Tag: selfcare

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with each of them?

90-Day Content Challenge:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can we say anxiety attack….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily/Nightly Meditation:

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

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

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

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

So how are you viewing your progress??

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have I been too concerned with appearances in general?

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

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

Have I been living my life through someone else?

Have I spent enough time beautifying my life?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your plans for the Libra full moon?

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

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

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

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

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

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

They include:

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

My answers to the questions are the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Slow start to 2022 Full Moon Goals: reading, & planning

So, we’re going to be entering the second full moon of the year, probably tonight (or last night, or Thursday night depending on where you are in the world). That means, 2022 is officially off and running. That means we are six and a half weeks into 2022—and truthfully I’m not sure how I feel about that…

Before looking ahead to the next full moon, I need to look back at the goals that I set for the Cancer full moon and see how I did with each of them.

The goals that I wrote out for the Cancer full moon included:

  1. Nightly oracle card drawings and meditation
  2. Draft a three-to-five year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/weekly goals)
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Work through at least another three-to-five videos (possibly one or two modules) of a personal/professional development course)

How did I do with each of them?

In terms of the nightly oracle card drawings—I’ve been fairly consistent, there have only been a day or two (at least in Feb) that I didn’t do it in the evenings. I’ve been considering January to be my ‘tester’ month for most goals.

I’m still working on trying to get back into a meditation routine—especially after ‘losing’ both meditation mat and yoga/fitness mat to animal accidents. I think the meditation mat might be salvageable, but the yoga/fitness mat was a total loss. Basically—I’m trying to find something comfortable to sit on, and hope that the animals won’t ‘wreck’ it like they did with the yoga/fitness mat.

The three-to-five year plan… This has been a ‘stumbling block’ for quite awhile. Then I finished reading ‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olson last week (or possibly the week before). Anyway, my biggest takeaway from the book was on goals/habits/plans—and that was have a plan to get started and goals to meet—but don’t try to set up this intricate multi-year plan, as things have a habit of changing, and we need to be able to go with the flow. With that being said, I’m in the process of writing out one-to-three ‘big’ goals for different areas of life, and figuring out what the one thing I can do today (and everyday) that will bring me closer to that goal.

So far this year, I have managed to read (and finish) three non-fiction books:

  1. Work Quilting by Vicki Walton
  2. Girl: Take Back Your Career by Solange Lopes
  3. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

I’m also bouncing between probably another three-to-five non-fiction books (aim is to have at least one more finished before the end of February).

Working through another module (or possibly two) of a personal/professional development course…Well, I did manage to watch two short courses on Skill Share:

  1. Productivity Basics: How to become more productive in 4 steps
  2. Personal and Lifestyle Branding; Build Your Story

Plus I’m trying to work through the following two courses:

  1. Write Your Way to Freedom (course on becoming a freelance copywriter)
  2. Work For Yourself (course from Udemy on self-employment/freelancing)

Though all of the work was done towards the end of January—I just can’t get into the mindset (so far) this month.

So, I would say that I’d managed to meet about 80% of the goals—figuring out the ‘alternative’ to a massive three-to-five year plan gave a small ‘check’ on that goal. My problem this year (so far) seems to be getting into the mindset to do the work. I’ve realized that since the one time management app isn’t currently working on the computer—I’m going to be having to log out of various social pages, and then probably ‘un-bookmark’ others. I also need to ‘create’ a mediation area that is easy to set up and take down (to try to minimize the number of possible pet accidents in the area).

Therefore, 2022 is off to a slow walk…Life isn’t suppose to be just about the end point, but the journey as well—and that is something I’m trying to enjoy as I still work on finding the ‘career’ endpoint.

How is your 2022 going so far?

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Progress made on nutrition/movement and acknowledging inner critic

It’s already December, and the moon will be transitioning through another new moon phase this weekend. That means there will be less than thirty days left in 2021—where did the time go this year? Last year seemed to drag, and this year some months seem to have flown by. I’m hoping that come 2022, the ‘richer’ countries will start donating vaccines by the millions to the lower income countries, so that maybe we can get this damn pandemic under control.

So before looking ahead to the next new moon (which will be Sagittarius new moon), I should look back at the goals I set for the Scorpio new moon and see how I did with each of them.

