Since 2019, I have been setting goals and resolutions at the beginning of the year and then posting quarterly updates on this blog as a way to keep myself accountable. Over the years I have found this process extremely helpful and kept me from abandoning my goals quickly and never making personal improvements.
For this year, I set 13 goals with certain accomplishment timelines. Six goals were yearly goals that I needed to work on throughout the year.
With 2023 halfway finished, let’s find out how I did in Q2.
2023 Goals and Resolutions
In 2023, my key focus is overall fitness and personal well-being. I want to be able to keep up with my kids as I get older.
Being a spreadsheet nerd, I track my goals and progress via a self-made spreadsheet. I group the goals into different categories and evaluate my progress each month by assigning a letter grade for the goals I’m still working on.
Here’s how my goal tracking spreadsheet looked like at the end of Q2 2023:
Here is my progress on the financial goals.
Dividend Income over $49,000: A, $24,685.91
With half of the year in the books, we received a total of $24,685.91 in dividend income. We are roughly on track with this goal. Knowing that we have invested quite a bit of fresh capital and reinvested dividends, we are expecting to have a stronger second half and will receive more dividend income than the first half of the year.
Putting the $49,000 dividend income into perspective, that’s equivalent to an hourly wage of $23.56. This hourly wage is definitely a lot higher than how much I earned with my first few part-time jobs as a student.
Given the current dividend income projection that I use on our dividend portfolio spreadsheet, I’m confident that we’ll be able to achieve this goal.
Grow cash wedge/LTSS to $25,000: WIP. B-
We are aiming to be financially independent by 2025 and receive enough dividends to live off from. While living off dividends and not touching the principal in the early years of FI is a great idea, it’s not guaranteed that we won’t experience dividend cuts. To avoid dipping into our principal, a good way to build some level of safety is to build up a cash wedge.
At the time of the writing, while we have some cash saved up in our LTSS, it is nowhere close to the $25,000 goal, mostly because we had to pay expenses like vacations, property tax, and other big purchases in Q2. For the rest of the year, we’ll focus on putting cash into this cash wedge.
Reduce # of stock holdings to 45: WIP. B
In Q2 we closed out Verizon and Omega Healthcare and reinvested the money by buying more Apple shares. This reduced our individual dividend stock holdings from 50 to 48. To hit this goal, we’d need to close out two more positions in our dividend portfolio.
Some potential candidates to close out are:
- Algonquin Power & Utilities: AQN has done really poorly in the last few years. Even after a massive dividend cut and pulling out of the Kentucky Power deal, the stock price hasn’t recovered. Like many dividend investors, we are down quite a bit. I don’t plan to sell at a big loss but if the price does recover, we may consider closing out AQN. For now, we plan to continue dripping AQN shares and dollar cost average over time.
- RioCan REIT: RioCan’s stock price hasn’t done much lately and its distributions haven’t gotten back to the pre-pandemic level yet. Perhaps it’s worthwhile to invest our money elsewhere.
- Dream Industrial REIT: Although we really like the industrial REIT sector, DIR hasn’t done much in terms of stock price appreciation over the last three years and there has been zero dividend payout growth since March 2013.
Continue publishing blog posts every Monday: WIP. A.
Thanks to planning and writing articles ahead, I have kept up my Monday publication schedule so far in 2023. This is something I’m very proud of.
As mentioned, the focus this year is improving personal fitness and well-being.
Work out at least twice each week: WIP. A
I have continued to work out at least twice each week either by working out in the garage using kettlebells, going to the city recreational centre’s gym to use fancier equipment, or swimming in the pool. I managed to swim 1,000 metres in under 25 minutes with breaststroke. It’d be awesome if I can improve that to under 20 minutes later this year.
Read for 10 minutes before bedtime: WIP. 4 books read in Q2. C+
Mrs. T and I found ourselves going to bed later throughout Q2 so from time to time, I was too tired to stay up for another 10 minutes to read. While I managed to read 4 books in Q2, I could have read way more if I were to follow this goal of mine. Therefore, I gave myself a C+ letter grade.
In Q2, I finished Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire. As unusual, the book was much better than the movie, with far more details. Mrs. T started reading books from Clare Douglas and got me to read them too. I ended up reading three of her books in Q2 – The Girls Who Disappeared, Last Seen Alive, and Local Girl Missing. I quite enjoyed reading all of these books. Interestingly enough, Clare Douglas wrote these books using the present tense mostly. I found this a very interesting and different writing style.
Reduce body fat to 15%: WIP. 16.6%. B
I went from 16.9% body fat at the end of Q1 to 16.6% at the end of Q2. It’s only a 0.3% drop and still 1.6% away from the 15% goal. While a 0.3% drop is not worth celebrating, it’s nice to see that I’m trending in the right direction. I need to continue intermittent fasting and work on healthier snacks in the afternoon.
Complete a 30-day 100 push-up challenge: Completed. A.
I finished this challenge in January. It was a hard challenge as my arms and shoulders got pretty sore toward the end of the challenge.
Improve sleep quality to >-80%: WIP. 79% so far in 2023. B.
So far in 2023, I have an average sleep quality score of 79%, according to the Fitbit App. The score dropped a bit because I have been going to bed later in Q2; I also have been waking up at 6 AM to go swimming in the morning. What I really need to work on is going to bed earlier so I can improve my sleep quality score.
Finish landscape work by the fence: Done. A.
This was quite a bit of work to finish. First, I had to dig along the fence to get a depth of about half a metre, installed some bamboo barrier membranes along the fence, filled the holes with soil, then flattened the ground. It took me a few days to do that but I was glad to finish it.
Here are some fun goals I’d like to accomplish for the year.
Go camping with family in the summer: WIP. B.
We secured a campsite at Goldstream Provincial Park in the summer and will be camping for a few days. We got a campsite close to the playground and the bike tracks so both kids are quite excited.
Bring the family along on a business trip: WIP. C, no plan yet
To save money, we are on a travel restriction at work. In other words, I don’t have any business trips planned. I probably won’t be able to accomplish this fun goal for this year. Oh well.
Go to Disneyland: Not Done.
I originally set this goal to be accomplished by May, thinking we could plan a trip during spring break. That didn’t happen. We may try to plan a Disneyland trip in the fall but nothing is decided yet.
Summary – 2023 Goals and Resolutions Q2 Update
I accomplished two personal goals after six months of the year. Since many of the goals are annual goals, I will continue to work on them for the rest of the year. I’m really looking forward to camping at Goldstream Provincial Park with my family in the summer since we had a fabulous time camping there a few years ago.
The key focus for Q3 is to go to bed earlier to improve my sleep quality score. I’d also like to read 10 minutes before bedtime more consistently.