I like the idea of targets - they should help me achieve the things I want to do. Being clear about my aims must surely give me a better chance of achieving them.
But despite being sold on the idea, it hasn't quite worked. After all, I've hardly thought about them in the last 14 months.
It started OK. Three months into my early retirement I set some targets. That was back in April 2017. I checked them four months later and then again in December 2017. But not once since then.
But I still feel it should work for me, so I'm giving it another shot, particularly as I have a few things in mind that I'm just not getting to. I'm hoping a renewed effort with written down targets will help me nail them.
I was going to start with my original target list from December 2017 and score myself, but I've decided that's the past. What happens next is what's important, so I'm just going to look at the things I want to accomplish in 2019.
1. Ensure "spare" cash is invested.
This is an old target which I actually accomplished. But we now have a little additional cash to invest, so the target stays for this year.
2. Get back into running regularly and well.
I worked really hard at, and thoroughly enjoyed, my running, but let the habit fall away during our 4 months travelling, and I'm struggling to get back into it. This is important to me - if I want to eat chocolate and cake, then I must exercise!
3. Keep publishing weekly posts
Finding blogging as a hobby has been one of my favourite things, so I don't want to lose it. I heard somewhere that most blogs only last around 6 months. I Retired Young has made it past 2 years, but it's harder to find interesting things to write about as time goes by. The low hanging fruit / easy articles have already been written.
4. Publish 3 good GoPro videos.
An old target that I completely failed on. I really want to get good use from my GoPro, so this target is hanging in for another year.
5. Learn French so that I can have basic conversations without feeling so dreadfully embarrassed.
Another old target where my progress was embarrassing. I'm definitely keeping this one as I'm now living in France! On the plus side, I've started having lessons. On the minus side, I'm still hopeless.
Our original plan was to travel around the world, or at least to many parts of it. We visited Australia and Asia for 4 months from July to November, but the next set of plans has stalled. I want to at least do a bit more travelling this year - perhaps a month or six week trip makes sense.
I'm satisfied with my list of targets, it's neither too big nor too small. My 2017 target list comprised 9 items, so the 6 for this year ought to be a bit more doable. I hope so but, having said that, there are a few things on there which I'm going to find quite difficult.
Although I'm happy with my list, that happiness doesn't automatically translate to optimism that I'll accomplish them. The fact I completely ignored my previous target list for the last 14 months is good reason to be wary.
What I need is a mechanism to help me keep these targets at the front of my mind and, perhaps more importantly, cements them into my regular consciousness and then into actions.
The question is how to do this. Calendar reminders might help, but I'm not convinced, it doesn't seem very exciting. Perhaps I can borrow Joe at RetireBy40's idea, he posts progress against his targets once a month. That may be better, or maybe it is a combination of things. If you have any ideas, I'd be pleased to hear them.