Tag: professionalgrowth

Focusing on LORR for the Cancer New Moon: Learning, Oracle Cards, Reading & Research

So the moon will be transitioning through the Cancer constellation tonight—marking the seventh new moon of the year…and we’re slowly entering the second half of 2024. I have no idea how the rest of this year is going to go…there is the presidential election coming up in the US (in Nov), the ongoing genocide in Gaza, and numerous other conflicts going on around the world…it’s just a matter of time before something blows into a regional (and then possibly a global) conflict.

I still need to kinda reflect back on the past six months…I did my June reflections earlier this week…but haven’t really sat down to reflect on the first half of the year…I know that I’m behind on a few ‘yearly’ goals…so either I need to modify those goals…or just punt them down the road to the 2025 BINGO card.

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

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

Three out of the five things seem straightforward (family time, reviewing goals, and taking a hot bath). Since the family medical issue is over…I haven’t really been in touch with many family members via social media…I should probably reach out and chat (via messenger), since our paths really don’t cross that much and travel is still currently not in the cards (at least until the cat passes). I have plenty of family time with my immediate family (since I still live at home and we see my younger brother quite frequently now that he is back in town).

I actually don’t take that many hot bathes anymore…and probably wouldn’t be doing any currently—since we’re in the middle of a heat dome/pocket/high humidity—I just want cooler weather period. The other two items (banishing insecurity and getting in touch with your caring and nurturing side) may not seem so straightforward, and may actually require more work to begin with.

How I picture these two areas:

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

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

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

Currently travel is still on hold. Why? Well, in part due to my cat’s age & the fact that she requires two different liquid meds (and one you have to make up—dissolving the antibiotic in water), and it isn’t fun for one person to try to give her the meds (did that—didn’t enjoy it, & neither did she). I’d love to ‘travel’—but I need to get the debt down, and I’d like for the world not to be a raging shit-show…so I’ll stick to ‘virtual’ travels currently (google meet-ups/zoom meet-ups, and the likes). As I mentioned a couple of years ago: we live in a digital world, so there are others ways of ‘traveling’—reading, communicating with others (email, online meetings, phone calls), and writing (creative, poetry, and journaling). So what are some of the things that one can do in regards to their ninth house?

Items include:

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

Personal growth…an area that I can both excel in and suck at all at the same time. My biggest ‘hurdle’ is trying to get too much done during the day/week—aka throwing everything on the calendar & not spreading things out like I really should…another reason why I find it difficult at times trying to develop a personal/professional growth plan.

So what goals can I set during the Cancer new moon that will allow me to fit various aspects from above onto the calendar?

  1. Research the following countries: Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Rwanda, Finland, Tunisia, Romania & Uruguay. At least have some basic research done, and find a couple of interesting facts to possibly ‘intwine’ into a story idea I’ve been slowly expanding
  2. Reading—finish at least two of the many nonfiction/historical fiction books I’ve started over the past several weeks/months.
  3. In terms of learning—work through at least one e-course on either Udemy, or watch at least two short e-courses on SkillShare
  4. In terms of spirituality—continue doing a daily oracle card drawing & sharing them on the oracle card instagram channel I created

I could probably try to set a goal for networking/making a cyber pal; or having something I write published…and I should make those goals—but I’m not going to this time around. I think that four goals (in addition to all the things on the plate & various other to-do lists) is enough for this new moon period…also keeping it at these four, will also hopefully keep the anxiety in check. Though trying to do research on seven countries in just a few weeks could also be pushing it…but I did note—that the bare minimum is to find a few interesting facts that could be intertwined with a story that I’m mind-mapping/outlining currently.

I’m still in the slow process of developing plans…that include personal/professional growth (have to figure out the milestones), launching a couple of online businesses, plus continue healing my relationship with food & movement…while trying to stay sane in a world that has leaders that really don’t give a damn about the average everyday citizen…either here (unless it’s to court one’s vote) or elsewhere in the world (again unless it’s to court one’s vote).

Therefore…I’m also promising myself that I’m going to quit trying to fit a mold…I quit trying to fit the mold of higher ed research/support years ago (got tired of long hours for poor pay), now I’m going to embrace who I am…and give a middle finger to the ‘mold’ that society thinks I should fit into, while focusing on progress…and possibly trying to ‘torch’ perfectionism in the process.

What is one of your Cancer goals?

Namaste

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Improving in terms of time & project management

Introduction and Gemini Goals:

So, the moon is going to be transitioning through the Cancer constellation tomorrow…marking the seventh new moon of the year. Somehow we’ve made it through the first half of 2024 without things totally blowing up into a global conflict…I wonder how long that luck will last. But that is a topic for a totally different post. Before looking ahead to the Cancer new moon, I need to look back at the goals I set for the Gemini new moon & see how I did with each of them.

Gemini Goals:

  1. Continue to fine-tune my personal/professional growth plan (focusing on career [writing], health/wellness, finances [fine tune that plan], spirituality, hobbies/crafts, and personal space)
  2. Update the personal/professional growth game (remove a few items and/or expand others—micropaleontology is on hold currently)
  3. Continue to clean/organize/declutter the bedroom & house…in order to get the storage unit cleared out by early fall
  4. Continue with my daily intentional movements and nightly meditations/sitting quietly moments
  5. And…read, read, and read some more. I’m actually nine nonfiction/historical fiction books away from my goal of reading 44 nonfiction/historical fiction before my birthday. So—try to read three more during the month of June

So, how did I do with each of them?

Fine-tune my personal/professional growth plan (~40%):

I’m still in the process of fine-tuning this plan—the reason, I’m still trying to throw everything onto the calendar…I need to narrow the focus for awhile on certain aspects, knowing that they’d be touching other aspects of things I also want to be working on.

Update the personal/professional growth game (100% completed):

I updated the game, to where I removed one board and condensed things down within the other game board. I also ‘rolled’ the dice last month & will be giving an update on that first play on the game towards the end of July—as each ‘turn’/‘play’ lasts six weeks, and covers at least three ‘topics’ (e-courses, reading, research, or whatever).

The newly ‘updated’ personal/professional growth board game.

Continue to clean/organize/declutter the bedroom & house (~70%):

This is an ongoing project. While I have my storage unit about halfway cleared out—I need to spend a little more time cleaning/organizing/decluttering the bedroom. I’ve realized that I may need to donate or sell an afghan or two—because do I really need half a dozen? Probably not..but I think that’s how many I have currently…I’ll be putting quite a few of them under the bed in a storage bag.

I also need to go through my business casual/professional clothes and decide which tops I really want to keep, and which ones can be donated. Probably wouldn’t hurt to donate the business suit that I’ve ‘outgrown’…though I like the color…but I can always buy another one if needed.

Daily intentional movements & nightly meditations (probably somewhere around 50%):

I’ve been trying to sit quietly at night prior to journalling…but with how hot its been lately…usually I just journal quickly to be able to turn off the lights & hopefully cool the room off a little to be able to sleep. The daily intentional movement is still hit & miss…I’m ‘moving’ around daily, but for the most part it’s doing things around the house throughout the day—there hasn’t been many ‘concentrated’ blocks of movement (to really get the heart rate going)…and this is something that I’m still trying to ‘correct’.

Read, read, & read (100% complete):

I actually finished five books during the month of June (which covered not only the new moon phase, but the full moon phase as well). The books I finished reading during June were:

  1. Ocean Life in the Times of Dinosaurs by Nathalia Bardet, Alexandra Houssaye, Stephane Jouve, & Peggy Vincent
  2. The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: An Asteroid, Extinction, and the Beginning of Our World by Riley Black
  3. The Quest & the Qalandar: Experiences of Sufism by Waqar Faiz
  4. Patrice Lumumba, Ahead of His Time (Political Leadership in Africa #1) by Didier Mumbata
  5. Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We can Help Dismantle it by Jessie Daniels

I’m now six books away from the goal of reading 44 non-fiction/historical fiction books before my birthday. I can now technically state I’m going to try to just read two books during July, August, & Sept…but I’ll probably keep to the current goal of trying to read at least three non-fiction/historical fiction books a month.

Conclusions/Final Thoughts on the Gemini New Moon Goals:

Five goals for the Gemini new moon…two were more on the planning side of things (updating the personal/professional game & fine-tuning a personal/professional growth plan)—and I manage to get at least one completely done. One goal was reading—which I usually always manage to complete. The cleaning/organizing/decluttering—is always ongoing, because I didn’t realize exactly how bad of a packrat I was turning into, nor how much random stuff I’d brought to and from Boston—nor did I realize how much random stuff we had around the house that needs to be donated/recycled/discarded.

