Monthly Goal Update – January 2015


I achieved all four of my intended financial goals for 2014, including the Version 2 and 3 Targets. Yes that’s right…… I’m awesome! During my end of year review I found that I’ve become very strong at managing money. Once I have money in my possession, I’m very good at saving/investing it and I choose not to spend it on the normal consumer itemsIt’s also highlighted that I’m currently very average at making money. My income is above the national average (approx £30,000 per year), but it’s far from strong. My ‘side hustles’ are making an impact, but if I was able to make more money from them, my investments, dividend income and time to become FI would all benefit from the back end. 

I’ve decided to make 2015 The Year Of Making MoneyI might be average at making money at the moment, but I have a lot of confidence in my ability to set Goals and to achieve them. If I set my mind to something, I can usually accomplish it. If I’m unable to achieve it, It’s probably someone else’s fault. Like I said, I’m pretty damn awesome!

My 2015 goals are across all the areas in my life, and some of them are quite ambitious for me. review my progress in each area on a weekly basis (every Sunday). I consider what’s worked, what hasn’t, what do I need to do to keep on track, and then I make any necessary adjustments for the week ahead. I’ll now be posting a ‘Goal Update’ on a Monthly and Quarterly basis on this Blog to show my progress on each area and to keep me on track. 

Without further ado, here we go……..

2015 Goals
Financial Goals
  • I will earn at least £50,000 in income by 31 December 2015. It’s very early days on this goal. I’ve made some steps that will help me work towards this but I have a long way to go before I’m seeing the results of my actions. I need to earn £4,166 per month to be on track by the end of the year. This month I earned £2,030.11 income. I averaged £2,030.95 income between March – December 2014, so this looks like an average month for me. Too Early to tell

  • I will earn at least £1,000 per month creating and selling Kindle e-books by 31 December 2015. I want to earn £1,000 in a month by the end of December. I released 4 books in January and I know it’s going to take some time to build up my reviews and sales. My main aim in this area was to release at least 4 books and get comfortable with the process. I’m pleased to have achieved this. I made approximately £6.90 in January. It’s approximate because I sold books in Canadian and US Dollars. Although I’m a long way off the £1,000 per month, I’m not really concerned about the amount I earn over the next two months. I want to get my books made and published for now. I’m still not entirely sure what I can earn from each book yet. It’ll be interesting to see what I can make on the 4 published books for a whole month. I’ll be sure to let you all know next month. Too Early to tell

  • I will have a ‘Freedom Fund’ worth over £50,000 by 31 December 2015. I had a great start to the month on this Goal. My Regular Saver payout from First Direct helped a lot (nearly £3,700). I worked out at the start of the year that I’ll need to contribute £2,083 per month of new capital to hit the Goal amount (if the investment values remain the same all year). I’m hoping the value of my investments will increase over 12 months to help me with this Goal. My dividends will most certainly help towards it too. I still need to make more money to fund more investments in order to reach this goal. My Freedom Fund hit £30,000 for the first time this month. It feels like I’m really starting to get somewhere now. Especially when I go back 12 months ago and see my portfolio was worth £1,200! My freedom fund was valued at £30,082.66 at the end of January. That leaves me with £20,000 to go in 11 months or £1,810.67 per month. That amount is very close to my average income for 2014, nevermind getting into consideration my expenses. I need to make more money to make this one happen! Too Early to tell (can you see a trend?!)

