“Getting Prepared” is a worthy goal in and of itself, but can be a little bit nebulous. How do you know when you’re done? Do you have a way to be sure you covered all your bases?
There’s one easy way to be sure you get everything done that you need to do without getting burned out: Set preparedness goals. Here are four good reasons you should:
Track your progress
Setting preparedness goals is a great way to see how much progress you’re making in a given time period. If you set time-specific goals, even better. Keep your goals all in one place, and sort them by preparedness category. Assign a “due date,” and as you achieve them, check off the box, knowing you’ve got one more item, concept, or skill under your belt.
Stay focused on the most important needs first
It’s easy to get sidetracked in your preparedness efforts—everything can seem like “the most important” based on what’s going on in the world, the things you’ve already started working on, and things your neighbors, friends, or others tell you to do. Making goals will help you focus on what will meet your needs. Let your neighbors focus on their own needs, and everyone comes out ahead.
Working on one or two goals at a time keeps you from running around like a crazy person, doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, while somehow still feeling like you didn’t make any progress at the end of the day (week, month, etc.).
Consistently working on the same single goal (or two) will allow you to keep up your momentum without getting burned out and throwing in the towel.
Enjoy the Accomplishment
This is a biggie one—especially if you’re the type that likes to check things off your list. Setting manageable goals and checking them off your list can give you that boost of motivation to keep building on the supplies and the skills you already have.
Get the Most Out of Your Goals
There are a few things you can go to set yourself up for success in achieving your preparedness goals:
1) Figure out your preparedness needs and priorities first. This will keep your goals focused and relevant to what you want to accomplish.
2) Write them down. This is crucial. Have a preparedness binder? Stick this in the very front, and categorize your goals so you can easily see how your efforts are preparing you to meet your needs and face certain challenges.
No preparedness binder? Keep your goals posted in your storage room near your supplies, or keep a document on your computer, tablet, or phone.
3) Make yourself accountable for your goals by sharing them with family or friends who are also interested in preparedness, survival, or homesteading (or all of the above). Friends and neighbors can provide additional ideas, help, and motivation.
4) Set timelines for each goal—and be realistic. If your budget won’t allow you to buy a year supply of food at once, don’t set a short-term goal to get a year’s worth of food. Make that a long-term goal, and work on a week supply or a month supply first. If, however, you’re too generous with the timeline, you may lose motivation to keep working toward your goal. So strike a balance, and don’t be a perfectionist about it.
5) Make the goals specific enough that you’ll know when you’ve accomplished them. If you find yourself checking off a goal and saying, “Well, except for…,” then it might be best to create two or more related goals.
Remember to Have Fun!
Enjoy the process of getting prepared—if you’re feeling burned out, alternate “have to” goals with “want to” goals to keep your interest and your motivation high. It might be boring to chop logs into firewood, but if you follow that with an evening of cooking delicious meals over a campfire or a backyard fire pit, you’ll remember the benefits of all your hard work—and practice a useful survival skill at the same time.
So, what’s next on your list of survival goals?