Showing posts with label goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label goals. Show all posts

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Food Adding Up- Why Consistency Matters

Some food showed up the other day. I put it away with the rest of our long term storage food. Most of it's staples but there are some snacks and desert items also.

Since being here in Arizona food storage has been a primary goal. Accordingly we started putting some money ($150 a month) towards it. Man the food is really adding up. We are definitely getting somewhere in terms of meeting our food storage goals. Being consistent is why this is going so well. Sometimes more money goes in but never less. Over time it adds up.

Be consistent.

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Years Resolutions- Finalized a bit late

I dropped some draft goals awhile back and was recently reminded of them. It is high time I solidify them.


Maintain a consistent weight lifting program.

Run a half marathon (I changed to this because it's March and I haven't tracked mileage which was a big fat fail)

Continue working on barefoot running towards the goal of running on a  variety of terrain up to 5k barefoot

Transition to running fully in minimalist shoes

Ruck at least 1x a week

Eat reasonably with decent consistency so I don't gain and lose the same weight 2-3 times over the year.

Skills/ Training:

Attend a defensive handgun course.

Work on developing a variety of other skills as they come up by doing as much myself as possible.

Guns and Gun Junk:

Pick up a couple holsters and assorted other stuff to get squared away for what we have. (Specifically a nice Bravo or Raven concealment kydex holster for the Glock with TLR-1, a good OWB holster for the J frame, and an ankle holster.)

Purchase a DBAL and free float the barrel on project AR.  (The DBAL is almost funded I just need to do a bit more research then pull the trigger.)

Finally complete Project 870. At least the tube extension and sling. The light angle I've got to do some thinking on.

Get more spare parts. Beef up on core stuff (AR's and Glocks) and get some basic stuff (firing pin, extractor, ejector, springs, pins, etc) for other guns.

Finally get my (already sporterized) 1903 30'06 tapped and mount a scope on it.

If things work out and decent deals come along I would like to get a single shot 12 gauge and another .22 rifle. 

Subcategory Ammo: I am only doing this if prices get back to normalish. Would take my best whack at it and if I get half done be happy.
5k .22lr
1k 9mm
1k 12 gauge (mixed about 400 buck, 100 slug and 500 mixed small game loads)
2k .223


Build up to a 1 year supply of food for 4 people.

Can something

Continue with my garden this year.

Pursue fishing/ hunting as it fits with our environment and life. 

 Energy/ Other:

Get a better solar setup. A bigger panel with a power supply and a few small lights is the answer. Goal 0 makes what I am looking for. It will cost about $400. Probably 500 once I get the lights. This would have gotten purchased late in 2012 but the whole ban madness shifted my priorities elsewhere.

Get licensed to drive a motorcycle. Maybe purchase a used enduro/ adventure touring motorcycle.

Continue putting together and refining our systems. Firm up the bug out bags and the heavy (vehicle) bug out setup.

Re look and improve our cache situation.


Continue being debt free and saving. Along these lines continue not doing stupid things. 

If we reach our food storage goal get back to putting away some silver and gold.

Long Shots:

Start on the AR Pistol.

Buy some land (this mostly depends on some other things).

As always input is welcome. It would be fairly useful now before these resolutions are solidified. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Getting Started, "I Can't Afford To Prepare", Gardens and Inflation

TEOTWAWKI Blog had an interesting discussion. "One to-do that I walked away with was the need to put together a real budget sensitive kit, and from off-the-shelf stuff. I did the $40 a week series, but even that's out of reach for a lot of people. A $150 or so total investment is probably a good starting point." Continue reading here

I commented there but felt like elaborating on the topic. It doesn't matter what you WANT to do it matters what you put meaningful effort towards doing. I would not mind being able to speak Chinese or squat 500 pounds but am not really doing anything to make that happen. Anybody can say they want to be prepared but if they aren't willing to do something about it that is all talk which counts for jack and shit. The point is that wanting to be prepared (or anything else) simply doesn't matter, what we DO matters. I'm not saying somebody not actively pursuing preparedness is bad or whatever, there are lots of good folks who it's just not their thing.

We make choices in life. Having expensive hobbies is a choice, eating out regularly is a choice, going out on the town all the time is a choice. Like I talked about previously well prepared individuals tend to have some things in common.

