We make decisions every day. We decide if we want to sleep in or get up early, and we decide if we want to read a book or watch a TV show. Should we answer a phone call or let it go to voicemail. Some decisions that we don’t even think about could affect our preparedness in either a positive or a negative direction. Today, I want to get us thinking about the little decisions that we make every day and how those could positively add up to helping our preparedness and survival efforts.
1.) To put off that project or to tackle it
Sometimes we put things off because we think it’s going to take a long time. Other times we put off a project simply because we don’t want to do it, even though it won’t take hardly any time at all.
We moved in March of this year. One thing that worked in our old house that doesn’t work in this one is our water storage. Setting up a rainwater catchment system is definitely on our radar, but it hasn’t been our highest priority. In order to somewhat offset not having 210 gallons of water sitting in our basement, I’ve purchased several more 5-gallon camping water containers with spigots. They’ve been sitting in my bedroom waiting to be filled. Does it take a lot of time to do? Nope. Have I done it yet? Nope. It’s been convicting. I’ll have them filled before this article goes out.
Now, there are other projects that just take time. Don’t feel like you have to tackle them all at once. Create small bite-sized chunks of the project and do them consistently. It’s the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race.
2.) To fill up that gas tank or to wait
It’s a simple decision. Should I take five minutes now or do I put it off? If something happens, having that extra gas on hand could be a huge help! My general rule of thumb is to fill up the gas tank when it gets to half. Do I always do it? I wish I did, but that is my goal.
3.) On what hobbies should I concentrate?
While figure skating could be fun and being active is a HUGE part of preparedness, there are other hobbies that a person could take up which would be more beneficial to preparedness like gardening, hunting, foraging, knitting & crocheting, canning, tracking, snaring and so many more. Consider what you spend your time on. Always look for hobbies that you enjoy, just choose the ones you enjoy most that also add to your preparedness.
4.) To make a purchase or to save the money?
Now, this is a hard one! Making the purchase may actually be what is best for your preparedness efforts, but not at the sacrifice of being financially secure. This month when we decided to purchase and plant four fruit trees, we weighed our options. Could we do this without dipping into our savings? Did we have enough money set aside for preparedness to cover the purchase of these trees, or despite the fact that they were on a great sale, should we wait?
While we did decide to go ahead and purchase them, we made sure that we weighed our options first. We made sure that we could maintain our savings and wouldn’t put ourselves in a difficult financial situation because of the purchase.
The very vast majority of our preparedness efforts have been focused on simple tools because they don’t tend to fail, and I don’t have to have as much knowledge or understanding of how to fix them if they fail. There are times to invest in technology. Would I really love to have ONE solar panel to power ONE item at a time if something were to happen? Yes. I’ve seen a hand crank blender, but I doubt it’s ability to work as well as my Ninja blender. Making bread from scratch is so much easier if I can mix it in my Bosch mixer!
Only you can determine what to invest in, but if you do invest in technology, make sure that you err on the side of not putting all your eggs in your technology basket.
6.) What groceries should I buy?
I feel like living life is a balancing act. Should I cook from scratch because it’s more healthy, or do I use more processed foods because it takes less time? Do I purchase Kefir because it’s better for my gut, or do I skip it because it’s better for my pocketbook?
Do you ever feel that way, or am I the only conflicted mama out there?
There was a time in my life when I made almost everything from scratch including my own bread, my own tortillas, and even my own noodles! While I only used healthy ingredients, making them much better for my family, I LIVED in the kitchen.
While I don’t have my Instagram page filled with great pictures yet – I’ll get to it eventually – I do have the description of myself up on the page. One of the descriptors I use about myself is “Reluctant Kitchen Engineer.” I am a perfectly capable cook. I’m actually a pretty darn good cook! But I HATE to cook. So instead of going to one side completely and deciding to cook only from scratch which I don’t have time for, or going to to the other side completely and only using processed foods, we try to strike a balance.
7.) How active should I be?
Health and preparedness go hand in hand. Some of the factors of how healthy we can be have been taken out of our hands, but we can control more than we can’t. Our activity level is one of the things that we can control in general. If you’ve got a family member in the hospital for a week and you’re staying with them that week, then your activity level may not be squarely in your hands for the week, but how often does that REALLY happen?
Exercise is important, and as this article about walking 30 minutes a day says, there are so many health benefits if we just get our bodies moving.
Little exercises add up. I am guilty of just about all of these, and I am resolving to change these. Do you see yourselves in these too? I ask the kids to get me something from the basement instead of getting it myself. I wait for the kids to get the mail, so I don’t have to walk out to the mailbox. Most of the times, my children walk our dog. I could do more of this. Sometimes I ask kids to get me something I left in another room instead of getting up to get it myself. All these little things add up.
8.) Do I develop relationships with my neighbors – and if so, how?