The intentional movement goal is a rough one to hit—especially when its hot & humid constantly, which zaps one’s energy/motivation (at least it does that to me). While I’m working on improving my relationship with food & movement (in other words working at getting healthy, but not necessarily ‘shrinking’ my body), I may put a new battery into the scale & just see what that number is currently at…because while ‘healing’ the relationship with food & movement is something to strive for…at times it helps to see a ‘number’ from time to time.

Progress…baby steps forward, sometimes a step or two backwards. But—progress isn’t suppose to be perfect, nor is it always a linear path. At times it spirals and while you feel like you’re back at the beginning…you’re actually further along on your journey that you realize, you’ve ‘circled’ back to something to hopefully learn a little more of the ‘lesson’ that the universe has set before you…and once you’ve gotten the message/lesson…you move even further forward in this journey of life.

How did you do with your Gemini new moon goals?

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Morning routines–check…Now time to fine-tune the afternoon schedules

Introduction/recap:

Okay…once I get this month’s review posted…I’ll have managed three months this year—and will have covered the second quarter of 2024 (I totally lagged behind in trying to do it for the first three months this year). As I’d mentioned in the ‘intro’ to May in Review—I basically ignored most of 2023 (I think I did January), and it took awhile for me to decide to restart the series. 

Doing these monthly posts is one of the ways I’m trying to keep myself accountable towards different goals, in addition to doing a weekly series in a Facebook group. As I mentioned—I probably won’t be hitting anywhere close to 100% on all the goals…in part due to the fact that I usually set out to try to achieve like 10-12 different ‘large’ tasks…and I’m still in the process of developing a fluid schedule for the day. I’ve gotten a decent fluid schedule down for part of the morning…now it’s time to fine tune that and start developing the fluid afternoon schedule. 

I almost have a morning schedule that ‘sticks’: getting on Mondly for say 20-30 minutes to learn a foreign language, then do my morning update on Gaza (post to my instagram channel), then do an oracle card drawing (posting to the oracle card channel), then do a science news brief for LinkedIn. Its after getting those four things done, that my schedule starts to semi-fall apart.

I’m going to be keeping to a list of about twelve goals for the next few months…only because I’ve only been getting about 2/3 of them done (at least fifty percent) at a time. I’m hoping that keeping things ‘similar’ month to month—they’ll become habits, and then I can start adding/stacking other goals in.

Goals that I’d set for June:

  1. Reading at least three non-fiction books
  2. Reading at least four fiction books
  3. Completing at least one (if not two) 30-day challenges
  4. Making time & making use of the intentional movement board game
  5. Launch the YouTube channel (outline & intro video)
  6. Aim for two blurbs on science, health, or medical papers
  7. Watch/work through at least three e-courses
  8. 30-minutes at least 4x/week on Mondly
  9. Posting consistently to the oracle card channel
  10. Post to each blog at least twice
  11. Finish the outlines for the three big creative research projects
    • Interviews with dinosaurs & other extinct animals
    • Interviews with toxic & venomous animals
    • Interviews with various ancient civilizations (this could be upwards of three to five different mini proejcts)
  12. Work on the needlepoint project
  13. Check in with this list at least every other day to ensure that I’m making progress

So how did I do with each of those main goals?

Reading at least three non-fiction books (100% completed):

I finished the following nonfiction books:

  1. Ocean Life in the Times of Dinosaurs by Nathalia Bardet, Alexandra Houssave, Stephane Jouve, & Peggy Vincent
  2. The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: An Asteroid, Extinction, and the Beginning of Our World by Riley Black
  3. The Quest & the Qalandar: Experiences of Sufism by Waqar Faiz
  4. Patrice Lumumba, Ahead of His Time (Political Leadership in Africa #1) by Didier Mumbata
  5. Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We can Help Dismantle it by Jessie Daniels

Five books that spanned a diversity of topics: the Mesozoic era, religion, politics, and culture. I’d mentioned previously that I’m working at becoming a better global citizen–which includes reading books on people that I’d never heard of before (I didn’t realize that the US gave ‘aid’ in getting rid of the first prime minister of the Congo–Patrice Lumumba), and topics that are ‘difficult’ to read on (aka white supremacy & women’s (specifically white woman’s) both intentional & unintentional parts in upholding those ‘aspects’ of society.

Currently I’m six books away from my goal of reading 44 nonfiction (or historical fiction) books before my 44th birthday (which is in September). Something tells me that I’ll finish ‘above’ the goal of 44 books…and that means I should totally ‘reach’ and finish ‘above’ the goal of 100 books by June 18, 2026.

Reading at least four fiction books (100%+ completed):

I probably spent a little too much time reading fiction books this month. I read well over four fiction books during June. The books I read included:

  1. Forbidden King (Magnolia Falls #3) by Laura Pavlov
  2. California Waves (The Davenports #2) by Bella Andre & Nicky Arden
  3. Fragile Sanctuary (Sparrow Falls #1) by Catherine Cowles
  4. Forbidden Hearts (Whitlock Family #1) by Corinne Michaels
  5. Broken Dreams (Whitlock Family #2) by Corinne Michaels
  6. Tempting Promises (Whitlock Family #3) by Corinne Michaels
  7. Forgotten Desires (Whitlock Family #4) by Corinne Michaels
  8. Come Back for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #1) by Corinne Michaels
  9. Fight for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #2) by Corinne Michaels
  10. The One for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #3) by Corinne Michaels
  11. Stay for Me (The Arrowood Brothers #4) by Corinne Michaels
  12. Return to Us (Willow Creek Valley #1) by Corinne Michaels
  13. Could Have Been Us (Willow Creek Valley #2) by Corinne Michaels
  14. A Chance for Us (Willow Creek Valley #4) by Corinne Michaels
  15. Destined for Me (Come Back to Me/Say You’ll Stay Crossover) by Corinne Michaels
  16. The Sweet Spot (Playing to Win #4) by Bella Matthews
  17. Dragon of Her Dreams (Dragon Knights #20) by Bianca D’Arc

Needless to say…I was reading a lot this past month…which could possibly explain why I didn’t get as much e-courses completed…also I binged read a couple of series by Corinne Michaels that were semi intertwined. 

Complete at least one 30-day challenge (100%)

Well…I’ve completed a 30-day challenge…it was another Sudoku challenge. Maybe next month I’ll remember that I’d stated it would be a jumping jack/squat challenge, along with possibly watching a different TedTalk each day.

Make time for intentional movement (possibly somewhere between 5-10%)

Still gotta get better at setting aside time for intentional movement. The only days where time is ‘set aside’ are on Wednesdays…and those are my ‘chore’ days. So—I need to actually try to ‘schedule’ in time during the other days of the week for some type of intentional movement.

YouTube Channel (outline & intro video) (still somewhere around 5%):

I still have the mind map of topics…that I need to chose from, then mind-map from that topic to determine the ‘subtopics’ that I’d be researching/talking about. One thing I realized—I don’t necessarily have to be ‘on screen’ (since currently my niche is science/health/med education—I’d be doing ‘voice over’ explaining the slides). This might go a little faster since I don’t have to try to ‘record’ myself (other than a possible introduction video to the entire channel)

Blurbs on science, health, medical papers (still around 5%)

Currently this is still sitting at roughly five percent…basically, I still have the extreme rough draft of the blurb on the sea dragon genome paper that I need to edit down to a decent length. I don’t know why I haven’t sat down to edit it yet…other than allowing the inner critic & imposter syndrome to ‘grab the reins’ on this writing project series. When I drew my yearly BINGO card, I’d decided that I was going to try to get back into a habit of reading at least one ‘research’ paper a week on different topics, & then write a blurb/review on it & post it…that was suppose to be 52 writing projects this year (because I also stated within my 101 goals—I have the goal to write a minimum of 100 blurbs/reviews by June 18 2026)…needless to say—I’m behind on this ‘project’. 

Watch/work through at least another three e-courses (about 50% completed):

I mentioned above that I read a lot of fiction books this month…and a lot of the time spent reading could have been spent working through e-courses.

Currently I’ve finished an introduction to statistics course on Udemy. This was a decent intro course on stats…there were a few problems within the course & of course ‘quizzes’ at the end of different sections. I rated it four out of five stars—mainly because one of the videos was actually a ‘repeat’, and it had been mentioned like two years ago, and the creator hadn’t gotten around to ‘correcting’ it yet.

I’m about half way through another ‘stats’ course (Statistics and data literacy for non-statisticians). Currently I’ve rated the course at a three out of five stars…mainly because there haven’t been ‘problems’ to work through…there didn’t seem to be an ‘intro’ video (introducing the content creator & content)…and I’m not sure how much I’m actually getting out of the course. I’m not sure if I’ll be finishing this one up this afternoon or not…if I don’t finish it today, I’ll have it finished by tomorrow (July 1st) afternoon.

