January 2020 – Goals progress

The first month of the year has already finished and I crushed through blue monday. No quitting for me this year ๐Ÿ˜‰

So let’s do the first monthly review for this year. As a reminder, my 2020 goals are categorized as per below and in order of priority:

  1. Health
  2. Family
  3. Wealth (FIRE)
  4. Giving back

I will now give a brief update for each of the 4 categories.

1. Health

Huray! The first out of 7 goals is already in the pocket ๐Ÿ’ช

  • Have my blood levels in a healthy state by using a right diet (vegan or vegetarian, but low-fat) DONE

I went for a check-up in January and my cholesterol dropped from 200+ to 144. All other elements showed green. I have probably never been in such good condition and that only after several weeks of Vegan diet.

I actually feel so good that when I am running it feels like I am on dope. Hence, I am pretty motivated to continue this diet.

I did decide though to add fish back into the diet after consultation with the doctor. Fish gives a lot of healthy nutritions, but especially we agreed that the natural fats would be very good for me.

How did I do on the other goals in this category? I will only highlight the ones that I made some progress on.

  • Run 500 km in total

30 Kilometers so far. Ideally this should have been 40 km, when looking at the required monthly average. It is winter though and days are short. I expect this average to be the same in February but after that to go up due to the start of spring.

  • Finish the Cooper Test with at least 2700 meters (classification Very Good) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooper_test

2600 Meters. Almost there already! Maybe this goal is not stretching enough yet, but boy, what am I tired. It will be tough to squeeze an additional 100 meters out of it.

  • Reach an average of 10.000 steps a day

7900 steps daily. This one is disappointing. I know that this number goes up during spring and summer due to the longer days and the additional garden activities, but nevertheless I need to improve here to get to a 10K daily steps as a yearly average.

Goals that I still need to start doing:

  • Get a long desired surgery done to fix a part of my vision
  • Run 10k under 50 minutes in an official race
  • Bike 500 km in total

2. Family

  • Two weekends away with the missus and without the kids

The first weekend away is booked, a city trip, but with the kids. Therefore I won’t count this one, but I wanted to mention it as it’s something we haven’t done in a long while!

  • Support kids in their activities and be visible and available

I have been bringing them to school way more often and I have had some more interaction with the teachers. At the same time some little things happened which makes me feel that I really made progress in this area.

Goals that I still need to start doing:

  • Have a long distance holiday, thus another continent than Europe
  • Listen to understand, not to be understood

3. Wealth

  • Invest 40% of my salary in my dividend growth portfolio

I have saved 48.5% of my salary in January which is now part of the cash balance of my portfolio. I also used the opportunity to increase my stake in $XOM and $RDSA. This was pulled from my cash reserve and was similar to ~140% of my monthly net income.

  • Reinvest all my received dividends

I did this as part of the before mentioned purchases. The dividends that I received in January where much less than the year before due to a special dividend from $BBL that I received last year. To be precise, dividends paid out were 1.9% of the total expected dividend payments. This was as per expectation, because January is generally a weak month for me.

  • Grow my dividend income so that it covers at least 25%  of our monthly expenses

There are two ways to grow the yearly dividend income. Firstly new purchases and secondly dividend increases due to company announcements. I will only report about stock purchases this month. The % increase of dividends from dividend hikes is something that I will report on a quarterly basis.

As mentioned earlier, I have increased my stake in both $XOM and $RDSA. These two purchases have increased my future cash flow from dividend income with 6%.

Goals that I still need to start doing:

  • Use any leftover income to pay down the principal of our mortgage on a quarterly basis. Preferably paying down enough to reduce the mortgage by 1 year.

4. Giving back

  • Share my journey and knowledge via this blog to inspire others

I think that this goal is pretty on track. Although you might argue that the goal is not SMART at all ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have written 10 posts in January, which is about 2 posts per week. My goal is to keep this average for the whole year.

My question back to you is: do you feel that the knowledge that I am sharing is helpful? Is there a certain topic that you would like to hear more of?

Having said that, goals that I still need to start doing under this category:

  1. Inspire one person in my environment to also start investing for the future and coach that person
  2. Contribute two days of my time to a local charity


Although I am not a starter in Dividend Growth Investing, I am relatively inexperienced in documenting my journey via a blog like this and having such clear goals.

Therefore I am very satisfied with the level of energy that I was able to put in and the return on satisfaction it has given to me.

For me January was a super start and I am pretty confident that I will reach my goals if I am able to keep my focus and momentum throughout the year.

Well, this was it for January. I hope that you enjoyed my post and if you did like reading it then please hit the like button. I would be very grateful ๐Ÿ™.

Feel also free to ask any question via the comment section or subscribe (right sidebar) to this blog if you want to be notified for any upcoming posts.

With Best Regards,

— European Dividend Growth Investor

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Iโ€™m not a certified financial planner/advisor nor a certified financial analyst nor an economist nor a CPA nor an accountant nor a lawyer. Iโ€™m not a finance professional through formal education. Iโ€™m a person who believes and takes pride in a sense of freedom, satisfaction, fulfillment and empowerment that I get from being financially competent and being conscious managing my personal money. The contents on this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial, accounting, or legal advice. I canโ€™t promise that the information shared on my blog is appropriate for you or anyone else. By reading this blog, you agree to hold me harmless from any ramifications, financial or otherwise, that occur to you as a result of acting on information provided on this blog.

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