Survival Buzz #198: Do You Think Setting Short-Term Goals is a Good Idea?

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Updated Jul 2, 2019 (Orig - Dec 5, 2015)



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This week in the Buzz I want to focus on looking forward and setting short-term preparedness goals.  Do you think setting short-term goals is a good idea?  After all, who hasn’t set long-term preparedness goals?  My guess is no one.  I know that I have, and my endless list-of-things-to-do proves it.

The problem as I see it is that a close examination of that list of preparedness goals reveals lofty, broad brush things such as “take another firearms course, learn to use my All-American Canner, and build a rocket stove out of cement bricks”.  These are admirable and doable goals but will they get done this week or even this month?  Maybe, maybe not, especially if work, time, and social schedules get in the way of good intentions.

Do You Think Setting Short-Term Goals is a Good Idea? | Backdoor Survival

Keeping that in mind, this week I set down some short term preparedness goals for myself.  These are goals that I plan to accomplish this month, no matter what.  As simplistic as they might be, I am listing them publicly for the world to see.  And if I don’t meet those goals?  I will have to hang my head in shame lest I have some pretty darn good excuse for not getting them done.

9 Short Term Prepping Goals for the World to See

Here are my goals for December:

1.  Gather at least two additional buckets of desert biomass to use in my rocket stoves.

2.  Purchase and re-package 20 pounds of sugar.  With all of that holiday baking that folks do this time of year, sugar is dirt cheap right now. Note to self:  do not use oxygen absorbers with sugar unless I want it to become as hard as a brick of concrete!

3.  Purchase and package 20 pounds of oatmeal to add to my food storage.

4.  Fill the second 160-gallon barrel of the 320-gallon water tank kit I purchased in October.

5.  Learn to make DIY toilet bombs for ease in cleaning toilets without the use of chemicals.

6.  Read one new book in the “post-apocalyptic” fiction genre.

7.  Bake bread in the Sun Oven.

8.  Acquire paper maps of the surrounding area so I can find my way back home if there is a disruptive event while I am in Arizona for the winter.

9. Tune up our bicycles so we can start riding again with the mini goal of increasing physical stamina

As you can see, none of these goals are difficult, expensive, or unattainable.  They are my own personal Month Twelve of 12 months of prepping!

Speaking of expensive, for 2016, austerity and frugality will be the buzzword in my household.  Hopefully I have already spent what I needed to spend to set up the major preps at my winter home (such as those two large water tanks, Royal Berkey, freeze-dried food storage, Volcano 3 Stove).  I did budget for these things but still, everything added up quickly.

The good news is that if you are interested in penny pinching, there will be a lot more of that on Backdoor Survival in 2016.

Okay then.  Now you know my goals for the month.  As you continue to read the rest of the Buzz, start thinking about your own short-term goals because I am going to ask you about them.

News Flash!  Articles from Around the Web

Just like the old days.  Coming soon!

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways

I am back with some giveaways this week.  First up, from one of my favorite prepping authors, Jim Cobb.

Prepper Book Festival 10: Prepper’s Survival Hacks + Giveaway

In this next giveaway, there will be three winners, one for each of the OxyLED emergency lighting items.  This is a fun one!

Emergency Lighting Ideas for Your Holiday Survival Kit + Giveaway

With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.  This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.

A Word From Our Sponsor: Sun Ovens International

The SUN OVEN is a fantastic solar cooker and the one that I own. As I mentioned earlier, baking bread in the Sun Oven is one of my goals for December.

Do you want to learn how to use the Sun Oven?  If so, you can watch the replay of my recent solar cooking webinar here: Backdoor Survival Solar Cooking WebinarThere is a lot to learn in the webinar, even if you already own a solar cooker.  This is good stuff!

When the webinar first aired, a fully equipped version of the Sun Oven was offered at the discounted price of $315, shipping included.  That is a discount of $133.  The package included almost every single item offered by Sun Ovens International and is a tremendous value.

I am thrilled to let you know that for a short time, that discount is once again available. You don’t even have to watch the entire webinar to take advantage of this offer, especially if you have already seen it.  If you want to see what all of the hoopla is all about, click here to take advantage of the Backdoor Survival webinar discount on the Sun Oven!

