Mid-Year Review 2020

Every year I always write my yearly review which goes over my goals, as well as anything interesting that I did during the year. It’s great to determine what you did that made you happy (and do more of it) as well as a great way to recap the year and to review past accomplishments and achievements you made along the way.

This year will be the first time I conduct a mid-year review – focusing mainly on my goal progress. I’m doing this to:

  • analyse my progress towards my goals for the first 6 months of the year.
  • determine exactly what I need to do to reach my goals in the next 6 months.
  • review what has worked well over the year so far.
  • review what I need to do more and less of to make sure I meet my goals.

This is a great way to keep motivated, to push your goals to the front of your mind, and really analyse your behaviour over the past 6 months to make sure you’re on track to achieve everything you want. Remember:

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” – Peter Drucker

If you want a run down what my 2020 goals are, with specific detail in what I want to achieve, check out my original post here: https://nathanchallengeslife.com/2020/01/06/goals-for-2020/

Below is a list of my goals, where I’m currently up to, what I need to do to achieve them in the next 6 months, and what I need to do more/less of to make them happen.

Goals for 2020


  1. Reach a net worth of $100,000
    • Currently at $51,560.71. Unfortunately it decreased by 0.5% since the start of June. Wasn’t a lot of change investment wise, but a slight decrease in cash as well as my HECS debt increasing by 1.8% lowered it a bit.
    • Over the past 6 months, I’ve been able to grow my net worth from $25,677.84 to $51,560.71, an increase of $25,882.87 (50.19%) or $4,313.81 per month.
    • For me to reach my goal by the end of the year, I will need to increase it by $48,439.29 (94%) or $8,073.21 per month. Going from the previous 6 months, I won’t achieve it if I don’t either drastically increase my income or decrease my spending (this will help to increase income / savings rate per month contributing to a positive result). While it’s hard to see how it will go over the next 6 months, if I earn more, save more, my investment portfolios grow, and debts (HECS debt) decrease, I may be able to do it.
    • See below for some details regarding change over the past 6 months:
  1. Grow my Australian investment portfolio to $70,000
    • Currently at $53,682. I’m currently at a total return of 12.9% due to some stock market recovery over the past month.
    • For the first 6 months of the year, I have grown my portfolio from $37,589.66 to $53,682.85. A total increase of $16,092.34 (42.8%).
    • To reach my goal of $70,000 by the end of the year, I will need to increase my portfolio by $16,417.15 – almost exactly how much it has grown over the first 6 months. If I keep doing what I’ve been doing, and hoping that over the next 6 months the market is up, I will be able to reach that goal.
    • However, due to a small change in my goals during June, I have decided saving up to buy a house (see goal #4 below). This will significantly change the trajectory of whether I achieve this goal or not.
    • Check out the graph below of my portolio over the past 6 months, it’s great to see that I’m almost exactly where I was 6 months ago, great to see the fast recovery with my total portfolio value being almost $20,000 more than it was:
  1. Save/invest at least 50% of my income
    • In June, I saved a miserable (-74%). This was due to paying for a certificate IV in fitness ($5,490). Taking this out of the calculation, my June savings rate was 37.5%. Still lower than the planned 50% due to a number of large expenses and dentist costs.
    • For the first 6 months of the year, my savings rate is at 37%, and excluding the fitness course it’s at 52%. This is great to see because it shows that my normal every month spending average has been more than 50% which is hitting my goal. Of course, I’ll take the total savings rate of 37% as it’s more accurate.
    • To make sure I reach my goal, I will need to continue my current spending habits. I don’t foresee any extreme purchase costs, so I don’t see this as an issue just yet. My income is expected to basically stay the same.
    • See below for a run-down of my current spending up to mid-year:

As you can see from above, excluding the fitness course, rent comes in at 31.6% of my current monthly spending – which I can’t do anything about at this stage. To note a couple of things, I haven’t had my own car since February this year, so that has definitely cut down the costs there. I basically don’t spend anything on clothes as I don’t need any new clothes just yet. Everything else has a pretty good monthly cost, although the speding on the bicycle and phone will decrease over the next 6 months (big one-off purchase for bike, and optimising phone plan). Quite happy to see that entertainment, eating/drinking out, and transport are quite low. I can definitely cut down on the shopping/items (mainly increased due to buying a new phone, but any number of things can come up) – need to work on keeping this lower.

For those who love to see graphs, check out below for a graphical representation from the above table:

4. Save for a House Deposit – NEW GOAL

  • I have decided to add another financial/wealth goal to my list. For this goal, I will be trying to save as much as possible towards a house deposit for the future. I don’t have any specific goal number in mind at the moment, but essentially almost all of my saved income will go towards this fund and I’m aiming to get this as high as possible by the end of the year. Given my usual saving of $2,000 per month towards investments, I could theoretically grow this to at least $12,000 by the end of the year. Not a lot, but I’m going to plan more than $2000/month.
  • Currently at $1,035 – let’s get this growing!!!!
  • This means that I won’t be contributing to my investment portfolios as I have been doing for the first 6 months of the year, which will lower my likelihood of achieving goal #2 (reach $70,000 investment portfolio). However, this won’t impact goal #1 ($100,000 net worth) as much as it will contribute to my total net worth (but of course, possibly lower returns than the market).
  • I have decided to keep this in a savings account for two main reasons: growing a savings account with a bank, without making any withdrawals helps the lending process and shows that you can save money (as investments basically don’t mean anything… I know, doesn’t make sense), and having money in the market for only 6 months is very high risk and you could end up with less money than you put in (or more). Generally you need a good 5 years to minimise any volatility in returns.


