Its that time of year when we are finally cleaning up from Christmas – digging out from the sea of UPS delivered packages, polishing off the last cookies and putting away our new toys. The end of the year is time for taking inventory and a common practice we Americans like to partake in is New Years Resolutions. A resolution is simply a promise you make to yourself about some aspect of your life you are going to change in the new year. When the magical day of January 1st appears, you are going to start being a nicer person, loose that Christmas cookie weight (guilty as charged), start going to the gym, run that 5k or a million other things we say we are going to do. Most of us at least try some of our resolutions, but not all of us finish them and most of us quickly forget our heartfelt promises really quickly.
Knowing this is a trend that even I am guilty of glossing over and ignoring when I was lazy, I wanted to write down some ideas Preppers could use for New Year’s Resolutions this year. I know that personally I need to work on some of these aspects of my preps so jotting them down and trying to focus on them might give me a little more motivation, determination and the most important thing, follow through. Maybe it will help give you some ideas too.
Store Extra food
This is an easy one, right? Storing extra food is more of a habit you need to get into than anything. You are already going to the store, but you need to buy more of what you already eat. Once you have a week extra, go for two weeks, then a month. If you have a few hundred dollars buy some food you can store in Mylar bags and extend the life of your foods for 10 to 15 years easily.
Store Extra Drinking water
Another easy one. There isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t have several dozen gallons at a minimum for each person stored in your home at all times. The trick is to not blast through this supply on a hot week in August. Buy or bottle your water in larger container’s for ease of storing, but keep your supply fresh and rotate your stored water out every 6 months. Water that is 2 years old is still drinkable, but you probably won’t like the taste of it.
Get in (better) shape
This is one that I want to focus more on next year and I am just as good as the next person at making excuses for not exercising. One simple fact is that the healthier you are, the better you are able to cope with stress and deal with physically challenging situations. One common theme that we always see in any survival situation is hardship. There is the hardship associated with being displaced, with having to flee or to make do without conveniences that we are used to. The better shape you are in, the better you will be able to adapt to your new situation. If you can’t walk a mile up and down your street when the grid is up, do you think you are going to be able to run 5 miles with a full pack when the grid goes down?
Tell someone about prepping
This is something I like to think we accomplish with the Prepper Journal and that is getting the message out to more and more people about the need to prepare. It isn’t lunatic survivalists, it’s you, it’s me, it’s your parents, friends and neighbors we need to ensure are prepared. Try telling some friends or coworkers. You don’t have to convince them to start a militia and move to a compound with you. If we are all able to take care of ourselves during the next winter storm that is a start. If we are all able to live for a month without a trip to the grocery store, that is huge.
Buy some precious metals
Back in 2008 when the stock market tanked I decided that for me personally, investing the traditional way wasn’t the safe bet it had been portrayed to me over the years. I took all of my money out of an IRA I had and purchased precious metals with some of it. I don’t have enough to finance the coup of a foreign nation, but I do have some money that is pretty much safe from bank failures, a collapse of paper currency or a stock market collapse. I am not saying that I am invincible, but having precious metals is one aspect in my opinion of true diversification. What the money guys will tell you is that you need to have some of your money in stocks, some in bonds and some in other investment portfolios so that you will be ‘diversified’. That isn’t diversification because your money is all tied up with other people in investment schemes that can lose their value over night. Precious metals are something you should at least look into if you don’t have any other options currently for your monetary security.
Reevaluate my bug out bags
This is one of those concepts in Prepping that I do talk about all of the time and that is that you are never done Prepping. You can’t buy some gear, throw it into a big back and shove that into the closet. Prepping should evolve with your knowledge, it should adjust to your lifestyle and living conditions and adapt to the threats you consider important to your family. Take the time to break out that bag and completely inventory it. Better yet, strap it on and go out into the woods for a few days to see if you can live off of what you have in there. The lessons you learn from that trip might help you rethink what you packed.
Work on outdoor skills
One of the areas I think I need the most work on is simple outdoor skills. Chopping trees, butchering livestock, growing, recognizing and using natural herbs. All of these skills could be required from you if the grid goes down and it’s better to practice now while you have Target to fall back on.
Pay more attention to the garden
I like to blame my gardens success and failures on how much time I am able to spend in there. I really want to force a discipline on myself to spend some time daily in my garden. I know if I do, I will not only get more produce from my garden, I will learn more, it will be less weedy and the end result will be much more rewarding.
Spend more quality time with family
I have said before that everything I do when it comes to prepping is for the benefit and with the goal of taking care of my family and that is completely true. Its odd though that often my planning, prepping and activities that I take part in to ensure their safety sometimes comes at the expense of me spending time with the people I love. I want to make a point to take time during every day and week to appreciate and love on the people I want to protect.
Hopefully this gave you some ideas for prepper new year’s resolutions. If you have your own, please write them in the comments below and I hope you all have a safe and happy new year!