June 29, 2017

Making Resolutions That Matter

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions.  I guess I thought if I wanted to lose ten pounds bad enough I would have quit feeding my pie hole last year.  Maybe I’m getting older and hopefully wiser, but I see the wisdom in setting goals in advance and working toward them over time.

I have recently seen two campaigns pushing people to make resolutions in relation to preparedness that I want to share with you.


First is the Resolve To Be Ready campaign from FEMA


“Those who make New Year’s resolutions are 11 times more likely to report continued success in achieving a goal than individuals who have not made a resolution, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology. The Ready Campaign would like to make an emergency preparedness resolution easy to keep by providing the tools and resources needed to take four important steps: be informed about the different types of emergencies that can happen in your area and their appropriate responses, make a family communications plan, build an emergency kit, and get involved in community preparedness. We hope you will join the Ready Campaign this Holiday Season in promoting Resolve 2B Ready.”

I joined the National Preparedness Coalition, but I am so busy with this site, I haven’t gotten very involved in it.  I know there are some of you who are very open about preparedness; something like this might be a fantastic way to spread the preparedness message.  You can go through CERT and learn how to be a blessing to your neighborhood should there ever be a disaster near you. Click the banner and links on the following pages to get more information.

13 in 13 Challenge
13 in 13
The next movement I want to talk to you about is something I recently heard of that I want to share it with you.  Jack Spirko from The Survival Podcast has developed a website challenging anyone daring enough to accept, to learning 13 new life skills in 2013 the “13 in 13 Challenge”.  I wrote an article called Knowledge Skills and Gear – The Preparedness Hierarchy in which I essentially say that first there must be knowledge, which you turn into a skill, and then you use gear to put the skill into motion.  While not all skills need gear, my point is that just owning a piece of equipment is not enough.

I believe that God has called some of us to prepare and storing beans, rice and bullets is not enough.  I have a feeling that there will come a time when we will need to utilize skills that we currently do not own.  Whether or not you have put it to words, I think you may believe that as well.  If not, why would you be reading this or any other preparedness/survival related blog?  Why wouldn’t you just sit tight with your preps and go on with life knowing that if things ever did go south, you have enough food to eat, and you’ll be fine?

I think that when we “wake up” to the fact that the world does have legitimate dangers, we realize that not only are we not prepared, but we have a lot to learn.  The 13 in 13 challenge is a great way to draw a line in the sand, set some goals and learn some skills that will make you a better person who is more self-reliant.  As a culture we have lost many of the skills our grandparents knew, we can choose to relearn them, and other skills as well.

From the 13 in 13 site:

“The 13 in 13 Challenge is a call to develop or drastically improve your personal skills in the coming year. These skills can be any hands on practical skill from ancient skills like flint napping to traditional skills like trapping and hunting or even technical skills like graphic arts or computer programming.”

At the time this article was written there were 157 skills available and an ability to request others be added.  You select your 13 skills and then define what it would mean for you to develop or drastically improve.  You can set up a profile and add a picture of yourself if you like; you can add your social media information as well.  I think this could be a good way to not only encourage each other, but to hold each other accountable too.

This brings me to the skills I chose, most of these hinge on us purchasing a new home with more land, and a better location to garden and make a homestead.  I have tried gardening, composting and some of these others and am by no means “skilled” in them.


Plant Identification

I want to learn at least one new edible plant a month in my local area.


Home Maintenance

I want to learn how to take care of the “up keep” type things in the new house once we move.


Water Catchment/Filtering

I want to learn how to set up rain catchment with drip irrigation at the new house once we move.


Organizational Skills

I need to learn how to prioritize projects and then attack them in a logical order.



I want to use the dehydrator to make Jerky, and the ingredients for one kind of soup.



Once we have moved, I want to figure out how to build a composting system with multiple bins in it, so I can let one finish composting and still be able to add new compost to another bin.


Permaculture Design

I want to get a better grasp on permaculture principles so I can apply them to the new house.



I need to spend more time in prayer, and keep a prayer journal so I can remember everyone I want to pray for.  I need to listen to worship music more often.



Once we have moved I want to build another raised bed garden area.


Lock Picking

I want to be able to pick every lock in the house.



I need to put projects into motion, finish the next eBook and start on other projects.  I need to listen to more small business podcasts.


Blade Sharpening

I want to learn multiple ways to sharpen a knife.


Building Community

I want to install the forum for my blog and let God form a community around PreparedChristian.net.


