Monthly Goal Update: November 2017

I turned 35 this month, and this was my favourite birthday card by a margin!


I’ve committed to tracking the progress of my goals on a monthly basis. These posts have been inconsistent in previous years, so I plan on recording 12 of these for 2017.

I record these videos to keep myself accountable and show others how I’ve gone from A to B. I hope in time, I can help to inspire people to become accountable for their goals too.

Dr. Gail Matthews conducted a study that found you’re 39.5% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. She also found that if you send progress reports to others – friends, mentors, coaches, accountability partners etc. you were 76.7% more likely to achieve those goals.

Writing them down significantly weighs the odds of success in your favour, but providing regular updates almost doubles the chances of success. This is a big reason behind me making these posts/videos.

I have 9 Goals for 2017. They’re spread across different areas of my life. Each month I record an update video charting my progress.


2017 Goals

1. I will easily create and launch an online course by 31st December 2017

This is my priority goal for 2017. If I achieved this and failed the rest, I would be very happy with my year overall, such is the requirement of the task.

The course is now live for my founding members, and they’re steadily working through the content. I’ve created a dedicated Facebook page for members to communicate, share best practices and help support each other etc. It’s still in its infancy, but I’ve been happy with its development so far.

I vastly underestimated the length of time it takes to create a course. I won’t be completing it this year, but I’m pleased that I have testers working on it now and more and more content is being uploaded each week.

I’ve considered running another group of testers next year when I’m a further along in the process. Currently, I have testers that have watched all of the lessons and are waiting for the next one to come out. It’s helped to motivate me each day, but I don’t think it’s ideal for them to keep momentum.

If you’re interested in testing out my course next year, you can join my waiting list HERE

My motivation an energy towards this course has never been higher – thanks to an excellent book I read this month (see below). Progress is slow, but it’s still progress. I’m excited by the prospect of growing it each week and month, and I’m sure before I know it, it’ll be ready for its official first launch. I can’t wait!


2. I will easily set up a charitable fund, promote it on my Blog, and donate 10% of my course profits to ‘Building Schools For Africa’ by 31st December 2017 – COMPLETE

My goal here is to work towards building a new school in Cameroon for the Charity ‘Building Schools For Africa’. I need £20,000 to fund the project.

I plan on raising the funds myself by putting a percentage of my earnings towards it each month, and by giving 10% of my course profits towards it. I’ve set up the fund in a separate saving account, and I’ve set up a new promotion page which highlights what the project’s about on my new WordPress Blog HERE.

Here’s the progress of the fund this year:

Jan = £1,069
Feb = £1,304
Mar = £1,438
Apr = £1,788
May = £1,913
Jun = £2,013
Jul = £2,273
Aug = £2,373
Sep = £2,500
Oct = £2,650
Nov = £2,825 (14.1%)

I contributed another £175 towards the school fund this month, bringing me to 14.1% of my target total. In 2017, my contributions have averaged £176 per month. At this rate, I’ll get to the total in just over 8 years! So, I have some work to do. I don’t have a deadline, but I’d like to hit it by the end of 2020. In the meantime, I’m working towards an end of year figure of £3,000.

Once ISP goes live, I’m hoping the monthly contributions will grow and bring that total time down.


3. My Investment Portfolio will easily pay me £6,000 (£500 per month) in income in 2017 – COMPLETE

This goal is one of the most exciting for me to review each month. Since moving to Cambridge, we’re very fortunate to live mortgage free and this has had a significant impact on our monthly expenses.

We’ve now been here for a year and I’ve got 12 months worth of expenses to analyse. I predicted my basic living costs (food, transport, house bills, mobile phone and insurance) to be around £400 to £450 a month.

So, how close were my initial predictions?

I spent £4,771.28 over 12 months on basic living costs, which averages out at £397.61 per month. I’m very satisfied with this figure.

I want to be able to cover all of my expenses eventually with passive income, but the rest of my spending is all “wants” and “likes”. I could easily live without them or cut them down dramatically. I spent £13,559.38 on everything for the last 12 months, which averaged £1,129.95 per month.

My biggest allocation of money, without a doubt, is the money I dedicate to investing to fund this lifestyle. In the last 12 months, I’ve contributed £37,561 to my investment funds below and that figure doesn’t include the dividends and income which I reinvest. I don’t use any of the income I receive each month. I reinvest all of it right back into more buying more assets to benefit from compound interest over time.

