Although my portfolio value and net worth trended downward in August, it was a very successful month for me in terms of achieving my non-financial goals. All three of my non-financial goals were achieved as outlined below:
- I posted eight entries, two a week, each Tuesday and Friday, in-line with my new schedule, and well in excess of my one entry per week objective.
- By limiting my indulgences and exercising semi-regularly (still working on that), I managed to stay below my maximum target weight of 160 pounds.
- I donated to the political party I will be supporting in the upcoming Canadian federal election. Although I hate what North American politics have evolved into, I strongly encourage all Canadian readers to cast their vote next month.
I’m a big fan of J. Money and his budgetsaresexy site. One of the reasons I admire him are his challenges, through which he challenges himself and his readers to try short experiments as a way to improve different aspects of their lives. By thinking of these challenges as experiments, there is limited downside if you are unable to complete them. I decided I could do with a few changes in my life, so I decided to try two experiments in recent weeks.
Challenge #1: Commenting on Blogs
Here’s a secret – bloggers love to receive comments on their posts! It shows readers are engaged and care about what they wrote. With this in mind, in mid-August, I decided I’d comment on a different blog I enjoy every day for a week. Since I enjoy reading various personal finance and dividend blogs, but rarely ever comment to show my appreciation, this was overdue. I’m proud to say that I accomplished my mission easily! Two unexpected benefits of the challenge were a couple interesting comment conversations I started with bloggers who I admire, and the number of page views on my own blog increased. Going forward, my plan is to comment on posts I appreciate, especially longer ones that take a lot of research and effort.
Challenge #2: Spend Nothing
Last week at work, I used about $50 of cash, and had little to show for it. So this week, I decided I’d try to spend nothing (cash, debit, and credit). If I can make it through today, I’ll have accomplished this challenge. Lessons learned are that it takes some planning to bring in a lunch every day (i.e. I had to cook pasta at 9pm last night before bed), and that temptations are everywhere! For instance, I thought of buying an umbrella this week when my wife re-claimed hers one morning, but lucked out when it turned out to be a sunny day. The other lesson I learned was that it’s much easier not to spend money when you’re working from home, like I did yesterday.
Here’s hoping you accomplished your goals in August and are off to a good start in September.
What’s the toughest challenge you ever completed? Do you have any non-financial goals you track?