2019 Goal Review

Throughout 2019, a group of friends and I participated in a monthly review of our goals. We would share progress, set backs, and any new ideas. I found this monthly review incredibly helpful to keep the goal at the forefront of my mind and to ensure that my actions worked towards acheiving them.

Below is a summary of how my 2019 goals went. I had most from the very start of 2019 and a few were added throughout.

  • Save 40% of income
    • Did not complete. I saved 18.2%. Last year I saved 48%, but as you will see below in my expense graph, living out of home definitely didn’t contribute to this, and whilst I did save some money, the rent and home expenses accounted for 27% of my spending. The entertainment and holiday expenses were also quite high, but they were very well spent. I definitely need to work on lowering my transport cost ($6,000) which doesn’t include any bicycle costs. This involved car servicing, registration, insurance, petrol, and any buses or rideshare that I did. I am also a bit shocked about a few other things like groceries – which doesn’t include eating out. Also with the addition of my half-ironman goal, this required a lot of expenses with equipment, memberships, event cost, etc. Given that this savings goal and financial independence is my major priority in my life, this just wasn’t good enough and will only prolong my goal. I will be majorly focused on lowering unnecessary expenses in 2020 to achieve my ultimate goal of being financially independent by age 40.
  • Build savings to $30,000
    • Due to not completing the above, and changing my strategy with investing, I did not complete this either.
  • Build investment portfolio to $40,000
    • Completed. I redirected my savings that weren’t earning me anything into my investing portfolio and I’m happy to say that it has crossed the $40,000 threshold.
  • Never miss 3 days in a row of working out
    • This was originally specific to strength training, which I successfully completed this for the first 6 months of the year. However, with the addition of the goal below, this changed to include cycling, running, and swimming, which I completed due to the high levels of training. I didn’t keep the strength training up as planned, but I had to choose between strength training and longer distance cardio, and I chose cardio to ensure my best performance for the race.
  • Complete the Western Sydney half-ironman in under 6 hours
    • Completed. From beginning this goal after the recovery of my broken arm, I put the following hours and distance into training:
      • Swim: 3h 41min – 9.65km
      • Bike: 31h 48min – 681km
      • Run: 23h 48min – 229km
    • This effort helped me to achieve my desired goal with a final time of 5h 57min. My only regret is that I didn’t train harder and longer, but super happy with my result.
  • Read 20 books
    • Completed. I read a total of 31 books over 2019, the majority being audiobooks. The titles I read are:
      • The road to financial freedom – Bodo Schafer
      • Homo deus: a history of tomorrow – Yuval Noah Harari
      • Shoe dog – Phil Knight
      • The graveyard book – Neil Gaiman
      • Thanks a thousand – A.J. Jacobs
      • It’s all relative – A.J. Jacobs
      • No more mr. nice guy – Robert A. Glover
      • Alibaba – Duncan Clark
      • Atomic habits – James Clear
      • Millionaire success habits – Dean Graziosi
      • A random walk down wall street – Burton G. Malkiel
      • The 10X rule – Grant Cardone
      • Be obsessed or be average – Grant Cardone
      • The millionaire booklet – Grant Cardone
      • High performance habits – Brendon Burchard
      • The alter ego effect – Todd Herman
      • The millionaire next door – Thomas J. Stanley
      • Finding ultra – Rich Roll
      • Deep work – Cal Newport
      • The world’s fittest book – Ross Edgley
      • Leonardo da Vinci – Walter Isaacson
      • Can’t hurt me (x2) – David Goggins
      • Financial freedom – Grant Sabatier
      • The way of the superior man (x2) – David Deida
      • The school of greatness – Lewis Howes
      • The bogleheads’ guide to investing – Taylor Larimore
      • Mating in captivity – Esther Perel
      • The four pillars of investing – William J. Bernstein
      • Man’s search for meaning – Victor E. Frankl
    • Favourite book: Can’t hurt me by David Goggins. Least favourite: No more mr. nice guy by Robert Glover.
  • Reduce useless time on phone/social media
    • Completed. I unliked and unfollowed useless pages that I didn’t care about and only kept informative and followed my favourite people. I no longer just scroll facebook when I’m bored. I also use social media a lot for promoting PedalPay.
  • Volunteer once a month
    • I successfully completed this 5 times out of 12 during 2019. However, I did not manage to line something up for the remaining months. I enjoyed this goal, and I enjoyed helping out when I can.
  • Work on credit score
    • Completed. I applied for 2 credit cards and they have been working well for bonus points and my credit score. I am unsure whether it has improved my credit score, but I didn’t even have a credit score prior to 2019. Using Get Credit Score, my current credit score is 701 – with a good credit score being between 622 to 725. My repayment history for my credit cards is a bonus, and what is bringing my score down is the length of time I’ve had a credit score (technically since getting my cards in August).
  • Start PedalPay
    • Completed. In September we launched PedalPay (www.pedalpay.com.au) Really happy about this. It was officially started in September, and as at November 2019, there are 3 stores partnered with PedalPay and 53 people using PedalPay. Really excited to see how this goes in 2020.
  • Secure an ongoing career position
    • Completed. After starting as a non-ongoing in November 2018, I successfully gained a promotion and an ongoing position in April 2019.
  • Finish photo album of Europe
    • Completed in time for my partner’s birthday in August. Many hours went into this, but it was really worth it, all 650 pages.
  • Create a website/blog to record my self-experimentation
    • Completed. In July I launched Nathan Challenges Life (www.nathanchallengeslife.com). I didn’t get around to uploading anything further other than one of my previous challenges. I have a lot of plans for 2020 with this.
  • Stop biting fingers and finger nails
    • I haven’t completed this. I tried many things, including a very expensive hypnotherapy session ($450), but it hasn’t seemed to work. At the moment, my nails are going very well, but I still have trouble with my fingers. Unsure about what to do next year, but I’m going to really try to nail this starting 2020.
  • Have a six-pack by 2020
    • I haven’t completed this, and this one is tricky to find an end point. I have been documenting my progress on Instagram at @veganbirdman. Whilst there has definitely been some improvement since starting in August (started at 88kg and ~22% body fat, currently at 81.6kg and 19% bodyfat), I will need to lose a lot more bodyfat to really see my six pack how I would like it (visible outlines of abs). I will need to be around a maximum of 15-16% for that. I will continue to work on this throughout 2020.
  • Experiences:
  • Go surfing
  • Go to the great barrier reef
  • Try flipping (buying garage sale items and selling for a profit)
    • Successfully started flipping garage sale items in 2019. Currently, I have spent $190 on buying items, and I’ve made a total return (including shipping costs and eBay selling fees) of $526 (277%). Not bad for a bit of weekend side-hustle. I’ll need to spend a bit of time re-uploading my items to eBay and Facebook marketplace to try to sell a few more items as there are many items still not sold.

Stay tuned as I will be posting and reviewing my goals for 2020!


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