  • I will receive £2,000 in dividend income by 31 December 2015. I recently made a post on my Dividend Income. I received £83.47 for January. To hit my Goal, I’ll need to bring in £167 per month. My forward dividends don’t cover this amount at the moment, so I’m relying on bringing in additional capital to fund more investments, to get a higher forward dividend income. Are you noticing a trend??? Too Early to tell (must think of another phrase…)
Business Goals
  • I will create and sell at least 50 Kindle e-books on Amazon by 31 December 2015. As I mentioned above, My monthly goal was to release at least 4 books this month. This is my minimum criteria for every month. If I continue to release one per week that will take me to 50 books in a year. I was aiming for 10 books to be published this month to see if it was possible. It is possible, but there were a couple of factors that slowed me down. My laptop crashed and I was unable to use it for a few days, then I had to set it all up again and I lost most of a working week in the end. I didn’t have a tax code to release books for most of January. One of my writers got ill and couldn’t complete a book after asking for a couple of weeks extension, and the process of making a book has taken longer than I expected. I could have ploughed on and created 10 books this month, but I made the decision to publish what I had at the time and see what I needed to do in order to promote the books. I have two books which are due to be completed this week, and three more which will take another couple of weeks. I want to have published at least 8 by next month, but I’d like to shoot for 10 to get ahead of my 1 x week goal. Right on track (Phew!)

  • I will become a money coach in 2015. I will have three separate ‘trial sessions’ with people I know and three separate ‘paid sessions’ with people I don’t know by 31 December 2015. My monthly goal was to set up a shortlist of potential clients to test this on, which I’ve started. I’ve also worked on an outline to use for the session. I’ve spent less time on this goal in January, as my priority has been to publish books and see where that takes me first. February is likely to be similar, and in a couple of months I’ll be making more progress in this area. Back burner Goal 
Employment Goals
  • I will hit 100% of my Bonuses (three in total) for 2015. My half year Bonus is set for the end of February. I’m confident my team will cross the line in the next couple of weeks and hit that. My end of year target is set for August. We hit it in May last year, and I’d like to hit it in April for 2015 – No pressure team! The final bonus is based on how I perform as a manager and there are many factors that fit within it. This one is subjective, and ultimately it’s my managers decision. I ask her EVERY SINGLE MONTH how I’m doing in every area, and she’s aware I want to get 100% across the board. She’s given me two considerations which I believe I can commit to, so I’m hoping I can maintain my consistency and deliver on this one. This bonus concerns me more because it’s opinion based and the final decision will be made later in the year, around August. Right on track 

  • I will help all 7 people in my team develop by supporting them achieve at least one personal goal – Attend a course / get a promotion / hit a personal target etc by 31 December 2015. I have at least 1 goal from all 7 goals from all but one of my team. She’s away in Africa for January and is back in February, so I’ll hound her next week! My monthly target was to hit one of these goals, but that hasn’t happened. Most of them are performance related, and will take most of the year. Too Early to tell (not this again)
Physical Goals
  • I will enter and compete in a Bodybuilding event in 2015. I’m likely to be opting out of this goal for 2015 now. I spent two evenings researching bodybuilding events in the UK and I became more and more disillusioned with it. The idea wasn’t exciting me and I noticed that it was becoming a chore that I HAD to do. I was cringing at the oiled, tanned bodies and posing routines. Do I really want to do that?! I took a step back and reviewed what I actually wanted and the truth is I want a better physique. In December, I decided a bodybuilding show would help motivate me to do that. That certainly hasn’t been the case. I’m continuing to train 5 days a week with weights and I’ve structured my program to build muscle rather than strength. I’ve noticed that I am getting bigger and my physique is improving. I just need to establish an end goal that’s going to turn things up a notch. Perhaps it’s a basic before and after photo? Maybe it’s a photo shoot? Maybe it’s to become a fitness model? I’m not sure yet. February’s goal is to get this goal nailed and let you know. Watch this space! On track

  • I will record my daily macro-nutrients in a nutrition diary for at least one month. What a ball-ache this has been. I’ve struggled more with this than anything else. Recording every item and weight of what I’m consuming and then breaking it down by Carbs, Fats, Protein and Calories has been exhausting. The information I’ve gained from it has been fascinating. I may record single meals out of interest in future, but I won’t continue with it like I have. The hardest part is when I make a massive pot of food, eg. Stew. I work out what I put into the whole pot (that’s the easy part), then I have to estimate how much Miss FFBF has taken and then myself for dinner. Then I have to guess how much is left over for me and Miss FFBF for lunch the next day – Arggh! Don’t get me started on counting butter, jam and oil! Frustrations aside, it has been an eye opening and interesting experiment, but it won’t be repeated in a hurry! COMPLETED!!

