For the hell of it, I decided to make six New Year’s resolutions in late 2013 to complete in 2014. Why? I wanted to see if I could, quite frankly, as a personal challenge for myself. And I wanted to create these resolutions (or goals, as “goals” sounds less trite and corny) that would take months of effort to accomplish. What’s the point of creating a list to achieve during a year but able to complete in a month? More than likely you vastly underestimated something…
- Purchase two Real Estate Investment properties
- Read 40 books
- Run Marathon
- Work out 5+ days/week
- <10% body fat
- Become regular at 2 Columbus-area organizations
A couple of them unfortunately were not as objective as I’d have liked (what’s a regular?), but you either read 40 books or you don’t and you either run a marathon or you don’t. In any case, this is a year’s worth of work I had to put ahead in order to achieve my resolutions.
Purchase two REI Properties
I started the year off renting an apartment. I ended the year owning an investment duplex (much, much, much, much more on that in later posts) and living in a condo!
Early in January I started the ball rolling with a pre-approval for a duplex. I ended up closing the duplex at the end of April. That was one property. From doing some research and talking to my realtor (we’ve become buds), I decided my next property would be for myself to live in and call home. The tentative time period would be September/October, when my apartment lease was up (which, didn’t really matter because it would transfer into month-to-month anyhow, but moving on…).
In October (the same week as my marathon – two checks, one week!; also, I’m spoiling the hell out of my own post, because that’s how I roll) I checked off this goal. Is it a pure real estate investment property? Well, yeah, I’m building equity, I have that mortgage interest deduction thing, and I have more collateral, so I’m counting it (or you may not but this is my post).
Read 40 Books
For the bookworm in me, I decided to read ~1 book/week. Why? I consider myself autodidactic and believe that if I don’t know something, I can teach myself (within reason, ain’t nobody got time to learn rocket surgery). I got the year off with a bang averaging a book per week for a few month. I slowed down when it became closer to closing my duplex because I dedicated more time to learning about landlording and stuff. I’d have rather read. Most books were 2-300 page business or behavioral economics or whatever else I thought would be really interesting (the two longest were the abridged version of The Gulag Archipelago and Arnold’s Total Recall). I finished the year reading 44 books; I cannot tell you if that’s a personal record (based on my being a liberal arts grad and all, it may not have been, even though the preponderance of those books were not “for fun”), but I can tell you if felt intellectually satisfying.
I’ve tried a couple of times previously to run a marathon and without failure, found a way to injury myself. I ran out of time to hurt myself last year; had it been in November I probably would have completed the hat trip. I did a hybrid (read: I tried to modify my training knowing full well I’d probably hurt myself) 3 run/week regiment. For the first half of my training I’d alternate running and Insanity, but learned that even that was too taxing on my lower legs (more for recovery and whatnot). The second half I began 86ed Insanity and 68ed yoga. I must say, I don’t know how I ever ran without incorporating yoga. Running tightens muscles, whereas yoga loosens muscles. Ergo, you can run more often without feel tight. The problem is, like me who has to do everything to the nth degree, you’ll overdo you running at too fast of a pace and can end up hurting yourself there. I had a difficult time completing a few runs, thanks to an IT band injury, thanks to not ever doing enough squats. (Apparently, according to this website, many running injuries come from having a weak ass; doing squats strengthens your ass, knees, and increases your running!). None of this has to do with my marathon that I ran as gracefully as a newborn calf, through Ohio Stadium, but it’s tidbits that may or may never help you out. At the end of the day, I ran a 4:15 marathon. I hope for 3:45. Haha, big difference (1:51 and 2:24 half my 13.1 mile splits…).
Work Out 5+ Days/Week
Well, I accomplished this, even though I had some ups and downs working out (mostly from small, stupid running injuries). I didn’t keep track of how many days I actually worked out (which would have only made sense, hahahaha), but I counted this one as I worked out at least 6 days per week the last two months of the year, which were after my marathon with me not having to run anymore as I rested my injured body). Moving forward I don’t need to make this a resolution, as accomplishing future athletic goals will require at least this frequency of working out. At this point running for me is an obsessive hobby, going above and beyond and semblance of “exercise”, but encapsulating an obsessive hobby.
<10% Body Fat
Achieving a sub-10 percent body fat was my only failure. After some runs I’d hit single-digit, but that was only temporary. I believe the lowest percent achieved was 10.4%. At that point, it becomes much harder because it’s reached the point of diminishing returns. And quite frankly, I didn’t have the ambition to really, really watch my diet more. As I grow into becoming a faster runner, I will watch what I eat more as diet becomes more important with working out the more you get into your sport. Sadly, I’m too much of a “seefood” runner, instead of one who micromanages his diet. I imagine when I try to qualify for Boston I’ll take more effort, but that shit’s expensive. Eating “right” isn’t as cheap as eating tasty junky food. You get out what you put in though.
Become a Regular at 2 Local Organizations
What’s a regular? I suppose that is another one of my resolutions that is very subjective, but when you continue to go to the events and meetings of specific organizations, I’d say you’re then a regular member. I first started to regularly attend meetings in the spring for one organization and learned about the second late in the year. I’ve met a lot of awesome people for networking purposes, but also to meet cool people. I know a few people in Columbus, but if you don’t know people, you have to get your ass out of your house and go network! I previously talked about starting to network, and this last resolution was by business development achievement. Attending any new organization without knowing anyone is awkward and stressful, but you get more comfortable the more often you go. Plus, you have to remember, there are many people who are also there for the first time: You’re not alone!
My resolutions scorecard: