Entry #1 – Setting the Stage

notebook, journal, diary, entry, a good year, resolution, goalsThis is my first entry into “A Very Good Year,” a journal account of my year in 2014 practicing the Keys to Optimal Living. First, you might notice that it is still 2013. You caught me. One cannot wait for success, so I’m taking action right away. I’m using the weeks leading up to the New Year to get prepared and to set the stage in the brainstorming and planning of my 2014 resolutions and goals.

It is going to be a crazy year, but a great year. To give you a little background:

  1. My wife and I are expecting a baby in March. The wife will be on maternity leave putting a huge strain on our finances.
  2. I will also be starting a career in real estate, while working full time at my old job on what I hope will be a six month contract.
  3. I need to sell our “other” house. The wife and I each bought a house just before meeting each other. It was rented, but trouble with the last tenant and a broken furnace has left another $10000 hole in our pocket. Luckily, my new career is in real estate and selling it will be a good opportunity for me to learn and get exposure to new clients.

What do I want to gain from “A Very Good Year”?

This is an opportunity for me to examine my life closely to bring about the changes that will lead to success. The last few years I’ve failed to accomplish many of my priority goals, gone further in debt, and missed out on opportunities. I’ve been thinking about my future goals a long time, but nothing has been put to paper. Here they are in rough form:


In the New Year I will be starting my career in real estate. I’m lucky as I will continue to have a paying job for six months to assist the transition, however this job will keep me very busy taking away from the priority career goal, plus there will be the baby. By the end of the year I hope to be able to support my family and lifestyle on my real estate earnings alone. As a realtor I will be a private contractor, which will include learning to be a realtor and running my own business – I can’t wait to be my own boss!!


I have made some bad money decisions over the last few years. First, I left a high paying job to write a novel (still not done).  After a year I went to Teacher’s College, in which I got a degree, but made no money and fell $20 000 in debt. This year I have returned to the Army, been supply teaching, and earned my certification to sell real estate (courses costing $$$). Oh yes, then there is the wedding, the house situation, the baby coming, and my wife leaving her job to go on maturity leave, as I mentioned above. So basically I’m screwed… Oh yes and the wife just bought a brand new SUV and I traded my truck in for a little family car. The damage… about $75 000 of debt. To say I want to pay this off this year is close to impossible, but I do want to take a big chunk out of it. How will I do this? I want to save $10 000 this year; more about the details of this later.


For me family will always be a priority. My wife is pregnant and due in seven month and my mother has cancer and is very sick. The parents also live three hours away, so seeing them is often difficult, especially in the winter.  I’m fighting to keep the rest of my family sane as they struggle with the future and I want to spend more time with them.


I won’t say that I don’t have friends; it is just that I never see them. As you can see, finding the time will be my biggest factor. I have great friends and I want to spend more time with them.


Here is where one of the Keys to Optimal Living fits in well. If I want to accomplish the goals above I will need to take advantage of time. As it stands now I feel like I’m always busy, but accomplishing little. I need to focus on priority tasks. I believe establishing good habits will help this. With the baby coming I’m going to be leaned on to do more work around the house and run more errands – I want to do my part and more.


To complete the goals above I will also need energy and focus. I want to get back into shape, but with simple quick workouts. I don’t have the time or the money to go to the gym, so the workouts will be from home. I have a good knowledge base in fitness from the army and my gym days. I have a bunch of dumbbells and a bar for chin ups.

Sell A House

At the moment I’m stuck in the horrible position of paying two mortgages. A year ago I had a great plan to rent the house out (to family) as I finished getting my real estate licence and got married. They were to live there for four months and move out giving me a month to prepare and stage the house to sell it in the spring. After a number of excuses and finally six months of unpaid rent I moved them out last weekend. I’m owed $5000 – which I have graciously cut down from about $8000 and I will most likely need to carry the house until the spring to get the best price. It is a disaster and a huge stressor.

Finish My Book

Ok, I put it up here, but I don’t know where I will find the time. I’m currently in edit number five. I will comment that I wrote the first draft while working full time in the army and taking two university night courses – maybe I thrive in madness.

Continue Blogging

Confession number two, this not the first time (or the third) I have been all gung-ho over a blog.  I have even started Keys to Optimal Living and A Very Good Year before, but never really got further than the concept. This project itself will be a huge commitment. I’m working on the premise that the information I learn can be used to assist all the other goals above. At this early stage I’ve been putting many hours into the blog, but I feel I will need to set parameters in the future to keep the time invested into it balanced.

In the end The Keys to Optimal Living are all about finding balance and not sacrificing one key for another as all parts of your life are important. I want to create a lifestyle that allows me to be productive and successful, while still pursuing my passions and being a great father to my future children and husband to my wife. I want to find tactics and strategies on how to keep my life “normal”, but running as optimally as possible.

Note – As mentioned in the “A Very Good Year” about page, this section is a rough journal entry of my progress. As you can tell from the ideas above I still don’t know where I’m headed. The goals themselves are still rough and I will work on making them specific and build a plan to accomplish them. I want you to be able to see the ideas as they happen and connect them with the concepts from the information section of the site. The above was written fast and gone over again quickly. I will save the polish for the main website. This section will be personal and honest.


Thanks for reading,





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