My list this year was delayed due to an incredibly hectic holiday season and vacation over New Year's. So I now offer you my belated list of survivalist New Year's resolutions - how does it compare to yours?
- Obtain my ham radio license. Cost: $15 to take the exam. Study materials available for free on the internet. Time investment: 10-15 hours for studying and exam taking.
- Improve my shooting skills by visiting the gun range at least once a month. Cost per month: Approximately $15 for range fees, $50-$100 for ammunition at roughly $1/round. (Ouch!) Time investment: 3 hours a month, including travel time, range time, and gun cleaning time.
- Lose 15 pounds. That's not even a loss of 2 pounds a month; should be doable. I lost ten pounds in the last half of 2009; this will continue the effort. Cost: $12/month for Weight Watchers enrollment. Time investment: 2 hours a week for meetings and food tracking for a total 8 hours a month.
- Improve outdoor survival and camping skills. I'm currently enrolled in a how-to-camp class (don't laugh!) and I'm in the process of obtaining gear and suitable clothing. Cost: several hundred dollars for tuition, gas, tent, and sleeping bag. Time investment: one evening class meeting, one three-day camping trip, and four hours a month exploring day hiking trails in and around Houston - 126 hours total.
- Organize food storage and continue adding to it. Right now everything is just thrown in a spare closet with some old crappy bookshelves. Cost: minimal for organization; $10-$20/month for nonperishable food. Time investment: 15 hours.
- Improve my Spanish-speaking skills. Cost: Zero. I already own language-learning software. With a trip to Puerto Rico in the planning stages, I'll have plenty of opportunity to try out my ability to communicate with people who (gasp!) don't speak English. Time investment: 2 hours a week plus vacation time, which I won't count, cause, well, it's a vacation.
Total projected cost in 2010: $1,619 ($135 a month, on average). Practice ammunition accounts for an overwhelming majority of this. Total projected time spent: 232 hours (20 hours a month on average).
If I can end 2010 with all these things accomplished, I think it will count as a productive year. How about you? Share your resolutions in the comments!