30 minutes at least four times a week on Mondly (90%):

I started using Mondly again on the 3rd of the month; and other than the first two days of the month & the 16th, I’ve been on the site, somewhere between 20-40 minutes a day learning Arabic.

I went back and did the daily lesson for the 16th (along then with that weekly quiz) today after I finished today’s daily lesson. With ‘missing’ three days this month—I managed to start learning a foreign language & logged in to the site 90% of the time this month. 

Posting consistently to the oracle card channel (90%):

Again, I started posting to the oracle card channel ‘consistently’ on the 3rd. So, in an similar answer to the above foreign language—other than the first two days of the month & the 16th, I’ve been posting oracle cards & their messages to the oracle card channel daily (usually shortly after I do the Gaza morning update on my other instagram channel).

For June I used the Guides of the Hidden Realm oracle deck by Colette Baron-Reid. Next month I’ll be choosing a different deck (possibly The Ancient Stones Oracle deck by Rebecca Campbell that also came out last month). Each month will be a ‘different’ deck, and I think I have at least twelve different oracle decks (along with five different tarot card decks) that I’ll just ‘cycle’ through them.

Post to each blog at least twice (100%):

I did manage to post to each blog at least twice. In terms of the science/health/medical blog—I posted twice earlier this month on two different science related ‘random’ holidays (World Environment & World Oceans days). I’m still posting more often on the creative blog (at least weekly with the weekly summary of the hellish events happening within Gaza & the West Bank).  I really need to decide if I want to ‘pause’ the medical series and start a different one (one that might actually see me posting to the blog on a more consistent basis).

Finish the outlines for the various creative research projects (~5% completed):

This is sitting around 5% completed. I have the ‘basic’ outline for the different dinosaur interviews…but didn’t modify it for other extinct animals; nor did I modify it for toxic & venomous animals.

In terms of the different ancient civilizations—I need to decide how may ‘different’ people I’m going to interview—is it going to be ‘gods & goddesses’, leaders, craftsmen, or everyday people? Hopefully I’ll get more of this project completed over the next few months. I’d really like to have some of these ‘short stories’ published on different sites by mid-September.

Work on the needlepoint project (100%)

Yes. I’ve been consistently working on the needlepoint project & hopefully will have it finished sometime in July. Will it be in time for the 300-day checkin of my 101 goals? Or the 5th checkin for my 44 goals before turning 44? Maybe…but I should have it done by the end of July (or extremely early August) at the latest.

I usually take weekly update pictures on the needlepoint project to share with a friend. But I think the monthly one really shows the progress…I’m even impressed with how much I managed to get done last month. This is working at least twenty minutes (upward of two hours) a day on the project.

“Checking in on the list” (Not really a goal):

I mean there are only a few goals that I haven’t really progressed far on (the science/health/medical paper blurbs, the YouTube channel, intentional movement & getting more of the different creative projects written). Then there are others that I had no trouble completing (reading & working on the needlepoint project). I think what I need to do is have the afternoons structured a little better than what I’ve been doing…possibly try to focus on research/writing from say 2:30 to 4 three to four times a week—instead of waiting until then to try to do a e-course or something.

Conclusions for June:

So I technically set twelve goals for June (the last one was really just a reminder to myself to check the list every so often). I managed to get at least fifty percent (upwards of stating 100% progress) on two-thirds of the goals…so I did well with eight of the twelve goals. The four that I fell behind on—have been the four that I’ve been ‘stalled’ on since I restarted this monthly accountability series.

I think the only one of those four that will be ‘modified’ will be the one for the YouTube channel—I need to finish fine-tuning the outline & decide the format that I’m going to be working with (videos with voice-over, or will I be ‘on screen’ in the videos). The other three I just need to actually ‘fit’ into the daily schedule (whether at a particular time, or just pick a project for the week).

Goals for July:

  1. Read at least three nonfiction books
  2. Read at least four fiction books
  3. Complete at least one more 30-day challenge (and not just a Sudoku challenge)
  4. Set up the intentional movement plan
  5. Polish the outline for the YouTube channel & decide on the format
  6. At least one blurb on a science, health, or medical paper
  7. Work through at least three e-courses
  8. At least 25 minutes each morning on Mondly
  9. Post to each blog at least twice
  10. Post consistently to the oracle card channel
  11. Finish the mindmaps/outlines for different projects
  12. Continue working on the needlepoint project (possibly finish?)

Final Thoughts/Reflections:

Twelve goals…and basically the same (more or less) goals that I had set for June. I’ve ‘modified’ the YouTube channel goal & intentional movement goals, as well as stating I’m aiming for writing a single blurb on a science/health/medical paper for the other blog. The other goals are more or less what I’ve done for the past few months. Will I remember to do an additional challenge (along with the Sudoku)? Hopefully…I do have in the daily schedule to doodle in the early afternoon before attempting to do any learning/virtual chats.

Instead of ‘rewriting/rewording’ things—this is what I wrote at the end of May/beginning of June in terms of the goals I’m probably going to be ‘repeating’ for awhile:

The rest of the things…will require that I work on silencing the inner critic/imposter syndrome on a daily basis. I know what I want to do with my life—not only help improve how various topics are communicated to the public…but education overall…in addition to finding a way to make a partial living as an crafter/artist—as I’m starting to think about branching out and teaching myself other crafts—crochet (I knew how to do this years ago), making jewelry (I’ve got enough beads & charms), resin, mosaics, and wood-burning. I don’t need to make millions…I just need to make enough to ensure that my bills are paid, I have a roof over my head, and food on my table. Travel really isn’t even that big of a necessity currently (mainly due to the state of the world).

I want to become a better global citizen…which means decolonizing my mind and ‘relearning’ things about various parts of the world. It means learning an language (or two)—as English isn’t spoken everywhere. It means figuring out how to live with less…so to help cut back on the demand/need for vital elements that are fueling genocides and conflicts throughout the African continent. 

Progress…good, and done is better than ‘perfect, and never published’…because perfectionism is a myth…a myth of white supremacy that I’m going to jump up and down on until it’s grounded back into dust. What is one thing you’ll do to help break down the barriers around the world? 

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Mix one part time & project management with reading & e-courses: equals Capricorn Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be entering the Capricorn constellation tonight (or possibly last night depending on where you are in the world), and it will mark the sixth full moon of the year; and we’re a little over two-thirds of the way through June. We’ve passed the summer solstice, and now are slowly heading towards the shortest day of the year.

Two years ago, I wrote that: ‘I have various ideas of what I would like to do professionally (such as science/medical/health communications, creating (and selling) e-courses, e-books, workbooks (and so forth), creating crafts (jewelry, cross-stitching, scarfs, afghans and so forth) to sell on etsy, educational consulting, professional coaching, blogging, setting up a podcast and YouTube channel, and photography)…now I just need to make the ‘map’ that will blend all of them together (honoring my strengths and values).’

Last year I didn’t do much to move these goals forward (due to the family medical issues which ended in my mother’s passing; then losing two pets within four days of each other in June)…so I’m now working towards getting these goals manifested into reality.

So looking to book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland—what are the questions that can be asked during the Capricorn full moon?? Those questions include:

Have I been ambitious to the point of ruthlessness?

Have I been obsessed with work to the detriment of my personal life?

Have I been hard headed, hard-nosed, or just too hard on others?

I have allowed my head to overrule my heart?

Have I been planning my life enough? Or have I been planning it too much?

So if I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers would probably be as following:

  1. No, I haven’t been ambitious to the point of ruthlessness. There is enough success to go around, and everyone is on a different path…some ‘parts’ may overlap—but not everyone is aiming to be both a science/health/medical communicator who is also creating e-courses/workbooks, crafts, and such. Also—being ambitious to the point of ruthlessness—can be seen as a sign of poor leadership, and people being severely toxic (and I’ve been trying to avoid those types of people the past couple of years). 
  2. I’ve never really been much of a social butterfly (even before the pandemic/epidemic of SARS-CoV2 virus), but in terms of my ‘personal life’…no I’m not obsessed with work to the detriment of my personal life. I do try to ‘unplug’ in the evenings and work on crafts and such; and I also try to balance the ‘work’ portion between the more research-focused work, and the creative/free style work. 
  3. Nope, I haven’t been hardheaded, hard-nosed or too hard on others. I don’t associate (in person) with many people right now. I meet up with a friend for lunch monthly (if we both remember), and currently most of my interactions are online. I try to avoid arguments with people…by either not commenting; turning off comments; or just removing the connection. 
  4. Two years ago I asked the question ‘in what context?’. Right now there aren’t that many decisions that I need to make that are in the realm of head versus heart type of decision.
  5. I’m working on accepting the ‘where you are is where you’re meant to be’ mentality. I would say that in terms of whether or not I’m planning my life enough…the answer is firmly in the middle. My ‘problem’ is trying to do either too much or not enough. Something I’d touched on a few years ago…and that problem is a extremely large one to work on correcting…and I’ll fully admit that I really didn’t do much last year in terms of trying to plan things out better. Breaking large goals down into easier ‘bite-size’ goals is still something I’m working on this year. 

