Monthly Goal Update: January 2018

I’ve simplified my goals for 2018. Last year I had 9 goals and I felt my attention was spread too wildly. For 2018, I’ve reduced the total number down to 5 and I’ve tried to select goals that are easier to track and more interesting to follow.

I’ve set a goal for business, contribution, finance, physical and relationship. Here they are….

 

2018 Goals

1. I will easily complete and launch Innovative Self Publishing in 2018

This is my priority goal for the year. I’ve reduced my overall commitments in 2018 in order to make this happen. I’ve been working on this course for over two years now and I made significant progress in 2017. I have just over 20 founding members who are testing the content, and I’ve set up a private facebook group which we use to encourage and support each other.

Throughout January, I’ve been working on the most challenging lesson to date, which is, “How to create an author website”. The content is worthy of a course in itself and I’ve found it difficult in deciding what to include and what to leave out.

My course is targetted towards helping people who know nothing about publishing or website design to go through the steps to create a publishing business. An author website is an integral part of the overall strategy. I was concerned that this lesson could turn into a giant monster if I wasn’t careful, and it kinda did!

In the end, I decided to record and edit the entire process from the start to finish and split the lesson into two parts. The first part focusses on the technical aspect of creating a website, like buying a name, setting up hosting and installing themes. The second part looks at designing the layout of a website. I go one-page-at-a-time showing them how to design an author website using my preferred theme, OptimzePress.

If anything, I’ve probably gone into too much detail rather than too little, but I’m confident a complete beginner could launch an author website without any prior knowledge or experience, which was my goal for the lesson.

The editing alone took me weeks to do and in hindsight, as one one of my members suggested, it might have been better if I had just hired someone to do it for me.

Despite only working on a single lesson, I feel like I’ve conquered a big challenge this month and I’ve learned yet more about the course creation process. I’ve made a start on the next lesson and I’m hoping to complete the current Module soon.

If you’re interested in working through Innovative Self Publishing when it’s complete, CLICK HERE to join the waiting list. I’ll be sending everyone on this list updates on its completion date, as well as offering initial discounts for the first launch.

 

2. I will easily raise £7,000 for ‘Building Schools For Africa’ in 2018

I started a fund in 2017 to help raise money for the UK charity Building Schools For Africa. Rather than sending a few quid here and there for different charities (like I did in previous years), I decided to use my ambitious nature to “go big” on one.

A school costs £20,000 to build, which is going to take time to accumulate. I’m personally contributing to the fund each month, and when Innovative Self Publishing is complete, I’ll be donating 10% of its profits.

In 2017, I contributed just over £2,000 to the cause. By the end of the year, the total stood at £3,000. At the end of 2018, I’d like the fund to be worth at least £7,000. I’ll need to almost double my personal contributions in 2017 to achieve this amount on my own. The success of this goal will be heavily influenced by the completion and promotion of Innovative Self Publishing

In January, I was able to give the fund an immediate boost (£500). The fund now stands at £3,500 (17.5% of total).

If you’re interested in helping me fund a school and reach my target, you can contact me at huw@financiallyfreeby40.com.

 

3. I will easily earn more than £8,500 in Passive Income in 2018 (£708 per month)

In 2017, I earned £7,190.98 (£599.25 per month) in dividends and Peer to Peer income. My long term goal is to increase my investment income to a level that covers all of my expenses, including the silly little purchases that I could live without and a more opulent lifestyle.

Passive income takes time to build. I plan on maxing out my 2018/2019 ISA contribution, reinvesting all of my investment income and adding to my P2P portfolio to achieve this goal. When I sat down and calculated what I can realistically expect to earn in this area for 2018 – based on the same contribution to 2017, reinvesting all the income, and an average increase in dividend income – my total was just over £8,000. So I need to find an additional £500 in income.

£500 might seem easy to achieve, but @ 5% returns, I’d need to invest an additional £10,000 into an asset, which is a significant step up.

January was a great month when I compare it to last year.

Jan 2017 = £350.26

Jan 2018 = £483.09

This equates to a £132.83 (37.9%) increase year-on-year. I don’t expect a YOY comparison like this every month, but I’ll take it! It’s nice to be out in front of my position from last year. Let’s hope I can stay ahead and meet that £8k goal.

 

4. I will easily complete 25 x consecutive, strict chin-ups in 2018

I didn’t publish any physical goals for 2017 as I was struggling to overcome a long term rib injury. My attention was based on recovering rather than performance.

Over the last few months, I’ve been able to get back to strength training and I’m really enjoying myself. One of my favourite exercises is chin-ups. Back when I was doing strength training regularly, I set a personal best of 18 x strict chin ups in a row. A record I’ve been no way near in recent times due to my rib injury and inactivity in the movement.

I’m currently doing them twice a week, as well as grappling 3 times a week. I go hard on chin ups once a week and lower the intensity for the second day. I find this works for my age, prior injuries and prevents overtraining when combined with no-gi jiu jitsu.

Last month I got 13 chin-ups. The video below shows how I got on this week. (Cue dramatic workout music!):

 

Music from Soundcloud. Music provided by RFM: https://youtu.be/aVSLV8KMwPQ

 

My body weight came down overall this month so I have no doubt that helped me grind a few more reps out. I can also see that my intensity went up from last months attempt.

I don’t expect to be achieving more than 1 additional rep a month at this rate, and I’d be happy with that.