Let’s take a look at how I got on this month:

Jan = £350.26
Feb = £517.28
Mar = £390.55
Apr = £311.93
May = £689.73
Jun = £903.75
Jul = £828.61
Aug = £650.98
Sep = £567.79
Oct = £788.30
Nov = £664.24

(Total = £6,663.42 / AVE = £605.77)

I made it! November was a decent month overall. I hit my annual target and lifted my monthly average. I’m forecast to earn just over £7,000 for 2017.


4. I will easily create and launch my new Blog with 500 email subscribers by 31st December 2017

This goal has largely been on the backburner this year whilst I’ve been working on my course.

I only published one blog post in November, which was my October monthly goal update. My subscriber count has increased to an all-time high of 48.

In September I detailed my plans for the blog, once I’ve finished Innovative Self Publishing. I don’t plan on increasing my efforts on the blog until my course content is more established, so the likelihood is this goal won’t be achieved, which I’m happy to trade.

In 2018, I plan on adjusting how I spend time on my blog. Currently, I spend about 4-6 hours collecting data for these posts, recording, editing, uploading to Youtube etc. I think the Vlogging/Blogging format is interesting for some, but I can’t help but feel I could offer more value to people by spending that time creating “How to’s” videos or better insights into my life and lifestyle instead. What would you prefer to see?

My goal for this Blog and Youtube channel is to create an online location that serves people with valuable information on improving personal wealth and finance. Currently, the channels a place where I tell you what I did last month.

I want to share how I live on less, invest, save, budget, make money online, publish books, as well as what I learn from books and course.

If you haven’t done so, subscribe to my Blog HERE and I’ll keep you posted with my new format.


5. I will easily read or listen to 16 books by 31st December 2017 – COMPLETE

In an attempt to invest more into myself, I’ve been diving into books over the last 12 months. I set myself the goal of reading just over a book and a half a month.

I achieved this goal in April, much to my surprise. Here’s the full list of books I’ve read so far this year. I’ve bolded the books I read this month:

1. ‘Screw it, let’s do it’ by Richard Branson
2. ‘Influence’ by Robert Cialdini
3. ‘The Checklist Manifesto’ by Atul Gawande
4. ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday
5. ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg
6. ‘Tao Te Ching’ by Lao Tsu
7. ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl
8. ‘Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman’ by Richard Feynman
9. ‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse
10. ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius
11. ‘Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life’ by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn
12. ‘The Truth’ by Neil Strauss
13. ‘Ego is the Enemy’ by Ryan Holiday
14. ‘#AskGaryVee’ by Gar Vaynerchuk
15. ‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown
16. ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ by Brene Brown
17. ‘The 10X Rule’ by Grant Cardone
18. ‘Tools of Titans’ by Tim Ferriss
19. ‘Buddhism for Busy People’ by David Michie
20. ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ by Brene Brown
21. ‘The Complete Guide to Property Investment’ by Rob Dix
22. ‘Waking Up’ by Sam Harris
23. ‘Unshakeable’ by Tony Robbins
24. ‘The Naked Trader’ by Robbie Burns
25. ‘The Naked Traders Guide To Spread Betting’ by Robbie Burns
26. ‘Trade Like A Shark’ by Robbie Burns
27. ‘10% Happier’ by Dan Harris
28. ‘I Can’t Make This Up’ by Kevin Hart
29. ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’ by Mark Manson
30. ‘Happy’ by Derren Brown
31. ‘The Fighter’s Mind’ by Sam Sheridan
32. ‘The Art of Learning’ by Josh Waitzkin
33. ‘The Moral Landscape’ by Sam Harris
34. ‘The Complete Book of Five Rings’ by Miyamoto Musashi
35. ‘Everything That Remains’ by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
36. ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz
37. ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen R. Covey
38. ‘The Little Book That Still Beats The Market’ by Joel Greenblatt
39. ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ by David J. Schwartz
40. ‘MBA in Action’ by John Horsler
41. ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield

I read another three books this month. Here are my brief thoughts on each:

The Magic of Thinking Big‘ by David J. Schwartz – AMAZON LINK

A few months ago Mr Money Mustache was interviewed on the Tim Ferriss Podcast. It was a cracking episode (you can check it out HERE). Tim asked MMM for book recommendations, and this was his choice. I had heard of the book prior to MMM’s mention – it’s sold over 6 million copies – but his passion and enthusiasm for the book helped me take the plunge.