So the Capricorn full moon is also going to be traveling through my third house—or the communication zone. This zone deals with both communications with people that you would see on a day-to-day basis (more or less): friends, co-workers, and possibly family; but it also deals with other things as well: to-do lists, self-expression, and so forth. While it is a time for communications—the communications are best done when people are in “good” moods—you don’t want things to spiral out of control and a disagreement started because someone took something you said the wrong way.

In terms of ‘major disagreements’…well there is a genocide being carried out live-stream, along with others that aren’t being ‘streamed’ (I’m talking about Gaza, the Congo, Sudan, & other places)…so there are disagreements with people on this topic—but I usually just delete the comments and/or block the person. I don’t think In the middle of any type of major disagreement with people that I talk to on a more day-to-day basis (my father, younger brother, or friends). 

I’m working on making the to-do lists (or as I do like to call them the to-be accomplished lists) more manageable—by only have a few things on them per day (and having a longer ‘list’ for the week, that I can go back & grab things to work on once I get other things taken care of). Self-expression/self-care is always an ongoing task..especially when you realize that you’ve spent way too many years ‘shrinking’ yourself to appease others.

So what are my goals for the Capricorn full moon period? They include:

  1. Finish fine-tuning my intentional movement game/schedule & then just doing something each day (whether it’s lifting weights, dancing around the living room, getting on the exercise bike or massive cleaning spree)—just doing something each day.
  2. Work on creating a new long-term goal list. Since I’ve listed out numerous ideas at the being of this post in terms of what I’d like to do career wise—I now need to figure out how to weave them together, plus have goals for other areas of life: health/wellness, finances, personal/professional growth, spirituality, living space, and crafts/hobbies).
  3. Work through at least part of an ‘long’ e-course (one that is over three hours) or watch at least two (possibly three) shorter e-courses
  4. Get at least half-way through at least one non-fiction book that I’ve started over the past few months.
  5. Planning for the second half of 2024 (BINGO cards; July calendars; and July brain dump; possibly August or Sept brain dump as well).

Five goals…that all focus on time & project management. Therefore I should be able to get at least three of the five done (planning for the second half of 2024 & July; new long-term goal list; working through part of an e-course; and possibly finishing (or getting halfway through) at least one nonfiction book). The fine-tuning the intentional movement game/schedule is the really ‘iffy’ one…as I’ve been great at procrastinating doing anything that is ‘fitness’ related (though I have been cleaning out the storage unit, cleaning the house, & carting around the 12 pound cat daily)…so progress is the goal—not perfection.

What is one of your Capricorn goals?

And of course remembering: Progress not perfection.

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Energy & focus…I guess I may be a morning person after all

So the moon will be transitioning through the Capricorn constellation tomorrow…marking the sixth full moon of the year…we’re a little over two-thirds of the way through June, and have just pasted the longest day of the year…so we’re now heading towards the shortest day of the year. While I like the longer days…I like the cooler temps of fall & winter over the hot temps of summer. So..before looking ahead to the Capricorn full moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Sagittarius full moon and see how I did with each of them. 

What were the goals for the Sagittarius full moon? Well, they included:

  1. Plan for June…content editorial calendar—pick different colored pens/markers for the different projects/channels that I’ll have going. June BINGO card; June brain dump.
  2. Develop a ‘fluid’ schedule…blocks of 40-75 minutes of work followed by blocks of 30 minutes for ‘breaks’ (which could include getting some intentional movement in).
  3. Continuing with my content creation challenge (including tracking)
  4. Update my personal/professional growth game and then roll the dice to see what the next set of adventures are.

So how did I do with each of them?

Planning for June (I’ll say about 98% done):

I got my June BINGO card made, did my June brain dump, and drew the basic calendar. While I had picked colors out for different ‘channels’ (creative blog, science blog, and various social media channels)—I’ve found that I don’t necessarily grab the correct color when I’m trying to do my weekly to-do lists. So..that is something that I need to work on. 

Developing a ‘fluid’ schedule (~95% completed):

Well…I’ve developed a schedule that seems to work in the morning—for the most part. I’ve decided to put things I’d been doing fairly well (morning updates on Gaza & trying to post a science/health news blurb) between tasks that always seem to have fallen off the to-do list. 

This is working well in the mornings—I’m now doing about 20-30 minutes of Mondly (learning Arabic) before doing my morning Gaza update; then I do an oracle card reading (and share that on the oracle card Instagram channel I started), then I do the morning science/health news blurb.

I’m still working on developing an ‘fluid’ schedule for the afternoon (research, chores, fitness, and so forth), as I usually end up scrolling through various social media channels while attempting to do research on the side for different projects.

Content creation & tracking (~95% completed):

So instead of having a list of different content I want to ‘create’, I decided that I would see how much content I could create from June to December this year. I have a spreadsheet created, and every day I go in and log what type of content I’ve created & where said content is published. 

I’ve been diligent in doing daily updates on Gaza & the West Bank on Instagram (especially since I was restricted from posting to LinkedIn for about six weeks), and have been working on my latest large needlepoint project as well. 

I know I need to start creating more science/health/medical related content..as that blog/website is a little ‘sparse’ in terms of content getting published.

One major goal of this challenge is to see what my ‘go-to’ content creation is (currently it’s mainly writing and ‘publishing’ to Instagram daily), and branching out to other types of content (infographics, posters, slide decks, ‘articles’, short stories, and such).

Updating the personal/professional growth game & starting another round (100% complete):

Okay—I redrew the game. I decided to remove one of the boards & condensed down everything else to fit in on the first board. Earlier this week—I posted my update to the game & the fact that I was starting another round.

My personal/professional growth board game. Approximately 80 odd squares of ideas/topics to learn about & content to create & share

The top three things I’ll be focusing on (along with everything else on my to-do lists) are reading (aiming to finish at least three nonfiction books and/or four fiction books), working through an e-course (or three; as I stated I was going to try to do at least three e-courses [giving myself about two weeks per course]), getting the next two blog posts up on the science/health/medical blog (dealing with exocrine & endocrine glands & the cancers that can develop within each of them). The fourth item was a tie between unplugging for the night & content creation.

Conclusions:

Four items…that were focusing on planning, content creation, and time/project management. I did fairly well with all of them (minus the inability currently to use different colored pens for writing on the calendars; and having a ‘fluid’ schedule for the afternoon).  Currently I seem to have more ‘energy’/focus in the mornings for certain projects (mainly learning, sharing news, and doing my oracle card drawing/sharing), and the afternoons find me allowing my mind to wander & I start to procrastinate & put projects off.

So…

I know that I need to develop a fluid schedule for the afternoon, possibly have different colored pens out for the to-be accomplished lists (or at least have master lists written in different colors), & realize that I don’t have to be pushing full throttle everyday. I’m working at acknowledging the phrase that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be…I also know that while the phrase is ‘true’…one also needs to put in the work in order to build the future that they want. Therefore, I need to ‘fine-tune’ the daily fluid schedules—in order to ensure that projects are actually moving forward & I’m not just focusing on ‘fluff’ items (the small things that allow me to check more things off the to-be accomplished lists).

Progress is being made…it may not be quick…it may not be totally linear—but that is the path of the universe…non-linear, spiral, folding back on itself to show that while one may not have totally learned the ‘lesson’—you’re further along in your journey than you were when you first came upon the ‘lesson’.

How did you do with your Sagittarius goals? What was one key takeaway message you found?

Namaste…

No Comments AstrologycareerFull Moon GoalsLifestyle ChallengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

Adding in the gaming factor: part one of the development plan

Okay.

I redrew my personal/professional growth game last week. I decided to remove a board, and condense certain topics down in order to have a ‘single’ board.

The ‘rules’:

  1. No longer than six weeks per turn
  2. Roll each set of dice three times. Then after all six rolls & determining what squares I’ve landed on–consolidate them down into a list.
    • I have two different colored sets of dice (and I only use six of the seven dice; these are basically the dice one uses for role playing games). After rolling all six dice:
    • Lowest to highest; and lowest number is ‘by itself’
    • Then start adding up the numbers
    • Also…it’s eighty-four squares back around to ‘start’
  3. Pick three to four items to complete. BUT list out everything, so that if something gest completed sooner than the six week period, I can go back and choose other items to complete.
  4. To keep myself accountable: Two blog posts: when starting & then after the six week period. Possibly then take a day or two off before rolling the dice again (that way it isn’t two back-to-back posts on the same day).
  5. Timing:
    • For reading: Fiction books (one week, including time to write & post reviews). For non-fiction books (no longer than three weeks per book)
    • For e-courses: it depends on the length of course. But aim for at least 30 minutes per afternoon working on a e-course
    • For refreshing/learning a foreign language: Minimum of 25 minutes/day. This is actually an ongoing task, regardless of whether or not I landed on the square
    • For crafts: this will also vary (depending on the craft project)
    • For reviewing ‘subject matters’:
      • Randomly choose a chapter
      • Word search (or crossword puzzle) of key terms
      • Infographic or poster
      • Minimum of 15-20 slides on key points
      • Quiz or test

Notes: The textbooks for development biology & genetics are either in the storage unit or garage currently. For the topics of oncology, small RNA biology, molecular cloning, and the ‘-omics-‘ items I don’t really have textbooks for those items (or at least not ones that are fully devoted to all aspects of the topic).

