Every year, people make a series of New Year’s Resolutions that are usually forgotten by the time you flip the page of the calendar over to February. This list starts with some of the standard resolutions that everyone makes that are particularly pertinent to preppers, and then contains some that are unique to this community.
Make this the year that you improve your life right now and your chances of survival later. Pick one or all of these resolutions and persevere!
1.) Get in shape.
Some of us may already be in the best shape of our lives, spending our free time running marathons on the weekends that we don’t dog sled race or mountain climb. For the rest of us, though, there could be room for improvement. Think about the tasks that are pertinent to a survival situation and train for them as though they are your sport and you want to make the Olympic Prepping Team. Walk, run, lift weights – just move your body and improve your physical fitness. Whatever your starting point, set small short-term goals to make monthly improvements. (If you are new to fitness WALKING is a great way to start and you can learn more about general fitness for preppers HERE.)
2.) Lose weight if you need to.
Not everyone has extra pounds to lose, but for those who do, there’s no time like the present to start. If the SHTF, you aren’t going to live off your fat. Trust me on this one. If anything, a great deal of excess body fat just might be the thing that kills you. If you are more than a few pounds overweight, you are dramatically reducing your chances for survival, as well as your ability to care for other family members in a crisis situation. (Learn more about weight loss geared towards preppers HERE.)
3.) Give up a bad habit.
Do you smoke? Drink too much alcohol? Eat too much junk food? Now is the time to give up some bad habits. Can you imagine how much worse it would be to deal with a disaster while also going through nicotine withdrawal?
4.) Reduce your dependency on pharmaceutical medications where possible.
And speaking of withdrawal, take a look at your medicine cabinet. I realize that not everyone is able to stop taking prescription medications, and I’m certainly not recommending that you make a decision like this without input from your doctor. However, in some cases it is entirely possible to get off of chemical medications. Do you have a chronic ailment that can be helped with herbs or a better diet? Things like antidepressants, heartburn medication, and many others can be reduced under the care of a physician, which will allow you to fare far better if those medications are suddenly no longer available. Learn about natural treatment alternatives as well as how to improve your nutrition to combat specific health problems, and stock up accordingly.
5.) Practice your marksmanship skills.
Most skills require frequent practice if you want to stay sharp. Make a weekly commitment to practicing marksmanship or self defense. Whether you shoot a gun or a bow, throw knives, or use a slingshot, practice makes perfect. You want to be accurate when it counts.
6.) Learn a skill that is completely different from your other skills.
This is a great way to become more well-rounded. If, for example, your skills are hunting or protecting the homestead, learn how to garden or how to preserve what you’ve hunted. Alternatively, if your skills are along the lines of needlework and cooking, learn to fire a gun with accuracy or how to chop firewood. Even if you have a partner that generally does these things, you never know when someone might be ill or injured and unable to perform their usual duties. (Learn more about cross-training for preppers HERE.)
7.) Recommit yourself to building your stockpile.
We all go through phases where we are less motivated about building our stockpile. This is a great time to recommit. Start out by doing an inventory, because if you don’t know what you have, you don’t know what you need. Then take a look at your budget and plan how much you are going to spend of your monthly grocery bill on items for your pantry. Review the Pantry Primer series for inspiration.
8.) Change the way you deal with finances
If you still use the banks and financial system, now is the time to consider either unbanking or underbanking. Much was written over the previous year about hapless savers having their money “taxed” (actually, it was stolen) by unscrupulous governments, and really, if we’re being honest, our own government rates pretty high on the dishonesty scale and plans are in the works for them to help themselves to your money. Before your money can be confiscated, look to other means of saving it. Also, consider making investments in tangible goods and precious metals instead of depositing your money in a financial institution and hoping for the best.
9.) Plan your perfect retreat
Whether you plan to buy a cabin in the woods, a little farm tucked away, or if you intend to bloom where you’re planted, spend some time making plans. Either make a list of your needs and relocation requirements and a plan for acquiring your new home, or decide what needs improving where you are right now. Devote yourself to making THIS the year that you and your family create the perfect prepper homestead for your family.
10.) Disengage from the system in every way possible
Make it your goal to disengage from “the system” in at least one way, large or small. Maybe you will homeschool your children, become self-employed, build an off-grid power supply, or begin growing your own food instead of buying it from the grocery store. Whatever you choose, by becoming self-sufficient in that area, you are freeing yourself from government control because you just don’t need whatever they happen to be selling. (See 50 Ways to Starve the Beast for inspiration.)
Happy New Year!
Please share your preparedness resolutions in the comments section below.
Thank you for your support over the past year. I look forward to watching our community grow in strength and numbers in 2014.
Best wishes for peace and prosperity in the new year!
~ Daisy Luther
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org