We are now half way through the year so it is time for another New Year’s Resolution Update. My original goals are here and my first quarter progress is here. As always there have been some wins and loses but I’m learning and still pushing the ball forward. Without further introduction let us begin.
Red is off track or given up
Green is on track or achieved
Goal 1: Spend Less Than One Hour On My Phone
FAIL! I was doing really great on this one and even had a couple weeks where my time was under an hour per day. I was tracking my time with the BreakFree App and was checking it every night. Now I’m back around 2 hours+ per day! So what happened?
- Biggest problem was goal #4 which is increasing blog traffic. I had no clue how much time I would spend reading, responding, commenting, tweeting, etc once I started marketing myself.
- Quit caring because I’m nowhere close to my goal. I started back surfing the internet mindlessly and vegging out watching streams of pointless youtube videos.
- The goal simply was not one of my big priorities
Where to go from here? I’m going to change my goal a little bit. My new goal is to average less than 90 minutes per day on my phone and average less than 10 minutes per day on youtube. I wish there was a way to track time spent producing vs consuming.
Goal 2: Loose Then Maintain Weight Between 170-175 Without Tracking
So far this year I’m down from 192-193 to 181-182 while actually gaining a little strength. That is roughly 10 pounds down with 10 pounds to go. I know most people will say that is painfully slow progress but I’m quite happy with it. The biggest thing with this goal is the “maintain without tracking” portion. I could easily force myself down to 170 but the second I quit tracking everything the weight comes right back. How have I been doing it so far:
- I got my mind right
- More cardio. I started doing two fairly intense track workouts a week and started tracking my steps and walking more at work.
- Eat less. This might sound extreme but I will occasionally do a 24 hour fast. I will write a longer post in the future about this but needless to say not eating for short periods of time is great for fat loss and about a dozen other things.
My goal is that by the end of the third quarter I will be down to 170lbs. In the fourth and final quarter, I will just be experimenting to find the easiest way in which to live my life while being able to maintain my new weight.
Goal 3: Increase Net Worth By
10%, 20%, 30%, 40%
I must say that I am ecstatic with our progress on this one. In fact, we have totally crushed the one-year goal already so I keep moving the finish line. I didn’t know what things were going to look like with a baby in the picture. But, this has been our best year ever and we are only six months in. We have had some very fortunate and unexpected things happen.
- Stock market continues to be one fire
- Both got raises
- Real Estate keeps soaring up
- Actually got a tax return (Thanks Brooke!)
- Realized that if you are lucky enough to have a healthy kid they aren’t that expensive (except daycare)
But we also had some very deliberate things happen
- Pushed ourselves to invest more each month
- Cut spending (Shopping at Aldi, no gym membership, cut cell phone bill in half, less eating out, no big vacations)
- Took max advantage of tax savings accounts for daycare and medical
We could never plan for growth like we have had this year but it has given us a great push towards early retirement.
Goal 4: Increase Blog Traffic to
1,000, 10,000 Views Per Month
So I originally set a goal of getting 1,000 page views per month. At the time that seemed like a lot because I was basically at zero after blogging for a few months. Little did I know 1,000 really isn’t that many and comes pretty easy once you actually start promoting your blog.
I was turned off at first by the idea of having to promote my blog. I kind of just wanted to write content. However, since I started commenting on other blogs, doing guest posts and interacting on twitter I have really enjoyed getting to know the other bloggers. It is a really amazing community of people.
For the coming quarter, I will get my butt over to Rockstar Finance and sign up on the forum and start spending some time there. I’m debating on getting on Instagram and Quora too. I have heard mixed reviews from other bloggers.
Goal 5: Develop a Night Time Routine
I have a wonderful morning routine that involves reading, writing, planning and working out. It has been a cornerstone of my life for 3+ years now. This year I wanted to develop a similar style routine for the evening before bed. I experimented with a variety of different things.
- Reviewing the day
- Planning the next day
- Writing down things I’m grateful for
Basically, nothing really stuck. It wasn’t that I didn’t see benefit from some of the activities it was just more time out of a packed evening. When I first set these goals Theresa hadn’t gone back to work. Now we both work full time and the evenings are quite full. Get Brooke from daycare, play with her, give her a bath, feed her, put her to bed, clean bottles, clean pump parts, freeze milk, get bottles/baby food ready for tomorrow, pack our lunches, figure out something for dinner, enjoy a couple minutes together, go to bed.
So this one is going to go down as fail for the year and I’m okay with that because it is my goal and my life. I will continue to keep a book by the bed but it will only be for when I feel like it.
Goal 6: Plan 12 Memorable Dates
This one has been a lot tougher than I expected it to be. My goal is that once a month we have a baby free day where we do something unique together. Something planned in advance, babysitter booked, scheduled, tickets bought, reservations made, whatever. Not just well we got a day off so let’s go eat whatever and watch a movie. Doesn’t have to be expensive just unique.
We are currently sitting at 5 for the year but our summer weekends are disappearing fast. I will be giving this goal a little more focus for the next few months instead of treating it as “yeah that would be nice too” kind of goal.
*Side Note – I know everyone says this who has kids, but to all the couples out there without kids, don’t let a weekend pass by without doing something fun together. Dating is way tougher once the baby shows up.
Goal 7: Read and Implement Two Books On Parenting
To any expecting parents, I recommend reading a couple books on parenting but don’t waste your time reading more than that. Babies are a trip and they all different and no amount of reading can prepare you.
I thought the best book for just general quick knowledge for babies was Be Prepared. It didn’t get into much of the science and instead just got straight to the tips and tricks. The book is aimed at dads but plenty of info for moms too.
Goal 8: Learn To Speak Spanish
I am frustratingly bad at learning Spanish. I struggled in high school and I’m still struggling now. During my morning commute, I have been listening to the Pimsleur Spanish lessons but have gotten stuck at the end of level 1. There are 5 levels and I can’t get passed level 1. The reviews make it sound like level 1 is for babies and you could probably skip a lot of it. Not true for me.
Most of my problems come from a lack of natural ability, distracted while driving and inconsistency in listening every day. I do still want to learn a second language because everyone else in the world knows more than one and I want to be sure Brooke learns at least two.
I might try a different strategy going forward and just charge through the lessons. Currently, I try to get a lesson perfected before moving on but I might do better if I just keep going. I don’t know. How did other people learn a second language that started later in life?
So of the 8 goals, 4 of them are complete or perfectly on track, 3 are off track or given up on and 1 is on the warning path. I know only being on track with half of your goals doesn’t sound great but I am actually pleased with where I’m at. I have 6 months left to turn some of the red into green. Remember, happiness comes from progress, not perfection.
How is everyone else doing with their New Year’s Resolution / Goals? Do you have a specific goal setting formula that you have found repeated success with?