Other Announcements

This is the time of year when gifting is on everyone’s mind. If you are struggling to find the perfect gift, take a peek at the Backdoor Survival Prepper’s Holiday Gift Guide.  The items in this guide are items that I personally own as well as a few DIY surprises.

By now I am sure you know that on many of your purchases, I earn a small commission. In addition, some of the links on this site support the great companies that pay to advertise on BDS.  It goes without saying that by clicking on the links and beginning your shopping experience from this website, you are supporting my work and for that I am grateful.

And what if you are not an online shopper?  That is okay too.  There is never a requirement to buy a single thing in order to take advantage of the material I provide.  And, as I like to say, that is all I am going to say about that.

The Final Word

One of the bummers of authoring a blog is that there are a number of technical aspects that need constant care and feeding.  The mishegoss includes creating perfect headlines, eye-popping photos, and proper SEO.  All of that is W.O.R.K. and not much fun at all.

And then there is content theft.  Can you imagine?  Last week I was accused of stealing someone’s article when in fact, that person had stolen mine.  The original posting date on Backdoor Survival was before the Brand X website had even been started.  It is things like that that drive me nuts.

Call me old fashioned but methinks I will pay less attention to all that stuff (well maybe not the content theft part), and go back to the fun aspects of blogging, namely the writing part. After all, the “backdoor” part of Backdoor Survival is an invitation to come around to the backdoor (usually opening into the kitchen), have a seat at the table, and share a cup of coffee as we chat.  Isn’t that the way it was done in gentler times?

That about covers it for this week.  So what about you?  What are your preparedness goals for the rest of the month?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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You know the drill.  Here are the items mentioned today.  In addition, I really really really want you to think about useful and practical gifts this year.  Here are some ideas from the Holiday Gift Guide.

60 – 300cc Oxygen Absorbers: This is one area where you want to make sure you are getting a quality product.

Royal Berkey Water Filtration System w/ 2 Black Elements: This is the first purchase I made when I came to Arizona.  Forget about reverse osmosis and other systems.  The Berkey is the gold standard when it comes to in home water filtration systems.

Volcano 3 Collapsible Cook Stove: The Volcano Collapsible cook stove is so versatile; it works with  charcoal, wood, or propane.  I like that it collapses down to 5” making it transportable.  I also have the older model, the Volcano 2.  Anytime I own two of something, you know it is a favorite.

All American Pressure Cooker/Canner:  This is my big beautiful canner.  One of these days I will become proficient at using it.

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Lantern:  This is the original Luci EMRG Solar lantern. I have put mine through its paces and it is one tough cookie.  It has weathered both a wind storm and rain storm while hanging outdoors for a month.  Lightweight, waterproof and shatterproof, Luci EMRG provides ultra-bright, reliable light to guide your way indoors and out, through blackouts or extreme weather conditions.

TaoTronics Collapsible Lantern:  This TaoTronics Lantern is collapsible, super bright, and water resistant.  It is powered by 3 AAA batteries that will provide brightness for 40 hours. To use this lantern, just pull it open; there are no power switches to mess with.

Live Fire Original Emergency Fire Starter: This emergency fire starter is compact and a cinch to use. Completely waterproof! I know because I tried to drown my tin in salt water.  The Live Fire Sport is the same product, but in an even smaller, 1 inch by 2 inch tin. Both would make excellent gifts.

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I first learned about Blocklites from a reader.  I am impressed with how long they will run on a single, 9V battery.  I now own 8 of these spread out in drawers, emergency kits, the car, everywhere.  This is my number one pick for a small, but effective flashlight.

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

BaoFeng UV5R Dual-Band Two-Way Radio:  I own two of these.  Something to keep in mind that if you are just planning to listen, you do not need a license.  This is the prepper’s choice when it comes to emergency radios.  Special Note:  BaoFeng and Pofung radios are one and the same.  Some units are branded as “Pofung”. Need help setting them up?  Read How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy.

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

Amprobe BAT-250 Battery Tester:  I do not know anyone that is sorry they purchased or gifted an inexpensive battery tester.  Mine sits in my desk drawer and is used 3 or 4 times a week.  This newer version is an upgrade from the BT-200 and well worth the extra couple od dollars.  I  especially like the redesigned side cradle that holds batteries securely in place during testing – no more erratic battery readings from movement off contacts. Even if you do not want to purchase one as a gift for someone else, do get on for yourself.