I rolled the dice this afternoon, and the following list was generated based off the squares I landed on:

Landed on multiple times:

Reading (seven times)

E-course (six times)

Review oncology (three times)

Squares I landed on twice:

  1. Landscape design
  2. Interior design
  3. Review cell biology
  4. Review biochemistry

Squares I landed on once:

  1. Learn about public health
  2. Review molecular biology
  3. Research an interesting person in history
  4. Review stats
  5. Small RNA biology
  6. Learn graphic design
  7. Learn about international law
  8. Content development
  9. Learn about economics
  10. Ancient South America
  11. Review molecular cloning
  12. Unplug for the night

What am I going to be focusing on first?

Reading:

I have numerous nonfiction books that I’ve started over the past few months. A goal is to finish at least three of those during the next six weeks. In addition to reading three fiction books (at least) and writing small book reviews over.

E-course:

I plan on working through at least three e-courses on Skillshare and/or Udemy. Bonus points if courses cover items listed further down on the ‘squares’ landed on (such as economics, graphic design, public health, or stats).

Review oncology:

I plan on continuing my oncology blog series on the science/health/medical blog. Over the next six weeks I plan on getting the blog posts for adenocarcinomas up (this is the first ‘carcinoma’ subtopic), and will actually be covering cell biology/anatomy as I talk more about the two major gland systems in the body in regards to how cancers can develop within them.

‘Fourth’ item:

The ‘fourth’ thing will actually be two different things: (a) unplugging for the night. I plan on ‘unplugging’ at least three to four nights per week. This means that I stay off of the computer after say 7pm, and then put the phone on do-not disturb/airplane mode for the same time period. This will allow me to either work on crafts, clean/organize, or read. (b) content development, as this is basically an on-going task (along with the refresh/learn a foreign language).

Those are the main four/five things I will be focusing on…if I feel the need to ‘add’ something in—I’ll add in interior design (as I’m working at trying to turn my bedroom into a ‘micro’ studio apartment (minus the kitchen & bathroom) by the end of fall).

A major goal of the next six weeks: time & project management. Figuring out how to balance out the different ‘projects’ for the different blogs, and other social media channels. In addition to rekindling the enjoyment of research & developing unique ways of sharing the information.

I’m not sure what type of ‘rewards’ I will be going with for the game…as I’m also trying to get the debt down, limit the amount of ‘stuff’ I buy, and am aiming at only buying things that I will actually use (i.e. limit the number of random knick knacks that I might decide to buy). 

I’m also working on the intentional movement/fitness board game—as I decided I wanted something a little more than just a circle with things written. Possibly a similar board game, but with specific exercises in different boxes (the ‘random’ aspect would be the amount of weights lifted and/or time spent on each exercise).

Check back in late July (July 29th to be exact) to find out how I did with the first round of the game…and to find out which books I finished reading, which e-courses I worked through, and how I did at getting the next series of oncology blog posts up on the science/health/medical blog.

How do you go about expanding your learning—by games? To-do lists (tied to goal lists)? Totally randomly, or what? Share your tips below.

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Time to redraw the board game & update the plans

So, the moon is going to be transitioning through the Gemini constellation tonight—marking the sixth new moon for the year, and the only new moon for June. The past few years have had me in a yo-yo when it comes to consistently setting goals via the moon cycles. I didn’t set any Gemini new moon goals in 2020 or 2023, but did set them in 2021 and 2022. As I mentioned in an earlier post—a goal is to consistently post the goals via the moon cycles this year…since I missed like over half the year last year.

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

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

I’m not really a social butterfly…nor am I an extrovert. I barely consider myself to be an ambivert (I’m like 99.9% introvert, and 0.1% ambivert/extrovert). Since various strains of the SARS-CoV2 virus are still floating around (and I have extremely limited funds)—I’ll still be doing most of my ‘socializing’ online. 

I see my younger brother quite frequently (he lives in town), but the older sibling is still out in CA, though we did see them last year when they came for a brief visit. Again—extremely limited funds, so I won’t be doing any type of traveling currently (plus there are the animals to think about as well).

I love to read…so reading more isn’t a problem, and I’m still working on getting back into a mediation routine at night. Yes, I’ll think about (and work at improving) how I’m communicating with 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?

  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

Okay…still not in the market for a relationship. Not that I need to share my reasons, but: 1—still in a epidemic/pandemic due to the virus (and I’m not interested in meeting anti-vaxxers); 2) I’m still a work in progress; 3) family obligations; and finally 4) I don’t have the energy or time to even think about entering the dating scene & finding someone. 

While humans are social creatures…I feel like I was the medicine woman/hermit/‘witch’ living out in the woods…at the edge of the community—still close enough to ‘belong’ but far enough out to have space, peace, and quiet. I’m really that odd duckling—I don’t mind being unattached, childless, or single.

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

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

Working at paying off credit cards and then possibly canceling one (or two)

Nope..not taking out a loan

Don’t own the house…and the parents already have the mortgage paid off

No pay raise (at least until I start landing clients or find a remote position)

Still not in a relationship…so the last two items aren’t even on my radar.

Therefore, goals are really going to be focused on the personal/professional growth aspect of things, and my goals for the Gemini new moon will include:

  1. Continue to fine-tune my personal/professional growth plan (focusing on career [writing], health/wellness, finances [fine tune that plan], spirituality, hobbies/crafts, and personal space). 
  2. Update the personal/professional growth game (remove a few items and/or expand others—micropaleontology is on hold currently)
  3. Continue to clean/organize/declutter the bedroom & house…in order to get the storage unit cleared out by early fall.
  4. Continue with my daily intentional movements and nightly meditations/sitting quietly moments.
  5. And…read, read, and read some more. I’m actually nine nonfiction/historical fiction books away from my goal of reading 44 nonfiction/historical fiction before my birthday. So—try to read three more during the month of June.

I mentioned this previously on LinkedIn (in my numerous ‘reintroduction posts), but I’ve been spending the past few years trying to reconnect with strengths & values:

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

Values: Knowledge/Learning, Creativity/Curiosity/Imagination, Authenticity/Self-respect, Spirituality/Inner Harmony, and Growth/Evolution/Transformation

I’ve realized over the past few 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.

Some things will be ‘semi’ down-played (aka how much/often I talk about Gaza on say LinkedIn)—but that is only due to not wanting to have my account restricted again (like it had been earlier this year).  The focus on the personal/professional growth plan will be a little more ‘time-consuming’ as I need to be clear—but at the same time ensure that I’m not trying to cram too much stuff into a short period of time (like I’ve been known to do…which then results in me tossing out the plan…instead of going back to ‘refine’ it). Also, with the current status of the world..I need to focus on more ‘short-term’ goals than really long-term…since who knows what the hell will be happening throughout the rest of this year.

This is why, that as I’m also ‘restarting’ my monthly accountability posts—a lot of the ‘goals’ seem to be repetitive..I’m trying to turn the goals into habits (writing, fitness, and so forth). Progress is slow…but it’s getting better, especially since I’ve figured that spending time learning a foreign language & posting to the oracle card Instagram channel needs to happen in the morning (and I put them around doing the morning Gaza update—one before, & one after); and so far it seems to be working this week.

What goals are you repetitive with?

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Decluttering is ongoing, time to break down the other goals

So, we’re going to be entering the sixth new moon cycle later this week. That means that before looking ahead to the Gemini new moon, I need to look back at the goals that I’d set for the Taurus new moon. I know that I probably didn’t hit the goals 100% of the time…May is no longer a ‘joyful’ month…come to think of it—very few months are now. There have been a lot of pet losses over the years, plus mom’s death last year that has dwindled the number of months that technically aren’t a ‘mourning’ anniversary (basically only January, March, July, August, November, and December—haven’t lost any pets).

As I mentioned last month within my Taurus new moon goals—things aren’t settling down in regards to various global conflicts…so it probably is now only a matter of time before something flares & blows into a regional and/or global conflict.

