ideas/goals into a few days, and then allowing the inner critic/imposter syndrome drag me back into my comfort zone when I ‘fail’ at achieving the goals.

This means I’m also going to be working on improving my time and project management skills as well—considering they’re part of each and every goal listed above.

The first step for June will be creating the rough draft of the multi-prong personal/professional development plan for say the next three-to-five years; then breaking those goals down into say one-two-three (or one-three-five) years, first set of quarterly, first set of monthly, first set of weekly, and then finally first set of daily goals.

In addition—I’m still working on figuring out my ‘brand’. I’m settling in on certain colors and fonts, I’m still attached to the blog byline (‘A little bit of this, A little bit of that’), so now I just need to figure out a good working web address for the site.

I’ll also be continuing with my 90-day content creation/research challenge. The goal is at the end of the 90 days I’ll have at least three months worth of content (maybe more, maybe a little less—since anything written and published here, or submitted to Medical News Bulletin is included on the spreadsheet), plus hopefully even more ideas of things to look into researching and creating.

So May really didn’t go as plan for the most part—but when one acknowledges the ‘triggers’, then they can slowly start reworking their responses to said triggers.

I know that when my anxiety and stress levels get too high or I start to feel a little more depressed than usual—I have a tendency to find chocolate and spend money. So, when I start to ‘auto’ buy things again—I need to pause, shut down the computer (after saving anything I’m working on), and go outside for a while (without any other electronics). That way, I’ll start creating a new ‘neural’ network for reacting to the problems.

But with just hearing about yet another shooting in the Tulsa area tonight (there was another one earlier this week)—I’m tired, and truthfully can’t think of anything else to say tonight—I’m voting out any and every political figure that is funded by the NRA (they may still win—but not with my vote), or who is against common sense gun laws…

Namaste….

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Time for reading, planning, & moving out of the comfort zone: Gemini Goals

Brief summary of goals that I'm setting for the Gemini New moon

So, the moon is going to be transitioning through the Gemini constellation tonight—marking either the first new moon (or second) for May. I say first or second—depending on when the Taurus new moon was—it happened around April 30th or May 1st. Looking back at what I’d written last year—I didn’t set any goals for the new moon in 2020, but did set some for 2021.

The new moon is marking the end of May (and I’m truthfully ready for it be like December), but I’ll talk all about that in a day or two in my ‘May in Review’ post.

So what are some of the things that one can focus on during the Gemini new moon?

  1. Think about how you communicate with others.
  2. Meditate
  3. Socialize more
  4. See your siblings
  5. Read more

Well, since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic—I’ll have to stick with online socializing (LinkedIn and Facebook), possibly having ‘zoom’ coffee chats. I see my younger brother quite frequently (since he moved back to town last year), but the older sibling is out in CA—so won’t be visiting for a while.

I read frequently, and I’m trying to get back into a meditation routine (elderly pets have been problematic with meditation mats). I’m also working on ways to improve my communication skills (specifically oral, written, presentations, among others).

But then I should also look to see what house the new Gemini moon is moving through as well. So the new moon in Gemini is also moving through my eighth house, or my “sex and shared finances”. This zone can also be referred to as the money & relationship zone (or at least that is how I think of it). So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the eighth house?

They include:

  1. Pay off a loan (or take one out)
  2. Open a savings account and make your first deposit
  3. Cancel a credit card you know you can’t afford
  4. Ask for a pay raise (but really only if you believe you might get it)
  5. Refinance your mortgage
  6. Talk ‘dirty’ to your partner
  7. Try a sexual position for the first time

Still not in the market for a relationship—for several reasons: 1) we’re still in a pandemic; 2) I need to focus on me and my own issues currently; and 3) I still don’t have the time or energy to even think of entering the dating scene and finding someone. I’m that odd duckling—that happens not to mind being unattached and single.

So in terms of things one can do for the eighth house:

  1. I currently have a savings account (with a little money in it), which I’m going to work on trying to increase the balance
  2. There are a couple of ‘high’ balance credit cards that I’m going to be working at paying off over the next six-to-twelve months (Long time–but currently without a job)
  3. I don’t own a house–so looking to refinance is not necessary
  4. I don’t have any loans (and currently not thinking of taking one out)
  5. No pay raise (not until I’m in a job for at least three-to-eight months; or start working for myself) as I’ve been on a ‘reboot’ break for over two years now
  6. And finally, I’m still not in a relationship (nor looking for one)–so the last two things aren’t even on my radar.

So what are my goals for the Gemini new moon? They include:

  1. The creation of a multi-prong personal/professional development plans (including health/fitness, finances, spirituality, career, and hobbies/crafts), as I’m confident in the direction I want to pivot in, and I’m not getting any younger. This will also tie in with my personal/professional development game (creating different types of content based on the ‘square’ I landed on).
  2. Continue with my daily intentional movements and nightly meditations/sitting quietly moments.
  3. Start getting out of my comfort zone and interacting more on different sites (LinkedIn for example). I’m great at ‘lurking’, but need to start trying to interact and comment on what others post; and possibly start trying to do more ‘zoom coffee chats’
  4. As always—reading, reading, and more reading.