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and weighs only 2oz. It works quickly, taking roughly 3-5 seconds of sucking to start the flow of water through the filter. It’s ultra-light and inexpensive but effective.  There is also the LifeStraw Family that will purify up to 12 liters per hour.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


Essential Oils: Deal of the Week

Each week I update a special page with the Spark Naturals item of the week?  You can find it here:  Essential Oils from Spark Naturals – Weekly Deals. Every once in awhile there will be free shipping or a free gift offered as well as a product discount.

20% Off Discount Code:  BACKDOORSURVIVAL
This is the sale you have been waiting for!Spark Naturals Anniversary Sale | Backdoor Survival

And remember, you can always use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire SN order.  When it comes to saving money, every little bit helps.



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Test New Survival Gear, and Let Us Know What You Think! We Cover the Products, You Cover Shipping.

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Updated Jul 2, 2019
Published Dec 5, 2015

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18 Responses to “Survival Buzz #198: Do You Think Setting Short-Term Goals is a Good Idea?”

  1. Oh Gaye, back in the early days of blogging, who knew blogs would become cutthroat and that putting each blog edition together requires as much time and work as a printed magazine. So I just want to say BDS is a great blog. Readable, instructive, attractive, and NEVER dull. Believe me I have checked out a hundred blogs on survival, prepping, and homesteading. There are only 2 others that I consistently read. With BDS I read every word.

  2. On the subject of short term goals, we are going to finish a project today that started last winter. We are building the clay pot and candle heater. I found the idea last winter but had to wait until summer to buy the clay flower pots. Today we plan to buy the metal hardware to assemble it.

  3. Setting small, short term goals is the way to go on the pathway to a larger objective. Those goals should be specific and measurable. Considering the goals listed in your article, I would add a deadline to each one. For example, I’ll do ____ by the end of the week. If you have nine goals, can you do two a week? If not, don’t get discouraged. Resolve to get done what you can while working down the list. Don’t worry if you do tasks in a different order than what you have listed. The trick is to keep things manageable in a way that works best for you.

    • I completely agree. Set small, easy goals that lead up to achieving your big goals and set deadlines to force yourself to act. Self-discipline can be learned, even if you think you’re scatter-brained.

  4. Is there any other way to live than by “short term goals”….and shouldn’t those short term goals add up to long term goal fulfillment?

    I have a long term goal of always having 2 years of firewood neatly stacked in the wood shed. However it can’t all be done (physically) in one day, so I can (and do) set short term goals of obtaining a cord of wood this month, 2 cords of wood early next year, etc, until my long term goal of always having 2 years of firewood neatly stacked in the wood shed is met. But it will be an ongoing process, for life, because I do use that firewood to heat every winter, so it will require replacing regularly.

    Another Long term goal I have is staying as healthy as possible (I have a chronic cancer). The ONLY way to do that is through a series of short term goals. Same with getting more physically fit or eating more healthy or having more tomatoes in my pantry. Each of those goals require short term goals to achieve the objective of “being more fit, eating better or growing/preserving more”. You can’t be more fit if you don’t exercise 3 times this week. You can’t eat more healthy if you don’t buy healthy foods this week. And you can’t have more tomatoes in the pantry if you don’t plant and preserve more this spring/summer. So the long term goals have to be broken down to short term, can do now, goals until you find out you can now run a mile, LIKE tofu (ick) and the pantry shelf is sagging from jars of freshly canned tomatoes.

    So set short term goals, that don’t depress you and eventually you will find that you have achieved your long term goals. Easy Peasy. LOL

  5. Short term and long term goals go hand in hand. If you have a long term goal, you must have a series of short term goals, sometimes called milestones. If you don’t have the milestones you will be in a continuous state of confusion, working on one thing and then another. You will have a hodge podge mess and will never know where you are. Lay out the long term goal, then sit down and divide it up into short term goals/milestones. Then put the milestones in the order of importance. Once that’s done, go to work. Keep in mind that these things need to be constantly adjusted. For example, milestone five may be to purchase something which normally costs $500.00, but you are working on milestone two. Suddenly you find the item for $100.00. Then by all means, get it now even if it is out of order. Then readjust your milestones. An added thought is that for most us, we’ll never reach the long term goal because as we near it, we’ll add more short term goals, and that extends the long term goal, even though we may have reached the original long term goal long ago. Just keep at it!

