Can you believe it’s been since September since we heard from Ether to FI?
After a few years of very regular updates, they’ve become a bit sporadic, but I’m happy to continue featuring his journey from residency to financial independence.
Since introducing himself four and a half years ago as a brand new attending, he’s made great progress, both financially and in understanding what matters most and what he wants out of his career and life.
In this eighteenth installment, he shows how he plans to make 2022 his best year yet by setting and h0pefully achieving a set of goals he’s set to improve his health.
As a society, we love New Year’s resolutions. However, resolutions are long forgotten by February. I planned to publish this post for the New Year, but I decided to wait. Happy New Year! How are your resolutions going?
The statistics say that one-third of people have “failed” at their resolutions by the end of January. More than half fall off the wagon by the end of June. When the year ends, only 10% of people have fulfilled their New Year’s resolution, but we set brand new ones every year.
I love setting goals, and I take great pleasure in accomplishing those goals. I have always been this way, even as a child. As I have grown older, I have seen that most people do not share my enthusiasm. I am one of those people who review their goals daily to remind me to make specific choices to fulfill those goals.
2022 is the year of health. This year, my focus on health was triggered by a book that I read in December of last year. The book is titled Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It was eye-opening. Sleep has many positive ramifications and is the one superpower that we can control. My takeaways from the book were the following:
Sleep helps with longevity
One of my life goals is to be healthy and active at 120 years old. Modern technology will create many centenarians during our lifetime. I want to be a self-sufficient 120-year-old who can still run and play with my great-great-grandchildren.
If you have read the book The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner, there are pockets of this world where living to old age and maintaining your health is considered ordinary. Why not me?
Poor sleep is based on your current sleep habits if you do not have a sleep disorder
How many of us are guilty of mindlessly scanning social media in bed? Tik-Tok is literally ruining my sleep.
The best nights of sleep are when I leave both the phone and iPad across the room. Blue light cannot be that bad, right? Wrong.
In order to improve my sleep, I now include blue light filters on my electronic screens and wear blue light filter glasses in the evening, especially if using the computer. It is incredible how sleepy you feel when you block blue light at night. I have become a convert.
I have also noticed that having a set bedtime every night improves my sleep. I am an early riser, so I am looking for my mattress when 8:30 pm rolls around these days. This all seems like common sense, but there is nothing common about sense. I wake up in the morning without an alarm when I follow these guidelines.
There are 24 hours in a day
You only need to sleep for 7-8 hours. This means you have 16 hours of the day to accomplish your required tasks, goals, fun, etc. If you make sleep non-negotiable, all those tasks still get completed in those 16 hours.
A Call Schedule Ruins a Sleep Schedule
I was off to a flying start in January with sleep. Going to bed every night around the same time, rising early in the morning ready to conquer the day. Then, I had my first call night of the month. It torpedoed my perfect sleep plan.
Working at night places you in sleep debt, which you do not fully repay the next day. Sleeping during the post-call day affects your ability to sleep at your “regular” bedtime. This then snowballs into the next day.
By the time I got back on track, it was time for another call night. The cycle began again. After experiencing the positives of a regular sleep schedule, I realize why night shift workers have a shorter life span. There is baseline tiredness that you overlook when you work night shift until you experience a period of restful sleep.
My current plan is to limit the number of night shifts to the minimum required. Eventually, the goal will be to phase out working at night; another reason to achieve financial independence sooner rather than later. Limiting night shifts and prioritizing sleep will be the first luxuries afforded by financial freedom.
Feats of Strength
The other goal in the year of health is to increase my overall physical strength. I have been stronger in the past, and I want to surpass my previous personal strength feats.
After a hiatus, I consistently returned to the gym over the past seven months. My benchmarks for strength improvements will be the three “big” lifts – see my fitness goals for 2022:
Squat 2.5 times my bodyweight
This is the goal that I am most confident of accomplishing. I have done this in the past, so I know I can do it in the future. Currently, I am nowhere near this goal, but I have 11 months to achieve this.