The goals that I set for the Scorpio new moon included:

  1. Continue working on healing my relationship with food and movement.
  2. Continue with my evening meditations/sitting quietly for at least five minutes
  3. Start working through the complete personal finance course that I bought on Udemy
  4. Continue working through the Write Your Way to Freedom copywriting course

So how did I do with each of them?

I’m still working on mending/healing my relationship with food and movement. I’ve started a second round of Morning Meltdown 100 and will be pairing it with walking (so there may be days when I’m not pushing ‘play’, but instead took a two-hour nature walk). I’m still working on getting more protein in during the day (and I do realize that I feel better on the days that I have my yogurt or cottage cheese for snacks). Still working on drinking more water during the day (I did buy a gallon water jug and now am working at actually trying to drink that much water during the day; currently it takes me about four to six days to drink that much water), getting more fruits and veggies in during the day as well.

While the Wi-Fi issues were resolved, I didn’t do much computer work this past month. Mainly—I let my inner critic/imposter syndrome win a couple of internal arguments that I didn’t realize I was having with myself. Therefore I didn’t make any progress on the personal finance or copywriting course.

I need to expand the time for my sitting quietly/meditation in the evenings. This past month, it was more just sitting quietly—I didn’t feel like lighting the candles and actually trying to meditate, though that is something that I’m going to be working on going forward.

Minor progress was made on goals (I’d say about thirty to forty percent), but huge progress was made in realizing where I was tripping myself up at this past month. If I actually acknowledge the feelings (namely anxiety), I can figure out ways of working through the panic/anxiety attacks and still be productive—instead of trying to ‘put my head in the sand’ and ignoring the bigger issues.

My plan now is when I’m realizing that I’m having a panic/anxiety attack–I will shut down (or at least put to sleep) the computer and just writing things out by hand. Tonight for example–I’ll be doing my monthly ‘brain dump’ after I done here, along with figuring out my December goals (two things I should have done earlier this week).

I’ve also realized that the anxiety/panic attacks are caused by me overthinking and making things a lot more complicated than they really need to be–so progress is being made.

So, now it will be time to focus on goals and brain dumps for the night, a nature walk tomorrow morning, Sagittarius goal planning tomorrow afternoon, and working on a couple of writing assignments this weekend as well.

Do you try to get out into nature to help cure anxiety/panic attacks??

No Comments careerfinancesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Month in Review: July 2020

So July has come and gone—which means there are only five months left in 2020. As I’ve stated before—2020 hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to go so far, and the next five months probably still won’t totally go the way I would like to go, but I have to keep reminding myself—the only reactions I can control are my own—so it’s now into month five of self-isolation, I go.

While some parts of the world seem to be getting the virus under control—the US isn’t one of them. Our numbers are still climbing (over 4.7 million confirmed cases and over 157K dead), and we’re still more or less on a “global timeout”. This means that any and all travel that I had planned is delayed for at least another year (which means the earliest—August 2021), if not longer. While I don’t mind delaying travel—I am getting a little tired of self-isolation (though I will continue to do so as long as necessary).

This means that any type of interviews (informational and job-related) will be done via online applications, which also means numerous other things need to be taken into consideration and dealt with—such as making sure that the sound and everything works well (microphone over using the computer), creating a neutral backdrop for the office area of my bedroom, and whatever else I will be needing to add to the list. But for now, it is time for a brief reflection on the goals that I had set for July and how I did with each one of them.

So what were the goals for July? The goals for July included:

At least 155,000 steps (since I’ve made a tracker for the journal, it is easy enough to write down the numbers at the end of the day)

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 24-54)

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/and hopefully no spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

And finally,

Continue working on devising a goal list and breaking it down, plus working on various different ways to translate those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas I want to focus on: the blog, personal/professional development, fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 155,000 steps (since I’ve made a tracker for the journal, it is easy enough to write down the numbers at the end of the day)

In terms of steps—I managed to get to a total of 182,969 steps for the month of July. There were seven days that I finished below the 5,000-step goal—which is why I was about 20K below the final total that I managed for June. But at least I managed to move around enough that I got about 25K extra steps during July (and some of the days that I was short—the days were hot and humid and I didn’t feel like moving around that much).

