2023 Goals – Boring and Adventurous?

Foil balloons numbers 2023 on a pink background.

I am now firmly in the ‘boring’ middle years on my way to FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)

2023 marks my sixth year of pursuing FIRE – time indeed waits for no man (or woman)! On some levels, the last 5 years have sped by in a blink of an eye. But it also feels like it’s dragged on. There are times when I’ve so wanted to be at the destination already. Patience has never been my virtue, haha!

Decade Goals

My decade goals (2020 – 2029) have not changed but there are dates against 2 of them now 🎉

1. Retire on 31 Dec 2026

2. Visit Antarctica – January 2027

3. Run a marathon

I am on track to retire earlyish at 55. Staying the course is very much the vibe as far as finances are concerned. However, I’m not delaying happiness ie I don’t want to wait until I retire to be happy. I want to live a happy and full life now. So I’ll continue to work on the non financial aspects of my life while staying the course on the financial part.

Visiting Antarctica is a matter of saving up for it and being able to take annual leave. I’ve never been able to take leave in January in the last 30 years of my working life. Colleagues with children always take priority at this time. So January 2027, it is – it’ll be my big trip to start off my retirement.

Running a marathon is still a goal. I just haven’t worked very hard towards it in the last 2 years. But I will start running again this year.

Are you READY to TAKE ACTION today?

🔥 practical tips & strategies

🔥 step by step guide

🔥 cut the overwhelm, second guessing & paralysis by analysis

2023 Goals

I started having a one word theme in 2022 – I found it really helpful at times when I wasn’t very motivated through the year. So I’d like to do the same this year.

My word for 2023 is Adventure ie I want to try new activities or experiences. I rediscovered what I loved in 2022. So it’s time for new adventures in 2023.

What will I focus on in 2023?

Goal 1 - Invest a Minimum of $30k into my Shares Portfolio

Why ‘minimum’ and not a concrete number?

Reason 1

My shares portfolio consists of individual shares in addition to ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and LICs (Listed Investment Companies).

I bought individual shares before I learned about ETFs and LICs. I haven’t added to them since I first bought them. But being a fan of Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRP) means that my holdings have slowly increased as dividends were automatically reinvested.

It’s come to a point where their combined value would sustain me for a year if I were to sell them. So I’ve stopped participating in their DRPs as I no longer want to increase my holdings. This means I’ll receive cash dividends.

I’ve recently changed how I receive these cash dividends.

They are now deposited into the same account used to purchase my main ETF (that tracks the top 300 companies in the ASX). When the balance in this account (at my broker, Pearler) reaches a predetermined amount, it automatically purchases shares in this main ETF.

I’m far too lazy to work out which portion of the purchase dollars comes from dividends and which is from my weekly contribution. Therefore, as long as I’ve invested more than $30k, I’ll be happy.

This will be the last year in which I expect to invest this much into my shares portfolio. I will have to start saving cash in my final 3 years before I retire.


Reason 2

I started a new side gig as an auditor in January but I’m still in the training phase. While I know how much I’ll be paid per business I audit, I have no idea how many businesses I’ll be assigned per week. Plus I’m a subcontractor so I’ll have to set aside a certain percentage to pay tax and expenses.
I’m looking forward to this new adventure and how to deal with the extra erratic income.
The plan is to invest extra income from this job in the shares portfolio plus help with Goal 3 and 4. Unfortunately, income from my stable 4 day a week main job is not enough to sustain my $30k goal.

Goal 2 - Replenish my Emergency Fund

I am trying VERY HARD not to see my Emergency Fund as a slush fund. I feel secure having 6 months of living expenses in the fund. But anytime I need extra cash, I raid it.

I tried not having as much in it but in the end, I felt insecure so I’m back to saving up 6 months of living expenses. It’s at 5 months at the end of 2022 so it’s nearly there!

Goal 3 - Save $5000 in my Home Maintenance Fund

There are always home maintenance issues when you own a home. But I wouldn’t have it any other way because I need the security of my own home. I sleep better at night knowing that no one can kick me out of my home, as long as I can pay the annual local council fees.
Potential issues that I know will come up soon – replacing rangehood and stove; replacing hot water system; replacing window blinds (most are broken in some way)
I haven’t had any spare cash to send towards this sinking fund for a year so I’d really like to get a start on it this year. The extra income from my side gig  will contribute towards this goal.
Ideally I’d like $10k in this fund but happy with $5k for now.  I shouldn’t need to draw on my emergency fund as much if this sinking fund is fully funded. Then maybe I can feel safer with less in my emergency fund. We’ll see!

