December 2018 Reflections: A Year In Review

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Instead of reflecting on this past month alone, I want to change it up and briefly reflect upon this past year as a whole.

2018 – Our Year of Growth

It all started with discovering the concept of financial independence and learning that we could achieve wealth that we never thought was possible, but only if we made the right choices.

To be honest, we were already making some of these choices. We got rid of debt as quickly as we could, lived below our means, and saved a large portion of our income. While our spending habits didn’t change much, our outlook changed drastically.

We were filled with excitement when we realized that we could have the option to retire decades earlier than our peers. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean retiring for the sake of bumming around all day. If you know us, we’re both ambitious people with many passions.

Also, our identities are largely tied to being healthcare professionals. That being said, it is likely that we will drop down to a part-time status while pursuing our many passions during “retirement”.

This will not only make us happier, but it will also allow us to continue providing better care to our patients. How many times have you encountered the burnt out employee? Well, that won’t be us. We plan on continuing to work for enjoyment rather than for the necessity of money.

Knowledge and Self-Discovery

The discovery of financial independence led us down a path of accumulating knowledge and developing a financial plan to achieve the freedom that we desire.

This accumulation of knowledge goes beyond learning about investments and taxes. We learned more about ourselves.

We asked: What do we really want out of life?  Where do we want to spend the majority of our time and energy? What would we do for fulfillment if we no longer needed to spend 40 – 50 hours in the hospital or clinic?

Then another idea struck, why wait?

We began allocating the time we would otherwise spend watching TV or playing games towards exercising, spending time with loved ones or learning new skills.

Heck, I even picked up the habit of reading and writing more which has paid dividends many times this year.

My wife rekindled the artist within and produced work that both impressed and inspired. She even made some money from her work and gained recognition as the in-house artist at her hospital.

You can see that we are already living a happier, healthier and wealthier life.

This year has been the most fulfilling year yet and we are super excited for what next year may bring. Join us in setting new goals, remember to write them down, establish milestones and an action plan to achieve those milestones. Try to make your goals measurable and realistic. All it takes is persistence, consistency, and a developed plan.

If you would like to learn more, explore my recommended books, browse the rest of my site, or contact me.

Now let’s get to some December Updates.

Blog Development

This month, I completed a guest post that talks about a time where I had to overcome identity loss. As tragic as it sounds, I put a positive spin on it and provided some lessons that I have learned and may be useful to you as well. Check it out here.


As you may know from last month’s reflection, I was inspired after reading Goodbye Things and am working towards living a more minimalist lifestyle. As a result, I decided to sell my bowflex 3.1 weight lifting bench that I had sitting around for the last couple of years. The craziest thing is that I purchased it over 4 years ago at a garage sale for $20 and sold it for $75. Talk about a great flip.

Personal Development:


I finished reading my 12th book this year! It was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This is a great resource for those who seek to not only obtain the riches of money, but also contains activities to obtain many riches in life.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the list!

  1. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – John Bogle
  2. The Simple Path To Wealth – Jim Collins
  3. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
  4. The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas Stanley & WIlliam Danko
  5. Your Money or Your Life – Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
  6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
  7. The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey
  8. Essentialism: Live Like a Minimalist – James Lathom
  9. Design Your Future – Dominick Quartuccio
  10. The Richest Man In Babylon – George S. Clason
  11. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki
  12. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Health & Fitness

I have adjusted my morning workout routine to include a 20-30 minute full body workout at a mild to moderate intensity. My second exercise session is after work and involves more heavy weight lifting. In total, I aim to have 1-2 exercise sessions for 5 days of the week.

I met my goal of achieving <15% body fat this year. Currently, I am at 12.5% body fat and plan to hitting 10% next year. It will be extremely difficult, but I’m up for the challenge.

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