  • I will squat 175kg, I will Bench 120kg, and Deadlift 200kg. My upper body strength has improved steadily since my operation in November I haven’t tested my strength, but I’m slightly ahead of where I thought I’d be. My lower body strength progression has been slowed by an ongoing groin strain. I’m having to weight train around the injury and minimise the squating and deadlifting. It’s the same thing I had leading up to the powerlifting competition last year. I have some serious work to do on my squat and deadlift, but my bench press is coming on nicely. I want to prioritise my physique this year, and whilst doing so, I want to up my strength. Ultimately, if I’m super-buff and I have the same strength as last year, I’d be happy with that. Mixed Bag
Emotional Goals
  • I will perform a morning ritual, which lasts at least 10 mins, every weekday morning for the whole of 2015. (260 morning rituals) I wanted to complete 20 morning rituals this month, and I’m pleased to say I’ve achieved that. There were times when I really didn’t have the motivation to do it, but I made myself start I managed to complete each one. I never regret doing them and it sets the tone for the rest of the day for me. On track

  • I will perform a weekly review, on the weekend, for the whole of 2015. (52 weekly reviews). These sessions will focus on my progression towards my Goals. I’ve really enjoyed the weekly reflection sessions. I did all 4 and an extra one before I kicked the year off. I think they’re going to be a big part of my success in 2015 and the future. I grade myself out of 10 in all of the sections of my goals ie. Financial, Emotional, Relationship etc. My scoring is determined by the amount of progression I’ve made towards each goal that week. I set specific actions for the week ahead and during this session I want to know how well I’ve delivered on the actions. This would be one of my top tips to help progression of any kind! On track
Relationship Goals
  • I will have at least a date and location organised for our wedding by 31 December 2015. This is a lower priority of mine at the moment. In all honesty, I’ll probably look at this goal after July/August time. Too early to tell but confident

  • I will go on two holidays with Lou for at least two nights each by 31 December 2015. I haven’t taken any action on this goal yet. We’re likely to go away in the Easter break and the summer holidays. I’ll book the Easter holiday no later than March. The summer Holiday will probably wait until June/July. (We like to book these late!) Too early to tell but confident

  • I will visit three long distant friends – JB, RF and JD by 31 December 2015. I haven’t taken any action on this goal. This is one of those goals I could complete in a couple of weekends, perhaps the same weekend. I just need to pull my finger out. It’s lower down on my list of priorities, because I know that I can achieve this at any time. I want to continue using my free weekends to develop my publishing business for now. Too early to tell but confident

  • I will have at least one ‘guy only’ night a month for the whole of 2015. (12 ‘Guy Only’ nights) This is a fun Goal. It’s one of those Goals that’s a pleasure to meet. I took the lead and hosted the first ‘Guy Night’ at my house. We had a poker night and had a lot of fun, especially as I won the second game (long sleeves and quick hands!). We’ve pencilled in the date for the next ‘Guy Night’ in February, next Thursday. We’re planning on a night out in our local town after work. Plenty of talking and drinking is in order. I might give the FIREstarter a run for his money who knows. It’s on a school night, so the next day at work will be interesting.  I told you this Goal was fun! On track
Contribution Goals
  • I will contribute at least £250 towards charity for by 31 December 2015. I made my first donation online for January. I contributed £20 towards St Michaels Hospice. My mum works at a hospital and Miss FFBF is a nurse. Both have told me what a great job this charity does. They use the money that comes in exceptionally well, and it’s for a fantastic cause. I used all of the my spare change (£3.80) towards Macmillan Cancer Support charity day at work, and I’m almost embarrassed to say my monthly contributions have almost exceeded my annual contributions last year! Maybe I’m not that awesome after all. On track
Blogging Goals

