Tag: projectmanagement

Personal & Professional Growth: Two sides of the coin.

Okay…The moon started it’s transition through its new moon phase last night (Nov 13) and is moving through the Scorpio constellation. There are now only forty-eight days left in 2023…and if things don’t settle down soon…we’re going to be hitting 2024 with a bang.

Looking back at posts that I’d written during the Scorpio new moon:

2020-2022 covered COVID cases:

2020—the world had over 54 million cases, the US was topping 11 million, and there were over 1.3 million dead.

2021—the world had almost 248.5 million cases, the US was almost at 47 million cases, and there were over 5 million dead.

2022—the world has almost 632.8 million cases, the US has over 99 million cases, and there are over 6.5 million dead.

This year…it isn’t COVID that is currently dominating the headlines…nor is it Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (which is still on-going by the way)…but Israel’s genocidal warfare against Palestinians within Gaza and the West Bank. Currently over 12,000 people have been killed and over 26,000 wounded…fuck any arguments of self-defense…and while Oct 7 was horrid—the number of dead from that day keep falling, along with the types of crimes…while since then the number of dead in Gaza keeps climbing…but that is another rant for another time.

So, back to the new moon…what can one do during the Scorpio new moon? Well according to ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland, you can:

  1. Get sexy
  2. Invest wisely
  3. Make inner peace
  4. B-r-e-a-t-h-e
  5. Drop grudges

I’m changing how I look at some of the above items. Instead of looking at the first exactly how it’s written—I’m going to look at it as a means of boosting one’s self-confidence.

I’ve got a couple of courses on learning how to invest…maybe it’s time to start watching one or two of them. I’m working on my inner peace, and remembering to b-r-e-a-t-h-e….but in terms of dropping grudges…the main one currently (against a certain government carrying out genocide)…nope, not dropping it currently.

This moon is also moving through my first house or my image zone (how one presents themselves to the world). While the Aries new moon is the start of the zodiac calendar—when the new moon passes through your first house, it can also seem as the start of a “new year” (we can have a “new start” twice a year if necessary).

So what are some of the things that one can do if the moon is passing through their first house? Well, they include:

  1. Surprise friends with the ‘new you’
  2. Throw out all your old make-up and start new
  3. Get married or meet someone new
  4. Good time to move
  5. Splurge on something in a vibrant color
  6. Have a facial
  7. Get your sight checked

Let’s see…what on the above list can be automatically discarded?

Well—throwing out old makeup and buying new…I don’t wear makeup, and haven’t since I was in middle school/junior high. Getting married or meeting someone new…currently not in looking for a relationship. Getting a facial…I can do that at home for cheap. Moving…that is possible within a couple of years (just not right now). 

Who would I consider the ‘new me’? Being a little more outspoken on what’s going on in the world? Being a little more blunt and outspoken about life in general? Neither of those are really ‘new’…it’s just I’m getting sick and tired of all the patriarchy bullshit that is still penetrating life and making things miserable for a large chunk of the global population. 

I should get my eyes checked…it’s been a couple of years since my last eye appointment, and I know if nothing else I need a new set of lens for the glasses.

Therefore, this new moon is letting us know to focus on more personal growth than professional–though that can still be within the goals, because as I look at things personal and professional growth are just opposite sides of the same coin. Learning about investments is something that falls into both categories–because wealth/earning/ and so forth are needed to survive and to flourish.

So what goals am I setting for the Scorpio New Moon? Well, they’re going to include mostly ‘open-ended’ goals…or goals that I start, knowing that they’ll be a work in progress and possibly finished during another new or full moon period. The goals will include:

  1. Continue to work on healing my relationship with food and movement. I’m getting better at making ‘healthier’ choices when it comes to eating…though I still need to work on getting more protein in at breakfast time and snack time. I’m not totally sitting on my butt all day, but with the current state of global affairs—I’ve found that I’m a little more lethargic than I usually am…so working on doing random dance parties in the living room with the dogs watching. There may be walks with the dogs…once someone else is home to pup-sit the one left behind (currently I can’t control them both at the same time).
  2. Content creation. Do brain dumps, mind-maps, outlines, and start doing research for different types of communications pieces to showcase on both the science/health/med comms website and within my LinkedIn profile. In addition, to doing brain dumps, mind-maps, and outlines for other pieces for the creative blog, and other social media channels.
  3. Becoming more financially literate. Pick a finance e-course that I’ve bought over the years and actually start working through one.
  4. Unplugging at night. Working on craft projects, reading, or doing brain dumps of ideas
  5. Reading. Try to finish at least one of the books that I’ve bought to help me understand the history behind all the problems in West Asia
  6. Figuring out my personal/professional brand. What services do I want to offer, how to blend the science/health comms with the whimsical crafty side of things

Six goals…all can almost be considered ‘open-ended’…yes, I have reading down (but none of the books are exactly short or easy to read), and working though an e-course (but they can be up to six or seven hours—so it will depend on how much time per day/week I set aside for the goal). The brain-dumps, mind-maps, and outlines can be considered ‘closed-ended’ goals…the ‘open-ended’ portion is the research (depending on the the length of the outline).