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 24-54)

I have been continuing with Morning Meltdown 100, and finished days 24 to 54. While I measured at the end of phase 2 (which was July 17th), I’m not going to measure again until the end of the program (which will be on Sept 15th). The reason—water retention and bloating can cause numbers to be off.

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

During the month of July I managed to read (or finish reading) the following books:

“How to be an imperfectionist: The new way to self-acceptance, fearless living, and freedom from perfectionism” by Stephen Guise

“Hello Fears: Crush your comfort zone and become who you’re meant to be” by Michelle Poler

“Better than Before: What I learned about making and breaking habits-to sleep more, quit sugar, procrastinate less, and generally build a happier life” by Gretchen Rubin

All three of the books would fall under the personal development category (though it is very difficult to try to separate personal and professional development—they are two sides of the same coin). They all dealt with similar topics—our comfort zones, and trying to push past the “fear zone” to get into our learning/growth zones. While I know that I haven’t stated much on the books, that’s because it’s on the August to-do list of writing a short review on each one to post to both the blog and amazon.

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/and hopefully no spend month

I’m getting better at having no spend days/weeks—but I’m not quite up to a full no-spend month. During July I still spent money during the month—the money was spent on books, masks, and I had hoped on a sewing machine (I’m actually probably be demanding my money back on this one—as the order was placed almost 3 weeks ago, and all of my messages have been ignored).

I’m hoping that during August, I can manage not to spend money on books, or other things. Depending on how I progress through various e-courses during August, I may purchase other e-courses to continue my learning (but this is only currently a possibility).

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program

This hasn’t happened yet. I started module four of the program and made it about halfway through. I had decided that I’d been pushing too fast through various programs and that it would probably be more beneficial if I slowed down and actually took the time to review and think on the information I was learning, instead of just powering through to be able to check it off my to-do list.

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

Like, the data science syndicate program—this also didn’t happen. In part to wanting to be able to think on the information I was learning, but also due to the fact that most afternoons, I would go and sit outside and read—instead of being inside and working on something else.

And finally,

Continue working on devising a goal list and breaking it down, plus working on various different ways to translate those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas I want to focus on: the blog, personal/professional development, fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

This is slowly coming together—I managed to find my old bulletin board—so I can also have my to-do lists tack up, instead of needing to look in the journal to see what I had planned for the day/week. Though I will also be using the journal as well. The main thing I’ve realized—I need to figure out the answer to the following question: “Who do I want to become over the next five to twenty years?” Once I can answer this question in great detail—I’ll have a better idea of what goals and the breakdown of said goals I need to focus on.

So I managed to get about half of the goals accomplished for July (the steps, the workout, the reading, and going 80% of the month not spending more money). I’ve also realized that one reason why certain goals (e-courses/certification programs and sometimes the non-fiction reading) aren’t always met—I haven’t quite figured out the end goal. In other words, I think once I can determine the answer to the question: “Who do I want to become over the next 5 to 20 years?”—Some of these goals will become easier to accomplish.

Therefore, the goals for August will include:

At least 155,000 steps (again breaking it down to roughly 5K/Day)

Continuing Morning Meltdown 100 (Days 55-85)

Reading (or finishing) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Week/ and hopefully a no-spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program (or at least modules 4 & 5)

Finish at least 3 other short e-courses

And finally,

Answer the question: “Who do I want to become over the next 5 to 20 years?” The answer to this question will help me to continue working on my long term goal list, figuring out how to break it down to short-term goals, and finally translating those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas that I’m trying to focus on: personal/professional development, career transition, fitness & health/mental health/crafts, and the blog.

While reminding myself: “Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

No Comments BookscareerfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle ChallengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Capricorn Full Moon Goals

So we’ve entered July, and there is now only 180 days left in 2020. Hopefully, they’ll be more (or less) uneventful days—I’d say we’ve had enough excitement already for 2020. The moon is moving into Capricorn today (or tomorrow, depending on where you are in the world), and it is also going to be another eclipse—viewable (maybe) from the southern part of the US; so if I stay up late enough I may be able to see it (also depends on if there is cloud cover or not).

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??