  • I will have 150,000 all time page views on my Blog by 31 December 2015. This Blog now has 53,530 all time views so far. In order to reach the 150,000 milestone by the end of December, I need to average 8,770 page views a month between Feb-Dec. As you’re about to find out, that seems very achievable. On track
  • I will consistently average over 10,000 page views a month by 31 December 2015. In January I had 8,801 page views. This would suggest that I’m on track to hit the 150,000 total page views by the end of the year if I continue to draw the same amount of readers. To hit my goal of 10,000 views a month, I need to increase my current numbers by 13.6%. I believe this is achievable. My tight-fisted awesomeness is hard to resist. The longer that I write on this Blog, the more I enjoy it and the more opportunity I get to increase my readership. I can’t say for sure if people will remain interested in 11 months time, but I’ll continue doing what I’m doing and let the numbers take care of themselves. On track

  • I will publish 120 posts by 31 December 2015. (10 per month) I managed to publish 12 posts in January. So far so good. This isn’t a massive step up from last year, and I’m happy with that. Blogging is important to me, so is the kindle publishing business and money coaching. I set this goal to ensure I don’t forget about the Blogging altogether with everything else I have going on. I want to at least match what I did last year and perhaps do a little more. You can always do a little more can’t you! On track

  • I will organise two UK Gathering for FI/PF Bloggers and readers by 31 December 2015. I’ve pencilled in the first date and got the word out there. I still need to finalise a location, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and especially the interest in it so far. It should be a cracking day! I’ll be finalising the location during February and I will let you all know when it’s been confirmed. Stratford’s very own – Big Monkey – we need to talk! On track

  • I will happily start and build Email list for Blog by 31 December 2015. This is yet another Goal I have on the back burner for now. I don’t think will take a long time to set up when I get around to it. Back burner Goal (lame finish, but hey ho)

1 month down, 11 to go. No…. not the time it took you to read this post…… I’m referring to the length of time on my list of goals above! Thanks to all for sticking with me on this one!

Overall a very pleasing month. I’m right where I need to be on my priority goals and I’m making progress in most other areas. I need to continue setting weekly and monthly goals and review my progress on a weekly basis to stay on track with the targets above. I’m looking forward to implementing the mastermind sessions on top of what I’m doing to keep me accountable and motivated.


How did you get on with your goals this month? How awesome are you? Have you surprised yourself this month? 

0 Comments

  • DivHut

    Reply Reply 5th February 2015

    I think it's great that you were able to achieve all your 2014 financial goals and revisions too. You have what it takes to keep going forward into 2015 and I'm sure you'll exceed those goals too. Curious to see how the bodybuilding event goes. There's nothing like competition to drive you forward and go against other like minded individuals. I have been in several regional tae kwon do tournaments and it's nice to place 1st, 2nd or third in an event but sometimes walking away with nothing teaches you a lot more. Good luck!

  • Tawcan

    Reply Reply 6th February 2015

    Looks like you're making good progress on your 2015 goals. Some of the too early to tell goals… maybe break down the goals a little bit into monthly milestones so you can track the progress better?

  • weenie

    Reply Reply 6th February 2015

    Hi Huw

    A super update, really enjoyed reading this and seeing how you got on with your goals!

    Of course, there are a lot of 'Too Early to Tell' updates but after only one month, that's to be expected.

    I am however really intrigued about your Kindle e-books and would love to find in more detail how you are going about doing this.

    I understand how you feel about the body building goal. You've obviously now looked into this in more details and seen that it's not really for you, but there's nothing wrong with adapting the goal as you suggest.

    Great to see so many of your goals on track, especially as I thought many of them were really challenging.

    I look forward to seeing how you continue to progress!

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 6th February 2015

    Hi DivHut,

    Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. I feel very optimistic about it all.

    Are you sure you read the post? 🙂

    I mention that I'm not going to do the Bodybuilding event now. Sorry to disappoint! I hear what you're saying though. I'm very competitive and I like a competition or a goal to shoot for. That's why it's important for me to find an alternative to keep me going.

    Congrat's on the tae kwon do tournaments too. Very impressive!

    All the best
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 6th February 2015

    Hi Tawcan,

    Yes it's been a nice start to the year overall. That's a fair point on the 'too early to tell' goals. The funny thing is I do have weekly and monthly breakdowns. I've mentioned some of them above but not all. Noted for next time!

    All the best
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 6th February 2015

    Hey Weenie,

    Thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Are you awesome?!

    Like I mentioned above in Tawcan's comment, I'll do a better job of explaining my monthly breakdown for Feb to avoid the 'too early to tell' comment.

    The Kindle Books have attracted a lot of attention, probably more than anything else. I'm very excited about it and the possibility it presents. After a month or two of selling I'll happily divulge what I've dine to date. I just want to make sure it's worth recommending first, dare I say…….. it's too early to tell!

    The whole tanning and shaving body hair, and posing is a little much. I have MASSIVE respect for the Bodybuilder's, but I don't have a drive to join them (at the moment anyway). I'm sure I can find a suitable alternative, but it's currently 'too early to tell'. 🙂

    Thanks again for the support!
    Huw

  • DivHut

    Reply Reply 7th February 2015

    Well you mentioned you were "likely" opting out. Even though you went on to discuss your disillusionment with it I didn't get the sense that the answer was a definite 'no.' I still think that perhaps deep down you may still enter some type of body building tournament. If nothing else, just to see what it's like to actually compete.

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 7th February 2015

    Yeah, I'm not likely going to be doing one this year. Never say never, but the end concept doesn't appeal to me. Never say never I guess, but I think I'll focus on improving my physique anyway, and I just need to find a suitable alternative to keep me engaged. I'm a bit gutted really as I love to compete. I might just focus on improving my physique and competing in another event instead.

    Cheers
    Huw

  • theFIREstarter

    Reply Reply 2nd March 2015

    You certainly are a relentless goal setter 🙂

    It's funny you have goals to go away with the Missus, when one of my goals is to try to limit the amount of times me and Mrs TFS go away! I think we are running at 4 mini breaks and one main holiday this year and counting. If it sticks at that I'll be pretty happy (just been on one and it was a v. cheap one nighter, and at least one other will also cost next to nothing as we'll be getting free accomodation).

    Also a coincidence – Mrs TFS is also a "Lou". Huw and Lou… I can see why are a match made in heaven now 😉 (I bet you've never heard that before!). We are "Lou and Andy" so we used to get a bit of a ribbing about the Little Britain characters… "I want that one" (not so much nowadays thankfully!)

    Thanks for the mention in the "Guys night" goal setting category haha 🙂 – sounds like a good fun idea to have as a goal. Used to do a few poker nights but haven't had one for a while, maybe I'll suggest one soon. My friends aren't big on gambling although as you know I am (or used to be).

    I think you will smash the 150,000 goal by December if you are already doing those numbers now. I think that the hardest part of getting numbers up is probably between the 1000 per month up to the 10000 mark. I think at a certain stage the snowball effect of readership and google hits starts to increase momentum and I would be very surprised to see your traffic not increase by at least 3-4% per month if you just keep on posting fairly regularly. I think your writing style is entertaining enough to keep readers hooked as well.
    Can you attribute the recent increases to any particular source by the way? Did you get any mentions on larger blogs (I wouldn't count mine in that category (just yet!) by the way!) for example?

    10 per month sounds a tough ask on the posting front I have to say though. I think I can do that most of the time but there are always a few weeks or even months when we seem to be mega busy (April and May are looking like that this year for me) and I know it's going to be a struggle to even write once a week in those months! Good luck with it though!

    I'm kind of working my way back up your post now but I would be interested in more on your daily/weekly rituals, what exactly are you doing, where did you get the idea to do this from and exactly how do you think this is helping you? Is it literally just sitting down and thinking for 10 minutes or do you write stuff down… etc…?

    Physical goals – I would just concentrate on the strength training and I am sure the physique will follow!

    I already mentioned I'd love to know more on the kindle books idea on the other post but thought I'd mention it again.

    Right… It's March and I still haven't done my 2015 goals so I better do it asap.
    Goal 1 – Work out and post my goals! LOL!

    Cheers and best of luck for the rest of the year (not that you really need it!)

    TFS

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 2nd March 2015

    Hi TFS,

    By the way. I do love a lengthy comment post (Not that you hadn't noticed when I stop by your site!). Thanks for taking the time to read through everything and ask so many questions. I'll do my best to answer them for you.

    I LOVE GOALS. They're right up there with 'Gary' and Lou. (You'll need to read the January Income & Expenses reply to get that reference). I'm naturally a very competitive person. I've turned my competitive juices on myself and I find that when I commit to achieving something, more often than not I achieve it. Why not raise the bar and see what I can do?!

    Honestly, if I didn't put holidays in the goals there's a chance it wouldn't happen. I'm not a big Holiday person traditionally. I came from a large family, so we never went abroad growing up. I'm used to not having holidays and have been known to go for years without one.

    I didn't realise that I put her name in the Blog, hopefully not too many people will notice…. but yes, of course, we get loads of Huw and Lou references, but I'm sure it pales into insignificance compared to Lou and Andy. I laughed when I read your comment and was immediately drawn to Little Britain. My heart goes out to you both for your suffering.

    I'm glad you saw the mention. That night was brilliant. One of the lads went overboard (I'm his boss too). He came to work late and he looked green. He'd been sick in his car into a Haribo packet and he had two lunch breaks to fall asleep and rest. He was a disgrace but 'Haribo' is now back to normal and will think twice to drinking mass amount of Carling again.

    I think the Blogging Goals are probably the easiest set that I have. I purposely kept them stable to low, as I wanted the Blog to grow gradually but I didn't want it to drop off with everything else I'm doing. Thank you for the kind words once again. I love the process as I mentioned before, and the fact people say they enjoy it really makes my day. Great question BTW. I'm not sure if I have an answer….. Your site was the 3rd highest source of traffic (THANK YOU!). Dividend Mantra's Blogroll is currently number one and has been for some time. Like Bryan Adams' song in 1991, I think that's going to take some shifting.

    If a site mentions my Blog it does shoot up for a few weeks – RIT, Dividend Mantra, Quietly Saving are all big contributors too. Thanks all! I'm not sure what else makes a difference at this stage.

    10 posts a month is a challenge, but I like a challenge. I didn't manage it in Feb, but there's a long way to go yet and plenty to write about. My regular posts and investment updates will keep it ticking along, and I'd like to keep close to 10 if I can.

    My Daily Rituals are ever changing to be honest. I like to try things and experiment. I'll so a post on it this year (that's a promise!). They involve smiling in a mirror, breathing exercises, yoga, jumping up and down, drinking 2 glasses of water, incantations or reading out loud my goals, focusing on my weekly goals, and planning my day ahead. My weekly reviews, look back at the previous week and I assess myself out of ten on all of the areas above. I write a note on every category, and then finish by summarising the whole week. What worked, what didn't, Any learning points from the week? Magic Moments? I write EVERYTHING down on a spreadsheet and make a point to look back over previous weeks to check what patterns are coming through. Self assessment is huge for progression. It's another top tip for me!

    I plan on keep on keeping on with the physique goal. I'm training to get stronger and more muscular. I'm wanting to stay fit too (because I want it all), so Crossfit and Powerlifting have served me well so far.

    Kindle – More to come! 🙂

    I look forward to reading your goals (this month?). I really appreciate the kind words and support. I wish you in turn a very successful year!

    All the best
    Huw

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