Saturday, February 3, 2024

2023 Review


Overall Summary: I had an exceptional year with regards to Fitness, a solid year with regards to Finances, an OK year with regards to Faith and a subpar year with regards to Family. Following are my wins and failures, by the 4 areas I evaluate myself in on an ongoing basis.



Faith/Personal Development Wins:

  • Completed 346 Bible App plans to close out the year with 704 total.
  • Read 40 books
  • Created vision board for age 60, consisting of 10X target goals.
  • Cleaned out drawers/closet and donated excess to charity
  • Did seasonal job with my favorite disaster relief organization, to include build out and tear down of processing center (7 weeks total commitment).
  • Total porch remodel, to include new columns, base boards and swing. Also ripped out carpet and installed wood flooring for basement landing. Sanded/replaced popcorn ceiling in kitchen corner above stove.
  • Added sod and brick retainer in front yard.
  • Did some form of community service each quarter, including paying for child's Church camp, visiting my aunt twice, buying Ensure for cousin battling cancer and picking up half of bill for huge extended family dinner, paying for bus driver's COPD medication. Also did a Habitat for Humanity build.
  • Attended firearm training. Cleaned handguns using YouTube instructional videos.
  • Mentored a few people and sent daily motivational quotes to tribe throughout the year.
  • Made major improvements on Historical Fiction


- Other than firearms training, did not fire weapons.

- Did not learn any new skills.

- Weak garden season.

- Never really got out in the community (homeless feedings, etc.)

- Failed to follow up improvements on Historical Fiction



Family Wins:

  • Two extended vacations with wife
  • Rock City day trip with wife and granddaughter
  • Family veteran's gravesite (3 state) tour
  • Picked up granddaughter regularly (library/park, etc.)
  • Helped son-in-law coach grandson's baseball team.
  • Regular 529 Plan contributions for grandkids, including setting up new grandsons.
  • Regularly cooked hot meals for wife.
  • Helped daughter and granddaughter plant/harvest garden.


- Didn't do any vacations during second half of the year (Florida trip got canceled due to reserve being closed/seasonal job prevented late season Blue Ridge visit)

- Didn't make regular time to hang out with/coach up kids and son-in-law.



Fitness Wins:

  • Ended year 8.5 pounds lighter, but stronger in all core lifts
  • Did something intentionally hard each quarter: Appalachian Trail section hike (17+ miles) in January, 20+ mile road hike in June, completed 75 Hard from August 1 - October 14 and did very laborious job from October 30 - December 21. Also averaged 20,037 steps per day in December.
  • Averaged 13,922 per day for entire year (3,400 more per day than in 2022).
  • Reduced daily alcohol consumption by 47% from 2022, including going 75 consecutive days with none at all.
  • Improved macros from previous year, to include reducing fat consumption and increasing protein and complex carbohydrates in diet.
  • Started tracking calories burned.
  • Per DEXA reading, decreased body fat by more than 6.7% and got a serious 6 pack for the first time in at least 15 years.
  • Got a physical and two dental cleanings.
  • Observed record monthly lows for resting heart rate (59.4) and average heart rate (68.9) in August while increasing water intake and starting 2x daily workouts.
  • Kept up with a very physical job during December, likely the result of being in such good shape after completing 75 Hard.
  • Added probiotc and greens supplementation.


- Stopped tracking macros in late November due to time constraints bought on by job, which led to diet suffering remainder of year.

- Failed to get annual heart checkup due to job commitment (rescheduled for February 8)

- Didn't do enough recovery/rehab work, leading to neck strain and other aches and pains.



Finance Wins:

  • Grew IRA by 7% before withdrawals (3% gain including withdrawals) and overall net worth by 5%, even though I maintained a very conservative portfolio with only about 25% stock exposure. Was able to generate more income than my IRA withdrawals using dividend-paying stocks (15% returns), treasury bills (4.5% average returns), high yield CDs (4% average), a bond fund (4.4%) and large cash reserve (which ended the year paying 5% interest).
  • Stuck to plan of using 72T exemption to pull from IRA w/o penalties and move money not spent to post-tax/minimal taxed accounts (high yield savings, I-bonds, brokerage accounts and real estate trusts), increasing those holdings by 14%.
  • Grew wife's retirement accounts by 36% due to her contributing most of her pay check (minus insurance premium) and us staying aggressive with her investments (technology index fund and retirement date fund)
  • Generated an additional $7,000 (post-tax) from seasonal work that went entirely to savings/giving.


- Fear of the market kept me from generating far more wealth in our largest bucket (my IRA) in a year the S&P index gained 25% overall.

- Failed to match the S&P index with my own stock picks in both my retirement account and both our brokerage returns.

- Did not aggressively pursue income opportunities (starting a business, looking for consulting opportunities, etc.) outside of investments.


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2023 Review

  Overall Summary : I had an exceptional year with regards to Fitness, a solid year with regards to Finances, an OK year with regards to F...