I’m aiming for progress and not perfection, also being happy with ‘done’…I need to define what ‘done’ looks like for different projects, and so forth—because that is a rabbit hole that I fall down all the time…am I covering this topic in-depth, do I have all the pain points, am I doing this or that…it’s exhausting…and if I change how I’m defining ‘done’—I can get rid of at least a little bit of the exhaustion.

Working on these goals will also have me focusing on project and time management as well…which is something I need to become more attuned to…at times I have the ‘problem’ of falling down the rabbit hole of research (or reading) and before I know it…the day has sped by and I haven’t gotten nearly as much done as I’d hoped.

That means—even if I only manage a few days (or even a just a week) focusing on each one—that is progress, baby steps forward is progress—and that is what I’m aiming for—the slow steady progress that would result in finishing a marathon.

Curious–what is one of your top favorite things about fall?

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It’s time for self-reflection, self-care, and planning for 2024: Libra New Moon Goals

Yesterday marked October’s new moon, and it was also a partial eclipse. Since I didn’t have the correct type of glasses—I didn’t even bother to try to get outside to view it. I’m a day late in posting (which truthfully—isn’t that bad, since earlier this year I’d gone ‘silent’ for months). 

We’re not quite halfway through October…which means that there 76 days left in 2023…and I’m so ready for this year to be over. 

With the moon moving through the Libra constellation over the next day or two, there are various things that we can look at or work on over the next few weeks and they include:

Look at how you’re relating to other people (are you’re helping more than asking).

Look into your partnerships (any issues that need addressing?)

Negotiate—try to bring things into balance if needed.

Look gorgeous—work on improving your self-image, and self-love.

Regain your identity—figure out how to resolve any unhealthy co-dependency issues if needed.

Looking at the above five items, I would have to say the following about each (if I numbered them one-to-five):

  1. Currently I’m back in a semi self-isolation mode (younger brother contracted COVID, and while I’m not showing symptoms—I’m trying to stay away from others just in case I’m asymptomatic). Plus, I’d gone ‘radio silent’ for a good part of the year…so I’m trying to get back into a routine in regards to giving more than asking (especially on LinkedIn).
  2. Well, still not in a relationship (I’ve got enough on my metaphoric plate, that I don’t need to add in a relationship). In terms of family—things are about as ‘normal’ as they can get, since we’re all still trying to find our new ‘normal’. I’m also currently trying to launch my freelance business—so there currently aren’t any business ‘relationships’ to be concerned about (yet). 
  3. Since I’m back into semi self-isolation, I can’t think of things with other people that need negotiating—I know that I probably need to negotiate quite a bit with myself.
  4. I’m starting to look more into the concept of body confidence and everything that goes along the topic.
  5. I’m also slowly working on trying to regain my identity—mainly from the negative thought patterns surrounding body image and my writing ability.

The Libra new moon is also moving through my 12th house—or my secret zone. This is the time/house when you really just want to retreat from the world and work things out for a while. In terms of self-care/self-love what are some of the things you could focus on during this time?

(1) Practice yoga

(2) Take a break from social media and/or numerous social obligations

(3) Start a dream journal

(4) Face one big fear

(5) Trust your intuition

(6) Buy a meditation CD & use it every day for a month

(7) Write poetry from the heart

(8) Share one of your secrets

I’ve been crossing one or two things off the list (usually due to self-isolating thanks to COVID, or just because they don’t ‘speak’ to me)—and the two things that I’m probably not going to get around to doing: Sharing one of my secrets; and using a meditation CD. The reason for the meditation CD—I make use of the app SoothingPod for my evening attempts at meditation.

I’m an introvert that can become slightly ‘extroverted’ under the right circumstances…and currently I have no idea when those circumstances are going to arise…with that said, what are my goals going to be for the Libra new moon?

I’m only setting three goals for the Libra new moon, and only one will be considered an ‘total’ success at the end of the new moon period. The other two goals are on-going goals, though the third goal could be considered ‘success or failure’ if I also added a few other points to it….but for now–I need to focus on getting the ‘backbone’ of the business set up.

