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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goal Setting to Help Survive When TSHTF

For the new year I don’t like to make resolutions, I like to create goals.  Goals are good for people to have because it’s the plan that gets them from Point A to Point B in life.  Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to set goals and work towards them, so I’m writing this to give a little advice on how to do so and save you hundreds of your hard earned dollars in self help gurus at the same time.
I have personally used these techniques to get out of debt, lose weight, and achieve a stable and happy relationship among others, so I know they work!
Setting Goals
The first thing you have to do is set a goal.  What is it you want to do?  Since this is SHTFblog I’ll show you how to set and achieve some real goals that will help you towards survival.
Be specific when setting goals and write them down.  Instead of saying, “Um yeah, I’d like to have some cans of food in case TSHTF,’’ say “I want to have 100 cans of Spaghettios, 100 cans of vegetables, 200 cans of beans, and 100 cans of tuna fish by July 30 of this year.” 
With the first statement there are no measurable goals – just some desires that I wrote down.  In the second sentence I now have specifics.  I know exactly what I want, how much I want, and when I want it by.  Now I have something to work for and numbers to plan with.
Make your goals achievable.  If I said, ”I’m going to have 20,000 cans of food in my pantry by March,” it’s not likely to happen and I’m setting myself up for failure.  By making your goals possible to reach you’ll stay motivated to keep moving towards them.
Break the goal up into doable chunks.  Don’t try to eat the elephant all at once, you’ll choke on it and pretty soon you’ll give up.  Here’s a better method.  First, figure out how many months between now and your goal date.  In this case I’m going from January to July so that’s seven months.  Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul.
I get paid every two weeks so I’ll say that I’ve got about 14 pay periods between now and my goal date.  Now I take cans wanted and divide 14 into it.  For example:  If I want 100 cans of Spaghettios I divide 14 into 100 and come up with 7.14…  Therefore, I need to buy 7 extra cans of Spaghettios every two weeks when I get paid in order to meet my goal.
So, if I figure it all out it looks like this:
Every two weeks I need to buy:
7 extra cans of Spaghettios 14.5 oz @ .93 cents per can = $6.51
7 extra cans of veggies (Green Giant mixed veggies) 15 oz @ $1.89 per can = $13.23
14 extra cans of beans 16 oz @ 1.89 per can = $26.46
7 extra cans of 5 oz tuna fish @ $1 per can = $7
Total $ = $53.20
(I took all prices from a local Hannford’s website here in Maine in Dec of 2010.  If you’re reading this in 2015 and saying “That was a long time ago and those prices were super cheap - well yeah, they were!)
Now I can see that every time I go shopping I need to have an extra $53.20 with me to achieve my goal.
Act on your goal.  Once you’ve got your written down you have to execute it.  Budget some money out and when you go shopping every two weeks follow your plan and you’ll know exactly what you need to do in order to achieve your goal.
Re-evaluate.  If something happens midway towards your goal re-evaluate.  Electric bill went up and you’ve only got $30 this week?  Buy whatever you can and extend your goal date out a little if you have to.  Celebrate!  You’re making progress right?
Persevere!  Things happen in life and you might not be able to afford an extra $53 every two weeks (or however you set it up), but don’t give up!  Simply buy what you can afford.  At least you have a goal and an idea of how to get there.  Goals can be changed ya know, but have the discipline to keep moving towards it.
Did I mention that sometimes your goals will involve sacrifice?  With discipline, hard work, and perseverance you can do anything you set your mind to.
This year I want to save money, start a garden, add to my pantry, among other things.  I’ll be setting pen to paper soon to iron out the specifics.
What are your prepping (or otherwise) goals for this year?
-Jarhead Survivor
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