Accountability Report: March 2018

Welcome to the Career Crisis Accountant Monthly Accountability Reports!

The Background

Each month, I set tiny goals that help me make progress towards my bigger, long-term goals. How do I keep myself accountable?

By sharing them with you!

Each month, I share my report card from the prior month. I discuss the wins, loses, and reasons behind why I selected these goals. I also share the goals I will be working towards over the next month.

Why am I doing this? I’ll admit the reason is selfish. I have attempted to make big changes in my life many times and most of the time they don’t stick. To fight this, I am breaking my goals down into smaller goals and sharing my progress with you. I hate seeing red on the progress bar but I definitely hate showing the red to others.

So with that behind us – let’s dig into March!

Accountability Report: March 2018

Well let’s see it – here’s the chart!

March was a bit of a mixed bag. I had some good wins and some misses (including one big miss!). Overall, I increased slightly over February, hitting 78% on the month’s goals.

Let’s break down the goals and find out what happened in March.

Win: Meditation and Avg Resting Heart Rate

Meditation was a big win in March. After setting my mind to meditating more in the morning, I ended up doing it most days. This led me to blow past my goal of 10 days.

Meditation is a great way to relieve stress and I saw those benefits in March. My stress felt much more manageable during the month.

At the end of February, I believe I had a mini-panic attack over a number of days. I saw my heart rate rise drastically for a week or two. Luckily, it came back down during March leading to me hitting my resting heart rate goal of under 69 as well! Meditation played a big role in hitting this one.

Miss: Coding

When I set my March goals, I knew I was being a little ambitious setting the amount that I did. As I went through the month, I realized I bit off a bit more than I could actually fit into my schedule. Unfortunately, coding was one of the areas that pushed me over and I decided to dial it back.

As I mentioned last month, I am learning PHP and the Laravel framework. As the month went on, I realized that I needed to either concentrate on this blog or coding – I can’t fit in both right now. Between the day job, family time, and the other goals above, I don’t currently have the hours.

While I’m not giving up on it, I have decided to pause coding for a couple months until I get my other goals more established.

Win: Savings Rate

Savings rate has been one area where we have been strong so far this year. March was no exception. Overall, our savings rate came in at 55.6%, great than both our monthly goal (50%) and year-long goal (55%)!

As a reminder – here is how we define our savings rate:

Our tax-advantage accounts (401k, 457, and Roth IRA) were the big winners this month, getting a majority of the contributions. I should enjoy this – I won’t be seeing a savings rate like this in April. But more on that below.

Miss: Wake Up at 5am

Whoops – this one was a big miss and the textbook example of trying to do something you weren’t completely onboard with.

Waking up at 5am was a late addition to my March goals list. The thought was simple – gain a little more time each day to work on my side projects, such as blogging, coding, or working out. However, execution was a bit harder than I anticipated.

I could never bring myself to actually set the 5am alarm and sacrifice on sleep. I plan to officially try this goal again in the future. For now, I’m throwing it on the “someday” pile.

Overall Month

Overall in March, I showed some improvement compared to February but I still didn’t accomplish as much as I wanted.

I got some good advice from a comment from Finance Stoic on last month’s Accountability Report.

Are you taking on too much at once?

Would you be better off to focus on two to three goals, nail them, then add more once they’re a habit?

If you like podcast, listen to Tim Ferriss interviewing Jocko Wilkink (sp?). Jocko notes that discipline beats motivation each and every time. It’s okay to be motivated (ie a resolution), but it’s best to put in processes or procedures that allow you to be disciplined.

He was absolutely right. I was spreading myself too thin. I went after too many different goals instead of concentrating on just a couple.

So I’ve decided to scale things back a bit moving into April, with all tiny goals fitting into three categories:

  • Stress
  • Health
  • Savings

So what are next month’s goals? Let’s check them out!

April Goals

Recurring Goals

The biggest changes to my recurring goals April is changing some of the targets. As a reminder, I only move goals up if I hit that goal in the prior month. Since I hit both my Meditation goal and Avg Heart Rate goal, I decided to bump the target up for each of these.

I decreased my Savings Rate goal down to 40% mainly due to this year’s tax return. Our income went up in 2017 since it was my wife’s first full year back working part-time. I didn’t adjust our federal tax withholding up enough leading to a big tax payment. I will be pulling this tax payment out of our short-term savings, reducing our savings rate for the month. Through some rough calculations, I believe that 40% is still achievable for the month so I’m going for it!

New Goals

I have one new goal this month – read a book. The past two years, I read 25 and 26 books respectively. This year…one.

I want to get back on track and devote some time to reading and self-improvement this month. I want to start and finish a book in April. What am I going to read?

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

I’m on a continual quest to improve myself and better my mindset – a little Stoic philosophy can’t hurt me there!

Let’s Do It

March didn’t go as well as I would have hoped…especially after making proclamations last month that I wouldn’t do C level work again…

But I believe that trimming down my focuses and concentrating more on a couple things instead of many things will help me make more progress on my big goals. Time to get back on track.

Your Turn

How was your March? Did you hit your goals or is it time to refocus?


Psst – I’m exploring doing a community goal challenge in the coming months!

Interested in some extra motivation from others to help you accomplish your monthly goals? Sign up for my email list below to make sure you don’t miss the details!



Nadine Shaabana

5 Comments

  1. April 12, 2018
    Reply

    Great goals! I like the new reading goal. I try to read a few books a month.

    • t
      April 15, 2018
      Reply

      I use to read 1-2 a month but have fallen off this year. Time to get back on!

  2. April 14, 2018
    Reply

    This is a really cool idea. Well done on your wins this month! Great advice as usual from the Finance Stoic.

    • t
      April 15, 2018
      Reply

      Thanks!

  3. May 6, 2018
    Reply

    I love this way of keeping yourself accountable. I know I’ve got some fitness goals that would currently stand at zero on the progress bar, haha. Looking forward to see how you did in April. : )

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