For what it is worth I find deciding on a goal and then figuring out how to make it work is the way to go. It's like the pay yourself first financial concept. The other option is to wait till the end of the month and inevitably there will be nothing left.

It's the same with space (historically another hot topic). If you look for easy to use storage space that is not currently filled with anything or be obtrusive on living spaces there isn't any in most homes, especially the small ones where space is already an issue. On the other hand if you come at it that your home is going to fit 30 buckets of stored food, 2 contico bins of gear, a backpack and a small gun cabinet then somehow you will figure out a way to make that work.

Of course people should be realistic. A one income family of 6 pulling down 20k a year can't financially do what a high powered couple bringing in big money can. 5 years of food for 6 people and 100k in ammo is not going to fit into a 30 foot RV. Everyone's situation, finances, schedule and goals are different. If $40 (or less) a pay period is what you can put into preps then do it. Have a plan, shop sales and make that money go as far as it can. If you are really short on space then do the best you can and once that is done try to work alternate locations or caches.

One mistake I think many people starting out in survivalism make is getting frustrated at what they perceive to be a lack of timely progress. This is short sighted at best. Focusing on progress is far more meaningful. Like Jim Wendler said "If you bench press 225 and want to do 275 first you need to do 230". Slow progress adds up over time if you are consistent.

At the risk of slipping into tomorrows post I put some more energy into the garden today. Right now we have a few plants. I am toying with ordering some nonhybrid heirloom type seeds and trying to sprout then grow them. There is still time to do so, though not enough to dilly dally for very long before doing so. It would be nice to grow some strawberries and a few other things. Our situation lends itself to container gardening for a variety of reasons. Any advice (where you buy small quantities of seeds from, sprouting, container gardening, harvesting seeds, etc all) would be greatly appreciated.

Has anybody else noticed that prices of stuff just keep climbing? I swear gas is up 10 or 20 cents this week. We aren't eating better but the cost keeps rising. Am I alone on this?

Monday, December 31, 2012

Draft New Years Resolutions

So a few days ago Alexander Wolfe of TEOTWAWKI Blog reminded me that I usually do New Years Resolutions. Last years deployment threw off the cycle. Anyway I got moving on this a lot later than usual; so these are not as thought through as they could be. I am posting some ideas. In a week or a month these will be solidified into the New Years Resolutions I am going to run with.


Maintain a consistent weight lifting program.

Run over 1,000 miles

Ruck at least 1x a week

Eat reasonably with decent consistency so I don't gain and lose the same weight 2-3 times over the year.

Skills/ Training:

Attend a defensive handgun course.

Attend a trauma based first aid class (I am due for retraining).

Work on developing a variety of other skills as they come up by doing as much myself as possible.

Guns and Gun Junk:

Pick up a couple holsters, pouches and assorted other stuff to get squared away for what we have. 

Buy 2 cases of .223 ammo.

Free float the barrel on project AR

Get more spare parts. Beef up on core stuff (AR's and Glocks) and get some basic stuff for other guns.

Finally get my (already sporterized) 1903 30'06 tapped and mount a scope on it. 

If this gun ban madness calms down start building an AR pistol.


Build up to a 1 year supply of food for 4 people.

Can something

Pursue gardening/ fishing/ hunting as it fits with our environment and life. 

 Energy/ Other:

Get a better solar setup. A bigger panel with a power supply and a few small lights is the answer. Goal 0 makes what I am looking for. It will cost about $400. Probably 500 once I get the lights. This would have gotten purchased late in 2012 but the whole ban madness shifted my priorities elsewhere.

Get licensed to drive a motorcycle. Purchase a used enduro/ adventure touring motorcycle.

Continue putting together and refining our systems. Firm up the bug out bags and the heavy (vehicle) bug out setup.

Re look and improve our cache situation.


Continue being debt free and saving. Along these lines continue not doing stupid things. 

Once we are done with the food storage goal get back to putting away some silver and gold.

Long Shots:

Get a DBAL for my AR.

Buy some land (this mostly depends on some other things).

As always input is welcome. It would be fairly useful now before these resolutions are solidified. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Making Things Happen

It doesn't matter if you are trying to get out of debt, into shape, better prepared or whatever. There is a pretty solid formula for being successful. That is what we are going to talk about today.

Step 0: Be realistic. Choose goals that are practical for your situation in terms of money, effort and time commitments. A super doomsday bunker is not going to happen on a part time service industry type job. Losing 50 pounds in a month is not healthy. Somebody with a full time job and kids that is going to school part time cannot have the same pursuits and hobbies as a retiree.

Step 1: Clearly define your goal. Figure out where you want to go, how you want to get there and when you want to arrive. Remember that a goal without a timeline is a wish. The point is to have a quantifiable goal as well as the enabling goal that will help you get there. Here is a simple example

Goal: Pay off $X,XXX in consumer debt by summer (July 1 to toss out a date) 2013.
Enabling goal: Live on 65% of take home income putting 15% of total take home into retirement savings and the remaining 20% towards consumer debt. Put 75% of any found money towards consumer debt.

Pretty obviously the amount of money you can put towards said debt multiplied by the period you plan to pay it off in must equal the total balance. So if you owe 3k and can put $500 into it a month it is going to take 6 months not including interest.

Step 2: Prioritize your goals above less important things. If you spend like normal and wait till the end of the pay period to put money towards your goals little if anything will happen. On the other hand if you write that check first then by default you will figure out how to live on what is left.

The same could be said about time. If you put off a weeks worth of stuff to Sunday after dinner when you really want to just relax then watch The Walking Dead is not a good plan. Hitting the gym on the way home is a lot more likely to actually work.

Step 3: Continual assessment. If you are not making progress for whatever reason then things may need to be changed. Also situations can require a change. If you are hurt or have a significant unplanned expense like a large car repair it may mean adjusting or postponing some goals.

Step 4: Periodic goal review. Continual assessment is good but the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Stopping and taking an hour or maybe an afternoon to look at everything is smart. Maybe you do yearly goals like I have in the past. It is smart to sit down and really look at all of your goals and how they are going at a regular interval. Quarterly might not be a bad idea though for other projects monthly may be better.

You might not follow all of these steps exactly but most successful people seem to hit the high points. If what you are doing works then stick with it. However if you find that goals are sticking around instead of being passed then think about changing.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August Challenge Completion Thoughts

Well the August Challenge is pretty much done. I met the run goal. The weight goal I will call a partial completion as I was down 2 pounds at last look but haven't had a scale since. I have learned a few things this month.

[As a disclaimer I am not a physical or in any way by education or certification qualified to give legitimate exercise or fitness advice. Also for background I am a healthy 20 something guy. I have been running on a regular basis for years though with not always with a particularly organized plan. I probably doubled my mileage this month which nobody advises. That is not necessarily advisable or reasonable.]

The first week or two where I went from a long time of averaging probably 6 miles to 10 or 12 were rough. I adapted quickly and my running capacity and recovery times have improved immensely. What used to be the long run of the week after which I would take a day or two off is now an easy run I can do 2-3 days in a row. Also the increased stamina has really helped me recover on the run after a hill or whatnot and after I need to run faster for whatever reason.

I have heard that you should not add more than 10% distance to a long run (from the last recent, like 2-3 weeks recent, long run) or in total distance a week. Not going to say that is wrong. I ignored that advice in terms of long run distance once and messed my right knee up pretty good. That being said I broke the advice on total distance and it seemed to work OK for me. I did listen to my body on a day to day basis and when a day off was needed I took it.

So this month was a success if not a total one. The next logical question is, what about next month?

Well I am going to keep 50 miles as my goal. I would increase it a bit but as we will do some traveling and I am on leave holding what I've got is a pretty solid goal. I do want to keep working on long runs and do a 10 mile run after some logical progression of 7, 8 and 9 milers.

I need to bring back speed work. It kind of dropped off this month and needs to come back. I want to add it in once a week either by doing sprints or fartleick (sp) type stuff. Speed work is important because actual combat and emergencies require short spurts of full speed and sometimes long term cardio.

John Mosby would probably criticize last month's plan for being seriously lacking in time under a ruck. He would be right. Excuses aside I think I rucked once last month. Not too worried about it because rucking has always come easy to me. I can just grab it and go. However that is not the right answer and while I may be acceptably capable of rucking without training on it I will do better with training.

