If you’re anything like me, when faced with a new situation, project, or life event, you turn to the internet to find what others have to say on the matter. There is a beginners guide to just about anything you can think of, and most are easy to locate.
Prepping, on the other hand, is a bit different.
Beginners guide are a bit scarce, and the ones that do exist are horrendously incomplete and leave more questions than they have answered. So you ask yourself “Where do I go now?”, and you decide to dig in to the not-so-beginners-guides. The blogs and books and podcasts of people who are living the life you want to live. Who have already accomplished the goals you have set for yourself. And after spending a small amount of time doing your research, it hits you… This is HUGE!
Come to find out, there is a LOT of stuff (physical and mental) that goes into being prepared for even the smallest of life events. You start asking yourself how to get from point A to point Z. This is where discouragement starts peaking it’s ugly head in the room. It’s easy to look at the people who have been “living the life” and think that you’ll never get there for one reason or another.
Maybe you’re up to your ears in debt. Maybe your income is low or you don’t live anywhere near where you “think” you should. Insert your situation here. Or, maybe, it’s all in your head.
If you think you can’t do it, you’re right. If you think you can do it, you are also right.
Deciding to live a prepared life is huge all by itself. You’re talking about a complete lifestyle change in some cases. Getting to the point where you feel you are fully prepared is a life long challenge. But you’re not alone. We have all been new to something. Every life long prepper had a starting point. Will it happen quickly? Some goals will. Others will take time. Prepping is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a progression. Rarely is there a person born who could read the first time they ever picked up a book. We have to take steps to learn and grow, to gets where we want to be.
I get it. It’s hard. It’s a daunting task. It’s also scary thinking of all the possible scenarios. Your brain starts coming up with all kinds of excuses to not do it. But here’s a secret. The brain is lazy. “I can’t” is comfortable. It requires no work. The good news is as soon as you make the decision to do something, the brain automatically starts think about how to make it happen. All it requires is a change in your thinking habits. And some really good news is you don’t have to have every step figured out before you begin.
So where do you start? Let me ask you…..
How do you eat an elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time.
How do you get from where you are to where you want to be? My answer to you is make a plan. Having your map (because that’s all a plan really is), on paper or computer (you already know my preference), in front of you, will keep discouragement at bay. How, you ask? Because you can see what needs to be done, step by step. One bite at a time.
Now don’t get me wrong, no plan is perfect. Ever heard of plan B? Or C? (Or D, E, F,… you get my point) A plan is a living thing. It evolves. It needs to be refined over time. Priorities need to be adjusted. But that comes with experience. Diving in. Figuring out what you need to know, then learning how to do it.
Progression: (noun) the process of developing or moving toward a more advanced state, especially gradually or in stages.
But you have to start somewhere. Let me throw a couple of things at you.
- Decide what your step Z is. What is your ultimate goal? You’re XYZ scenario. You have to know where you are going before deciding how to get there.
- Identify your obstacles and eliminate them. Need more money? Stop spending as much, cut your expenses, and/ or get a second or better paying job. Do what you got to do.
- Start small. Write down what you see as the necessary steps to reach your goal by naming all the small goals in between (steps B, C, D, etc.), then write down all they steps to achieve the small goals. Ask yourself what you need to do to get there. Think of it like a road trip. Step A is where you are, Z is where you want to be. Steps B, C, D, etc. are all the towns along the way.
- Use what you already have to get started on your kits.
- Browse the internet (free research, cuts down on spending ;)) Join groups and forums, ask questions, find out what you don’t know.
- Jump in. Go for it. Just do it (a Nike classic). Start moving toward your goal even if you only have a few steps figured out. Successful people proceed even without all the information.
- Refine your plan as necessary and just keep swimming. (Sorry, I was channeling Dory for a second).
One of the greatest discoveries a person makes is to find out they CAN do what they were afraid they couldn’t do.
How do you start a new project? What is advice you can offer on making scary decisions? How do you overcome discouragement? Tell us in the comments below.