Tag: crafttime

Return of the monthly accountability posts

So I’ve decided that I’m going to try to ‘revive’ a blog series that I let fall by the wayside last year. That series—“months in review”. Basically I’m trying to restart my monthly accountability posts. 

I think I only managed to do a “January in Review” last year (possibly…maybe?), and then I barely posted on either blog for several months. This was due in part to the family medical issue that had started in August 2022…it continued into the early months of 2023…and ‘accumulated’ with my mom passing away during emergency surgery in May of 2023. Needless to say—in addition to trying to manage burnout symptoms, I’m also trying to manage grief as well. Then it didn’t help in October when the world lost it’s shit and any sense of sanity & common sense.

So, the ‘month in review’ posts—what were they? They were monthly accountability posts. They were posts were I listed out various goals that I attempted for the month & how I did with each of them, and at the end of the post were goals I set for the following month. They were also posts where I’d give an update on the SARS-CoV2 pandemic and various stats. This ‘new’ series will be mainly covering the goals and whether I accomplished them or not—and if not, what I plan on doing differently to accomplish that goal within the first few days of the following month.

You will also notice that I’m going to be referring to personal/professional development as personal/professional growth—because I feel like ‘development’ has a slightly negative vibe to it. I don’t need to ‘develop’ into a writer…I’m already a writer, but I can ‘grow’ into becoming a better writer, photographer, blogger, or whatever.

So, with this ‘restart’ to the month in review series, what were my goals for April? Those goals included:

  1. Reading at least three non-fiction books
  2. Reading at least three fiction books
  3. Complete at least one 30-day challenge (working on a Sudoku puzzle, iPhone photography, something)
  4. Coming up with an intentional movement plan that I can stick with
  5. Outline/mind-map for a YouTube channel
  6. At least two blurbs/reviews on science papers (for the science, health, medical blog)
  7. Working through at least two e-courses
  8. 30 minutes 3x/week on Mondly (refreshing or learning a foreign lanuage)
  9. Post to each blog (minimum once–would like two or more times)
  10. Mind-maps & outlines for different projects (mainly for the science/health, medical blog):
    • Oncology series (carcinomas & sarcomas)
    • What is a microbe series
    • Metabolism series (why some supplements are ‘scams’)
    • Why some foods (chocolate, onions, walnuts/pecans) are bad for dogs & cats

These goals are in addition to the goals that I’d drawn on my April BINGO card (and actually some of these goals are from the April BINGO card). So how did I do with each of the goals?

Reading at least three non-fiction books. I read the following books during April:

  1. Top 10 most interesting dinosaurs by Daniel Bozso 
  2. 50 Dinosaur Tales: And 108 more discoveries from the golden age of dinos by Sabrina Ricci with Garret Kruger
  3. Becoming What You Are: A Concise Guide to Awakening the light within by Two Workers
  4. B*tch Don’t Kill my Vibe by Reese Owen
  5. What if it does work out: How a side hustle can change your life by Susie Moore
  6. Waking up in the winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife by Cheryl Richardson

So 100% on this goal…and actually managed to double the number of books that I read.

Reading at least three fiction books. I read the following fiction books during April:

  1. Moments for You (Wilder Brothers/Cousins #7) by Carrie Ann Ryan
  2. The Keeper (Playing to Win #1) by Bella Matthews
  3. The Wildcat (Playing to Win #2) by Bella Matthews
  4. The Knockout (Playing to Win #3) by Bella Matthews
  5. Caged (The Defiant Kings #1) by Bella Matthews
  6. Shaken (The Defiant Kings #2) by Bella Matthews
  7. Iced (The Defiant Kings #3) by Bella Matthews
  8. Overruled (The Defiant Kings #4) by Bella Matthews
  9. Haven (The Defiant Kings #5) by Bella Matthews

Seeing a pattern? I found a new (to-me) author—Bella Matthews, and have been binge reading her backlist (after having purchased the Playing to win series). I think I’ve also (more or less) finished two other connected series…I just forgot to write them down on teh wod document that I have going to track how many books I’ve read during 2024.

Completing at least one 30-day challenge (100% complete):

This month’s challenge was attempting to finish a Sudoku puzzle everyday. I probably should have kept track of how many days I actually managed to complete the puzzle without messing up…but I’d say it was probably somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the time (so somewhere between 20 and 25 days of ‘correctly’ finishing the puzzle).

I’d started also trying to do a crossword puzzle daily as well…and I’d say the percentage I got done was around 10-15%…not great…so maybe try to work on getting better at crossword puzzles over the next few months.

Coming up with an intentional movement plan that I can hopefully stick with (~60% complete):

I’ve created a basic board game for intentional movements…though I’m thinking of purchasing a hula hoop and some battle ropes to add into the mix. My problem for the past couple of years has been ‘boredom’…aka—doing the same workout programs that I’ve done in the past. In order to break that ‘cycle’ I need to mix things up—and also not focus on a number on the scale or a number on the tag of clothes…but aim to get into the best shape of my life, honor my body, and accept (plus work with) the limitations of my body—i.e. knowing that lunges, pushups, tricep dips, and even jogging/running aren’t things I should be doing a lot of…though jogging may be possible a few months down the road—the others I should avoid due to my bone structure (being knocked-kneed/bow-legged; messed up bone structure due to the hereditary multiple osteochondromas).