So the goals are:

(1) Unplug at night. 

I’ve been getting pretty good at doing this. I will usually check my email after my evening shower, and then start working on a craft project. Currently I’m working on a large doodle that once I have it colored in, I’m going to frame it and hang it on my bedroom wall—as proof that I am an artist.

In addition to working on crafts, I can either read or reflect on the day and adjust my schedule for the next day….or also straighten up the bedroom.

(2) Continue my journey in terms of regaining my identity and developing my personal/professional brand. I’m still working on resolving my issues with food and movement, while at the same time trying to find the best combo of words/phrases to describe myself to others. It’s a mouthful to say: ‘I’m a freelance science/health/medical communication/education specialist, who also dabbles in blogging, crafts, gardening, and expanding my knowledge in the areas of mental health, microbiomes, marine biology, and anthropology’. 

(3) Facing a fear—I’m going to be continuing working at getting my freelance/remote/contract science/health/medical communications/education business up and running. The savings account has pretty well dwindled down to almost nothing—so unless I want to be stuck at the bench—I need to get this ‘dream’ up and running. I’m willing to do remote work within the arena—both to have a steady paycheck for awhile, and to also gain experience. One part of this business that I need to also plan out—a YouTube channel (and possibly podcast). It is something that I have in my ‘risk and die’ zones on my comfort diagram—I figured it is risky trying to set up a part-time business, and an anxiety inducing dilemma trying to set up a full-time business. I’m going to try—the worse that comes of it, I keep it part-time, the best that can come of it—I manage to double (if not triple) what I was earning in academia within the first year of doing freelance writing.

I stated last year that my motto for the last quarter (since the Libra new moon had happened in Sept) was ‘progress over perfection’. The mottos for the last 70 odd days of 2023—‘progress over perfection’ and ‘done is better than perfect, because perfect never gets done’. That has been one of the biggest hurdles this year: the imposter syndrome dragging out the ‘perfection’ comparison. I know that there is room to grow and learn (which means I’m capable of admitting that I’m not perfect), and I just need to keep reminding my inner critic of that—we’re entering another ‘learning’ phase of life—and it is perfectly fine not to know everything..

What is something you’ve always wanted to try to do, but haven’t done yet?

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Peaking around the corner at 2023: Gemini Full Moon Goals

So, we’re entered the full moon for December on the 7th, and I’m a couple days late in posting…This means that there are now only twenty-two days left in 2022. I have no idea how I feel about that fact, nor do I have any idea how I feel about 2023…other than hoping it goes (or at least ends) a little better than this year is going to be ending.

As I’ve been reflecting back on the past several years—there may be a ‘economic gap’ on my resume—it isn’t a ‘experience gap’—I have added in the science/medical/health content creation, blogger, and writer to my resume (and acknowledged the creative blog as well).

Before I get carried away in the direction of reflections and what I may or may not have accomplished this year (that will be the topic for at least one or two posts at the beginning of the year)—back to the topic at hand: December’s full moon.

Wednesday, the moon moved through the Gemini constellation, and there are questions that one can contemplate during the days surrounding that transition. If one looks at “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, those five questions are:

Have I been gossipy, superficial, or flighty this month?

Have I been glossing over other people’s feelings?

Have I been too quick to change my mind, or too restless?

Have I been too much of a silver-tongued hustler?

Have I done enough reading to keep expanding my mind?

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

  1. Well, I’m still self-isolating for the most part—so I don’t think I’ve been gossipy or superficial this month. Flighty…yeah, I’ve been a little flighty this month, but considering the ongoing family medical drama (that is still ongoing and acting like a roller coaster)…not surprising that I’m a little flighty.
  2. I don’t think I’ve been glossing over people’s feelings either this month.
  3. This depends on what we’re talking about—I haven’t changed my mind in terms of pivoting into remote/online/contract writing and/or data analysis position and trying to start my own freelance company. Being restless—maybe a little, but hey—dealing with a family medical issue (which has entered month four), the damn SARS-CoV2 virus is here to stay, and I’m not sure which way is up anymore.
  4. Nope.
  5. Working on this—I’ve realized this year that I go through cycles when it comes to reading non-fiction. I have enough non-fiction books that I really shouldn’t buy any new ones next year—or at least make sure that I’ve read at least three books for every book I think of buying.

So I’m also going to see what house the moon will be transition through during this time. Using my rising sign (which is Scorpio), the Gemini constellation is moving through my eighth house—the focus of this house on “death and rebirth, reinvention and transformation”.

