I've done goals for the past several years, and while there are always several goals that do not happen or morph into others, it's good to have them as a starting point. Some of mine for 2013 as a starting point.
2013 goals that happened: buy a house, write a book, most of the acquisitions list (more on this later).
2013 goals that didn't happen: beef up on primitive skills and hunting, jujitsu classes, carbine course
The goals that didn't happen were largely due to our 6-month move and my role during that time. It screwed up my vacation time for much of the year and sidetracked those plans.
I've done long lists of goals in the past, but the laundry list tends to water down the important goals with less significant ones. There's also have a friggin' list that I have to refer back to periodically to even remember the goals you came up with in the beginning.
There's also the potential de-motivational effect - when you check in on that list months later and see there's still 58 goals you have left to work towards, that mountain o' work can discourage you from moving forward.
So, this year I'm going to focus on a handful of bigger goals for 'preparedness'. Three is a good start--hopefully I can remember three goals off the top of my head. Not saying this is the only way to go, but I'm going to give it a go for 2014. They are (at present):
- Build safety net to 3 months
- Get into reloading
- Attend at least ONE training course
'Getting into reloading' means buying the equipment and components, setting up my bench and getting to cranking out loads. I know how to reload and have done a little in the past, but there will certainly be some skill and knowledge building that goes with it.
And 'attending training course' means figuring out what I want to do, taking time off, getting the needed equipment, arranging travel and then doing it.
Once broken down into smaller bites, the 'big goals' have quite a bit to them. Will these take me all year? I hope not. When I check one of them off, I'll add another to concentrate on, and so on.
Smaller Goals & the Acquisitions List
Now, what about those smaller goals you still want to accomplish?
For me, many of those tend to be acquisitions - everyday carry, preparedness and survivalism, homesteading or whatever your 'thing' is are often gear-oriented, so it's going to be natural to have some stuff that you want to buy over the course of the year.
What has worked for me in the past is sitting down, looking at gaps in my gear and things that I've had on my 'want list' for a long time, and writing those out. If some larger items need to be saved for, I try to come up with a rough outline of how & when I'm going to make that happen - saving, extra money, selling stuff, etc. But mostly, it's just writing stuff down.
It helps to be realistic...if you may have $2k in 'extra' to dedicate to these kinds of things over the course of the year, putting Gen 3 night vision, a TAVOR and a Nighhawk .45 on the list isn't going to do you much good. For most of us, it's probably smart to limit the big ticket items to one or two per year.
I don't do anything fancy with this list...it's just bullet points. And, it will change over the course of the year--things that made sense at one point will stop making sense after some more thought and research. When I get something, I update the list with a check mark or 'done'.
Here's a portion from last year as an example:
- Surefire x300 Ultra - done
- Surefire EB1 - done, sold
- Ultralight tarp - done
- Tipi and stove - forget about this
- Portable Solar - halfway there
- Chest rig - done
- .308 lower - didn't happen
- 2000 rounds of 5.56 - didn't happen
For other small goals, things like 'Hike X trail' or 'Visit museum Y' or 'Read book Z" just breaking out the calendar, picking a time to do them and then scheduling it - reminders on your smart phone, calendar or whatever - gets the job done. Take a couple hours this weekend or next and just do it. Planning for that variety of stuff doesn't take too much time, but a whole year can easily slip by and whoops - it never happened. We've all done this many, many times.
Anyways, that's my take on the new year/goal making deal. Ryan over at TSLRF does a good job of making goals and keeping them updated throughout the year - definitely recommend keeping an eye on him as a good example of gettin' r' done, versus just admiring problems and gaps in gear.
How about you guys and gals of the T-Blog tribe? What are you looking to accomplish this year?