This book was first published in 1959 and like all the truly great books, the message is still relevant and useful today. The book is packed full of information on how to eradicate (or minimise the impact) of negative thinking, how to become more productive, more successful and generally lead a better life.

Having read this book after reading so many other self help books, I found many common themes/crossovers, but it still resonated with me. When you take into consideration the date of publication it’s obvious to see this guy was well ahead of his time and must have inspired many modern self help gurus.

I particularly enjoyed the delivery of the book. The style of writing was different back then, as was the use of language and it made for a much more interesting audiobook.

7/10 – A lot of value in this book. 


MBA in Action: How You Can Succeed in Making Millions‘ by John Horsler – AMAZON LINK

My Blogging friend M from There’s Value kindly lent me this book and I’m glad that she did. Initially, the title and cover made me think it was going to be a dry read but it was quite the opposite. It was surprisingly easy to read, short, funny and useful.

It follows UK businessman John work his way up the ranks to business owner and CEO of multiple companies. It was fascinating to read how he assessed companies value, profitability and potential. He gives you a rare insight to what it’s like running a big company.

He achieved his MBA whilst in a top position, but demonstrates the implementation of what he learned throughout the book.

It’s a great book for business owners, students studying business, or anyone interested in eventually running their own business.

8/10 – Perfect for anyone interested in business


The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles’ by Steven Pressfield – AMAZON LINK

Wow. Just, wow.

I’m a big fan of Joe Rogan and have followed his podcast for some time. This is one of Joe’s recommendations, so I added it to my list. I’ve since had two people ask me if I’ve read this book, to which I replied “Not yet, but it’s on my list”. Both people were adamant that I would love it, so I finally added it to my collection. Have I said wow yet?

This book, despite its reputation, still managed to exceed what I anticipated. Perhaps it’s because I’m battling on a daily basis with creating something new from scratch in Innovative Self Publishing, but this book resonated with me very deeply. I was finding the work on the course particularly challenging and the content helped me to realign my thoughts and actions around it. I’m not exaggerating by saying this book might have changed my life. 

Steven Pressfield doesn’t just give you a kick up the arse, but he slaps you across the face with a cold, damp flannel, and gives you a hug afterwards and tells you what to do.

This book was written to help writers write, but the message has translated to anyone that’s interested in working on something new – publishing a book, entrepreneurship, gardening, building a house, stand up comedy, dance, painters, photography……. you name it.

The War of Art identifies the biggest enemy within us all – Resistance. Resistance to pursue what we are meant to do.

Steven starts by saying “There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t. It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.

The first part is about identifying resistance in your life, which covers almost everything you can think of. The next part of the book moves onto how to you tackle resistance. He goes a little woo-woo towards the end, which I couldn’t fully relate to, but the first 2/3’s of it are worth their weight in gold.

His rule of thumb on resistance is excellent: “The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it”

10/10 – Exceptional information. Read it, implement it and share it!


6. Lou and I will easily have at least one ‘date night’ a month for the whole of 2017. (12 ‘date nights’ in total)

Lou and I have committed to having a date night at least once a month. We felt it was important to commit at least one evening to each other without the distractions of work, TV or evening cooking.

As I mentioned in last month’s post, this goal has dropped off for both Lou and I and we’re ok with that. We’re going to transition this goal into stopping away from home at B&B’s rather than date nights moving forward.

Here are the restaurants/pubs we’ve attended in the Cambridge area for those of you that are local to the area.

1. Jan – The Golden Ball
2. Feb – MillWorks
3. Mar – The Crown and Punchbowl
4. Apr – St Johns Chop House
5. May – The Tickell Arms
6. Jul – The Crown and Punchbowl Pudding Night
7. Jul – Date Night at home
8. Aug – Date Night at home


7. I will easily attend 3 x different clubs/classes in Cambridge area by 31st March 2017 – FAILED

I set this goal, with a limited timeframe to make me get out there and meet people. I have limited friends in the area, and I hope by putting myself out there I’ll meet like-minded people.

