Times are tough. Times are always tough. But we can choose how we feel about what happens.

Our mindset can influence our emotions.

There always seems to be something negative going on, and if there isn’t, people somehow find a way to think and behave like there is.

All this does is blur and muddy the clear, peaceful water of our minds. It takes us to a place of fear and worry, making it difficult to react and behave in a way to make us strive in all circumstances.

Stoicism teaches us the development of mental fortitude and self-control. It enables us to see with a…


I decided to do a 30-day challenge to stop using social media.

I’ve read a lot about people performing ‘dopamine detoxes’ and similar detox style methods of removing certain things from their life (such as social media, tv, notifications, emails, etc.). People have found this to improve their productivity, increase their will power, and be able to perform hard tasks first.

Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport, became very influential as part of this challenge… more on that a little later.

My own personal experience with social media isn’t bad. I use it a lot to promote Nathan Challenges Life, with…


I found that categorising my goals into categories last year (finances/wealth, health/fitness etc), helped to keep me focused on those areas throughout the year. I have found that having approximately 3 goals per area was managable and allowed me to keep on track and on top of everything. I’ll be continuing with that theme in 2021, but I also want to have a bit more focus on a smaller number of areas and more specific things.

In late 2020, I started thinking about goals and what I want to achieve by the end of 2021. …


From 0 clients to 5 in one month! My personal training business, Nathan’ Mobile PT, saw huge growth!

It felt like April went very quickly. The biggest change during April was launching my mobile personal training business, Nathan’s Mobile PT, and it somewhat surprisingly kicking off VERY quickly, now taking up all of my spare time in the mornings — time I wasn’t doing anything anyway! Apart from that, some really good progress financially, and a few areas I definitely need to focus more on.

If you want to see my goals for 2021, with more explanation and background, check…


My journey to Financial Independence by age 40.

First FIRE progress update of 2021!

Given my monthly updates towards my goals, which includes net worth, investing, and finances, I didn’t think it was necessary to update my progress towards FIRE every month. Instead, I’m going to update my progress every 3–4 months and when I pass a large milestone.

The first few months of 2021 are going pretty well!

Net Worth

In 2020, I made some really great progress on my net worth, growing it from $25,000 to almost $100,000. This was a huge increase, mostly due to a good…


For those in the financial independence retire early mindset, we all know that your savings rate is extremely important in growing long-term wealth. But, there is a better, faster way to reach early retirement.

Your savings rate and how much you can save is one of the most important things to do on your journey to FIRE. Your savings will account for the largest portion of your portfolio growth. Investment returns only begin to take over once your portfolio is very large (hundreds of thousands).

Saving is of course important, but the problem with saving is that there is a…


Photo by Julian Jagtenberg from Pexels

Having enough money so you no longer need to work may seem out of our reach at first. However, given time and compounding interest, it’s a whole lot easier to achieve than you think.

I’ve been a follower of the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement for a number of years now, with a goal to become financially independent by age 40 (14 years to go…).

Some of the underlying concepts/steps behind the FIRE movement and early retirement are:

Step 1. Work towards saving a percentage of your income

Step 2. Invest those savings regularly in low-fee, exchange traded funds…


Photo by Cade Prior from Pexels

Every time you learn something new, you will be able to pick up a new skill easier the next time.

People often ask me how I manage to be fairly good at a broad range of skills, and have the ability to pick something up very quickly.

In my opinion, this is because I’ve tried a lot of different and unique things over the years.

Take wakeboarding for example. In two-three attempts, I was able to get out of the water and comfortably cross the wake on both sides. …


My net worth increased from $25,677 to $104,853 in just over a year.

Your net worth is your assets minus your liabilities, leaving you with a net position in terms of wealth.

Assets are items that have value, liabilities are items/things that you owe money on.

Tracking your net worth is motivating, especially when you’re set on getting rid of debt and growing your financial positions.

The growth in my net worth, as shown by the graph above, can be attributed to three major things:

  1. Having a high income (~$90k AUD) relative to my previous income (~$45k) from previous years.

I undertook a 30-day challenge that was extremely difficult, but incredibly rewarding.

Image from Kelvin Valerio on Pexels.com

I originally tried a 21-day no complaint challenge back in 2016. It was really fun. Every time I complained about something, I restarted the challenge. I failed 2 times very early, only getting a few days in each time. After the 2nd attempt, I found myself hyper aware of everything I said and I was able to finish the 21 days.

I became aware of this challenge through Tim Ferriss, which was originally developed by Will Bowen (https://www.willbowen.com/complaintfree/). As part of the challenge, you wear a wristband, and…

Nathan Challenges Life

My name is Nathan and I blog about my experiences through 30-day challenges, my progress towards goals and financial indendence, and personal development topics

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