What I Want To See

Many of my skills have to do with producing food.  My goal at the end of the year is to be able to look at my new property and see a food forest in the making.  I also want to be able to help others who might be interested in growing their own food.

Some of the other skills have to do with this site; some of my goals require these skills to accomplish; organization chief among them.  I plan on posting updates from time to time, and I invite you all to hold me accountable.  I also invite you all to join me in bettering yourself and developing or improving 13 skills in 2013.

If you decide to accept this challenge, please post your 13 skills in the comment section.  Anyone working on their spirituality along with me can pray for everyone who has accepted the challenge.


If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!



  1. Kat Randall says:

    I love this article. I also joined the National Preparedness Coalition quite a while back and really have not utilized it as I should have. There is a lot of sharing in it and therefore a lot of good information. It will be one of my “resolutions” to get more involved in it in the year 2013 along with taking the CERT course.
    As far as the 13 skills, I need some time to think about those and narrow it down to 13; however, I have a Prepping Notebook and I have listed some skills and a lot of them are the same as yours to do with Plant Identification…specifically which ones are poisonous; Water Catchment/Filtering which I feel is one of the most important; and Gardening..along with others…all of yours are good ones. One high on my priority is to do with prepping of food (not just storing purchased goods) as in canning and dehydrating (another of yours) but also how to cook good tasting, somewhat nutritious food from the supplies that I have. It’s one thing to have canned goods, but being able to cook it and like the taste is another matter. Along those lines would be learing about wheat and grains and how to make bread from scratch. So many things I’d love to learn and so little time in the schedule…but your article has certainly motivated me. Thank you.

  2. Although I can’t say right now what skills I will attempt to master, increased prayer and Bile reading are at the top of my list. Thank you for addressing the need to prepare spiritually as well as physically.

    • One way to get in the Word more is to set a little extra time aside in the morning and just read one chapter a day. I tried it after dinner first, but found the morning to be a lot easier for me.

  3. Good Stuff Chris! I’ve already recommitted to re-prioritizing my time devoted to spiritual aspects of preparedness, I think it will calm some of the fear I know is arising more frequently with the sense of urgency ever increasing in my spirit.
    I’ve seen both these programs but since you mentioned them today I thought I’d take the leap. Here are my 13;

    Communications – start preparing for HAM tests and acquire equipment.

    Building Community – Get to know more of my neighbors and encourage them to prepare

    Concealed Weapons Permit – finally get one

    Dehydrating – learn to make jerky indoors and out and learn to make pemmican.

    Gardening – learn more about supplementing bad soil to make good soil plus work on timing skills such as planting, etc.

    Making Salves and Balms – actually mix and use salves from wild-crafted sources as well as home grown sources

    Soap Making – do it myself rather than just help

    Water Catchment/Filtering – get-r-done – stop procrastinating and figure out good ways to secure water on the property, build a slow sand filter

    Sewing – learn more stitching techniques, acquire a treadle machine and learn to use

    Mushroom Cultivation – acquire plugs, inoculate some logs and grow several variety of mushrooms

    Vermiculture – get started with a good quantity and use the castings to augment garden soil

    Fitness – get more fit. Walk more and drop some weight

    Wilderness and Primitive – get some technique down on; making a primitive bow and arrow, build and use a dakota pit, setting snares and traps, tanning a hide
    I love the idea of a forum.
    Anything I can do to help, let me know. I know quite a bit about foraging and wildcrafting. I love your goal of learning one new wild plant each month. (Do Two a Month instead, more grub :) I suggest actually harvesting some and using it or cooking it too. One thing to consider is the seasons. Some plants are best real early and not available after it gets warmer, other don’t even appear until later, so making a calendar in January may be good idea. For instance, if I want chickweed I have to get it before April or it’s too hot and gone. You have a lot more wild edibles where you are than we do here. Enjoy!

    • Thanks Jim, I’ll let you know if I can use some help. I’ll think about doing two a month, we’ll see. We might have more wild edibles here, but they only have 13 days between spring and fall :)

      For curing meat, you might want to look into biltong. I’ve never made it, but I hear it’s pretty easy to do and tastes good as well.

  4. One that came to mind when I read Jim’s list – sewing. Sort of off cloth sewing but we recently picked up our order of beef and one thing we requested was the cows tongue. A friend told us that it is the best way to learn to stitch up flesh wounds. Putting in sutures will be a new experience for the family. Better we all learn now then wait till it has to be done.
    Though I think my nine yr old son is more excited than anyone else.
    Just thought I would share.