I think sometimes as preppers we get this Lone Ranger mentality. Just me and my family, we’ll make it together, but I won’t let anyone else in! But is that the way it really works? We had a water outage about a month ago. As we all discovered that we didn’t have water, what did we do? We all headed out of our houses and into the street to talk about it. If something ever goes down, these people are our confirmation. They are our eyes and ears. If we develop relationships with them now, we will be on a much better basis to work together if we ever need to.
Start now. Start inviting neighbors over. We’ve learned from experience that inviting people over one at a time works much better than inviting everyone over at once. Get to know these people. Invest in them. Really pour yourselves into them. Then when you need each other, you already have a wonderful relationship!
9.) Do I allow that person to remain an influence over my life?
Let’s all be honest. We probably have at least one of that person in our lives. You know who I’m talking about. This is the person who gets under your skin with their snide remarks. Your person may constantly denigrate you, your worth, or your efforts. Maybe that person constantly undermines your efforts toward a goal, or maybe they are just M-E-A-N. I’ve known that person who was never wrong. That person who never would ask for forgiveness even when they were clearly in the wrong. Uhuh. I’m betting you know at least one of that person.
The problem is not that we have a difficult person in our lives. Everyone is going to have some difficult person in their lives. It’s the way we handle the difficult people in our lives. The problem lies in how that person causes us to feel and twists our stomach in knots so that we can’t live fully in the moment. The problem lies in how that person zaps our ability to problem solve or how that person drains our energy. That person can take our focus off of what we’re meant to be doing and focus it on them.
Sometimes, it’s not hard to remove them from your lives. Maybe it’s someone you don’t see often, but they are a constant presence on social media. Unfriending or unfollowing people doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Or Facebook has this wonderful feature that’s called “Take a Break.” You can remain ‘friends’ with a person, but you can set it so they don’t see your posts and you don’t see theirs.
The problem is how to do you deal with a situation where you can’t easily remove these negative influences. Maybe your ‘that person’ is a family member or a co-worker. It’s not as easy to deal with them as it is someone who is just a social media friend. Let me start by asking, does this person even know they are driving you nuts? Sometimes we’re so good at hiding things that the person who is driving us crazy has no idea. Could you try to have a kind conversation with the person and explain what is going on? It might work. It might not. I found an amazing article on how to remove toxic people from your life that could prove extremely helpful.
10.) When should I quit?
Betcha you didn’t think that I’d say that one. I’ve heard so often not to quit. I’ve heard all about the book “Three Feet from Gold.” It’s been used to illustrate how we should never give up. The problem is sometimes, we should give up. We need to know when we’re in over our head. If we’re not doing what we love, we’re not going to be able to keep going in the long run.
Know your limitations. If you can’t pass Algebra 1 should you consider becoming a physicist? Probably not. If you have two left feet, should you consider auditioning for Riverdance? I wouldn’t.
There is a popular myth which says, “You can do anything you put your mind to”. I think what should be said is that ‘You can improve in anything that you put your mind to.’ There are some things that because of who we are and how we’re made, we just won’t be able to accomplish.
Before A Year Without the Grocery Store
Before running this blog and writing a book, I used to sell Home Interiors, Mary Kay, and Young Living Essential oils – though never at the same time. With each business, I did a bit better. I understood how to work better. I understood how to run the business better. With each business, I hit a wall that just didn’t want to move. I’m already doing better in less than a year with my book and this blog than I did in the seven-plus combined years of working those other businesses. Is that the other businesses fault? No! Is that the person who recruited me into those businesses fault? Absolutely not! Was it my fault? Yep, and I take complete responsibility for it.
But here is the key, and I want you to hear this! I wasn’t doing what I loved. I was ‘good’ at it to a point.
After Quitting What Didn’t Work
Here’s the difference. My attitude toward each of the other things was, “I can do this, so that’s why I’m going to do this. With preparedness, my meagerest of efforts started in 1999, but since then, I’ve grown into it. Before I started writing about it, before I ever considered turning it into a business, I had food stores. I had some equipment. I was reading on this topic and had purchased magazines on this topic. My dreams were of living a more self-sufficient life. After I developed that interest and love for preparedness, then I turned it into something from which money can be made.
Here’s the other thing that you need to hear though. Since I started this, money has NOT been my goal. My goal is to help people! I want to enrich people’s lives and to serve those around me. More than 90% of the money that I have made has gone right back into my business.
But I never would have been where I am, if I hadn’t quit doing the other businesses.
What About You?
Are there everyday decisions you make that you didn’t realize were affecting your preparedness level? What things do you need to change? Do you want to change what you focus your efforts on, and if so, on what do you want to focus now?
Remember, knowledge isn’t just knowing something. It’s living it!
There are links in this post. Some of the links may be affiliate links. Some of the links may not be. My promise to you is that I will only recommend the most economical version of the best quality of items to serve you. These are the items that I have bought for my own family. You can feel free to use my affiliate links, of which I will get a small amount in compensation, or you can choose to search out your products on your own.
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