Hope for your financial life and beyond

July Goals Update: This Arduous Affair Is Finally Over!

Clock midnightCalls after midnight are never good and raise blood pressure levels immediately. Calls between 11 p.m. and midnight still pose some high risk. So when the phone rang at 11:35 Monday night, I sprang from my sleep anticipating the worst.

Oh no…it’s my wife on the other end. She is at church youth camp (with my 12-year old daughter) serving as a chaperone. This can’t be good.

“Hello” I said nervously, dreading what’s coming next. Boating accident? Broken arm from falling out of a bunk bed? Food poisoning? My mind races, preparing for the bad news.

“Everything’s fine,” she says. (Phew. Exhale.) “I wanted to call and say I just received an email from the Georgia Secretary of State saying my CPA license has been approved.”

If it hadn’t been 11:35 I would have screamed for joy!

Someday we will write about this crazy three year journey we have been on. For right now, I’m just thankful to God that goal is behind us. Way to go dear…You Rock!

Here’s my goal update for July:

Goal #1: Read through the entire New Testament of the Bible and the book of Proverbs by May 31st. Finished.

New Goal #1A (for the second half of 2013): Read one book a month.

This month, I completed John Acuff’s new book Start. The theme of the book focuses on moving from average to awesome and the obstacles we must overcome at various stages of our life to do so. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will have a full write up on it in a new book review feature I will be launching in August on Luke1428.

The new book I plan to read for August is Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.

Goal #2: Pay off our mortgage debt by the end of the year. Postponed. You can read about why here.

I spent some time this past month doing some recalculations on our mortgage payoff. I believe if no more unanticipated expenses occur through our rental real estate side business, we will be able to pay off our mortgage in the summer of 2014. That’s later than the original goal of this December but nothing to get worked up about.

Goal #3: To support Mrs. Luke1428 as she obtains her CPA license and MBA by December, 2013 Half-finished. (see above)

Now she has only four more classes to finish before December to earn her MBA. So close!

Goal #4: To run a half-marathon in under 2 hours, a full marathon in under 4 hours and run 1,000 miles for the year. Half Marathon-Finished.

Counting my final run later this morning, I will run 121 miles in July. I ran 19 out of 31 days, had 5 days of cross-training on the exercise bike, had 4 rest days and missed three days of running due to rain and fatigue. For the year, I have now run 557 miles.

August will be a real challenge as I start back to school. My morning run sessions will begin around 4:00 AM so I can complete them before I leave for work. I’m also running in the Area 13.1 Half-Marathon in Roswell, GA on Saturday, August 17th. And you guessed it…it’s an alien themed race, run at night. I ran it last year and it was lots of fun to see everyone dressed in their florescent green and yellow running wear.

Goal #5: Redo the Luke1428 blog design by August, 2013. Finished.

June and July have been the most heavily trafficked months in the one-year history of Luke1428. That’s probably due to my activity, as it was able to increase over the summer as I was out of school. School begins shortly though so I’ll have to adjust to my work schedule again. The writing should not be a problem. Where I will have to cut back is on the reading of other blogs. I’ve been tracking about 90 blogs a week this summer and commenting at many. I won’t be able to keep that level of interaction up once school begins.

In July, I also launched a new series on Sundays called “Hidden Nuggets.” These are short devotional type posts centered on what I am learning about life and finances through my faith. This series is very important to me, as I believe it keeps me grounded to the original intent of why I started this blog. I invite you to check it out and be encouraged over your Sunday morning cup of coffee.

Instead of resting in my accomplishments and slacking off, I’ve decided to keep pushing my blogging self in the second half of 2013. I have listed these new goals as items I want to accomplish through December:

New Goals #5A (for blog in the second half of 2013):

Lower my Alexa ranking below 150,000 (currently at 255,747)

Guest post at least once per month

Submit an article to a carnival twice a month

Comment on a Yakezie article or in the forums once a week

Goal #6: Join a local running club by March. Finished.

Finally, here are some of the odd search terms that have led people to Luke1428 in the past 30 days:

man sitting on a toilet drawing…second month in a row for this term. Why are people searching for this?

“this will be adjusted from next month’s budget”…sounds like someone who blew it this month.

confused arrows…just fly straight and hit the target.

this rich lady gets lessons in pool…hopefully swim lessons.

