Prepping, homesteading and living the simple, green, independent life.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Setting Goals and Life Plans: The Whys and Hows

Now that I have a few posts under my belt I think it would be a good time to explain what this is all about.

The Why

Years ago, like many people in their 20s, I examined my life and tried to better understand myself.  What type of person am I, what are my strengths and weaknesses, what do I want out of life?

I quickly realized that I'm not the type of person who enjoys being an employee.  I'm too independent-minded and stubborn.  My dad says it's because I don't like to work but the truth is I don't like to work for others.  Rather than treating my job as what my life revolves around, I see it as a means to an end; a necessary evil to get what I want out of life.

I actually consider myself lucky that I have a good paying job with excellent benefits, however, I don't like the servitude and dependency that a job requires.The legal term for the relationship between a boss and the employee is a "master-slave relationship". It is called that for a reason.

I eventually realized that all my thoughts on my life came back to being independent.

If this was my main motivation in life, how would I achieve this?

The How
While I was in college it was mandatory that we attend a seminar on career planning where we were given a booklet which talked about setting goals and developing a plan in life.  It claimed that if you write these things down, you'd be much more likely to achieve them.

I'd heard of similar things before and dismissed it as "new age Oprah fluff" but since this was mandatory I went through the motions.

I started the book fully expecting to just do the minimum work necessary and to write down generic goals, however, as I went along  I started to really get into it! As the book said, writing it down made it seem more "real" and as hokey as it sounds it me feel like I was capable of achieving almost anything!

Here were my original goals as divided by the book:

Short-term (within 1 year)

- Get a job within 1 year paying at least $25 000 a year, with federal government preferably  (achieved)

Medium-Term (within 5 years)

- own a house (achieved)
- start RRSP (achieved, but changed my mind and withdrew)

Long-term ( 5-10 years or longer)

- pay off student loans (almost there!)
- own rental property (not sure if I still want this)
- start business (not there, maybe some day)

When I wrote down my goals it made it easier to focus on the steps necessary to to reach them and as you can see by the results above, I think I've done pretty well.

So what does this have to do with prepping / modern survivalism? Prepping is really just planning and every prepper should develop their own life plan.

My plan is really about becoming independent and self-sufficient which is at the heart of modern survivalism.   I was a prepper years before I heard of the term and the prepper movement has focused my thoughts and encouraged my efforts.  This blog is an example of that and part of my plan.

As my college book said, writing things down makes them real.  By writing this blog I'm actually motivating myself and hopefully making connections with other prepper and learning from each other.

Despite a few bumps that college book has served me well. I've made changes and additions to my plan but this is normal; you should review your plan at least once a year.

Setting the goals not only motivates you by giving you something to achieve, but it also give you something to measure your successes against.

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