Didn’t March just start a week ago?
I can’t decide which is more fleeting TIME or MONEY. If you’re not intentional with either, they can be gone in the blink of any eye, or so it seems. The difference is that you can always make more money, you can’t make more time.
You see money can be SPENT or SAVED.
Time on the other hand can only be spent. You can’t save time and once you spend it, it is gone forever.
This blog spends a lot of time talking about money, but at the end of the day, money is a means to an end. It’s really about the FREEDOM that money provides in how you choose to spend your PRECIOUS time. Time is the true scarce resource.
Are you spending your time to build your dreams? Are you spending your time with the people you love? Are you spending your time doing the things that bring you joy? Are you spending your time with intention?
YOU SHOULD BE!
The average life span is 28,740 days (79 years old) and 36,500 days (100 years old) if you’re lucky.
As of 2010 there were only 53,364 Centenarians in the US, with a population in excess of 300 million people. Yes, average lifespans have been increasing due to advances in technology and medicine, but still 100 years can go by so fast.
Let’s say you know you will live to 100 and today you’re 65. You think to yourself “I still have 35 years,” that’s only 12,775 days, compared to the 23,725 you’ve already lived. If you thought the first 65 went fast, how fast do you think your last 35 will go?
This isn’t to scare you. This is to remind each of us of our own mortality and the scarcity of time. It’s a reminder to be spending our time the way we choose. Taking an active role in our lives and not a passive one. About 4-5 years ago I came across a blog post from an ex-Navy Seal who used to keep what he called a Momento Mori (means “remember your mortality” in Latin) Chart. This was his way of spending his time with intention and treating it like the scarce resource it was.
I too have kept a Momento Mori chart since then and even wrote about it if your interested in learning more.
A part of the reason I am so fanatical about setting goals is to be sure I am spending my time pursuing things that bring meaning to my life.
How will you spend your time?
Where are we?
As I write this monthly goal check-in we are officially 91 days into 2016 (or ~25% complete). Most people started the year off strong with their New Year’s resolutions for 2016. Well, at least the 45% of people who actually set New Year’s resolutions (US based statistics). The low participation rate isn’t even the worst news, of those 45%, 1 in 3 have already given up by the end of January. This means that 70% of Americans have already failed either by default or giving up.
I don’t want you or I to be a part of that 70% group. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably still on track and fired up to reach your goals, I know I am!
If you’ve hit a bit of a speed bump from coming out of the gate too hard, use this post as a reminder that there are still 9 months left in the year. Don’t give up! Remember that when the going gets tough, the tough keep going.
This is also the perfect time for me to encourage you to check-in on the progress you have already made in your own goals this year. If you set measurable goals, this should be rather easy. And if you set up the right tracking system, it shouldn’t take long to evaluate where you are.
We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day or a week, but you would be surprised at what is possible over the course of a month and a single year.
We have 366 days in 2016. That is 366 opportunities to make forward progress on our goals. Some days are going to be better than others, it’s the nature of the game. The key is to keep it fun and remember life is just one big game. With 91 days behind us, that is 25% complete, which leaves us with 75% of runway left to make our goals a reality.
When you have a bad day, don’t give up, get up and shake it off as you continue moving forward. Remember tomorrow is another day and another opportunity.
Lastly, it is also a perfect opportunity to review the goals on your list to ensure they are still important to you. Sometimes we put goals on our list that seemed really important at the time, but lose that importance over time. I am not saying you should quit on a goal just because you’re not seeing the progress you wanted to see by now, but to make sure you’re going after things that matter to you. It’s okay to realize that you put down the wrong goals.
Is it time for a pivot? A tweak? Or maybe it’s time to strike one of those goals off your list.
My Personal Accountability & Check-in
Below is where I stand with the 12 goals I set for 2016. You can see that I have added some additional color formatting to visually see the progress made in each passing month.
My initial assessment when looking at this, is that I have made some really solid progress, but am behind pace in a few goals.
Let’s briefly take a look at each one:
Goal #1 [250 CrossFit/Hot Yoga Workouts or More, 18.8%] – My plan for March was to get 23 workouts in but only ended up with 16, which was one more than February, and tied with January. I had every intention to get all 23 workouts in, but then with about 10 days to go, I hurt my back using sloppy form on a technical lift. I am not sure how long this is going to take to heal, but I plan to just do my best. I am hoping after taking the first week in April off, that I will be able to get back at it hard.
Goal #2 [250 Days Eating Primal or More, 16.8%] – This is a goal that I have decided is no longer important and I am no longer pursuing. I alluded to this last month and promised to make a decision by this check-in. It’s officially a dead goal.
Goal #3 [Earn $270K in Gross Income or More, 39.6%] – We ended up setting a record for earnings in a 3-month period at $107,000 for Q1 of 2016.
I am currently forecasting a significant beat to this goal, with income forecasted at $295,000 for the year (and probably more like $315K). This is mostly due to the fact that Mrs. GYFG has come out of the gate so strong already about $12,000 ahead of pace from our original plan for 2016. But I will warn you that when it comes to forecasting income, she tends to be really conservative, in the business world one might say she was “sand bagging.”
Either way I am a big believer in under-promising and over-delivering.
Goal #4 [Publish 52 new Blog Posts or More, 36.5%] – This goal is ahead of schedule. As tempted as I am to raise the bar here, I don’t want the pressure to put out additional content just for the sake of a goal. My hope is that I put out content that motivates, inspires, informs, and moves you to action. Or at the very least gets the ideas flowing.
Goal #5 [Pay Down Mortgage Principle by $25,000 or More, 32%] – March marked the third month of year two in our accelerated plan to pay down our mortgage. We are now amortizing the mortgage on our primary residence at $2,200/month and $500/month on our investment condo.
We will actually blow this goal out of the water by this time next month. We are currently in the middle of a cash-in refinance on our primary residence that will put us over 100% completion, as we will be bringing in close to $21,000 to raise our loan to value to 80%.
Goal #6 [Contribute $24,650 to Pre-Tax Accounts, 36%] – This along is pretty much on auto pilot. Not much to think about here.
Goal #7 [Vacation 21 days or More with My Wife, Friends, and Family, 23.8%] – I snuck in 3 unplanned days off. What started out as 1-day of deloading, quickly turned into 3-days, and boy was it just what the doctor ordered. I spent 3-days doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. The first day included sleeping for 14 hours, which never happens. I also spent very little time looking at a screen or consuming much. Lots of time for reflection and relaxation.
In 2017, Mrs. GYFG and I, are going to attempt to take 1 week off per quarter. Regardless of whether we have any sort of vacation planned.
Goal #8 [Save 50% or More of After Tax Income, 100%] – This will be something that moves around each month. I just finished putting together my March 2016 financial report that has us forecasted to hit our 50% goal, but the reading for March itself is 23%.
Goal #9 [Write 12 Posts on Other Blogs, 25%] – Three guest posts have been submitted and published. Here they are if you would like to take a read:
Goal #10 [250 Entries or More in Wife Gratitude Journal, 12%] – Progress this month, but behind pace. I should really be at 25% with this one. But I have tried to keep it very organic and writing things as they naturally come to me.
Goal #11 [Increase Net Worth by $112,000 to $430,000 by 12/31/16 or More, 45.5%] – We have increased our net worth by $51,000 so far in 2016.
Goal #12 [Earn $12,000 in the Blog, 16.7%] – This is a lifetime income goal. We have officially hit over $2,000. Now working to get that 3rd X.
Goal 13 – Earn VP Title [Bonus Goal] – I was recently informed of leadership training that I will be going through over the next 6 months to ready me for this promotion. Essentially, the VP of HR will let management know when he thinks I am ready as we move through the training.
That is where I am at so far in 2016. I am very pleased with the progress I have made and am very much looking forward to updating everyone in another month. In the meantime keep charging forward with your own goals. Don’t give in or surrender. Take it one day at a time. Measure your progress and I promise you will surprise yourself with what you can accomplish in month, quarter, and year.
Sometimes the progress we make doesn’t seem visible or worth the effort. But over time it really starts to add up and compound. Think about it this way…imagine you are trying to improve just 0.3% per day. That is not a visible amount of improvement, but it adds up to almost 1% improvement every 3 days, and by the end of the year you will have improved over 100%.
Onward & Upward!
– Gen Y Finance Guy
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