George McFly enchantment… “I’m your density. I mean, your destiny.”

I keep losing my money that’s invested…time for new plan.

Can 5 year olds geocache…Yes! You should see my boy get into it.

Have you ever received an awesome call after midnight?

Photo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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  1. TacklingOurDebt says

    Congratulations to your wife! That is wonderful. And I’m the same as you when the phone rings late at night.

  2. Congrats on complete almost all of your goals Brian, you Rock!

  3. Thank God and congratulations to your wife on her CPA! I once wanted to be one, but discerned that it wasn’t for me. I am still looking into options for achieving my MBA.

    • My wife has taken her courses online through Liberty University. She has had a good experience with that. It’s been very flexible…she can work on her classes at night after work.

  4. Congrats to your wife! That is good that it wasn’t a bad phone call.

  5. I hate those after midnight calls. You can’t help but think the worst. But glad it was great news. What stood out to me in that article was getting up at 4am to run. OMG, I can’t even imagine doing that so hats off to you my friend!! Wow!!! Great job on all your other goals too. You’re killin it!

    • When I first started getting up early, it took my body clock about two months to adjust to the new schedule. I usually go to bed between 9 and 10. I had never been a morning person but now it’s really not hard at all to get going (as long as I get to bed on time). The great thing about it is that I’m not taking up anyone’s time at 4:00 AM. I’m not neglecting my wife or kids to chase this dream cause they are obviously still in dreamland.

  6. Congrats to your wife! While I have not gotten a CPA nor an MBA, I am well aware of the kind of time commitment they take. Kudos to you for supporting her in the process.

    90 blogs a week?!? That’s intense. I honestly am questioning how sustainable my commenting is. I might outsource it, actually (I did commenting for a blog when I was in college and it was a great gig for that time of my life). I definitely think that unless you are a huge website the amount of commenting you can do is directly propotional to traffic. If you stop commenting it’s almost certainly going to drop.

    My new goal is to work out the redesign by end of the year. While it realistically could be done by end of August, I have been so busy I haven’t even been able to go over the contract with my designer yet :0 He sent it two weeks ago.

    • 90 a week is a little crazy. I haven’t been reading every single article everyday at those blogs. I have about 40 that I go to 2 or 3 times a week. The rest I just peak in on quickly at some point during the week to see what’s going on. If an article title catches my attention I’ll stop, read and maybe comment. Take your time with the redesign and get everything done how you want it. There’s no rush.

  7. Cat Alford/ Budget Blonde says

    Congrats to your wifey!!! How exciting!!! I’ve had a lot of time to devote to my site this summer too. Not looking forward to going back to work!

    • Thanks Cat! It’s frustrating a bit when you make such solid progress in a short amount of time and then have to take your foot off the gas. Feels like you are taking a step backwards. I guess things will just have to progress a little slower because work definitely comes before blogging. Work puts real money in the bank account!

  8. I always hate getting call that late, because they’ve usually been very bad – but that is certainly not the case – big congrats! Looks like you’re making some solid progress on many of your goals.

    • I was very pleased about this phone call…except that I couldn’t get back to sleep afterwards! But that news couldn’t have waited until morning. Not after the three years of struggle we have been through.

  9. Awesome job – you had a very successful July I’d say! That’s also great news that your wife got her CPA license approved! I hate receiving calls either really early in the morning or late at night. Early in the morning just because once my boyfriend left to go to work, called me and I knew something was wrong. He had gotten into a minor car accident. Glad it was good news for you 🙂

  10. That’s alot of running! Congrats to your wife. When we were waiting for my husband’s final state test before he could get a principal’s license, it was pins and needles, so I understand the feeling. Those are some great goals. If you want to do a guest post or blog swap, I’m open any time.

  11. Congrats! That’s a pretty awesome accomplishment. It also looks like you’ve made some great progress on a lot of your personal goals. That running mileage total is impressive.

  12. I never received such call at midnights, In anycase good to know everything is going good for you, well done and Take care

    • Thanks Rita! We’ve received two really tough calls between 12-5 a.m. since we’ve been married. Perhaps that’s why I’m so jumpy.

  13. Holly Johnson says

    I always cringe when my phone is ringing at a strange time as well!
    I’m glad that everything is going so great for your family. It sounds like you deserve it!!!


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