Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year, New Goals

Many people create lists of things that they want to change about themselves with the beginning of a new year. These resolutions generally have a poor track record of success, but the idea has some merit.

I prefer to spend this time reflecting on the past year, and trying to figure out what I have to look forward to so that I can make plans. I don't make resolutions, but I do try to set some goals for the next year based on what happened previously.

Last year I did make some progress:
  • I started replacing the incandescent bulbs in my house with LED bulbs. Looking at my power bill, I can see that his one action cut my electricity use by a third over the last 12 months. The prices of LED bulbs are coming down, and the better ones last a lot longer than regular bulbs.
  • I picked up more supplies which let me set up better (or more complete, at least) back-up kits for first aid, water treatment, and lighting.
  • I was able to help some other preppers with their preps. That's important to me, so this one is a big positive.
Some things are beyond my control. I accept that as a fact of life and not as a personal failure.
  • I have no control over the timing of births and deaths, both of which I dealt with last year. Some things are easier to prepare for than others, and those two are not on the "easy" list.
  • I have no control over the weather, so I need to prepare for what it can throw at me.
  • I have little to no control over what others do, but I can prepare to deal with the consequences of their actions.
The things that I can control fall into two categories: those that I need to work on, and those that I can live with as-is. If I can live with it, I'm not going to stress over it. The things I need to work on are generally personal in nature and I won't go into details, but here are a few of them:
  • I need to get off of the nicotine. I've used tobacco off and on for the last 35 years. Cancer doesn't run in my family so my risk factors are lower, but I still need to work on breaking the addiction -- the money savings alone make it a no-brainer.  I have to quit smoking. I'll write more about this if I have any luck with it.
  • I need to spend more time at the family farm. Since I stand to inherit it, I should start taking care of it, and there are always fences to mend, trees to be cut down, garden plots that need to be improved, and a house that needs a lot of work.
  • I need to start telling work “No, I will not” when they ask too much of me. I enjoy helping people, but there is a point where I draw a line and say,“No more”. I won't bore you with the details, but my efforts this year have not been appreciated beyond my immediate supervisor, so they shouldn't expect the same level of effort from me next year.
  • I need to roll my writing schedule back a couple of days to give our editrix plenty of time to go over my posts. Her other endeavors are taking a bite out of her free time,  and I can do my part to relieve some of her stress. (Yes, thank you very much! -- Erin)

With a new year comes new opportunities. I don't expect all of them to be good, but I will do what I can to handle them as they come. Maybe this year one of us will win the lottery and make some dreams come true.

May your year be filled with good preps, and I hope that we never have to use them.

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