Getting back into setting goals either via the moon cycles & even just ‘monthly’ has been a challenge…some days/months are better than others. But that’s progress—willing to get up, dust myself off, and attempt to set (and hopefully reach the goals) day after day…with just a few minor tweaks to the schedules. 

Anyway what were the goals that I set for the Taurus new moon? They included:

  1. Making a financial plan
  2. Working on improving/expanding my rough draft of a personal/professional growth plan
  3. Mind-maps/outlines, and trying to create editorial calendars
  4. Cleaning up/out the bedroom closet

So how did i do with each of them?

Making a financial plan:

I have a very rough draft of a financial plan drawn up. I know what a couple of my long-term goals are (getting out of debt, launching the freelance businesses, and such)—I just need to make easier, shorter term goals that I can start working towards.

The reason why it’s such a rough draft: I have a laundry list of questions that I need to look into/answer in terms of launching both freelance businesses and/or trying to sell things online (especially if I’m serious about trying to sell digital coloring books and such). Also, I need to fine-tune what type of ‘work’ I’m going to offer (specifically via the science, health, medical comms/education website).

Improving/expanding the personal/professional growth plan(s):

I have the rough draft of this plan—focusing on writing (professional), learning SEO (professional), possibly learning more data analysis (again professional), along with the areas of spirituality, crafts/hobbies, health/wellness & physical space (personal). Finances are ‘separate’ in their own plan (see above).

Again…it’s a matter of trying to develop or write out sound ‘short-term’ goals that aren’t super packed (i.e. trying to do a three months of stuff in two weeks), but also not super drawn out (i.e. having a goal that I could accomplish within two or three days but stating it would take a month).

Time & project management—that is I need to focus on. 

Trying to get mind-maps and such done; working on setting up editorial calendars

A basic calendar has been set up—and I’m actually doing better having things ‘added’ to my content creation tracker…than having them written out on a calendar. Still need to flesh out an outline or two, and then work on a mind-map to expand a short story (or two…or three).

Continuing to clean out my closet

This one is progressing well. I actually need to move everything off the floor of my closet (aka out of the closet) so I can tear up the really moldy & gross carpet. When my parents put down wood flooring after I moved out—they didn’t touch the closet…so it’s really old carpet that has been soaked several times over the decades whenever the water heater decided to spew its guts.

I also plan on moving a few pieces of small furniture (shelving units basically) into it so I can try to store more stuff (namely craft supplies and what not) within the closet, and free up some space on the small book cases that I have throughout my room.

Conclusions:

Okay…I’ve made headway into the brainstorming/mind-mapping/planning stages for those three goals (financial plan, personal/professional growth plan, & various projects), and am working on the closet. While I had things ‘organized’ earlier this week…I need to move things out so that I can rip out the carpet (that is actually on the agenda for this afternoon and/or also tomorrow), which means my bedroom becomes slightly ‘cluttered’ again. Though I think I should be able to put the box of fabric under the bed for the time being. 

Time and project management skills are actually daily skills that we need to use and hone…because if we don’t…we start to procrastinate, work on the ‘easy’ goals, and realize that we aren’t progressing as far (or as quickly) as we’d like. Am I making progress…yes…in part because I’ve realized that certain things need to be scheduled around my morning Gaza update…I’ve started a ‘new schedule’ this week—and so far, I’m three for three in terms of the other two ‘goals’ that I put on opposite sides of the morning Gaza update.

Can I continue the trend? We, shall see…

Am I still getting bogged down in the planning stage? Kinda..I’m now trying to have ‘six’ things on a list per day…and if I finish all of them…I can go back to the master list and pick one or two things to work on. Do I need to create a ‘master’ list of projects…yes…because my brain in overflowing with ideas for stories, blog posts, infographics, and such.

Baby-steps. Spiral paths. Two steps forward, and one step back. Progress—it is never perfect, it is never linear…and it is often more messy than one thinks. With the current status of the world—I’m aiming for messy progress…I’m aiming to continue to unlearn (and relearn), to become a better global citizen, and to do my part in trying to dismantle various toxic parts of society.

With that said—how did you do with your Taurus goals? 

No Comments AstrologycareerCraftsLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon Goalsno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Progress, but stalling…then a little more progress–leads to some forward momentum.

Introduction:

Last month I ‘restarted’ my monthly accountability posts—also known as ‘months in review’. I’d been doing these posts on and off for a couple of years…but last year—I think I only did January…and then totally fell of the wagon in trying to do things (in part to the family medical issue). Will I be hitting 100% on all goals…probably not. Only because I’m still working on developing a good ‘fluid’ schedule for the day—one that allows me to focus on different tasks without feeling like I’m ‘ignoring’ the major task in favor of quicker, easier tasks to complete. 

At times I’ve realized I have ‘shiny squirrel’ syndrome…where I start a task, and then get easily distracted by something else…start in on that ‘task’…get distracted…and within a couple of hours totally forget what it was I was meaning to do earlier in the day. I have found that just setting say four to six major tasks per day does seem to be helping…though I’ve also found that I need to move the ‘learning’ (especially refreshing or learning an foreign language) closer to the top of the list…it seems it’s one of my more ‘difficult’ (would love to put off) tasks.

Since I did fairly well in April with the goals that I’d set…I added a few extra to May—and probably shouldn’t have done that. I’ve realized that sometime less is actually more. I can always have an ‘side’ list of goals—goals that I can pick from after majority of the other goals have been completed. So what were the goals that I’d set for May—well, they included:

  1. Read at least three non-fiction books
  2. Read at least four fiction books
  3. Complete at least another 30-day challenge
  4. Start following my intentional movement (aka exercise) plan
  5. Finish outline & launch a YouTube channel
  6. Blurbs on science, medical, or health papers
  7. Working through at least three e-courses
  8. 30 minutes 4x/week on Mondly
  9. Posting to each blog at least twice
  10. Mind-maps & outlines:
    • Interviews with different dinosaurs & extinct animals
    • What makes us ‘toxic’ (interviews with the different creatures that house microbes that produce neurotoxins and other types of toxins)
    • Interviews with ‘ancient’ civilizations (Copan, Mesa Verde, Stonehenge, plus possibly a few others)
    • Ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia & Ancient Egypt
    • Micropaleontology
    • Plus the topics that I didn’t get to last month: the metabolism project & food that aren’t good for pets & why.
  11. Writing at least 30 minutes a day on two different projects
  12. Working on my needlepoint project
  13. Creating a rough draft of an coloring book from my black & white doodles

So how did I do with each of them?

Reading at least three non-fiction books: (completed, actually tripled the number–so 300% completed) I read the following books:

  1. Pagan Portals: Sekhet-Lady of Flame, Eye of Ra by Olivia Church
  2. Pagan Portals: Isis-Great of Magic, She of 10,000 Names by Olivia Church
  3. Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza by Mosab Abu Toha
  4. Just tell Me What I Want: How to Find Your Purpose When You have no idea what it is by Sara Kravitz
  5. Headstrong: 52 women who changed science & the world by Rachel Swaby
  6. Just do the Damn Thing by Reece Owens
  7. Authentic: How to be Yourself and Why it Matters by Stephen Joseph
  8. 365 Days of Walking the Red Road: The Native American Path to Leading a Spiritual Life Every Day by Terri Jean
  9. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
  10. unBuried-unMarked: the unTold Namibian Story of the Genocide of 1904-1908 by Jephta Nguherimo

Reading at least four fiction books: (completed, 100%), I read the following books:

  1. Wild Heart (Hearts of Swayer’s Bend #6) by Ivy Layne
  2. Stay Anyway (Kincaid brothers #7) by Kaylee Ryan
  3. State of Suspense (First Family #7) by Marie Force
  4. Last Minute Fiancé (The First Time/Cassidy Brothers #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan (This one I also wrote a book review over)

Complete at least one more 30-day challenge (Completed, 100%):

I’ve completed another 30-day Sudoku challenge. While I may not have gotten every Sudoku filled in correctly…I’ve at least attempted a Sudoku every day (with the exception of Memorial Day—no paper was delivered) for the month of May.

Start following the intentional movement (aka exercise) plan, (~10% completed)

I need to work the intentional movement (exercise) plan into my personal/professional board game. Maybe that way I’ll actually start doing things. Within my ‘fluid’ schedule—I’m going to be ‘putting in movement’ blocks—which may be something as simple as putting on a movie and marching in place for 20 minutes, or getting on the exercise bike and riding it for 10-20 minutes, or possibly both.

Finish outline & launch a YouTube Channel (~30% completed)

I have a mind-map of topics for the YouTube channel—things ranging from science, health, medical topics (similar to that blog) to current events, to crafts & hobbies, and other interests. I just need to decide which ‘hub’ to start with—and then draft that outline…and possibly record an ‘introduction’ video to post to the channel (which I already have…just need to change the name).

