2021 Goals and Resolutions – Q1 Update

For the past three years, I have set up goals and resolutions at the beginning of the year and posted them on this blog. I then provided quarterly updates on how I was doing. I found providing quarterly updates on my goals and resolutions worked well because it kept me motivated and accountable. Having readers emailing me and encouraging me throughout the year also helped me to stay laser focused on finishing these challenging goals.

You probably have heard many times that you should set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. SMART goals for short. For me, I’ve found that setting high expectations works well for me. I am more motivated if I set challenging goals for myself. I enjoy shooting for the stars. If I don’t get there, at least I will get to the moon. This may work completely differently for other people.

What may work well for me may not work for everyone. So if you are setting your SMART goals, make sure to know yourself. This is very similar to know yourself as an investor when you investing your hard-earned money.

Overall, I think Q1 was very successful for me. I worked hard to keep myself on track of many of the yearly goals. While I don’t have a target for net worth increase, I was pleasantly surprised to see that our liquid assets increased by over 13% in the first quarter of 2021. The market sure has been red hot!

Thanks to Tom at MapleMoney‘s Facebook post about tracking his body weight through the pandemic, I purchased a Renpho smart scale to better track my overall health. It’s nice to see everything in green, but I want to improve on a few of these health parameters.

fitness tracking

2021 Goals and Resolutions

Here is my 2021 goals sheet. I keep all my goals in a spreadsheet, stored in Google Drive. I have found that it is important to review the sheet regularly to make sure I stay on track on my goals.

Another thing I found that has worked well is giving myself a letter grade for each goal so I can easily and quickly evaluate my progress.

Tawcan 2021 goals and resolutions Q1 update

Since most of these goals are yearly goals, I have yet to accomplish any goals yet. On the bright side, it is nice to see that I have accomplished a quarter of many of these yearly goals.

Financial Goals

Dividend Income over $32,000 -> $7,289.67 B-

After one quarter, we should be tracking a dividend income of around $8,000 if we want to hit this challenging goal. Instead, we received less than $7,300 in dividends, or roughly 8.9% behind our progress.

However, the year is still young and many of the stocks that we purchased in Q1 won’t pay out dividends until Q2, so we’re hoping for a big boost in dividends for the rest of the year. We also plan to continue adding more shares of dividend paying stocks that we already own.

FI ratio >=60% -> 53.8%. B-

A couple of factors resulted in our below 60% FI ratio. The first factor is that we didn’t receive as much dividends as anticipated in February and March. The second factor is that we had a big spending month in March. To achieve an FI ratio of greater or equal to 60% will require us keeping our expenses down for the rest of the year and also trying to generate more dividend income.

One important thing to keep in mind is to not chase yield. Last year we purchased a bunch Inter Pipeline shares due to the high yield. Inter Pipeline’s payout became unsustainable and the company eventually cut its dividends.

We plan to continue to save and invest regularly each month.

Blog Goals

Publish a blog post every Monday -> A

I published six articles every month in 2020 and I found that publishing schedule way extreme time consuming and it was very challenging to keep up considering I have a full time job in the high tech sector. While I publish 72 articles in 2020, I decided for 2021, I would pull back on the publishing frequency and only publish an article every Monday (or 52 blog posts in total). Setting this goal doesn’t mean I can’t publish more than one article a week.

After one quarter, I have published an article ever Monday. So I would give myself a letter grade of A for this goal. Since I’m not a writer that can write a blog post the night before the publishing deadline, I have been writing ahead of time consistently. This has worked extremely well for me.

Speak at Canadian Financial Summit -> WIP

Last year I was one of the speakers at the Canadian Financial Summit and had a lot of fun. When I looked at the video recording, I noticed that my lighting wasn’t great and the audio was faint. So for Christmas I bought myself a Blue Yeti Microphone and some LED lights.

My goal for this year is to speak at the Canadian Financial Summit again and spread the FIRE message to Canadians. I am also working on appearing on a few podcasts so I can record with my new setup.

One Facebook Live Session – WIP

I have never done a Facebook Live Session so I need to figure out what to talk about and when to hold one. Right now I plan to do a session before June. Time is certainly ticking for me.

Personal Goals

Work out at least twice a week -> WIP 25% done. A.

When we were told to work from home last March, I would never imagine that we’d end up working from home for over a year. This extended work from home order meant I had to get creative on my home workout routines. One of the best things I bought in 2020 was three kettlebells. This allowed me to work out in the garage and lift weights regularly. I finished two sets of 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge in 2020 and was very proud of my accomplishment.

So far in 2021, I have worked out at least 4 times a week, usually around 30 to 45 minutes for each workout. I usually focus on compound exercises or kettlebell flows that focus on the entire body. If I wanted to try different exercises, I would check out Instagram for ideas.

