201: Mid-Year Review for 2023

201: Mid-Year Review for 2023


In this solo episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast, you’ll hear my mid-year review as it relates to my life and business. I take a look back at my annual goals and vision board for 2023 and reveal where I’m at now. On the personal side, I discuss my recent move back to the US from Portugal, my decision to homeschool once again, and how I’m navigating my chronic illnesses.

On the professional side, I share my enthusiasm about reaching the production stage for my forthcoming book, Is Grad School For Me. I also talk about my group coaching program, the Grad School Femtoring Academy and my speaking engagements. If you prefer my more personal solo episodes, you won’t want to miss this episode.


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Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu 0:02

Welcome back, everyone to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring podcast. This is your host, Doctora Yvette. And today I have another solo episode for you. It's actually been a while since I've done back to back solo episodes, I was going to release a pre recorded episode, I still have a couple that I pre recorded. You know, it was a couple weeks, maybe even months back. And it was before I had a big move. But you know what, life happens sometimes.

And I wanted to do something a little bit different for this episode, I wanted to record an episode, not live but close, as close to live as possible. I'm recording the episode on a Monday and this is going to go up this Friday. And so I thought I'd do a mid year review. I felt that I needed to provide an update on what I've been up to because so much has happened for me since I last provided a bit of a life update.

Some of you may know I decided to move back from Portugal to the United States. I'm technically still in the middle of a move, I'm still in transition. We flew from Porto, Portugal to Southern California. And then from here, we're actually moving to Las Vegas, Nevada. And I'm saying this aloud. I don't know if I had mentioned this publicly before that I, that we, were specifically looking to move to the Vegas area. But I'm saying it now because if you are someone who lives in the Vegas area or nearby, I would love to hear from you. I am interested in building community.

Another thing that I'm going to be doing while we're there is I'm going to be switching over to homeschooling so I have tried out a lot of different schooling methods for my eldest child. They have been in public school in private school and online distance schooling, and homeschooling before. So we're going to switch over from private international school to now homeschooling. And I've even consulted or I'm reaching out to homeschooling coops and I have friends who are homeschoolers, too. So I have no concerns on that end, in terms of my capacity, and ability to homeschool. I'm actually very, very excited about it. But I also want to make sure that I build community that I have access to folks so that, you know my kids can have folks they can socialize with so that I can sign them up for extracurriculars. And so that we don't feel as isolated as we did, to be honest in in Portugal. So that's one big update is moving to Vegas.

And so when I'm talking about doing a mid year review, I should probably go back to what is even a mid year review. I like to at the beginning of the Gregorian calendar. So sometime in January, I like to work on a vision board. And then in some years, I like to get even more specific than that. And in addition to a vision board, I'll set specific goals. So this year, what I did was I did create a vision board and I also created a separate board that was just my business goals. And so on my board I wrote and I like to add my word of the year so for several years now I've had a word of the year in your spec, it's been abundance it's been something related to health. Trying to think about my different words of the year it's been ease I think last year's word was ease.

This year my word is re aligned. So alignment is key for me because I just I felt off. I felt like something was missing. And you know my big health scare getting COVID, developing long COVID symptoms, all that jazz led me to arriving at the decision of moving back home and not home as in California but moving back home to the US. And so my vision board has a bunch of pretty images but in the middle has the word re-align and a couple of I have a couple of goals that are like my my different quarter goals. So I had set that I wanted to make sure that I addressed and finished my book revisions.

And it's really timely because not only did my co-author and I finished our book revisions for our book Is Grad School For Me, which is a book all about demystifying the grad school application process for first gen BIPOC students. But we're also in wrapping up our copy edits. So we reviewed copy edits that we received from our editor. And we're going to be sending our feedback related to the copy edits back, we've also had a chance to review the book cover.

And I'm gonna need to figure out how to talk about the book cover without sounding so negative, I don't love the book cover. I don't hate it. I think it, may be it will grow on me. So let's just keep it at that. You know what, some of y'all might eventually see the book cover, because we'll probably have the final book cover in the next couple of weeks, and then I'll be able to share it publicly. But maybe some of y'all will love it, and it'll grow on me. Who knows. But it's nice to have a book cover, and it'll be nice to share it.

We've even reached out to two different contacts experts in the field to ask them to write blurbs for the book. So this is happening, y'all. Long story short, having this book goal that I put on my vision board, when was it two years ago, to now having a very specific goal of getting through revisions and having the book in the production stage, which it's at feels really, really good, it feels like those seeds that I planted are finally starting to flourish. So that was one thing.

Another thing that I had on my board and I'll just say these different things out loud. I had one goal was to figure out anxiety management tools and remedies. Because what I didn't know when I set this at the time, I was getting a lot of adrenaline dumps, and I was and that's like that feeling of like feeling super duper antsy, but then like fatigued, I couldn't stop yawning. And I was my heart kept racing a lot and I thought I was attributing it to anxiety. But once I got my dysautonomia diagnosis, when I got my diagnosis of neurocardiogenic syncope, and I realized, wow, like not only is my heart rate jumping, but also my blood pressure is dropping, I realized what I was thinking was anxiety was actually a symptom of something else.