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. I may be a little indifferent towards certain things or people—but I’m not ruthless. I would say that there are parts of society today that act ruthless towards others (especially the idiots that refuse to wear masks in stores). Truthfully, I’m not an overly ambitious person—all I would really like to have in life is a decent amount of money (I don’t have to be a millionaire) to live on, a nice, safe place to live, and being able to spend time with friends, family, pets, and doing other things besides working.
  2. Well, this could almost be considered a trick question. For one thing, I’m currently on my “reboot break”—I resigned from my position at the beginning of December to take time to relax and then really figure out what I want to do with my life. The second reason why this could be considered a trick question—with the pandemic, there was the work from home mandate, and not to mention a lot of jobs that were lost due to not being “essential”. Also during this time it is really hard to have a personal life, when you can’t get together with people or travel anywhere.
  3. This depends on the issue—for the most part I’m easy going and I usually don’t interact with that many people right now anyway (hello, self-isolation). But, I will be hard on others in terms of wearing facial masks in public—we’re in the middle of a damn pandemic, and it has been shown that wearing a mask can help slow the spread of the virus. If we’re wanting to get out of self-isolation, and being able to travel again (because, hello the EU has banned Americans from entering their countries for the next few months, since we can’t seem to handle the virus here at home)—we need everyone to wear the damn masks!!
  4. Not recently—looking back at the same questions from last year, I was wanting to adopt a puppy for quite a few months before I went ahead and adopted Chaos. Truthfully, right now I’m just taking things a day at a time. I know that I should be planning long-term goals, but with the current atmospheres (political, environmental, social, and health) it is difficult at times to think five, ten, or twenty years into the future.
  5. No I haven’t been planning my life enough. This is currently due to several things: the pandemic—travel really is a no-go right now (unless you drive places, and I don’t drive), networking and interviews are probably going to be done over the computer, and I should probably think of investing in a decent external microphone for the computer (for better sound quality), and truthfully I still have no damn idea of what I want to be doing with my life (I know that trying to have informational interviews will help—but again look back to the needing a microphone). Also I have realized that I’ve been stuck in the “fear zone” (that zone between the comfort zone and the learning zone) for too damn long—overthinking leads to anxiety which leads to not doing much which leads back to overthinking—I’m actually going to be trying to break this damn cycle over the next few months.

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.

Currently, I’m not in the middle of any type of major disagreement with people that I talk to on a day-to-day basis, which thanks to the self-isolation mandates are my parents (since I’m living at home still). There have been one or two disagreements on Facebook, but those have been resolved with either party pressing the unfriend button (and sometimes the block button as well).

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

Continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 (I should be at day 54 at the end of the month; and day 57 by the next full moon).

Work on creating a new long-term goal list; the pandemic threw quite a few monkey wrenches into my latest 101 goals in 1001 days, plus I never really got specific about the industry position. So the goal is to have an least a rough outline of the major goals for different areas (health/fitness, finance, career, personal/professional development, spirituality, and living space).

Continue reading through my huge to-be-read digital pile. I think that I’m currently up to a total of 367 (since there are ~10 books on the list that I consider to be more of a reference book). I started this list in 2018 (or maybe late 2017), and it only had ~80 books on it but has now ballooned to almost 400—and between the start of 2018 and now—I’ve read about 50 of them so far; I’m averaging about 20 non-fiction books a year. This means that if I don’t add any more books—it will still take me about another 16 years to get through the list of books. Though some of them may fall into the “reference” book pile.

And of course remembering: Progress not perfection.

No Comments AstrologyfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPandemic2020Reflections

Check-in on 101 goals

So we’re officially a little over halfway through 2019, which means that there are 815 days left in this challenge (as today is July 5th 2019). So I decided that I should probably do a check-in on the goals and see where I’m at with them. Updates are in bold.

The dates for my 101 goal challenges are:

So my original start and finish dates were:

Start Date: January 1 2018

Finish Date: September 28 2020

My new start and finish dates:

Start Date: January 1, 2019

Finish Date: September 28, 2021

Here are my 101 goals for the next 1001 days (random and non-grouped):

  1. Transition into a biotech or biopharma company as a research scientist
  2. Become fluent in Spanish
  3. Become fluent in German
  4. Learn to program (R and maybe python)
  5. Visit at least three new countries (0/3)
  6. Finish the various other e-course bundles that I bought (list out later)
  7. Move to a new(ish) city for #1
  8. Make it through at least 250 days of beachbody workouts (share on twitter?) (0/250) *Luckily it doesn’t have to be consecutive days (though I would like that)—I haven’t done a Beachbody workout in awhile (I also can’t remember how many I’d done before I hit my slump).
  9. Paint & frame at least one original painting (0/1)
  10. Finish the Dream Job Hack program
  11. Finish the Youtube for bosses course
  12. Finish the Youtube course creation for bosses course
  13. Launch a youtube channel
  14. Launch a online course
  15. Get blog traffic to 500+ views/day
  16. Publish 5-10 scientific blog posts (0/10)
  17. Practice more photography (1-2 posts a week) I’ve managed to stick with the photography challenge so far, so at least on the blog there have been new pictures post on a semi-constant basis (at least for the past three-four months).
  18. Get instagram followers to 800+
  19. Showcase crafts on blog (afghans, artwork, jewelry)
  20. Learn to make my own jewelry
  21. Re-pierce my ears
  22. Finish at least 200 personal/professional development books (and post reviews) (35/200) *So out of the 274 books I have on my book reading list for both personal and professional development (and this number is growing)—I’ve read 20 in 2018, and 15 so far in 2019—that means I only have another 238 books to read to finish the list (and that is only if I don’t add anymore books to the list).
  23. Interact more on Linkedin (actually network with connections) (at least 4 a week) (0/140)
  24. Reach at least 14,014,000 steps (0/14,014,000); though if I add in the steps from 2018—this could actually be closer to 20,000,000 steps (goal—19,124,000 by Sept 28 2021 (as of yesterday (07/04/19) 8,047,645/19,124,000).
  25. Visit at least one new national (or state) park (0/1)
  26. Visit at least one new national (or state) monument (0/1)
  27. 5 pushups on toes (0/5)
  28. 10 pushups on toes (0/10)
  29. Fly/land at least 3 new airports
  30. Visit one new city & state (US) (0/1; 0/1)
  31. Go to one or more scientific conferences (0/1)
  32. Go to a blogging conference (0/1)
  33. See the Northern Lights
  34. Present at a scientific conference (0/1)
  35. Post free monthly challenges in facebook groups
  36. Write (or start) a book
  37. Complete a 365 day photography challenge (137/365) I started the challenge a little late this year, or more accurately it took me awhile to build momentum to continue posting a daily picture.
  38. Learn to cross-stitch
  39. Reach 400+ followers on pintrest
  40. Reach 1000+ followers on twitter
  41. Publish at least two blog series (0/2)
  42. Mediate at least 5 minutes a day  (0/1001) This one has been an off and on success—there have been at least one or two weeks when I didn’t feel like meditating nightly, and therefore I didn’t—but I’m slowly getting back into the routine.
  43. No extra snacks at work (i.e. no hitting the coffee shop for cookies in the morning) This one is a work in progress, there are some days when I’m really good at not getting extra snacks at work, and there are other days when I cave and get chocolate.
  44. Declutter the movies in the house
  45. Create an editorial calendar for blog (0/33) Well I’m slowly starting to try creating editorial calendars, but have only been really good at posting certain topics (new/full moon goals & updates, monthly updates & photography challenge). This is something I still need to work on.
  46. Credit card debt down to less than $500 a month (and getting paid off monthly in full) This is almost happening—I do have my debt at a level that I can pay off monthly, though some bills get a little higher than planned.
