I’d say this post was inspired by a DMX song but I don’t want to scare anyone off before they even start reading. The only thing inspired by DMX is the title of this post.
I figured that since we are eight months into the years as I peck at the keyboard today it would be a good time to see how much progress has been made towards the goals I set for 2018. This isn’t the first time I have reviewed the goals since setting them, it’s just time I’ve provided an update on the blog.
It’s important to remember that setting a goal is only step zero. You then have to take daily action to achieve your goals. This requires constant review. As a reminder, here is what I had to say on goal setting late last year:
Writing (or typing) out your goals and then reviewing them on a regular basis, keeps them top of mind. It is not just the mere act of writing them down that makes setting goals so powerful. It’s the daily review that keeps you in achievement mode. This daily practice is the first step in success. You start to visualize yourself accomplishing your goals, and your subconscious continues to work around the clock to find a way to ensure success with enough repetitions. Some people call this “the law of attraction,” but if that is a little too hokey for you, I tell people that your focus goes where your energy flows.
I’ve been working diligently in turning my goals into reality these past eight months. I hope you have, too! I hope you didn’t just set the goals and then forget about them. I really hope you didn’t give up on your goals either.
By the time this post goes to press you will have three months left to get your goals over the finish line.
My 2018 Goals in Review
(1) Strengthen my relationship with Mrs. GYFG [Grade: A]
a. I’m going to schedule two date nights per month. We are both very busy working professionals and have a very active social life with friends and family. It has gotten to the point that we need to make sure we carve out time for just the two of us.
[I actually ended up blocking out Fridays every week for “our time.” This has ensured that we get at least two date nights per month and many times three to four.]
b. Convert our bonus room into a movie room. Our bonus room has been empty for nearly four years. Mrs. GYFG has wanted to set this room up for a while, but she wants to do it together. I usually pass on home projects, but I know it’s important to her, so I am going to be actively involved. We have already ordered the 75″ TV and wrap-around couch that will be the foundation of the room.
[We finished getting this set up in later January. The TV is massive and great for watching movies. We also put in a huge wraparound coach with an oversized ottoman. The one thing that is still missing is a little concession stand with drinks, popcorn machine, and candy bar (maybe next year).]
c. Tackle a home office project. One of the rooms in our house is dedicated as an office, library, and craft room. We want to convert the closet into floor to ceiling bookshelves to organize and display our growing collection of books (around 300 volumes currently). We also want to build in a custom u-shaped desk so that we both have our own work areas. Again, I have never been big on DIY projects, but this will be a way for me to spend some quality time with Mrs. GYFG doing things she enjoys.
[I recently shared some progress photos of this project on my July 2019 financial report. We expect to get this installed before this post is published. We are so excited!]
d. Plan an international vacation together. We have several locations in mind for 2018, and we would like to take two weeks, which will be our longest vacation yet.
[We had to make a pivot on this goal due to Baby GYFG. We had planned to do a Europe trip this summer but changed it to a babymoon trip to
Maui Lake Austin instead (Category 5 Hurricane Lane forced us to cancel Maui last minute and find a new destination). We ended up staying ten great days at the Lake Austin Spa and Resort.]
(2) Dress the part. Since getting promoted to the C-Suite earlier this year, I have been slowly making a transition to level up with my professional appearance. [Grade: C]
a. Continue getting a haircut bi-weekly. I spend about double what I used to on haircuts, but my hair always looks on point these days.
[I have definitely kept up with my bi-weekly haircuts, at least when travel doesn’t get in the way. As my brother likes to say, it keeps me looking “fresh as a peppermint.”]
b. Order custom fit clothes through the M-Tailor app. I just ordered my first custom shirt and jeans last week to give this service a try. My goal is to slowly build up my wardrobe with enough custom shirts and pants for two weeks without doing laundry (or dry-cleaning).
