It's time to set my targets, the things that I want to do during 2023.
Some people might think that target setting is something to be left behind when we retire early, but I like to set goals. They help me accomplish the things I want to do, get to some chores I ought to do, perhaps help with that "purpose" thing that's often talked about, and give a structure to my early retirement life that I appreciate.
The huge difference is that my old work targets were decided my someone else, whereas my early retirement targets are all things that I've chosen.
This year's targets will be more evolution than revolution, with a good chance it turns out quite similar to last year.
Before I even put my mind to targets, the year ahead is already taking shape:
Until the end of March, I'm going to enjoy the snowy mountains of our ski town. We have plenty of visitors coming to enjoy the snow during this time too.
On 23 April, I'm running London marathon, so I need to be doing some training before then!
Sometime in April or May will most likely be a campervan trip, probably in the South of France.
We'll spend June in the UK, visiting friends and family, and hopefully taking a short campervan trip during that time too.
In July I'll be hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc with friends - it's 171km with 10,000m of ascent and descent.
Summer in the French Alps is beautiful, so I'm sure we'll spend July, August and September here. It's the best time of year in the mountains - there's a saying that people come for the winters but stay because of the summers.
In early September we're cycling the Route des Grandes Alpes, from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean. We've done it before, but some friends asked and I'm happy to do it again.
Sally has always wanted to visit the island of Jersey. I'm thinking the second half of September for this.
So, my time is already well planned until the end of September. That doesn't leave much time for grand targets, which ties in nicely with my evolution rather than revolution idea.
As an aside, today I've taken visiting friends to the airport and then sat in the Volkswagen dealership for 6+ hours while they worked on our campervan. Pre-retirement, that would have been impossible (I'd have needed to be at work) and unpleasant (who wants to sit in a car dealer for 6+ hours?). With my early retirement mindset, such days are fine. Sitting in the dealership, I'm warm and dry while watching the snow fall outside, I've caught up with my emails, read some of my book, thought about my goal setting and written this post laying out my targets for 2023:
What do you think of my targets? They may not be as SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-related) as they need to be for a work-based environment, but then...they're not work-based targets, they're early retirement targets.
I have a good level of confidence in achieving my exercise targets, visit somewhere new, Tour du Mont Blanc hike targets and blog posting targets. 30 nights in the campervan might be a push but doesn't sound impossible. I'm more nervous about learning French, imagining a new adventure for Sally and me, and volunteering. I guess that tells me where I need to focus some extra effort.