(I carried this piece of paper in my wallet. Every time I opened it to pay for something, I got a quick reminder. Being able to check things off during the year is also fantastic.)
The whole family is ringing in the new year sick as dogs (actually, Vinnie seems to be totally fine). I finally mustered up the energy to focus on this post and will ignore the, now impossible, todo list I created for this extra long weekend. So, in the face of plans disintegrating in front me, let's focus on how plans worked out.
It turns out having a baby completely rocks your world. No amount of warning, planning, learning, etc can prepare you for it. It's really hard. Everyone keeps saying it's worth it and I'm just starting to see glimmers of that truth.
My focus last year was to transform my life for this new reality: to become a better dad and husband. It's hard to say for sure if I did since I still very much feel I'm in the middle of it all, but I do notice differences in the way I react to situations. So that's good.
OK. Let's get to it.
1) Memorize 52 Bible verses - YES
That's a picture of my wall next to my computer. I wrote the first letter of each word on an index card and stuck it on the wall. I had a another set which had the verse written out. That way I could look it up quickly when I forgot. I found that I would memorize a couple verses in a row (often to complete a thought) and then spend the following week reviewing all the previous ones.
I loved doing this and hope to continue. It was nice to focus on a small part of the Bible to truly understand each word and deconstruct what the writer said. Plus, it's a ton of fun when someone starts to read the verse and you know it already.
2) Run a half-marathon - YES
I wrote about my knee injury earlier and my decision to walk. I do really enjoy these types of events and want to do one again (Though probably not this year). When I do, I'd like it to do it with a partner.
3) Do 100 push-ups and 200 Crunches - YESI'll be honest, I'm tired of push-ups and crunches. 2 years every single day, especially when the numbers started to get high, got old. So once I hit my goal in September, I went back to lower reps to just get it over but say I did something. This year I'll be looking to do something different.
4) Earn $1,000 from Pro DIY Landlord - NOthe apartment building, now called The Lyon Apartments, helped to offset it.
So, I didn't earn $1,000... but I still wouldn't call this a failure. I do have the website built, started to create content, and am at the beginning stages of building my email list. I've taken a couple copy writing courses and a product development course. So I would really describe this as a year of learning.
My focus so far has been on tenant screening, which if done right, solves 99.9% of the problems landlords experience. I also spent four months (way too long) putting together a deal with TransUnion. Normally they work with larger online properties and I had to demonstrate my "worthiness", which is hard to do when you're new. Plus, they rebuilt their backend system which slowed everything down. But now it's set-up. So when people use TransUnion's service to screen tenants, and they go through ProDIYLandlord.com, I get a commission. I have a new path to revenue which is pretty cool, right?
I'm also in the process of interviewing other landlords to discover their pain points. Based on those conversations I'd like to create a course/product/service to help them. These conversations have been a lot of fun.
5) Improve eye contact - MAYBE
The hardest part about trying to improve eye contact is remembering to do it. So, at least once a week I would go back to my goals and write each one down 10 times. That helped it stay top of mind. I'll have to go back and ask people if I still seem shifty eyed.
6) Watch only one show / movie per day - NOI was awesome the first half of the year. Then when Elinor was born things changed (and every parent reading this just went "Yep"). It's hard to type and work with a baby in my arms. She also really likes my bouncy ball chair which is next to my computer. So boredom naturally gave way to regularly watching TV shows. Then once that momentum started, in addition to general tiredness, it was hard to go back.
Still, I did get to spend some fun time with Elinor. And even though she didn't understand anything from my copy writing classes, she willingly snuggled with me during them.
7) Read 4 books - YES
I mentioned in August that I made a small change to where I put my books, and it made all the difference. By August I only read 1 book: Landlording on Autopilot. Once I made the change, here's how I finished the year:
- The Reason For God by Tim Keller
- Graphic Design for Non-designers by Tony Seddon
- Be Prepared by Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden
- Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper and Justin Taylor
- Ask. by Ryan Levesque
- 57% of the way through Zero to One by Peter Thiel
It's amazing how one small change (the location I keep my book) can have such a profound impact on my life. Once I started getting into the flow, I got a Kindle using my "Fun Money" savings account. Those are pretty slick devices. I like being able to read at night without a light, and without the distractions offered by my phone.
So there you have it: 4, maybe 5, YES. 2 NO. Thanks for reading and thanks for the encouragement.