My broad plan for next month is to do 2 runs and 1 ruck a week. I am thinking a long run, speed work and a ruck that probably is the same distance as the run. If I hit the distances I would like to hit 50 miles will be easy. Anyway that is the goal. We will see what happens.

August Challenge 50 Miles Complete

Did the last 6 miles this morning which rounds out an even 50. I am probably down about 3 pounds but my waist is definitely an inch or two smaller as measured by my pants and belt. Good times.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

4 More Down Just 6 To Go

Ran an easy 4 miles this morning. Between being a bit sore from Sunday's run and a delightful but heavy dinner of steak, veggies and taters (not doing that before a run day again) I was dragging this morning but still got it done. The plan is to lift tomorrow and do 7 on Thursday which gives me Friday as a contingency.

I was thinking out loud and BSing with my NCO counterpart (who is a runner but a little guy so rucks are rough on him) about next months goals. I tentatively plan to keep the same mileage goal. Since I will be on leave about the best case scenario is holding what I have. Do however plan on continuing to increase the distance of the longer runs. I would like to do a 10 miler by the end of next month, using proper progression towards the goal to ensure safety. Additionally I would like to ruck at least once a week, probably the distance of my long run. Not rucking regularly has been this month's weak spot for sure. If I toss in a short speed or recovery type run into the mix mileage will not be a problem.

Since I will be on vacation having a bit of flexibility is important and I am trying to be aggressive but realistic with my goals. In the past I have been somewhere between bad and terrible about exercising while on leave. However I am getting older so taking breaks and just bouncing right back doesn't work as well as it used to. Also showing up to a new place (in comparison to where you have been) in mediocre shape is never a good way to start things out.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

6 More Down And 10 To Go

After a couple lazy days I got a spark of motivation and ran 6 miles today. That leaves me 10 to go between now and the 31st which is Friday. Planning on doing a longish (for me as I am not a marathoner (yet) or an ultra guy like Max) 7 mile run which will eat up most of the distance. Definitely back on glide path.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August Challenge IPR

Ran 5 miles on Wednesday and 1 yesterday leaving me with 15 to go.

As to weight when I looked last I was down 2 pounds. Now we do not have a scale anymore.

Got to find the motivation to do a long run today or tomorrrow but otherwise everything is more or less on track.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

4 More Down and 28 to Go.

I ran 4 miles this morning which according to my memory leaves 28 to go.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

7 More Down And 32 Left

Thursday we rucked 5 miles and today I ran 2 with kiddo in the jogging stroller. It takes some effort but this seems solidly doable. I am going to try to get a few longer runs in over the coming weeks.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Challenge

Challenge #1: Run/Ruck 50 miles

Challenge #2: Lose 5 pounds

Anybody with me?

No need to do both. Choose whichever challenge(s) fit your situation and goals. Look, I am not a doctor or in any way qualified to give medical or fitness advice. I am just a guy doing what he as learned in the way that works for him. It should go without saying that if you ran 0 miles last month do start running but don't be an idiot and try to do 50 miles as you will probably break something. Do couch to 5k instead.

No real logic behind either of these challenges. I had planned to run 40 but 50 seems like a nice round number. Also I want to lose a few more pounds, maybe as much as 10 but 5 is good for a month. As of earlier this week I weighed 188 pounds so that will be the start point with 183 as the goal. This morning I ran 2 miles so just 48 to go.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

I have a hard time trying to understand people who either do not have goals for their lives and or do not pursue those goals with some amount of motivation. It isn't so much about what the goals are. Some folks want to reach certain professional goals like advanced degrees or lofty positions. Folks may want material things of one type or another be it a fancy condo in the city or a nice little farm or Corvette or a studio to pursue their passion behind their place. Other folks might want to travel the world or volunteer in Africa, learn Chinese, run the Boston marathon or win a Judo competition, a High Power or 3 gun match or whatever. Folks with whacky goals make more sense to me than ones without goals.