Thanks to the SARS-CoV2 virus, I’ve spent majority of the past three years doing serious self-reflection and personal/professional development. I’ve decided the direction I want to head in for my career transition—remote science/medical/health communications, with the long-term goal of having a successful freelance business within both that realm and creative/hobby side as well. Therefore, I have allowed the ‘bench lab scientist’ to ‘die’ and I’m going to be reinventing myself in 2023 as a successful science/medical/health communicator.

So this is the time to try to find balance between slowing down, rushing to learn things, being real with people, money, and determining one’s self worth.

Therefore my small goal list for the last few weeks of 2022 (and the first few weeks of 2023), will include:         

  1. Setting up my master 2023 habit-tracking journal. I had fairly good success with the 2022 master habit-tracking journal (just had to remember to take time towards the end of each month to finish setting up the next month—especially towards the end of the year)
  2. Continue reading one of the many non-fiction books that I’d started during the last half of 2022
  3. Finish getting the second website/blog up and running, as it will be one of the major parts of my online portfolio for science/medical/health communications
  4. Get the ‘writing/working’ station setup in the bedroom…aka rearrange the room
  5. Figure out an schedule/calendar for various sites (LinkedIn, the creative blog/website, and the science/medical/health website), plus figure out the other social media sites that I want to use to promote both blogs

But above all, remind myself—that I’m making progress and that is what I should be striving for: progress over perfection, the ‘okay’ draft over the ‘polished/perfect’ never published draft.

Here is to the last full moon of 2022, and sending out happy thoughts and vibes to everyone, and fingers crossed that going into 2023 and beyond—things calm down, and we all figure out what our individual (and global) new ‘normal’ looks like.

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November in Review: planning and looking ahead to 2023 & beyond

So, we’re in December…that means there are only 31 days, roughly four and half weeks, or 744 hours left in 2022. That means, I now really need to get serious about planning out things for 2023…because it will be here before we know it (or are possibly willing to accept it).

I’m still feeling massively tired and burnt out on life, and while I would love for the year (and decade) to be over—I’m also not ready for the good-byes that will go along with them.

I’d hoped that November would be a little mellower than the past three months—and it was, and at the same time it wasn’t; if possible it was an even tie for September in terms of being a mess.

Still dealing with the ongoing family medical issue—and the outcome is still up in the air. Then there is the fun of elderly animals…probably having to put one cat and dog down within the next few months (cat due to health issues, that I currently can’t afford to treat; and the dog due to old age and pain).

The only cool thing I can say about the news is Mauna Loa erupting this week. It’s been well over a decade since I’ve been to the big island of Hawai’i—and when I went, I only visited Kilauea (since it was within the main part of the Volcano National Park).

While I wouldn’t want to be living on a island with an active volcano—I think it’d be cool to see it erupt (from a safe distance)—cause while I did see Kilauea erupt—it wasn’t as cool looking as pictures have been lately for Mauna Loa or even when Kilauea erupted a few years ago.

Still staying off the news for the most part—mainly because of my current mental health state. Though if everyone would just grab a snickers bar and take like a three-month timeout, I think that would help things settle down.

By this time next year, I won’t be surprised if I’m diagnosed with moderate cases of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Elections were earlier this month, and hopefully Democrats can hold their slim majority in the senate, and knock heads together in the house to get things done. Sorry if that seems ‘violent’—I’m tired of seeing mass shootings in the news, and basic human rights being attacked basically every damn day.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘October in Review’ on November 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 99.3 million cases and now as of December 1st —we have reached just a little over 100.6 million cases (an increase of a little over 1.3 million cases). So, numbers are staying ‘steady’—though I’d like to see the number actually start going down again. But there are the various omicron subs-strains running amok.

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

I finally got around to getting my booster shot this past month—and other than a sore arm (for about four days), I didn’t have any other side effect of getting the booster. Flu shot is on semi-hold, only because it looks like I potentially have to schedule a doctor’s appointment to get it—and I don’t want to do that right now.

Still trying to keep the mental health on an even keel—therefore, I’m still trying to lean more into my strengths and values: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths).

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

  1. 120-150K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finishing at least one of the many non-fiction books that I’ve started
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least 22 days)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily oracle card drawings, daily gratitude journal entries
  7. Craft time
  8. Work through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  9. Getting the second blog up and running
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So how did I do with each of them?