Goal 4 - Engage a Fee Only Financial Adviser

While I’m fairly confident with my strategy, I’d like a professional fee only financial adviser to cast their eye over it. And either assure me it’s going swimmingly well or tell me what I’ve overlooked.
There are 4 years including this year before I plan to retire so I’ll be able to make minor adjustments, if needed. I’ll keep you posted!
I am relying on the side gig to fund this goal too – otherwise I’ll have to raid the emergency fund again.
I know what you’re thinking – there’s a lot riding on this side gig. And it seems I’ve already spent the future income. In some ways, I have – in my head. I’ll adjust as reality hits, when I actually receive the income.

Goal 5 - Declutter

Yes, this has been an unspoken goal for years. I took it off the to-do list because it’s always too overwhelming and I’d set myself up to fail. But this year, I want to try again.
The impetus is I want a home office where I don’t have to pack up every time visitors come to the house. And I can actually eat at my dining table!
Right now my official study is my junk room. So I’m hoping if I proclaim decluttering as a goal here, I’ll be accountable to you. It’s worked for my finances!
Mind you, January is nearly over and I haven’t started yet.
Illustration of a Woman thinking some ways to Declutter an Office Space

Goal 6 - Go to bed at 11pm

I’m being very specific here – because I desperately need to improve my sleep. The more I read and learn about sleep and dementia, the more desperate I am to sleep better. There is a family history of dementia so if I can help myself, I should.
I’m also a very undisciplined person. Thankfully, finances can be automated which has helped me enormously. But I can’t automate my sleep, sigh!
I’ll just have to be adventurous and try different bedtime routines until it sitcks. Wish me luck!

Goal 7 - Go outside for 30 Minutes Every Day

I’m also being specific here because I wasn’t so good at taking care of my physical health in 2022.

But I’m not limiting what I do while I’m outside – it can be gardening, running, walking or having my coffee outside. I just have to be outside and not lie on the couch whenever I can.

Hopefully increasing my physical activity will stabilise my cholesterol and weight

Goal 8 - Do Something New or Visit Somewhere I've Never Been Before Every Month

This is where I will embrace my word Adventure (though my side gig will be pretty adventurous for me to start with). Its purpose is to set me up for a fantastic retirement. I want a retirement where I wonder when I had the time to work before!
I already maintain and constantly add to 3 lists –
1. Places to travel to / travel experiences
2. New activities I’d like to try
3. Activities that will keep me physically fit
So I’m committing to trying something new every month and it doesn’t have to be something monumental.
I’ll keep you posted along the way!

Final Thoughts

Am I too ambitious, wanting to achieve 8 goals in 2023? Maybe.
It’s because my finances are on autopilot to a certain extent and I know I’m tracking well to retire early at 55. That’s the boring part of my goals – stay the course. But that takes a weight off my shoulders and it frees me to embrace Adventure in other areas of my life.
I will also practise embracing the process more and not be attached to the outcomes.
Stay tuned – I’ll provide a progress report in July 🙂
Or follow me on Facebook or Instagram where I post more often.

What are your 2023 goals?

7 Replies to “2023 Goals – Boring and Adventurous?”

  1. I love all these goals for 2023! I know “people” say to choose just one thing to focus on but I can’t do that. Like you, I have a lot of items I want to do each year. I can’t make them resolutions or I know I’ll fail, but if I make them goals, they’re something to work towards, not something I have to accomplish TODAY. Best of luck and putting goals out in the universe does help keep you accountable.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I generally try to focus on a few at a time. For example, I’m tackling my sleep before I tackle decluttering. And yeah, having the year as a deadline works for me too.

  2. I love your 2023 goals. They all sound doable and/or fun. I’m curious about your side gig of becoming an auditor.

    Based on what I know about you through your blog, this sounds like quite a departure from your day job! Bravo for trying something so different.

    I’ve never heard of auditing as a side gig! Will you be sharing more about the position, how you came across it, and how steep of a learning curve it was?

    1. Hi Chrissy,

      Yes, my side gig is quite a departure from my main job! We have certain standards we have to adhere to within my industry. I’ve been the coordinator of this quality program in the business I work in ever since the program was developed nationally. So I was responsible for implementing the policies and procedures to ensure a quality service. We would be audited every 2 years and if we pass, the business would be accredited.

      Basically, I’ve joined the ‘other’ side 🤣 I’m now an assessor so my job is to audit the businesses to ensure they comply with the standards. Yes, I will most likely write a post about it.

      I had to do an online course on being a lead auditor after accepting the job. Other than that, it’s been on the job training – shadowing an experienced assessor and having that assessor shadow me. Because I already know the standards from implementing them, the ‘knowledge’ part is not too bad. And the process itself is not too hard. The assessments are conducted remotely at the moment (ever since the pandemic) which really attracted me. But I know one day they will be conducted on site again. I’ll decide then if I want to continue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Where can I send your
Monthly FIRE Goals Plan?

By signing up, you’ll also be added to my newsletter

You can unsubscribe any time, I promise.