Even stranger to me are folks who have goals but absolutely no drive to do anything towards them. This group is probably more common than the previous group who do not seem to have any goals. Most folks have goals, even if they do nothing towards them. I don't really get this. No matter where one is in life I have a hard time seeing how somebody would not want to improve their situation. Maybe it is about upbringing and a sense of work ethic/ motivation but I want to be in a better place next week/month/ year than I am today. Since nobody is going to do that but me I had better do something about it. The apathy towards their lives that I see in some folks saddens me.

Liberty is a concept that I have been thinking about recently. Arctic Patriot who arguably should be renamed Far Northern Plains Patriot in light of his recent move back to the lower 48 got me onto this train of thought. To me liberty in the most basic sense is that I can do what I want unless it hurts somebody else. It means I can live, pray, eat, drink and spend however I want. If I want to get some land and turn it into a redneckeriffic junk yard that is my business. If I want to live in a tent or a teepee it is my business. If I want to buy something and another person wants to sell it, or give/ receive loans on whatever terms then I fail to see why that is anyone else's affair. So long as everybody involved is an adult and willing game on for whatever. I think you get the idea. Most folks who read this blog agree to these basic concepts.

Where the whole thing goes to heck in a handbasket is that by basic common sense if I get to do whatever I want that doesn't hurt anybody other folks get to do the same. Many people think that whatever they do is just great but somehow what other folks do is bad. This is fine and good. Lots of folks do in fact make choices which are stupid. Where things get problematic to me is when people try to tell other folks what to do. Obviously  we need some laws to punish folks who hurt other people, steal, etc. We also need laws to prevent people from doing really dangerous things that clearly endanger others like say driving a hundred miles an hour in front of a school with a handgun shooting at road signs.

However to say that you are free to grow corn in your front yard but the neighbor shouldn't be able to have a car he has been meaning to restore up on blocks is, in my humble opinion hypocritical. To say you should be able to homeschool your kids but the neighbor shouldn't be able to enter into a mutually agreeable contract is hypocritical. To say you should be able to sell raw milk but the neighbor shouldn't be able to grow a little pot is IMO hypocritical. I could go on but you probably get the point.

In particular I have an isssue with people trying to force their values onto others. This is particularly prevalent in some socially conservative circles where people may even claim to be liberterians. Most of these folks are good, decent people and even well meaning. The thing is that their pastor/ decon/ priest/ whatever has absolutely no right to tell me what to do. They can (and very arguably should) try to convince people of the value of good traditional ways to live. However  I see attempting to use the force of law to compel people to act a certain way as equally unacccepable from conservative's as communists or statists. Promoting your views by selling them to people is great, voting with your paycheck and feet is fine too but forcing folks to live your way is just wrong.

As to the pursuit of happiness. I wish that I had some great answers. The best I can say is to stop worrying about what other people think and do what you enjoy. Also be sure to plan some time in your schedule, and if possible a few bucks too, that can go towards whatever it is that gives you joy.

Hope you all have a great Saturday

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Winners take responsibility, losers blame others."-Chris Wallace Brit Hume

Apparantly I attributed this to the wrong middle aged guy with black hair in a suit who works for Fox news. Oopsy.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Quote of the Day

Listen, you wanna build a program for yourselves? This is easy. Some kind of strength training, some kind of conditioning and some kind of flexibility/ mobility those are the only three things. Depending on what your needs are what you will emphasize. "
-Jim Wendler

Monday, February 13, 2012

Just Do It

There is a saying in running that “the hardest part is putting your shoes on.” I go through it about every other time I run; it is wet/ cold/ windy/ hot and I am sore/ tired/ busy with work/ have lots of stuff to do so maybe it would be better to just run tomorrow instead. Most of the time my motivated side wins and I do in fact go running. About 95% of the time that is the right decision.

I am coming to see that most things are a lot like running in that regard. It is always easier to start dieting tomorrow, start saving next paycheck and go train at the range next weekend. Today you can have a double quarter pounder with cheese, this paycheck you can buy some junk and this weekend you can vegetate on the couch.

My advice is to just do it. Tomorrow/ next paycheck/ next weekend it isn’t going to be any easier.
Most of us are inherently lazy in our personal time. After a long day at work we just want to relax. However sometimes our current lazy side needs to take a back seat for the long term goals we have for ourselves. You will not be in better shape in a year if you don’t do anything different. If you don’t save you will keep living paycheck to paycheck. Why people keep doing the same thing and expecting different results is utterly beyond me. IIRC it is the definition of insanity.