My biggest hurdle currently—is figuring out the ‘time’ to workout daily. I’m not a big fan of being ‘observed’ when working out…so yeah—still need to figure out the best ‘time’ of day to do things. 

Outline/mind-map for a YouTube channel (possibly 5% completed?):

Not quite done with this one…mainly because I haven’t quite decided if it’s going to be solely an ‘science, health, med’ comms/topics channel, or is it going to be like me—multifaceted. The single topic channel would be in theory easier to plan than a multifaceted one…but I’m worried that I’d get bored with it…though that could just be the inner critic/imposter syndrome whispering in my ear to keep me ‘stuck’.

Two blurbs/reviews on sciences papers (for the science, health, med blog) (5% completed):

Nope..I have the notes for one blurb/review (over the leafy and weedy sea dragon genomes), and just need to go back through and edit it down—I was over thinking things and started to also create a mini-review, when I should have been making note of things I found of interest and wanted to research on their own…with then linking back to the original ‘blurb’ that brought the ‘new topic’ to my attention. 

Working through at least two e-courses (100%–I watched/took notes):

I watched two ‘short’ e-courses on SkillShare in April, and those two courses were:

“The Art of Setting Goals: Create Your Roadmap to Success” and

“Creative Business Plan for Artists: Create a Thriving Business”

Now…I just need to go back and complete the ‘assignments’ for both of the courses—in order to get the ‘certificates’ of completion. Which will then help me actually move forward with trying to launch potentially two different freelance businesses (the freelance science, health, medical comms & the creative hobby/personal/professional growth business).

30 minutes 3x/week on Mondly (refreshing or learning a language) (only about 5% completed)

Nope…I managed to do this for the first few days of the month, and then I let all sorts of other ‘tasks’ take precedence over logging into Mondly for a half-hour to practice learning a foreign language.

Post to each blog (minimum once—would like two or more times) (100%—creative blog was several times; while the science, health & medical blog was once)

I usually manage to post to the creative blog at least four times a month (in regards to setting goals via of the new and full moon phases), and sometimes I manage a fifth or sixth time (book reviews or updates on what’s going on in West Asia). The site that usually I have more ‘trouble’ posting to is the science, health, and medical comms blog/website. 

I actually managed to post to the science, health, & medical blog website once last month—back on the 7th, I posted about 2024 world health day. I’m behind on the oncology blog series—only because I’ve realized that I need to divide some of the posts into multiple posts. A goal for May is to get back to a biweekly schedule of posting the oncology blog series, plus possibly posting about other topics as well (potential public/global health posts in regards to the rise of certain infectious diseases in certain areas of the world).

Mind-maps & outlines for different projects (mainly for the science, health, medical blog/website): (possibly about 45% done)

The oncology blog series (focusing on ‘location-based’ classification of cancers currently) ~35% done. I need to break these two outlines into ‘multiple’ outlines, as I’d noticed that the posts were getting ‘fairly’ long (i.e. getting close to almost ‘mini-review length–at least in my mind).

What is a microbe series–~80% done. I have a basic outline and some notes. But I should ensure that I have a couple of ‘examples’ of each group/family/class of microbes picked out and a outline for what I’d like to cover on those organisms.

Metabolism series–haven’t started

What various foods aren’t good for dogs and cats–haven’t started

I have notes and a rough outline for the what is a microbe series. I have a very rough draft for the carcinoma position of the oncology blog series (location based cancers part I). Since I haven’t fine-tuned the carcinoma outline…I haven’t moved forward to the sarcoma outline..which is currently ‘okay’ since I’m so far behind in writing/posting this series to the science, health, med blog. 

Conclusions:

So with April being the first month (in over a year) in which I tried to set ‘a laundry list’ of goals…I’m happy to see that there were only two or three that were less than 10% completed (refresh/learn a foreign language, planning out the YouTube channel, & blurbs on science/health/medical papers). I’m acknowledging that my inner critic/imposter syndrome was probably responsible for sidelining me for a good chunk of the month in regards to those two goals, and writing/posting to the science, health, & medical blog/website.

Reading is always something I enjoy…I’m proud of the fact that I managed to read/finish half a dozen non-fiction books this month, and am aiming to read at least three next month as well (if I can do half a dozen, great). Research & writing is something else I enjoy…I just need to get into the mindset that ‘good, decent, & done’ is a better mindset than ‘great, in-depth, and perfect’.

Perfectionism, comparing myself to others, and feeling like I need to have all the answers/solutions/every outcome mapped before moving forward is whats kept me stuck for quite a while (not to mention the whole family medical crisis/grief/finding my new normal). But I can say that I’m slowly making my way forward on my own path…

So what goals are going on my ‘laundry’ list of goals for May? They include:

  1. Reading at least three non-fiction books
  2. Reading at least four fiction
  3. Completing at least one more 30-day challenge
  4. Start following my intentional movement (aka exercise) plan
  5. Finish the outline/mind-map and possibly launch the YouTube channel
  6. Blurbs on the science, health, medical papers
  7. Working through at least three e-courses
  8. 30 minutes 4x/week on Mondly
  9. Post to each blog at least twice
  10. Mind-maps & outlines:
    • The two topics from last month (metabolism & foods that aren’t good for pets & why)
    • “Interviews” with different dinosaurs & extinct animals
    • What makes us “toxic/poisonous” (“interviews” with different creatures that either produce their own toxins/posions or house microbes that produce them)
    • Interviews with citizens of ancient civilizations (Copan, Mesa Verde, Stonehenge, plus others)
    • Ancient Civilizations (Mesopotamia & Ancient Egypt)
  11. Writing/working on projects for at least 30-minutes a day (minimum two different projects a day)
  12. Work on the large needlepoint project and maybe (start and/or finish) a small needlepoint proejct
  13. Create a rough draft of a coloring book from some of my black & white doodles.

