Tag: mentalhealth

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have I been too concerned with appearances in general?

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

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

Have I been living my life through someone else?

Have I spent enough time beautifying my life?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your plans for the Libra full moon?

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

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

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

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

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

So what are some questions that one can ask during this full moon?

They include:

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

My answers to the questions are the following:

  1. I don’t think that I’ve been too picky, pedantic, or critical of others (I haven’t really been around anyone other than family for over three years now) currently (though I am harboring critical thoughts of various world leaders right now—but take a look at the current political, health, environmental, and all other issues plaguing the planet, and it shouldn’t be surprising that I’m irritated with various world leaders). In terms of how I see myself? I probably have been a little too pedantic and critical of myself lately. I’ve realized that I am still allowing my inner critic/imposter syndrome to get the better of me quite frequently. This is something that I’m trying to catch and slowly correct on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis.
  2. This is a maybe, leaning towards a hard-yes. I’ve realized over the past few years, that I have two ‘problems/issues’ that I need to work on address as I transition away from academia. The first ‘problem/issue’ is that I have a terrible habit of trying to be a people pleaser (taking on tasks I don’t want because I’ve been asked or told to; avoiding confrontations no matter what). The second ‘problem/issue’ is not speaking up or asking for more challenging work, once I become ‘bored’. I’m a fairly quick learner (at least in terms of technical techniques), and once I learn how to do something, I always have ‘okay, what’s next’ bouncing around in my head. How do these two ‘problems/issues’ equate to humbleness—I prefer being in the background and not center stage, and not ‘claiming’ the spotlight when one of my ideas or something I worked on gets spotlighted (letting others take the ‘fame’). Moving forward (either working for myself or into industry)—I need to start tooting my own horn and showing/highlighting my own worth.
  3. I’ve been doing more of the house chores, and taking on a little more of the cooking chores as well at home. I’m working on my transition plan to either remote writing and/or freelance writing. I’ve discovered that two of my ‘whys’ for this change include wanting to help improve both science communication between the general public and scientists, and to help improve science education (possibly through the creation of online courses that can serve as supplemental study aids for students).
  4. Well, if one isn’t worried about the current state of the world—please find some ‘neutral’ media sites and take a gander at what is going on. It is entering week four of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the SARS-CoV2 is still a pandemic (even if some countries are moving to a ‘endemic’ living), and we’re still trying to destroy the only place we have to live. I’m trying to focus on what is actually within my control (how I react to things), and am working on trying to catch and ‘rewrite’ the negative self-thoughts throughout the day.
  5. Well, this depends on the situation. If we’re talking about the overall details of what I would like to accomplish in a given month—no I haven’t been giving enough attention to the details. I’m working on getting back into the habit of doing a monthly ‘brain dump’ and then trying to create (and follow) an editorial calendar for the blog, possibly the Facebook page, and of course LinkedIn. If I can manage those two things—I should be spending time on all aspects of life, and not either zeroing in on one area or being so overwhelmed I’m not doing anything.

Another aspect of trying to set habits according the moon and its phases is to see what house the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Virgo full moon also correlates to my 11th house or my friend zone. Therefore, the period of the Virgo full moon is a time to try to focus on the other people in your life, plus build up your personal and professional networks as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Some craft time and planning–now on to creating the various calendars: Leo Full Moon in Review

So, we’re going to be heading into the third full moon of the year either tonight or tomorrow night (depending on where you are in the world). That means we’re a little over two and a half months into 2022. But, before I look ahead to the Virgo full moon, I should look back at the goals that I set for the Leo full moon, and see how I did with each of them.

So what were my Leo full moon goals?

They included:

  1. Develop an intentional movement calendar (weight lifting, cardio, yoga, and walking). Remembering that this is my health journey and no one else’s—therefore the intentional movement should be things that I enjoy doing.
  2. Develop a schedule for working through various courses and assignments to move forward with the goal of transitioning to a remote writing/data analysis position and hopefully setting up a freelance writing/blogging business.
  3. Spend time working on crafts (start a new cross-stitch project, doodle, color, make jewelry, and when the weather warms up—photography time up at Boomer Lake)
  4. Evening oracle card reading, straighten up my meditation altar, and designing a new meditation ‘area’ (one that can be easily setup and dismantled each evening).