Complete all 5 levels of Duolingo Danish Course – WIP. A.

I have practiced Danish on Duolingo consistently for over a year and have finished all the lessons before Checkpoint 4. I am now working on the final Checkpoint.

In Duolingo there are 350 crowns to complete the entire course. I started the year at 207 crowns and so far I have received 248 crowns. I definitely need to continue practicing Danish on Duolingo to make sure I can accomplish this challenging goal.

Read 12 books – 41.7% complete. A

I finished reading five books in Q1 2021, ahead of the three books per quarter target. The books I read were:

  • The 25 Habits of Highly Successful Investors: How to Invest for Profit in Today’s Changing Markets – It was an easy and a quick read. Lots time-tested fundamentals and core principals were mentioned in the book. A good reminder for me.
  • Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments – This book explores the ways how many well known legendary investors like Warren Buffett, Jack Bogle, Mark Twain, and Bill Ackman have failed throughout their investing careers. Reading about other people’s investing mistakes a great way to become a better investor.
  • Tax planning for you and your family 2021 – I flipped through this book over a course of three days, looking for ideas to improve our tax efficiency and found a few things that I wasn’t aware previously.
  • What I learned losing a million dollars – At first, the author Jim Paul came across as very arrogant and self-absorbed. But after reading for a while, it was easy to connect the dot why Jim Paul developed the idea he was successful just because he was superior to all others. I found the book extremely valuable and I would recommend everyone to read it.
  • Social media is bullsh$t – The title is perhaps a bit controversial, but the message was loud clear. The book showed many examples why one should focus on the “brand” rather than trying to increase the social media follower counts.

Meditate for 5 minutes each day – WIP. 25% complete. A

I have meditated for five minutes each day so far in 2021. Whenever I workout in the garage, I would finish my workout with the meditation. I really like this routine as it really calms down my body and mind.

Fun Goals

One kids-free staycation with Mrs. T -> WIP

It would be wonderful to have a kids-free staycation with Mrs. T. We will have to wait and see what happens with the COVID restrictions in BC since we’d need my parents to look after the kids for a weekend.

Summary – 20201 Goals and Resolutions Q1 Update

Well, Q1 2021 was definitely very successful. We continued to save and invest money in our dividend portfolio. I have published a post every Monday and the blog traffic has grown nicely (thank you to all the readers!). The key thing for me is to write consistently and write ahead of time.

Dear readers, how was your Q1 2021?

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12 thoughts on “2021 Goals and Resolutions – Q1 Update”

  1. Looks like a great progress! As long as you’re passing on every single one of your goals, that’s a great accomplish in and of itself.

    It’s amazing how the market is up just 13% in a quarter when we look to those kinds of returns in a year… I just can’t imagine what the rest of the year will hold and the anomaly is scaring me a little..

    Reply
  2. I’ve been following your blog for years and while there’s nothing super flashy about your site or what you write it just really feels authentic. Perhaps it’s just because I like your gardening posts, who knows. Thanks for consistently sharing your thoughts, I really enjoy your updates!

    Also, I think you have an autocorrect issue on the word meditate throughout this post though (rather than mediate). I don’t think your goal is to spend five minutes a day intervening in arguments between people 😉

    Reply
    • Hi Zach,

      Appreciate your kind words. I’ll post for gardening pictures as we have been busy in the garden lately.

      Thanks for pointing out the spelling mistake, I’ll fix it. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Nice update, Bob! I can’t wait to see you live on FB.

    And a very systematic way to track progress. That truly helps to keep up with the goals.

    You are really keen to learn Danish. That’s great but the good thing about Denmark is almost everyone speaks English so even without Danish you will be just fine living or working there.

    Reply
  4. Great list! When you calculate your dividend income received, do you include the 15% foreign withdrawal (that is taken off the top already)? Or are most of your US dividends spared from this because they are in an RRSP?

    Reply
  5. I’m fascinated by how well you’ve been able to keep up with your workout goals because that’s one thing that PiC and I have struggled to make time for (for him) between the dog, two kids at home and working full time at home. If you ever wanted to share how your days are structured, I’d love to get some ideas on that front!
    I was just reflecting on your post from around this time last year and how we were all expecting a recession due to COVID and how unexpectedly the financial year developed since then.
    How is the vaccine rollout where you are?

    Reply
    • Thanks Revanche. I’ve been trying to keep myself motivated, especially when it comes to working out. Vaccines are rolling out slowly over here.

      Reply
  6. Thanks a lot Bob.
    I am wondering if you advise me to buy the Canadian banks individual stocks NOW or should I wait for a down correction?!
    By the way one analyst is bearish on Canadian banks because it already went up more than 20% since beginning of year 2021!.

    I appreciate your prompt feedback.

    Al BE

    Reply

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