So now that I've been able to manage, and I'm not like, I'm not great, but I'm getting better at managing this new diagnosis, this new set of symptoms that I develop that I thought were my anxiety was just I thought it was my anxiety worsening. But no. Now that I have my whom I go to things that I do to help me especially when I'm out of the home, I noticed that I no longer feel those feelings that I thought, again, were anxiety. So I feel like I've been able to address that goal in a different way than I expected. But I am I've definitely done that. And I noticed it because I felt really, really concerned when I decided to visit my family in the US. And, and we had this really long set of flights to get there. And the flights didn't go very well, I got super sick, a lot of the things that I was scared that would happen did happen.

And then now this time, the second time of going back to California, but this time to move back. I felt pretty calm and at ease. So that's really, really good. Just goes to show you heads up if you are someone who has struggled with anxiety, so for me anxiety and depression, they go hand in hand and I do struggle with waves of them throughout I have to be very careful throughout the year to monitor that. But just keep in mind, there might be other things, other factors that might be influencing that as well.

Another thing I put is to develop a home education curriculum by September 1, I had a very specific goal and specific date for that too. Proud to say that I've worked on that curriculum. I have a variety of different homeschooling resources. And I'm excited, my son is excited. We've already started testing out some of these resources a little a little bit here and there for summer just to make sure there's no big summer gap or learning loss gap for him while we're here with family in California. So that is going well.

And then of course, my goal was to move back to the US by August 1, we actually got that done even earlier, we ended up coming back early July.

And then my last goal on my vision board was to find and enroll in a coaching certification program. I didn't, or I haven't reached that goal. But, it led me to doing something else, it led me to identifying and working with a business coach. So I had to decide do I want to invest financially because right now, we are a low income family. It is what it is. That's where we are now. I am prioritizing my health and flexibility in my schedule. And I know that comes at a cost. And for now, the cost is that we as a family are not making a high income. Another reason why we can't afford to live in California. I know that it's temporary, though.

And so I had saved up some money, from my business to reinvest in myself. And in my education. I thought to myself, do I want to go with a coaching certification? Or do I want to work with a business coach, and I went ahead and reviewed multiple programs and multiple coaches and met with them. And I found someone who I really, really loved, who I'm still working with right now, her name is Cynthia Pong, and she is my business coach, and I'm still working with her. I don't know for how long we'll be working together, we signed up for a certain number of sessions, and I may continue.

But yeah, long story short, I did not enroll in a coaching certification program. I may do that in the future. But for now, I'm very, very pleased with working with a business coach who has helped me I've been working with Cynthia has helped me to develop my signature coaching program. And that was my group coaching program, my academy, which I'll talk about soon, that that came out of working with her, I had had this idea, but I hadn't put it together followed through with it. And everything came together in alignment. And I developed that program.

And now I'm going to be offering it for a second time. Enrollment just opened. So I might as well just talk about that too, about my academy. So the Grad School Femtoring Academy is a group coaching program for first-gen BIPOCs, who want to learn the foundations of personal development and sustainable productivity. It is my baby. It's me putting together all the things that I wish that I knew and had learned when I was a graduate student. When I was struggling, right now I'm struggling, but in very different ways. You know, yes, I know, I'm low income, for instance. And funds are tight. But I have access to financial literacy. I know about personal finance, I am making intentional decisions.

Yeah, I might be struggling with my health, but I'm advocating for myself, I am learning more about my different, my body and my needs and honoring my body and being compassionate with myself. And so that's, you know, I'm in a different stage in my life where I know some things. And so what do I teach in the academy? I teach folks how to identify their core values, their strengths, their areas of growth. I teach them about goal setting the science behind goal setting about habit formation, about strategies related to sustainable productivity, because I don't believe in the workaholism and the exploitation that's encouraged in so many spaces, especially in academic spaces, so many people are burning out and that is not okay. And it's a systemic issue. It is not a you issue.

But unfortunately, a lot of times we can not make immediate systemic change. We can work towards it, but we may not see the immediate results of that work. And so what do we have to do take care of ourselves, take care of our communities. And one of the ways that we can do that if we have to work which a lot of us do to pay our bills and to survive is learning the strategies of doing so sustainably, not at a cost to yourself and your health and your overall wellness.

So, yeah, I teach about that, I teach about self care about community care, and about lifestyle design about, you know, growth and abundance mindset about how to become more self aware, more self compassionate, more self efficacious, and that to me is a strategy or like an equation to your developing and reaching your own definition of success. So that's my academy, the first round was six weeks I've actually increased it to eight weeks. So we have a little bit more time to process the information and learn the strategies. And I've updated my website to include all the details of the academy. So if you think that this is something that might be great for you, or for a friend, let them know about it.

I also this time around included the cost upfront. So that way you have the full transparency of what the investment is. I know that it might not be feasible for everyone. But if you see the cost, and you right away, you think, nope, I can't do that. Remember that it doesn't hurt to ask your employer if they can sponsor you, or partially sponsor it, or you can ask your department if they can pay or partially pay for it. I also know that it helps to know the price up front. If you are in the position, if you have the capacity to save for it. I've done that I've done that for things where now I know, yeah, I might not have the income to be able to pay for something right away. But a lot of people offer payment plans. And I've taken advantage of that I a lot of people offer a sliding scale. I've used that when I've needed it. And if you're in the position again, to save for it, you can.

And for the first time, I'm also offering a partial scholarship, I cannot offer full scholarships, but I do have spots for partial scholarships. I have an application for that you can email me, I'll send you the link, it's ready to go. And hopefully, it's my goal to get to the point where I can offer full scholarships, that is something that I would love, love to do, I don't have, my business doesn't have the capacity to offer it right now. But it is something that I'm working towards. So that's my update on the Grad School Femtoring Academy, which was part of my business goals.

So I had business goals for myself, related to my newsletter, related to my social media posting and following related to my podcast. You know, one of my podcast goals was to reach 50,000 listens. And I'm way past that now. So I'm very, very happy about that. I also had a goal to develop my signature coaching program, which that's the academy. So again, very, very happy about that. And I also have a goal of reaching a certain number of speaking engagements. I'm not there yet, but I am definitely accepting invitations for speaking engagements for now. And for winter.

And I know that I'm going to get busier because once my book comes out, there will be more opportunities to speak. So this is just a heads up for y'all. If you are organizing any type of events, and you need a speaker, either virtually or in person, and if it's an event in the US, I am available for the topics I cover, you name it anything related to grad school applications, boot camps, talking about teaching folks how to write strong essays, the hidden curriculum, negotiating grad school funding financial literacy one on one but then I also cover topics related to sustainable productivity, personal development, time management, setting up systems, goal setting, action planning, lifestyle design, growth, mindset, personal development, wellness care, all of that through the lens of you know, seving first-gen BIPOCs.

And of course, my own lens of being a first gen Chicana, who's also disabled and a mom of two, although those things influence the way in which I serve others. So you're looking for a dynamic speaker, definitely contact me. Contact me, I am happy to get on a quick call with you to learn more. Okay, so yeah, my mid year review is that I have reached a good amount of my goals. I'm still in the process of finishing and reaching some of my other goals. And I'm actually excited for what my goals will be for, what year is this, 2024? Yeah, what my goals will be for 2024.

2023 despite my health scares, despite my ongoing I mean, I I do and I don't, I do share about my health and my chronic illnesses but I don't do it every day. So I still get regularly when I may share I usually share on my Instagram stories. So if you're not on Instagram, then you probably haven't heard about my chronic illness stuff, especially in my recent stuff that has happened since fall 2022. But if you are in my stories, if you do check my updates on Instagram Stories, not on the posts, then you know what's going on, about how you know I've been just very, very low energy and dealing with symptoms of presyncope, ongoing stomach issues, migraines.

And that being out of a routine, being in transition that can cause a lot of flare ups for me. So I've been kind of dealing with that lately, and I have my days, I have good days, bad days, good weeks, bad weeks, I just came out of a bad week. And now it feels like this is going to be a much better week. But this is what I have to navigate. And this is why I'm so passionate about what I do, because I know that there are other folks out there navigating similar things, or different things, but I can be compassionate enough to be able to offer strategies that may work for them. That so despite all of that going on, still reaching my goals, and still feel like I've got a lot that I want to do. Super excited to be moving and settling down. Perhaps even planting some roots, we'll see if we like Vegas.

And seeing what is to come, next year is going to be a big year for me my book, my book, my book Is Grad School For Me is coming out, you want to get a quick preview, I even have the website up for that. It doesn't have the cover yet, but it will. If you go to isgradschoolforme.com, it's going to send you there. Check it out, I cannot wait to hopefully meet some of y'all when I have my book tour, which we plan to do hybrid to have some in person speaking engagements, some, some virtual speaking engagements. And we'll see what comes from that after that the future of Grad School Femtoring is, is huge, it's abundant.

I have no doubt that more opportunities are going to keep coming and that I have done enough even when I pause, even when I take time off. July has been this month of really kind of slowing down. And yet despite all that, I'm still getting opportunities emailed my way. So please, please connect with me stay in touch. Thank you again for being a listener.

Next week, we'll continue to resume our guest episodes. I know I always say this, but I am so excited about my upcoming guests. I feel like every single one just keeps getting better and better and better. And if you have any actual recommendations for folks that should be on the podcast as well, let me know. Because probably in September, I'll be doing another round of recording and interviewing multiple people. Because I like to batch my recordings. I think by September I'll be batching again for the rest of the year. And yeah, we'll see.

We'll see what happens with the podcast next year. Lots more to come. That's it. I feel like I rambled a little bit this podcast because I didn't have a lot of notes. I wanted to keep it more informal. And with my brain fog sometimes I feel like I go from one place to the next. But if you hung in there till the end, thank you so much. I will talk to you all next time.

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