So how did I do with each of them?

In terms of the intentional movement calendar—I’m breaking it down into steps:

  1. Creating a table to keep track of the weights I’m lifting and see how I’m progressing (based off the weight tracking sheets for LIIFT4)
  2. Determining what type of exercises to put together for HIIT workouts (possibly taking moves from various workout programs)
  3. Debating on whether to order yoga and/or Pilates workouts or finding decent YouTube workouts
  4. Then working in shadow-boxing and other cardio-based exercises as well (in addition to walking, and possibly biking)

Then my weekly workouts will be ‘planned’ around the weather, since as it gets nice out I may want to try to do a walk or two at Boomer Lake. Though even on the days that I do weight lifting (or other workouts), I may still take my dog for a walk through the neighborhood (depending on the temps).

In terms of the ‘educational’ schedule—this really hasn’t happened yet. It isn’t so much not wanting to learn, but my currently ‘unchecked’ need to be checking on the news every hour or so to keep up to date with what is happening with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

I’m slowly starting to spend some more time on crafts. I’m starting a new cross-stitch project, will probably finish the other (it will become more doodle inspired and abstract), and managed to get some photography time in up at Boomer Lake.

I’m continuing with my evening oracle card reading (have only missed one or two nights over the past month), have straightened up my meditation altar, and am still working on designing the meditation area.

I know that I can fold blankets and use those as the ‘mat’ for meditating (I just will need to pick them up afterwards), but I’m also want an area for candles (and the current candle area is across the room from where I’d be meditating)—so I’m thinking of ‘creating’ a small table to house the candles near the meditation area as well.

So, I could say that I met possibly a quarter of my goals—possibly up to a third. The online learning has become slightly stagnant again because of the need to keep up to date on the issues of the world (even though my blood pressure and mental health would probably thank me if I stayed away from the news/social media more than what I’ve been doing).

I’ve also realized that at times I’m trying to fit the ‘wrong’ goals into the month. While the ‘house/zone’ is only present for a few days (since the moon does rotate at a good pace)—I should have one or two for that ‘house/zone’ and another one or two that are more ‘general’.

Going forward this year—I’m going to try to embrace and my sisu or inner grit/determination (I’m looking into my cultural heritage more for ideas/inspiration for improving my mental, emotional, and spiritual health).

How do you try to improve/strengthen your inner strength/determination?

Finally, I’d like to send happy vibes, thoughts and prayers to the citizens of Ukraine who are still fighting to keep their country free.

Namaste.

No Comments AstrologyCraftsFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

As it starts to get colder: more time for the computer work (review and looking ahead)

Well, we’re almost halfway through October—that means there are only 79 days left in 2021. I’ve been reflecting over the past two weeks on the goals that I set for the third quarter of the year (or as I was also referring to as—my second attempt at a 12-week year).

I’d mentioned in a post over the summer that I was combining the ideas of two books together and using those as ‘stepping-stones’ for goals in different areas. The ideas that I’m combining are ‘choosing focal points (or specific areas)’ to focus on (‘The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life—A Creative and Practical Guide’ by Margaret Lobenstine), and the goal setting method from ‘The 12-Week Year: Get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months’ by Brain Moran and Michael Lennington.

The four areas that I’ve decided that I’m currently focusing on are: professional development, personal development, health, and hobbies. The plan is to blend them together enough that I’ve created a career that is semi-location independent, and is focused on freelance/remote/contract writing/blogging with the possibility of adding in data analysis and/or consulting in the future.

The one thing that I’m still working on is figuring out how to divide the goals that I pick for the each month into weekly and then daily goals.

I’ve usually been trying to set four to five goals per focal area, with the possibility that one or two may have several ‘sub’ goals associated with them.

Instead of listing out every single goal that I set for the summer, I’m going to summarize the areas instead.

In terms of professional development, I had the lofty goals of completing at least two Cheeky Scientist advanced programs, learning python (coding), working through another three small e-courses on Udemy, and continuing to read/share science news and network on LinkedIn.

In terms of personal development, the lofty goals included refreshing Spanish, reading at least one (or two) non-fiction books a month, working through even more e-courses on different sites, and coming up with my own vision of minimalism and how I was going to diversify my income.

In terms of health, I was planning on continuing with BOD workouts (LIIFT4 and then Morning Meltdown 100), meditation, gratitude entries in the journal, oracle card drawings, working through a couple of courses, and trying to find new recipes to try at dinner.

In terms of my hobbies: at least one nature walk with the camera at Boomer Lake, reading, working on a cross-stitch project (or making some jewelry), and then again working through more e-courses.

So how did I do with my various goals?

In terms of professional development:

I’ve been fairly good at reading and sharing new on LinkedIn and twitter (I try to share at least one post Monday to Friday), and I’m working networking more and adding value to connections on LinkedIn.

In terms of the various programs, courses, and programming—I didn’t really get to any of them. Though I have most of the editing assignments for the Medical Writers Organization done—I just need to work on the writing assignments, plus finish up the sixth module.

I would say that I managed two out of the five professional development goals (so forty percent completed).

In terms of personal development:

I think I’ve managed to read possibly two non-fiction books over the past three months, I’m slowly working on my vision of minimalism (I need to go through the clothes and DVDs in the bedroom—and then tackle everything in the storage unit), and I’m slowly working on the ideas for generating varied income sources.

Again, the computer work hasn’t been completed.

Therefore, I probably managed another two out of the five goals (so another forty percent completed)

In terms of health:

I managed about 26 days of the oracle card sharing challenge. While I enjoyed it in the beginning, it was starting to become more of a ‘chore’ and I wasn’t getting that many interactions on the posts. I will probably share a reading here and there on Instagram, but probably won’t be daily.

With having messed up my wrist mid-June/early-July, I’ve been giving it time to heal, so I really haven’t been doing anything that requires lifting weights. I will be trying to start a second round of Morning Meltdown 100 during the fourth quarter of 2021, knowing that it will run into the first quarter of 2022.

I’ve been good with my evening meditations and daily gratitude entries in the journal. I’ve done a little over half of the explicit tarot course, and in terms of cooking—I couldn’t find any recipes that appealed to me this quarter.

I would say that I managed about half of the health goals for the third quarter.

The best area was hobbies:

I managed a walk every month at Boomer Lake with my camera, I read at least two or three fiction books a month, and I finished two cross-stitch projects and started a third. The only goal that I didn’t really touch was the one in regards to the e-courses.

Therefore, I would say that I managed three of the four goals (or seventy-five percent) for hobbies.

Overall, I would say that I managed to reach fifty percent of all the goals (and sub-goals) that I set for the third quarter.

There are several reasons why I only managed to meet half of the goals:

September was spent dealing with an ill dog and not knowing the outcome/prognosis. While we now know the prognosis, it may still be touch and go—especially when she starts to get weaned off the medication.

I also quit doing my weekly to-be accomplished lists in September (see above about the ill dog), and the daily to-be accomplished lists in August. The reason why I quit writing these out—I let the inner critic/imposter syndrome win a fight. I’m slowly working on getting back into the habit of doing both of these (slightly better with the weekly to-be accomplished lists).

Finally, when the weather is fairly nice—I’d rather be sitting outside enjoying the weather and possibly reading or journaling than being inside and working on the computer. I know that this is something that I need to work on improving (time/project management) as we move into the fall/winter months when more time will be spent indoors than outdoors.

So what are my goals for the four different areas moving into the fourth and final quarter of 2021?

Professional Development (This area is focused heavily on computer work):

  1. Finish at least two of the following Cheeky Scientist advanced programs:
    • Medical Writers Organization
    • User Experience Squad
    • Regulatory Affairs Council
    • Business Development Federation
  2. Finish the following short courses:
    • 15 errors in scientific writing and how to correct them on Udemy
    • How to become a freelance editor on Udemy
    • How to become a freelance writer on Skill Success
  3. Read and share science (and other news) on LinkedIn and Twitter
  4. Network and add value on LinkedIn
  5. (Bonus):
    • Finish Write Your Way to Freedom course
    • Finish Writing Patient Materials course

Personal Development (A third to half of the work will be computer based):

  1. Read one-to-two non-fiction books/month
  2. Draft ideas on how to implement diversification of income streams
  3. Work through the following short courses:
    • How to work for yourself on Udemy
    • Complete personal finance course on Udemy
    • Freelance writing 101: build a successful career on Skill Share
    • Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth on Skill Share

Health (Possibly a third to half could be computer based):

  1. Start a second round of Morning Meltdown 100
  2. Daily mediation and work through the course: Mindfulness for Anxiety on Udemy
  3. Daily gratitude journal entries
  4. Daily oracle card drawings and finish the course: explicit tarot: learning tarot through storytelling on Udemy

Hobbies (possibly a quarter could be computer based):

  1. At least one walk per month at Boomer Lake with camera
  2. Read two-to-three fiction books per month
  3. Finish the third cross-stitch project, possibly start a fourth or design/create some jewelry
  4. Work through the following courses:
    • How to start a creative business through blogging for beginners on Skill Share
    • Modern copywriting on Stack Skills

There are still quite a few e-courses that I’m hoping to finish before the end of the year—I may or may not get through all of them, but I’m hoping to have worked through at least one in each area (bonus points if I can finish all the e-courses under a specific focal point).

I mentioned in my October New Moon Goals—that I was going to be trying to face one ‘big’ fear during the next phase/month. I decided that the fear is starting my freelance/remote/contract writing business. Therefore I’m probably going to focus a little more on the courses that deal with that topic (which all but the two under health). The name of the blog (a little bit of this, a little bit of that) will probably stay the same—I may just change the website address (all depends as I work my way through the various courses).

This also means that I may having more posts written in a specific area (such as science/medical education/communication), but at the same time keeping other posts coming throughout the month (such as book reviews, photography, and crafts).

I realize that getting things up and running will take time (especially when it comes to marketing my business, billing, and creating/sticking with a editorial schedule)—but I currently have the time to do this, so I’m going for it: the overall goal is to reach at least fifty-percent in each area and an overall all progress rate of seventy-five percent for the last quarter of 2021.

Do you use the 12-week method for planning? Best tips? Or is there another method you like?

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Time for personal/professional assessment & developing/modifying the daily schedule

So, we’re going to be heading into another ‘new moon’ phase this week. If you’re in North America, it will be on today (Monday, September 6th), elsewhere in the world—either today or tomorrow.

The new moon is two weeks prior to my birthday this year and the full moon will be on my birthday this year.

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

  1. Take an inventory of your life. Figure out what is working and what isn’t and then figure out what needs to change for the things that aren’t working.
  2. Be of service–help out more at work (if able), do the little things that can help make someone else’s day a little more bearable.
  3. Be healthy–see what is and isn’t working in your health and fitness routines and figure out what to fix (what new habits to start working on)
  4. Avoid nitpicking–this is where the motto “progress over perfection” really comes into play
  5. Get organized–pay bills, figure out the monthly schedule (workout, eating, so forth)–things that can make life a little bearable going forward

While most would think that the new moon would be moving through my first house (since my star sign is Virgo), it actually moving through my 11th house (or friends’ zone), since I’ve been going with my rising sign (which is Scorpio).

Looking back at what I wrote last year, I’d realized that the ‘new normal’ was possibly going to consist of social distancing, wearing a mask, and just being considerate of others. Too bad others haven’t gotten that memo yet (but that is a rant for another day).

Some of the things one can do in regards to their 11th house include:

  1. Sign up for an evening class in something you’ve always wanted to do
  2. Ask your friends to introduce you to friends of theirs you’ve never met
  3. Wish on a start every night for a month
  4. Introduce a childhood pal to a friend from your life now
  5. Say ‘Hi’ to someone you see nearly every day but never talk to
  6. Thank your best friend for being there for you

Well, some of these things still aren’t really possible due to the fact that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic (and who knows when it will get under control). Therefore, if I were to try to do something in regards to my 11th house it would be either wish on a star every night for a month, or thank my best friend for being around still. I also know that I could try to do virtual meet-ups, but that will still require me investing in a better wifi router for the house, and some drapes for one side of the room (if I decide to sit at the desk).

Prior to the pandemic, I would have a monthly lunch get together with a college classmate, but we haven’t done that since March of last year, and with the way things are going—it could easily be March of next year (or possibly 2023) before we may be able to get together for lunch again.

