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Saturday, August 6, 2011

20 Things to Do This Week

Original Article

In order to improve your life and survive-ability.  In no particular order:
  1. Sell something on eBay or CraigsList and add the money you make to your emergency fund.
  2. Take a thirty minute walk every day either before work, during lunch, or after work.
  3. Get a copy of your three credit reports and make sure the information is correct.
  4. Obtain and preserve food.  It can be as simple as drying apples in the oven or as interesting as making homemade canned salsa or spaghetti sauce.
  5. Check your vital stats (weight, blood pressure, blood sugar level, and if possible, cholesterol numbers).
  6. Can you get out to the shooting range this week?  It would be a good idea if you can (you can never have too much practice).
  7. Try bartering for something.
  8. Schedule a garage sale for next weekend and use this week to prepare for it.  This is the quickest way to declutter your home and make some money at the same time.
  9. Plan a camping trip for sometime this month or next.  Better yet, take only your BOB on the trip and see how well you can survive out of only what is packed in it.
  10. On that note, dump out your BOB and make sure everything is in good working order/rotated.
  11. Study something.  Exercising your brain is just as important as exercising your body.  Even checking out a book from the library on preserving food can add valuable knowledge and give you something interesting to read.  Or you may want to check out the MIT Open Courseware astrophysics course...
  12. Have you been fishing lately.  There is no better way to relax after work IMHO...
  13. Clean out your car--inside and outside--and make sure it is in good working order, any problems are repaired, and your car emergency supplies/car BOB are in order.
  14. What can you make?  Unfortunately recent generations are sadly lacking in the skills to actually make something with their own two hands.  Making something as simple as a rucksack on the sewing machine or a basic bookshelf are good skill builders and shouldn't take longer than an afternoon.
  15. Teach someone something.  Candidates can include you kid, grandkid, or spouse.  As with many of these tasks it isn't the actual task (teaching a skill for example) that is the goal but rather the leadership and process skills that such a task develops.
  16. Find out what is going on in your community and make plans to participate at a future date (I'm fond of Volksmarching, shooting sports, and HAM radio but you might like theater, boating, or politics better).  This is a great way to be active in and make connections in your community with like minded people while also having the opportunity to learn something new.
  17. Write out your list of goals.  Oddly enough nearly every one of my goals that I write down comes true.  A few years ago my goals were to sell the house, sell everything we own, and travel the world.  At the time there was no way in Hell that kind of thing could have happened (due to job and family responsibilities) however at the end of last year it all of the sudden just happened and we are now in the midst of at least a year's travel.  In other words, writing down your goals is the first step to making them come true (cue spiritual wu-wu music).
  18. Get outside and enjoy: walking barefoot, listening to the birds, cooking on the grill or firepit, breathing deeply, etc.  In other words, we often spend way too much time indoors and not nearly enough time outdoors.
  19. Look at your home or work environment and do one thing to make it safer/more ready for a disaster (could be as simple as checking the batteries in the smoke detector to making and placing a BOB in your office).
  20. Change your attitude 180 degrees when you encounter a difficult situation.  There are lots of annoyances in everyday life from an annoying teenager to an annoying boss to a rude driver that makes you daydream about cruising over top of them in a Humvee, but I digress...  Just for amusement's sake (and an interesting way to practice rapid attitude adjustment), when you feel like flying off the handle, do exactly the opposite.  If your teenager is giving you grief and you would ordinarily react in a somewhat hostile manner, grab them in a bear hug and tell them how awesome they are.  I would suggest something similar in response to an annoying boss (sans the bear hug).