120-150K steps:

I fell short of my minimum step goal of 120,000 steps. I managed to get 116,503 steps this past month. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts throughout the years—I’m an extremely fair weather person, so in order to be outside doing some type of workout I need it to be ‘just right’. We’re heading into winter, though with climate change, the temperatures have been doing a yoyo the past few weeks.

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

There was no walk at Boomer Lake during November. The reason—having to play ‘phone tag’ with medical staff in regards to the on-going family medical issue. I probably could have done a brief walk up there—but I did other chores instead.

I know I’ve probably moved around at least five minutes a day—but I have yet to write down what the intentional movements have been. (Need to get better at this)

Finish at least one non-fiction book:

I finally managed to finish reading INNERCISE: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power by John Assaraf. I just need to go back and do some of the exercises within the book (especially those that revolve around setting goals, and putting together routines).

Read at least two-to-four fiction books:

There were six new fiction books read during November, and six re-reads:

The new books:

  1. Someone to Hold (Wild Widows #2) by Marie Force
  2. Always Mine (Honey Mountain #1) by Laura Pavlov
  3. Ever Mine (Honey Mountain #2) by Laura Pavlov
  4. Make You Mine (Honey Mountain #3) by Laura Pavlov
  5. Simply Mine (Honey Mountain #4) by Laura Pavlov
  6. The Path to You (Wilder Brothers #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan

The re-reads included:

  1. Alpha Turned by K.B. Alan
  2. Protect & Defend by Francesca Hawley
  3. Hot & Badgered (Honey Badger Chronicles #1) by Shelly Laurenston
  4. In a Badgered Way (Honey Badger Chronicles #2) by Shelly Laurenston
  5. Badger to the Bone (Honey Badger Chronicles #3) by Shelly Laurenston
  6. Breaking Badger (Honey Badger Chronicles #4) by Shelly Laurenston

No spend challenges:

Well, I did okay with the no spend challenge—managed 17 days (so a little over half the month)…spending money unfortunately is my coping mechanism for stressful situations (and the past several months has been a roller coaster of stress)…but I’m going to work on improving this both in December and then in 2023.

Meditation/sitting quietly, oracle cards, gratitude (aka mental/spiritual health):

Time outdoors is again becoming limited to basically evenings (and when I need to fill bird feeders) due to it being winter.

Meditation and sitting quietly at night (or actually anytime during the day) is something I’ve been fairly good at doing.

I’ve also been on top of doing daily oracle card drawings (I think there may have been one day I didn’t—but I’d done a double the day before), and doing daily gratitude journal entries.

Craft time:

I finished the one abstract science cross-stitch project, and had decided to use buttons to tie off the fabric in the back.

Latest abstract cross-stitch project

I’m currently working on a second abstract cross-stitch project and should be done with that one hopefully before the end of the year.

Working through part of a personal/professional e-course:

I’ve started watching the e-course: Master Business Writing & Editing on Udemy. I’ve watched the first three videos (so about 15 minutes of the three hour course). It looks to be a good course—so, aiming to finish this plus the 15 errors in scientific writing & how to fix them (an two hour course) during December.

Getting the second blog/website up and running:

One of the bigger goals for December

Writing, writing, and writing:

While I’ve gotten quite a bit of writing done during November (kept up with the three ‘series’ that I do on LinkedIn each week; plus the various posts on the creative blog), there is room for improvement.

I know that I need to get the second blog up and running—plus I need to decide on the various social media platforms for each blog, and get a tentative content calendar planned and actually stick with it…goal for December and 2023.

So, other than not getting any work done on the new blog/website—I managed a little on all other goals (while totally meeting at least the reading goals). As I’d mentioned in my #thoughtfulthursday post on LinkedIn today—I’ve been allowing myself to fall into the pits of ‘fear of failure’ and ‘fear of opinions of others’ this year—which has sidetracked, and sidelined my progress on numerous fronts.

Taking today out of the equation—there are thirty days left in the month. I know that I probably won’t be super productive this month (holidays and the on-going family medical drama), but I need to start setting things up so that I can hit the ground running in the New Year.

That means measuring things in the bedroom and rearranging furniture—to hopefully create an ‘office’ space that I actually feel comfortable working in, in addition to creating a portable working space in the living/dining room area (elderly dog likes to be in the same room—and has trouble navigating areas that lack area rugs).

It means getting in the different bullet journals and getting the tracking sheets set up for at least the first several months (besides the ones I did for 2022, introduce some new ones for 2023).

It will mean actually taking the time each day (morning and night) to plan and then reflect on how I did each day. It will also mean creating content calendars and trying to stick with them.

I’ll be spending some time during the next month or so deciding on what other social media channels I want to be active on for each blog…some might overlap (Instagram, Medium, and possibly having a Facebook page for each of them), but others will be specific for one or the other.

Therefore, I’ll still be working on improving my time and project management skills as well throughout the month of December.

The goals then for December will include:

  1. 120-155K steps
  2. Partial walk at Boomer Lake, and intentional movements daily
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Commit to the no-spend challenges
  5. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  6. Mental/spiritual health (meditation, daily oracle card drawings, daily gratitude journal entries)
  7. Craft time
  8. Get the second blog up and running
  9. Work through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing
  11. Set up the ‘master’ goal list for 2023; and start the ‘master’ blueprint plan for 2023-2028

The December goals are basically the same as what I’ve set for September, October, and November—with the addition of setting up the ‘master’ goals or plan for 2023 to 2028. What I need to do in terms of that ‘goal’ is start with the five year goals, and work my way backwards. That way hopefully each year I’ll be working towards those ‘larger’ and loftier goals.

As I mentioned the only goal that I didn’t really touch was getting the second blog/website up and running. I have an idea of what I want to write for my about me page (helps that I got my functional resume finished), and hopefully will have at least one blog post in addition to various pages ‘live’ by New Years Eve.

All I can try to do is devise a schedule/plan that will hopefully be able to bear the brunt of whatever happens during 2023…that will be a large focus this coming month.

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

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

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

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

Namaste….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reading, writing, and planning: Aries Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be entering its next full moon cycle for the year probably tonight (at least for me). This means that we’re not quite a third of the way through October—but time does seem to be going a little quicker. I’m hoping that the last quarter of the year goes a little smoother…but I’m also not going to hold my breath on it either.

So what are some of the questions we can reflect on during this time?

Have I been hotheaded, selfish, or argumentative this month?

Have I been going too fast or been impulsive this month?

           

Have I been brash, blunt, or too competitive?

           

Have I ignored other people’s finer sensibilities?

           

Have I had enough fun?

So before answering the questions, I do need to point out that it is the beginning of the month, so I actually going to answer these questions based on 1) how I want to behave during the coming month, but also 2) how I behaved during the past couple of weeks. So as usually I’m going to number the questions 1 to 5 as I answer them.

  1. I would have to say no—I haven’t been hotheaded, selfish or argumentative this month (a couple months ago—yes I was slightly argumentative then). We’re still dealing with a family medical crisis that may or may not resolve the way we’d like it to—so I could be considered semi-selfish in just wanting the whole ordeal over one way or another.
  2. Considering the month I’m currently having and the past two months, I don’t think I’ve been overly impulsive this month nor do I think I’ve been going too fast (possibly going a tad too slow). I know what I need to do—but currently the other issue is taking majority of my concentration and I’m working on ensuring that I don’t impulsively spend too much money.
  3. No, I haven’t been brash, blunt or too competitive—this month. I was slightly brash and blunt a month or so ago—but that particular circumstance called for me being brash and blunt (and I’m still not going to apologize for it either). While I understand the need for competition (to ensure that the best person is hired)—I truthfully think that there probably is more than enough work for everyone who wants it—so I’m only going to try to be competitive with myself—and only the person I was yesterday.
  4. Well I would say this year it would depend on the situation and the people involved. While I do try to empathize with others—I’m also starting to draw my boundaries and stating what I will and won’t do in particular situations. I also realize that sometimes things can get a little tense and sometimes conversations may need to be put on hold.
  5. What is this word fun? While there are hopes that we’re moving from a ‘pandemic’ to an ‘epidemic’—we’re still stuck dealing with the damn SARS-CoV2 virus, and considering the past nine weeks (and counting)—I really haven’t had much fun, and am still working on ways of adding ‘enjoyment’ into my day-to-day routine.

Aries is moves through my sixth house (or my daily work and health zone). This house is where we can sit and reflect on who we are (both in terms of professional/work and personal/health) and decide to work on those aspects that we don’t like.

For the past two years I’d made various ‘commitments’ such as pushing play daily on streaming workouts or committing to intentional movements each day. Well, I canceled my Beachbody-on-demand (and technically my Beachbody) subscriptions this past month—for whatever reason, I’d prefer to pop in a DVD than trying to log into the website…the DVD player relies on power (and not being overly dusty), while streaming workout relies on power plus a good internet connection and the website not being down.

Therefore I’m still in the process of trying to develop a good mix of things I like to do (weight lifting, walking, hiking, and so forth) and making a ‘schedule’ that I can more or less stick with—because life has been throwing more lemons and limes at me than I can use for making various drinks and dishes.