There are ‘more’ goals listed for May…but several are just setting up for the research step of the project (such as goal number ten—the mind-maps & outlines). Others may be ‘competed’ quickly (such as say just reading four fiction books—but I know I’ll be reading more than just four). 

Having thirteen goals listed for May means I’ll also be working on my time and project management skills. Especially when it comes to ensuring that I’m doing my daily intentional movement, making time to be on Mondly learning a foreign language, working through an e-course, mind-mapping & creating outlines, research, writing/editing & publishing content. The overall goal for May is to complete at least fifty percent of a third of the goals; complete seventy-five percent of a third, and hundred precent of the other third. Yes, I know that with thirteen goals—it’s not an ‘even’ third.

How do you go about goal setting? Yearly? Quarterly? Monthly? What style of goal-setting do you use? SMART goals? OKR (Objective, Key Results)? WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan)? GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Will)?

No Comments bullet journalscareerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesReflections

Combining the creative & the practical: making my own time/project management system

So, the moon is moving through the Pisces constellation and marking the third new moon of the year tonight. Just in time for us ‘springing’ forward. I thought it was bad luck back in 2020—when it was a full moon, Friday the 13th, and springing forward all on the same weekend. Here’s hoping that it won’t be quite as bad this year with it just being a new moon, no Friday the 13th, but still springing forward.

The world is still crumbling or combusting at a nice clip…things in West Asia are almost to a boiling point, where this conflict is going to spill over into a regional conflict within months if not weeks (or days). I noticed that last year I didn’t post anything for March in terms of goals or either new or full moon posts…last year wasn’t the greatest of years (and that is still a mild understatement).

I’ve started trying to plan out the each upcoming week on the weekend…write out the top long-term goals, the top yearly goals, quarterly, and monthly goals (while also referring back to the bingo cards for other goals). So…yeah, I’ve been trying to get better at both time and project management the past two weeks or so. Has it helped improve my time/project management—yes, and no. Yes, in terms of getting more things done…no, in terms of having spent time learning (i.e. watching a TedTalk, listening to a podcast, or working through an e-course). So—I need to figure out how to get those items into the the schedule (going to try using a timer—one that can be set for anything from 20 minutes (for watching a TedTalk) to upwards of an hour (listening to a podcast or starting to work through an e-course)).

If we wanted to focus on things that one could do during the Pisces new moon, according to “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are several things we can do, and they include:

  1. Dream
  2. Face your fears
  3. Follow your hunches/intution
  4. Heal–focus on working through emotional or spiritual issues
  5. ‘Surrender’–practice yoga, meditation–open yourself to the possibilities of the unvierse.

I’m dreaming…dreaming of having two successful blogs/websites that allow me to live life on my terms. Facing my fears? As I’d mentioned back in 2022—I’ve realized that several of my ‘fears’ are actually more of an ‘anxiety’ issue than an legit fear. This includes my ‘fear’ of public speaking..it’s more of an ‘anxiety’ issue—worrying that someone in the audience is going to ‘stop’ me in the middle of talking to ‘correct’ how I’m saying something…thank you to the damn teachers in elementary school for this ‘fear/anxiety’ issue that I’m still working through. I’d mentioned back in 2022—that I was thinking of launching a podcast or just starting to record myself talking about various topics—as a way of learning to ‘not hate how I sound/talk’. Actually—I’m thinking of launching a YouTube channel later this summer, and this was one of the reasons for it—to get accustomed to how my voice sounds ‘recorded’ and so forth.

Other problems that I need to address as they (or when they) crop up: speaking up for myself & asking for additional projects/work when I get bored (on the job—so this would be mainly if I manage to land a remote position within science/health/medical comms); and sticking up for myself (dealing with confrontations).

In addition I’m still focusing on my mental & spiritual health as well. While conventional religion really doesn’t work for me, I’m attempting to delve deeper into the spiritual side of things (meditation, oracle card readings, journaling, nature, and so forth). One of the biggest things I need to do is set up an dedicated altar that doesn’t also become a catchall for craft supplies. Yoga has been on the ‘to-do’ list for quite awhile…biggest problem currently is #apepthepuppy and I’m not sure how he’d take to me trying to do yoga in the living room.

In addition, Pisces is also moving through my 5th house—or my fun zone. So this is the area that is triggered by creativity, children, and romance. Now I’m good with the creativity portion—I don’t have kids (at least the ‘two-legged’ variety [I do have ‘furry’ children], and I’m not around them all that much), and truthfully right now I’m not in the market for romance (especially since I’m still trying to figure out my life and who knows when I’d possibly be moving).