  47. Monthly budget (plus list of monthly recurring charges on credit cards) (0/33) I’ve been doing this, though not listing the recurring charges on my credit cards.
  48. Learn to give mani/pedi and give myself one a month (0/33) This one is off the list—because I have yet to do it, and while I might in the future I don’t see me doing it quite yet.
  49. Get a new sewing machine and make a new quilt for bed. This one is on hold until I move and then I’ll be buying a new sewing machine.
  50. Make my new moon & full moon goals (0/66) I’ve been keeping up with this one. Though I may not hit all the goals for both the new moon & the full moon—I’m at least putting my intentions out there for the universe to hear.
  51. Buy a new couch and chair for my living room. This one and #s 52-54 are dependent on success with #1 & #7
  52. Buy a new dresser for my bedroom
  53. Buy a new mattress & box-spring for my bed
  54. Buy a new TV & stand for living room
  55. Reorganize my storage unit
  56. Buy fabric & foam and make new cushions for rocking chair
  57. Create a posting schedule (editorial calendar) for facebook pages (0/66) I’m behind on this.
  58. Generate at least three months of memes for facebook pages (0/3)
  59. Create posting schedule (editorial calendar) for instagram (0/33) Behind on this.
  60. Learn to use photoshop for memes & posts
  61. Make a 30-day Zumba schedule & stick with it (0/30) Haven’t done this yet.
  62. Visit one or more new zoos (0/1)
  63. Visit one or more new aquariums (0/1)
  64. Make a top 10 favorite author list (for different genera; romance, fantasy/sci-fi, mystery/thriller, non-fiction) for blog
  65. Write and share at least two posts on linkedin every two months (0/32) Behind on this as well.
  66. Ask for endorsements from 6 well known connections on linkedin (0/6) Behind on this well.
  67. Endorse 3 to 5 people on linkedin every four months (0/40) Behind on this.
  68. Renew professional memberships (0/6) Need to do this soon.
  69. Get into the “best shape” of my life. This is one of the things I’m going to try to focus on more, and maybe should be moved higher in the list.
  70. Finish reading books on scientific writing (review and post) (0/7)
  71. Take a multivitamin & supplements daily (0/1001). There have been several days (going on to a week) that I’ve missed taking my multivitamin & supplements.
  72. Design a logo for my blog/website
  73. Finish 3 hidden object games without using hints, or the strategy guide
  74. Go to a author-reader conference and meet authors
  75. Write in journal daily (0/1001). There have been several weeks that I didn’t do this (mainly due to my current mood—even though I know when I’m feeling down or in a funk that is actually a good time to journal).
  76. Complete my book of Sudoku puzzles (minus the ones crossed out)
  77. Drink 70 oz of water a day (0/1001). There have been quite a few days when this hasn’t happened.
  78. Color in two coloring books (0/2) (pictures on blog/instagram)
  79. Knit another afghan (diamond pattern) This has been started, and hopefully will be finished this coming winter.
  80. Watch all the episodes of Hawaii 5-0
  81. Go to at least 2 professional networking events (0/2)
  82. Update Linkedin profile (0/2)
  83. Watch all the episodes of Grimm
  84. Design a science based board game
  85. Hold a two minute plank (on forearms)
  86. Hold a 90 second plank (full)
  87. Go at least one weekend a month without social media (0/33) This hasn’t happened yet, though with the way the world is going I might start doing it.
  88. Create (and update) a vision board. I’ve created and updated a digital vision board, and will probably try to update it at least every two to three months.
  89. Create my own altar (wiccan/pagan)
  90. Learn basic sign language
  91. Create job searching/networking editorial calendar (0/12)
  92. Get an additional external hard drive to back up the laptop & external DVD drive for installing printer program on laptop
  93. Create my own coffee table photography book
  94. Touch base with friends that I haven’t talked to lately
  95. Savings up another 20K (0/20K)
  96. Get at least three plants and keep them alive (0/3)
  97. Stretch daily (0/1001)
  98. Watch all the episodes of The Librarians
  99. Watch all the episodes of Once Upon A Time
  100. Get Fit with Jessi to 1000+ likes
  101. Get BecomingJessi to 1000+ likes