While I gave some examples here and I do give advice in other posts telling you what to do is not my goal. Maybe you want to get better at long distance shooting and gardening or sewing and mechanical repair, or cooking with staple foods or whatever. My point is to start doing it. Don’t be that guy who buys the same “how to get 6 pack abs” edition of mens health  (versus the other two issues “how to get huge arms” and “how to add 40 pounds to your bench press this week”) and reads it to then eat a whole pizza and wash it down with a 6 pack. Be the guy who buys the magazine, starts eating reasonably and running, the guy who might actually trim down his stomach.

Don’t just sit around waiting for things to change, do it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Long View and Goals

In the areas of finances, physical fitness and all around preparedness taking a long view is essential. These are not things you can accomplish in a day or a week or even months. These are truly multi year journeys. Looking at them as anything less and either you have low standards or unrealistic expectations.

The biggest single thing with long view type improvements or journeys is consistence. You will do far better to make consistent, even modest efforts, than to start and stop and take a break over the summer and hunting season and then fizzle out for the winter. Over time consistent efforts really pay off. Think crock pot not microwave or industrial fryer.

I find having goals to be essential to keep myself accountable and measure progress. If you are not defining and measuring progress how will you even know what you are trying to do, let alone if you are doing it? An aimless country drive is nice but that is no way to go through life, at least if you want to accomplish anything.

So we need goals.
Goals are sort of like budgets in that they get a bad rap unjustly. It is important to remember that you, your spouse and your family set your own goals, not me and the other talking heads or experts or famous people or whatever.

Sometimes you decide a path is important and it leads to goals. Example you want to become a better runner so you decide that x, y and z are your goals. Other times you start with a goal and work backwards. Whichever works for you is fine.

Different people set goals differently. Some folks make low goals and regularly exceed them; other folks shoot for the moon and often come short but still accomplish a lot. I am in the middle towards the ambitious goal side. I choose goals that are realistically attainable given hard work and things working out well. I often fall a little short. Part of the reason I do this is that in terms of personal goal setting I often lose motivation when I get real close, it is good enough for me due to my lazy nature. So if I set the goal to work out 3 times a week for 30 minutes it could easily turn into 2 30 minute workouts or 3 20 minute workouts. However if I set the goal to work out for 4 times for 30 minutes I will probably average 3.3 a week for 25-30 minutes each. This is about knowing yourself and whatever mental tricks work for you.

Goals need to be specific enough to be measurable. Being “strong and in shape” is a good goal if you have defined what you mean by strong and what you mean by in shape. Ditto for “become a good shot” or “have storage food” or whatever. You need to be able to easily know if a goal is being met.

As one of my favorite bloggers said “the difference between a goal and a wish is a timeline.” The time component of goals is important because it is always easier to start tomorrow and it helps hold you accountable for progress toward your goal.

Here are a few common issues people have with goal setting and long term planning in general:
Goals and your training or plan to meet them need to be aligned. This should be common sense but in some areas, particularly fitness it is a common mistake. If your goals are to gain strength and explosive speed then doing calisthenics and long distance running exclusively your goal and training are not aligned. If you want to become a good defensive shooter going to the range 3x a year with your buddies to screw around isn’t going to get it done.

For goals which build on or are affected by something else you need to know where you are. It could be amounts of given items, weight, strength, conditioning or whatever. Without a recent accurate benchmark you are just guessing in terms of starting points. This is significant because it will let you know what end point you can get to with realistic progress. Dead lifting 400 next year is probably realistic if you did 365 last month. However if you did 365 a year ago and had an injury and a significant lapse in training so you now would actually max out closer to 315 it would probably not be realistic. In those situations you should reestablish a good max or inventory and go from there.

Look at a goal from a big picture perspective considering your other goals and obligations. Often you want to accomplish A-H and could do any of them in isolation but can only do 3 of them together given the other demands on your time and energy. Total amounts of money and time matter as a measure of how much stuff you can realistically do. Of the common issues we are discussing this is the one that I have the biggest problem with.