  1. Lower body fat to 15%
    • At the start of the year, I was at 21%. After being involved with the anytime fitness 8 week challenge, which ended at the end of March, I was down to 18%. I don’t currently know what I am at right now due to my usual body scanner being closed due to COVID-19. They will hopefully be opening soon.
    • Given my current weight and appearance, I would say that I am close to 18%, somewhere between 18-20%.
    • In order to achieve this goal, I will need to strictly follow a meal and exercise regime. The 8 week challenge really helped me to identify meal plans, but I’ve got to keep it consistent.
    • I should be able to reach this goal within 6 months as I only have to drop 3-5% of body fat – but I will need to work really hard and consistently.
  2. Increase lean muscle mass
    • At the start of the year, my fat free mass was 66kg.
    • I’m unable to test it now due to the above reason of the scanner being closed. But if I end the year at or around 15% body fat, without losing too much extra weight, then I will reach this goal.
    • To facilitate this, I will be focusing on being consistent with strength training, focusing on progressive overload and nutrition.
  3. Increase strength across major lifts
    • At the start of the year, my one rep maxes were the following:
      • Squat – currently 80kg
      • Deadlift – currently 130kg
      • Bench press – currently 75kg
      • Overhead press – currently 50kg
    • Due to the pandemic, understandably my strength is probably dropped from the point above due to lack of proper strength training. My plan was to reassess at this point, but it would not be a wise idea to try a one rep max test so shortly after gyms reopening.
    • If I keep up with my training schedule, focusing a bit more on strength, I should be able to increase each of those lifts.


  1. Expand PedalPay (www.pedalpay.com.au)
    • My goal this year was to increase store and customer numbers each month. That hasn’t happened as planned in the first 6 months of the year. Since September 2019, I’ve managed to get 4 stores on board and currently have 66 members joined up through the webiste, which is really awesome to see.
    • Given my original goal, that means having roughly 12 stores signed up by the end of the year, this is definitely possible if I really focus on promotion and contacting stores.
    • For the next 6 months, I’ll need to do a lot more online promotion, more poster, business card, ad awareness strategies, and just simply cold-calling or visiting stores with my idea. Furthermore, I need to spend time engaging with people across social media.
    • I will also continue to post content across PedalPay social media accounts (www.linktr.ee/pedalpay)
  2. Expand Nathan Challenges Life (www.nathanchallengeslife.com)
    • My initial goal for this was to do a 30-day challenge and release the accompanying blog post and video every month. I’ve far exceeded posting videos each month, with a number of 30-day challenges done to date (with 7 so far!). I’ve made 18 videos on YouTube so far which is amazing, as well as posted monthly progress updates for goals and financial independence at my website. Still 5 30-day challenges to finalise and make videos for!
    • I’ve grown to a total of 82 YouTube subscribers, with 7,420 views, 129 likes on Facebook, 142 followers on Instagram, and 50 followers on Twitter. Really great to see how far I’ve come from 0 at the start of the year.
    • I don’t have specific growth goals for this other than reaching 1,000 YouTube subscribers – but I’m not giving myself a determined period for this, I will continue to make videos and share my stuff and hopefully gain followers over time but I don’t want to focus on numbers.
  3. Reduce single-use plastics and non-recycled products
    • Honestly, I haven’t been paying much attention to this goal, probably because of the way I’ve stated it without any real measurement.
    • However, over the past 6 months, I have been doing a small number of things that would help towards this goal. This includes: using my keepcup at cafes to reduce single use coffee cups, eating basically every work lunch meal from a reusable container and rarely eating out, taking reusable grocery bags to the shops, making our own bread at home reducing the plastic packaging of store bought bread, buying tooth paste powder in a glass jar, refilling soaps and cleaning products at bulk food stores using the same packages,
  4. Reduce consumption of added sugar in foods and drinks (added: choosing the non-sugar option when possible)
    • Similar to above with this goal, it’s pretty vague and without a solid measurement. However, I have chosen the non-sugar option for drinks a number of times.
    • From this point onwards, this goal will be updated to state that I will choose the non-sugar option at all times when possible.
    • Furthermore, due to recent dentist concerns, this goal is more important than ever and I really need to reduce added sugar (and carbonated drinks).
  5. Read 25 books
    • At this stage, I’m currently at 13 of 25 books read (more than half way… just!!!).
    • I’ll need to keep up my reading level, or increase it over the next 6 months depending on what I read and the medium I choose (audiobook / physical / ebook).
    • Currently reading Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, Unshakeable by Tony Robbins, Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson and a number of other books.

That’s it for my mid-year review! Making some solid progress on a number of my goals, but definitely recognise that some need much more attention or just more commitment to make them happen.

Really keen to see where I am at the end of the year!

How has yours gone?


2 thoughts on “Mid-Year Review 2020

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