Did you make any New Year’s resolutions for 2020?

Many people do, but fewer than 50 percent of us follow through with them. That’s mainly because our resolutions are too many, too ambitious or too vague. 

Today I’d like us to take a look at some New Year’s resolutions that connect with our survival. You might want to adopt a few of them for yourself in 2020.

But first I want to quickly mention the most popular resolutions. And explain why they rarely work.

Most popular resolutions

Here are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions, based on a survey:

10 – Read more

9 – Travel more

8 – Spend more time with family and friends

7 – Quit smoking

6 – Save more money/spend less money

5 – Live life to the fullest

4 – Learn a new skill or hobby

3 – Get organized

2 – Lose weight

1 – Exercise more

Nearly all of these resolutions have the same basic flaw. They’re too vague. With the exception of “quit smoking,” there’s no way to measure whether one successfully meets the goal.

Start with your bug-out bag

Back to survival resolutions. After all, what makes more sense than improving our level of preparedness in these uncertain times?

And stay with me here because at the end I’m going to offer recommendations for how to succeed with your goals.

Your first prepper resolution for 2020 should be to either create or maintain your bug-out bag. Hopefully you already have one fully stocked and waiting for you near your front door. If not, it’s time to pack one.

If you already have one prepared, go through it to make sure it contains everything you might need. If you can reduce its weight somewhat, that will be helpful.

Plan and practice

You could have the best bug-out bag in the world. But if you don’t know what you’re going to do when an emergency strikes, it’s not going to do you much good.

You need to either establish a bug-out plan or revisit an existing one. Figure out exactly what you will do if you have to bug out – including shutting off the gas and water supply at your home – and where you will go.

Your third resolution should be setting up periodic practice bug-out sessions for your family. By rehearsing this scenario, you’ll figure out a more time-efficient way to do it. 

Carry your bug-out bag over a variety of different terrains. That way you’ll make sure you can comfortably do it when the time comes. 

Develop and hone your skills

A fourth and very important survival resolution is to learn new survival skills. These could include purifying water, building a shelter and starting a fire.

Even if you feel confident that you can do those things and others without much problem, practice them. By practicing, some people have learned that their fire starters were no longer working.

For No. 5, I suggest building or improving your first-aid kit. A medical condition or an injury sustained during a bug-out event can do more to derail your chances for survival than anything.

Make sure your kit has all the medications you and your family require. A ready-made kit is fine, but customize it for your personal needs.

Shape up and form a team

Your sixth prepper resolution should be to improve your physical condition. If you’re already in good shape, great. But look for ways to get stronger and improve your stamina.

A bug-out scenario is going to be very taxing on our bodies. We need to be capable of handling all sorts of physical challenges.

Finally, for No. 7, try to persuade others to get involved with you in preparedness. This could be family members, neighbors, friends or co-workers.

Remember, there is strength in numbers. More people means more creative ideas and more skill sets. A survival team will have a better chance of success than a lone wolf.  

Strategies for success

So, to wrap this up, here are some suggestions regarding how to give yourself a better chance to follow through with your New Year’s resolutions.

  • Limit your resolutions to a manageable number. You’re better off succeeding with three resolutions than failing with 10. Personally, I would never try to tackle more than five in a year.
  • Set goals that motivate you. Do you really want to read more in 2020, or are you just saying that because it sounds good? Make sure your resolutions match up with your priorities in life.
  • Be specific. If I exercise twice in 2020 after exercising only once in 2019, I will have accomplished my “exercise more” goal. But I’m not going to be in any better shape. Be S.M.A.R.T. with your goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive).
  • Break up larger goals into smaller goals. You can do this by designating which portion of a goal you’d like to achieve during January or the first quarter of the year. Create sub-tasks and prioritize them.
  • Find an accountability partner. Suggest to a friend that you each share your resolutions and hold one another accountable for progress made on those goals during the year. You’re more likely to succeed if you have someone else encouraging you.

I want to encourage you to make a few survival-related resolutions for 2020. This just may be the year we finally break through and accomplish those goals.   

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