Monday, February 20, 2012

Non-financial goals

Mustachianism isn't just about money. It's improving your entire life through Badassity. Money and related financial issues comprise large portions of all of our lives, but the goal isn't money. The goal is to have the most awesome life possible.

This is a blog mostly about personal finance, but I would be remiss — and not a very good Mustachian — if I didn't from time to time talk about how else I'm making my life better.

New Years was almost three months ago (yikes!), and like many Americans I set a few resolutions that I knew deep down I would forget all about in a month or two. I have a friend who is vehemently opposed to the institution of "New Years Resolutions", because each and every day is an opportunity suck a little less and be a little more awesome. While I agree with him in principle, personally I like the societally-enforced review that happens every new year.

Even though these are pretty late in coming, here are my (non-financial) goals for 2012:
  • (Be able to) do 40 consecutive push-ups
My first two goals are health related. There are two main reasons: first, I can tell I'm out of shape; and second, I have this deep-seated fear of dying of a heart attack when I'm 50. 
Last year I got one of those "do 100 push-ups" apps and stuck with it for a few weeks, long enough that I could do thirty-something consecutive push-ups. That was the most push-ups I was ever able to do, and even though I thought it was pretty cool I allowed myself to lapse. Yesterday I managed to do 20 without pushing too hard; I probably couldn't get past 25. So that's where I'm at. 
My plan for now is to do as many as I can every other day. It's early in the year and I can always switch to a more rigorous regimen during the summer. For now I'm keeping it simple.
  • Lose 10 pounds (be 158 lbs or less)
Back when I was in grad school, I walked to school most days, 2 miles each way. I was in okay shape and I didn't weigh too much. But grad school was terrible, and after I retired to the 'burbs and settled down with a nice job I hit almost 180 lbs. I'm shorter than average for a dude at 5'9", and I feel like realistically I have no business weighing more than 160. 
At my level of fitness and activity this should be as easy as portion control and semi-regular cardiovascular exercise. I'm planning on biking to work consistently come spring time, though a good question is "why are you not already biking to work consistently?". Alas that is a story for another day.
  • Learn to cook 5 staple meals, that my girlfriend will enjoy
I will eat mostly anything that's food. My girlfriend is only slightly more picky. For example, she prefers her food quite hot, whereas I regularly eat out of the refrigerator. Because of that, and because I'm not a very good cook — my idea of cooking is throwing foodstuffs together in a pot and heating it until I'm convinced it won't give me salmonella — she does the lion's share of the cooking. 
It doesn't have to be this way. I'd like to take some of the pressure off her and share the cooking duties more evenly. So far I'm narrowing in on an acceptable crock pot chili recipe, as well as fine-tuning an Asian stir-fry recipe.

I'm folding the above goals under the umbrella of my Mustachian journey. Mr. Money Mustache regularly extols physical fitness and cooking abilities, and striving to be a little more awesome every day just reeks of Badassity.

I even threw together a Goals page up at the top to keep track of my progress. Check it out.


  1. You've got it made. First of all, you have a girl who cooks for you and second of all you're 5'9 and only 180?! LOL. My wife does not cook and I am 5'7 and 215. Ouch! Although I am relatively muscular, I definitely have a little bit of a double chin and beer gut that my wife likes to poke fun at. My goal is to get below 200 which I have not been at for at least 5 years now. I have started tracking what I eat daily by taking snapshots with my iPhone and notes in Evernote. I plan on bugging the hell out of my best friend by consistently emailing him my food choices. I'm hoping that will hold me accountable and I'll start shrinking hopefully. Good luck to you!

    1. Haha thanks. I will admit that life is pretty good. Pictures of everything I eat is a great idea. I definitely want to try that when I get serious about my diet. And I definitely hear you, using a friend as a commitment device. Commitment devices are pretty much the only way I get things done -- like this blog, for example :) Thanks again.

  2. Good luck on the push-ups. I recently got up to the 100 mark... after a long time of building up to that point. My next fitness goal is 20 pull-ups. 16 is my top at the moment.

    Have you checked out Fitocracy? It's a social fitness site, that allows you to track your workouts, progress, etc. I find it helpful for a bit of extra motivation. Completely free of course. A Mustachian would never pay for something like that. Feel free to contact me if you want an invite to the site to check it out. FYI- I'm not involved with the site in any way, just a passionate user.

  3. Thanks. And congrats on getting to the 100 mark! That's most impressive. I poked around a similar site, DailyBurn, on the advice of a coworker, but I haven't used it much. I think later on in the year I'll have to get more serious about training, and it's then that one of these social exercise sites will come in handy.