Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Gearing Up for Summer: 10 Goals

In no particular order...

  1. Put an emergency fund together.  $1000 is good, $2000 is better.  In cash.  Part at home, part in the bank.  Summer is a great time to hold a garage sale, pick up some yard work gigs, and otherwise cobble together a small emergency fund for a future crisis.
  2. Go camping.  Multiple times if possible.  And no, you don't need the latest (and very expensive) ultralight gear.  If all you can manage is throwing a tarp from the $1 store and some blankets from your bed into the car and heading out to the mountains, do it.  Go out and sleep in the forest.
  3. Make a "to do" list of home fixes that need to be done and attack the list with a vengeance.  It's easier to do these things in the summer and when the winter winds begin to howl, you will thank yourself for your foresight.
  4. Learn about food.  Most people only know how to acquire food from the local take-out joint or, in an emergency, from a grocery store.  This summer grow some food, forage for food, go fishing or to a farmers market and, most importantly, practice preserving this food for winter.  These are good skills to have.
  5. Exercise.  If you are fat and out of shape (like a full two thirds of the US population) take advantage of the warm weather to get out and move.  You don't need to join a gym or take a P90X class, simply put on some shoes and go walk, drop down and do a few push ups, balance on a log, etc.  Use your environment for some no-cost exercise opportunities.
  6. Play with the kids (or grandkids) sans electronics.  Take a walk, build a fort, have a bonfire in the evening, etc.  There are plenty of free things to do with the kids that only require your attention.  Be sure to make these activities 'no electronics' time as well.
  7. Set--and reach--a goal.  Take a tactical shooting class, grow a garden, learn reloading via YouTube, knit a sweater, join the local Search and Rescue organization...basically pick something you've always wanted to do and go do it.
  8. Hammer away on your employment situation.  Set up some side gigs, start a small business, refine your resume, ask for a raise, etc.  Most people kick back on the employment front when warm weather hits, but you can use this time to break away from ordinary and move towards extraordinary during the course of a summer.
  9. Make your home bomb-proof.  Do a project or two that you have been thinking about which will improve the safety and security of your home.  Install a security system, reinforce your doors and locks, build a hidden safe, organize your stockpiles, etc.
  10. Do something for the future.  Instant gratification is quite the thing these days but there is something to be said for planting pumpkin seeds that will be ready for Halloween, plant a few trees to use for future Christmases, invest in the kid's college funds, etc.

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