February Check-In

February 1 rolled up on us in what seemed like a flash, bringing with it a few snow flurries to the greater Knoxville area. There’s a wet-cold in the air that has a distinct Southern Appalachian bite to it but it’s not enough to dissuade me from wearing shorts at 4am.

This is going to be the first in what I hope is a series of posts where I check in with the goals I set for myself in this new year. Call it organized, call it accountability, call it whatever else you want but I figured it made sense to share some of them.

However, instead of sharing my entire list of goals and their notes (that I’m keeping separately), I’m going to share a few highlights from the last month.

Goals I’ve Kept Up With:

Produce 1 Video Per Week

To be honest, this is a goal I thought I would have already failed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started out doing something like this, made it one or two weeks then fell off. This time around, however, I’ve done a killer job, starting with a list of 52 video topics that cover personal development, fitness and nutrition. So far I’ve created a five-part series on goal setting, helped you decide what workout you should be doing, revealed the secrets behind the proper diet, motivated people to get moving and today I talked about the importance of strength training.

These are all being posted to the JTF Strong page on Facebook, the JTF Strong Instagram page and most recently, the JTF YouTube channel.

Read 12 books by EOY

This just means one book per month and I just finished Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion Into a Full-time Gig by Ilana Griffo, a gift from my future wife, and am about to begin The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau, a recommendation from my previous book.

Consistently Hit All Budget Goals

This is a goal that I knew I’d be able to hit just fine because I’ve turned into a budget fiend in the last few years, mostly out of necessity. This usually consists of a 50/30/20 rule where 50% of my income goes in a fund for bills and groceries, 30% of my income is for frivolous spending and 20% goes toward the paying off of debt but this year there’s been a slight change. I’m now doing 60/20/20, allowing me to put an additional 10% into three different funds (or simply 3.33% each) that I’m trying to save up for (ie vacation, future potential vet bills and one other fund I’m not at liberty to discuss in this post). So far, I’ve not missed a single budget line and everything is a-okay.

In case anyone is wondering, I’m using the Dave Ramsay “snowball” method for knocking out the last of my debt. Killing it so far, I’d like to add!

Hit 15% Body Fat by End of Summer

As of this writing I have two weeks left in my current program DESTROYER. While it was intended to make me gain weight, the crazy healthy way of eating Katie and I usually partake in has made it so that I’m just getting more and more cut! At the beginning of the program, I weighed 222.0 pounds at 17.1% body fat and as of my last weigh-in on 1/29, I’m 219.2 pounds at 16.8%. It’s unfortunate that the lower your body fat goes, the slower it decreases, but I know the process, I trust it, and I’m still making good progress!

Goals That Need Revision:

Revisit JTF Strong Website by End of January

So I’ve done a pretty good job of waking this blog up but I really wanted to wake up JTFStrong.com by the end of January. Now that it’s officially February 1, I can safely say I made 0% progress toward that goal and plan to push that out to the end of February. I have a photo shoot coming up on Thursday that will allow me to gather some fresh content for the site as well as my social platforms so I’m hoping to also re-write all the content and begin blogging over there soon as well.

Pay Off Credit Card by October

While I mention above that I’m hitting all my budget goals, what I didn’t mention is that life sometimes happens and things that are out of your control can really throw a wrench on your time-sensitive goals. I had planned on getting my credit card debt paid off by the end of October but an unexpected $3,000 utilities bill said I was going to need to make another arrangement. My goal is now to have it paid off by Christmas.

Weekly Household Projects

Being a homeowner has so many perks but the one biggest downfall is that when things go wrong … it’s up to you to fix it! And while it’s so nice to have a customized space, customization means planning, doing and a helluva lot of money (sometimes). Unfortunately my goal of completing one outstanding household job per week has fallen by the wayside (I’m not talking about laundry and dishes, that stuff gets done every day … I’m talking about fixing gutters, cleaning gutters, fixing pipes, etc.). On a positive, however, I’m dedicating my life and my future to a beautiful woman who really knows what she’s doing around the house and is working with me to customize our space in a way that’s unique, beautiful and budget-friendly! MAN I’m a lucky guy!

New Goals:

Ride the Motorcycle Every Week

Self explanatory, really. The beautiful thing about living in East Tennessee is that motorcycle season basically runs January-December if you’re not a wimp. I’ve been letting the bike sit a while during the cold months save for going out and starting it every few days but when I got a sunny 50+ day out, I went for a short ride and it was beautiful. I have all the gear I need for cold-weather riding, too, so I’m making it a point to just ride at least once every week if I can. Buying Rhonda was one of the biggest statements of my life and I’d be a criminal to let her sit in my garage for too long.

Take More Photos

More is so subjective, is it not? I need to be more precise with this goal so it’s more measurable but I have faith that if I set myself up for success, I’ll have no choice but to do well. I spent yesterday evening charging all my batteries in my DSLR and plan on lugging it around with me everywhere I go moving forward. I plan to shoot at least a little every day and hopefully share photos on a near-daily basis.

Goals I’m Letting Go:

None yet.

And probably none moving forward. There’s always a reason you set a goal and I feel like it’s silly to give up on or simply erase a goal you’ve written down. If a goal doesn’t seem achievable, then you create a series of process goals to help you achieve it … or, as i’ve done above, you simply redefine the parameters that define success for that goal. You don’t quit … you never quit.

Anyway, that’s it for February’s monthly check-in. I love February and I hope you guys have a beautiful one.


  1. I am beyond proud of you. You are on 🔥, and are going to accomplish SO many amazing things. I feel so very blessed to have you in my life, and am excited about our monthly check ins. Keep it up baby, the light shines out of you like no one I’ve ever met.


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