Monthly Goal Update: April…. and the rest!

Hey, how you doing?!

 

Despite trying to simplify my goals for 2018 to make the process easier, my monthly updates fell off almost immediately. It’s been several months since my last one, so I thought I would bring you up to speed on what I’ve been up to since January, before updating you on my 2018 goals.

 

I Blame Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Last year, I tried my hand at some MMA training, which I enjoyed, but it wasn’t quite for me. Instead, I transferred my efforts to the most enjoyable side of it – submission grappling (and more specifically, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).

I damaged my index finger back in September, so I took some time off to let it recover. Trouble was, it didn’t. I stopped training for 4 months and came to the realisation that my finger might not ever return to its former bendy glory.

In mid-Jan, I listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast with John Danaher (a BJJ wizard) and found myself pining to get back to the mat. Just hearing those two talk about the benefits of BJJ made me feel like I was missing out on the beautiful sport.

I searched google to see if there were any “No-Gi” BJJ clubs in the Cambridge area (No-Gi BJJ is far less demanding on gripping than the Gi variety). I was pleasantly surprised to find one down the road from where I live (5 mins drive).

I called the head coach to talk to him about my injury and he said it shouldn’t be an issue, so I gave it a go.

…. then 3 months disappeared from my life!

 

What’s the Appeal?

Unsurprisingly for me, I got completely swept away with all training. I’ve been there 5-6 days a week for the most recent month.

If you’ve never done BJJ before, it’s hard to describe what it’s like and why it’s so captivating. It might be like trying to describe what being a parent is like or falling in love to someone that has no experience.

You really need to do it to understand. 

Until you’ve experienced a person physically dominate you in every way, at their own will, whilst operating at say 25-50% effort. All the while, you’re trying to stop this smaller person, at almost 100% effort…… but you can’t! It’s like watching magic before your eyes…. except with an arse in your face.

‘They say’ that people usually respond one of two ways to this type of encounter.

  1. They either fear for their safety and vow never to experience it again. Or,
  2. They’re forever hooked by wanting to learn how they the person did that to them, so they can do it too.

I experienced the latter!

 

Training Full Time = No Work

One of the great benefits (and challenges) to working for yourself is managing your own schedule. You’re free to work when you like or not, without having to justify it to anyone. The challenge comes in when there’s something tempting you could do instead of work.

The title’s overegging it slightly, but I used my freedom to embrace the learning process of BJJ. I frequently worked on my mobility or strength during the day, and in some cases attended additional sessions, all because….. I could.

Training, although fun, is very intense. Physically and mentally. I’ve started going to bed at midnight or later, and waking up (knackered!) at 9am. As opposed to my 10pm to 6am schedule.

This type of training takes all the worry out of life. It’s hard to give a shit about any stress in your life when you’ve got guys beating the crap out of you every night (more psychologically than physically, in reality).

On the flipside, I found a significant decrease in my motivation to work, and unfortunately, that became a habit.

It’s been all too easy to stretch out, work on mobility, or do some extra BJJ instead of work on my course or publishing business.

The thing is…. I still have this nagging feeling at the back of my head that I ‘should’ be working on my course and business instead of rolling around with men.

 

Spinning and Dropping Plates

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll be familiar (and bored) of seeing me go through these waves of production and inactivity. I get my ‘work on’ so to speak, and then something will derail me for a few weeks or months before I realise (or admit!) that I need to get back to work.

Living life well is all about balance. I’ve found that trying to distribute your efforts equally between relationships, health, business, finance and downtime is next to impossible.

I’m an all-in type of guy, so I plunge head first into one or two of those areas before I realise that I need to pay attention to something else.

Can you relate to that?

 

Back to the Grind

I’ve been back to work this week. Prioritising the course in the morning and spreading my time among other areas in the afternoon.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve had a great week and feel very satisfied sat here at the end of it. My next lesson is coming along nicely, and my mental equilibrium feels more like it should.

I’m not convinced that I’m not going to stumble off track again at some point, but for the time being, it feels good.

If you’re one of my Founding Members or one of the many on my course’s waiting list, fear not…. this course will be completed! Thank you for your patience and support.

 

Back to the Goals

A lot of time has passed since my last update, so let’s bring you up to speed on where I am with each goal.

 

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

 

This is hands down the most difficult task (mentally) that I’ve ever taken on in my life. Had I known what I was going to get myself into at the start, I’m not sure I would have done it.

I’ve gone too far to turn back now!

I not only have testers relying on me, but I have this psychological itch that just won’t go away until I’ve completed it.

I have no progress to update you on because I haven’t made any, outside of this week. My plan still remains to release it by the end of the year, but I’ve made that more difficult for myself by having 3 months off!