Blurbs on science, medical, or health papers (Still sitting around 5%)

I still haven’t finished polishing (and shortening) the one blurb that I’d started a couple months ago on the sea dragon genome paper. I’m not sure why I’m dragging my feet on this ‘task’…other than numerous papers sound interesting until I start to read them…and then I’m quickly reminded why I detest reading (and writing) academic papers.

Working/watching three e-courses (completed, 100%):

I watched three short courses on Skillshare this month:

Creative Journaling: Getting Started

I think I would give this course a 4 out of 5 stars. It basically was more along the lines of ‘creative’ bullet journaling (at least for me—since most journals I’m using for either planning or journaling happen to be dot journals (that are mainly used for planning)).

While I journal daily…I just haven’t been using washbi tapes or stickers for the most part…doing creative (or junk) journaling is actually on my 101 goals…I just haven’t started doing it, and am unsure how I’d track my ‘creative/junk’ journaling habits.

Growing Your Creativity

I actually not sure what I’d rate this course. I think my biggest ‘issue’ is that I do consider arts & crafts to creativity at a certain level…because you are creating something. Also I didn’t care too much for the instructor’s definitions of artists versus craftsmen. I do need to try to do the ‘assignment’ which actually had multiple parts: list of things that you truly care about, spend time/money/effort on, likes, hobbies, and so forth. Brainstorm 25 possible creative ideas for next project for this inspiration list, and then choose one for your next project. Currently I’m still working on my large needlepoint project (which is why I haven’t finished this ‘assignment’ yet).

Fictionalize Your Life: How to Keep A Writer’s Diary. 

I would this one a 3.5 out of 5 stars, only because I didn’t care for the tone of the instructor in some of his videos. Nor did I care for how he defined journal versus a diary. Both can be for practicing, and both can also be ‘private’ never to be shared. It’s literally all in the preference of the person sitting at the keyboard or who holds the pen (or pencil). I find the idea of trying to create ‘short’ glimpses of daily activity into a micro-scene of a short story intriguing and I may try them…and then see how they’d potentially merge into a larger story.

30 minutes 4x/week on Mondly (0% completed)

I’m not even sure if I logged into Mondly this month or not…but I do know that I need to move this task upwards on the ‘daily’ to-do tasks. Have it second on the list, after putting together the daily update on Gaza & the West Bank.

Post to each blog at least twice (100% completed for science/health/medical blog, and 200-300% completed for the creative blog):

I know that I’ve posted to the creative blog numerous times this month (new & full moon goals, two book reviews, and months in review). I also posted twice to the science/health/medical blog towards the beginning of the month. I know that blog is slowly taking off—towards the end of last month (or it was possibly early this month)—I got my first ‘trolling’ comment on the blog.

I need to get better at posting to the science/health/medical blog—I’m hoping that possibly creating a minimal content editorial calendar during June will help me post at least two to three times (an oncology post, a blurb on a science paper, and then possibly another blog post on something else).

Mind-maps & outlines (probably about 40% done):

For the four ‘creative/research’ projects—I’m probably about 40% done in terms of mind-maps and outlines for those projects. I’ve paused two projects for the science, health, & medical blog (metabolism series and why certain foods aren’t good for pets), and put learning more about micropaleontology on hold indefinitely. Below I’ve stated how far I’ve gotten with each of the projects..

Interviews with different dinosaurs & extinct animals (About 60% completed)

I have an ‘basic’ outline for “talking” with dinosaurs, and I need to try to modify it slight in order to make use of the outline with other extinct animals (such as sabertooth tiger, giant sloths, cave bears, woolly mammoths, and other extinct creatures). I also need to decide if I’m going to use research papers as the main ‘reference’ points, or if I’m also going to use books (which would require me then going back to any I’ve read—and skimming to get to areas to highlight important bits and pieces of information).

I also need to work on the ‘story’ outline aspect—the part that will be more ‘creative’ in respects to the how I’d flow from ‘question’ to ‘question’.

What makes us ‘toxic’ (interviews with the different creatures that house microbes that produce neurotoxins and other types of toxins) (About 35% complete)

I know the three main animals that I’m going to “interview” in terms of being toxic animals: the puffer fish, the blue-ringed octopus, and the roughed skin newt. In addition I’m thinking of “interviewing” the Gila monster, now need to find an ‘venomous’ fish & cephalopod to interview & have a “balanced” look between toxic and venomous animals.

I’m still working on the outline—especially since in terms of the ‘toxic’ animals—there really ins’t a agreed upon mode of ‘uptake’ that turns these animals toxic.

Interviews with ‘ancient’ civilizations (Copan, Mesa Verde, Stonehenge, plus possibly a few others) (Still working on these ideas—so not that far into the project)

Ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia & Ancient Egypt (probably about 60% done)

I have several books on ancient Mesopotamia already (part of an early book buying splurge)…I just need to see if they have anything in them on Queen Puabi of Ur, Queen Kubaba of Kish, or the goddess Ishtar.

I’d bought several non-fiction books on Nefertiti & Hatshepsut…and then went back and bought one on Sobekneferu (the very first female Egyptian Pharaoh). I haven’t gotten around to reading them though…one of the problems when you give into your impulsive book buying tendencies…you end up with dozens of new books over the past few weeks/months. I think my non-fiction/historical fiction list is probably closing in on 600 books—though I’ve read a handful (probably about 40 or so since 2022; the list is one that I started back in 2019…and I keep adding books to the list…so yeah—I probably buy about 100 nonfiction/historical fiction books a year).

Since these queens were from different centuries & cities within Mesopotamia, or eras of ancient Egyptian history (Hatshepsut was a few hundred before Nefertiti; and Sobekneferu was a few hundred years before Hatshepsut); I need to possibly also find a book (or two) about those general eras of ancient Egyptian history, as I’m hoping the books I have on Mesopotamia can fill in those ‘dots’ for me there. But I’m thinking that I may do a interview series in the ‘spirit’ of the one I’d done in college (when I was ‘interviewing’ different gods or religious figures for the survey of Eastern Civilization course).

Micropaleontology (This topic is on ‘hold’ indefinitely)

The study of micro fossils. Fossils of pollen and other microorganisms. It sounds extremely cool…but as much as I’d love to become a micropaleontologist—I’ need to get the debt down first. Then I can possibly get a textbook or two on the subject (though who knows if I’d ever be able to afford the type of microscope one really needs to see these guys).

Plus the topics that I didn’t get to last month: the metabolism project & food that aren’t good for pets & why. Okay, the metabolism project is on hold..I want to get the ‘what is a microbe’ series launched first. Also I’m not 100% certain how I want that (the metabolism) series to flow and which direction I want to go in.  Food that isn’t good for pets & why—also on hold. In part because it’s tied to the metabolism project.

Writing at least thirty minutes a day on different projects (~10-30%??)

I know since not quite mid-month I’ve been ‘writing’ daily…and actually ‘writing’ daily well before that. But—I don’t know if the ‘projects’ (with the exception of the daily updates on Gaza) have been within the half-hour range. I know the Gaza one should be within that range, only due to the time it also takes to read the news and then determine what little ‘blurb’ I’m going to be writing on it. 

Working on the needlepoint project (100% effort on this one):

I’m not done with my current needlepoint project. This is currently the largest one I’ve attempted, and it’s totally abstract and original. Will I be finished with by July 17th (300 day check-in on my 101 goals in 1001 days) or July 20 (on my 5th check-in on my 44 things before 44)? Maybe…since I still have six and a half weeks—but I do know I should have it finished by my birthday in September. The picture (below) was taken last night (May 30) to highlight the progress that I’ve made during the month-compared to how it was at the end of April (compared to early Feb).

Showcasing different status pictures of latest abstract needlepoint project

Create a rough draft of a coloring book from black & white doodles (~15-30%)

Okay I have a very rough draft of a collection of PDFs of the different doodles…they’re just not totally ‘straight’ (you can see some of the bedroom in the background). So I need to place the sketchpad on a surface (that isn’t my lap) and stand above them to take a picture (and hopefully have it ‘straight’ enough that I can crop out the background of the desk or table). 

I need to also see how many different black and white doodles I have—and I may need to take some time over the summer to draw/doodle some more pictures to flesh out the coloring book. In addition—figure out how to copyright (so what would the business name be—or would I just do things in my own name), pricing, and how would I collect (Venmo, PayPal, or what)…so yeah—I have several things I need to figure out still.

Conclusions:

Well, I made progress on all but three of the goals (refreshing/learning a foreign language, the science/health/medical paper blurbs, and following an intentional movement plan). The YouTube channel at least has a mind-map drawn, and now I just need to decide which ‘direction’ to go in to start (science/health/medical blurbs/news, crafts/hobbies, personal/professional growth, or current events), the direction will also let me know how many ‘videos’ I’d be trying to do a week/month. While some progress wasn’t great…the amount of progress is actually really good—considering the fact that last week was the year anniversary of my mother’s death, and I’d been sitting in procrastination corner a lot this month. 