So, since I’ve decided to stay in semi self-isolation, my goals for the Virgo New Moon period will include:

  1. I’m going to take inventory of various aspects of life (research/writing/editing, crafts/hobbies, fitness, mental health/spirituality, and finances) and work on developing a working schedule that will allow me to be productive, but at the same time enjoy time outside as well.
  2. Continue with daily workouts (either alternate between weightlifting and shadow-boxing ro stream Morning Meltdown 100)
  3. In combination with the first goal–organize the schedule, and work at blocking out periods of time (or assign certain tasks to certain days) and see if that helps improve my productivity
  4. Work on completing the third and fourth goal from the Leo New Moon goal list
    • Determine the top five to ten types of freelance/remote/contract writing that I would like to do and start drafting examples of each. Also start drafting my ‘own’ medical content pieces.
    • Determine the top five to fifteen items/sponsors/affiliates and so-forth for the other three ‘blocks’ of my business foundation
  5. Continue with the evening meditation and start trying to incorporate them into the morning as well.

My focus moving forward has been ‘Progress over Perfection’, and while it has been a bumpy and windy road, I feel like it is now allowing me to start writing the next chapter of my life (since I’ve stopped reading the last one). I also know that I may have to take an ‘in-person’ job at some point to help make ends meet until I really can get the whole online/freelance/remote/contract writing/consulting/blogging career up and running.

No Comments AstrologycareerfitnessHealthNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Looking back at the ongoing personal and professional development adventures

So, the moon will be heading into the next new moon cycle tomorrow night (or possibly Monday night—depending on where you are in the world). That means I should look back at the goals I set for the Cancer new moon and see how I did with them, before looking ahead to the Leo new moon.

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

  1. Continuing with the ‘next adventures’ of my personal/professional development board game: reading two to three books (‘Why You’re Stuck’ by Derek Doepker, ‘More of Less’ by Josh Becker), work through a copy-writing course, and start drafting some science posts/pages.
  2. Figure out the answers to the following questions/points that I raised when trying to create a financial plan: (1) what are the different ways that I can earn money; (2) what would the ‘minimal monthly earnings’ be for each areas’ and (3) will it stay a online/remote/contract/freelancing/consulting/blogging mixture or will it be a hybrid (online and in person).
  3. Use the answers from above to slowly create a new 12-month goal/plan for the various areas of my life.
  4. Continue with my evening meditations/sitting quietly moments.
  5. Continue with my oracle card challenge and doing my evening readings/drawings as well.

So how did I do with each of them?

  1. I’m still working through the ‘current adventures’ of my personal/professional development board game. I’m currently halfway through ‘More of Less’ by Josh Becker, and just a little ways into ‘Why You’re Stuck’ by Derek Doepker. I’m slowly working through the different copy-writing courses, and I have an outline for my ‘troubleshooting tips for molecular cloning’ writing project completed.
  2. Last night I did a double post on how I was going to try to simplify my life and at the same time ways I was going to try to diversify my earnings. The initial four methods are going to be: freelance writing, affiliate marketing/advertising revenue/sponsored content; selling photographs; and creating/selling jewelry (and possibly some tee shirts). I’m still working on figuring out what the ‘minimal monthly earnings’ would be for each area (and I also realize that they may change month to month, especially as I’m just starting out). Currently I’m aiming for strictly online/remote/contract/freelance work since there are various variants of the SARS-CoV2 virus still spreading throughout the US and the world.
  3. This will actually be accomplished over the next week or so, since my ‘pillars’ for diversifying my income were only chosen over the past week or so. I also need to work on my ‘vision’ statement as well–basically try to answer the question of where do I see myself in say three, five, ten, or even twenty years.
  4. I’ve been doing well with the evening meditations or periods of just sitting quietly and focusing on my breathing.
  5. I’d been pretty good at the oracle card challenge, up until this past week. Currently I’m basically five days behind ‘schedule’ and I am thinking of doing a four-to-five card spread to ‘catch’ up and end it (currently) at 30 days. While I enjoyed doing the challenge, it has started to lose its enjoyment and is starting to feel like something I ‘have to do’ instead of something I want to be doing. The evening card drawings have been going okay–though I’m thinking of trying to move them to the mornings so that I can reflect on them throughout the day.

So, I focused more on the mental health goals this month compared to the professional development goals. I’ve realized what one of the triggers of my anxiety is–trying to set goals that are years in the future. The reason: I’m still ‘afraid’ of making the wrong decision in terms of my life, therefore I overthink things to the point of almost not doing anything.