    • This is something I have an interest in as well. There are a couple articles on stitching at Doom and Bloom, http://www.doomandbloom.net/ done by Dr Bones.

    • Very cool JP! While you’re practicing, work at sewing the internal tissue too. Sometimes cuts are deep and internal muscle or tissue needs repair. A hint, before sterilizing your needle you can sharpen them on a whet stone.
      The Patriot Nurse on YouTube does classes that teach these kinds of things at Prepper meetings.

  5. Ok, I’ll join in, too! (and I’m going to steal the idea for my own website…)

    1. Pray with my wife more. We pray often, but it seems like we’re wiped out from the day by the time we get to praying, and it’s mainly “bless the kids, and keep us all safe, and help us with this or that problem”. What I want to do is not just pray more, but pray “deeper” (If you know what I mean). Pray fervently, for the nation, for those around the country that are about to enter this time of upheaval, and pray for guidance – not just for us, but for our leadership as well.

    2. Welding. I’ve been wanting to learn to weld for years, now is as good a time as any – the local Community College has a course ot four, and I think I’ll take the intro course. (I’ve asked for a welder for my birthday, or for Christmas … we’ll have to see)

    3. Gardening – specifically growing food. It seems I can grow peas – fairly well, but not nearly enough to last us a year. But most everything else tends to not do too well, so I need to improve in that area.

    4. Hunting. I have hunted in the past, but it’s been a very long time. I have been accumulating the equipment, so it’s time to make use of it. I need to learn a LOT in this area – “tracking” (which is more than simply following animals), and such.

    5. Lose more weight. (ok, so this isn’t a “learning” item, but it is a “leaning” item 😉 … so I’ll put an extra at the end) Last year I lost 60 pounds … and have gained 25 of it back. It’s time to get serious again adn shed the 25 I gained back and another 30 or 40.

    6. Canning. I need to begin canning. The last thing I canned were pickles, two years ago. Bought a pressure canner about a month ago.

    7. Write more for my web site/blog. This will require me to set aside time specifically for that. It will also require me to spend more time learning about a lot of things. Especially spiritual things, and prepping things

    8. Work on getting my mens ministry going. (Again, not so much a learning item, so another bonus item at the end) I need to light a fire under myself on this one. I have the materials for the first event, I just need to schedule the venue. I would ask for many prayers for this one.

    9. “Step up” more in my stepsons life. (you’d think this wouldn’t be a learning item, yet it is – I have to learn more about him, and about how to relate to him) Become more involved. Involve him more in my life – the projects I do around the house, the learning of things (like welding, etc…) and the doing – like hunting. It will be two and a half years and he’s off to college.

    10. Come up with a long term plan (at least 3 years out) for the family – which at 3 or 4 years out will be basically, my wife (Beautiful) and me. We’re thinking of Idaho or Western Montana but the job situation may play into that. This will involve learning more about my wife’s dreams, and about the areas that we might be interested in.

    11. Preserving meats – I’ve made one batch of jerky, and it turned out “ok”, but that’s about it. I want to get/build a smoker, and learn to preserve meat that way.

    12. Cheese making. I want to make more than mozzerella!

    13. I want to improve my skills at shooting (sorta goes with the hunting, yet, in and of itself can be a great skill to learn) – especially with my pistols

    14. (bonus #1) Bread making. I love baking bread – I just need to get better at it – I’ve not ever made a loaf or simple “white bread” (or whole wheat) from scratch. I want to learn to do that, and make “artisan” breads.

    15. (bonus #2) Tanning. I would like to learn to tan hides. And along with that, I want to learn to make things with the hides. I want to make a scabbard for my 45/70 lever gun, and a cover for my kindle, among other things.

    So that’s the sum of it – well, mostly. I’m sure I could think of a few things more (like programming android apps), but they aren’t very “prepper” oriented.

    • excellent list! Plenty of personal and preparedness goals.

    • Awesome List JavaMan.

    • Dang my fat fingers… I’ve fixed the “website” address on this reply … sheesh, one too many ‘i’s in there…

      Thanks for the encouragement guys. One comment on my #3 … I should have listened and paid more attention to my dad while he was still here. He could make things grow from a rock (or so it seemed) – a rel green thumb. Of course, I was dumb as that rock when I was younger, and didn’t realize the wisdom and knowledge that he could have, and wanted to, pass on to me.

      God bless all of you here, and I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

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