> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Goal Setting for Survivalists



Goal Setting for Survivalists

This is the time of your for resolutions and goal setting, so I thought I'd write up a few quick best-practices for setting goals. These aren't anything that I've invented, but things that I have found helpful.

Good goals follow the SMART acronym:
Specific: Be as specific as you can in your goals. Instead of "become more prepared", pick specific areas to become more prepared in--food storage, water, car repairs, knots, etc.
Measurable: This goes hand-in-hand with the above; your goals should be measurable. "Get more food storage" is not measurable; "Have six month's worth of food storage" is. "Become better at long-range shooting" isn't measurable; "be able to get center-of-mass hits at 300 yards with my fighting rifle" is. This gives you something quantifiable to work towards and makes your goal achievable.
Attainable: Just that--your goals should be plausible and attainable. They can and should certainly make you stretch beyond your current capabilities, but an unattainable goal is just a pipe dream. Keep your budget and current capabilities in mind.
Relevant: Your goals should be relevant to you, your family, your lifestyle, area and survival strategy. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, boning up on your desert survival skills will be of little help.
Time-Based: Set a time period to accomplish the goal and stick to it--the whole year, six months, whatever. Hold yourself accountable for getting the goal done in the time allotted.

Examples of SMART goals:
  • Increase family food storage to six month's worth of staples by June 30, 2011.
  • Lose 20 pounds by December 31, 2011.
  • Take one first aid class before the end of the year.

Other Tips
  • Write them down. You will forget your goals within a few days if you don't. 
  • Share them with someone else. Sharing your goals helps to solidify them, and also (hopefully) gives you someone to help assist you in achieving them. A supportive spouse or survival buddy is a good place to start. 
  • Keep them somewhere visible. Again, you will forget your goals very quickly unless you have them some place where you will constantly encounter them. Post them in a high-traffic area, save them in a recurring appointment in your calendar. 
  • Focus on gaining skills over buying things. Skills trump gear, as we know--try to focus your much of your goal setting on bettering yourself. It's fine to set goals for preps to buy, but don't let your goals become a shopping list.
  • Evaluate your progress on a regular basis. Check in with how your progress is going throughout the year. A regular appointment saved to an Outlook or smart phone calendar can be a helpful reminder. Talk with your support person/people about your progress. Ryan at TSLRF did an amazing job of this throughout 2010. If it's clear that a goal needs to be adjusted/ditched, do so.