The only way to face that ‘fear’ is to slowly move in the direction of change, and while I say ‘slowly’—I’m talking about working on ‘change’ daily (brainstorming ideas, research, writing, editing, and so forth), so that the anxiety starts to dull and hopefully only spikes then for ‘real’ threats. I’ve already started ‘slow’—I managed to get a volunteer medical content writing position, and I’m learning quite a bit from the editor and position (especially that writing 1000 words is harder than it looks when you need to limit the amount of scientific jargon you use).

So, the personal/professional development adventures will continue—hopefully I will be done with at least one of the books within a week or so, I will also have hopefully worked through part of at least one writing course, and have found five to ten resources/references for my ‘troubleshooting tips for molecular cloning’ writing project. I’m pretty certain that I can develop a ‘year’ plan that can be extended and revised as I met (or change) goals and benchmarks.

Progress is never a straight line, it can curve, fold back, and zigzag along—you just need to trust in the process and continue moving forward. Compared to where I was mentally three years ago—I’ve made strides in putting myself first, I need to continue those strides, but also work on creating a community as well.

What strides have you made over the past few years?

No Comments AstrologycareerfinancesHealthNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesoracle cardsPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflections

Time to brainstorm, mindmap, and plan for the future

So, it looks like I didn’t set any goals last June for the Gemini new moon. That isn’t surprising since I was in a rather foul mood (from about April through mid-June), due to the fact that the SARS-CoV2 virus was getting out of control and was close to being called a pandemic (which we’re still in a year later, though numbers are falling in some parts of the world). So the moon is transitioning through the Gemini constellation today, as it marks yet another new phase–it was also a solar eclipse (but it wasn’t visible from Oklahoma). We’re a third of the way through the month, and I’m truthfully ready for say November or December.

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

Think about how you communicate with others.

Meditate.

Socialize more.

See your siblings.

Read more.

Well, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic (and yes, I have gotten my vaccine–but I’m still playing it safe), so I won’t be socializing more (besides, I’m an introvert who prefers minimal socialization anyways). I do see my younger brother every so often (he now lives in town), but my older brother and his family live out in CA–so no visits for quite awhile. I’ve been getting better at meditation, and I always like to read (trying to get better at expanding the genera though).

I’m also looking to the house that Gemini new moon is transitioning through–and for me it is my eighth house, or the ‘sex and shared finances’ zone (also referred to as the money and relationship zone). So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the eighth house?

Pay off a loan (or take one out)

Open a savings account and make your first deposit

Cancel a credit card you know you can’t afford

Ask for a raise (but really only if you believe you might get it)

Refinance your mortgage

Talk dirty to your partner

Try a sexual position for the first time

Looking back at what I wrote two years ago (since I didn’t post anything for new moon last year), there isn’t much I’d change–other than noting we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and I still have no desire to enter the dating pool. I find it slightly amusing that two new moons in a row have aspects that deal with relationships–and I’m determined not to be in one currently. Basically to restate what I’ve said in previous posts (about relationships): I currently don’t have the time or energy to put into the dating scene and finding someone. In terms of relationships and being with someone–I’m one of the odd ones that doesn’t mind being alone and unattached.

I also find it fitting that they also both mention finances as well–something that I’m going to be focusing on a little more as the year progresses.

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

I currently have a savings account (with money in it), which I’m going to be working on trying to increase the balance

I only have two credit cards that have ‘high’ balances, but both should be paid down/off within a few months

I don’t own a house–so no need to try to refinance something

I don’t have any loans (and currently not thinking about taking one out)

No pay raise–as I’ve been on my ‘reboot break’ for over a year now (unless I either find the ‘dream job’ and/or I get my own business up and running)

And finally, I’m still not in a relationship, so the last two items aren’t even on my radar.

So my goals for the Gemini new moon will include:

The creation of a financial plan (coming back onto the list). I have ideas bouncing around about how to start earning money–I just need to get them on paper, and broken down into monthly/weekly/daily goals. Plus, I’m not getting younger and therefore should really be trying to ‘plan’ for the second half of my life.

Continue with my daily intentional movements, improving my relationship with food, and nightly meditations/sitting quietly moments.

Continue with my personal/professional development board game, work on writing up some things, and as always reading

Through quite a bit of self-reflection over the past year and a half, I’ve realized that I have the tendency to ‘sacrifice’ my mental health in pursuit of other things (such as my career), therefore I’m going to be focusing a little more each month on maintaining and improving my mental health (through daily meditation, intentional movement, journaling and so forth). Financial health is back on the list–mainly because I’ve slipped (for several months) back into the habit of being an impulsive e-book/e-course buyer.

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 (even microscopic at times), but it is there. Others might not see it, but then I also don’t share everything all the time.

Curious to know–what goals are you repetitive with?

No Comments careerfinancesHealthmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Slow progress is better than no progress, time to look for productivity trackers

So we’re going to be heading into May’s full moon within the next twenty-four hours, and hopefully the weather will improve. This full moon is also suppose to be lunar eclipse as well–but we’ve been having rainy/cloudy weather for the past few weeks, so there is a chance that I won’t be able to see the eclipse in the morning due to possible overcast conditions.

Therefore, before looking Sagittarius full moon, I should look back at the goals that I set for the Scorpio full moon and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for the Scorpio full moon included:

  1. Finish 21-Day Fix Real Time and then start 21-Day Fix Extreme Real Time
  2. Spend more time reflecting and set at least one ‘long-term’ goal (personal or professional) that is at least 5-10 years down the road
  3. Finish setting up my 12-month plan (based semi off the ‘long-term goal’; bonus–this would be finishing up a past Aries New moon goal as well)
  4. Continue with daily evening meditations

So how did I do with each of them?

  1. In terms of the two fitness programs–I decided to concentrate more on ‘intentional movement’ and then started LIIFT4 for the third time. It isn’t that I didn’t like 21-Day Fix & 21-Day Fix Extreme Real Time, but I just wasn’t in the mood to listen to the ‘lectures’ on ‘proper nutrition and eating’ as I’m still trying to improve my relationship with food. I will do these programs, but once I feel like my relationship with food has improved enough that I’m not worried about falling back into the mindset of restriction.
  2. In terms of goals 2 & 3–I’m still in reflection mode and contemplating ‘long-term’ goals, and still trying to flesh out the ’12-month’ plan as well. Though I did create a personal/professional board game over the past few weeks that could be tied to both of the goals. I’ve realized over the past few weeks that in terms of trying to set ‘long-term’ goals I keep hearing conflicting viewpoints. The viewpoints go from ‘yes, everyone should have at least one long-term goal to strive for’, and to ‘if you’re focused on a specific goal, you might miss an opportunity because it doesn’t align with your goal’.
    • These conflicting opinions, made me realize that I’m ‘afraid now’ of setting long-term goals for several reasons: 1) I tried that with grad school/post-docs (had thought of trying to obtain a professor position) and it didn’t happen; 2) I’m having ‘troubles’ seeing myself ’15+’ years down the road doing something (since I’m worried about possibly being on the ‘wrong track’ again); and 3) I’m striving to still find that ‘balance’ between different areas of life (since I know I have the habit of becoming laser focused on one thing to the determent of everything else).
    • But I’m working my way slowly away from the ‘fear’ by creating and playing my own personal/professional development board game. It is giving me the power to decide what I’m doing, what I’m studying/reviewing, how far in-depth I’m going, and how I’m going to showcase what I’ve learned.
  3. Meditation at night is going more or less smoothly–the only time I ‘skip’ it is if I’m either not feeling well, or something has totally messed up my evening routine (say a water heater spewing 20-30 gallons of water into the room). It hasn’t quite become a fully ingrained habit yet, but I’m making progress towards that end goal. It does help improve my sleep, and I think I’m going to also try morning meditation as well this summer.

So I may not have been totally on target with the Scorpio goals, but I also didn’t fall totally off target either. I’m slowly embracing the fact that productivity/health/life is all cyclic, everyone has good days/weeks and then bad days/weeks. The mark of improvement and progress is making sure that you strive towards getting back towards the good days/weeks instead of wallowing in the bad days/weeks. Also noticing what your productivity ‘cycles’ are can also help, in terms of wondering where you might need to have ‘fewer’ goals or when you can possibly add ‘more’ goals to your list.