I’ve also realized that In need to schedule the time for Mondly (and actually working out—or the ‘main’ workout time) for the morning, and preferably as soon in the morning as possible. While I have no problem watching an short e-course (or trying to start a longer one) in the afternoon, I don’t feel like trying to learn an language that late in the day. So, yea! I’ve figure out part of the schedule needed; in addition I should probably ‘schedule’ my oracle card drawings/sharing to the oracle card Instagram channel for the morning as well. Both of these may before my Gaza updates on Instagram (or at least they’ll bracket it—Mondly before, and then oracle card afterwards).

The coloring book is still an extremely rough draft, especially since I have various ‘business’ questions/tasks that I’d need to get settled before I could ‘sell’ the book. The business questions/tasks are something I’ll be working on tackling this summer. Because selling digital items (coloring books, prints, or whatever) may be one the quickest ways of earning a little cash.

I’ll probably have roughly the same number of goals for June—with actually the final goal, being checking in with the goal list periodically to ensure that I’m actually working on things I’ve stated I want to work on. Therefore the goals for June will include:

  1. Read at least three more non-fiction books
  2. Read at least four more fiction books
  3. Complete at least one (if not two) 30-day challenges
  4. Improve intentional movement game & make time during the day for intentional movement
  5. Launch the YouTube channel (outline, schedule & intro video)
  6. Two blurbs on science, health, and/or medical papers
  7. Watch/work through at least another three e-courses
  8. 30 minutes 4x/week on Mondly (after breakfast probably)
  9. Posting consistently on the oracle card channel (after Gaza update probably)
  10. Post to each blog each least twice
  11. Finish up the outlines for the three large creative research projects:
    • Interviews with dinosaurs and other extinct animals
    • Interviews with toxic and venomous animals
    • Interviews with various citizens/leaders of various ancient civilizations
  12. Continue working on the needlepoint project
  13. Check in with this list every few days to ensure that I’m making progress.

Conclusions, part II: In regards to June goals:

Twelve goals, well thirteen—but the last one is literally a reminder to myself to check in with the list (either opening this document or looking at the journal where I will have it written out). Similar goals to the past two months…mainly that is how one builds habits—repetitive actions. Reading is an enjoyment…I read more non-fiction this month than fiction, but that was because I’ve got the goal of 44 non-fiction/historical fiction before my birthday, and I felt like I was slightly behind schedule & wanted to catch up.

The rest of the things…will require that I work on silencing the inner critic/imposter syndrome on a daily basis. I know what I want to do with my life—not only help improve how various topics are communicated to the public…but education overall…in addition to finding a way to make a partial living as an crafter/artist—as I’m starting to think about branching out and teaching myself other crafts—crochet (I knew how to do this years ago), making jewelry (I’ve got enough beads & charms), resin, mosaics, and wood-burning. I don’t need to make millions…I just need to make enough to ensure that my bills are paid, I have a roof over my head, and food on my table. Travel really isn’t even that big of a necessity currently (mainly due to the state of the world).

I want to become a better global citizen…which means decolonizing my mind and ‘relearning’ things about various parts of the world. It means learning an language (or two)—as English isn’t spoken everywhere. It means figuring out how to live with less…so to help cut back on the demand/need for vital elements that are fueling genocides and conflicts throughout the African continent. 

Progress…good, and done is better than ‘perfect, and never published’…because perfectionism is a myth…a myth of white supremacy that I’m going to jump up and down on until it’s grounded back into dust. What is one thing you’ll do to help break down the barriers around the world? 

How are you coming along on your yearly goals?

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Focusing on time & project management…emphasis on time management

So the moon will be transitioning through the Sagittarius constellation tonight—marking the fifth full moon of the year, and there is a week (give or take) left in May. Last year I didn’t write anything for the Sagittarius full moon…so I’ll have to compare reflections to those I wrote two (or even three) years ago. 

Two years ago, I wrote that I was hoping that there wouldn’t be spikes in SARS-CoV2 cases (and there were due to the various omicron variants)…I’m sure that there will be some type of spike due to the newer variants that are bouncing around now. So…I’ll be using the ‘fun energy’ of Sagittarius to reflect on things & work on both launching a freelance business this summer & looking for remote writing positions.

Every month, I turn to “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland to get questions to reflect on for a day or two that deal with the moon in each zodiac constellation. The questions for the Sagittarius full moon are:

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

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

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

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

Have I been seeing the bigger picture?

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

  1. Well…since my savings account is barely there…and I’m at time binge buying things due to stress/anxiety/depression…yes—I’ve been a little too ‘flippant’ or ‘carefree’ in terms of my finances and money. I’m working on correcting those things though…plus I’m working on figuring out how to potentially set up an online store for selling things (currently digital items; and maybe a few ‘physical’ items that I’d have to mail off).
  2. Have I been allowing myself to get distracted and/or bored? Yes…but I’m working on curtailing those ‘issues’ by becoming a little better at time & project management. I’ve set up a new tracking sheet for content creation; and one of the things I’m going to start tracking is how much content do I create that I’m able to repurpose on other sites. As I mentioned to someone last week—I have a goal of having several portfolio pieces ready by the end of the summer, in addition to hopefully finding clients (or possibly having applied to one or two remote writing positions). 
  3. Nope, I have not been overconfident to the point of arrogance or being too preachy. Though I will argue with my father in terms of things that are going on in West Asia.
  4. Recycling the answer from a couple of years ago: This answer again depends on which aspect of life we’re talking about. Am I being a commitment-phobe to myself (i.e. not doing my workouts, eating well, and so forth)? Or a commitment-phobe to someone else? If we’re talking to about the first (myself)—then yes, I have been a commitment-phobe to my own detriment. I’m working on getting better at it though. If we’re talking about being a commitment-phobe to someone else—nope (can’t be a commitment phobe if you aren’t in a relationship, and I’m currently not in a relationship).
  5. Which bigger picture are we talking? Trying to figure out my life in say five to twenty years? The current societal picture? The global picture? The current global/societal picture sucks…There is still the Russia-Ukraine problem; there is the live-streaming ongoing genocide in Gaza; there are the genocides happening in the Congo, Sudan, and elsewhere in the world. There is the SARS-CoV2 virus floating around; gun violence (within the US), protests (that are peaceful, but are being squashed harshly by the police), and various other things going on. I’d mentioned two years ago, that I thought the Russia-Ukraine issue could erupt into the third world war…I was wrong…but there is the extreme possibility that the problems in West Asia (Gaza & the West Bank) could erupt into either the third regional war or the third global war.I’m seriously wondering now if we’re going to be able to survive as a society and be ‘recognized’ as society in say fifteen to twenty years.

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

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

This zone is popping up at a time when I need to really start ‘job searching’  (aka looking for remote and/or freelance work within science, health, medical, or agricultural comms), in addition to getting a portfolio put together and uploaded to the science, health, & medical blog; and it wouldn’t hurt to have a decent semi-working editorial content calendar created/developed. 

I can probably figure out how to earn a little extra cash (taking surveys, selling DVDs and/or books & other stuff, in addition to figuring out how to possibly set-up/open an online store to sell things).

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

Two years ago I had updating my LinkedIn profile, creating a functional resume template, updating pages on the creative blog, in addition to attempting SEO research & writing as my goals. My LinkedIn profile is more or less updated (considering I’d been restricted from it for about six weeks earlier this year), I have a decent functional resume template, and I probably still need to update pages to both blogs, continue trying to do SEO research & writing.

Therefore, the goals that I’m setting for this year’s Sagittarius full moon will include:

  1. Plan for June…content editorial calendar—pick different colored pens/markers for the different projects/channels that I’ll have going. June BINGO card; June brain dump.
  2. Develop a ‘fluid’ schedule…blocks of 40-75 minutes of work followed by blocks of 30 minutes for ‘breaks’ (which could include getting some intentional movement in).
  3. Continuing with my content creation challenge (including tracking)
  4. Update my personal/professional growth game and then roll the dice to see what the next set of adventures are.

‘Closing’ the previous chapters of ones life—for me, it’s in terms mainly of my career, has been a battle. I’ve been more than willing to slam the door shut & bar it closed…while others are still inquiring every so often if I’m willing to step back into the world of research (at the bench). I want to write, I want to come up with creative ways of sharing information with the world, and I want to help improve how the general public perceives science, health, & medical information. In order to do that…I need to close the previous chapter, and focus my energy on writing the next chapter…or possibly the next ‘act’ in the play of my life.

What is one of your Sagittarius goals?

Namaste…

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