So there are several different things that one can do, that sums up the 5th house (or fun zone):

  1. Take up belly dancing
  2. Making a toy for a child
  3. Starting to date
  4. Going on a trip with your significant other
  5. Doing something creative (writing, painting, so forth)
  6. Do something that typifies your idea of fun
  7. Throw a party

So…what would I be scratching off the list as not getting done? Well…I’m not going to start dating (see above for the reason why), taking a trip with one’s significant other (again—not in a relationship), and making a toy for a child (though I may try to make some stuff animals for donations?). Also—no throwing parties, because I’d rather meet up with a few friends for lunch, or a walk, or something other than a party.

I’ve been thinking of taking up belly dancing again (I’d had workout DVDs years ago)—I just need to find a decent YouTube channel to follow. It would also be something that could possibly help me get out of my rut of not doing much ‘physical activity’ during the day. I’ve been working on my large afghan for the past month or so…I’m hoping to have it finished by mid-April (maybe closer to late-April, depending on the size/width of the border pieces I will knit after I’m done with the third panel).

Fun…enjoyment…the balance to ‘work’…though I think one should be able to weave ‘fun’ activities in throughout the day to make ‘work’ more enjoyable. One of the many reasons, why I want to be my own boss..I can take a ‘fun’ break when I need one, to help refuel the creative juices needed to brainstorm the project, outline, or whatever.

Two years ago, I’d made goals such as indulging in more creative work during the day; mind-mapping different ideas (creative writing projects plus more science/health/med topics); trying to create an intentional movement board game; and evening meditation. This year the list of goals is going to include the following:

  1. Continuing to work on the afghan
  2. Determining which goals from the 44 things before 44 & 101 goals in 1001 days will be added to the second quarter BINGO card and/or listed out in the journal
  3. Brainstorming ideas for an intentional movement board game
  4. Brainstorming ideas for different writing projects (both creative & science/health/med related)
  5. Work at setting up an ‘dedicated’ Wiccan/pagan altar for mediation/oracle card reading that doesn’t become a catch-all for craft supplies (namely the threads for needlepoint projects).

In theory, there are two ‘totally finish-able’ goals listed above: working the afghan & setting up the dedicated wiccan/pagan altar. Possibly even the ‘list’ of goals from the 44 before 44 list & 101 goals in 1001 day list can be considered an ‘one-and-done’ goal. Brainstorming goals usually become an ‘ongoing’ goal…because I keep trying to add more and more…so I think I may also have to put a ‘time’ limit on each brainstorming session I have moving forward.

But these projects also have aspects of time/project management not to mention the creative/curious aspect as well. Life at times isn’t totally linear, but can circle back towards something we think we’ve worked through…only to realize that we’ve only learned part of the lesson that we needed to learn.

The other thing I’m going to keep reminding myself of: progress over perfection—since perfection is a myth, and everyone has a different idea of what it looks like.

What is one of your Pisces new moon goals?

No Comments AstrologyCraftsNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspirituality

Focusing on time & project management during the Super Blue Moon

So the moon will be entering its second full moon for August tonight—making it a super blue moon. I’ve seen it stated that the moon could be either in Pisces or back in Aquarius…so I’m going to go with the first—that the moon will be moving through Pisces tonight.

That means there is only a day left in August of 2023, and four months left in the year.

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

Self-reflection questions:

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

(2) Have I been overly sensitive and too easily hurt?

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

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

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

My answers:

  1. I don’t think I’ve been ‘too dreamy’ lately…distracted, semi-depressed, dealing with grief, and still totally irritated with the world? Yep…this year hasn’t been the greatest, I’m working on finding a new routine, while balancing various other things—and working on improving my overall mental health. I haven’t been making silly errors, but I probably haven’t been getting nearly enough things done…though I have managed to three ‘BINGOs’ on my August BINGO goal card.
  2. The past year has been a sh*t show of epic proportions, and I probably am a little more sensitive lately compared to say two or three years ago. I do realize that everyone is busy with things and that if someone doesn’t respond—it only means they’re busy. 
  3. Nope.
  4. While I’m still using the soothing pod app for ‘guided’ meditation at night…I’d say my ability to ‘focus’ on breath for meditating is currently sitting around two minutes (the opening intros of the guided meditations)…then I listen as I pull a couple of oracle cards to ‘read’.
  5. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times—this is something that I’m working on…having spent so many years in higher edu research—I’m extremely good at being in touch with my analytical side, and ‘ignoring’ my intuitive side. I’m working at getting better at being in the moment, taking things slowly, and not having everything planned out. I am going after my dream of having a more independent career away from the bench. I am pivoting to the direction of freelance/remote/contract science/health/medical communications. In other words—writing, creating infographics, posters, slide decks, and other educational type material. Once I have that up and going, I’ll also be working different ideas/directions for this blog as well (creative writing/crafts/photography/travel/book reviews). I’ve chosen these directions because I want something that is location independent, time independent, and allows me to ‘jump’ between different areas/subjects that are of interest to me as I create content. 

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

I’m still semi self-isolating—I’ll meet a friend for lunch occasionally, we try to get out to walk the dogs at a park once a week (temperatures permitting), and hopefully within a month or two I can start trying to get a walk in at Boomer; but there are new variants of the omicron COVID-19 variant popping up—so I may not do the lunch meetup all that often this fall.