Deadlift 3 times my bodyweight
This is a stretch goal. It is also my favorite lift and where I am strongest. I have never hit this goal, but I have been within striking distance before. I am looking forward to this challenge.
Bench Press 1.75 times my bodyweight
Saving the worst for last, my least favorite lift. I have long arms, and this does not help. Goals are supposed to help you grow, so this one is on here to remind me of that.
The most important aspect of goal setting is not accomplishing the goal. Instead, who you must become to achieve your goals matters most. In the words of David Goggins, setting goals is an opportunity to “callous your mind”.
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I love personal finance, but I do not follow the stock market. I do not pay attention to whether it is up or down. I simply enter the numbers into the spreadsheet and move on. I also do not watch, listen, or read the news. I have never seen any improvement in my well-being by paying attention to the news. I am still waiting for the launch of the “Positive News” network.
A little birdie told me that the stock market is gyrating all over the place. Those with long time horizons can only hope that it stays down for an extended period. No sale is as good as a Stock Market sale. It is much easier to build wealth when you can buy quality at a discount.
Our current net worth is $1,559,590.88. Compared to the last time I posted in September 2021, it would appear as though progress has stalled. However, we have continued to invest in the market through its current decline. Our net worth might have taken a recent decline, but the number of shares we own has continued to increase. When the market eventually heads back up, our net worth will jump.
I told you readers that I would check back in by the end of the year in my last post. I missed that deadline. No more promises. Hopefully, I will see you sooner, rather than later. Stay safe.
Set up your own portfolio tracking spreadsheet with the template available below. When you add the Stock Connector add-in to Excel, the sheet will update automatically based on your ticker symbols.
You enter the number of shares you own (I use Personal Capital to display the information from my various accounts), and the sheet will update the value of each of your holdings daily (or more often, if you wish) based on the current price of the assets you own.
Follow Ether to FI’s progress to FI in his previous posts:
- Post 1: Introducing Ether to FI: A New Attending Striving for Financial Independence. Net worth $80,283
- Post 2: Ether to FI: Obeying WCI’s Ten Commandments & Net Worth Update. Net worth $145,194
- Post 3: Ether to FI: Home Days & Net Worth Update Net worth $176,674
- Post 4: Rest in Peace, E.T.F. A Love Letter from a Dead Man and a Net Worth Update. Net Worth $197,061
- Post 5: Ether to FI: Mrs. E.T.F., Are We on the Same Page? Net Worth $228,109
- Post 6: Ether to FI: Shifting Focus from the “FI” to the “RE” and a Net Worth Update. Net Worth $335,248
- Post 7: Ether to FI: Don’t Call it Retirement (and a Net Worth Update). Net worth $364,089
- Post 8: Ether to FI: Frugal Spouses: The FI Superpower & a Net Worth Update. Net Worth $429,155
- Post 9: Ether to FI: “I hate it. I hate it. I hate it!” Learning from Those You Disagree With & a Net Worth Update. Net worth $489,200
- Post 10: Ether to FI: Waste Not Want Not & a Net Worth Update Net worth $561,532
- Post 11:Ether to FI: Part-Time Work. Full-Time Life! And a Net Worth Update Net Worth $583,566
- Post 12: Ether to FI: Moving Targets & a Net Worth Update Net Worth $718,212
- Post 13: Ether to FI: Embrace the Dip & 2 Net Worth Updates Net Worth $682,028
- Post 14: Ether to FI: Time Waits for No One & a Net Worth Update Net Worth $937,709
- Post 15: Ether to FI: 3 Years to the First Million & a Net Worth Update Net Worth $1,023,261
- Post 16: Ether to FI: Thank You 2020 & a New Worth Update Net Worth $1,269,059
- Post 17: Ether to FI: The Goal is Happiness, Not Perfection & Net Worth Update Net Worth $1,485,440
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Have you stuck with any New Year’s Resolutions? How will you make 2022 your best year yet?