Resetting or adjusting goals is also worth discussion. Sometimes on the way to a goal we decide it is not important or that something else is more important. Other times life in the form of work or injuries or financial woes or other obligations gets in the way. This is part of life and not a particularly bad thing.

I would caution people, particularly for mid and long (let us say between next month and 2 years from now) term goals, against constantly changing things. If a goal or two drop off your list over the course of a year that is fine, of your list rewrites itself 4 times in the first quarter of a year something is not working. Either you are not putting sufficient thought into goals to choose ones that are important and meaningful to you or are not being realistic about what you can and will really do. In terms of my personal and preparedness goals I am getting better over the years it seems.

Fitness is the biggest area where this is a problem. Folks jump from program to program with different methodologies and goals always having unrealistically high expectations (every muscle magazine has the ‘”Get a 6 pack this week with 3 easy moves” or “add 40 pounds to your bench press this month”) and thinking the program sucks when it falls short. By constantly switching gears and programs these folks aren’t really getting anywhere and will be in the same place in a year. They would be better off finding any reasonably sane program that meshes with their goals and just doing it than always looking for the perfect one. To counter this I recommend a brief trial period and then sticking with it for a predetermined amount of time. Trying something for a week or two to see if you hate it and sticking with it for 3-6 months to see if you get results is probably a good plan. Obviously if you have a significant life change or injury things change but you aren’t going to move on to the next big new workout until the end of the time frame.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Get A Feeling of Peace

For the last couple of weeks there has been a lot of heavy stuff floating around in my head, worries about our economy and all sorts of stuff. For reasons I am not entirely clear on that has all just faded away and left a feeling of peace.

A lot of it is that I have figured out the answers to some heavy and dark questions. “What would I do if….” type stuff. The kind of stuff that, for a variety of reasons I do not talk about on here. I’m a person who can deal with just about anything once I wrap my head around it which sometimes happens quickly and other times it takes a bit longer. The speed of the OODA loop (so to speak) is definitely related to the necessity for action. Bigger, conceptual, but no less dangerous things take longer and can be mulled for a period of time.
It doesn’t hurt that I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this deployment and that our long term plans are really starting to snowball (not the Dave Ramsey debt one as we don’t owe anybody money, just a normal snowball rolling down a hill).  We have a solid foundation and can put a good amount of energy towards whatever problem we decide to attack.

Where we are, where we need to go and what has to happen to get there is very clear to me. Certainly there will be delays, difficulties and complications but the path is clear. I am optimistically waiting to get moving forward.

Will I feel this way in a week or a month, I hope so but who knows. Sometimes I get down and worried so I guess this is the other side of that coin. I guess that I will enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How To Pay For All This Stuff

Survivalism and preparedness (it’s friendly, better spoken non camouflage wearing cousin) involve a lot of stuff. Even if you take a relatively middle of the road view you are talking about all kinds of gear, several firearms with lots of mags, ammo and spare parts, a bunch of stocked fuel and lots and lots of food. How do you pay for all this stuff?

Well the first and least socially acceptable solution is to have a real job that earns a decent living. It is not socially acceptable because Americans have this weird taboo about talking money. We have our middle class myth and are sticking to it. If you make the choice to get a job with an average or above average income you get some flexibility; more flexibility than say, being a part time employee at Walmart.

The next option is to live simply. Some of the most well prepared individuals I know earn average, or slightly below average incomes. However they do not buy new cars all the time or live in huge extravagant houses or always have new newest consumer electronics. They tend to shop sales and forgo a lot of consumer trappings. By living below their means they can afford things they could not otherwise.

Next comes prioritization. When something is important to you it is amazing how much more likely it is to happen. Pick up side work, go out and hustle (not illegal stuff but side work, deals, etc), scrimp and save. There are numerous times I have bought the next important item on my list with a wad of wrinkled fives and tens I saved over a period of months. I saved that cash by working more and doing without all sort of small things or substituting cheaper items (going to Jack in the Box instead of someplace nicer, etc).

Lastly be sure to take a long view. Like building physical fitness or financial health preparedness is a true multiyear effort. Unless you are truly wealthy and dedicated getting all of the “stuff” is going to take time.

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