 

A lot of progress can be made with consistent practice over time, so I’ve decided to put myself out there and commit to almost doubling my max effort in 12 months. At the end of each month, I’ll record a max effort attempt on video (with the dramatic music of course) to chart my progress to 25 reps.

Can I do it? 

Tune in each month to find out!

 

5. Lou and I will easily have 4 x two night holidays in 2018

 

In 2017, Lou and I decided to set aside the money we budgeted for date night and to use it for mini-breaks instead. We decided that a realistic but fair compromise would be to organise 4 x separate mini-breaks in 2018.

Each must consist of at least 2 nights away. You might think this is a bit of a joke goal and easy to obtain, but Lou and I have never been away from home more than twice in a year together. For us, this is big step up!

This month, we had a discussion about our trips in 2018, and we agreed that travelling between Apr-Sep made the most sense. We plan on booking the first one booked in March at the latest.

 

….and that’s it for another month!

 

I want to take this opportunity to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone that’s signed up to ISP, joined my waiting list, left a comment, sent an email, liked a video or subscribed to one of my email lists. The support and encouragement means a great deal to me!

But that’s enough about me. How about you?

How was January for you? 

8 Comments

  • Earlyretirementguy

    Reply Reply 9th February 2018

    Great start to the year!

    For me January was all about sorting out my finances. I made the maximum (10%) overpayment for the year on Jan 1st, paid off a rather large HMRC tax bill and decided to pay off all remaining student loan in one lump sum.

    It was painful to stomach at the time but it has now removed a large chunk of debt which means I can safely invest future income without having to hold so much of it back in cash.

    Going forward I’ve put all business income into a totally separate bank account and pretty much forgotten about it. When April comes I’ll pay my tax bill asap and then pocked the rest of the lump sum as a nice bonus.

    • Huw Davies

      Reply Reply 12th February 2018

      Thanks Guy!

      It sounds like mine was a lot quieter than yours. Jeez!

      I like the way you front-load your financial commitments (paying off the investments/taxes/debts up front and in advance). You can enjoy a little more freedom moving forward. It makes total sense to separate your banking too.

      Overall it sounds like you’ve had a very productive start. Congrats! 🙂

    • Fatbritabroad

      Reply Reply 14th February 2018

      Have you stopped your blog guy? I’ve enjoyed reading it

      • EarlyRetirementGuy

        Reply Reply 16th February 2018

        Hi Fatbritabroad,

        I’ve not made a conscious decision to stop but have felt a bit burnt out about it the past couple of months. I got quite ill with bronchitis in December and then had alot of stress around sorting out my taxes and finances in January so just didn’t feel the desire to post monthly updates which would have shown very abstract figures anyway as money suddenly disappeared to HMRC/Student Loan.

        I saw a really interesting program the other day (black mirror) which had an episode about consumerism and the (literal!) treadmill of work to make money just to buy more ‘confetti’, as the person put it. It made me think that I’d actually have something interesting to blog about for the first time in ages so hopefully will put those thoughts to paper soon.

  • Chris

    Reply Reply 10th February 2018

    Excellent work on the pull-ups. It’s something I need to work on since starting Lyra hoop classes. I can just about manage one on a good day.

    January was a slow start since I got Aussie/man flu/a bad cold. But I am now back to my full regular distance run of 10K after breaking my ankle last autumn.

    My main goals for 2018 are:

    Try out a few potential new passions
    Swap out more mainstream news/social media for science news
    Always have something to look forward booked in.

    • Huw Davies

      Reply Reply 12th February 2018

      Thanks for stopping by Chris, and I’m glad to hear you’re back on the mend from your recent illness and injury. It sounds like you had a rough few months.

      Pull ups are just like everything else, they come with practice. I’m a little frustrated that I’m not as strong as I used to be, but it’s just going to take time and I need to put the hours in to earn it.

      I like how you’re keeping your goals simple. I think they’re all likely to provide value in your life. I think the last one is a particularly overlooked one for many (including me).

      Best wishes for 2018, and please keep me posted!

  • Hi Huw,

    Nice progress for January, and thanks for providing another interesting update. I particularly enjoyed the anticipation of watching the chin ups video with the dramatic music and counting along to see how many you did! By the way I’m loving some of the nice touches of the new website. Embedding the video in the laptop image looks really cool.

    I’m super envious of your passive income results, I know you’ve been building that up for some time now and it must be really satisfying to see such great results. I just finished maxing out my ISA for 2017/2018 which I’m really pleased about. I was enabled to do so by an inheritance last year, so I’ve no idea how I will manage to max out 2018/2019 but I will be trying my best!

    Hope February is going well for you.

    Corinna

    • Huw Davies

      Reply Reply 17th February 2018

      Thanks Corinna!

      Ha ha. Glad you liked it. Yes, I enjoyed putting together the short dramatic video. It’s refreshing to edit such a short (and silly) video in comparison to my course lessons.

      Passive income takes time for sure. As long as you commit to contributing to it every month and keep yourself from touching any of it, you’re almost certain to see an increase year on year. “Contribution” is the biggest factor. “Yield” and “time invested” make a substantial difference too but they’re out of our hands. If you’re able to max out your ISA or at least fill it substantially over the course of a few years, you’ll see very similar returns.

      You’re certainly heading in the right direction! Best wishes
      Huw

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