The course is designed to help someone who knows nothing about publishing a book, to releasing their first book and going on to create a publishing business – like I’ve been able to do.

If you’re interested in signing up to 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 and prizes 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.

At the end of 2017, 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!

At the end of April, the fund stands at £4,000 (20% of total). I know I still have a long way to go, but I have to admit that reaching the 20% mark feels great!

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

 

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 save and continue to invest all of this income so that it grows to a level that surpasses my current income level via publishing. I have a long way to go, but I’m encouraged to see that each month I take a step closer.

So far, 2018 has been very positive when I compare it to last year:

 

2017 2018
Jan £350.26 £483.09
Feb £517.28 £605.51
Mar £390.55 £380.08
Apr £311.93 £569.48
Total £1,570.02 £2,038.16
Average £392.51 £509.54

 

I’ve earned £468 more, which equates to a 23% YOY increase.

I’ve still got a lot of work to do to hit my goal by the end of the year. I remain confident that it’ll more than 2017, but £8,500 is going to be tight on my current forecast.

 

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

I made this goal prior to going back to BJJ, and the accumulation of grip work caught up with my body. I have mild inflammation in my elbow tendon (tennis elbow) which has meant that I’ve had to pull back on pull ups.

If I weren’t grappling, I believe the volume would have been fine, but the combination is too much for my ever-so-ageing body.

I decided against filming a Max Effort attempt as I don’t want to irritate my elbow, so I’m afraid there isn’t a video with dramatic music for you this month.

In truth, with grappling, this goal has lost its meaning. I won’t scrap it completely, because if I pick up a lower body injury from BJJ, which is always possible, I’ll return to chin up work instead.

 

 

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 a big step up!

We’ve pencilled in dates for 2018, but we’re haven’t booked anything yet. The main reason for my/our lack of commitment has been due to Lou having, what she describes, as a mid-life crisis. In fact, as I write, she’s in Sweden now catching up with friends she hasn’t seen since we’ve been together (12+ years!).

Don’t worry, Lou’s fine. It’s kinda like a joke between us, but Lou genuinely wants to spend more time with her old friends and family, and has booked three trips this year (without me).

All this travelling for Lou might be a little much, so we’ll assess how she feels once she’s done a couple trips and go from there. We might only do three trips instead of four, which I’m fine with. Ultimately, the most important thing for me is that Lou’s happy and content. Not that Lou’s broke and tired, but I achieved my goal.

 

….and that’s it for another month!

 

 

So, what have I been up to in the last 3 months?

6 Comments

  • Mr. Five 2 Fire

    Reply Reply 8th May 2018

    I know how it is when you get obsessed with things and its awesome you have the time to train as much as you are. I’m only a little envious of that!

    My partner and I are eagerly awaiting the course, we can’t wait till it comes out.

    • Huw Davies

      Reply Reply 8th May 2018

      Thanks Mr F2F! I feel fortunate that I’m able to dedicate time to such a pursuit. I’m very lucky.

      It’s very encouraging to hear people are waiting for it. Thank you for that!

  • weenie

    Reply Reply 11th May 2018

    Welcome back, Huw!

    It sounds like you’ve really found your passion in BJJ – I thought I was dedicated training three times a week when I was doing my karate but you’ve taken it to another level! The niggly injuries are a killer though – do make sure you allow time to heal properly, as mentioned before, I know a couple of my finger joints will almost certainly be arthritic as I didn’t listen to my body and carried on training regardless or went back to training too soon!

    Although you are FI, you’ve still got ‘work’ to do, albeit working for yourself. Hopefully, you’ll be able to refocus on your online course to completion and once it’s done, you can feel guilt free about all the BJJ training you are doing.

    It sounds like Lou is searching for her own passion – hopefully, she will find one (or some) which align to yours.

    • Huw Davies

      Reply Reply 12th May 2018

      Hi Weenie,

      I really have. It’s so satisfying and interesting to me. Injuries are going bound to play a part at various stages, but you’re right, I have a part to play in that.

      I feel much more balanced with work/life within the last week. I struggle with that overall, as I tend to find myself “all-in” on one thing before switching to something else.

      Lou just got back from her first trip away and had a great time. I think taking action on her feelings was a sensible approach. She seems to be a lot happier already.

      I hope all is well with you! Thanks again (and as always) for stopping by.

  • Mrs W

    Reply Reply 12th May 2018

    Welcome back Huw! I can definitely relate to getting completely obsessed by something to the exclusion of everything else. It’s how I operate too most of the time. The great thing about being FI is that you have the time and flexibility to do whatever you want with your time. Don’t feel guilty about it – let yourself enjoy it and enjoy the feeling of enjoying it!

    • Huw Davies

      Reply Reply 14th May 2018

      Thank you Mrs W!

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