Q2 2019 Goals and Resolutions Update

Q2 2019 is over which means it’s time to do a Q2 2019 goals and resolutions update. When I published my goals in January, I wasn’t sure if I’d do monthly or quarterly updates. I ended up deciding on quarterly updates because I think quarterly check-ins are sufficient to keep me motivated and honest with myself.

At the end of Q1, I made some solid progress on some of these 2019 goals and resolutions. As some goals I created for this year are extremely challenging and ambitious, I have been working every day to make sure I can accomplish them at the end of the year.

2019 Goals & Resolutions

Here is my goal schedule spreadsheet. Being an Excel nerd, I have created several sheets within the spreadsheet file to track my progress of the different goals. For example, after I go swimming, I’d enter the date and distance. The spreadsheet automatically adds up the distance and reports the result in the goal schedule spreadsheet.

As you can see from the image below, I have finished quite a few goals and resolutions already. Yea!

Financial Goals

  • Save for 2020 TFSAs and RESPs ($17,000 total) ->  WIP. We are saving money and putting it aside each month to make sure we can hit the $17,000 total goal by the end of 2019.
  • Dividend Income over $23,000 -> 48%. After 6 months, we should be at at 50% or $11,500 in dividend income received. We have only received $11,040.66 so far in 2019. Therefore, we are a bit behind in progress. Given that we have added over $50,000 of capital to purchase more dividend paying stocks in the past 6 months, I expect to receive more dividend income in the 2H of 2019.
  • Max out RRSP contributions -> Complete! We maxed out our 2018 RRSP contribution in early Feb 2019.
  • Travel Hack 100,000 Marriott rewards points -> Complete! With big a number of planned big expenses, Mrs. T and I applied for the American Express Bonvoy credit cards, so we can meet the spending requirements and receive the welcome bonus points. I have also applied for the TD First Glass Travel Visa Infinite Card and hit the spending requirement to get the welcome points. After 6 months, we have received a total of 171,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (71,000 points haven’t posted on our Marriott accounts yet) and 80,000 TD rewards points. Marriott Bonvoy points are worth approximately $0.008 per point and TD rewards are worth $0.005 per point. This means we have travel hacked and earned ourselves about $1,768 so far. With more planned expenses coming up like car insurance and house insurance, we probably will be applying for more credit cards to get more rewards points. In case you’re wondering, travel hacking was how we went to Maui for free and stayed at a luxurious Marriott resort for 12 nights for free (saved us over $10,000). If you always pay off your credit card balance in full each month, I think it totally makes sense to apply for rewards credit cards and earn yourself some rewards points. In case you’re interested, you can apply the American Express Bonvoy personal card with my referral code. By spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, you will receive 51,000 in Marriott Bonvoy points, good enough for 3 nights at a Category 2 hotel.
  • Dividend Income/Annual Expenses ratio 50% ->  38.4%. This was a very ambitious goal and clearly we are behind progress on this one. We had a few big expenses in Q2, which unfortunately lowered our dividend income/annual expenses ratio.

Blog Goals

  • Publish 6 high-quality articles every month ->  50% complete. I published 6 articles every month in Q2. I need to continue publishing 6 articles each month for the rest of the year.
  • Attend FinCon’19 -> 50%. I have booked my flight to Washington DC and booked 3 days off work. Now I just need to physically attend this amazing conference. I’m very much looking forward to hanging out and network with a bunch personal finance bloggers.
  • Attend CPFC’19 ->  I have no idea when CPFC (Canadian Personal Finance Conference) will be this year. My plan is to attend this conference this year to network with other Canadian personal finance bloggers and meet with the different Canadian financial brands. Once more information is available, I’ll determine whether I can attend or not.
  • Organize a meetup in Vancouver -> WIP. I have contacted a number of PF/FIRE bloggers based in metro Vancouver on a potential bloggers meetup in July. Would be nice to finally meet some of these bloggers in person.

Personal Goals

  • Eat better & healthier, avoid snacks at night. Weigh 70 kg by the end of 2019 ->  76.7kg. In Q1 I weighed 75.5kg and by the end of Q2 I actually gained 1.2kg (2.65 lbs). It sucks to see that the weight is going the opposite direction than desired but my clothes have been fitting better so that’s a good sign. On July 1st I have started intermittent fasting again. Hopefully this will help with my weight reduction.
  • Go swimming at least once each week. Swim for 100 km in 2019 -> 71.7%. At least once a week, I’d get up at 5:40 AM to go swimming for at least 2 km. Usually 2 km would take me about 50 minutes with breaststroke. I’m quite happy with my progress. When I set the 100 km goal at the beginning of the year, I thought it would be a huge challenge to swim that much for a year. Now, I have no doubt I will exceed this goal by the end of the year. One thing I would love is to learn how to swim freestyle properly. I guess I should focus spending more time on practising freestyle in 2H of 2019 rather focusing on than the distance.
  • Go to gym at least twice each week ->  50% complete. I have been consistently going to gym at least twice each week. I am definitely seeing improvements in my body. Lately I have changed my workout routine to make sure I target the entire body during each workout. Clothes and pants are fitting looser. So loose I had to get new clothes.
  • Read 15 books ->  Complete! After finishing 8 books in Q1, I finished reading 7 books in Q2. My favourite books that I read in Q2 were Evicted and Educated. The 7 books I read were:
    • The Transformed Mind: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness: Baby T1.0 picked out this book for me from the bookstore. The book outlined teachings from Dalai Lama. After struggled with some mental wellness through 2018 and this year, it was helpful for me to read this book.
    • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City: Based on true stories, the author Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. It was gut wrenching to read what these families had to go through and the unfair treatments they received from their landlords. I could not believe these were true stories and felt so bad for these families. This is one of my favourite books that I’ve read in 2019. If you haven’t read it, you should. (This book was on Obama’s 2018 reading list).
    • Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: The book started off quite interesting and described what AI could do to improve the society. The book gave great insight on what artificial intelligence may impact our world and some challenges we can face in the future. It was a more “techy” book. If you are interested in AI and technology, this book is a great read. (It was on Obama’s 2018 reading list).
    • There There: The book can be quite confusing as the story evolves around series of characters and eventually brought together at a Native event. It was quite sad reading about what the Native people have to go through in today’s society. (This book was on Obama’s 2018 reading list).
    • Asymmetry: What I really loved about this book was author Lisa Halliday’s elegant and graceful writing style. Maybe I read the book too fast, I did find it slightly confusing while trying to connect the 2 different sections togther. Maybe I need to read the book again and figure out the connections.
    • Educated: A Memoir: If you can only read one book in 2019, this is the book to read! Tara Westover’s story was absolutely amazing and sad at the same time. In case you haven’t heard about the book before, it’s about Tara who was born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, and didn’t step foot in a classroom until she was seventeen. Through her quest for knowledge, she was transformed and received a PhD from Cambridge University.
    • Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love: Mrs. T and I attended The Gottman Institute’s Couples Workshop in April to work and improve on our marriage. During the workshop, the instructors mentioned this book, and I was intrigued. Eight Dates is the latest book from John and Julie Gottman that provided interactive activities/exercises and 8 date ideas to help couples to improve their relationships. If you’re in a relationship, I recommend reading this book and do the exercises.

Fun Goals

  • Go camping 3 times ->  Complete! We went camping 3 times in Q2. We may go camping a few more times in Q3, we’ll see.
  • 1 staycation with Mrs. T -> Complete! Mrs. T and I went for a weekend kids-free staycation in April and stayed at the fabulous JW Marriott Parq Vancouver. We even got upgrade to a suite! We had a lovely time together. Definitely needed to thank my parents for looking after Baby T1.0 and Baby T2.0 so we can go on a weekend stayaction together.

Q2 2019 Wrap up

With Q2 2019 in the books, I have completed 5 out of 15 goals. I think I did pretty good! I’m very pleased that I am way ahead of the 100 km swimming goal. One thing we definitely need to work on is generating more dividend income and reducing our expenses. It will be extremely challenging to hit the 50% dividend income/annual expenses ratio.

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Joe
    July 15, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Looks like you’re doing quite well. Nice job.
    The weight loss goal is tough especially if you go to the gym more often. You’re probably gaining muscle.
    That usually increase your weight. Keep at it!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 15, 2019 at 10:09 am

      Thanks Joe. Yea probably been gaining muscle mass. The other day I was stretching by putting my hands on top of my head. My wife was like “Are those mosquito bites on your arms?” She was referring to my biceps… Haha!

  • Reply
    Chris @ Mindful Explorer
    July 15, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Love the update Bob, also great to see those fitness goals in there. Stoked for you most likely gaining muscle mass in the upper body from swimming each day while loosing body fat lower body affecting clothing.

    Looking forward to the blogger meet-up and hope I can make something work out there.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 15, 2019 at 10:10 am

      Thanks Chris. It’s been inspiring to keep track of the goals and see how much I have accomplished. I think I’m gaining muscle mass and loosing body fat too. It’s a good sign for sure!

      Hopefully you can come to the meetup!

  • Reply
    Heather
    July 15, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    I like the idea of travel hacking, but what do you do with the credit cards after you’ve used the points? Do you cancel them? Are they free cards or do they have an annual fee?

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 16, 2019 at 8:46 am

      Hi Heather,

      For the most part we cancel them but some of them we keep. For example the Amex Bonvoy card gives you a free night of stay up every year. We figure that’s worth paying the annual fee.

  • Reply
    Dividend Diplomats
    July 17, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Tawcan –

    One helluva half year! That book goal is impressive, something that I haven’t made time for this year, but plan on doing so by the 4th quarter.

    Congrats, again, on two quarters in for 2019! Keep grinding away Tawcan, excited to see where you end up.

    -Lanny

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 18, 2019 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Lanny. It’s been great to read some non-personal finance books. Expanding my horizon.

  • Reply
    GYM
    July 18, 2019 at 12:30 am

    Wow you’re doing great, keep up the great job, there’s lots of goals there!

    The Marriott Bonvoy card- isn’t there an annual fee for it? I have yet to sign up for this. I still need to transfer our Amex MR points to Marriott.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 18, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Thanks GYM. I like to challenge myself.

      Yes the Bonvoy card has an annual fee but you get a free night certificate up to 35,000 points. For 35k Bonvoy points that’s good for one night at Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. When we redeemed the certificate a few months ago, the night rate was over $450 a night. So that was well worth the annual fee.

      • Reply
        GYM
        July 18, 2019 at 9:16 pm

        That’s great! I should probably get that card soon haha.

  • Reply
    EFI
    July 18, 2019 at 8:11 am

    This is a great goal/update format. I love the diversity of goals – financial, business, and personal health. You’ve had a great first half of the year. Best of luck on the second half. It looks like you’ve got a great shot at hitting them all.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      July 18, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Thank you EFI. I wanted to make sure the goals are diversified.

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