I’m slowly starting to figure out my productivity cycle (it looking like peaks are beginning and mid-fall, slow climb/fall, ‘bottoming-out’ twice a year [April/May and possibly Oct/Nov]), but will continue to tract to be sure. A new ‘goal’ will be to try to limit the ‘fall’ and start the ‘climb’ quicker (only two months bottoming-out instead of the possible four).

So question: What are some of your favorite productivity trackers?

No Comments AstrologyFull Moon GoalsLifestyle ChallengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

How to stay ahead of the inner critic and boredom? Create an personal/professional development board game.

So while contemplating on how to really start stepping into the stretch, risk, and die zones more often–I decided to jump right into the ‘risk’ zone and created a personal board game.

I’m thinking of it as a mix of chutes-and-ladders, trivia pursuit, and life. Why these three? Well, there are squares to move forward or back a certain number of spots (or even boards), covers/reviews numerous subjects (though I do admit it does lack sports and entertainment), and it is never-ending (though even the game of life ended after awhile).

My never-ending personal and professional development game

These are topics that I find interesting in the sciences and humanities (though some are missing), in addition to numerous personal development ideas and projects. I taped the two boards into a normal file folder so that I can folded it up and take it with me even on trips, without it getting damaged.

The goals for the game include:

  1. Learning to turn some items (such as writing, learning programming, and refreshing a foreign language) into daily habits.
  2. Learning more about various job directions (and how to possibly meld some of them together).
  3. And finally: embracing the learner mindset in terms of both multiple science and non-science topics, by refreshing my knowledge of the topics and learning what is ‘new’ in the different fields.

I will accomplish these goals by becoming more proficient in time and project management as shown by creating/writing multiple styles of web content, increased traffic to the blog/website, posts written in additional languages, and an up-to-date GitHub account for example.

There are only a few rules for the game:

  1. No quitting.
  2. If I decide that I want to ‘jump/skip’ a square that I landed on, I have to answer the following questions first:
    1. Why am I avoiding this topic/subject?
    2. Where is this belief (or beliefs) coming from?
    3. What can I do to slowly start in on the topic/subject?

Yes, ‘read’ is down quite often–but since I’m an impulsive book buyer, I have almost 300 non-fiction e-books that I’ve bought over the past five years that I haven’t read yet.

I also discovered that my inner critic/imposter syndrome was trying to ‘derail’ me from starting the game. How, you may ask? By trying to ‘convince’ me that I needed to have a list of topics on hand for anything that had ‘review’ with it on the board. After starting to make a list for both biochemistry and immunology, I realized what was happening.

I decided that I would then add the following ‘rules’:

After landing on a ‘review subject’ square, I would roll the dice again–this would give me a ‘time limit’ (in either hours or minutes) for coming up with a starting list of possible sub-topics to review.

This should be easy enough to do–Google ‘textbook of ‘x’ subject’ and you can usually find a link to at least one textbook that will let you look at the table of contents.

I will then roll the dice again, and the number will hopefully correlate to a topic number. If there is currently no topic to correlate the number to, I will roll until I get a number.

Then I will roll the dice a final time to come up with the ‘time frame’ for the assignment.

All squares will be landed on at one point or another, as there is no ‘end’ to the game. The time frame for each square will vary (even within the topic), and I should hopefully not be ‘sitting’ on a square for more than say three weeks (as that is how long it usually takes to make something a habit), though it may be shorter (as long as I have the topic worked into the weekly schedule and I now to move it over each week).

In terms of the reading squares–if the book doesn’t have any exercises/questions associated with the chapters, I’m going to give myself four to five (no more than six) days to read the book, and then additional two days (max) to write and post the book review to both the blog and possibly Amazon as well. If there are questions/assignments associated with the book then the time frame might go towards two or three weeks.

I started the game last night, and landed on a ‘read’ square. I rolled the dice again to determine the book to pick from the list, and it was ‘The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living’ by Meik Wiking. Since there doesn’t seem to be any exercises/questions associated with the book–I picked another book from the list to start once I have the book review for ‘Little Book of Hygge’ posted, and therefore I will probably rolling the dice for the ‘second’ move on the board around June 4th or so.

What are some of your favorite board games?

No Comments BookscareercomputersCraftsfinancesHealthHistorymoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPersonal Development Challengesprofessional developmentReflectionsSciencespirituality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each of them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Comments careerFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates