2021 Goal Progress – July and 6 Month Review

Can’t believe we are already half-way through 2021. It’s gone so quickly! I’ve managed to achieve a lot in the first 6 months of 2021 and I’ve got a long way to go for a number of my goals for them to be achieved by the end of 2021. If you’re a fan of numbers, graphs and tables, you’ll love this post!

Now is a great time to look back at what I’ve done well, not done so well, and most importantly how I can improve my progress to give myself the best chance at achieving my goals this year.

If you want to see my goals for 2021 and original starting points, with more explanation and background, check out my Goals for 2021 post.

For my mid-year goal review of 2021, read on below! This post contains an update from June to July as well as my thoughts and review of the previous 6 months. Overall I’m quite happy with how most of my goals have progressed. There is of course a lot of work to be done to catch up on a few that fell behind, but I believe with the right focus and determination I’ll be able to get most of these goals achieved!


Grow Net Worth to $200,000

  • At the 1st of July, my net worth is at $124,858 (a decrease of 0.4% from June).
  • Lately, I have been placing any spare money (very little) into my house deposit rather than investing it. While the value in cash hasn’t gone up or down relative to how much I’ve put in, due to some decreases in markets and lowering some of my investments, my net worth unfortunately decreased over June.
  • Later in July or early August, I should be able to complete my tax return which will help to decrease my HECS payment. I’m not expecting any tax return but there may be a slight return due to some expenses as a result of my Personal Training business, Nathan’s Mobile PT. It will be interesting to see how that goes.
  • Check out below for a graph of my net worth and also a table showing exactly what my net worth consists of.
  • If you were interested in how I grew my net worth over the past few years, check out the video I made here.
  • At the start of 2021 my networth has increased from $94,555 to $124,858. That’s a year to date increase of $30,303 or 32%! I’m quite happy with that. There has been a few really good months and few pretty mediocre months, but on average, my net worth has increased 5.3% per month every month. That’s awesome!
  • To reach my goal of $200,000 by the end of 2021, this will need to increase quite a lot more. If it grows as it has in the first 6 months, it will reach a total value of $164,812. While that’s awesome to see, I will need to work out a way to increase it faster to reach my goal. While some of it is dependent on the market at the time, most of it will be due to increasing my savings rate and investing.
  • I’m still confident that I can reach my goal, but it will require more work and more realistically increasing my income to save more (which has been going well with my PT business).

Grow Self Wealth Portfolio to $100,000

  • My investment portfolio is now sitting at $56,569.20. There was a decrease from my value at June due to removing the last holdings for my house deposit. Therefore, looking at my investment portfolio growth since 2021, it has decreased from $68,449.52 to $56,569.20. This is of course in the wrong direction to my goal, which is a bit upsetting haha. However, this original value did include my house deposit savings, and therefore has caused the values to be skewed.
  • The current value reflects my long-term investment holdings which I am looking to grow to become financially independent.
  • Every year, I like to login to ShareSight and work out exactly how my portfolio is performing taking into account buying and selling, dividends, capital gains and anything else. While I have also made many other investments over the years, this reflects my portfolio performance of my main investment account that I’m growing to become financially independent. Therefore, it does not include other investments or crypto, for example.
  • I am still very keen to reach $100,000 in my long-term portfolio, but it will require a lot of work to reach it by 2021.
  • After inputting data into ShareSight, the below graph shows my portfolio performance since 2021 and then my total portfolio performance since inception:
My performance for the past 6 months is not great. While 3.84% is actually not bad compared to a normal bank account, due to a few holdings declining in value, the overall performance could have been a lot better. However, investing is a long term game, the market can fluctuate like crazy in short time intervals.
However, when looking at my total portfolio performance, there is a different picture. My overall return, taking into account sold shares, has given a return of 12.87% per year. I’m really happy with that as my aim is at least 6% (6% has been used in all of my FIRE calculations for early retirement). I’ve compared this to an awesome benchmark, VDHG, which represents a great picture of the diversified world market. I’ve made a few mistakes along the way, but I’m happy with where I’m at.

Spend a Maximum of $30,000

  • June was a pretty average month of spending, but I still didn’t manage to stay under my budget of $2,500.
  • Spending was at $3,820 – due mainly to a new phone which was required, but also many other expenses were high. This brings my yearly balance even lower to -11,216 when looking at my monthly budget balance of $2,500.
  • Savings rate for June was 46.1% – so on a savings rate basis, it was quite good!
  • See below for a chart of expenses:
  • From above, you can see that other expenses like my PT business, car, groceries, eating out, etc were all higher than my average month.
  • When looking at my expenses across the first 6 months, you can see that my rent is by far the highest (except for my motorbike which is accounting for a large initial purchase):
My monthly average expenses so far for 2021. I’m not surprised by any of the numbers here. On a monthly basis, it’s not too bad, there are definitely areas that could be a little bit lower like eating/drinking out and shopping/items – but I’m 100% sure that most of those expenses have brought joy to my life in one way or another (maybe not so sure on shopping/items but I do prefer to buy higher quality stuff when I do).
Same table as above if you prefer to visualise numbers in a graph 😛 It’s pretty easy to see that Rent still dominates most other expenses. I’m happy with my other expenses year to date. Eating and drinking (basically zero drinking) expenses are quite high, which I could probably limit a little.
  • When looking at my spending totals month per month, I can see that my savings rate is at 35.2% which is quite good to see even considering my motorbike. This would also be helped due to Nathan’s Mobile PT providing some additional income per month as well:
I’m quite happy about my savings rate for the first 6 months of the year. It has fluctuated from 69% a month down to 0.2%…. I’m hoping that the rest of the year I can really keep those numbers higher.
  • So overall, my goal of only spending $2,500 is not working quite as expected. I have only achieved this once over the past 6 months of 2021. Doing some quick maths, to meet my goal of only spending $30,000 per year, for the next 6 months I can only spend up to $666 per month… not that great of a chance if my rent is $900 lol… I’ll still be aiming to keep spending below $2,500 but it’s proving to be quite difficult.

Grow House Deposit to $40,000

  • Over June, my house deposit grew from $27,275 to $33,097. This was due to selling off the last of my house deposit investments. That brings me to a pretty good position at the 6 month mark for this goal.
  • From the start of 2021, I’m managed to grow this from $16,500 to $33,000 😀 I’m really happy with that and it will be awesome to reach my goal for this year.
  • I will definitely be aiming to reach this goal in the next few months if I can save more. Once I reach it, I can then put money back into my main portfolio.


Increase Strength Across the Major Powerlifting Movements, Reassessed Every 3 Months

  • For 2021, I wanted to focus on building strength, rather than focusing purely on hypertrophy. So I trained 5×5 and focused more towards powerlifting movements. I created a few different strength goals outlined below, showing my starting, current, and goal.
  • Current lifts and goals are updated as below:
    • Squat (reach 120kg – started at currently at 95kg – haven’t tested one rep max)
    • Bench Press (reach 95kg – started at 82.5kg – currently at 87.5kg – 15 April 2021)
    • Deadlift (reach 160kg – currently at 140kg – haven’t tested one rep max)
    • Overhead Press (reach 70kg – started at 57.5kg – currently at 60kg – 15 May 2021)
  • Over the first six months, I managed to grow my bench by 5kg and my overhead press by 2.5kg. I was on track for testing squat and deadlift but lately I’ve been neglecting the gym and definitely haven’t been going as much as I’d like. I’m still working towards improving these lifts over the next 6 months, but I really need to ensure I have enough sessions in the gym per week.

Increase Lean Muscle Mass

  • Current lean muscle mass is 65.3kg (+0.2kg from June).
  • Weight is sitting at 91.2kg (+1.6kg from June).
  • Fat mass is 22.5kg (+1.4kg from June).
  • Great to see improvements over the past month in lean muscle mass, but not that great to see an increase in fat mass.
  • At this point in time, I have been thinking it’s time to dial in some of my eating habits and stop just eating whatever I want whenever I want. This has led to me visibly gaining more body fat, and without adequate sessions in the gym, probably leading to stabilised muscle mass and in the worst case scenario, muscle loss. From the numbers, that hasn’t happened yet, but that would be a pretty bad situation.
  • For the 6 month point, I’ve definitely made progress in increasing lean muscle mass, according to my scales.
    • For lean muscle mass, I started at 63.5kg and now sitting at 65.3kg (+1.8kg over 6 months).
    • For weight, I started at 83.9kg and now sitting at 92.1kg (+8.2kg over 6 months).
    • For fat mass, I started at 17.1kg and now sitting at 22.5kg (+5.4kg over 6 months).
  • From those numbers above, I’m definitely achieving this goal. While my focus is purely on building lean muscle mass, I do notice that my fat mass has increased more so than muscle (which does happen if diet isn’t under control (and also less than ideal gym exposure)). I am very happy about seeing a 1.8kg increase in lean muscle mass – and given my time in the gym over the past 7-8 years or so, I can expect this number to be fairly small unless I really dedicated myself to the gym and a meal plan.

Nathan Challenges Life

Grow YouTube Channel to 1,000 Subscribers and Reach 4,000 Watch Hours (monetisation criteria)

  • Current subscribers = 350 (+22 from June)
  • Watch hours = 728 (+46.5 over June)
  • June was a pretty average month, managed to achieve a decent amount of view and create some videos. As shown by the stats for June below:
  • When looking at my 6 month progress for my YouTube channel below, it is awesome to see that I got over 20,000 views!
  • This has definitely helped towards my goal of monetisation in 2021. I’m still far away from it, but 510 watch hours out of 4000 is just a small step of progress on the way there. My views over this period have been pretty steady as shown from the graph above, with some spikes. Unfortunately none of my videos have gone viral, but that’s just YouTube for you – and I’ll just keep creating videos to get there. My subscribers unfortunately hasn’t increased that much since the start of the year – it’s great to see them increase nonetheless! I’m not focusing too much on my subscriber number, more so on the quailty of my content.

Publish 100 Videos on my YouTube Channel

  • Videos = 74 (+3 over June).
  • June was an alright month for making videos – I am aiming for one per week, so 3 was quite good for the month. But you can see from the graph above that I’ve been struggling to commit time to this with everything else going on.
  • For 2021, I’ve published a total of 24 videos, including YouTube Shorts (videos <1min). I’m happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish so far given YouTube hasn’t been my greatest priority.
  • I’m still aiming for 100 videos by the end of 2021 – and I’ve got soo many video ideas. Due to the time it takes to plan and create a video, I haven’t been able to commit as much time as I’d like towards this.

Write 50 Blog Posts on Nathan Challenges Life

  • In June, I didn’t write any articles on my Medium profile here
  • If I had to choose a goal that I haven’t been working towards, it’s this one. Late last year I got inspired to write very short blog posts and publish them on Medium (can’t disagree that this was because I saw people making money from it). I’ve made like $0.10 from people reading my articles. This wasn’t the only reason I got into it, I’ve always been a fan of Tim Ferriss, and I loved how you could look over his website and see all the awesome stuff he was getting up to through his blog posts. For the blog posts I’ve written, I’ve had a lot of fun with them – but like above, this has been pushed aside in priorities.
  • In 2021, I’ve managed to write 15 blog posts on Medium. Not too far off from my goal. I’d say that my blog posts take on average between 20-30 minutes to write. I’ve tried scheduling time into my calendar but I’ve always pushed it back late and then when it pops up that it’s time to write something, it’s usually my bed time (due to goal below).
  • I will still be aiming for more blog posts, I’m unsure if I can reach 50, but considering they are shorter, I could definitely spend some time a knock out a few ideas I’ve got in mind.

Personal Development

Create Nathan’s Mobile PT and Gain 5 Regular ClientsDONE!

  • I achieved this goal in May, but thought I’d provide a short update.
  • I’ve currently got 7 clients at this stage, and to fit everyone in, I’m training two people every weekday morning between 6-9am.
  • I’ve really been enjoying this whole thing and helping people work towards their fitness goals. I’ve got a few clients who have made really good progress in just a short amount of time and I’m keen to see how much more they can improve.
  • This has also been helping to increase my income! Since starting this year and having so many regular clients, I’ve managed to receive $3,999.75 over the past 3-4 months.
  • This whole process is pretty much what I was expecting when I was planning this in late 2020 during my PT training. It’s great to see how far it has come. While it’s far from ready at this point in time, I can definitely see myself building this to a point where I could do this and my normal full time work both part-time. I’d need to expand when I can conduct training sessions as I only have weekday mornings. This could include hiring a casual PT, opening up more times in the morning, or taking a day off work and filling it with PT sessions.

Read 30 Books

  • Currently at 13/30.
  • I’m fairly on track for this goal, with a few books that I’m currently reading. I’ve found some really amazing books this year, a few of my favourite have been:
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson.
    • The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday.
    • Greenlights – Matthew McConaughey.
  • I post all my book reviews on my Goodreads profile – check them out!
  • Recently I’ve been thinking about buying a Kindle – I’d love your thoughts on your experience and any suggestions!