[I’ve ordered a few custom shirts and one pair of custom pants. I like the shirts, but the pants are not what I expected. However, I can’t really use this as my excuse. Summer came and with it triple digit heat on a daily basis. This had me dragging back out my walking shorts and t-shirts (with the occasional short sleeve button up or polo). It is miserable dressing the part in the middle of summer – at least where I live.]
c. I am slowly working my way to a nicer more professional wardrobe.
[This is true. I have done about three purges over the last twelve months.]
(3) Increase net worth to $825,000. [Grade: A+]
[Our net worth finished 2017 at $664,391 and this goal was to increase our net worth by $160,609. As of July 2018, our net worth surpassed our goal and finished the month at $850,450. That is a gain of $186,059 so far and there are still five months to go. I’m currently projecting our net worth to finish around $908,000 by the end of the year, with a possibility to surpass $1,000,000 if some things go our way.]
(4) Weigh 203 pounds (I currently weigh 233 pounds and need to lose 30 pounds). [Grade: C+]
[I actually ended up gaining a few more pounds after setting this goal. My back ended up getting worse (I found out I had two bulging discs) and kept me from doing much activity during the first three months of the year. I eventually got help from a chiropractor who put me through an eight-week non-surgical decompression program. At the halfway point he suggested that I start supplementing the treatment with swimming and the combination has been amazing. I peaked out at 238 pounds in March but am currently at 225. The good news is that I still have some year left to continue making progress towards this goal.]
(5) Negotiate $25,000 to $75,000 pay raise. [Grade: A+]
[It is absolutely incredible that I have been able to achieve such large pay increases in such a short period of time. In July 2015, I negotiated a $60,000 increase in compensation. In December 2016, I negotiated a $50,000 increase in compensation. And in December of 2017, I successfully negotiated a $75,000 pay increase, so I reached the high end of my range.]
So, that’s where I am so far. It’s September 3rd as I type this, which means I still have four months to achieve, or at least improve, my current results. My weight loss goal has now moved to the top of the list. I will feel like this year was a major success if I can get down to at least 215 pounds before the end of the year. And this accountability check-in brings a little extra motivation for me.
How are you doing with your own goals? Which have you accomplished so far? Struggling with any? Did you set-and-forget any???
– Gen Y Finance Guy
GYFG, you are really keeping yourself accountable, very impressive! Am liking your commitment to your marriage relationship as first priority. You will never regret it. Also, your efforts at weight control; it may fluctuate, but it is important to spouses that their mates look good. Mrs. GYFG wants to show off her man, so the wardrobe, haircuts, etc. are a way for you to show her that you care what she thinks. She is already doing it for you with her yoga, don’t think for a moment that she is doing it ‘just because’!:-)
Your home is really turning into a wonderful refuge, where you can be away from the world. A great and safe place for you all to spend time together. A book for your shelves that both you and Mrs. GYFG might appreciate is Gavin DeBecker’s “Protecting the Gift” Here are a few quotes from it, so you can get a feel if you might like it… https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/89149-protecting-the-gift-keeping-children-and-teenagers-safe-and-parents-sa
Lastly, fun facts: as of a few years ago, DMX had 15 children and over 20 separate incarcerations. A couple of his martial arts movies would look great on your 75″. Years back, I used to blast DMX in my house and ‘gruff’ along. Got caught by a neighbor. I won’t lie, I did it. But I had to move. It’s 2018 now, and I’m sure you understand why I don’t do that now. If you know what I mean, and I think you do!
JayCeezy – I couldn’t agree with you more. The relationship focus and priority if HUGE! I want both my wife and son to know that are the most important thing to me in the whole world. I also agree that the physical aesthetics is important in keeping the attraction alive and well in a relationship.
Our house has slowly but surely been transformed into a home over the past five years of owning it. We started with the backyard when we put in an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, artificial turf, and hot tub (and succulent garden). Then we focused on the garage with built-in storage (floor to ceiling cabinets) and the workout space. Next, we moved into the house and put the tile flooring throughout and had the cabinets in our kitchen redone with a facelift – changing the color to white and making them look brand new. Mrs. GYFG even tackled painting the entire interior of our house.
Then it was the movie room upstairs with that HUGE 75″ TV and wrap around couch. This month we finish up the office/library/craft room and the nursery. It’s been fun to watch it all come together. I think we have one more home improvement project for 2019 and then we’re done.
Thanks for the book recommendation – I just added it to my Amazon wishlist.
I appreciate the fun DMX facts!
GYFG, hope you appreciate this update on DMX. As of yesterday, he is no longer incarcerated in federal prison. You can fill in your own punchline. https://start.att.net/news/read/category/news/article/cnn-dmx_is_a_free_man-cnn2
Love the fact that the number one on your list is your relationship. Very important to accomplish this goal. I’m sure you heard of the “power of two.” The number two goal on your list should be your health. When we’re disciplined to achieve our health goal, the other goals we set tend to be easier to achieve. I’m talking from experience here. Thanks for sharing your goals.
Bernz JP – I’m going to keep that “power of two” concept in mind when setting my goals for 2019. Thanks for stopping by.
We have a lot in common–dysfunctional upbringing that resulted in us giving great value to education, self development, and becoming financially independent. Although I was a bit older than you were when I became serious about building our net worth, my husband and I passed the $1 million mark a few years ago. One thing, however, that I did 30 years ago was become a lacto-vegetarian after I began to gain weight. Combined with daily exercise, weight gain hasn’t been an issue since. The trick is to come up with an exercise routine that works for you. We do everything at home (stationary bike, use 8 lb. weights, mini-trampoline, lots of stretching and arm exercises, and walks in the neighborhood). We do all our own cooking. Most fruits and vegetables are low-fat. We eat bread, pasta, potatoes, cheese, etc. Actually, we eat quite a bit of food daily but never gain an ounce. We eat very little processed food or junk (candy, cakes, etc.) and don’t fry anything. We look 20 years younger than our same-age peers, are rarely ever sick, and have quit going to doctors. Our experience with most doctors is that their focus is on illness rather than health, and as long as we feel great, which we do, why waste money on them (exception is the dentist which we see every 6 months). I used to have back pain due to sitting at the computer all day. I now set the phone alarm to go off every hour so that I get up and take a 15-minute walking/standing break. I also do lots of stretching that has strengthened my back muscles such that I now rarely every have back pain. I enjoy your blog and wish you the best with parenthood. Our son is now 26, and I do not regret for a minute our creation of a business that my husband and I could run from home so that we could spend time with each other as well as our son.
Thanks for sharing kjd1992. It sounds like you guys have really found a routine that works well to maintain your health and fitness. I’m hopefully not too far behind in finding the right system that works for me as well.
What business did you guys start?
My business is in education research services. I have a Ph.D. in sociology and began consulting on the side while in graduate school. Then, and for many years after, I regularly had a few part-time gigs while working full-time, so when I finally went completely on my own, I viewed getting clients as just a bunch of serial part-time jobs. For some reason, having this perspective made starting a business more manageable.
I’m currently reading The Slight Edge as a result of you recommending it. One thing I keep thinking about as I’m reading is your comment about wanting to put a popcorn maker in your new TV room combined with your desire to get in shape. Instead of the popcorn maker (which would just result in a bunch of empty calories), I strongly urge you to consider adding a mini-trampoline (rebounder) instead. Long ago, I read somewhere that 10 minutes a day on a rebounder can work miracles. My husband and I do this daily. We bounce while watching a video (usually sports by him and soaps/movies for me). The 10 minutes just flies by and this simple exercise is truly energizing. When not in use, you can lean the rebounder against a wall so that it is out of the way. Here is a list of the benefits: https://liveboldandbloom.com/07/health/rebounding-benefits