30 Small Wins Challenge Update – Passes, Fails & Stories After 12 Weeks
The 30 small wins challenge launched 12 weeks ago as a way to get some momentum rolling by compounding smaller, attainable accomplishments together.
The list of challenges fall into three main categories: financial, health & wellness and networking & knowledge. There was no timeline tied to the original 30 small wins challenge. These were evergreen and meant to be accomplished at any pace or manner.
Over the last 12 weeks, I’ve accomplished 22/30 challenges (73.33%) from the original list.
However, the best part was the feedback I’d gotten from members of the email list who’d jumped on board. The wins they shared aren’t solely because of this challenge but it’s always great to hear the momentum others are making in their own lives.
I wanted to touch on some of my personal passes and failures on some (not all) of the challenges. Plus share a few anecdotes from those within the Making Momentum subscriber list.
1.) Write Down Your Money GoalsPASS
This is a standard part of my monthly budget processing so I was off to a good start on my own checklist for the 30 challenges.
Outside my consistent spending and saving goals, I’m focused on two trips coming in September. One for a wedding across the country and another to FinCon in Orlando! As with vacations and any travel, the expenses can tend to skew higher than expected.
My goal is to earn enough in side hustles over the next 8 weeks to cover the cost for both those trips. That would be a big win as my normal 9-5 income that would’ve covered these costs can all go straight into my brokerage and savings accounts.
2.) Sell One Item On eBay Or CraigslistPASS
I sold one of my Canon camera lenses on eBay that was no longer getting any use. The lens sold for $279 and after eBay fees and shipping that totalled $241 profit.
Year-to-date my eBay sales are $1,977.99. This is a big win for me as I declutter and monetize my old stuff.
“One Half Of Our Garage Had Turned Into A Storage Unit” – David (from St. Louis, MI)
I’d developed the bad habit of never letting go of furniture after recent moves and updates in hopes that it could save us and our son some money once he was ready to move out. Well he’s still here in the basement and one half of our garage had turned into a storage unit.
Fast-forward two weeks after listing a collection of items on Craigslist (couch, side table, coffee table, office chair, TV and media unit), we brought in over $1,100.
4.) 30 Day Chain Of Daily Savings Growth
Unfortunately, this wasn’t something I completed within the 30 small wins challenge. The idea behind the daily savings chain is day 1 you save $1, day 2 you save $2…day 30 you save $30 and in the end after 30 days savings have totaled $465.
In a roundabout way I surpassed those savings totals just through the natural automation of my budget and cash flows. But perhaps I can try this in August as a means to support the expenses from the two September trips I touched on above.
5.) Earn A Minimum Of $200 Through A Side HustlePASS
As I alluded to in my month 4 blogging report, I was able to generate $500 in revenue on Making Momentum in June. That helped almost get me to break even with the hosting, domain, theme, tools and courses expenses for the blog.
The plan is to keep that rolling for Making Momentum and continue with my other freelance marketing work.
“Put Some Flyers On The Bulletin Board” – Jamie (from Unknown)
I’m now a full-time physical therapist at our local community centre but had been a personal trainer during university and the 2 years following. The gym within my condo building is jammed full of people. Like all day and night.
For the last 6 months I’ve helped other residents by creating workout plans and showing them a basic routine based on the machines and equipment available. I charge a small fee to build a plan and then another for additional follow-ups. How did I start? Got permission from the managers to put some flyers on the bulletin board and spoke with my neighbours when they were in the gym.
6.) Perform A 3 Month Spending Audit To Review Your Full Budget (or Start A Budget)PASS
Again as I noted in a post about my personal finance monthly status check, this is part of my standard process. I like to always know where my money is going and whether I’m tracking in the right direction.
The discoveries on recent audits include how much I spend on weekend craft beers and my favourite local burrito spot, how little I spend on clothes or any material items and that my spending rate is pretty consistent.
Across the last year my spending falls within 2-8% range plus or minus each month (not including one-offs like travel, weddings, etc.).
“Almost Had A Heart Attack” – Josh (from Unknown)
My wife and I went through our budget a few months back and realized we spent over $1000 in just food that month. I almost had a heart attack!
Needless to say we cut back on eating out since then and what do you know we have spending money.
7.) Contribute A Minimum Of $25 To A Charity Or FoundationPASS
This is an area of my life that hopefully can continue to progress as my financial situation moves forward. I’m very fortunate to live in a place like Canada, with a great family and no major health concerns as it stands now.
Very, very fortunate.
I contribute to the WE Charity.
WE Charity is an international charity that partners with communities through a holistic, sustainable development model that equips families with the tools and skills they need to lift themselves out of poverty.
8.) Cancel Or Renegotiate A Paid Subscription Or Service
Unfortunately, I didn’t make any momentum here. My cell bill is still higher than I’d like but my work offsets 60% of it.
On another note, I have a post coming out in the next two weeks about playing fantasy football. I’ve made about $4,000 in profits over the last 3 seasons playing fantasy football. But I’m at a crossroads this year due to the time, risk, stress and costs involved.
If I decide not to play that will allow me to cancel the membership package I have with a fantasy football website.
9.) Complete A No Spend Weekend
Another shortcoming on the 30 day challenge checklist. The last 12 weekends have seen various work events, family members visiting, personal trips, business trips and the start of summer.
