I have been publishing updates on my goals and resolutions since 2019. In many ways, this practice has kept me accountable and helped me to stay focused on tasks ahead.
Last year, due to the global pandemic, I found it was mentally challenging and difficult to keep myself inspired and motivated. Some goals like meditating every day for a year became a real chore toward Q4. I really questioned whether it was worth it to continue with the goal setting and regular updates.
Because of the mental drains, I decided to take a different approach this year. Unlike last year when I set challenging and ambitious goals for myself, I decided to set goals that will keep me motivated throughout the year. I want to feel energized and inspired throughout the year when I look at these goals, not feeling drained.
I realized that I should have published this update in April but it’s better late than never right? Let’s find out how I did in Q1 2022.
2022 Goals and Resolutions
Being a spreadsheet nerd, I’ve been tracking my annual goals in a master spreadsheet. To make everything easier to track and see visually, I grouped my goals into four categories. At the end of the month, I then check what I have accomplished. If I achieve a goal, I would colour the box green and have a small celebration.
To keep track of my progress, I also give myself a letter grade for each of the goals that are still work in progress.
For 2022, we have two financial goals.
Dividend Income over $36,000 -> $10,159.55. A+
Based on our goal of $36,000, we should have received at least $9,000 in dividend income at the end of Q1. For once, we are ahead of the schedule on our dividend income goal. In fact, based on the latest dividend income projection, I believe we have a very high chance of beating this goal!
If we do manage to overachieve the $36,000 in dividend income goal, this would accelerate our dividend income projection nicely. Who knows, maybe $41,500 is within our reach for 2022! (Do I dare to dream?)
Use up WestJet travel bank & free companion vouchers -> Done.
As mentioned in my 2022 goal setting post, we wanted to book a trip before the end of April for several reasons. One, we have money in WestJet travel bank that we need to up before June. Two, we also have free special companion vouchers that will expire in April. Finally, we’d like to close our WestJet credit cards before the new annual fees kick in at the end of April.
Kaui, Disneyland, and PEI were three destinations we had in mind for using up the credits and vouchers. After a few discussions, Mrs. T and I decided that a trip to The Maritimes this summer is a great idea. Since it’s domestic travel, we shouldn’t need to worry too much about potential COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements (note: we made this decision before the COVID pre-entry rule was dropped).
So with the destination sorted out, we quickly booked airfare with WestJet. We are planning to check out Halifax, Cabot Trail, Moncton, and all over PEI. If any of you are from these areas, I would love to hear your input on hidden gems and the non-touristy things we should check out.
Publish a blog post every Monday -> WIP. A.
I have kept a consistent publishing schedule since 2021 – posting every Monday. This publication schedule really works for me, especially when I write ahead of time. It usually takes me anywhere from two to five hours to write a new blog article, so it’s important to write ahead of time and build up a buffer of articles. Some articles like the $360k dividend a year, Canadian dividend calendar, and Best Canadian REITs, took more than five hours to write due to the amount of research required.
Starting a blog is very easy, keeping up a blog is certainly not an easy task!
On a related note, it’s nice to see that many readers are aware of the regular Monday publishing schedule.
At the time of writing this, I have published 511 articles with 12 articles scheduled for publication in the upcoming weeks. I created this goal with the mind to organize these articles into different categories so readers can navigate articles easier. I am happy to announce that I accomplished this goal earlier than anticipated and grouped investing and FIRE related articles into the following categories:
Beginner articles cover easy-to-understand investing and FIRE topics to get readers started on their DIY investing/FIRE journey.
Intermediate articles cover topics that readers may come across along their DIY investing/FIRE journey.
Advanced articles usually cover topics related to decumulation, withdrawal strategies, and tax efficiency.
For the most part, I have been writing lots of posts in the Intermediate category. As we get closer to 2025, I plan to write more on decumulation and withdrawal strategies.
Finish Ahrefs blogging course -> Done
Ahrefs has an academy with a few training sources. I went through the Blogging for Business course to learn more about SEO. I was pleasantly surprised that I already knew most of the lesson topics but did pick up a few new SEO ideas.
Despite learning more about SEO, I do plan to continue writing articles that I want to write and enjoy writing rather than turning this blog into an SEO optimized blog. For me, these SEO optimized articles are not fun to write and I don’t enjoy writing them.
My focus for this year is personal wellness.
Work out at least two times a week -> WIP
After three months, I have kept up a regular workout schedule. On average, I have been working out four times a week in our garage, doing various kettlebell complexes. On some weeks I was able to really push myself and did some rigorous complexes; then on some weeks I took it easy and focused on more basic kettlebell movements.
I have been working out with a 16 kg / 35 lbs kettlebell. At end of Q1, I bought a 27 kg / 60 lbs kettlebell and it felt quite HEAVY! The plan is to use the heavy kettlebell for basic moves and use the 16 kg kettlebell for more complicated moves and flows.
Read for 10 minutes before bedtime -> WIP. Six books read. A
Many research suggested that reading for 10 to 15 minutes before bedtime is a great way to unwind and prepare your brain for a good night’s sleep. This sounds like a great idea instead of staring at a screen before bedtime. I also believe reading before bedtime would help me read more books by end of the year.
Now, I haven’t been reading for 10 minutes every single night before going to bed, I would estimate I have kept up this routine about 95% of the time throughout Q1. I am quite surprised that I managed to finish six books after three months.
- The psychology of money by Morgan Housel: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Interestingly, I have written about many of the topics Housel discussed in the book.
- Laziness does not exist by Dr. Devon Price: I really glad that Purple recommended this book because it was a great read. Our work culture of over productivity and constantly working can really cause a strain both physically and mentally. As Dr. Price pointed out many times throughout the book, laziness is something that we created arbitrarily and society has put a lot of negativities on it. In fact, laziness does not exist and it is OK to relax and slow down without feeling guilty.
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed: Mrs. T and I watched the movie featuring Reese Witherspoon many years ago and we happened to have the book at home from a book exchange. I really enjoyed Cheryl Strayed’s writing and the way she formed different sentences and paragraphs.
- The Ten Nerve by Dr. Chris Honey: What a fascinating book about our brain! Dr. Chris Honey explained his reasons for going into neurosurgery. Although I have never been very interested in biology, the book really got me hooked on all the brain surgery details.
- Die with Zero by Bill Perkins: This book was very different than the typical personal finance book. Bill Perkins preached about spending money now to get life experiences and memories that will last your entire life. I’m glad there are more and more books focusing on spending money to enjoy your life now rather than saving money until you retire. It’s important to focus on the why’s of saving and spending money rather than the how.
- Wallet Activism by Tanja Hester: I’ve wanted to read Tanja’s second book for a while now and was happy to finally get my hands on the book from the local library. Tanja brought up many great points on how as individuals we can help to improve society and our world. Many of these points I am already doing but will be implementing more.
Body fat <=15% -> 17.6%. B.
In 2021, I hit 16.5% body fat but it was cheating on my part because I got on the scale shortly before finishing a 48-hour fast. If I looked at my body fat average for 2021, I was bouncing around 17-18%.
I started 2022 at 18.2% body fat. On April 1st, I was at 17.6% body fat. To hit 15% body fat, that means I have some work to do.
For Q2 my focus is to continue with healthy eating. I plan to continue working out regularly, cut back slightly on each meal, and avoid snacking throughout the day.
Go to Disneyland -> WIP
Our planned Disney trip in 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic. It would be nice if we can go to Disneyland this year but I am also aware that many families have the same plan as us.
Going to an overcrowded amusement park does not sound fun for me, so we probably have to consider going to Disneyland when school is in session.
Go camping at Goldstream Provincial Park -> WIP
Last summer we camped at Goldstream Provincial Park and had a blast. It would be nice to head back there and camp for a week this summer. Currently, we can book campsites two months ahead so we need to do some planning in May to secure a campsite.
Summary – 2022 Goals and Resolutions Q1 Update
As you can see, I had a very successful quarter considering I have accomplished three out of ten goals already. For Q2 I will continue to work on my year long goals and hopefully do some planning for the two fun goals I have.