Then life got in the way. The money you were saving for that shiny new Berkey had to pay for a new tire instead. All your Saturdays were filled with kids’ activities and when you finally got home exhaustion got the best of you. Never mind learning to can…the couch was calling your name.
Over time, you got lulled into thinking, Hmmm, nothing bad has happened. Everything will be okay. I can start again next week.
Next week turned into a month. Now, you can list 100 different things you’d rather do than start a preparedness project or learn a new skill. You avoid prepping like it’s the flu pandemic.
Giving in to your lack of motivation is risky business. Are you willing to gamble with your family’s well being? Probably not, or you wouldn’t have started to prepare in the first place.
It’s time for an emergency intervention to get you back on track.
Here are 6 ways to regain your motivation:
1. Write down why. Somewhere along the way, you lost the reason why you prepare. Think back to when you first decided to live ready. Why did you start? Were you caught in a storm unprepared? Is there a chance you’ll lose your job? Or, like me, did you realize how unskilled and how dependent you are on other people and things? On a piece of paper, write down all your reasons for building a more self reliant life. Tape the list to your bathroom mirror, hang it on the refrigerator or carry it in your pocket. Look at it once a week—or even once a day—to remind yourself to stay focused.
2. Break it down. Thinking about all the supplies you need (food, water, toilet paper…) and the skills to learn (gardening, canning, first aid…), it’s no wonder you’ve become paralyzed! Trying to accomplish too many things only leads to accomplishing nothing. Here’s a news flash: You don’t need to get it all done in one day. Take baby steps. Today, write down one thing you need to buy, one thing you need to learn and one thing you need to do. These are your new goals. Now, turn each goal into a series of small easy to accomplish, action steps. Commit to working on one or two steps each week and you’ll find your rhythm again.
3. Don’t go at it alone. Everything in life gets easier when you have the support of friends. Find an accountability partner to help you stay on track. Join a Facebook group like Family Preparedness—Helping Women Prepare or Doing the Stuff Network and receive support from like-minded friends.
Gardening is the one area of self-reliance where the perfectionist side of me had to learn to let go immediately. If someone were to hand out awards for the most mistakes made in a garden, I’d win hands down. But what I’ve learned (and this applies to more than gardening) is all the how-to books in the world do not make you a gardener. You have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. My family may only eat a half dozen homegrown tomatoes this year but you know what? That’s better than last year’s two. 😉
Don’t let your perfectionist side derail your attempt at self-reliance. Embrace your mistakes and learn from them. It’s the only way you’ll gain wisdom and achieve success.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others. Sometimes when I look at online photos of other people’s hyper productive gardens and super organized pantries or read blog posts about caring for chickens I don’t yet have, I feel discouraged. My baby steps towards self-reliance don’t measure up to the strides they’re taking so I get to thinking, why do I even bother?
This may be as hard for you to hear as it was for me, but let’s face it. No matter what stage of preparedness or self-reliant living you’re in, there will always be someone else who has more preps, more skills or more knowledge. Focus on your own journey. If you still feel the need to compare, compare yourself to you. Start a journal to keep a record of the skills you learn or use a tool like the Preparedness Planner to keep track of the things you acquire. It will be easier to recognize your progress.
6. Make it fun. Yes, preparedness is serious business. There’s nothing fun about the troubled economy or weather disasters. But if you don’t lighten up a little, living ready can become a real downer, real quick. Go on a learn-a-new-skill date with your spouse, or break out the Knot Tying Game and schedule a family game night. Or if you’re of the I’ll-get-it-all-done-by-2015 mindset, take the pressure off yourself by erasing the deadlines. Experiment a little and find some way to make preparedness fun or you’re not going to want to do it.
If lack of motivation threatens you on a regular basis, share your strategies with us in the comment section below!
Then check out more from the What’s Your Threat? series. Here are some helpful articles from some of my favorite websites:
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