I made note last year that when (and if) I move, it would require moving into a small one or two bedroom house, due to my dog…well, now when that happens—it will probably be a two (or three) bedroom house with a basement, and possibly an apartment over the detached garage. Seems mighty specific, huh…well—moving is going to become an ‘family’ affair. My father is going to be retiring within two or three years, and has been talking of moving once that happens. My younger brother is financially dependent on my father, and well—I’m going to have power of attorney…so I’d rather be in the same area in case something goes wrong.  The current ‘specifics’ of the house/property is from how I imagine us being able to move and ‘live’ around each other.

Again, the only ‘kids’ I’m currently around are the furry variety—the two dogs and two cats. My niece is out in CA, and we don’t see them that often; and when I meet up with friends for lunch, if it’s during the school year—her daughter is in school.

I’m doing well with crafts…I’m making progress on my large cross-stitch project, and have started a large doodle/drawing project as well. If I like how the doodle/drawing turns out this winter—the second one will actually be done on a canvas (the current paper is a little too thin for even water colors).

Pisces Super Blue Full Moon goals:

(1) Troubleshooting my weekly ‘schedule’—making notes of what blocks of periods work, what doesn’t work; am I trying to cram too much stuff in on any particular day; are there days that may be better served as ‘brainstorming’/‘learning’ days?

(2) Spend at least fifteen to thirty minutes a day on some type of craft project.

(3) Working on both blogs—getting the second blog up and ‘running’ (having the home page & about me pages written, and having the ‘blog’ portion live with at least one post by the end of September); working on editorial calendars, and so forth.

(4) Work through at least part of one personal/professional e-course.

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

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

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

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

Question time: what are some of your favorite crafts?

No Comments AstrologycareerFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Reflecting on 2022, planning for 2023: Sagittarius New Moon Goals

So the moon entered the Sagittarius constellation yesterday, marking the eleventh new moon for 2022. That means there is a week left in November (today is Thanksgiving), and then it’s December…and then 2023.

The SARS-CoV2 virus isn’t going to be going away…it is here to stay (unfortunately)—but there are vaccines, and booster shots—so folks, go get your vaccine (or booster), try to continue practicing social distancing where you can—and wear a damn mask in the store, it’s also flu season.

So what are some of the things that one can do during the time of Sagittarius new moon?

Looking at the book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, you can:

  1. Get away–travel
  2. Study
  3. Search for meaning
  4. Laugh
  5. Be grateful

Well, I’m slowly starting to research/plan a trip for sometime in either mid-to-late 2023 or 2024. Since the SARS-CoV2 virus isn’t going away—I’ll just wear my mask when traveling…

In terms of ‘searching for meaning’—I’m viewing that as figuring out what I want to be doing with my life and where I would like to be in say fifteen to twenty years. This is a slow work in progress…hopefully making a little headway this coming week.

I’m starting to ‘study’ again—I have numerous different e-courses that I need to be working through. I just need to buy a couple of notebooks—I’m ‘old-fashion’ and I learn better when I actually writing things down.

With the moon entering into Sagittarius, this is also my second house or the “cash, property, and values” zone. I’m totally not in the holiday mood this year—I mean today is ‘turkey’ day, and then we’re just over a month from Christmas…and I’m in a totally bah-humbug type of mood currently.

This year has currently been a year of ‘whiplash’ with various things going on—and I’m heading back towards burnout. I’m realizing this and will be putting together a plan to hopefully stop the backwards slide in its ‘tracks’.

One thing I’m aiming for in 2023—starting to live a much more minimalistic life. I have three boxes of shirts (so far) that I need to donate, numerous DVDs to sell back, and crafts to create/gift/sell. Anyway, back to the second house—the cash, property, and value zone.

So some of the things that you can do during this time include (again, according to “Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles”):

  1. Start a savings account
  2. Pay your bills, taxes, debt, etc
  3. Hire an accountant if it’s all too much
  4. Showcase your talents
  5. Get a neck and shoulder massage
  6. Invest in an expensive neck cream

My savings account is there—just not as ‘large’ as I would like (but hey—I’ve been on a reboot break for the past few years and surviving off of it), and I’m working on getting the bills/debt paid off. There is still no reason to hire an accountant—since I’m still currently unemployed.

In terms of ‘showcasing’ my talents—I’m in the process of starting the second blog/website (dedicated to science/medical/health education/communications), in addition to brainstorming ideas on how to showcase the various crafts that I’ve been working on as well.

  1. Develop a ‘fluid’ daily/weekly/monthly schedule for getting various things done
  2. Reflect on 2022 (to-date), and determine what went well, what didn’t go so well, and start planning for 2023 (and beyond)
  3. Put in the order for the numerous journals and notebooks needed for 2023
  4. Finish setting up the dedicated work station, craft station, and semi-dedicated meditation area in the bedroom

While I managed to accomplish numerous goals over the past few months—I also realize that my inner critic/imposter syndrome has also derailed me several times as well (not to mention life in general)…but I need to just keep reminding myself: ‘progress over perfection’. In addition to not taking to heart the negative opinions of others.

While 2022 hasn’t been going the way I wanted, hopefully the last week of November will be mellower than the previous months have been.

What are you doing to ensure that 2023 starts on the right foot?

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Time & project management improving–time to focus on the second blog

So, we’re in November…that means there are only two months, 61 days, roughly nine weeks, or 1,464 hours left in 2022. It’s the final sixth of 2022, and I’m trying to figure out what and how much stuff I can get accomplished before both the end of November and the end of 2022.

As I mentioned last month—I’m tired, burnt out (more on life overall than career), and really ready for this year, and the decade to basically be over.

October was even a bigger mess than September—which is saying something. So how was it a bigger mess than September?

Well—the ongoing family medical issue that I mentioned having started in my August in Review (and touched upon in my September in Review)—it’s still ongoing, and there was a point where it wasn’t looking very good. Currently we’re back to the fifty-fifty chance of it going either way.

I’m also trying to stay off the news (I know that this is showing my privilege—but with my current mental health state—I need to stay off of it). But I will just say—Russia should be kicked off the UN Security Council and kicked out of the UN in general.

By the time the family medical issue is resolved, I won’t be surprised if in addition to the moderate cases of depression and anxiety, I don’t also have a moderate case of PTSD as well.

Elections are coming up next week for the US—and this is where I’m going to share my two-cents.

Basic human rights are on the ballot this year. Women’s rights (voting and health care), sensible gun laws, the environment, education—all of it are on the line. For whatever reason there is a major dichotomy between the two major political parties within the US—and I don’t mind debating how each view finances, the budget, and those topics—but I won’t debate my stance on women’s rights, education, gun control, the environment, or issues I consider to be general ‘moral’/’common sense’ issues.

Therefore, if we elect more common sense and/or liberal individuals to Congress—we can end the filibuster, expand the Supreme Court, enact term limits for both the Supreme Court and Congress, and finally codify women’s health care and gun control into law.

And I’ll end my political/social/economical ‘rant’ here, before it takes over the post.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘September in Review’ on October 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 98.2 million cases and now as of November 1st —we have reached just a little over 99.3 million cases (an increase of a little over 1.1 million cases). So, numbers are staying ‘steady’—though I’d like to see the number actually start going down again. But there are the various omicron subs-strains running amok.

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

I thought I’d manage to get my booster shot in October—but with the way the beginning of the month went…this task fell by the wayside. Hopefully I can get around to scheduling it for sometime in November (and possibly the flu shot—if its free as well).

While trying to keep the mental health on an even keel—I’m still trying to lean more into my strengths and values: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths). Though sometimes it doesn’t help having the background/understanding of medical issues…ignorance is bliss at times.

So before setting goals for November, its time to look back at the goals I set for October and see how I did with each of them. The goals for October included:

  1. 125-155K steps
  2. At least one partial 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
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending challenge
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle drawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Getting the second blog/website up and running
  9. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So how did I do with each goal?

125-155K steps:

I managed to get 134,240 steps in during the month of October—basically right in the middle between hitting a little over 4K steps a day and the ‘goal’ of 5K steps a day. I managed two walks at Boomer—a partial and a full, plus took Chaos through the neighborhood once. Hopefully I will be able to get Chaos out on more walks in November, plus have an late morning/early afternoon walk at Boomer Lake at least once or twice in November.

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

I managed to get in one partial walk and one full walk at Boomer Lake, plus a walk through the neighborhood with Chaos. I probably managed about five minutes or so each day of ‘intentional’ movement (which for me means helping our elderly, arthritic dog in and out of the house).

Finish at least one non-fiction book:

I’m still reading Trilobite: Eyewitness to evolution; and I’m about thirty percent of the way through the book. I’m almost finished with INNERCISE; and I’m about eighty percent of the way done with that book–so I should possibly finish it sometime in November.

I’ve realized that I have cycles when it comes to reading non-fiction books—I can read several in a month (or over a period of say two months), then I go for a month (or longer) where I only end up reading a little bit of different non-fiction books (as none really grab my full attention).

Read at least two-to-four fiction books:

I’m pretty certain that I read more than four books during October (but didn’t track how many were re-reads). But teh four fiction books that I know I read during October were:

  1. Give Me Love (Rose Canyon #2) by Corinne Michaels
  2. Bittersweet Promises (Montgomery Legacy #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan (book review was posted last week)
  3. Fractured Sky (Tattered & Torn #5) by Catherine Cowles
  4. My Favorite Mistake (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #4) by Claudia Buroga

In addition, I also finally got around to writing and posting the book review for Always the One for Me (Wilder Brothers #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan.

Commit to the no spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending challenge

My goal for October was a minimum of 22 days but aiming for 29.

Well, I managed seventeen days (just a little over half the month) without buying any extra e-books, or other stuff. But since how bad the beginning of the month was (in terms of the family medical issue)–managing seventeen days isn’t too shabby.

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

There was time outdoors—possibly not as much as I would have liked—but we’re heading into the cooler months, and unless the sun is directly overhead, it can get chilly sitting outside (even in a sweatshirt).

I’ve been making use of the soothing pod mediation app at night—and managing to sit and focus on the mediation for at least five minutes (some of the meditations are upwards of ten to fifteen minutes).

I’ve been on track doing my daily gratitude journal entries, and doing daily oracle card drawings. For October I was using the Oracle of the Shapeshifters deck:

Thursdays–I share the oracle spread on LinkedIn as part of my Thoughtful Thursday series

Craft time:

In addition to creating graphics and other multimedia items on Canva—I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time working on a new cross-stitch project (that I’ll hopefully have completed sometime during the month of November).

My current cross-stitch project: An abstract ‘microbiology’ petri dish showing different bacterial, fungal, and viral growth.

Getting the second blog up and running:

Still working on this….

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

I watched three short courses on Skillshare during October, and they were:

3x your productivity with this weekly planning guide

I liked the course–though I didn’t print off the planning guide. Basically you’re given ten tips on how to improve your week (and those tips could also be applied to one’s monthly or even yearly calendars).

The tips that the instructor gave were:

  1. Visualize your goals
  2. Schedule self-care
  3. Celebrate and appreciate small and big wins
  4. Just say No (to things you don’t want to be doing)
  5. Major lessons and inspirations (from the previous week/month)
  6. Failure is feedback
  7. Who can I help? Who would I benefit from?
  8. Feed your soul
  9. Focus (top three priorities for the week)
  10. Daily goals and review (break the three top priorities down into actionable steps for each day)

Needless to say—I’m still working on incorporating some of these tips into my schedule/life.

Content Calendar Made Easy: Save Time and Develop a Personal Brand

This was a decent course—it talked about taking your top traits (but traits in terms of what works best for content development) and mixing them with different types of content prompts (such as FAQs, behind the scene, future plans, and so forth).

I know my strengths/values—but am still working on how to meld those into my brand, but also realize I should be thinking of traits as well (would be having to brainstorm with others on this one).

Blogging Rituals and Routines: 10 secrets for increasing blogging productivity

This was a good course, and similar to the other productivity course gave ten different tips on how to improve one’s productivity.

The ten tips this instructor gave were:

  1. Clean up your office/desk space
  2. Organize drawers and files
  3. Clean up your computer files
  4. Remove things that don’t belong in the office (ties in with #1)
  5. Write at the same time everyday
  6. Have a daily, weekly, or monthly word count goal
  7. Have a daily time goal for writing (say fifteen minutes each day)
  8. Go on a ‘blogging retreat’
  9. Go on a weekly solo artist date
  10. Put on your ‘writing’ clothes each day

In addition, there were the suggestions of going for a morning walk, and changing your scenery (going somewhere other than your home ‘office’) to help improve your productivity.

There are several things that I need to do to help improve my productivity—and the big one is to create a couple of functional (but fun) work spaces in the house. One in my bedroom (which will be the biggest challenge), and then another in either the living room or dining room (since I split the time I spend working in different areas of the house).

Writing, writing, and writing:

I managed to get quite a bit of writing done overall during the month of October. I think I managed to do all three of my weekly post series on LinkedIn (Science Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursday, and the Oncology Friday), plus several posts for the creative/reflective blog.

I still need to work on drafting more blog posts (especially for the medical/science/health blog) in addition to starting to build out a portfolio of different communication style projects (mini-reviews; clinical trial summaries, slide decks, posters, and infographics).

What other lessons did I learn in October?

Trust your gut. I almost landed a freelance client for a writing project—but the payment method that they wanted to use was extremely phishy—so I politely declined (after having drafted an contract), and two days later—they’d blocked me on LinkedIn and the conversation thread disappeared as well (I wonder if I try to send another email if it would go through???).

Slowly dip your toe outside your comfort zone—but be completely honest and transparent with the other party.

A recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn about a potential remote writing position focusing on oncology—great, I’m dipping my toes into the field, but was honest that I didn’t have the post-doc or publication experience that their client wanted. The recruiter thanked me, and basically then terminated the conversation (in all it was less than a five minute phone call).

In addition last week, I reached out to someone who was looking for a freelance science/medical writer—and while they aren’t sure if they’re going to be taking on that particular project—they gave me the idea/suggestion of possibly doing consulting work for training/on-boarding science/medical writers.

So, while I may not have made progress with all the goals (still need to carve out time to focus on the other blog/website)—overall progress was made during the month of October. There should always be room for improvement (if nothing else—extending the ‘goal’ line [in terms of steps for fitness, or words/time for writing).

So looking further into November, what are my goals going to be? Well, they’re going to include:

  1. 120-150K steps
  2. Hopefully at least one partial walk at Boomer Lake and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finish at least one of the many non-fiction books I’ve started
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no-spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month challenge (aiming for at leat 22 days; goal is 27)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily oracle card drawings, and daily gratitude journal entries
  7. Craft time (finish the one cross-stitch project, start a new one, and/or possibly create some jewelry)
  8. Working through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  9. Getting the second blog/website up and running
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So the goals for November are basically identical to the goals for October; and technically are identical to the goals for September.

The only goal in October that I really ‘fell’ down on was getting the second blog/website up and running. It is technically ‘live’—I just need to write the copy for the various pages, get the blog up and going, and start developing the portfolio.

In terms of how I’m hoping November will go—I’m going to be pessimistically optimistic, and just try to take things a day/week at a time. This means that I might have to scrap the weekly to-do list if something goes south—or I might get more accomplished, because I’ll be hyper-focused on something other than the family medical issue.

I’m still going to be aiming to become more consistent—especially in terms of posting to the different blogs (I have a editorial/content calendar created [more or less] for LinkedIn, and semi-created for this blog—just need to work on one for the other blog).

Becoming more consistent will really let me lean into my strengths and values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/growth, and intellection.

In addition—they all give me great practice at time and project management as I’m aiming for at least 85% overall completion (I’m fully acknowledging that I may not hit the step goal, and that I may also not have that much time outside—but I can work towards all the other ones).

Time/project management goes hand in hand with consistency and productivity. I’m going to be making more use of airtable (for content/project management—it’s a calendar and spreadsheet in one space), an old fashion timer, and pen/paper to manage my time and projects.

Curious to know what is your favorite time, project, or productivity tracker/manager?

Namaste….

No Comments Book ReviewsBooksbullet journalcareerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesoracle cardsoutdoorsPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

My birthday goal challenge: 43-things to do before turning 43

So my birthday was a couple of days ago, and I’ve been slowly reworking various goal and bucket lists.

Reworking the bucket lists—because I need to be totally honest about how much travel I will probably be doing over the next few decades (especially international).

Reworking the 101 goals in 1001-days list—because there are few things that just haven’t happened and I’m not sure if they’re goals I was putting down for myself or things I thought were needed.

But, one thing I’ve done—I’ve created a list of 43 things I want to do before I turn 43. Some of things I’m already doing (such as meditating, daily oracle cards, and monthly new/full moon goals), but there are others that I attempt and never make that much traction with—I’m hoping that this is the extra little push I need to accomplish those items.

My 43 things to do before turning 43 list

The list contains goals such as researching the origins of my last name. Which is a semi-easy goal—since my grandfather did a good amount of the research back in the 1980s when he was composing a family tree.

But it also contains goals such as defining my vision of success, learning about body confidence, and creating a happiness plan.

Then there are goals associated with finishing certain courses that I’ve bought over the years—such as the project management consortium, management consulting firm, and business development federation courses offered by Cheeky Scientist.

The goal is that by my 43rd birthday I will have accomplished at least eighty percent of the goals (a minimum of 34.4—or 34 goals). I’ll be keeping track of some of the goals in spreadsheets (such as the 365-day photography and writing challenges; what books I’ve read).

Time to start pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, and expanding the bounce zone while shrinking the risk and stretch zones—I’ll be giving updates throughout the year, just haven’t figured out the approximate time frame.

Within the next week or two, I will also be posting an updated 101 goals in 1001-day challenge as well.

Have you done a birthday year inspired goal challenge before? If so–how did it turn out?

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Need to read more nonfiction, make the to-do lists…Aquarius in Review

So the moon will be transitioning through the Pisces constellation over the next day or two…which means that I should be looking back at the goals I had set for the Aquarius full moon before trying to set goals for the Pisces full moon.

So, what were the goals that I had set for the Aquarius full moon? They included:

  1. Finish reading Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey
  2. Get the second blog/website (that is dedicated to science/medical/health comms) up and running
  3. Write (and create the graphics) for steps three and four (restriction digestion and ligation) for ‘molecular cloning’ post series on LinkedIn
  4. Create a timeline/schedule for getting the rest of the bird pages up on this blog
  5. Start a 30-day journaling challenge
  6. Create one necklace or start/continue a cross-stitch project

So how did I do with them?

Reading:

Well, I haven’t finished reading Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey yet…I did read quite a few books during the past month, I just never got around to finishing any of the non-fiction books that I’d started.

New blog/website:

Didn’t get around to doing any work on the new blog/website this past month…other than staring at blank word documents and the semi-live website. One goal for the weekend is to at least get part of the website formatted…

Working on the LI molecular cloning series

I managed to write and create the graphics for the third and fourth step of my molecular cloning post series on LinkedIn. In addition—I managed to get to step five (an introduction to transformations was posted this past Tuesday).

The rest of the bird pages:

Didn’t get around to creating the timeline/schedule for getting the rest of the bird pages posted to this blog. I have a list of the birds that I still need to do the research on–and that includes the order and families as well…so we’re talking probably still another seventy to eighty-five pages to write.

Journaling challenge:

Didn’t start one this past month…I did write in my journal every day–just not on any particular topic/thought.

Crafts:

Nope, didn’t create any jewelry and I didn’t put any work into the any of the current cross-stitch projects I hve going

The Aquarius full moon was a chaotic period putting it nicely—there is still a family member in the hospital (and will probably be there another two to five weeks), so I’m still stumbling trying to find my new ‘normal’.

I’ve also realized that I’m letting my inner critic/imposter syndrome ‘drive’ more often that I should…this shows up as me not writing, binge buying books (when I know I already have more than enough books to read), and allowing the negative self-talk to continue uninterrupted.

This self-reflection has given me other things to also focus on as we continue heading towards the end of 2022: time and project management, in addition to actually spending time self-reflection (writing out the weekly to-do lists, breaking them down to daily to-do lists, and reflecting at the end of each day on what I managed to get accomplished).

This will require blocking out chunks of time for different projects (and different aspects of those projects)—and honoring those projects (i.e. not scrolling through social media or working on another project), and if I get ‘bored’ during the time block—I’ll make note of it and adjust things according for the next day.

I decided, I’d also end with the last few sentences that I typed last month when I was introducing my Aquarius goals:

But things are always a work in progress—because perfection is a myth…what looks perfect to one person may look lopsided to someone….

Progress not perfection, small steps, and even following a winding path are the thoughts/mantra for the next month or so.

Still curious to know: what are some of your time management tools or tricks?

No Comments AstrologyCraftsFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

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….

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each of them?

90-Day Content Challenge:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can we say anxiety attack….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily/Nightly Meditation:

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

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

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

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

So how are you viewing your progress??

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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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