The thoughts that we have can create a chain reaction of events that can either further us down a path or hinder us all along the way. These thought processes can also make a big impact on our prepping endeavors. Regardless of what part of the prepping spectrum you are on, we have certain thoughts on the kind of prepared individual we want to end up being. When we don’t meet our expectations, we tend to grow frustrated and feel more inclined to give up. When I first began prepping, I wanted to be a hardcore prepper and had some pretty grandiose conceptions of how that would be. I envisioned being the kind of prepper who could live off the land with nothing but a multitool, some snares and a water bottle. Have I met this goal? Not really. But I haven’t stopped pursuing it either. I just know that this type of goal takes time to master.
Prepping In Real Time
When we haven’t achieved our goals in the time expected, we begin losing focus and frustrated. This could be because of the short attention spans our society has. Our need for immediate results can wreak havoc on a prepper’s long term desire to be prepared. To avoid this, we have to admit at the very beginning this is not a short-lived hobby, but a long term lifestyle change that will take time, energy and an ongoing pursuit for knowledge. It can take years of studying and practicing skills to get to the point of being a hardcore prepper. Years! Anyone who thinks differently is fooling themselves and will set themselves up for failure because of these preconceived notions. Rather than looking at the end result and growing frustrated because you aren’t at the point you wanted to be, stay focused on the starting point: Why are you preparing in the first place?
In my book, The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster, I stress that in order to have a well-rounded supply and knowledge base, we have to start at the very beginning and layer our prepping endeavors in short term, longer term and sustainable increments. This is the best way to stay organized and ensure that you can succeed in a disaster scenario.
The best way to begin prepping is by making a goal. Something as simple as, “I want to be prepared for a 3 month long disaster.” By setting a goal, you can create a preparedness plan based around this, which becomes your starting point. Moreover, when you create a goal, you have also created a reference point to turn to in case you get overwhelmed or overloaded with prepping. This reference point reminds you remember what you’re prepping for. From there, you can gather your supplies and learn your skillsets.
- Plan – Set your prepper goals (short and long term), make a strategy, create lists of supplies, make meal plans, create a financial budget to get out of debt, as well as to fund your prepping endeavors.
- Accrue – Begin investing in supplies, practice preparedness-based skills, continue to educate yourself on prepping and ways to promote a self-reliant lifestyle
- Apply – When you begin using your food stores, practicing your skills and confidently using your preps, you are applying the knowledge you have learned. Don’t forget to keep accumulating knowledge and learning better ways to prep.
Don’t Lose Focus
Give yourself a break if you haven’t gotten where you wanted to be. It’s not ok to eat, live and breath emergency preparedness. Trust me, you will burn out very quickly if you carry on like that. Further, don’t feel pressured if others surpass you. Each of us is on our own journeys and some may learn faster than others. Learn from others and don’t be afraid to include your mistakes and failures as part of your education. This is part of the learning curve, and a necessary one at that. Further, take your time with the material and include your family. This could be a great way to teach family members and, rather than carrying “the world on your shoulders,” this gives you some support. Understand, there will be times when you want to throw the towel in. It’s ok to take a break from prepping. I have, and so have others. The subject of preparedness can be stressful, especially if you are reading about worst-case scenarios all the time. Your mind and spirit will need a break, and taking some time “to fill the well” can help immensely. Spend time with family and friends, breath, pray, meditate, exercise. Do anything to put your focus elsewhere for a short time and then, when you feel better, revisit prepping. This makes you more open to continuing on the prepper journey.
Remember my quest to be the hardcore type of prepper? As great as this would be, that’s not where I am at presently. But, just because I haven’t met this goal doesn’t mean that everything I have done in between has fallen by the wayside. I am still striving toward this, but know there is a lot to learn along the way; and I’m ok with that.
Whether your goal is to be a hardcore prepper or not, give yourself kudos for taking the steps to getting your household prepared and for taking the time to learn new skills. We all grow frustrated at times, especially when this is a long term quest for knowledge and skills. My advice to those beginning to prepare is to be patient and remember that prepping takes time.