As I’d mentioned in a post on LinkedIn, I’d spent the past two years reconnecting to my strengths and values:

Strengths: Learner, Intellection, Input, Achiever, and Deliberative (my top five Clifton Strengths)

Values: Knowledge, Creativity, Curiosity, Spirituality, and Evolution/Transformation

I’ve realized over the past two years—that I had the tendency to ‘sacrifice’ or ‘down-play’ strengths/values to either not make waves or to stay in the background (I’m not really an attention seeker). But now—I’m making sure that those strengths and values are front and center for any and every decision I make going forward in terms of personal/professional development, career trajectory, and just overall happiness.

I know that for the multi-prong personal/professional development plans—I will need to be very specific in the goals, and then have different ‘plans’ for breaking them down to monthly/weekly/daily goals—which is usually where I ‘falter’ in the design scheme.

Being repetitive in goal setting until they become habit is a good thing (as long as you’re making some type of progress on the goal). That is why most of my goals (that are repetitive) focus on personal and professional development—my progress is slow, but it is there. Others might not see it, but then I also don’t share everything all the time.

What goals are you repetitive with?

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A book & a challenge started: Taurus New Moon Goals Reviewed

Slide that briefly summarizes the goals I'd set for the Taurus New Moon

So the moon is going to be transitioning through the Gemini constellation tomorrow, marking the first (possibly second) new moon for May (since the first new moon was either on April 30th or May 1st depending on where you are in the world).

That means that I need to look back at the goals that I set for the Taurus new moon and see how I did with each of them, before looking ahead to the Gemini new moon.

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

  1. Making a financial plan. I’ve been on a reboot break for over two years now, and the savings account has dwindled down to almost nothing. I still have a couple of ‘high’ credit cards that I need to pay down—therefore, the financial plan will have a ‘role’ in my personal/professional development plan I’m also going to be putting together.
  2. Start writing daily—I have the ‘hobby’ areas of the blog (photography, travel, and crafts), plus the ‘areas’ that I’m thinking of branching out into for remote writing: scientific, medical, and health communications and copywriting. This means I need to start developing a ‘portfolio’ of different types of pieces (basically—have a ‘landing’ page on the topic & these posts linked to them).
  3. Continue reading various personal/professional development books.
  4. Go through the clothes and box up t-shirts that no longer fit well and figure out where to donate them.
  5. Continue with daily intentional movement, and getting back into a meditation routine.

So how did I do with each of them?

  1. The financial plan is still in its ‘rough draft’ stage. May was not a good month (more about that in a few days in the ‘May in Review’ post), but needless to say—some credit cards are still high, and I’m working on a list of companies that I may want to write for (not just the ‘biopharma/biomedical/agricultural’ sectors). I know that I need to be curtailing spending and devising ways to earn money while still committing to working on my transition and possibly setting up a freelance business.
  2. In terms of writing daily—I’ve been doing my 90-day content creation challenge, where I’ve been doing research daily and taking notes…so that counts for writing daily, right? I’ve been journaling as well, most days. There was a video in one of the professional development groups that was a good reminder—that when you write, you should always have a outline to work from…so far the only writing project that I have a ‘rough outline’ for—is the ‘troubleshooting tips for molecular cloning’. So, needless to say—I’m also going to be drafting outlines for different projects over the next few days/weeks.
  3. I’m currently reading ‘The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times’ by Adrienne Mayor. Not really personal/professional development—but it is non-fiction, and fairly interesting to read (and is more of the type of non-fiction that I enjoy).
  4. Haven’t looked in my closet lately…
  5. Daily intentional movements have been basically making sure that I’m moving around throughout the day (a weekly walk if the weather permits, and since we’re in summer—mowing the yard at least every other week). Still working on getting back into a meditation routine.

So, nothing was ‘completed’—but at least for a few of them, they were started. The way May is ending (the last half of the month sucked)—I take it as a win if I make it through the day without tears.

Small steps, a few words written, and a couple of pages read each day—makes for a winning week. Plus, with another new moon coming up—the pages are ‘blank’ again, allowing for a ‘new’ story to be told…

Which of your Taurus goals did you complete?

Namaste…

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Content challenge and development plans: Scorpio Full Moon Goals

So we’re heading into May’s full moon tonight, and it will also be a lunar eclipse as well—so now I need to decide if I’m staying up ‘late’ to head outside to try to see the eclipse or not.

Anyway, back to the May full moon and moving forward trying to find/define both my new ‘normal’ and what it is going to be looking like (mainly because the SARS-CoV2 virus is here to stay and that now means making rational decisions in terms of future travels).

The May full moon is going to be transitioning through Scorpio constellation. Therefore if one looks to ‘Moonology’ there are several questions that one can reflect on during the next few days, and they are:

  1. Have I been jealous, vengeful, suspicious, or otherwise behaved toxically?
  2. Have I been living out of fear rather than joy?
  3. Have I been brooding and dark: focusing on the negative rather than the positive?
  4. Have I been cruel and cunning?
  5. Am I having the sex I need to feel good about myself (of course some people need no sex at all to feel good about themselves)?