I have a good idea of what I’m wanting to do career wise—it’s a matter now of making a schedule that will work with everything that is going on in life right now—plus I’m still dealing with the feeling of burnout (but not just in terms of career—currently its in terms of everything).

Since I’m pretty sure that this Aries full moon is going to be a very chaotic time, I’m going to limit the number of goals that I’m going to be setting. The goals for the Aries full moon will include:

  1. Write out a list of things I’d enjoy doing in terms of intentional movement (weight lifting, walking, cardio, yoga, and so forth)—and try to devise a schedule.
  2. Have at least two mini-book reviews written and posted on various sites
  3. Work through at least part of a personal/professional development course
  4. Continue reading (and possibly finishing) at least one non-fiction book that I’ve already started.

The motto for this quarter is ‘Progress over Perfection’

Four goals for the Aries full moon–and hopefully four goals that will get accomplished. I know that I have an extra one or two listed above–those are bonus goals…I’m trying to just remember to take things a day at a time, and even then–remember to take things an hour at a time, and if need be a minute at a time.

What personal/professional goal are you working towards this quarter?

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Managed craft time–now to work on time management

So the moon will be entering its next full moon stage this weekend…which means I should look back at the goals I set for the Pisces full moon before looking ahead to the Aries (or October) full moon.

The past two months or so have not been the greatest (and that is putting it extremely mild how bad its been), so I truthfully have no idea on well I met the goals for the Pisces full moon.

The goals that I had set for last month’s full moon were:

  1. Work on developing a ‘workable’ schedule for the day/week/month. I know that part of my problem is that I’m consistent in being inconsistent. If I really want to make freelance work—I need to improve my time/project management skills.
  2.  Make sure that I’m making time for crafts/hobbies and not just falling back into the ‘bad routine’ of work, work, and more work.
  3. Continue working on both blogs (coming up with editorial calendars, getting the copy written for various pages on both, and making sure that I have at least four to five blog posts written for the science/medical/health communications blog).
  4. Work through at least part of one personal/professional e-course.

So, I only set four goals for the Pisces full moon. So how did I do with each of them?

Personal/professional development e-course (#4):

I will be totally truthful in the fact that I really haven’t looked at any of the personal/professional development e-courses that I’ve bought over the past few years. They’re there—I just haven’t felt like picking one and starting to work through it, though I have I think three (or maybe four) e-courses on my ’43 things to do before turning 43’ list…so maybe I should start trying to work through one of those.

Craft time (#2):

I can say that I have been making time for crafts—as I’ve been spending time on Canva weekly designing graphics/images for different posts for LinkedIn, and there has been some coloring and photography thrown in there as well.

In addition, I’m starting another cross-stitch project.

Working on both blogs (#3):

I haven’t managed to make much progress on the new blog/website—mainly due to being in the middle of ‘writers’ block—at least for that site. I need to develop a editorial calendar for each blog and get the copy written for both sites as well. Writing the blog posts should be a little easier (at least for the creative/reflective/hobby blog) once I have at least the editorial calendar created.

Developing a ‘flexible’ but ‘workable’ daily/weekly/monthly schedule (#1):

In terms of the ‘workable’ schedule—I’m still consistent in being inconsistent. I know that I have to find a new normal—and truthfully, I think I’m putting that off—because once I totally acknowledge the fact that my ‘new’ routine will be totally different from my previous—it means I’m acknowledging the fact that either a) the family member in the hospital isn’t coming home; or b) they’ll be coming home but with potentially severe restrictions (and in need of a lot of care).

So I guess you can say I managed to get a quarter of the goals accomplished–which some would say isn’t great–but considering the month I had (and how bad I can see the upcoming months being)–I’ll take it as a major win.

I know that things aren’t going to be easy for the next couple of months (or even years)—but it’s time to slowly start stepping out into that unknown territory and carving my own path.

I’m still working on addressing the bits and pieces form previous chapters of my life: imposter syndrome, inner critic, negative self-talk, and feelings of inadequacy.

It will take time to work through these issues—though acknowledging that they’re there and offering them ‘space’, is a step in the right direction of self-care/self-acceptance, mindfulness/self-awareness and healing.

I already decided that the quote for the last quarter of 2022 was going to be ‘Progress Over Perfection’.

The new goal—trying to show up each day, and possibly getting one or two small things accomplished—, which will fulfill the quote of progress over perfection.

With that said—what are some of your favorite fall craft hobbies?

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with them?

Reading:

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

New blog/website:

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

Working on the LI molecular cloning series

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

The rest of the bird pages:

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

Journaling challenge:

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

Crafts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Virgo Season: Time to start planning the goals

So, we’re going to be heading into another ‘new moon’ phase this weekend (and I’m probably going to be a day late in posting).

We’re entering Virgo season…I should be counting down the days until my birthday—but I’m not (and that’s another story for another day)…

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 then 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 more 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 over the past two years—my ‘new normal’ is still social distancing (with a some exceptions), wearing a mask, and really just being considerate of others…

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 to friends of theirs you’ve never met
  3. Wish on a star 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, besides the fact that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic/epidemic—I’m not getting out that much still. Therefore, there are still several things that I probably won’t be doing in regards to my 11th house.

I’d say that there are probably only two things that I could do in regards to my 11th house: wish on a star every night for a month, or thank my best friend for being around still. I am starting to do more virtual ‘coffee/water’ chats as well.

I had lunch with a college classmate a few weeks ago, and may try to get together again sometime in September (but it depends on a whole slew of other things).

So, since I’m still in semi self-isolation, my goals for the Virgo New Moon period will include:

  1. Take inventory of various aspects of life (research/writing/editing, crafts/hobbies, fitness, and mental health/spirituality) and try to develop a working schedule that will allow me be both productive, but at the same time enjoying time outside as well.
  2. Continue with daily workouts (alternate between weight lifting and shadow-boxing).
  3. In combination with #1—organize the schedule, and block out periods of time (or set certain days to certain tasks) and see if that helps improve my productivity
  4. Work on the outlines/drafts for the following items:
    •  My LinkedIn oncology post series
    • The follow-up(s) to my LinkedIn molecular cloning series: Introduction to biofuels, Introduction to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and Introduction to vaccine development
    • Digestion, absorption of nutrients, and the nucleic acid biosynthesis pathways
    • Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells: Similarities and Differences
    • Antibiotics and the rise of Antibiotic Resistant Microbes
  5. Continue with the evening meditations

Since the next few months are going to be extremely crazy (and that’s putting things nicely)…my motto is going to be ‘progress over perfection’…which means I need to spend a little time each week working on my other blog, doing research and starting to write on various topics (see fourth goal above).  I also am not going to let the opinions of others deter me from the path that I’m starting on, as I know it will be a windy and bumpy road.

How do you handle things when everything seems to be going to hell?

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Review of Leo New Moon Goals: Progress on time/project management goals

So the moon is going to be making its transition into the Virgo constellation over the next day or so—which will mark the eighth new moon of the year. But before I can look ahead to the Virgo new moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Leo new moon and see how I did with each of them.

August isn’t panning out to be the greatest month (more about next week in my ‘August in Review’ post), but I’ll be completely honest in saying that it will be a ‘miracle’ if I actually managed to get all the goals accomplished for the Leo new moon.

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

  1. Continue developing my self-care/self-love routine. This includes: meditation, time outdoors, journaling, stretching, and getting back inot weight training
  2. Create an editorial calendar for the blog and possibly even LinkedIn to help streamline projects and have an idea of waht I’m talking about on different platforms
  3. Create my August BINGO card for goals
  4. Continue working on filling out the job search spreadsheet

So how did I do with each of them?

Self-care/Self-love:

Developing a self-care routine will always be an ongoing process. I’ve gotten better at evening meditations, and temps are starting to cool off—so it’s not that bad sitting outside for a while in the afternoon/evenings.

I do journal daily…even if it’s just a few brief notes about how the day went. Still trying to figure out the best timing for getting back into weight training.

Editorial calendars:

I created an editorial calendar for both the original blog and LinkedIn…but then life happened (more on that next week)…and I haven’t been posting (or even writing) as much as I originally planned.

August BINGO card:

I created an August BINGO card…I may not get a ‘BINGO’…but there are several goals that will be getting the stamp of completed…

August BINGO Card

Job Search:

I haven’t even really looked at my job search spreadsheet this month (again—August hasn’t turned out the way I was planning it).

I would say that I managed probably about half to two-thirds of the goals for the Leo new moon. I’m currently striving for just a little forward progress each day, knowing that it can be considered compound progress when I look back at what I’d been trying to accomplish.

Did I put my head in the sand this past month…no—and it wasn’t for lack of wanting, but because I needed to be the adult.

We’re going to be heading into the Virgo new moon—which is my star sign (rising is Scorpio, and moon is Pisces)…so maybe things will be going a little better as I move closer to my birthday…

How did you do in terms of reaching your Leo goals?

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