Safe to say I haven’t completed a no spend weekend.
How meta would it be if I went to FinCon and did a no spend weekend challenge there?
14.) Walk 25,000 Steps In A DayPASS
My girlfriend and I were able to hit 32,852 steps during a recent staycation day off here in the city. This included what seemed like an endless walk along the waterfront, adventure through the biggest park in the city and then the same long walk back along the water.
I’d like to do this more often around the city this summer as a means to get out and explore different neighbourhoods.
But safe to say 32,852 steps was a nice win for us.
15.) Go A Minimum Of Two Weeks With Zero Alcohol
Aaron from Personal Finance For Beginners shared a recent post including 31 personal finance bloggers favourite splurges that I had contributed to.
My splurge? Craft beer.
It’s a common ground of passion and enjoyment for both my family and circle of friends. Unfortunately, I made it to 11 days but didn’t pass the 2 week mark. I definitely will make this a goal and challenge to accomplish over the coming months though.
17.) Do 3,000 Sit Ups/Crunches Over The Next 30 DaysPASS
Happy to say I almost tripled this one! In my Waking Up At 5AM Changed My Life post I described my working habits, including the fitness component.
Recently, in addition to the morning workout, I’ve also been throwing in some living room physical activity in the evening. I spend so much of my at my work and home in office chairs at a computer. It’s been troubling my mind lately.
So now in the evenings I’ve looked to implement quick bursts of activity in the living room every 30-45 minutes. Kettlebell swings, sit-ups, burpees, etc.
The net benefits have been amazing.
“We Just Do It, No Excuses” – Ian (from Brandon, MB)
Every evening after my wife gets home from work (I usually get home 30 minutes earlier), we take our dog out for a nice walk. As soon as we get back inside, we do a quick routine that includes jumping jacks, body weight squats and 200 sit ups.
While it might not be the most intensive workout, it helps get our hearts going and motivates us to eat a healthier dinner afterwards.
We just do it, no excuses. It’s become part of our daily routine now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
22.) Disconnect From Electronics Entirely For One Day
Another red mark on the 30 small wins challenge.
With work and running this blog, I unfortunately haven’t been able to disconnect for a whole 24 hour cycle. I’m so caught up in the digital world in my career and side hustling that it’s hard but that’s no excuse.
I honestly struggle with this and need to actively make a better effort.
26.) Read 3 Books Over The Next 30 DaysPASS
One of my favourite things as the weather improves into spring and summer, is to head down to the lakefront here in Toronto and relax with a book.
Thankfully I’ve been able to crush 12 books in the 12 weeks since launching the 30 small wins challenge. Most of these books are mentioned in my 25 books on personal and professional development post but 3 of my recent favourites have been:
- The Spider Network: How a Math Genius and a Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off One of the Greatest Scams in History by David Enrich
- Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
- Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
“I Become Obsessed With Tim Ferriss” – from Sammy (Detroit, MI)
I was late to the Tim Ferriss party. On the repeated recommendation of my brother, I finally read 4 Hour Workweek. That jumped started my Ferriss reading binge as I quickly made my way through Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors.
I beat the 3 books in 30 days challenge with 11 days to spare as I just closed the final page of Mentors.
27.) Take An Online Course, Webinar Or Training SessionPASS
I’m a big advocate of investing in yourself to reap the benefits of continued learning and development. Since launching the 30 small wins challenge I completed two courses through Udemy.
The courses were from two areas of focus:
One financial focus as I look to build knowledge on real estate investing. And the other on growing my writing ability and understanding of the freelance marketplace.
More details to come in reviews for both those courses.
28.) Attend A Conference Or Local Meet Up
As it stand now, this is currently at a fail. However, I was recently awarded a scholarship to FinCon in Orlando from September 26-29.
I’m beyond humbled and thankful that Rockstar Finance and FinCon provided me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get down to FinCon to meet this amazing community of bloggers, influencers and content creators.
So thankfully after September 29th, this will shift to a pass.
The 30 small wins challenge tasks are meant to help build momentum in your money and life through focused effort.
If you want to review the full list of small wins, head over to the original post that includes:
- 13 Financial Challenges
- 10 Health & Wellness Challenges
- 7 Networking & Knowledge Challenges
Laying the challenges out in this fashion helped increase my engagement and motivation to pursue 30 different items. Plus printing off the checklist and working through the list was helpful to compound success and see progress.
My goal is to now conquer those failures I alluded to in this update. In particular, the digital detox and 2 weeks of no alcohol.
Thanks to everyone who completed some of the tasks, shared their wins or checked out the challenge in any fashion. I will definitely look to build more challenges moving forward.
What are your thoughts on the 30 small wins challenge? Let me know in the comments below.
Here are some other posts to help take control of your money and life:
- The Personal Finance Resources And Content That Saved My Life
- 6 Tips To Help Create Accountability With Your Personal Finances
- 35+ Rewarding Side Hustles Anyone Can Do To Earn More Money
- 55 Great Online Udemy Courses For Millennials, Entrepreneurs And Side Hustlers
- 25 Books On Personal And Professional Development
- 75 Podcasts To Improve Your Life, Finances, Business, Health & More