I’ve only removed one goal from the list—giving myself a mani/pedi monthly. I’ve never been the type to fuss with their nails (though I know with job searching, I do need to start taking better care of my nails, and this does include painting them every so often). I’ve realized that I have fallen behind on some of the daily goals (taking my multivitamins, drinking a certain amount of water a day, and writing in my journal every day)—but at least I do start back up, even if it tampers off, and then starts again.

I also know that there are goals that I haven’t started on, and others that require another goal to be accomplished before they are looked at. I know where I need to try to focus for the next few months (personal care—mental and physical health, and slowly figuring out my career objectives), and once these are on track, I think the others will follow suit.

No Comments 101 GoalsBooksCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthjob searchingLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspiritualitytravel

Level 10 life check-in

July marks the start of the second half of the year, and the start of the third quarter. That also means that it is time to take a look at my level 10 life, and see what changes have occurred since April (when I did my last level 10 life check-in).

Level 10 life check-in. Starting the third quarter of the year.

In case you haven’t heard of Level 10 life, basically what it is–you take ten different areas of your life (friends & family, personal development, spirituality, finances, social life, career, fun & recreation, giving & contributions, physical environment, and finally health & fitness) and you rate them on a scale of 1 to 10.

When you rate them, you’re not suppose to spend a lot of time thinking about it–you rate them as how are they are–not how you would like them to be.

I started doing this last year (when I first read about it), and I will admit that there really hasn’t been any huge changes in any given area. I’m lucky if I can get things up to a five or a six. There are some areas that have held constant at around a five (namely family and friends), and my lowest has been at a one (social life).

My long term goal is to try to get things up to a seven or an eight, and I’d prefer if I could also maybe get my social life up to a four or a five. Every area needs work, as this check-in has shown that things have slipped backwards just a little compared to my April check-in.

While I could try to focus on little things for all ten different areas, I’m thinking that I’m going to try to focus on just three or four areas. Therefore my goals will be:

In terms of personal development: Continue reading different non-fiction books and working through different e-courses.

In terms of spirituality: Meditating daily, and doing a daily tarot/oracle card reading (even if I don’t share them right away).

In terms of career: Working on my “reboot break”, my transition plan, and trying to network more.

In terms of health and fitness: Trying to get back into a workout routine (either doing a program all the way through, or creating my own hybrid calendar).

I think that these are the basically the three big areas I need to focus: health (physical and mental), career (figuring out the next step), and just working on becoming the best me possible. Once I have these headed in the proper direction, everything else should also head in the proper direction.

No Comments bullet journalLevel 10 LifePersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspirituality

Cancer New Moon Goals

So the moon is entering the first new moon phase for July and is transitioning through the Leo constellation today and tomorrow. July has officially started, and there are only 183 days left in the year (I’d personally like to know where February and March went).

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

            Family time (check in with relatives)

            Banish insecurity

            Get in touch with your caring and nurturing side

            Review your goals

            Take a hot bath

I also need to look to see what house the Cancer moon is moving through over the course of the new moon. Looking at things, Cancer is going through my ninth house (or my big picture zone). This is about adventure, travel, and personal development.

So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the ninth house?

            Find a way to explore the world.

            Read those books you know you should be reading.

            Do a personal development course.

            Manifest a new spiritual teacher.

            Think about what you have faith in—and what you don’t.

            Make a cyber pal on the other side of the world.

            Have something you’ve written published.

I think that it’s fitting that the universe is nudging me to continue to do personal development. I’ve realized over the past few weeks that one of my biggest roadblocks to doing anything is that I don’t like confrontations. I usually go out of my way to be a team player, and to fly under the radar. This could be from childhood, where I decided it was better to keep quiet than have a teacher correct my pronunciation of words (and I’ve realized that this is a massive trigger for me now as an adult). I know that I’m not happy with my position, and that change is needed—but at the same time I don’t want to rock any boats on my way out either.

So in terms of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the ninth house:

I am trying to plan a solo vacation abroad for the fall (possibly around my birthday). But I’ve only gotten as far as thinking about it. I would like to try to brush up on a foreign language (that way I can possibly travel somewhere where English isn’t the main language).

I am slowly working my way through my huge to-be-read list of books that cover both personal and professional development.

I have several different e-courses that I am going to slowly be working through (some are personal development areas, and others are professional development).

In terms of spirituality and what I have faith in—currently on hold.

Making a cyber pal on the other side of the world—I’m in several different groups that have people all over the world, so I think I’m good on this one.

Having a blog counts for publishing right?

Therefore my goals for the Cancer New Moon period are going to be:

1) Review, edit, and update my 12-month goals/plans for the different areas that I set out back under the Aries new moon.

2) Meditate nightly (even if it’s only for a couple of minutes).

3) Do a daily tarot/oracle card reading (even if I don’t share on social media right away).

4) Read at least one more non-fiction book (two-three would be great)

5) Start working through some of the different e-courses that I’ve bought over the past two years.

No Comments AstrologyNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentspirituality