10 January 2012


The other day I was working feverishly on a preparedness project. I repeatedly kept moving things from one pile to another and realized I was getting nowhere. After scratching my head for a moment, I understood what the problem was. I didn't know what the end goal was to be. Why was I moving things from one pile to the other? What was the project supposed to look like when it was "complete"?

Now, the only "New Year's Resolution" I have is, not to have a New Year's Resolution. I know that sounds funny but I have found that it sets me up for failure every year. I will go hard and heavy for a week, a month or even three months only to fizzle out because I am not reaching the intended goal because it seems so far away. Instead, I have implemented something a little more productive.

I am not sure what you would call my method except for setting small goals to get to the bigger one but that becomes a mouthful. Not only that but there are people more qualified than I am to teach you about goal setting so I have included an excerpt from a great tutorial located at the Goal Setting Guide website:
I encourage you to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and jot down the goals you want to reach. Look at each goal and evaluate it. Make any changes necessary to ensure it meets the criteria for a SMART goals:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely

The post today is not specifically about goal setting. It is, however, more about accomplishing smaller chunks of the overall goal in order to lead to satisfactory completion of the major task at hand."Uh, what did he just say?" Let me explain it this way.

I have gotten larger tasks completed by breaking them into smaller and more manageable tasks. For example, the first task in my mind was to ensure my family was prepared for a year of no electricity. My impending event was our yearly winter ice storms and the slowness of the power company getting power restored to my house. I was going to stock enough food and water for a year for myself and my family. This was a crazy idea! I didn't have that kind of time nor that much money. I did have the time and money to take the larger goal and break it into smaller goals in order to complete it. Make sense?

How did I do that? My first goal was ensuring that we had enough food, water and security for 72 hours. Three days. Josh Robbs from stated in a recent podcast, "You can live without food for 72 hours". He also mentioned that food may not be in your 72-hour plan because of this fact. Water may, and should, be included though. Another example is if it is winter, blankets and/or other heat sources might also be included in your plan. This is an example of how you can adjust the short term goals as needed while never losing site of the overall long term goal. I broke the year down into a manageable 72 hours.

I was grocery shopping with my lovely and wonderful wife the other day and I casually mentioned the 72-hour plan to her. She stopped me, grabbed my hand, smiled and said, "we have enough food for three weeks, so what are you going to work on next?". This hit me as I didn't realize just how much food we had because I hadn't broken it out into daily food versus our food storage items. It is with that statement that I have since stopped, reviewed my goals and adjusted based on what the end result is to be. 
By adjusting after reviewing, I was able to correct the course that the ship is already moving on by adjusting the amount of water as well as a few other items that need to be added to the plan. It is because of this that I am excited about finishing up the last little bit of my first goal of the 72-hour plan and being able to start working on a three week plan.

Before I leave this week's post as just a download of information, start thinking about your adjustments and how to get the short goals accomplished. By using the SMART method from above, you can have things done sooner than you think and feel great about your accomplishments. 

I hope this makes things a little easier. I know it did for me. As always, feel free to comment on this post below.

Until then,

Use your instincts to survive!

Special Thanks to Josh Robbs at

Photo: Cochrane

03 January 2012


I thought we were going to have a cold Christmas based on the weather patterns, but when I turned on the weather report, I found it was going to be 70 degrees for several weeks. Imagine my surprise when I woke up to another high 60's day and by lunch time the temperature was in the low 50's. This has been the trend since early December. Now personally, I enjoy the cold weather. The briskness of it along with the rapid movement of wildlife as they forage to ensure they are prepared for a cold couple of days.

I was watching the finches and wrens this afternoon while I was cooking my lunch, and they were scurrying all over the ground gathering seeds and small bugs. As I watched them, I started to run through a mental list in my mind of how much food we had in the pantry and in storage. This, along with my physical list, put me at ease and I continued watching them get ready. The rain started to drizzle and it was as if some where saying, “five more minutes! I'm not ready!”

How many of us are saying the same thing? I know there are times when I sit back and feel accomplished about completing my preparation tasks for the week. On other days, I begin to freak out because I don't think I have done enough to provide for my family to provide for their well being, protection, and well-stocked food stores. So today, I just want you to review.

Review. Review for whatever disaster(s) you have been preparing for. Are your lists up to date? Do you have enough if the power is out for an evening, a day or a week? Or if you aren't preparing for a disaster, should you be? Take time to review what you have done thus far. There is nothing wrong with taking a moment to sit back to see what you have accomplished. It is also recommended practice to review periodically to determine if there are corrections or additions that need to be made in your preparations over the next three, six, nine and twelve months.

I want to keep this short this week and will probably also write a short post for next week. Take this time of year and review your inventory, what you are doing, or even what you feel you "should" be doing. It is during this time you may want to also broach the subject of preparedness with your family and friends.

Regardless of what you are doing during this time, have a great week!

Until then,

Use your instincts to survive!

Photo: Ratcliff

Special thanks to SelfReliantinfo