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

  1. I don’t think I’ve been acting jealous, vengeful or suspicious towards others (I mean we’re still dealing with the pandemic, and I’m hardly around anyone who isn’t family). I’m still working on ‘fixing’ internally focused ‘toxic’ habits (mainly letting my imposter syndrome/inner critic have the wheel and not realize it).
  2. Am I afraid of failure? Yes. Am I afraid of attempting something new (and possibly failing)? Yes. This is in part to the inner critic/imposter syndrome, but also in part to how I was raised—I was raised to ‘be better than average’ (though I know my parents meant only academically)—and it is a mindset that I’m working letting go.
  3. Have you seen the world lately?? I mean with all the damn problems going on—yes, I probably have been focusing a little too much on the negative rather than the positive (especially when I can’t control the events of the world). Therefore, I need to focus on what I can control, and what will hopefully bring more positive and less negative vibes to my life.
  4. No, I have not been cruel or cunning to others or myself.
  5. Again, the answer is no—mainly because 1) we’re still in the midst of the global pandemic, 2) therefore it really isn’t in good form trying to go out and meet new people, and 3) I’m still trying to figure out my life, which may (or may not) include at least one move in the near future. Therefore I’m not in the mindset/mood to deal with another person’s opinions/thoughts on my future right now.

The moon then also moved through my first house (or my Image zone), as I usually work with my rising sign (which happens to be Scorpio; my sun sign is Virgo & my moon sign is Pisces). This house/sign is focused on yourself (personal &/or professional life).

So I’m still going through ‘cycles’ of productivity—the past month or so, has been a so-so cycle of productivity, while the month before that was a little more productive. I realize that everything is cyclic in nature—what goes up, must come down—but I also know that I can ‘minimize’ the downward trend, and try to keep those ‘dips’ rather sharp, instead of a nice steep decline, and a slow incline. As I stated last year: ‘I will still avoid doing things I know I should be doing in order to move closer to certain goals. In other words—I’m still letting the inner critic/imposter syndrome keep me in the comfort zone more often than I try to venture out into the stretch or risk zones’.

So what are a few goals that I can work on over the next few weeks to help bring myself back towards all my other goals?

  1. Continue working on my 90-day content challenge plan (goal is to do some type of research & writing daily, in addition to a craft (photography, cross-stitching, or possibly designing some jewelry).
  2. Finish setting up my 12-month plan, and the rough draft for my personal/professional development plan
  3. Continue to try to meditate daily/nightly

And above all remember—Aim for progress and not for perfection.

What is one of your Scorpio goals?

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Slow but steady progress on the personal/professional development plans

So, the moon should be hitting its next full moon stage tomorrow night—and it should also be an lunar eclipse as well (I’m now debating on whether or not I’m going to stay up late enough to view it).

But before looking ahead to the Scorpio full moon, I should take a look back at the goals that I set for the Libra full moon and see how I did with each of them.

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

  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.

So how did I do with each of them?

I’m still ‘fleshing’ out my twelve-month plan. I know that I want to head in a remote and/or freelance direction in terms of science/medical/health communications/copywriting. I’m actually starting to try to develop a portfolio that isn’t just my academic papers/posters, LinkedIn profile, or the pieces that I’ve written for Medical News Bulletin (though they’ll all be included of course). In terms of the other areas (health/wellness, personal development/finances/spirituality and hobbies/crafts), I’m still working on those directions.

Instead of generating a ‘May brain-dump’, I’ve actually created a 90-day content challenge spreadsheet (and considering the number of topics on the spreadsheet currently & the number of topics I may add)—I have enough ideas for a while.

The 90-day content challenge sprung from my latest review of my comfort diagram and wanting to really try to push the comfort/bounce zones. The overall goal is that at the end of the 90 days, I should have at least 90 days worth of content to polish and then publish over the following 90 days (or longer).

I’m also still working on the personal/professional development plan as well. Though I’ve realized a couple of my little ‘sticking points’ over the past two weeks: 1) I’m still afraid that I’ll get bored with a subject/niche—therefore I haven’t decided anything really more specific than either scientific/medical/health communications/copywriting or molecular, cellular, and cancer biology; 2) I can fall into the ‘rabbit-hole’ of the internet in terms of trying to do research and I have to remind myself that I’m not aiming to write a research paper; and finally 3) it’s perfectly okay to focus on a topic that isn’t science.

I’m still trying to extend the time on my evening meditation beyond a minute or two, and I really haven’t started doing any yoga.

So, I would say that I hit maybe twenty percent of my goals for the Libra full moon. This was in part too much in my head and letting my imposter syndrome/inner critic run the show. There has been progress—and it’s been small, but it is there. Therefore, I’m going to ‘shake’ off the judgmental feelings of ‘not doing enough’, and focus on what I can accomplish during the rest of the year.

As I’m remembering: ‘Progress over Perfection’.

How did you do with your Libra full moon goals?

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