  6. For various reasons, I haven’t been setting short or long term goals lately, except in my mind and that’s not a good way to set them. So, my short term goal is to write down my goals. Then I can set other short term goals – like actually finishing some of the projects I did start.

  7. A lot of “short term preps” add up to the whole shebang! One step at a time will get you to your goal.

  8. I think setting short-term goals is a great idea, mostly because I find it really easy to set long-term goals and then forget about them. My short-term goals include laying in more water storage (I have a month’s worth but need more), long-term food storage (I have about three months’ worth of cans and boxes from the grocery store, but nothing in buckets or #10 cans), and something in the way of home defense (firearms courses in my area fill up months in advance).

    I also want to acquire and learn to use at least two systems to cook/bake/boil off-the-grid, which is why I was so excited to read about the discount on the Sun Oven package! I watched several videos on the Sun Oven website a few nights ago and thought the idea was brilliant, but the expense made me hesitate. I’ll definitely order one of those packages before the discount expires on the 16th–thanks for the heads-up, Gaye!

  9. I’ve been a casual passerby of this blog for a while but discovering this article today made me sign up for the newsletter. I swear it is timely divine intervention. All my goals and lists float around in my head and I’ve just been schooling myself to get on the ball. I’m so tired of living in the “House of Unfinished Projects” and the “Garden that Time Forgot”. (seriously we all it that!) I’ve not been organized (or slept easy) since the Hurricane Sandy imposed move in early 2013. I know I’d not make as good a showing a second time around. Heck, I’m going to have to donate half of my haphazard food stores to the food pantry this Christmas. Commendable I’m sure, but not exactly what I had in mind when I bought them. Ugh. I just need to keep repeating “Short Term Goals….short term goals…write it down…”

  10. Baby steps. I love short term goals which add up over time. That is how you get those longer term goals accomplished. No one wants to be overwhelmed and with prepping it is easy to get yourself overwhelmed quickly. I loved “articles from around the web” so I am happy to see that pop back into the blog.

  11. Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading & it’s still one of my favorites. I’m on Social Security so my goals are limited by finances but once in awhile wonderful deals come my way & I try to have a little something set aside to take advantage of them. I found a new Food Saver @ an estate sale for $20. Now I’m searching for a pressure canner. A Berkey has to be a long term goal. Thanks for the encouragement!

  12. Short term goals are often easier to accomplish, so I think that it does indeed make sense to add some short term goals to your goal list. Making some short term goals happen might even make it easier to get some of the long term ones finished!

  13. Virtually all of my goals are long term goals at this point. I’m pretty comfortable with having more than a year’s food squirreled away and various ways to cook it. Water filtration, light sources, get home bags in cars, go bags, basic medical preps (OTC meds, disinfectant, oral rehydration solution components, etc.), check, check and check. So now it’s things like get the heating system replaced with an on-demand system for better fuel economy and to free up more space in the basement for preps. 🙂
    Any short term goals are things like put away the cans that UPS or Fedex delivered, or bag up the grain or pasta that I bought and want to put away in mylar. Things are always busy, so I have to make time to get that done or my wife gets a nervous tic because the foyer starts looking like a warehouse. 😛

    • Arggh! so does mine! and the dining room table looks like a rummage sale!

  14. My new wife has set some short term goals for me. EITHER BUILD THAT DARN ROCKET MASS HEATER, OR GET RID OF ALL THE “STUFF” ON THE DRIVE WAY. Does it count if only one person in the house hold makes the plans?

  15. I have a lists short term (less than 6 months), medium term (7-17 months), and long term (18+ months) goals. It helps keep me organized and it’s easy to reevaluate on a regular basis.

    Sometimes I start with the long term goal and work backwards, to see what need in terms of time, budget, skills, or tools I need to accomplish my goals. Based on what I need I break the goal down in steps. Depending on time and difficulty of the steps they become short or medium term goals. Sometimes I follow the steps in order, other times it’s easier or cheaper to skip a few steps and go back.

  16. This is a great article. I never would have thought about having a bicycle for this purpose. Thanks for the ideas.


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