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Early retirement - chasing my targets

A short post today because I'm writing it quickly - we have guests for a few days and I want to finish before they arrive. You might ask, why don't you just do it after they leave? Hmm, that does seem sensible, apart from it would mean that I'd miss my blog post target for this month.


The thing is, my blog posting target (post at least three times a month) was set by me. If I miss it, it really doesn't matter and, if I miss it by just a day or two, it really really doesn't matter. Being retired, there's no boss to chastise me and no bonus on the line. But, for me, it matters, I'm someone who has incorporated routines and targets into my early retirement life and I want to hit my blog posting target🤷‍♂️


Friends roll their eyes at my routines and targets, they think these are exactly the things that retiring allows you to escape from. I completely get that. But on the other hand, during my life before retirement, at school and during my career, routines and targets were the name of the game. When I retired, I was still the same person, just with more freedom, there wasn't a complete personality change, so it made sense to carry some familiar aspects of my old life into my retirement life.


In terms of my routines and targets, I'm convinced they:

  • give structure to my day to day life

  • prevent me being lazy

  • provide me with a go-to list of things to do if I'm ever bored (which I almost never am!)

  • help with a sense of purpose

  • encourage me to be a little adventurous when I'm deciding on my targets

At 11:23 this morning, my sports watch beeped to tell me to move. WHAT!? I left home at 7:47am for a mountainous bike ride and after that I went for a run. Wasn't that enough, how dare it tell me I needed to move.


In fact, as I headed out on my run, my wife was definitely rolling her eyes. If I'd just been out on my bike, why would I now be heading out on a run? If you wonder whether I'm training for a triathlon, you need only see my swimming once to know that triathlons aren't for me. No, the reason for my double exercise day is that it's nearly the end of the month and I'm behind my exercise target.


Maybe that's OK, we were on vacation until 18 May and I ran just three times during those first 18 days. No problem, holidays are for taking things easy, so surely the target can take a vacation too. Sounds sensible, so why in the twelve days since have I run or cycled fourteen times? And if I set my alarm early tomorrow (the final day of the month), I can do a run, hit this month's exercise target, and still be home in time to walk to the boulangerie if our visitors want fresh croissants for breakfast. Maybe even I'm rolling my eyes now but, I know that when I go to bed tonight, I'll double check to make sure the alarm is set🏃‍♂️

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Guest
Jun 07, 2023

I've found I am the kind of person who absolutely needs a routine, and when I FIRE'd 12 months ago, I kinda struggled initially until I dove into projects and built back a routine and structure

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I often find it hard to back down from a goal- even if I set the goal and I'm the only one who will know or care that I did. Its how I motivate myself, and its been a handy character trait throughout my life. Also I have a good laugh at how neurotic I am pretty often...

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Ah, maybe I should be laughing at myself too, but I think other people do that for me🤣🤣

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David, all makes perfect sense to me, I cycled 1500 miles last year and set myself a target of 2000 for this year, purely arbitrary, but I wanted to challenge myself, I realise there are plenty of enthusiasts out there who would complete this in a month, but its all relative. However, I became quite agitated when I fell behind where I should have been in March/April because of poor weather etc, so I totally understand where you are coming from😀. Keep up the blogging, I do notice when you haven't posted for a while so you are not totally without external influences, just not aware of it🤣. Peter

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Thanks Peter, and I always enjoy receiving your comments. Good luck with your cycling challenge this year, I'm sure you'll catch up if you haven't done so already. On the subject of cycling, we have the Tour de France coming past our apartment this year as the stage finish is in Morzine - I'm looking forward to seeing that, but not looking forward to seeing how much quicker they go up the hill compared to me! If you are on, or are familiar, with Strava, you might be interested to know that the Strava crown 👑 for the climb I did this morning is held by a certain Chris Froome!

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