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Early retirement: Goal/Target setting for 2023

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:

  1. 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.

  2. On 23 April, I'm running London marathon, so I need to be doing some training before then!

  3. Sometime in April or May will most likely be a campervan trip, probably in the South of France.

  4. We'll spend June in the UK, visiting friends and family, and hopefully taking a short campervan trip during that time too.

  5. In July I'll be hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc with friends - it's 171km with 10,000m of ascent and descent.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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:

Early retirement targets
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.

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Vince
Vince
Jan 28, 2023

Hi David, doing a bit of catch up reading so a bit later on this post. Your last target is very brave, especially trying to understand the French tax system! I need to look into my NI contributions as well, something I planned to do a while back but without publishing this as a target it maybe isn't a surprise that it hasn't happened yet!

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Vince
Vince
Jan 29, 2023
Replying to

Yes I had seen that on the BBC and is an incentive to sort it out if its not already too

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David, read Limitless by Jim Kwik, it might help with learning French - and lots of other stuff. I'm reading it just now in the hope that some of the techniques he uses will help me get through my ever growing pile of books!

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I just Googled it and read some reviews. It might be worth a try, although I think part of my problem is me just not putting in enough effort and the other part is that I simply don't come across much French (I know, sounds bizarre as I'm living in France) to benefit from being immersed in the language.

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I like the goal "visit somewhere new" That pushes you towards adventure but leaves room for a last minute impulsive vacation. My favorite kind. I hope you nail every one, and surprise yourself with yours fluency in French at the end of this year!

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Yeah, I think the visit somewhere new is better than the specific target that I set to visit Barcelona and Auschwitz last year (and didn't do). Fingers crossed on the French, although maybe miracle would be a more appropriate word that surprise!😂

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andrewpetergrimes
andrewpetergrimes
Jan 21, 2023

David, that's a pretty full schedule you've got in front of you and a good set of targets. I'm just about to hit the 12 month mark of my retirement Mark2, couldn't be happier. I'm intrigued why, given you are obviously highly self motivated and intelligent, does progress on French continue to elude you?

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I'm told that getting a French girlfriend is the way to learn, but Sally says no😂

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David,

Re: UK NI


There is an imminent deadline (April 5th this 2023) that you should be aware of, see eg:

Change to state pension top-ups comes into force from April - should you boost your contributions? - Which? News


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Thanks again, I've followed up on the links that you sent. Really appreciated.

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