Thursday, 24 March 2016

How I got on with my goals in February

Here is the first of my monthly updates where I provide a review on how I'm getting on with my goals for 2016. This post is reporting on my progress as things stood at the end of February this year.

1. Experience the joy, satisfaction and contentment of living with my partner (TheBF) for the first time
  • Accepting suitable offers for the sale of my house and TheBF's house, with both proceeding to sale completion - We received an offer for the asking price on TheBF's house so that's fantastic. I accepted an offer on my house, only to find out a week later that my buyer's house sale (without which they could not proceed to purchase mine) had fallen through. So 1 out of 2 properties on the way to being sold by the end of Feb. It's progress but with 1 step forward 2 back it seems!

  • Finding a new house to buy with TheBF which meets all our purchase criteria
    - We have not found a house to buy yet, but by the end of February we were hunting in earnest and had several viewings lined up

2. Gain the freedom to choose what I use my time for, removing the necessity of doing work that does not inspire me simply because it pays the bills

  • Pursuing financial independence - Good progress on this one...
    • Create a 2016 financial plan/budget [by February 29th 2016]   {DONE}
    • Create a "FI before 50 Roadmap" containing steps I need to take to become Financially Independent before the age of 50 [by March 31st 2016]   {DONE} - both of these plans can be found here
    • Follow the 2016 financial plan/budget - Achieved for February! My target income per month is £3,332 and somehow I managed to hit this with 8p to spare (£3332.08). Target savings were £1,000 into the Freedom Kitty (I achieved £1,048.22) and £2,000 into the Personal Pension (I achieved a whopping £3,000). So I over-achieved on both of these!

  • Researching alternative options for spending my time which could eventually help to replace my current mode of work
    • Create and maintain a blog site to track my goals and interact with the online community
      • Research suitable blog site & how to use it, and set-up blog {PREVIOUSLY DONE}
      • Deliver at least 1 post per week on average - Achieved for February! Even though I started the blog on 12th February I managed to publish 4 posts, so ahead of the game ever so slightly on this one
  • Research new alternative sources of repeat income
    • Generate at least £1 this year from a new source of regular income - I've not managed to get any new forms of income yet, though I have been doing some research into possible income sources

3. Become a better person by the end of the year, than I was at the start of it. Can be measured in terms of knowledge & skills gained, health & fitness improved, relationships circle expanded & strengthened, internal beliefs challenged & reviewed, positive habits created

  • Completing a personal development challenge with my sister (100 day challenge or something similar) - My sister bought a book for me called The Magic* by Rhonda Byrne this month. I've previously read her book and watched the DVD of The Secret* which I found fascinating, it really changed my outlook on life, particularly with the insights into the power of positive thinking. My sister tells me that The Magic includes a 28 day programme to follow so this is likely to be our challenge for this year - still to be decided!

  • Reading at least 6 new books - Until this year I've been really lapse at reading books. This year I'm trying to read a minimum of 15 minutes per day. My first book for the year is The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich* by Timothy Ferriss. I'm about half way through it at the end of February, so a little behind target but hopefully I can catch up over the coming months

  • Losing 10lbs in weight by the end of July and maintaining the weight loss through till the end of the year through good diet and exercise - I'm afraid I've failed fairly spectacularly at this goal so far, I've just not been giving the pursuit of weight loss my due attention. This needs to change! I'm hoping to pull some motivation out of the bag for March

  • Going on at least 12 planned "date nights" with TheBF in 2016 - so far this year (by the end of Feb) I've arranged 2 date nights. The first was a trip to the cinema to see the latest Star Wars film followed by a cheeky dinner at Nandos, the second was to the Tamworth Snowdome where we had dinner and then went tobogganing - so much fun! We've also done a third date night which TheBF arranged where we went for cocktails at the casino then to the cinema to see Deadpool (which I'd highly recommend if you haven't seen it already)

  • Going on a family holiday to France where I can spend quality time with TheBF, my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and niece - this is now booked for the summer, looking forward to it already!

  • Researching and booking a mini-cruise with family - I made a start researching mini-cruise options, and started a spreadsheet to keep a "possible" list. However I've not completed this and still need to discuss with family whether they even want to go on one!

  • Introducing a routine of regular meditation
    • By the end of the year, I will be meditating a minimum of 3 times per week - Since I've not been in a contract during February I've had more time on my hands, so I've made a start with meditating but it's not up to 3 times a week yet. I've been using guided meditations on spotify and youtube as I find this works best for me

* affiliate links, if you purchase through these links the cost to you will be the normal Amazon price but I will earn a small commission for directing you to the product

4: Use my unique personal skills and abilities to help others achieve happiness.

  • Offering tips, support and conversation online through my blog, social media accounts and getting involved in the FI and Personal Development communities - I've set-up a twitter account for Organised Redhead (@OrganisedRed) to allow me to follow the stories of others, I'm also building up a reading list of FIRE blogs I like to visit where I will be endeavouring to be an active participant in the conversations that take place in the comments sections

  • Offering tips, support and help offline through any face-to-face opportunities should they arise, (meet-ups, coaching, training, speaking engagements) - I didn't have any particular opportunities to help anyone "offline" in February - though in January before I finished my last contract I did help coach a couple of fellow colleagues with their respective plans for buying a first home and getting out of debt

  • Supporting my chosen charities through a spread of donations totalling £350 this year - I'm on target to achieve this goal, I've donated £63.68 by the close of February. Most of my donations are automated so this goal should almost complete itself by the end of the year

And that's it for my February update! Overall I feel good about the progress I'm making. Since moving home this year is such a big endeavour, my primary focus will be spent on achieving that. Hopefully later in the year I'll have more time to focus on the other goals to try to get as many DONE as I can.

Did you make goals for 2016? If yes, how are doing with them? There'll be another goals update soon for how I got on in March [*spoiler* there's some news to report on the house move front!]


  1. Hi OR

    Some great achievements and progress made, so well done!

    I'm on track for my financial goals but am behind on my reading goals.

    Good luck with finding a new house to buy - my friend has had an offer accepted on her flat but is struggling to find a house to buy because the ones she is looking at are getting snapped up too quickly (sometimes, even before she's been able to view them!)

    Glad to see that you are also a Star Wars fan - may the force be with you on your FI journey! :-)

    1. Hey Weenie,

      I love reading, but I do struggle to find enough time to read as much as I'd like - sometimes it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day! Thanks for the best wishes about our house to follow in my next goals update (for March). Yes we really enjoyed the new Star Wars. We also went to the Secret Cinema in London last year which was based around the Empire Strikes Back - it was brilliant, everyone dressed up in character and it was so interactive. Would highly recommend Secret Cinema in future.

  2. I love that your goals weren't all finance related! I always find it so much more interesting to read about people's PF alongside their other goals with wellbeing, family and personal development.

    Congrats on the offer on the BFs house! It sounds like you've been really busy and you've already made so much progress.

    1. Hi Jenna,

      Thanks for your kind words - I know what you mean, I'm always fascinated and intrigued to learn more about a person than just their personal finances. I think it makes the person writing the post seem more human and you can associate with them that bit more. I'm enjoying sharing my goals and progress updates because it's really helping to keep me accountable to my goals and not just forget about them after a month or two!

      I'm really pleased with the progress I've made so far actually - I only properly put my goals list together in February so I've got just 10.5 months to try to achieve them in, rather than 12. It certainly is keeping me busy working toward ticking them all off as done!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, I will be checking out your blog Hello Suckers Investments in due course...