I have been thinking about the things I want to do and try. So for 2021, I’m going to keep a list of things to do throughout the year to make sure I get them done. See below for my current list of things – I may add to this list as time goes on:

  • Test drive a Tesla – DONE (June)!
  • Get my motorbike licence – DONE! (January)
  • Get my full motobike licence (I attended a practice workshop in June which was eeaaaassssyy – I need to book in the final test).
  • Attend a Jiu Jitsu class – I’ve put this off due to COVID concerns.
  • Organise a cycle-touring holiday/trip – I’ve done a bit of research into a few areas, the problem is having the right equipment. I will revisit when the weather is warmer.
  • Attend a CrossFit class (My original booking fell through – need to re-book!).
  • Break a Guinness world record (There are two ideas I’ve thought of, I’ve applied for the documents for one of them, and I’m tossing up the other as it will take up a lot of time – I’ll have a think about it soon. It takes roughly 12 weeks to receive documents to start the record, then more to submit).
  • Complete an obstacle course race – not completed just yet, there are quite limited numbers around me, may need to travel to NSW to complete this (hard at the moment as I don’t have any leave).
  • Go to an escape room

Summary and Final Thoughts for the Rest of 2021

Overall, I think I’ve made decent progress towards a lot of my goals. Some are completed (PT business) and some are far off the mark (spending). There is still 6 months left of 2021, and that is quite a long time to work on and achieve my goals.


If I was to choose my most important goal out of all of them above, it would be to build my investment portfolio to $100,000. This is becuase my ultimate goal is financial independnce, which that portfolio is the main vehicle. For the next 6 months, that needs to be my biggest focus to keep on track. It will be difficult to reach $100,000, but with diligent saving and investing in what I know works, it should be pretty close. My net worth is slowly tracking along but is dependent on pretty much how much I save and invest per month. My savings are going fairly well – but I can definitely improve my savings rate over 2021.


While these goals are tracking quite well – I’ve been neglecting the gym due to either being too busy on a certain day, being lazy, or choosing some other activity… *cough* TV/Movies *cough*… over going to the gym (they take roughly the same amount of time, probably at least an hour all up taking into account the transport there and back and the workout. I need to work on this. Going to the gym more would also help with each of these goals as they are essentially gym dependent.

Nathan Challenges Life

My goals in this area have been going alright, I’ve been making progress towards my YouTube channel and everything has been growing very slowly. I haven’t had the time available to also work on YouTube videos. The process of prepping for a video, creating, then editing, would take at least 4-5 hours per video if not more. I have been publishing videos a few times a month, but I would really like to increase the frequency of videos, to once a week, or at worst, once every 2 weeks. It’s difficult to find the time to commit to this unless I made it much more of a focus and sacrificed a few things that I currently do.

I have also lost a bit of focus towards social media and my website. This is mainly due to just forgetting about it and not planning or thinking about posts.

Personal Development

Nathan’s Mobile PT has been a huge success and I’m happy with how everything is going! This is taking up 2-3 hours in the morning before I start my normal full-time work, and I find it easy to commit time to this. The only downside is due to the nature of it and only training people in the morning, I now need to go to sleep earlier at night so I can wake up early enough (~5am).

Currently, this is making my weekday schedule look like this:

5-9am – Nathan’s Mobile PT
9-5pm – full-time work
5-10pm – everything else

While of course I’ve got some time to work on things, but at the same time, I find myself being pretty lazy/not bothered with doing anything when it comes to about 9pm.

My reading goal is going along well! Lots of books to read and I’ll definitely be reaching this goal by the end of 2021!


These are going alright. Great to see that I achieved some of them so far, and a few others can easily be achieved with a bit of planning and commitment. I have no issues towards these, apart from the world record – we will see how they turn out.

Main Areas of Focus:

  • Saving more money and investing
  • Getting to the gym
  • Committing more time to Nathan Challenges Life (YouTube, website, social media)

That’s my 6 month goal progress review for 2021! Lots of areas to work on, but I’m happy with how everything has gone so far.

I’d love to hear from you! Are there any goals you’re aiming for the 2021 that you haven’t yet achieved?

I love writing these progress posts – it keeps me motivated and I’m able to see where I’m falling behind or which area needs more focus.

Bring on the next 6 months!!


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