I didn’t complete the goal in the timeframe, as I’ve previously discussed, but I’ve continued to put myself out there and join clubs in an attempt to meet people in the area. Here are some of the thing’s I’ve tried:

  1. Improve Beginners Course – Completed and loved!
  2. Acrobatics and Juggling Course – The course cancelled due to low sign ups
  3. Gym – I joined and have since cancelled a gym membership
  4. ‘Run your Own Business’ course – Joined and pulled out of course. It wasn’t what I had hoped for.
  5. ‘Graphic Design for Beginners’ course – I pulled out of the course due to eye health issues. Gutted!
  6. Mixed Martial Arts Club – Joined in June and recently cancelled
  7. Brazilian Jui Jitsu Club – Recently joined and thoroughly enjoying it

Nothing new to add to this goal for November.


8. I will easily record 52 new Youtube videos and have 2,000 Youtube subscribers by 31st December 2017

I’ve eliminated the regular work I was doing with Youtube to focus more on my Course. This is likely to result in me failing this goal, but I’m prepared for that sacrifice to release my course.

In November I released 1 video and gained 5 subscribers, bringing my totals to 19 videos in 11 months and 418 subscribers.

During this month I’ve decided to start another Youtube channel. On my previous Blog, I got banned from earning money via Google adsense (still don’t know why!), and that’s held on the Youtube platform. So, despite not having a lot of views and subscribers, I’m still unable to earn via this revenue stream. Now that’s I’ve set up this Blog, I can register under a different domain and email address, and I’m hoping that I can start earning ad revenue once again.

This means that despite my efforts (or lack of) to build my current channel, I’m going to be starting again from scratch on the new channel. I plan on doing more Youtube information videos in 2018. How I save money, invest it, publish etc. I want to reduce the time I spend doing monthly reports and dedicate more time to offering valuable content that people can implement.


9. I will easily complete 26 x bi-weekly reviews to track my progress in 2017 – ACHIEVED

During these sessions, I focus on my previous week’s performance to my goals. I consider what I’ve learned, celebrate my successes and set up the following week’s activities. The idea of this goal is to keep myself accountable on a weekly basis and to ensure over the course of 7 days, I’m moving in the right direction.

I completed this goal in August, which I’m pleased with. These sessions are just part of my weekends now.

I did 2 review sessions in November, which takes me to 37 for the year.

I’m still getting a lot from these weekly review sessions so I have no reason to stop here. Giving myself 30-60 mins each week to focus on what worked, what didn’t, what I learned and what I plan on doing the following week, has been a big part of keeping the important things in my life on track.


It didn't get much better on the inside!


How was November for you?

Please share your wins, learning outcomes and general thoughts below!


  • Nick

    Reply Reply 1st January 2018

    Hey Huw,

    first off a belated Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope you and Lou are loving life, you’re still an inspiration to me in terms of nailing your goals, unfortunately I still struggle with setting goals I truly want to achieve and feeling a bit in limbo but I’m hoping having our house sorted and a bit of time off will help. Kudos especially on knocking your reading goal out of the park!

    One specific question I have is around your weekly review, do you have a blog post or vlog in terms of the details of these? Once again I’m probably going too analytical but always feel I need an ‘approach’ before I can dive into something. 100% a goal I want to set and achieve in terms of 2018 and weekly reviews.


    • Huw Davies

      Reply Reply 4th January 2018

      Hi Nick,

      Thank you for the well wishes. I hope you’ve had a nice Christmas break.

      This video is a few years old now, but it should give you some direction.

      In summary, Set your goal – eg. Earn £1,000 in Publishing. Then break down how you can work towards that goal by setting annual, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month, weekly and daily goals. It could be £500 for 6 months, £250 for 3 months, releasing your first book in 1 month, completing a course module in one week, and two videos in one day. To clarify, the timelines I’ve used in this example are not realistic, I’ve just used them to illustrate how you can break a goal down. I hope it makes sense.

      Best wishes

  • Writer

    Reply Reply 7th January 2018

    Hi, there’s a 404 error on your /join-isp/ page. Thought you should know!

    • Huw Davies

      Reply Reply 7th January 2018

      Thank you for that. Just sorted it now!

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