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Monday, April 5, 2010

Updated Goals, Strategies, and Tactics

With all the work we've (mostly Val) been pouring into the boat, we thought it best to pause and look around. When working with the nose so close to the grindstone, it is easy to forget to look up and be sure that what you are grinding is turning into what you want.

This was a perfect time to revisit our goal, strategies for achieving the goal, and the tactics for realizing the strategies. Back in May of 2009, we shared our then 1 year old formal listing of our goal statement, strategies, and tactics for the trip.

Here they are again:
Goal –
Explore the world as a family full time indefinitely leaving as early as 2012.

Strategy –
S1: Use boat for conveyance and residence
S2: Live self-sufficiently
S3: Don’t own durable goods with a life span past 2012

Tactics –
T1: Identify and liquidate all non-essential material possessions (S2, S3)
T2: Save as much money as possible (S1, S2)
T3: Reduce cost of living (S2)
T4: Create multiple parallel streams of passive income (S2)
T5: Identify and acquire appropriate boat (S1)
T6: Identify and discontinue all non-essential services (S2)
T7: Cook with a single burner (S1, S2)
T8: Add seafood to diet (S2)
T9: Identify and address all physical deficiencies before 2012 (S2)
T10: Maximize bodily health (S2)
T11: Live a minimalist life (S2)
Our goal statement has changed. It now reads:
Explore the world as a family full time indefinitely leaving as early as 2011.

The adjusted goal also changes one of the strategies (S3) since durable goods past 2011 don't do us any good. It also changes the tactic that lists a date (T9).

As Val and I considered all that has been done so far, the only action we've taken that violates our guidelines is the addition of the radar. We struggled with this one to the point that we even posted our internal dialog on the matter.

Having formalized (e.g. written down) our goal, strategies, and tactics has made it easier for Val and I to make independent and collaborative decisions. We talk about if a given course of action fits within our framework. If it doesn't, then discussion follows. If it does, no discussion is needed .... we just execute.

We believe having this framework has been part of the reason why we were able to pull in our goal by another full year. We've been able to avoid decisions that would have resulted in a meandering towards the goal. The meandering state will happen once we are on the water!


  1. I really like this. It makes me think that my husband and I should be a little more specific with our plans/goals. All we really have that I think we would both agree on is, "We better be out of here by 11/11/11!" and, "Save enough money that we don't have to work." The rest of the details are a little fuzzier than yours. Thanks for sharing.

  2. @BoatMama: :) Thank you.

    Codifying our execution approach really helps us BoatMama. We know others, however, that didn't get so explicit with their approach are sailing the ocean right now. As has been noted previously, Val and I are list people and this list makes the hundreds of decisions we are making all line up in a common direction.

    It also helps on the team approach. Val and I spent a lot of time creating the list and agreeing on each point. For approaches we didn't agree on, we simply didn't make them strategies or tactics.

    One last offering on all this (that will probably end up as a blog at some point): we have clearly and carefully defined and detailed what our exit criteria will look like. How do we know when we have fulfilled everything we need to make the jump?

    You've noted that you guys want to be out by 11/11/11. The 11/11/11 is one of those exit criteria. You shared that you guys wanted to save enough money to not have to work. We too have the similar approach. The question is, how much money is that? You guys may know your number, we know ours down to the penny. Another example is that our daughter Dy must be able to swim and float for 10 minutes. There are plenty more and I will put them in a blog.

    We've created our multi-item exit criteria for a few different reasons. 1) we were worried that we would be looking down, working hard against our tactics, and go way past the finish line. 2) It also lets us measure our progress.

    There are many ways to get from here to there BoatMama. Thanks for following along with us as we make our journey our way.


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