The holidays have come and gone…most of us have gotten back into the real world despite the crazy weather we’re having across the country. It’s time to think about 2014. Some people take a mini-retreat in December to do this, but that just doesn’t happen for most of us. So I want to encourage you to do some planning this week. Find a little bit of time to think ahead toward all that 2014 holds and set your priorities for the coming year. And be sure that part of that planning includes your prepping efforts.
Phil and I did it Sunday evening and we are really glad we did. Phil is by nature a non-planner, so when I suggested we actually use this calendar I created as a result of my blog about Living from a Prepper Perspective…well, let’s just say it was one of those “yes dear” moments. He was gracious enough because he’s a great guy, but in his heart of hearts he felt like he was about to swallow some horrible-but-good-for-you medicine. Before we were done, however, he was a believer. He agreed that the whole experience was positive. And we were all done in just about 30 minutes.
We started by listing all the things we wanted to accomplish, buy, or learn in the area of prepping in 2014. We know that our list is greater than our ability for the most part, but making the list allowed us to put things into three categories based on their cost in terms of time, effort, and money.
- Easy-Peasy – These are tasks or items that are simple enough, we just haven’t gotten around to doing them or buying them. They are things that are affordable on our “every day” budget. We expect we’ll be able to buy these items out of disposable income some time during the year.
- Requires Moderate Planning/Effort – These are tasks that are outside of our every day budget but do-able if we plan for them. They’re also tasks that might require more than a few hours to accomplish. Requiring more time means they’re not going to fit into my week without planning for them. This is the category that will get the most attention on our calendar because they’re the things we can do if we’re aware of when they need to be done, how long they’ll take to do, and make room in our schedule to include them. Without the planning they probably won’t happen. That makes them the tasks and purchases that will benefit the most from using a calendar.
- Wish List – Our wish list holds items that are so expensive they would keep us from doing much of anything else. Phil and I have two things in this category and we agree that buying the long list of other things is more important to us at this time. Still, putting these expensive things on our list will help keep us focused should we receive unexpected income throughout the year. It will also be a reminder each time we’re tempted to splurge on something else. We can make an informed decision about splurging or saving, instead of just letting impulse reign. Splurging is good sometimes. Other times it’s just squandering the resources God has given us, and derailing the plans that we made in a more rational moment. But I digress.
So, with our freshly made to-do and to-buy lists in hand, we pulled out the 2014 Prepper Planning Calendar (which you can download below) and began to slot things that are time sensitive into their appropriate months. For example, we want to plant more raised-bed gardens this year. That means we need to build them in April so we can plant in May. We also want to build a cold frame to extend our growing season. That got scheduled for late July or early August. After we put all the time sensitive tasks into our planning calendar, we slotted other tasks and purchases in other months, balancing both the time commitment and budget as well as we could.
After just half an hour or so, we had our 2014 Prepping Planning Calendar completed. Even better than that, we both felt a greater peace and confidence in our ability to accomplish more in the coming year without blowing our schedule or budget.
- Our to-do list and spending plan for the entire year is on paper so I don’t have to remember it any more. (Phil will be glad that I don’t have to ask him yet again when we need to build the cold frame.)
- We have a balanced plan for spending our time, effort, and money throughout the year that takes into consideration seasonal fluctuations in our availability and finances. If our income or our schedule changes, we can easily adjust the schedule.
- We don’t have this overwhelming pile of prepper “need to’s” looming in front of us all the time. Phil and I each have one goal for January. That’s do-able. We’ve both begun to make progress on those goals. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at all we have to do over the course of the whole year, we’re feeling a sense of forward progress. That leads to more accomplishment. Feeling overwhelmed only leads to binging on cookies on the couch in front of the TV. (But again, I digress.)
I’m guessing your weeks are something like mine…Mondays quickly become Wednesdays, and then Wednesdays becomes Fridays. We step into Saturday with a list of errands and then celebrate the Lord’s Day. Before we can blink it’s Monday all over again, and yet another week has gone by without me doing those prepper tasks I had hoped to accomplish. Our prepper calendar will help us move forward instead of just spinning our wheels.
I’m looking forward to 2014. It is a year that holds the promise of many things. I anticipate that it will have its ups and downs but I’ve learned that in both we can experience God’s blessings. Let me encourage you to spend a little time thinking about 2014. You can use this calendar to document your prepper plans. There are pages for each month…more or less. You’ll find that the pages don’t strictly follow calendar months – why waste a whole row if there are only two days in a week during that month? To provide more space for writing you’ll find some days from the previous or following months on your calendar page. You’ll also find pages to do the initial planning.
You can download your calendar below. Don’t be surprised if after entering your email address it seems that the blog has reloaded. Simply scroll down to the point and you’ll be able to download the calendar. Enjoy your planning time, friends! And here’s to a prosperous, healthy, and productive year in prepping.
[download file=”http://theapproachingdayprepper.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014_Prepper_Calendar.pdf” title=”The Approaching Day Prepper 2014 Prepper Calendar”]