I set myself some targets back in April, and since then I've been too scared to write an update for fear that it will show I'm not doing well against the goals that I set myself. However, burying my head in the sand kind of defeats the object of setting the targets, so I've summoned up the courage to "fess up" and see how I'm doing.
As I said back in April, having retired early, I'm really not sure that I should be setting targets. In case you didn't see the original target setting post, surely one of the benefits of retiring early and leaving the corporate world is to escape from chasing a bunch of targets, plus the luxury to do things as you want, when you want. But on the other hand, I do believe in having a purpose - the thing, or things, that make you jump out of bed with enthusiasm each morning, and maybe targets are a useful part of that.
Anyway, having decided to set some targets, I also set a timescale for them, which was an early date of December 2017 and a late date of March 2018. At the time of writing this in August 2017, I'm going to say that around 50% of the time has gone (a bit more based on December and a bit less based on March).
So here goes - the targets are shown in black, and I've shown my progress update in colour (green font and 😀 where I've either achieved the target or am on track, red font and 😭 for where I'm missing, and blue and 🤔 for somewhere in between):
1. Get the monthly costs below £3,700 ($4,5,67). I'm not achieving this one, but it's not a disaster. The problem areas are the spend on holidays and international running events which I wouldn't expect to continue at the same level. We've also spent more on groceries and going out costs (because we currently live in an expensive place) than I would expect will be the case in the future when we eventually relocate to a forever home in Europe or North America. Maybe it should be a red, but I'm going to be kind to myself and make this a blue colour score🤔
2. Ensure "spare" cash is invested so that it is earning an income. I did a blog post about this (click here to see it), and decided exactly what I was going to do, but I've only done one third of what I planned because I'm nervous about stock market valuations right now. However, I must get this sorted as cash in the bank is getting me nothing. I'll use this update as a kick start to get this sorted in the next two weeks. I'll let you know if I do it!😭
3. Learn how to swim properly so that I can swim 2km without stopping (freestyle, with face in the water and proper breathing). I started off making some decent progress - it may not sound like much, but I built up to swimming 1km in 100 metre efforts with a 20 second break between each 100 metres. Then my gym membership ran out, and I haven't been swimming for over 2 months. We now have a pool in our apartment complex, although it's a bit small I'm going to start going again😭
4. Get my 10km run time below 40 minutes. It's too hot in the summer (over 40°C every day), so I'm only targeting this in January to March 2018🤔. I'm going to start training now for a marathon in January and then I'm running Boston marathon (exciting!) in April, so hopefully I can squeeze a fast 10km race in between them.
5. Get 100 subscribers to my blog site www.iretiredyoung.net Good news, I've made this one! If you are one of those who have subscribed, thank you, I really do appreciate it😀. If you haven't yet subscribed, why not do it now and make my day.
6. Get my blog site www.iretiredyoung.net to appear in the first 10 pages in a Google search. I can't find it when I search. However, this Forbes.com article that I was featured in came about because they found me on Google, so perhaps not a complete fail, but I think there is more work to do (I just don't really know what it is I have to do!)😭
7. Publish 3 good GoPro videos. I've done none, so this is easy to colour in red😭. I'm going to put some effort in on this over the next couple of months.
8. Learn French so that I can have basic conversations in shops, restaurants etc without feeling so dreadfully embarrassed. Similar to my swimming, I made a reasonable start, but then seemed to stop, although I can't think of an excuse as to why that happened. Now I'm back from my holiday, I'm going to start doing this again😭
9. Decide where we will be living from June 2018, and know a bit more about what we will be doing from that date. We've decided what we're doing...a round the world trip starting in July 2018. Click here to read about our outline plan😀
Hmmm, that doesn't look too good, far too much red font! Out of 9 targets, I have 5 red which shows I'm missing these, 2 are green for achieved, and another 2 are blue so not achieved but not a complete miss either. Not exactly what I wanted to see, but probably what I suspected I'd see when thinking about this post. Not to worry, writing this post has helped remind me that I have some things to do, so I'm going to head off now and have a go at changing some of the reds and blues into greens.
Let me know what you think of my targets, or if you have some advice for me on the ones that I'm having difficulty with - it would be good to hear from you.